F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

16 - 30 November 1940



Position, Wind, Weather
Sea State, Illumination,
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
  Positions at 0700 16 November.
In the operations area:
U 29 square AL 2650 (weather boat)
U 100     3660  
U 93     3850  
U 47     3930 (weather boat)
U 103 square AM 4470  
U 137     0250  
U 138     5150  
U 104   AN 3110 on outward passage
U 123   BF 4430     "        "        "
U 65   ES 56     "        "        "
  Also 9 Italian U-boats in the operations area W of the North Channel.
  On return passage in route GPUN:  U 28.
  In Kiel:  U A, U 46, 48, 52, 94, 95, 140.
  In Lorient:  U 37, 38, 43, 99, 101, 124.,
  Ready for operations by end of November:  U 37, 43, 52, 94, 95, 99, 101, 140.
  Group Command agreed to the air reconnaissance requested and ordered it to be carried out today.  U 47 and 93 reported no traffic, but U 103 sighted an inward-bound convoy in the area SW of Ireland (square AM 4475).  She apparently lost contact.  She made no further report after the first.  It was only in the evening that U 103 reported contact lost, use of armament impossible because of weather.  It is unsatisfactory that this report was received do late.  It will have to be seen when the boats return if it really could not have been made earlier.
  U 137 sighted an outward-bound convoy in square AM 5159 and shadowed it until evening.  She reported inward and outward bound traffic in a direction 250 from the North Channel.  The air reconnaissance planned could only be carried out in part in the NW, as one a/c crashed.  No enemy units were sighted.  It is planned to continue the reconnaissance for the SW area on 17 November.  I requested Group Command West to continue on the following days and they agreed.
  U 52 left Kiel, U 43 Lorient for the operations area.
  U 104 entered Bergen because of defective gyro-equipment.  A slight alteration has been made in the disposition of the boats.  The majority have been concentrated in the area WSW of the North Channel, where there appeared to be more traffic at present than in the north.
  A report was received of a convoy route from the south, then along the Irish coast through the St. George's Channel to England.  This is the first definite information that we have had for a long time of a route through this area.
18.11. - 19.11.
U 137 reported that she was returning - 4 steamers totaling 23,887 GRT.   Soon after U 138 also reported that she was returning because of
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Position, Wind, Weather
Sea State, Illumination,
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
    a thrust bearing which has run.  Both boats will proceed to home ports via Bergen.  
    At 1840 U 137 made contact with an outward-bound convoy in square AM 5731, consisting partly of very large ships.  It was zig-zagging at about 15 knots.  The boat lost sight of the convoy at 2220 and after that several times reported a receding hydrophone bearing.  THis small boat did not succeed in regaining sight of the fast enemy formation but her reports brought up U 100 and U 145.  She reported 7 steamers and 4 destroyers.  After U 100 arrived, U 137 continued on her return passage.  U 100 shadowed the convoy until 0641, then she too lost contact, apparently owing to rising seas.  Mean while U 47 had also reached the convoy.  She reported as 0405 3 misses, one tube-runner and one surface runner.  Air reconnaissance was flown at daybreak over the area through which the convoy was believed to be proceeding, but no results were obtained because of bad visibility.  4 Italian U-boats which were in very favorable positions and were also ordered to operate, did not report and apparently did not sight it.  In the afternoon it had to be accepted that contact was lost for good.  Boats were ordered to report their positions by short signal.  These showed that U 93 and U 103 had also succeeded in reaching the convoy.  No reports of successes were received.  The boats were ordered to new ops. areas, concentrating W to SW of the North Channel.
    U 65 reported:
    1) 4 steamers totaling about 21,000 GRT sunk within 2 days
    2)  Heavy traffic.
    Conditions did not seem to warrant large-scale surprise attacks and she therefore attacked small independently routed targets.  One Admiralty U-boats warning shows that her presence there has meanwhile become known.  As her report sounds so promising, I have decided to let her supply again from the supply ship, probably on about 28 November.
  U 94, 95 and 140 left Kiel via the Kattegatt for the operations area W of the North Channel.  I intend to send these new inexperienced boats to areas far to the west, so that they will not be at once confronted with very difficult operations.  
  U 93 sighted a destroyer which has probably been brought from the U.S.A.
  Nothing to report.
  Weather conditions are very variable in the operations area, according to the weather reports.  Mainly over 6, but at times much less, visibility about 10 miles.
  U 137 entered Bergen.
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Position, Wind, Weather
Sea State, Illumination,
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
22.11. - 23.11.
  U 100 made contact with a convoy at 2345 in square AM 4568, course 70 - 800, 6 knots.  She shadowed until 0608 then lost contact for a time, and regained it at 0731 in square AM 4638:  800, 8 knots.  At 0431 U 93 requested beacon-signals.
  At 0607 U 123 reported another outward-bound convoy in square AL 3958, 240 - 2500, 5 knots.  U 43 and 29 were within range and were ordered to operate.  J 2, which on the previous day had made a very delayed report of a convoy in square AL 3743, 1000 now reported that she could not carry out the order because of bad weather, wind 9-10.  U 43 reported her position still very far south.  U 123 therefore remained alone with the convoy.  In the evening she reported that she was returning, because both periscopes were out of action after an underwater collision.  She also reported 6 steamers totaling 29,000 GRT sunk.  She has only been at sea since November 14 and has been able to achieve this success in spite of bad weather.  Soon after U 100 reported that she was returning, having sunk 7 steamers totaling about 40,000 GRT, (at sea since November 7) U 93 pursued the same convoy far to the E, but, although she made contact for a short time, she was not able to hold or regain it.
  J 2, Finzi, again sighted a convoy on an E. course in square AL 2699.  She did not succeed in shadowing.  Boats were not ordered to operate against this convoy, but they were informed of the sighting.
  U 140 entered Bergen, to refuel.
  U 137 left Bergen.  South bound.
  U 101 left Lorient for the operations area.
  Several radio intelligence reports indicate that:
1. Besides U 100 and U 123, U 103 and 104 have also probably been successful during the last few days.
2. That one of the steamers attacked by U 100 and one attacked by U 123 have not yet sunk and are awaiting tug assistance from England.
  Regular air reconnaissance flown during the last few days in the area W of Ireland has not sighted anything except a few independently-routed steamers.
  U 94 and U 95 have been allocated ops area in square 35 to 38 AL and patrolling in the latitude of square 62 AL respectively.
  U 29 is returning and U 43 will relieve her as weather boat.
  U 47 reported:  so far no success.  She has several times had anti-S/M forces in the vicinity 2 hours after making her weather report.  I do not regard this as a coincidence, but think that the messages have been d/f'd.  As the reports are made regularly and the boat cannot alter her position appreciably in between times, even a very inaccurate single bearing would in the long run give the enemy a clear idea of the boat's ops area.  He will undoubtedly make use of this information.
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Position, Wind, Weather
Sea State, Illumination,
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
  U 93 returning because of lack of fuel.  No successes.
  Otherwise nothing to report.
  U 47 will occupy the area left free by U 93, SW of the North Channel.  A temporary improvement in weather conditions in the operations area has had its effect in the sinking of 2 steamers.
  U 100 entered Lorient.
  U 99 sailed for the operations areas.
  Another steamer was torpedoed.
  U 140 and 101 are in the North Channel and have been allocated remote attack areas.
  A number of radio intelligence (X) and other reports, give some indication of the trade routes between England and the W. coast of Africa.  I have decided to send another boat to this area, especially on view of U 65's favorable situation report.  She is to operate off the Portuguese coast first, then proceed south, between 20 and 250 W, refuel in the Canary Is, proceed along the same longitude, and then operate in the sea area W of Freetown.  There she will be supplied with ammunition and fuel by a supply ship and operate further according to the situation.
  U 37 is to carry out this operation.
  U 123 entered Lorient.
  U 37 sailed.
U 43, 52, 94, 95 reported no traffic during the past 24 hours.  
      Short reports from returned boats:
      U 100:  at sea since 7.11.  Sank 6 steamers totaling 31,000 GRT at minimum range from a convoy in extremely difficult conditions.
      U 123:  at sea since 14.11.  Sank 2 independent steamers and 4 steamers from an outward-bound convoy, total 30,454 GRT.  While firing a finishing shot at the last steamer she collided underwater with an unidentified object and her conning tower was damaged and both periscopes bent.  She then had to break off and return.
  There is a strong impression that at present shipping is approaching the North Channel from the SW and I decided to regroup the boats slightly in this direction.  U 52 and 95 are to move further south.  U 99 will also have an ops. area on this route.
  U 65 reported her second supply operation from the supply ship carried out.
  U 29 entered Bergen.
  U 101 reported slight traffic, U 94 none.
  In reply to an enquiry as to her success and the traffic situation U 65 reported that she had not sunk any further ships.  Details of traffic are approximately the same as
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Position, Wind, Weather
Sea State, Illumination,
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
    previously reported. She has been about 5 days in her ops. area since her last report of success.It is not yet possible to decide whether there is any purpose in her continuing to operate or in sending out another boat.
    U 29 entered Bergen.  She will remain there for a time, because Hipper is sailing.
    U 47 reported that she was returning.  She has been ordered to go to Lorient.
                                        (Signed):  Dönitz.
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