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

1 - 15 January 1941

PG30280

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
Group Command Headquarters West.
 
1.1.
 
Positions of the boats ar 0800:
 
U 105 AM 15
U 124 AM 17
U 95 AM 19  Concentrating at 150 W.
U 38 weather boat in AL 10, 20, 30, S of 60 degrees N., and E of 250 W.
U 37 West of Spain and Portugal.
U 65 Canary Islands sea area.
 
Italian U-boats:    
J 3 AL 24 J 12 AL 48
J 8 AL 25 J 22 BE 29, return passage
J 24 AL 39 J 17 BF 17, return passage
J 21 AL 67 J 1 off the Gironds, return passage
 
In Lorient:  U 43, 47, 52, 93, 94, 96, 99, 101, 103, 123.
 
In Kiel:  U 100, 46, 48, 106, 107, UA.
 
Ready for preparations by 15.1:  U 93, 48, 96, 106, 123.
 
 
U 37 reported no traffic.
 
U 65 was probably responsible for the torpedoing of an English 8,500 ton tanker in DT 63.
 
2.1.
 
Nothing to report.
 
 
On the orders of C-in-C Navy, discussion with General Jodl on the U-boat Arm's requirements with regard to air support (see War Log of 14.12.1940.  For reconnaissance and tactical co-operation, requirements:  about 12 aircraft of the longest range types at one time in the operations area).
 
3.1.
 
Nothing to report.
 
4.1.
 
U 106 left Kiel for the operations area.  Otherwise nothing to report.
 
 
5.1.
  Nothing to report.
 
   
 
6.1.
  U 95 reported:  No traffic.  Otherwise nothing to report.
 
  
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
7.1.
 
U 95 is returning owing to lack of fuel.
 
U 124 sank the English S.S. "Empire Thunder" in AL 1447.
 
 
U 38 report:  no traffic.
 
 
U 37 entered Lorient.  She sank 6 ships altogether, totaling 20,600 GRT.  Her patrol was broken off prematurely and did not result in any greater success because she was operating in fairly quiet areas.  On the whole the Commanding Officer acted correctly on his first patrol and showed that he possessed the right qualities.
 
 
On the Fuehrer's Orders No. I Combat Group/40 is to be made operationally subordinate to B.d.U. with immediate effect.  The conduct of U-boat warfare has taken a decided step forward as a result of this order.  It is only the first step in this direction and tangible results will not be very considerable yet, as so few aircraft are available at present and there are a number of technical problems to be solved, but I have great hopes that this co-operation will eventually lead to great success.  The conditions necessary to achieve this are discussed elsewhere in the War Log.
 
8.1.
 
U 38, 105 and 124 have been given new attack areas between 530  N and 550 30' N and 160 W to 220 W.  They cannot have much fuel left;  I therefore want to draw them gradually further south, so that they can concentrate S.W. of the North Channel together with U 94 and U 96 which are sailing within the next few days.
 
The boats have had practically no success in the North owing to continual bad weather, poor visibility and the short days.  When more boats arrive in the operations area I intend to make another sweep to the North into the area N. of 600 N.  I think that Naval War Staff could very well open this area temporarily in the present situation.
 
9.1.
 
U 94 and U 96 sailed for the operations area.  B.d.U. went on leave.  Commander GODT will be his deputy for operational control.
 
10.1.
 
U 105 reported the sinking of a 4,500 GRT steamer.  U 65 entered Lorient.  During her operation in the Freetown area from 15 October 1940 to 10 January 1941 she sank 8 ships, altogether totaling 52,801 GRT, and severely damaged one steamer of 8,532 GRT.  Sinking not observed.  After all, this patrol turns out to have been well worth while, though at times it had appeared quite the contrary.  The Commanding Officer should have kept Operations Control more fully informed of the situation and his operations.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
without knowing further details, the fact that the boat had no success between November 18 and December 21, i.e. for more than 4 weeks, naturally gave the impression that prospects there were small.  In spite of the good success achieved the patrol can only be regarded as barely satisfactory in view of the long time it lasted.  The boat will have been detached for this operation for 6 months including time from the operations area.  This is a very important fact in view of the few operational boats available at present.  More eyes in the operational area mean better chances for all the boats there.
The next patrol in this area is to be carried out by UA.
 
11.1.
 
U 93 left Lorient for the operations area.
 
Air reconnaissance reported 5 steamers and one destroyer in square AM 7142.  Apparently a convoy was assembled.  Boats were informed.  A controlled operation was not possible as the aircraft was driven off and could not obtain further information.
 
12.1.
 
Nothing to report.
 
13.1.
 
Nothing to report
 
14.1
 
U 105 reported a convoy on a S.W. course at 0615 in square AL 6746.  She lost contact towards 0800 and was ordered to press on.  At the same time an attempt was made to get the 2 aircraft, which had taken off for reconnaissance, onto the convoy.  The boat was ordered to make beacon signals at a stated time, in order to make it easier for the aircraft to find the convoy.  If they found the boat they would have a starting point from which to search S.W.  It was important to find out whether the transmission of beacon-signals in the present form at such long range is any use.  The attempt failed, as the aircraft did not receive the necessary instructions in time.  The convoy was not found.
 
U 105 was ordered to return to her attack area after dark.
 
U 93 has been allocated an attack area which will extend the present disposition of boats in the W. to the N. 
 
U 95 entered Lorient.  During 4 weeks patrol, hampered by bad weather and often poor visibility, she sighted altogether 6 fast ships, only one of which, the 12,823 GRT WAIOTIRA, she managed to sink.  Nevertheless this is a certain success. The young C.O. did his best.In addition to greater experience a lot of luck is required to make a successful attack on fast independent ships, especially in such difficult weather conditions.
 
15.1.
 
Nothing to report.
 
 
 
                       (signed):  GODT Chief of Operations
 
                                         Department, for B.d.U.
 
 
 
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