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

16 - 30 April 1941

PG30287

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
16.4
  Positions at 0700:
U 76
-
AD 7650  
U 108
-
AD 8450
101
-
AD 7988  
73
-
AL 1113
52
-
AK 3340  
552
-
AK 3520
123
-
AK 0370  
96
-
AM 4750
95
-
AL 9370  
65
-
BE 2310
94
-
BE 5320  
110
-
BF 5490
75
-
AE 9150  
553
-
AN 3850
141
-
AN 3884  
 
   
 
U 124
-
ET 13  
U 106
-
FK 55
105
-
FD 69  
103
-
DU 44
107
-
DT 88  
38
-
CF 8361
UA
-
BF 7552  
 
   
  The following boats are expected to be ready for operations by 1.5:
  U 201, 553, 138, 141, 143, 147, 97, 66, 77, 109, 111, 556, 557.
  Positions of Italian U-boats
 
 
J 24
-
CG 5850  
J 8
-
AL 2940
10
-
CG 8550  
16
-
CG 8850
1
-
DU 1700  
3
-
CF 6750
 
  On outward passage:  J 4 - BF 6860
 
  On return passage:     J 2 - BF 7580
 
   
 
  U 110 has ordered to occupy as attack area a strip 60 miles wide from AL 18 to Al 61 in order to close the existing gaps between the air reconnaissance requested (S. sector of the operations area) and the present U-boat disposition.
 
   
 
  U 96 reported a convoy in AL 6938, course N.W.
 
  U 65 and 95 which were in the vicinity were ordered to operate against the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 103 reported a light cruiser in DU 2316, course S.W., a sign that the English are sailing close inshore on the W. African coast.
   
  U 96 lost contact in AL 6695.
   
17.4.
  U 107 reported the area between 240 and 280 W. north of the Cape Verde Islands as favorable.  She has been ordered to operate there.
               
 
 
- 53 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  Naval War Staff gave ordered for the restrictions in force on the use of weapons against neutral warships in the blockade area around England to be abolished with immediate effect.  All forces are to take unrestricted action in this area against all warships and merchant ships.  Finnish and Russian merchant vessels are not affected.
 
  Visit from C-in-C Navy.  Inspection of the ORGANIZATION TODT construction site.
   
  U 147 sailed from Brunsbüttel.
   
 
18.4.
  U 108 reported:  No traffic.  She has been given a strip 60 miles wide from AD 85 to AE 47 as attack area.
 
   
 
  U 96 has been ordered to concentrate in the northern half of her attack areas.  I want to get an exact idea of the area immediately off the coast of Iceland.
 
   
 
  U 94 entered Lorient.
 
   
 
  U 94 has at times encountered N - S traffic in squares AD 76 and AD 79, outside her attack area.  U 101 made the same observation in almost the same area, also outside her allocated attack area.  The impression is given that the English traffic is being deliberately routed to avoid the attacking disposition.  It is therefore suspected that by some means the enemy has obtained information of our attack areas.  This may also explain the failure of the convoy operation on 4.3. in cooperation with the G.A.F.  The convoy was to have been picked up that same day by a reconnaissance line and on 5.3 by a patrol line.  The convoy was first reported on a W. course, but was then diverted a long way to the north and the second patrol line, which was very favorably placed for the convoy's new course, also failed to intercept it.  These are of course only conjectures, nevertheless the slightest possibility in this direction must be radically excluded regardless of the disadvantages involved.  I have therefore again given orders within the U-boat Arm that the number of persons having knowledge of U-boat operations is to be kept as small as possible.  For the same reason I have forbidden the daily position reports to Group Command West, G.O.C. Atlantic Air Forces, and Naval Liaison Officer Bordeaux.  On the orders of C-in-C Navy stations outside the U-boat Arm which may use the U-boat wave have been restricted to the essential.  This will exclude listening-in on the U-boat wave by unauthorized persons.  All stations which have to cover the U-boat wave for operational or radio technical reasons have been informed of the suspicion and have been ordered by C-in-C Navy to
   
                             
 
 
- 54 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  observe strict security measures and limit the number of persons involved.  In addition Supreme Command of the Navy have approved my request for the introduction of a special U-boat cipher.  The boats have been ordered to the following new attack areas:
1) 60 - mile - wide strips:
  U 108 from AD 52 to AE 71
      123 from AD 57 to AD 86
        65 from AD 75 to AK 22
      110 from AL 02 to AL 69
2) Patrolling E - W:
  U 96 from AE 72 to AE 81
      95 from AE 76 to AE 85
      52 from AE 78 to AE 87
    552 from AL 21 to AL 31
3) U 101 squares AL 23 to 28.
  U 75 - AK 36 and 38 and 03 and AL 15 and 17 and 19.
  This disposition is intended to intercept traffic E - W in the northern sector of the operations area and/or off the Icelandic coast.  By extending the disposition south I want to continue to cover the central sector of the operations area, which is not covered by air reconnaissance, and be able to operate against any convoys reported by the boats.
   
19.4.
  U 103 and U 38 reported no traffic in the area off of the African coast.  The Intelligence Service had reported single-ship traffic there.  According to dead reckoning, U 105 may have arrived back in the Freetown area.
 
   
 
20.4.
  U 73 reported that she had sunk EMPIRE ENDURANCE on her return passage in AL 84.
 
   
 
  U 124 reported no traffic in the Canary Islands area.
 
   
 
  U 553 left Bergen.
 
   
 
21.4.
  U 107 reported no traffic N.W. of the Cape Verde Islands.  UA has started on her return passage because of damaged steering gear.
  
                           
 
 
- 55 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  The traffic situation in the northern area is unsatisfactory.  Although there are more than the average number of boats there, little is being sighted.  The bad weather and poor visibility cannot be the only cause.  There must be less traffic. I therefore intend to narrow the disposition so that the boats can cover smaller area more thoroughly.  I have detailed 3 boats for the SW-bound traffic from and to the North Channel which has recently been observed by boats on their way out and back.  U 553 is to join these 3 later.  There are Italian U-boats flanking this disposition.  I want to continue to concentrate our own boats in the north so as to make effective use of the increased air reconnaissance (3 Condors and 3 HE 111 simultaneously) which is to start in this area on 24 or 25.4.
 
  I have also now got 1 or 2 small boats in the area between the Faroes, Shetlands and Herbrides, which will be increased t 4 later on, and which may be able to cooperate with the U-boats in the north.  The boats have been given the following attack areas:
 
U 96
-
AE 73  
U 123
-
AL 33
95
-
AE 84  
65
-
AL 36
52
-
AE 79  
75
-
AL 54
552
-
AL 32  
110
-
AL 58
       
101
-
AL 91
  They are to concentrate in the centers of the squares ordered.
  U 108 - 60 mile wide strip from AD 31 to AD 51
 
  U 147 - AM 31 and 33 and 35 upper and center thirds
 
   
 
  U 107 reported one ship sunk, probably the English S.S. CALCHAS (10,305 tons), mentioned by Radio Intelligence.
 
   
 
22.4.
  Boats in the northern area have received orders to make no radio signals, including short signals, except those of tactical importance.
 
   
 
  U 105 reported from the area W. of Freetown that she had seen nothing for 4 days.
 
   
 
  J 9, on her way to her operations area, reported an inward-bound convoy in AL 9750, 8 knots, course 250.
 
  U 110 was ordered to attack.
  U 101 was ordered to operate against the convoy.
  As J 9 unfortunately made no further shadower's reports and U 101 reported that she could not operate against the convoy, U 110 was ordered to continue to operate in the direction of the convoy's supposed advance, as air reconnaissance was to be flown against it on 23.4.
                   
 
 
- 56 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  U 553 has been given AL 51 as attack area.
 
  U 201 left Kiel.
   
  In connection with the transfer of FW 200's to Stavanger, 3 FW 200's are flying from Bordeaux to Stavanger on 23.4.
   
 
23.4.
  J 9 reported a second convoy in AL 8856, course 2700, speed 13 knots.  With the boats' present positions an operation would be hopeless owing to the high speed of the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 95 reported a convoy on a N.W. course in AE 8852, but lost contact.  She was ordered to press on and to report the weather.  All boats N. of 580 N. (except U 147) were ordered to operate against the convoy.  They were informed that, if no contact was made by evening, it was intended to form a patrol line AM on 24.4 from approximately AE 78 to AE 72, so that they could conduct their operations accordingly.  
 
   
 
  Air reconnaissance SW of Ireland brought no results.  U 95 reported at 1844 that what she reported as a convoy was no convoy, but 6 patrol vessels.  Thus, the whole of today's operations were in vain.  Boats were allocated the following attack areas:
 
  U 95, 52 and 55 to form a patrol line from AE 8985 to AM 1355, depth 20 miles, at cruising speed.
 
 
U 108
-
AE 79  
U 110
-
AL 91
553
-
AL 54  
101
-
AL 95
75
-
AL 58        
 
  Remaining boats to occupy their previous attack areas.
 
   
 
24.4.
  U 108 reported no traffic in the area SW of Iceland.
   
  U 38 reported no traffic off the W. African coast.
   
  U 138 entered Bergen because of engine trouble.
   
  U 103 and 105 were ordered to operate against traffic bound for Freetown from the S.W.
   
  U 95 reported a small convoy (4 ships) with 2 destroyers in AE 3677, course 2900.  She was given permission to attack and ordered to make shadower's reports, but she lost sight of the convoy at 1959 in AE 8596.
       
      U 73 entered Lorient.
       
 
 
- 57 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
25.4.
  U 147 reported that she had seen 2 ships and 3 destroyers in AM 3358.  U 103 reported:  1 ship sunk.
 
  No further reports were received from U 95 on yesterday's convoy.
   
  U 553 is returning owing to engine defects.
   
 
  The C.O. of U 73 made his report:   a well-executed, successful patrol.
 
   
 
26.4.
  U 95 reported that she had seen 2 large fast steamers escorted by 2 destroyers in AE 8728.  There is a noticeable recurrence of small, heavily escorted groups of steamers.
 
   
 
  U 96 reported no traffic off the south coast of Iceland, only patrol. Air reconnaissance reported considerable warship activity in AM 2666.  The following attack area were ordered:
 
  U 147 - AM 33 southern half and AM 35 upper and center thirds.
 
  U 143 - Am 33 northern half and AM 31
 
  U 95 - AE 89
 
  U 96 - AM 12
 
  U 552 - AM 13
  U 123 - the area N.W. of these attack areas as far as 200 W.
  Now that U 108 has left, having sighted nothing recently W. of Reykjavik, the most northerly area off Iceland is unoccupied.  U 96 also sighted nothing there.
   
  Boats have been concentrated in the area to be covered by air reconnaissance taking off from Stavanger, in order to make another attempt at direct cooperation.   Owing to unforeseen technical difficulties, however, the reinforced air reconnaissance, which should have started on 25.4., will be delayed.
   
  UA entered Lorient.
   
  Visit from LUTZE, Chief of Staff, SA.
       
 
27.4.
  U 52 reported from AE 68 that she had sighted nothing since 14.4 and had sunk 2 ships (including VILLE DE LIEGE) totaling 14,4430 GRT.  She is returning home.
  
  
           
 
 
- 58 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  Air reconnaissance was started today with 2 FW 200.  Both aircraft were damaged on their outward flight while attacking a ship, so that they had to break off.  The reconnaissance was thus practically useless, the aircraft did not act in accordance with instructions.  Tomorrow, it is intended to fly reconnaissance of the area between Iceland and 580 N.  Boats in this area have been informed accordingly.
 
  U 201 put into Bergen to repair her gyro.
   
  U 38 has been allocated ET 10 and ET 20 as attack area concentrating on traffic leaving Freetown.
   
 
28.4.
  U 123 made contact at 0106 with an inward-bound convoy in AL 2326 and reported at 0204 that she had been driven off.  She regained contact at 0728 in AL 3313.  The situation was fairly favorable for the other boats.  Radio message to U 123:  attack permitted, continue to shadow.
 
   
 
  All boats N. of 580 N are to operate against the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 147 and 143 to remain in their attack areas.
 
   
 
  Air reconnaissance was requested for the area in which the convoy had been reported.  The aircraft sighted various groups of destroyers and a convoy in AE 8932.  It consisted of 5 ships, strongly escorted, and was inward-bound.  U 143 was informed accordingly.  The reconnaissance aircraft did not on the other hand succeed in picking up U 123's convoy, which proves how inadequate a reconnaissance with few aircraft is even against a reported target.
 
   
 
  U 123 made regular shadower's reports, but was driven off at 1407.  U 96 took over and reported the convoy in AL 3426 at 1740, but must then have been forced to dive, as no further reports were received.
 
   
  As no further reports were received on the northern convoy I ordered the boats to continue operating along the probable route and informed them that air reconnaissance would be flown at 0900/29/4.
   
  U 75 reported 2 W-bound steamers in AL 4867.  She was ordered to attack and to shadow, as U 108 should be in the vicinity.
   
  Shadower's reports continued to come in from U 75.
             
 
 
- 59 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
29.4.
  No boat made contact with the convoy by 0400.  I therefore ordered U 123, 95, 552, 65 and 96 to form a patrol line by 0900 from AM 1265 to 1495, depth 10 miles.
 
  As the convoy was not picked up either by this patrol line or air reconnaissance, boats were ordered at 1400 to form a patrol line from AM 2616 to AM 2759 at cruising speed, in one more attempt to intercept the convoy on its course for the North Channel (last reported as 1100).  Air reconnaissance was again requested for the evening.
   
  This also failed to lead to success.  In order to take account of the last possibility, i.e. that the convoy had not yet reached this patrol line, I ordered the boats to proceed west from 2400 from the positions that had then reached.  If this also failed, they were to proceed to the following attack areas at 0600/30/5.
  U 123 - AL 23 to AL 34.
 
        95 - L 25 to AL 36
 
        65 - AL 27 to AL 38
 
        96 - AL 29 to AL 03
 
  U 552 freedom of action, as she will presumably have to return very soon.
 
   
 
  U 75 reported that she had sunk S.S. CITY OF NAGPUR, 10,146 tons, in AL 7421.
 
   
 
  U 106 reported:  LECH encountered.
 
   
 
  U 201 and 141 left Bergen.
   
30.4.
  U 552 reported sinking BEACON GRANGE (10,119 tons) and an 8,000 ton tanker in AM 2477.
   
  U 110 was allocated an attack area from AL 52 to AM 71, U 75 from AL 48 to AL 98, both in strips 100 miles wide.  This will at least provide some reconnaissance of the approach to the North Channel from the S.W.
   
  Air reconnaissance sighted nothing but odd merchant ships.
   
  U 107 reported from the southern area that she had sunk CALCHAS, 10, 305 tons, in DT 42 and LASELL, 7,417 tons, in EH 93.
       
       
                                     (Signed):  DÖNITZ.
       
   
   
             
 
 
- 60 -
 
     

 


 

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