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

1 - 15 June 1941

PG30290

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
1.6.
  Positions at 0800:
North Area:
  U 111, 43, 46, 66 in patrol line from AJ 9815 to BD 3266.
  U 93 and U 557 in AJ 21 (refuelling).
  U 48, 73, 75, 101, 108 approximately in BE west sector, proceeding into the patrol line.
  U 141 west of Quessant.
 
  U 77 northern North Sea, on return passage.
 
  U 147 in the operational area west of the Herbrides.
 
  U 94 on return passage in approximately BD 39.
       
 
  South Area:
 
  U 103 and U 38 south of line Freetown at 400, U 107 and UA to the north thereof.  U 105 and U 106 in area of Cape Verden.  U 69 approximately square FF.
       
 
  In Lorient:
 
  U 74, 109, 123, 124, 138, 201, 556.
       
 
  In St. Nazaire:
 
  U 95, 96, 97, 98, 552, 553.
       
 
  In Kiel:
  U 71, 83, 143, 203, 371, 559, 651, 751, 558.
       
  In Wilhelmshaven:
  U 67
       
  The following will be in operation until the 15th June:
  U 751, 558, 553, 552, 559, 79, 203, 371, 651, 123, 201, 143, 71.
       
  U 558 out from Kiel for long-distance patrol.
       
  Refuelling for U 38 is planned for the 7th June.
       
  U 107 reported auxiliary cruiser or "Q" ship "Alfred Jones", 4,022 GRT, sunk
       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
2.6.
  U 204 reported:  "No traffic".  She has searched the area west and southwest of Iceland without intercepting the enemy.
 
  U-boats approaching will be incorporated in the patrol line of the Western boats.  The new patrol line includes:  U 557, 93, 111, 43, 46, 66, 108, 101, 75, 48 and 73 and extends from AJ 9415 to BD 1895.
   
  U 93 and 557 are still in AJ 21 for refuelling purposes.
  U 48, U 73 and U 108 will have reached their positions by the 4th June, and U 75 and U 101 probably by the 5th June.
 
   
 
  U 147 contacted an outward-bound convoy in AM 0237 at 1330.  Since there were no other boats in the vicinity, she was given freedom of attack and ordered not to report again.  According to intercept messages a vessel of the convoy was torpedoed.
 
   
 
3.6.
  In the eastern part of square BD 2 steamers were torpedoed, according to intercept messages, and a further one pursued by a U-boat.  U 101 and U 75 are the ones in question.
 
   
 
  U 105 is returning.  She reported the sinking, during return passage, of "Scottish Monary", 4,719 GRT.
 
   
 
  U 552 has left St. Nazaire, and U 751 Kiel for long-distance patrol.  Refuelling of U 93 and U 557 has probably come up against difficulties.  There are still no reports from the boats.  It does not appear to me to be quite certain.
 
   
 
  U 204, therefore, has been ordered not to proceed to the refueling rendezvous but to BD 14.
   
4.6.
  U 557 reported:  "Supply ship "Belchen" sunk by a destroyer".  She has 50 survivors on board and is returning.  My plan to hand the survivors over to another supply ship, and have the boat refuel and go out on further operations, was prevented because the boat reported that she did not have sufficient fuel for the necessary detour in case refuelling was not effected.
   
5.6.
  U 73, as south-easterly boat of the patrol line of the Western boats, reported heavy traffic.  U 48 reported in BD 29 a large number of single vessels, and she sank 2, together 15,500 GRT.  These are different vessels from those reported by intercept messages to have been torpedoed on the 3rd June in BD.
               
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  In view of these reports it appears that there is heavy traffic in BD, which has been confirmed in this area already by earlier observations of the Meteorological Trawler.  I am under the impression that this traffic runs S.E. of the present U-boat positions, and have decided to move the patrol line by 180 miles in direction 1800.
 
  U 66 is returning owing to damage to the bow cap.
   
  U 69 reports operation Takoradi and Lagos carried out, and a 4,100 GRT vessel sunk on the roads off Acra.  A U-boat warning off Lagos indicates that a vessel has struck a mine.
   
 
  U 111 will be sent out, in agreement with the Naval War Staff, to investigate the traffic in the following areas:
 
 
1) East of Belle Isle Strait and,
2) Out from Cape Race in a northerly and north-easterly direction.
 
  She has been restricted to attacks on specially important ships and is to report on any traffic at once if she confirms it.  I intend, in this case, to send in several boats for operations there.
 
   
 
  U 204 will take up former position of U 111.
 
   
 
6.6.
  A convoy, course 2600, was detected by air reconnaissance in AL 6294.  The boats were informed accordingly.  According to intercept messages, there is a convoy in AL 6976.  U 552 may be in the vicinity and has been informed of this report.
 
   
 
  U 77 has been ordered to join the Western Group and to take up position in area BC 2641.
 
   
  U 93 reported in AL 7826 a south-bound convoy with strong escort, but could not maintain contact owing to fuel shortage and the survivors of the "Belchen" on board.  It was not possible to operate against this convoy with the boats of the Western Group as they were too far away.
   
  The Commanding Officer of U 94, Lt. Kuppisch, gave his report.  This was a very good operation, tenaciously and successfully carried out.  6 vessels, 37,391 GRT, sunk.
   
7.6.
  Air reconnaissance reported at 0715 a convoy in AM 1642, course 2700, speed 9 knots.
   
  Reports of convoys, which have again occurred frequently in the last few days, lead me to point out once more the possibility of spasmodic traffic on the part of the British.
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  According to an intercept message, the British vessel "Tregathere", 5,201 GRT, was sunk in BD 48.
 
  UA observed in ET 6579 a fast group consisting of 6 ships, course 1500.
   
  U 38 reported that the "Egerland" sank at supply rendezvous red.  She did not refuel and has been obliged, therefore, to return.  Since, through the loss of the "Egerland" refuelling for the South boats is questionable for some time, the boats have been ordered to return to the supply point "Culebra", and therefore to leave the operational area.
   
 
  The Italian U-boats off Gibraltar sank, out of 2 convoys, 7 ships, approximately 45,000 GRT.  The boats are still off the south-bound convoy in DH 3441.
 
   
 
  U 105, which is on return passage, has been informed of this.
 
   
 
  U 651 has put out from Kiel, and U 553 has put out from St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
  The Head of the Intercept Control Station at a conference with Flag Officer Commanding U-boats.  A report was given by the Officer in Charge of Intercept Service, Lt. Cdr. Teuber, on the present information and the views of the Intercept Control Station on the questions of radio use by U-boats and location by the enemy.
 
   
 
  Teuber's statements, supported by data and information from the Intercept Service, help to clarify some questions, but do not really show anything new.  I am quite clear regarding the danger from the enemy intercept and D/F service, but, in a number of examples given, do not consider the use of radio by U-boats, but other known or suspected causes, as a reason for resultant reaction on the part of the enemy.  A U-boat which was attacked by an aircraft, or sank a vessel calling for assistance, does not need to fear any D/F at this moment.  A U-boat which is off a convoy must send.  A U-boat under way needs to pay little attention to the danger of D/F.  These cases, considered individually, cannot be disputed, but perhaps on the whole they may lead to the view:  "The U-boats radio too much".  The cause and effect can only be recognized by careful examination and evaluation.  The question is being pursued continuously by my Operational Division, and I am grateful for any data from other departments.  I have stated in detail my views in a letter to the Naval High Command and interested parties (B.d.U. Op. Group Command 1390 A.4. of 9.6.41) and advised the boats in a Standing War Order.
 
   
8.6.
  U 46 reported return passage as her periscope is out of order due to ramming.  She reported 2 tankers sunk, with 16,500 GRT, of which the British tanker "Ensis" (6,207 GRT) in BD 3745 is probably known by intercept message.
                     
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  U 43 has been ordered to take up position of U 46.  The adjacent boats will move up in the patrol line, therefore, by one position to the S.E.  Short signal from U 48:  "Returning".
 
  U 557 was instructed to report the fog frequency in the area of the last two patrol lines.  She experienced 50% fog, which agrees with the monthly charts and the experiences by U 94.
   
  From the south area U 107 reported having sunk a ship.  Probably this was the motor vessel "Adda" (7,816 GRT) in ET 2930 detected through an intercept message.  U 106 is returning.
   
 
  U 38 reported having sunk 8 vessels, with 54,000 GRT.  In this area (south of Freetown) she observed only incoming traffic which agrees with the assumption of Flag Officer commanding U-boats regarding traffic off Freetown.  Her position is ER 3752.  She is returning owing to fuel shortage and torpedoes expended.  According to an intercept message the British vessel "Elmdene" (4,853 GRT) was sunk in ET 24.
 
   
 
  U 201 out from Lorient into operational area west of North Channel.
 
   
 
  U 123 put out of Lorient into the South area.
 
   
 
9.6.
  U 48 reported return passage to Bergen begun.  She sank 2 further vessels, 15,947 GRT.
 
   
 
  U 46, which also began return passage yesterday, reported 4 torpedo misfires.  A further freighter (5,000 GRT) sunk in BD 6245.
 
   
  On the request of the Naval War Staff I am sending 2 boats into the Denmark Straits.  Here chances of attacks are probable in view of the transfer of surface forces to Norway.  Reconnaissance in this area is also desirable.
   
  U 559 has been assigned, as operational area, square AD 29.
   
  U 79 has been assigned to squares AD 54 and 55.
   
  U 143 put out from Kiel.
   
 
10.6.
  The boats have been informed that, according to intercept messages, a convoy was in AM 4561 at 0950.
 
   
 
  U 141 reported moving her operational area into the middle part of square AM.  She does not, therefore, consider a position off the Scilly Isles as having good prospects of attack.
 
   
 
  U 108 reported the statements of survivors according to which British traffic after dispersal of convoy at 480 N. 270 W. does not proceed any further N. than 480 N.
 
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  This statement can only be considered as an individual case and not as a general rule.  She sank 27,340 GRT.
       
      An incoming very large convoy (60 ships) with strong escort was detected in AM 6656 by air reconnaissance.
   
  Since the patrol line has not shown any success up to now, the ice limit in the S.E. of Newfoundland (according to intercept message) is presumed to be in BC 85, and several reports of sightings and sinkings have been confirmed S.E. of the present patrol line, I must assume that traffic is proceeding further to the S., passing the patrol line.
   
 
  It is therefore, necessary to move the patrol line to the south.  In this way, however, we come into the area hitherto prohibited for U-boats.
 
   
 
  The Naval War Staff is not agreeable to alteration of the routes of our own tankers or of prizes in this area. However, it is agreeable to the following extension of the operational areas for U-boats:
 
  Between 400 and 500 W. north of 370 N.  The limit in the east is the line on 400 W from 370 N - 430 N.  Further, N.W. of a line from 430 N., 40 W to 470 30' N 290 W.  From thence N. of 470 30' N.
 
   
 
  The boats will be newly disposed, therefore, as follows:  U 77, 557, 108, 101, 75 will take up position in patrol line from CC 3385 to CC 6625.
 
   
 
  Further, operational area will be taken up as follows:  U 73 - BC 93 and BD 71 and 72;  U 43 - BD 47, 48 and 49;  U 204 - BD 45, 46 and 54.
 
   
 
  U 105 reported a heavy warship formation in CF 9815, course S.W.
   
  Facilities for refuelling for the Southern boats have been agreed with the Naval War Staff for the 17.6 at point "Weiss" from "Lothringen".  The boats will be instructed regarding this, and those boats which at the time do not need to return and , therefore, can refuel should report this fact by means of a short signal.  If this refuelling fails they must be able to return as far as Culebra.  The need for our own U-boat tankers and supplies on land is becoming increasingly urgent in view of the tanker losses.  If "Lothringen" should be lost there is only Culebra available at present.
   
  U 93 put into St. Nazaire.
   
11.6.
  U 77 reported, on instruction, that there is no ice in BC 10.  U 143 will have to put into Bergen in view of engine trouble.
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  U 107 and U 103 reported position by short signal in ET 43 and ET 17.  That signifies that both boats can and wish if possible to refuel.
 
  U 123 reported returning, as both periscopes faulty.
   
  The Fuehrer has awarded the Commanding Officer of U 38, Lt. Liebe, and the Commanding Officer of U 46, Lt. Endrass oak leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.  Both have sunk over 200,000 GRT.
   
 
12.6.
  U 48 reported having sunk the vessel "Empire Dew".  Total sinkings in this operation 41,000 GRT in AK 97.  THe Commanding Officer, Lt. Herbert Schultze, therefore, has passed the 200,000 limit and the Fuehrer has awarded him oak leaves to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
 
   
 
  U 553 sank a freighter of 5,000 GRT in BD 93.
 
   
 
  From the southern area UA reported her position in ET 37, i.e. she can and wishes to refuel.
 
   
 
  U 38 reported in the area south of 170 N. between 280 and 300 W. south-bound convoy.
 
   
 
  U 69 has only a limited number of code books.  (Given over to "Egerland" in view of mining operation).  She was, therefore, asked in a disguised message whether she could refuel.  She wishes to refuel.
 
   
  U 138 left Lorient.  U 651 left Bergen.
   
  The Commanding Officer of U 66, Lt. Cdr. Zapp made his first independent operational run.  He saw little and broke off the operation too soon as he was under the false impression that he could only dive to 50 m., with open tubes as the bow-caps had been knocked off.  No sinkings.
   
13.6.
  For boats U 203 and U 651 outgoing route will, on the suggestion of Group North, be over squares AE 86 to AE 75.
   
  Cruiser "Lützow" was damaged during her transfer to Norway by an enemy aircraft torpedo on the west coast of Norway, and had to return.  Since operations against the damaged ship by enemy forces appear possible, U 651, in the northern North Sea, will
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  be kept temporarily in an operational area east of the Shetlands.  She will continue her passage after about 24 hours.  
 
  Italian U-boats attacked a convoy in the western sector of CF, and sank, up to now, 3 vessels (20,000 GRT).  The position of the convoy at 0600 was CF 4562, course 3200, speed 9 knots.  Since it is to be assumed that one of the Italian boats is maintaining contact, I have decided to send in against the convoy the 3 boats east of the Western Group, U 204, U 43, U 73.  The boats will be informed accordingly and will be ordered to take up position in squares BE 17, BD 39, BD 38.  U 201 is also in the same area, so that the convoy can be attacked, if necessary, with 4 boats.
   
  U 553 reported sinking in BD 97 the tanker "Ranella" (5,590 GRT).
   
 
  U 553 and 558 have been ordered to take up as wing positions in the patrol line squares BC 8787 and CC 6922.
 
   
 
  On orders of the Naval War Staff, the area of restricted operations east of 400 W. to the south up to 410 N. has been temporarily extended as from now in view of a homecoming vessel.
 
   
 
  According to an intercept message one ship has sunk off Lagos and 1 ship has been damaged off Takoradi.  This is an indication of the successful mining of both these harbors.
 
   
 
  U 46 has put into St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
  U 105 has put into Lorient.
 
   
  The Commanding Officer of U 105, Lt. Schowe, came in to give his report.  Schowe, who has been on operations since the beginning of the War but has little success up to the last trip, proved by this well conducted operation that the trust which had been placed in him was justified.  Sink:  13 vessels - 89,273 GRT in 112 days at sea.
   
14.6.
  In order to intercept the convoy reported by the Italian U-boats U 201 was ordered to take up position in square BE 18, i.e. to extend the patrol line to the east.  There have been no further reports of contact from the Italians.  I suspect that the convoy's mean course is 3500.
   
  U 111 reported from BC 43 having encountered pack ice off the Belle Isle Straits.  On proceeding further to BC 17 she encountered fog and large icebergs.  No traffic.  2 shutters knocked off tube.  She sank 3 vessels, 22,000 GRT.  The question is, therefore, solved as to whether traffic passes through the Belle Isle Straits or close to the Newfoundland coast.
   
  U 111 has been ordered to take up position in square BC 8722 in the patrol line of the Western boats.
   
      U 559 which is in a position N.W. of Iceland has reported that she is returning as her periscope has been damaged by ice.  She has
       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  requested to put into Bergen.  No traffic to report.  Since there is no periscope repair shop in Bergen, she has been ordered to proceed to BD 33 so that she may be brought into Lorient or may be left in this area for night attacks.
 
  The Southern boats have been notified regarding the characteristics of "Lorthringen" and the point of rendezvous.  I have left it to the discretion of boats to refuel by day or during the night, as it seems to me that the danger of surprise by day through aircraft and at night by planned searches of surface forces is equally great.
   
  U 71 has put out from Kiel.
   
 
  The Commanding Officer of U 46, Lt. Endrass, came in to give his report.  Endrass carried out the operation extremely well and utilized to the full all operational possibilities.  Sunk:  2 tankers, 1 vessel - 20,707 GRT.
 
   
 
15.6.
  Nothing special to report.
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
   
 
                                       (signed):  DÖNITZ
 
   
 
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
       
 
 
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