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

16 - 31 July 1941

PG30293

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
16.7.
  Positions on the morning of the 16th July:
In the North Atlantic:
 
"U 372" - AJ 29
"U 431" - AJ 38
"U 565" - AK 72
"U 74" - AK 8750
"U 562" - BD 25
"U564" - BD 53
"U 98" - AL 87
"U 95" - BD 31
"U 401" - AJ 66
"U 68" - AK 4550
"U 331" - AK 81
"U 126" - AK 89
"U 561" - BD 34
"U 97" - BD 18
"U 203" - AL 72
"U 141" is in BF 42
 
Outward-bound "U 125" in AN 36
 
  Returning "U 201" in BE 63
  "U 202" in AK 67 and "U 553" in BE 63
 
In the southern area:  "U 66" in ET, "U 123" in ET 55 and UA returning in EJ 82
Proceeding into the southern operational area are:
"U 93" - BF 76
"U 94" - BE 97
"U 124" - BF 58
   
  In Lorient:  "U 43, 38, 101, 106, 557, 111, 79, 105, 107, 103".
  In St. Nazaire:  "U 77, 96, 46, 559, 71, 73, 75, 552, 69, 751".
 
  In Brest:  "U 204, 558, 371".
 
  In Kiel:  "U 146".
 
  In Bergen:  "U 137, 143".
 
   
 
  As I am not quite sure what the traffic situation is at the southern point of Greenland in view of ice and fog conditions, U 372 has been ordered to advance out of her operational area (AJ 2950) up to the ice limits in the direction of the southern point of Greenland.  There she will report on the traffic situation and ice and fog conditions.  
 
   
 
  Refueling by U-boats from "Culebra" is no longer possible at present owing to a British protest to the Spanish government.  As an alternative, refueling is proposed by the Naval War Staff from "MORO".
 
   
 
  U 109 which was to have refueled during the next few days from "Culebra" will be diverted.
 
   
17.7.
  U 564, upon enquiry, reported from her operational area no traffic.  At 0900 air reconnaissance reported a convoy in AM 1992, course 2800, consisting of 36 ships, and 5 destroyers.  The aircraft added:  position inaccurate for U-boats.
                     
 
 
- 112 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  As a preliminary measure U 203, 95 and 98 were ordered to proceed on a northerly course.  U 126 and U 97 are to operate in the direction of advance of the convoy, 2800.
 
  Further air reconnaissance has been requested for this evening.  According to an intercept message the position of the convoy at 0830 was in AM 4265.  This report was passed on to the boats.  At 2023 air reconnaissance detected the convoy for the second time and sent out beacon signals.  The position observed was AL 6377, and course 2700.  The beacon signals were heard by two boats and reported. The point of intersection of these two fixes agreed practically with the position reported by the machine.  It was given to the boats once again.  A second intercept message came in, which gave the position of the convoy at 2100 in AM 4421.  The cross bearing appeared to be more certain to the relative position of the U-boats.
  The five boats sent in for operations against this convoy were ordered to proceed at maximum speed on the mean course of the convoy of 2600.  There will be air reconnaissance at 0900 tomorrow morning in the area of the convoy.  The boats should look out for beacon signals.
  For the remaining boats I have ordered course E., cruising speed, so that they may be brought nearer to the convoy.
   
 
  U 561, 562, 564, which no longer have much fuel, are to remain in their operational areas.
 
   
 
  U 125 reported heavy thrusting of the port propeller.  She is proceeding to Bergen for docking.
 
   
 
  The Southern boats were informed that there are no more facilities for refueling owing to elimination of "Culebra".  Refueling only in cases of emergency from "Moro".
 
   
 
18.7.
  At 0850 air reconnaissance reported the convoy in AL 6652, course 2500 and sent beacon signals.  2 boats received and reported the beacon signals, and, according to their point of intersection, the position of the convoy at 0900 in AL 6536 was given to the boats.  An intercept message was received, according to which the position of the convoy at 0902 was to be assumed in AL 6687, with present course 1950.
 
   
 
  The course of 1950 appears, as a mean course, to be very far south, especially as, according to Intercept Control Station, this was not an OG convoy which would now have been proceeding in the direction of Gibraltar, but an outgoing Atlantic convoy.  If the intercept message of the morning of the 17th July and that just received were connected, this gave a south-westerly mean course which is very likely.  The five boats operating were informed that the course of the convoy was possibly more southerly than 260.  The boats to the west had in any case to be drawn nearer to the convoy.  They have to be assembled in an area 
 
                         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  where they would meet the convoy at dawn on the 20th July.  (An earlier meeting was not possible in view of distance being too great).
I therefore ordered them temporarily into a patrol line from AK 6525 to BE 1455.  I can later alter this patrol line according to the situation.  Since, up to the evening, no boat contacted the convoy, I decided to dispose the 5 operative boats in a patrol line from AL 8161 to AL 9759 in front of the probable direction of advance of the convoy.  The boats should have reached their positions tomorrow morning at 0900.  U 202, returning, is to extend the patrol line to the S.E.  The boats were to report their position by means of a short signal if they could not carry out the order.  In the course of the night U 97 reported in AL 47, U 95 in AL 91, U 126 in AL 81 and U 98 in AL 55, the latter boat also reporting return passage.  U 98, therefore, was eliminated for further operations.
   
  U 372, which had been ordered to advance to the southern point of Greenland, reported no traffic observed up to 580 30' North, no ice, frequent fog.  From the Fuehrer's Headquarters support has been requested for the Army Group Dietl fighting in Norway by transfer of U-boats into the Arctic.  U 81 and U 652 which were proceeding into the operational area were, therefore, ordered to Kola Bay, Murmansk.
   
  The Southern boats were informed of the departure of a British convoy from Gibraltar, the position of which, according to an intercept message, was at 0850 on the 18th July in CG 9752 with course W.N.W.
 
   
 
19.7.
  Today's air reconnaissance, with only one reconnaissance and one meteorological machine, brought no result.  As no further strong air reconnaissance can be made owing to lack of machines, I have decided to put the 5 operational boats into the large patrol line intended for the 20th July, and to dispose this in such a manner, according to courses and positions calculated, that the boats will be in front of the convoy at dawn.  The patrol line will be ordered for the 20th July at 0900 from AK 9655 to BE 5117.  The boats are to take up position in the following sequence:  U 431, 401, 68, 565, 331, 74, 562, 561, 564, 97, 203, 126, 95.  The boats are to cruise backwards and forwards in the patrol line according to special instructions.
 
   
 
  From the Southern area UA reported return passage, no traffic.  She requested refueling from "Moro".
 
   
 
  U 201 put into Brest.
 
   
 
  U 553 put into St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
20.7.
  There have been no reports from the boats in the northern area.  Towards evening it transpired that the convoy had escaped. It cannot be said to which side of the patrol line or whether through it.  I shall keep the boats in the patrol line until tomorrow
                       
 
 
- 114 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  morning and then order a new disposition.
 
  An outward-bound convoy was confirmed at 1900 in AM 1198 by means of a special intercept message.  There are no prospects of operations.
   
  From the Southern area U 66 reported a 7,000 GRT vessel sunk in DT 95.
   
 
  U 123 sank the "Auditor" (5,444 GRT).  She reported neutral traffic in ET.  Off Freetown heavy incoming and outgoing traffic by USA ships has been observed.  Anti-submarine activities daily on the incoming routes.  Both boats were ordered to move their operational area into the area off the Cape Verde Islands up to 300 West, in case chances of success appear too slight off Freetown.  I suspect the most important point of the traffic to be further west than 300, since, following on the great successes by U-boats in the area east of 300, a final by-passing of this area now is only too probable.  My request to the Naval War Staff for permission to operate also west of 300 was, however, refused in view of our own prizes proceeding there.
 
   
 
  The Commanding Officers of U 201 and 553 came in to give their report.
 
   
 
  Lt. Schnee, Commanding Officer of U 201, returned without having achieved any success.  He only sighted one vessel in the whole operation during which he had a free operational area for the most part.  Lt. Thurmann, the Commanding Officer of U 553, sank 2 ships, 10,590 GRT.  Nothing to remark.
 
   
 
  The lack of traffic in July is significant.  The bad visibility at present in all areas of the North Atlantic may have a lot to do with this.  However, I am under the impression that the number of single vessels has again become considerably less.  Only very fast ships have been encountered just lately as single vessels, unless U-boats out in the west accidentally encountered vessels of a dispersed convoy.  The difficult problem as ever is to find convoys.  For this purpose it is desirable to assemble forces so that nearby boats can make use of a report on sighting by one U-boat.
 
   
 
  I have, therefore, ordered the following new operational areas which should serve to intercept the south and southwest traffic and which also appear favorable for cooperation with aircraft.
 
   
  The following will occupy, concentrating in the middle, a 50 mile wide east-west patrol line, western boundary 20 degrees:
 
U 203 - AM 4111   U 74 - AM 4177
U 95 - AM 4711   U 97 - AM 7111.
      Operational areas, with spacing 100 miles, are to be taken up as follows:
U 401 - AL 6410   U 372 - AL 4158
U 431 - AL 4583   U 565 - AL 5781
U 68 - AL 8259   U 331 - AL 9455
U 126 - AL 9859        
                   
 
 
- 115 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  U 561, 562 and 564 will remain S.W. of this disposition without limitation of operational areas, as these boats may report returning at any moment.
 
  U 203 chased a fast single vessel on course south, but did not catch up with it.  U 126 reported 2 torpedo misses on a steamer but no traffic observed up to now.
   
  In the southern area I intend that the 3 south-bound boats, U 93, 94 and 124, shall proceed in rake formation.  They have been ordered to take up position at 0800 on the 23rd July at about 350 N., U 94 at 290, U 93 at 270 and U 124 at 250 West, subsequently proceeding south, with days run approximately 100 miles.  They are to make sweeps up to 10 to each side.  This rake formation runs along the western edge of the permitted operational area.  If this does not achieve any success it will be certain that single traffic has been moved entirely west of 300.  In this case, further operations by U-boats in the Southern area would be useless, since in this wide area the interception of slight convoy traffic would have too little prospects of success.
   
 
  U 79 put out from Lorient.
 
   
 
22.7.
  U 203 has proceeded too far to the south.  She is to take up the position of U 97.  U 97, 95 and 74 will each move one position further to the north.
 
   
 
  At 2130 the Italian U-boat "Barbarigo" reported a convoy in CF 8989, course 330 degrees.  "Barbarigo" has been ordered by me not to attack, but to make every effort to maintain contact.  Relying on the fact that he will succeed in this, I decided to operate against this convoy with those southern boats which were in a favorable position to the convoy.  The boats were given orders accordingly and were to report their position by means of a short signal when able to operate against the convoy.  U 93 reported in CF 75 and U 203 from BE 4850.  U 203 does not belong to the Southern boats but has come so far south in pursuit of the fast single vessel, that she is now in a position 600 miles before the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 204 put out from Brest.
 
   
 
23.7.
  U 93 and U 203 were ordered to break off operations against the convoy reported yesterday by Italian U-boats, since unfortunately no further reports have been received from the Italian boat keeping contact.  U 141 reported having moved her operational area into the middle part of AM.  The following operational areas have been ordered for boats newly arrived in this area:
 
   
  U 79 - east-west patrol line 50 miles wide with the concentration in AM 7111.
                     
 
 
- 116 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
U 203 - BE 1623)  
U 371 - AL 6853) spacing 100 miles.
U 204 - AL 2926)  
 
  U 371 put out from Brest.
   
  U 202 put into Brest.
   
 
  U 98 put into St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
24.7.
  The Intercept Service has confirmed two convoys, these being an outward-bound Gibraltar convoy and an incoming SL convoy.
 
   
 
  The boats in a southerly position will be sent in to operate against the outward-bound convoy.  They have been sent the following radio message:  "Intercept Service reports a convoy bound for Gibraltar at 0100 on the 24th July, AM 7422, speed 7 knots, course west. Seek contact on the following convoy courses:  U 79 at 190 to 2100, U 126 at 210 to 2300, U 331 at 230 to 2500, U 68 at 250 to 2700, U 561, 562, 564, 203 freedom of action according to position."
 
   
 
  The position of the second incoming convoy at 2000 on the 23rd July was in BE 1944, 6.5 miles off.  Courses between 0 and 650.
 
   
 
  With the other boats, U 431, 565, 401, 74, 95, 97, a patrol line will be taken up in the presumed direction of advance from AL 5796 to AM 7447.  These positions can be reached by the boats tomorrow in the course of the day and the convoy may also be in this area late in the afternoon.  Air reconnaissance has been requested for tomorrow morning between 0800 and 1000 in the area AL 90 and BE 10.  The boats have been ordered to look out for beacon signals.
 
   
  U 109 reported having carried out refueling from "Moro" and continuing passage to the south from DH 36.  She was assigned ET as operational area and has been ordered to proceed south to 300 W.
   
  The Commanding Officers of U 98 and U 202 came in to give their reports.  Lt. Gysae, the Commanding Officer of U 98 sank on this operation 2 ships 10,841 GRT.  Fast single vessels were observed in the northern half of square BD.  Persistent fog prevented the boat from achieving any success.
   
  Lt. Linder, Commanding Officer of U 202, made several tactical errors on this first operation.  He sighted little and had no success.
   
  U 205 put out from Drontheim.
   
 
25.7.
  Air reconnaissance contacted the south-bound convoy at 1115 and sent out beacon signals.  Bearings were reported by 11 boats, which for the most part were very good.  According to these the position of the convoy at 1300 was assumed to be approximately in BE 2697.
       
 
 
- 117 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  The boats were informed accordingly by radio.  According to the report of the shadowing boat the convoy altered course at 1300 on to 2400.  In the afternoon there was further air reconnaissance.  The convoy was detected again by a machine which sent out beacon signals.  15 boats reported bearings according to which the position of the convoy towards 1600 was assumed to be in BE 2925.  A south-westerly course was established.  The source of one of the bearings was quite close (about 14 miles) from the assumed convoy position; the boat in question should have made contact at any moment but this did not happen.
 
  U 564 reported her bearing from AL 9914, return passage begun.
   
  It is not understood why none of the boats made contact.  U 126 reported by means of a radio message that she had met U 79 in the middle of square BE 2919 at 1900.  The convoy should have been here if the assumed position BE 2925 at 1600 and course S.W. had been correct.  The boat suspected a more westerly course by the convoy than 2400.  Both boats continued to search on different courses.  In order to make further searches according to plan the boats sent in to operate against the south-bound convoy were ordered to advance on various convoy courses if no contact had been made by sundown.
  U 371 on courses 170 to 1900.
 
  U 79 on courses 190 to 2100.
 
  U 331 on courses 210 to 2300.
 
  U 126 on courses 230 to 2500.
 
  U 203 on courses 250 to 2700.
 
  U 68, 561 and 562 were given freedom of action on the convoy.
 
   
 
  The boats sent in to operate against the north-bound convoy made no contact in the ordered patrol line.  At 1600 the whole patrol line was ordered to proceed on course 2050 in order to go to meet the convoy.  When by 2100 no contact had been made with the enemy, and darkness was falling, I ordered the patrol line to halt and the boats to cruise up and down in the patrol line from 2200, in order to be able to survey a larger area in the darkness.
 
   
 
26.7.
  At 1120 a machine again contacted the south-bound convoy and sent beacon signals.  The position was given as in BE 4310.  6 boats reported bearings, according to which the position of the convoy for 1200 could be expected to be in BE 5650.  This was given to the boats.  U 371 reported direct from square BE 5650, the presumed position of the convoy, her bearing in direction 2410.  The convoy must, therefore, have been S.W. of this square and U 371 must have been in the direct vicinity.  Since aircraft had reported the course of the convoy as 2400, U 371 was probably behind the convoy and was D/Fing it on her course.
 
                         
 
 
- 118 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  The difference between the position reported by air reconnaissance and that calculated on the bearings of the boats by B.d.U., amounted to 215 miles.  This very great difference in fix can only be attributed to a fundamental fault in navigation or in deciphering by the aircraft.  The position calculated by B.d.U., must be assumed to be the more accurate, as there could not have been the same fault in bearing from so many boats.  Since, however, during the next few hours none of the boats made contact, although 7 boats must have been quite close to the convoy, there arose doubts on the part of the Control whether the beacon signals heard were in fact heard from the contacting machine.  It is possible that the enemy had sent out beacon signals, through a detached destroyer in this area, which were then D/F'd by the boats while the convoy in reality deviated on another course and then was detected by air reconnaissance further to the west.  Further air reconnaissance in the afternoon brought no result.
At 1750 U 68, however, made contact with the enemy in BE 5838.  The enemy was proceeding on a south-westerly course.  Doubts regarding the accuracy of the position calculated on the bearings, were therefore removed, because the position reported by U 68 agreed according to dead reckoning and time with the one calculated.  The inaccuracy in the position of the convoy given by the aircraft was, therefore, proved but is still unexplained.  This case, however, shows that it is senseless to operate on positions reported by aircraft.  It is necessary to confirm the position by bearings.
  U 68 was ordered at once to remain close to the convoy and send out beacon signals.  The remaining boats were to report "Yes" as soon as the convoy came into sight.
  Flag Officer commanding Italian U-boats was notified regarding the convoy.  I 1 and I 15 were sent in to operate against it.
  U 68 gave further reports of contact, from which it was seen that the convoy was proceeding on a southerly course.  At 2247 U 126 requested beacon signals.  At 2306 U 79 reported "Yes".  U 68 was given freedom of attack as from 2400 but was to report further contact and send out beacon signals.
  It is intended to send out air reconnaissance again in the area of the convoy tomorrow morning at 1000.
 
   
 
  The boats which were in the northern patrol line did not report any contact with the enemy.  There was no point in leaving them any longer in the patrol line.  They were, therefore, ordered into new operational areas according to their probable fuel supplies.  These will be taken up as follows:
 
 
1) U 74, 95, 97 the E.W. patrol line ordered for them on 22 July.
2) U 372, 431, 565 and 401 the square AK 9455, spacing 400 miles.
3) U 205 - AJ 6250 and U 204 - AK 4554, spacing 150 miles.
 
   
 
  U 95 reported return passage, no success, nothing sighted.
 
   
 
  U 46 and U 559 put out from St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
  U 83 put out from Kiel.
 
                         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
27.7.
  U 68 had contact with the south-bound convoy.  U 79 reported "Yes".
In the course of the night the following also made contact:  U 561, 203, and 126.  U 331 reported the convoy in BE 8565, course 1350, perhaps a part of the convoy first detected.  U 68 was driven off by destroyers at 0257 and lost contact.  At 0740 U 126 reported contact again with the convoy in BE 8642, course S.E.  U 331 also reported the convoy.  U 126 was set aside as the actual shadower and the other boats were ordered to attack.
  U 371 reported at 0945 a further convoy in BE 8811, course south.  It could not be seen whether this was a new convoy or whether the first one had divided.  The latter seemed probable.  In any case U 371 was given freedom of attack.  The remaining boats were to operate on the reports of contact from U 126.
  U 371 reported twice more.  At 1103 from BE 8818 and at 1406 from BE 8738.  There were no further reports of contact after that.
   
  Air reconnaissance also reported from 2 machines, 2 convoys in BE 8567 and BE 8853.  There were again considerable differences in fixes to the corresponding reports of the U-boats.
 
   
 
  U 126 kept further contact with the first convoy and gave reports of contact.
 
   
 
  U 562 reported at 1330 from BE 59 and U 561 at 1003 from BE 8340 that they had been driven off, depth-charged and were pressing on.
 
   
 
  Before dark the following radio message was sent to the boats:  "U 126 freedom of attack from fall of darkness.  All boats off the convoy to utilize any chances of attack.If no good chances beforehand, attempt as from 0200 to attack simultaneously.  Split up escorts.  Escorts probably weaker than in previous night.  Continue to report contact, send beacon signals.  Bring other boats up, attack yourselves.  Press on".
 
   
 
  The last report of contact was given by U 126 at 2231 from CF 3152.
 
   
 
  U 562 reported having broken off pursuit, as her starboard Diesel coupling was out of order.  She started return from BE 67.  UA also could not continue operations against the convoy owing to fuel shortage.
   
  In the Northern area operational areas for U 74 and 97 were extended on to the patrol line of U 95 which was returning.
   
  According to intercept messages there was presumably a convoy in AM 2628 at 2000 with course 253.  The boats were informed accordingly.  OPerations against this convoy, however, will hardly be possible for the boats.
   
  U 564 put into Brest.
           
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
28.7.
  The last report of contact from U 126 was at 2231 on the 27th July in CF 3152.  At 0125 and 0126 U 79 and U 68 requested beacon signals.  U 126 then reported the last convoy position observed by her at 2400 in CF 3182.  She lost contact in the fog after an attack.
There were further reports on the convoy, one from U 561 at 0528 in CF 3513, course 1500, and one from U 331 in CF 3735.  Air reconnaissance reported the convoy in CF 3519 at 1030.  The bearings this time were unfavorable, converging at a sharp angle, so that it could be seen only that the convoy had dispersed into several part-convoys.  One of these was reported by U 331 at 1000 in CF 3735 and one by U 561 last at 0528 in CF 3513 and later confirmed by aircraft report and bearing.  U 371 lost the convoy which was proceeding further to the west, at 0100 in CF 2539 and did not contact it again until 1600 in CF 5139.  The convoy was proceeding on a south-westerly course.  U 126 made contact at 1213 in CF 3585.  At 1414 U 79 reported a Q ship in CF 3719.  She sank at 0025 on the 27th July 3 vessels, 17,000 GRT.  That was the first success reported from this long convoy pursuit.  No reports of torpedoing have been given up to now by intercept messages.
  U 126 maintained contact and reported having torpedoed on the 27th July in CF 3180 4 vessels, 19,000 GRT.  She also reported having sunk a corvette.  
  The boats were instructed to report their position.  They were notified regarding refueling facilities in Cadiz and were to report as soon as it was seen to be impossible to pursue the convoy any further owing to their fuel situation if returning to western France.
   
  U 141 reported at 2120:  "at 0300 on 26th July outward-bound convoy in AM 5275, speed 8 knots, course 270.  40 ships, strong escort.  Pursued and depth-charged for 20 hours.  3 steamers sunk, 21,000 GRT.  Returning owing to engine trouble".
 
   
 
  The following boats have been ordered into operational areas:
 
 
U 565 - AL 7761   U 401 - BD 2942
U 372 - AK 9876   U 431 - BD 3941
 
  All 150 miles spacing.
 
   
 
  The Southern boats were sent the report of a returning Italian vessel which had observed heavy traffic at 240 W. between 2 and 270 N.
 
   
 
  The Commanding Officer of U 564, Lt. Suhren, came in to give his report.  This was his first operation as Commanding Officer on his boat.  He carried it out with skill and courage and sank 4 ships, 21,500 GRT.
 
   
 
  U 125 put into Lorient.
                       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
29.7.
  Following on instructions to report their position, U 68 reported in CF 3996, U 79 in CF 6173.  U 203 reported at 2324 on the 28th July having sunk 5 vessels, 31,000 GRT, and having probably sunk one destroyer.  Position CG 1781.  U 561 reported at 0230 returning.  She sank a freighter and torpedoed a large tanker and left it burning.  Total result 16,000 GRT.  Position CF 39.
 
  U 126 was at 0357 in CG 4128.
   
  U 68 is returning.
   
 
  U 331 reported last position of convoy observed at 0200 in CG 4121, course S.E.  Air reconnaissance was again sent in.  One machine detected the convoy and reported it at 0905 in CG 4162, course 2300.  It added: position uncertain.  Only one bearing was reported from U 126 which, however, was taking a bearing opposed by almost 180 to the reported convoy position.  The course only, from the aircraft report was, therefore, certain to some extent and this was given to the boats.
 
   
 
  U 331 reported returning.
 
   
 
  U 371 was still maintaining contact with the south-bound convoy.  She reported it at 1200 in CF 7324 and enquired whether she should give reports of contact for other boats.  Since all other boats were operating against the Gibraltar-bound convoy, she was ordered to attack.
 
   
 
  According to an intercept message a convoy left Gibraltar on the 28th July.  According to dead reckoning this may be approximately in the area of the boats operating against the Gibraltar-bound convoy on the 30th July.  As at the time none of the boats had made contact, a patrol line was planned which lay at once in the supposed direction of advance of the convoy proceeding to Gibraltar and also of the convoy proceeding out of Gibraltar.  The boats were ordered to assemble by the morning of the 30th July in square CG 81, if no contact had by then been made with the convoy.
 
   
 
  At 1330 U 79 reported surprisingly from CF 5941.  She had apparently been pursuing a Q ship and had, therefore, come so far away from the convoy.  She reported apart from the 3 vessels already known to have been sunk, 2 vessels torpedoed.  She was ordered to take up position in CG 74 if possible by 2000 on the 30th July, so that she might also go into operation against the outward-bound convoy.  For the intended patrol line there were available then only U 126 and the 3 Italian boats I 1, I 11 and I 15.  U 126 was ordered to take up position in CG 7665 as from 0800 on the 30th July.  The Italian boats were to take up positions CG 8157, CG 8412 and CG 7685.
 
   
  Our own air reconnaissance was to operate in the area as from 0900.
   
  At 2200 I 11 contacted the south-bound convoy in CG 4671, course 1800.  She was, however, driven off and lost contact.
                 
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  U 331 requested refueling in Cadiz, which was arranged for the 31st July.
 
  U 371 reported at 1745 the S.W. bound part convoy once again in CF 7624, course 2000.  After that no further reports of contact.
   
  From the Southern boats U 109 and U 123 reported.  Both apparently had observed no traffic.
   
 
  U 66 reported from CG 77.  She had, therefore, proceeded very quickly to the north and could still be sent in to operate in the patrol line off Gibraltar.  She was ordered to make for square CG 7915.
 
   
 
  The Commanding Officer of U 125, Lt. Kuhnke, again encountered numerous drifting mines en route from Kiel to Lorient north of the Faroes.  The boats were informed accordingly.
 
   
 
  U 75 and U 73 put out from St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
30.7.
  U 371 reported at 0128 the last position of the convoy observed in CF 7869, course 200.  She pursued up to DG 3569, where the convoy apparently had dispersed.  She reported 15,000 tons sunk.
 
   
 
  Since none of the boats in the patrol line made contact, it must be assumed that both convoys passed by the patrol line.  A new patrol line was ordered, in which the boats were to take up the following positions:
 
 
U 79 - CG 7816   U 126 - CG 7876
U 66 - DH 3349     Italian boats:
I 15 - CG 7546   I 12 - CG 7276.
  U 66 reported that she could not carry out the operational order owing to fuel supplies.
   
  New operational areas have been ordered for boats in the North Atlantic and those newly arriving.  The boats will be disposed in mass formation in the area of the air reconnaissance with the intention of attacking in great strength convoys detected by air reconnaissance.
  The following will be taken up:
 
U 83 - AL 5222   U 559 - AL 6258
U 74 - AL 6333   U 205 - AL 5568
U 46 - AM 4277   U 204 - AL 5777
U 558 - AL 6837   U 97 - AM 4748
U 565 - AL 8255   U 75 - AL 9292
U 372 - AL 8722   U 401 - BE 1341
U 431 - AL 9726   U 73 - AL 9919
   
  U 562 was fired upon by a submarine when approaching the coast in BF 6476.  In the Southern area the four boats cruising south still did not encounter any enemy traffic.  The traffic, was quite definitely proceeding, according to intercept message, and the present negative result in the Southern operational area, further west than 300
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  West, that is in an area which has not been opened by the Naval War Staff for operations by U-boats even though once more requested and which cannot be opened even though repeatedly applied for.
 
  It is senseless to have the boats operate further in the Southern area in view of this knowledge.  I have decided to have them operate off Gibraltar where there is certainly traffic and where the Italians have had success just lately.  The boats have been ordered to return and to proceed to the north in rake formation with a day's run of 180 miles.
   
  UA and 562 put into Lorient.
   
 
  The great convoy battle of the last few days can be considered as concluded.  This was the first case of successful cooperation between Intercept Service, air reconnaissance and U-boats.  Air reconnaissance sent in on a report by the Intercept Service detected the convoy continually through 5 days and was able to guide the boats by means of reports of position and beacon signals.All the boats operating against the convoy were inexperienced boats on their first or second enemy operation.  The success reported in spite of strong defence and escorts can be taken as a proof that methods of training in use are right.
 
   
 
  Summarizing, the following reported:
 
  U 79 - 3 vessels sunk (17,000 GRT) 2 vessels torpedoed.
 
  U 126 - 4 vessels (19,000 GRT)
 
  U 68 - 1 corvette
 
  U 203 - 5 vessels (31,000 GRT) 1 destroyer probably sunk.
 
  U 561 - 1 freighter, 1 large tanker (16,000 GRT)
 
  U 371 - 15,000 GRT.
 
   
  19 ships, approximately 108,000 GRT and 2 escort vessels from this convoy, therefore, were torpedoes or sunk.  The strong escort and certain later statements by various Commanding Officers indicate that this convoy was not a normal Gibraltar convoy with small vessels but an important transport with large ships, which is perhaps connected with great activity by the British in the Mediterranean.
   
  Important conclusions on this operation are as follows:
 
1) Cooperation with aircraft in this area promises, contrary to earlier experiences, success provided that the boats are so located that a position can be obtained from bearings of the aircraft.  Heavy radio traffic must, however, be taken into account.
2) The Commanding Officers, most of whom were inexperienced, proved themselves under difficult conditions.  Of course, continual instructions on maintaining and reporting contact, sending beacon signals and tactical procedure were necessary.  This could hardly be otherwise.  It is not possible to obtain in 3 weeks tactical training which requires 2 years in peacetime.  The importance of tactical training, however, is emphasized.  Its deficiency
               
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
  in view of the Baltic situation will certainly have a very bad effect.
3) Most important conclusion:  Attacks on convoys promise success even under present conditions and it is only by means of these attacks that enemy traffic can be hit with any effect, while single traffic is decreasing more and more.The problem in U-boat warfare is that of finding traffic.  This can only be solved by large numbers of boats.
4) Location defence and a new torpedo must facilitate the work of the U-boats.
 
  UA put into Lorient.
   
  U 562 put into Lorient.
   
 
31.7.
  U 371 has been assigned, as operational area DH 3349.  U 66 is to return according to fuel situation.
 
   
 
  U 73 reported returning owing to engine trouble.
 
   
 
  U 563 put out from Bergen.
 
   
 
  U 95 and U 203 put into St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
  The Commanding Officers of UA and U 562 came in to give their reports.  
 
   
  The Commanding Officer of US, Lt. Cdr. Eckermann, did not have any success from the 3 months operation in the South Atlantic.  On the whole trip he only sighted enemy vessels a few times which agrees with the last experiences regarding routes of enemy vessels. As a result of this the boats now proceeding to the south have been stopped and will be sent in to operate against the Gibraltar traffic.
   
  The Commanding Officer of U 562, Lt. Kollmann, was on his first operation as Commanding Officer on his boat.  In the case of 2 convoys he drew the escorts away and handled the resultant difficulties calmly and decisively.
   
   
                                       (Signed):  DÖNITZ.
   
   
       
 
 
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