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

1 - 15 September 1941

PG30296

     
 
 
 
Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
1.9.
  Positions of boats on 1.9:
One group of boats S.W. of Iceland in following position order:
U 652 - AD 8539,   U 105 - AD 8589
U 432 - AD 8679,   U 38 - AD 8892
U 84 - AD 8859,   U 501 - AL 1214
U 43 - AL 1258,   U 452 - AL 1189
U 202 - AL 1444,   U 82 - AL 1439
U 207 - AL 1621,   U 569 - AL 2388
U 433 - AL 1696.        
             
The following are en route to this position:
U 85 - AL 2260,   U 81 - AL 2230
U 143 - AM 3320,   U 141 - AM 5450.
             
      The following boats are west of the North Channel:
U 77 - AL 0397,   U 568 - AL 6226
U 553 - AL 6512,   U 206 - AL 6616
U 567 - AL 6449,   U 563 - AL 6823
U 96 - AM 4478.        
             
The boats which operated against the convoy reported by U 141 are proceeding to the east in a patrol line and according to dead reckoning are in the following positions:
U 71 - AL 9760,   U 557 - AL 9840
U 561 - AL 9870,   U 95 - AL 9880
U 751 - BE 2230,   U 83 - BE 2310
U 562 - BE 2350,   U 558 - BE 2740.
   
  U 106 is in the Azores operational area.
  U 108, U 125, U 111 are proceeding in a southerly direction in DS 52, DS 76 and DS 86.
   
 
  Homeward bound:  U 101 - BE 6190, U 73 - BE 3950.
 
   
 
  Outward bound:  U 98 - BF 5450, U 66 - BF 1710.
 
   
 
  The following should be operationally ready by 15.9:
 
  From the ports of Western France:  U 94, 552, 107, 68, 97, 74, 103, 372, 431, 79, 201, 564.
 
  From Trondheim:  U 373.
 
   
 
  Air reconnaissance reported a convoy on a course of 2600 at 0830 in AM 4531.
 
  The plane stated that position was inexact, fog prevented further shadowing and sending of beacon signals.  Group "Bosemueller" has
                       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  been ordered to proceed north on a course of 3400, in order to attack this convoy.
 
  U 85 has been allocated an attack area within the Northern Commitment in AD 8545, and U 81 in AL 1143.
   
  U 106 has been given radio instructions on escorting the motor vessel "Anneliese Essberger".  The boat is to be at the rendezvous in CD 68 from 3.9.
   
 
  U 143 reported that she was returning because of engine trouble.  She sank a 6,000 GRT steamer belonging to the convoy that she reported on 3.9.
 
   
 
  U 73, who is on a protracted homeward course, established contact at 1150 with an inward bound convoy in BD 3945.  She reported 20 steamers 3 escorts, course 400, speed 7 knots.  Boats of the group "Bosemueller" will attack this convoy.  As U 73 is maintaining contact, the boats can proceed at maximum speed and so reach the convoy as quickly as possible.  They have been ordered to search the sector from 3500 to 700 from the last reported convoy position tomorrow if contact is lost.
 
   
 
  After dark, U 73 lost contact in thick fog.  She reported last convoy position at 0016 as BD 3661.
 
   
 
  U 572 left Trondheim, U 565 Brest and U 69 St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
2.9.
  Contact with convoy reported by U 73 was not re-established during the night.  It must be assumed that the boats are stalking the convoy within the sectors ordered.  At 1143 U 557 reported:  Suddenly came upon convoy in fog and rain.  Be 1159, course 400.  Shortly afterwards U 83 reported a corvette in the same grid square.  Hence, both of these boats must have been very close to the convoy.  Apparently the thick weather prevented further shadowing.  At 1633 U 557 reported that she had not re-established contact.
 
   
  Air reconnaissance was again sent out to locate the convoy reported yesterday.  Plane made contact and sent beacon signals which were reported by some boats.  A reliable position was not obtained.  G.A.F. next reported convoy position as AL 6586, later corrected this to AL 9289 (120 miles further south).  Boats were ordered to proceed to this position.  As no convoy was detected by evening, I decided to direct both groups "Bosemueller" and "Kurfuerst" to attack the convoy reported by U 73.
   
  Reasons were as follows:
 
1) The most recent and reliable position report is available for the convoy reported by U 73.
2) The position of the convoy reported by Air Reconnaissance is very vague.
               
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
 
3) Air Reconnaissance may very probably pick up the inward convoy again during the next few days, but will hardly do so in the case of the outward one.
4) As they belong to an "SL" convoy, the ships in the convoy reported by U 73 are probably more valuable than the ships in the outward convoy bound for Gibraltar.
 
  Both groups have been combined to form Group "Seewolf".
   
  U 94 has left St. Nazaire.
   
 
3.9.
  Weather in the convoy area is still very thick.  The convoy has not been found.  However, at 1640 U 98, outward bound, contacted an outward bound convoy in AL 9656.  Course 2400.  It is probably the "OG" convoy that was inadequately reported by the G.A.F. on 2.9.  At that time Group "Seewolf" was supposed to be about 100 to 180 miles W.S.W. of the convoy.  Visibility remained poor.  The boat was only able to distinguish a cruiser and 8 steamers.  However, we have at least an exact enemy position to work on again.Data on inward convoys are old (in BD 3661 at 0016 on 2.9.).Even if we still succeed in picking up the convoy, little time will remain for attacking, as it is already in the rendezvous area.  Weather and especially visibility, is expected to be more favorable in the south than in the north during the next few days.  I, therefore, decided to give up all idea of attacking the inward bound convoy and to commit all boats in an operation against the outward convoy.
 
   
 
  U 98 lost contact at dusk.
 
   
 
  U 562 entered Brest.
 
   
 
4.9.
  Neither G.A.F. nor submarines succeeded in finding the convoy.  The search is being continued in the sector from 1800 to 2200 based on the last known enemy position.  Two boats are being allocated to each sector.
 
   
 
  U 751 has turned back.
 
   
  The attack areas for Group "Markgraf" have been moved 150 miles to the west.  U 141 has moved her operational area to the northern part of AM.
   
  U 552 has left St. Nazaire, U 373 Trondheim, for the North Atlantic operational area.
   
  U 101 has entered St. Nazaire, U 148 Bergen.
             
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
5.9.
  Search for the convoy is continuing.  Boats have orders to continue operations in the north to south patrol line between 150 and 230 West.
 
  The U.S.A. destroyer "Geer" reported that she was unsuccessfully attacked with torpedoes by a submarine at noon on 4th September.  A query put to the most likely submarines elicited that U 652 had encountered the destroyer and had been attacked with 3 depth charges.  She reported that she had been forced to sheer of.  Double miss observed.  Moderate depth charge pursuit.
   
  U 38 has turned back.  Sank one steamer (6,000 GRT).  Group "Markgraf" has been given new attack areas, embracing the zone between Greenland and Iceland as far as about 400 miles south of the Islands.  
   
 
  U 101 entered St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
6.9.
  A final attempt was made to pick up the Gibraltar convoy.  The boats continued stalking in a wide patrol line, G.A.F. used all available planes for spotting.  No success.  Probably because visibility remained unfavorable, and probably because the convoy is still farther to the west, after all.  If the search were continued now, the submarines would have to cruise as far as off Gibraltar, and that even if they contacted the convoy, the width of the search patrol in which the boats are operating would permit only some of them to get to grips as the convoy is already too close to its port of destination.
 
   
 
  I decided to cancel the operation.
 
   
 
  Group "Seewolf" was ordered to move away to the north.
 
   
 
  U 83 has turned back.
 
   
7.9.
  U 206, 563, 568 and 77 (the whole of Group "Seewolf") have reported that they are returning.
   
  In accordance with orders from Naval War Staff, preparations are to be made immediately to send German submarines into the Mediterranean.  6 boats are envisaged for a start, they are to operate from the base at Salmis against enemy supply lines, especially those to the coast of North Africa.  Operational control is to be in the hands of Naval Group Command South.
   
  U 73, U 71 have entered St. Nazaire.
             
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
8.9.
  The boats in the South have been ordered to operate in area ER and EQ east of 400 West.
 
  No special events in the Northern area.
   
  The Commanders of boats U 101, 751, 71 and 73 appeared to make their reports.
  The boats sighted little or nothing.  The general impression obtained was that there are no longer any independents other than a few, very fast large steamers.  The enemy appears to have gathered all shipping together in convoys.  In addition to close escort with the convoys, long-range escorts or chaser groups were observed, which rendered shadowing or undetected approach extremely difficult.  In addition the long-range escort appeared to carry out decoy maneuvers by firing starshell, using search-lights etc.
 
  It seems that the boats will have to fire at long range at the very first opportunity, they have been given appropriate orders.
 
   
 
  U 94 has left St. Nazaire, U 372 Trondheim.  U 751 has entered St. Nazaire.
 
   
 
9.9.
  New attack areas have been ordered for the boats belonging to Group "Seewolf", they lie west of Iceland between 510 and 550 N. and between 150 and 200 W.  The change has been made to enable co-operation with air reconnaissance from this area.
 
   
 
  At 1430, U 85 contacted a convoy in AD 9259.  Convoy was on a northerly course, proceeding at 7 knots.  Group "Markgraf" was instructed to stalk this convoy.  At 1730 U 85 made another shadower report from AD 9262 and at 2357 from AD 6881.
 
   
 
  U 141 reported that she is on her homeward voyage.  She is going to Bergen to replenish and has apparently sunk 2 patrol vessels.
 
   
  U 83 has entered Brest.
   
10.9.
  At 0501 U 81 picked up the convoy and reported it in AD 6835 on a northerly course.  Later U 432 took over the shadower reports, observed the change of course to N.E. and finally reported from AD 6624 at 2103.
   
  U 567 reported that she was returning.  She sank an independent "Fort Richepanse" (3,485 GRT).
   
  U 372 left Brest.  U 206, U 77, U 568 entered St. Nazaire.  U 563 entered Brest.
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
11.9.
  U 432 continued to shadow the convoy picked up east of Greenland for the rest of the day and finally reported it in AD 4882 at 2331.  Reports of successes were received from the following boats.
1) At 0150 U 81 reported:  31,000 GRT, 1 independent, 4 steamers belonging to convoy.  2 of them from the convoy torpedoed (11,000 GRT).  Boat still has a stern torpedo left and has turned back.
2) U 652 also reported that she had turned back.  She later amplified this message, stating that she had been held off since 9.9 and had sunk 3 steamers totaling 20,000 GRT (2 of these probables).
3) U 82 sank 5 steamers belonging to the convoy, total tonnage 31,000 GRT (2 of them probables).  She has fired all torpedoes and is returning.
4) U 432 reported between her shadower reports that she had sunk 5 steamers totaling 25,000 GRT.
5) U 85, who first sighted the convoy, apparently drew most of the escorts to herself, for she reported from AD 9393 that she had suffered damage to her engines from depth charges and that her diving capacity was limited.  However, she had sunk 3 steamers belonging to the convoy (total 15,000 GRT).  She is returning to port.
   
  U 433 reported "Q" ship in the convoy, fired 3 misses, depth charged.  Air patrols also at night.
   
  According to a report from U 432 there were still 25 ships in the convoy, 2 destroyers, 5 corvettes astern.  Flying boats.
 
   
 
  U 569 requested beacon signals from shadower, must, therefore, have been in the vicinity of the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 575 who has recently entered the operational area, has been ordered to stalk the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 558, belonging to Group "Seewolf" has reported that she is returning home.  She sank a 7,000 GRT steamer belonging to the convoy reported by U 141.
 
   
 
  The attack area of Group "Seewolf", consisting of U 69, 94, 557, 561, 565, 95, and 98, has been slightly extended to the north and N.E., as according to several aircraft sighting reports the enemy is aware of the patrol line and can avoid it.  The boats are now between Ireland and 200 West from 530 to 560 North.  
 
   
 
  The 3 southern boats, U 125, U 108 and U 111, have been requested to report shipping activity, and their fuel reserves.  So far U 125 and U 108 have observed no traffic.  U 111 sank a 10,000 GRT steamer yesterday in FB 3354.  Shipping appears to pass farther to the south, in fact, vessels coming from St. Helena
                       
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  probably use the American 300 mile zone!  The boats have been ordered to operate in the whole of the area that was previously sanctioned, in large grid squares, FC and FD.
 
  U 562 left Brest.
   
  U 106 entered Lorient.
   
 
12.9.
  The convoy was shadowed all day.  First U 432 contacted the convoy, then U 373 was guided in by beacon signals and she maintained contact.  Later U 433 took over shadowing, she observed the convoy on a southerly course, later on one of 1100.  Mean course may now be taken as 1100, i.e. the convoy is proceeding towards the northern tip of the Herbrides.
 
   
 
  U 105 reported that she is returning because of engine trouble.  She sank a steamer (5,000 GRT) belonging to the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 43 has also turned back.  She reported later that she had fired 6 torpedoes at the convoy, four of them turned out to be surface runners.  No successes.  On 14.8 she sighted 4 large U.S.A. steamers with the battleship "Mississippi" and strong escort in AK 57.  Course 2100.  North of 590 North she sighted planes each day.
 
   
 
  U 202 is returning.  She reported 5 inexplicable misses.  She sank 1 steamer (2,000 GRT) and 1 escort belonging to the convoy.
 
   
 
  U 569 also stalked the convoy.  She reported: contact lost, diving capacity limited, returning.
 
   
  U 84 has turned back because of lack of fuel.  She sank a 7,000 GRT steamer.
   
  U 96 and U 567 have entered St. Nazaire.
   
  U 141 has entered Bergen.
   
13.9.
  During the night, contact with the east bound convoy was lost.  The boats reported fog and poor visibility.  When B.d.U. enquired which boats were stalking the convoy, U 433, 572, 552, 373 and 575 reported.  The boats were ordered to continue searching.
   
      While on return voyage, U 652 reported a convoy making to the S.W. in AK 6196.  However, she soon lost contact again in the fog.  As no boats are available, this operation cannot be continued.  U 652 was ordered to continue homewards.
       
      U 553 reported that she was returning, nothing sighted, no successes.
       
      Owing to the return of many boats, the patrol line in the Northern area has been thinned.It is intended to form a Group S.E. of
 
 
         
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  Greenland and for some boats to enter the area between the Faroes and Herbrides during the new moon period now commencing, to stalk the enemy shipping so often reported there.
 
  For this reason U 94 and U 69 (formerly with Group "Seewolf") have been instructed to make for AK 01.  The following attack areas have been allocated to Group "Seewolf":
  U 95, U 565, U 557 are to stalk enemy shipping which is believed to proceed from AM 3280 in the direction of 3150 to 2750. U 98 and U 561 are to stalk enemy shipping going from AM 3650 in the direction of 2850 to 2700.  Most important area in the east.
   
  U 557 had not sufficient fuel to carry out her orders to attack.  She has been given a freehand in the old attack area.  
 
   
 
  In the Southern area the outward bound boats U 103 and U 68 have been ordered to proceed via squares DT 55 and DK 68.
 
   
 
  The Naval War Staff has sanctioned the request made by B.d.U. to extend the Southern operational area to 00 in the south and as far as as the American 300 mile zone to the west.
 
   
 
  Attack areas have been allocated:
 
  U 111 - CF as far as the American 300 mile zone.
 
  U 108 - FD, with emphasis on S.W. part.
 
  U 125 - FK, with emphasis on N.E. part.
 
   
  U 431 has left St. Nazaire
   
  U 38 has entered Lorient.
   
14.9.
  Further reports on the east bound convoy in the No0rth area were received as follows:  U 433 searched as far as AD 5213 to the north and N.E. and found nothing.
   
  U 552 reported at 1813:  Convoy probably in AE 7590.
  She later added that she had sighted smoke, destroyers and escort planes in the square already reported.  She lost contact again in the fog.
       
      Further operations against this convoy appeared fruitless.  U 432 was ordered to turn back.  U 433 was to continue searching in the direction of probable advance course of the convoy, as she was to be committed in this area in any case.  The remaining boats, U 373, U 572, U 575, U 552 are to move away to the S.W. in the direction of AK 30.  They are to be committed S.W. of Greenland in an attack line.
  
  
           
 
 
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Date
Position, Wind, Weather
 
and
Sea State, Illumination,
Events
Time
Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
 
 
 
 
  U 452, U 501 and U 207 have not reported since the convoy action.  They were asked to report position.  No reply.  U 561 was bombed and reported engine trouble, returning.  Air Reconnaissance spotted a convoy.  According to a cross bearing from the submarines, it was in AM 7980 at 1330.  Course about 500.  U 558 and U 557, who were in the vicinity, were ordered to stalk this convoy.  It was not possible to direct other boats to attack.
 
  At 1910 U 565 reported a convoy on a westerly course in AM 2752.  But she lost contact again in the fog.  U 95 and U 98 have been ordered to stalk this convoy.  Air Reconnaissance will patrol this area tomorrow morning.  Air Reconnaissance is being used for this convoy instead of the one reported by the reconnaissance plane, as the position of the convoy sighted by the G.A.F. is very vague and too close to the coast of Ireland, giving rise to the suspicion that the convoy is entering the British Channel.
   
  U 558 was therefore ordered to continue her homeward voyage, U 557 was given a free hand.
   
 
  U 85 reported that she was returning as she had been badly damaged by bombs and was leaving an oil trace.
 
   
 
  U 201 entered Brest.
 
   
 
15.9.
  While patrolling area in which U 565 yesterday reported a convoy, the air reconnaissance spotted nothing. U 98 and U 565 were ordered to continue searching for the convoy.  Air Reconnaissance is to go out again on 17.9. to search for it.
 
   
 
  U 433 has been given a free hand in the northern half of AM.
 
   
 
  U 94 reported that she had sunk the steamer "Newbury" (5,102 GRT).
 
   
  The Commanders of U 38, U 96 and U 567 appeared to make their reports.  All 3 boats were operating in the North Atlantic.  U 38 (Lt. Cdr. Schuch) and U 567 (Lt.(s.g.) Fahr) each sank a steamer, but sighted nothing else.  U 96 (Lt.(s.g.) Lehmann) sighted nothing during the whole voyage.
   
                                       (Signed):  DÖNITZ.
   
   
   
           
 
 
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