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

15 - 31 December 1941

PG30301B

     
 
16. December 1941.
 
     
 
I.
U 43
-
BF 50  
U 108
-
CG 80  
U 332
- BF 50  
575
- BF 81
 
67
-
CG 80  
124
-
EJ 16  
432
- CG 90  
576
- AM 14
 
68
-
DT 78  
127
-
CG 80  
434
- CG 54  
581
- AN 31
 
74
-
CG 90  
128
-
AM 25  
451
- BF 50  
654
- AF 78
 
77
-
CG 90  
129
-
EH 66  
566
- AM 12  
A
- DT 74
 
83
- CG 81  
130
- BF 50  
569
- CG 90  
   
 
86
- AM 42  
131
- CG 80  
573
- CG 81  
   
 
107
- CG 80  
202
- BF 69  
574
- CG 80  
   
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - UA - 129 - 124 - 332 - 575 - 43 - 130.
  Sailed:  U 133 - 577 - 751 - St Nazaire.    
    U 653 - Kiel.
  Entered Port:  U 43 - 130 Lorient.    U 332 - La Pallice.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  On Convoy No. 21 in area 300 miles West-South-West of Gibraltar.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 21 see IVa.
    2) U 108 reported sinking a freighter with lights, without flag and ship's side markings in CG 8778 on the 14th December:  The boat believed that she was not observed.
  b) Convoy detected at 1115 in DJ 1317.
  c) British aircraft reported German U-boats in BF 6478, CG 9588 and CH 7668.
  d) 1) According to a report from Madrid Convoy No. 21 did not return to Gibraltar.
    2) The Captain of the vessel "Giudad-Valencia" observed a convoy (No. 21) at 1600 on the 15th December in DJ 2139.
    3) Various survivors were landed in Gibraltar from 3 sunk freighters, apparently out of Convoy No. 21.  Therefore, it is to be assumed that U 74 attacked the convoy and achieved success. No report has been received from the boat.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy No. 21:  The air reconnaissance sent out sighted the convoy at 1115 in DJ 1317.  The machine returned immediately owing to fuel supplies but gave no beacon signal.  A report regarding course of the convoy - 2700 to 2900 - was not received until 1630.
    After receipt of the first aircraft report Group Seeräuber" was ordered to proceed at maximum speed on course 1700.  Subsequently, U 574 - 131 - 67 - 108, which should have been closest and able to reach the convoy still before dark, were
       
- 267 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    ordered to operate in equal sectors between 300 - 2400 starting from the convoy position reported by aircraft.  Enemy speed assumed 6 - 7 knots.  The remaining boats were given freedom of action in the whole sector.
    U 108 made contact at 1731 with the convoy in DJ 1245.  Course North-West.  The boat was forced to submerge and sighted at 1920 in DJ 1212, to starboard, destroyers, course 3500, and presumed the convoy to be in DJ 1160 at 2042.
    The plan for the night was to have boats operate freely, even if they had no contact, against the convoy.  Speed of advance 6 - 7 knots is assumed.  U 67 reported at 2030 hydrophone fix in 2000 from square DJ 1211.  Direct contact with the convoy was not made again during the night of 16th to 17th December.  U 131 of course had continual contact with destroyers and other escort forces but was not successful in breaking through and finding the convoy.  At 0645 the boat was driven off.  Last enemy position was DH 3369, mean course 2700, speed 6 knots.
  b) None.
  c) UA reported secondary operation carried out, i.e. 50 survivors given over to Italian U-boats "Torelli".
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  U 108 - 1 freighter (7,000 GRT) sunk on the 14th December.
       
VI. General:
  As a result of the continuing lack of repair workers, Admiral Second in Command U-boats reported regarding the completion of work on new boats as follows:  The time taken for completion work on new boats at home, before they go into operation, has been extended as a result of shortage of workers in such a way that an average of 6 - 8 weeks, as against 3 - 4 weeks before, must be expected for the work.  Owing to the continual stream of new boats the dockyards are becoming increasingly blocked, as few are sent away, and the consequence will be a serious delay in operations.
  At the present there are 24 U-boats being completed, of which only two will be ready on the 20th December and at this date there will be 10 more new ones for completion, and then every 14 days 10 further new U-boats.  In order to alleviate these impossible conditions, I have made the following 4 proposals to the Naval High Command:
    1) Increasing the number of workers by shutting down to a great extent repairs on surface ships.
    2) No further transfers of experienced repair workers for special purposes of Army and Air Force.  (Pencil note:  Calling-up and therefore reduction unavoidable, but Naval Staff U is attempting to amend this as soon as possible.)
 
 
     
 
- 268 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
    3) U-boats to be completed by their own constructional dockyard, as these are more interested in the boat than any other yards.  Thereby postponement of any repairs to surface ships at those construction yards.  (Pencil note:  This will not do, as new U-boat constructions will be reduced too much, particularly in the present situation.)
    4) If necessary decrease in new U-boat constructions at individual yards until lack of workers for repairs to boats is alleviated there, or concentrating at new-construction dockyards with good outputs in such a way that new constructions at small yards are transferred with a certain number of workers to the larger yards.
    This proposal disagrees with an order of the Naval High Command on the same question, which orders acceleration of the completion work primarily at the expense of U-boat new constructions; only if there is no completion work to be done may further new constructions be carried out.
    There is no doubt that it is really practical to employ repair workers only for ships which are definitely necessary to win this war; since the main point of German naval warfare in this war can only center on U-boat warfare it should, in my opinion, be investigated from which surface ships repair workers can be spared.  However desirable the repair of surface ships may be, no restriction or delay in U-boat operations must be allowed to arise through it.
    Any measures at the expense of future new U-boat constructions should, in my opinion therefore, only be carried out as a last resort.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
17. December 1941.
 
 
I.
U 67
-
CG 70  
U 124
-
DT 76  
U 432
- CH  
575
- BF 81
 
68
-
EH 66  
127
-
CG 70  
434
- CG 70  
576
- AM 14
 
74
-
CH  
128
-
AM 41  
451
- BF 49  
577
- BF 50
 
77
-
CH  
129
-
EH 66  
566
- AM 12  
581
- AN 20
 
83
-
CG 86  
131
-
CG 70  
569
- CH  
653
- Brunsbüttel
 
86
- AM 75  
133
- BF 50  
573
- CG 86  
654
- AF 78
 
107
- CG 70  
202
- BF 69  
574
- CG 70  
A
- DT 25
 
108
- CG 70  
     
751
- BF 50  
   
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 124 - 129 - UA - 575 - 751
  Sailed:  - . -    
  Entered Port:  U 575 - 751 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  On Convoy No. 21 in area CF 90.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) Convoy No. 21 see IVa.
  b) Convoy not detected.
       
- 269 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) 1) British escort aircraft reported:  1800 surfaced U-boat in DH 33 (U 131?)
    2) British aircraft sighted at 1720 an oil trace in AM 5436 (U 566?)
    3) Two further enemy aircraft reports at 1120 and 1520 with position not clear.  (Probably sightings off Convoy No. 21.)
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy No. 21:  At 1008 U 108 contacted the convoy in DH 3324 and maintained contact until dark.  At 1347 U 107 reported the convoy.  Contact was maintained until 0051 on the 18th, when U 107 last reported the enemy in CF 9929.  Group "Seeräuber" was then ordered to continue operations independently at dawn because it must have been in the direct vicinity of the convoy and most probably the convoy would be quickly found by such a concentration of boats.  At 1212 U 131 reported that she was unable to dive and was being pursued by 4 destroyers in DH 33.  The boat was instructed that aid was not possible and that she should scuttle herself, if there was no other alternative.
    At 1640 U 434 reported that she had observed at 1400 in DH 3341 artillery firing and an aircraft with three destroyers.
    No further reports have been received from U 131 or regarding her.
  b) None.
  c) U 68 reported at 0300 on the 18th December secondary operations carried out, i.e. "Tazzoli" had taken over from U 68 70 men and given the German boat provisions accordingly.
  d) None.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  1 vessel from Convoy No. 21 torpedoed (by U 108)
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
18. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 67
-
CF 90  
U 129
-
EH 33  
U 573
- CG 90  
   
 
68
-
DT 45  
131
-
CF 90  
574
- CF 90  
   
 
83
-
CG 90  
133
-
BF 48  
576
- AM 47  
   
 
86
-
AM 78  
202
-
CG 42  
577
- CF 60  
   
 
107
-
CF 90  
432
-
CH  
581
- AN 20  
   
 
108
- CF 90  
434
- CF 90  
653
- AN 93  
   
 
124
- DT 76  
451
- CG 16  
654
- AM 23  
   
 
127
- CF 90  
566
  AL 95  
A
- DH 48  
   
 
128
- AM 71  
569
  CH                
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
       
- 270 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 432 - 569 - UA
  Sailed:  U 71 - 125 - 502 - 567 - 751   
  Entered Port:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:
  On Convoy No. 21 in area CF 60.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) Convoy No. 21 see IVa.
  b) Convoy detected at 1200 in square CF 9354, at 1225 in CF 9653, at 1501 in CF 9342, at 1530 in CF 9623.
  c) Unknown unit reported at 1000 surfaced U-boat in CF 9625.
    According to an intercept message, and unknown British unit reported that the "131 U-boat" was sunk on the 17th December by gunfire and 44 prisoners taken. Probably this was the U 131.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) At 1200 on the 18th the convoy was detected by our own aircraft in CF 9354.  Further reports of sightings from aircraft were received at 1225 in 9653, at 1450 in 9618, at 1501 in 9342.  The fixes indicated the convoy in 9290 at 1300.  The second fix gave a position in 9231 at 1600.  Both bearings were sent to the boats.  According to dead reckoning on these the enemy's mean course was about 3400.  At 2000 U 107 made contact in 9225.  The boats of Group Seeräuber" were ordered to operate on the basis of this report, mean course then being 3300, enemy speed approximately 6 - 8 knots.  According to a report at 2111 U 107 was driven off again immediately after sighting the convoy.  At 0315 on the 19th December U 574 made contact.  At 0455 U 108 came up to the convoy in square CF 6815.  At 0759 U 108 reported last convoy position in 6815 at 0620 course 3400, speed 7 knots and a further ship sunk, a third probably sunk.  Since then there has been no contact.  Although all her torpedoes were expended U 108 was ordered to maintain contact.  At 1526 U 127 and 434 were asked for their position.  No report up to now.
  b) U 451, U 133 were ordered to proceed to the Eastern Mediterranean.
  c) U 124 reported at 0136 on the 19th December, secondary operation carried out, i.e. "Calvi" took over from U 124 70 men and gave the German boat provisions accordingly.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  U 108 from the convoy 1 ship sunk.
                                 1 ship probably sunk.
       
       
 
 
 
- 271 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
VI. General:
  a) Convoy.
    All reports received from boats and aircraft up to now indicate that this is an extremely strongly escorted convoy.  Escorts consist of an aircraft carrier ("Unicorn") with fighter planes, cruisers, destroyers, corvettes and large motorboats, which can operate in present continually good weather conditions.  These good conditions, which are favorable for location and hydrophone have probably led to the loss of 3 boats, namely U 131, U 127, U 434.
  b) Mediterranean.
    In considering the present U-boat situation in the Mediterranean and the intended further increase in numbers of U-boats there, it must be clearly seen that most of the experienced U-boat Commanders and crews of German U-boats are in the Mediterranean, or must proceed thence.  Regarding passage through the Straits of Gibraltar the following are my views:
    1) Passage through the Straits of Gibraltar has become more difficult following the sinking of the "Ark Royal" owing to increased patrol lines and particularly to air patrol, which extends far to the East and West and also goes out at night.  In view of the latter, surface passage is made more difficult owing to the distance to be covered; when there is a full moon, passage submerged and on the surface has become impossible.
      19 boats have passed Gibraltar, 11 of these after the sinking of the "Ark Royal".  3 boats were lost in passage, 3 were damaged by aircraft bombs and had to return to Western France.
    2) Passage through the Straits of Gibraltar to the West is considerably more difficult since it is against the current.  When, after completion of operations in the Mediterranean, most of the U-boats will return into the Atlantic, considerably stronger patrols off Gibraltar are probable.  Extensive losses will probably result.
    3) Operations by U-boats in the Mediterranean are at the moment absolutely necessary.  However, there is danger that the U-boats may become trapped there one day and excluded from the battle of the Atlantic.  A solution of this question must, however, be held up pending further developments.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
       
       
       
 
 
 
- 272 -
 
     

 

     
 
19. December 1941.
 
     
 
I.
U 67
-
CF 60  
U 127
-
?  
U 502
- BE 50  
U 653
- AN 37
 
68
-
DH 48  
128
-
BE 32  
566
- AL 96  
654
- AM 17
 
71
-
BE 50  
129
-
DT 48  
567
- BE 50  
751
- BF 50
 
83
-
Gibral.  
131
-
?  
569
- CG 81  
A
- DH 13
 
86
-
AM 70  
133
-
BE 99  
573
- Gibral.  
   
 
107
- CF 60  
202
- CG 49  
574
- CF 68  
   
 
108
- CF 68  
432
- Gibral.  
576
- AM 77  
   
 
124
- DT 54  
434
- CF 60  
577
- BF 77  
   
 
125
- BE 50  
451
- CG 48  
581
- AN 20        
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 432 - 569 - UA
  Sailed:  - . -            Entered Port:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance
  On Convoy No. 21 in area CF 60
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) Convoy No. 21 see IVa.
  b) At 1330 on the 10th December the convoy was detected by air reconnaissance in CF 6245.
  c) 1) British patrol vessel reported at 1000 a surfaced U-boat in CF 9625.
    2) At 0330 on the 17th December a British aircraft was ordered to attack a U-boat in BF 67 (U 133, U 577?)
  d) None.
       
IV Current Operations:
  a) The position calculated from bearings of U-boats indicated the convoy to be in 6430 at 1400.  At 1725 an aircraft reported a convoy bound for Gibraltar.  Boats were instructed not to operate against it but to attack if they were in a favorable position for firing.  The objective of the operation remained the North-bound convoy.  At 1653 U 107 reported the convoy in 6419.
    At 1900 the same boat reported the enemy in 6417, speed 8 knots, course 2700.  It was to be assumed that this position was correct according to dead reckoning, since the enemy was attempting to avoid the area covered by our air reconnaissance.  The last position of the convoy was reported at 0700 on the 20th in CF 5353, course 00, by U 107.  The situation report requested from U 108 showed that contact was being maintained best on remote escorts.  At night the remote escorts were 3-5 miles around the convoy.  If possible a break was to be made through from a forward position.  Firing possible only at a distance of 2,000 meters outside the strong close escort and at fine angle on the bow, as otherwise surprise by rear remote escort.
       
- 273 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    In reply to request for position from U 574 and 67, only U 67 has reported up to now - at 1735 in 6167.
    U 567, U 71 and U 751 were ordered to operate against this convoy.  I have confidence in entrusting to these experienced U-boat Commanders the difficult operations against this convoy.
  b) U 577, U 133 were ordered to proceed at high cruising speed to the Eastern Mediterranean.
    U 128, which is at present West of Ireland under way to the area West of Gibraltar, has been ordered to proceed at maximum cruising speed to Lorient.
    Even though the numbers of boats required by the Naval War Staff have hitherto forced me - in view of the lack of other boats - to send in large U-boats also off Gibraltar, it is nevertheless necessary to release these as soon as possible.  This is now possible with medium sized boats.  U 128's assignment to Group "Paukenschlag" is intended after she has refueled.
  c) U 129 reported operation carried out, 70 men transferred to "Finzi".  Fuel supplies 59 cbm, day's run 250 miles.
  d) None.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:  None.
       
VI. General:
  The situation report from U 108 confirms the impression of very strong escorts.  It also shows, however, that it is quite possible for an experienced Commanding Officer to come up to the convoy.  A fourth U-boat, U 574, seems to have been lost.  The reasons for these sudden great losses are not quite clear.  The weather which was favorable for location purposes, as well as the presence of the aircraft carrier with very fast machines will have had some bearing on this.  Certainly, however, the losses prove that an attack on this very strongly escorted Gibraltar convoy was a very difficult task.  New boats with inexperienced Commanding Officers are, therefore, not at all a match for these convoys and for the defence forces West of Gibraltar.  Therefore, I shall send in no further boats from home waters for operations against H.G. and O.G. convoys or in the Gibraltar area amongst the numbers of boats ordered by the Naval War Staff.  Fulfillment of the required numbers must accordingly be delayed.
  My views regarding imminent U-boat operations have been submitted as follows to the Naval War Staff:
  In order to put into effect the Order of 1. Naval War Staff 1 U 2042/41, Secret regarding U-boat operations in the Mediterranean, and in view of the operational capacity of new boats and inexperienced Commanding Officers or large U-boats, the following operations are planned:
       
       
 
 
 
- 274 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
    1) The following will be sent into the Mediterranean after the full-moon period:  U 83, U 451, U 202, U 133, U 577.  There will then be 25 U-boats in the Mediterranean.
    2) 5 further U-boats will be sent at the full-moon period in the middle of January, and in February there will follow 4 further boats.
      In view of this distribution, reference is made to the dockyard output in the Mediterranean reported in Teleprinter Message of German Naval Command Italy, 8193/41, Group Command.  (Dockyard output by 15th January = 13 boats, by February 15 boats, later 20 boats).
      In this way, therefore, the most efficient of the U-boats are in the Mediterranean.
    3) The following will be sent out for operations West of Gibraltar:  8 U-boats putting out in December from French harbors.
    4) One U-boat escort for the Dogger Bank.
    5) Apart from the 6 large boats already made available for operation "Paukenschlag" on the American coast, U 107, U 108 and U 67 will proceed, after completing the present operation against the H.G. convoy, to Lorient and subsequently to operations on the American coast.  Further boats becoming available will also be sent into this area.
    6) New, medium-sized boats with young and inexperienced Commanding Officers coming out from home waters will proceed, until further notice, for refuelling in French harbors and subsequently to operations in the Western Atlantic, probably off the Newfoundland Bank.
      Reason for 6)
      As regards defence forces the area off Gibraltar is at present the most difficult, and the H.G. convoys the most strongly escorted.  The new boats are not a match for either of these, and operations by them are not possible, therefore, in this area.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
20. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 67
-
CF 53  
U 128
-
BE 39  
U 567
- BF 45  
UA
- CF 67
 
68
-
CF 53  
129
-
DT 49  
569
- CG 43  
   
 
71
-
BF 47  
131
-
?  
573
- Gibral.  
   
 
83
-
Gibral.  
133
-
Cg 43  
574
- CF 43  
   
 
86
-
BE 62  
202
-
Cg 85  
576
- AM 78  
   
 
107
- CF 53  
432
- CG 42  
577
- CG 27  
   
 
108
- CF 53  
434
- ?  
581
- AM 24  
   
 
124
- DH 77  
451
- CG 84  
653
- AN 29  
   
 
125
- BF 40  
502
- BF 40  
654
- AL 34        
 
127
- ?  
566
- BE 29  
751
- BF 44        
 
 
 
 
 
       
- 275 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 86 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 432 - 566 - 569 - 576 - UA - 502.
  Sailed:  U 582            Entered Port:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:
  On Convoy No. 21 in area CF 20.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) See Convoy
  b) See Convoy
  c) 1) Unknown British unit reported at 1155 a U-boat in BE 2932.
    2) British aircraft reported at 0420 on the 21st a U-boat in CG 9588.
    3) According to a subsequent intelligence report 2 U-boats were sighted in the Gibraltar area in the night of 18/19.  One attacked the British vessel "Dynamo", subsequently U-boat pursuit.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Muller (U 67) reported at 1120 a convoy in square 2965.  At the same time Scholtz (U 108) and Gelhaus (U 107) also reported the convoy in sight.  Last report of contact from U 108 was at 2029, convoy being in square 2832, course N.E.  At 2230 U 107 reported contact lost, she suspected northerly course of the convoy since she passed 2 escorts at 2118, course North, in square 2576.  No further contact up to the morning.
  b) U 576 - 566 - 86 were ordered to proceed at high cruising speed to harbor in Western France.  Purpose, refuelling, also repairs to U 576.
  c) None.
  d) U 502 reported large oil trace and probably losing oil.  She was ordered to put into Lorient.
    U 83 reported her position from the Mediterranean and has, therefore, come under the command of Senior Officer, U-boats, Italy.
       
V. Reports of Sinking:
  U 562 reported sinking a Russian tanker (camouflaged as "Dogen") of 7,000 GRT in square CK 9284.
       
VI. General:  None.
 
 
 
- 276 -
 
     

 

     
 
21. December 1941.
 
     
 
I.
U 67
-
CF 24  
U 129
-
DT 25  
U 569
- BE 99  
UA
- CF 36
 
68
-
CF 87  
131
-
?  
573
- CH 75  
   
 
71
-
BE 85  
133
-
CG 84  
574
- CF 68  
   
 
86
-
BF 43  
202
-
CG 94  
576
- BE 36  
   
 
107
-
CF 24  
432
-
BE 99  
577
- CG 84  
   
 
108
- CF 25  
434
- ?  
581
- AM 41  
   
 
124
- DH 49  
451
- CG 97  
582
- AN 96  
   
 
125
- BE 93  
502
- BF 45  
653
- AF 76  
   
 
127
- ?  
566
- BE 33  
654
- AL 03        
 
128
- BF 42  
567
- BE 83  
751
- BE 82        
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 86 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 432 - 502 - 566 - 569 - 576 - 581 - 654 - UA.
  Sailed:  U 84 - 571
  Entered Port:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:
  On Convoy No. 21 in area CF 20 - BE 80
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) See Convoy No. 21 under IVa.
  b) Air reconnaissance sent out detected convoy at 1300 in CF 2313.
  c  - d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Contact was again made by U 108 at 1254 (21st December).  At 1352 U 67 also reported the convoy in BE 8788.  Contact made by U-boats made calculation of the position reported by aircraft unnecessary.  The position, in CF 2235, subsequently reported by U 108 appeared unlikely since, according to this, the speed of advance of the enemy would only have been 5.4 knots.  It was not necessary to work on this, as there was contact.  Requests for position check showed that U 108 confirmed the position and suspected the possibility of a part-convoy.  At 1740 U 567 sighted the convoy in 8755, last report was at 1908, square 8728, course 200.  At 1600 U 67 was forced by an aircraft to submerge, subsequently depth charge pursuit by destroyer, type "Eskimo".
    At 0256 U 751 reported that she had made 3 hits on an aircraft carrier of the "Formidable" Class at 2300.  This was probably sunk, last observed with: stern high, bow flooded.  U 67 attacked at 0023 an aircraft depot ship twice without result.
  b) UA and U 68 reported:  Putting into St. Nazaire on the 24th December.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  U 751 reported 3 hits on aircraft carrier.  Sinking probable.
       
       
- 277 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
VI. General:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
22. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 67
-
BE 81  
U 129
-
DH 73  
U 569
- BF 75  
U 751
- BE 57
 
68
-
CG 14  
131
-
?  
571
- BE 84  
A
- BF 82
 
71
-
BE 81  
133
-
CG 96  
573
- CH 75  
   
 
84
-
BF  
202
-
CG 82  
574
- ?  
   
 
86
-
BF  
432
-
BF 72  
576
- BF 41  
   
 
107
- BE 84  
434
- ?  
577
- CG 94  
   
 
108
- BE 84  
451
- Gibral.  
581
- AM 74  
   
 
124
- DH 23  
502
- BF  
582
- AN 66  
   
 
125
- BE 91  
566
- BF  
653
- AN/AF        
 
127
- ?  
567
- BE 73  
654
- AL 88        
 
128
- BF  
     
           
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 108 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 202 - 432 - 566 - 569 - 576 - 581 - 654 - UA.
  Sailed:  - . -        Entered Port:  U 86 - 502
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:
  On Convoy No. 21 in area BE 20 - 80
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) See Convoy No. 21 under IVa.
  b) Air reconnaissance sent out detected the convoy at 130 in BE 8142.
  c) British aircraft reported U-boat in BE 2155 (operational area).
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Aircraft detected the convoy at 1230 in BE 8142.  Bearing of the aircraft showed position to be in BE 8120 South half and 8150 North half.  At 1626 U 71 reported the convoy in square 8110, course North.  At 1942 U 125 reported clouds of smoke and escorts in sight, square 5758.  U 125 was ordered to proceed further to the West.  During the night there were no reports of contact being maintained.  U 751 fired, in square 5475, a four-fan torpedo which failed on a destroyer group, was then driven off and started on return passage, as all torpedoes expended.  U 567 (Endrass) which was instructed at 1530 to report her position has not done so.
    At 0818 the operation against the convoy was broken off.
  b) U 67, 107 were ordered to return to Lorient, as fast as possible.  U 71, U 567 to proceed into the area West of Gibraltar.
  c - d) None.
       
       
       
- 278 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
V. Reports of Sinkings:  None.
       
VI. General:
  The success achieved from the convoy up to now is slight.  One aircraft carrier, 3 ships, also 2 tankers, which, however, were shot up in the first night from a group separated from the convoy.  As against this, the loss of 4, possibly 5 boats (567 - Endrass).  The weather conditions are also very unfavorable; very little wind (east 1/2) no seaway therefore favorable conditions for location.  The chances of losses are greater than the prospects of success.  No contact with the convoy.  Therefore the decision has been made to break off operations.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
23. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 67
-
BE 54  
U 129
-
DH 27  
U 571
- BF  
UA
- BF
 
68
-
BF 74  
131
-
?  
573
- CH 58  
   
 
71
-
BE 54  
133
-
CH 81  
574
- ?  
   
 
84
-
BF  
202
-
CG 51  
576
- BF  
   
 
107
-
BE 55  
432
-
BF  
577
- CH 59  
   
 
108
- BF 47  
434
- ?  
581
- BE 32  
   
 
124
- CF 92  
451
- Gibral.  
582
- AN 37  
   
 
125
- BE 48  
566
  BF  
653
- AM 22  
   
 
127
- ?  
567
- ?  
654
- BE 26        
 
128
- BF  
569
- BF  
751
- BE 55        
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 107 - 108 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 202 - 581 - 654 - 751 - UA.
  Sailed:  U 93 - 123         Entered Port:  U 432 - 566 - 569 - 576.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 84 reported at 1830 a destroyer in square BE 6891, course 1000, very high speed.
  b) - d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) German tanker damaged at 1148 in BE 6994 by bomb hits, course 1600, speed 8 knots.  U 84 and U 108 were ordered to go to its aid, and to proceed on her course at dark.  U 84 report:  see IIIa.  Upon receipt of new position of the tanker U 571, 30 miles behind the tanker, was ordered to go to her aid and to remain in the vicinity until further orders can be given after the tanker has put into Spanish territorial waters.
  b) U 133 - 573 and 577 have passed Gibraltar and, therefore, come under the command of the Senior Officer, U-boats, Italy.
  c) None.
       
       
- 279 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  d) Upon request for a weather report, U 567 did not reply today either; she must be assumed lost.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  U 573 sank on 21st December an escorted transport (8,000 GRT) off Gibraltar (Mediterranean)
       
VI. General:
  Experiences of late have led me to submit to the Naval War Staff the following considerations on the situation:
  1) The British have detected the complete withdrawal of German U-boats from the Atlantic, the U-boat concentrations West of Gibraltar and the continual passage of U-boats through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean.
    They have pursued this German concentration of U-boats off Gibraltar with their defence forces.  The scarcity of U-boats in the Atlantic has enabled him to withdraw considerable numbers of escort forces from there into the Gibraltar area.
    Escorts of MG 77 were very strong.  They caused the loss, during operations, of 4 or 5 U-boats, weather conditions being favorable.  As against this, are the loss of the aircraft carrier and, as far as known, the slight success of 2 tankers and 3 steamers sunk.
  2) In order to prevent further withdrawal of escort forces from the Atlantic into the Gibraltar area, I intend before the end of December to send in a U-boat, which is having to proceed to home waters for basic overhaul, for radio decoy purposes in the North Atlantic.
  3) I consider it necessary to investigate whether the operations ordered by the Naval War Staff, by U-boats West of Gibraltar are still appropriate.
    a) They were made in order to intercept at this point British forces making for the Mediterranean theatre of war.
      The boats were not sent in to operate in view of the war against merchant shipping - see recalling of the U-boats of Group "Steuben" off Newfoundland from attacks on merchant shipping.
    b) The anticipated flow of British forces through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean has not occurred up to now, or the U-boats have not been able to detect it.
    c) The consequences of this was the use of these U-boats again in the war against merchant shipping by attacks on the H.G. convoy.  Actually, I am not in agreement with attacking H.G. convoys as they are strongly escorted and the ships are small.  They have been attacked before only when U-boats had been operating against a South-bound convoy or were coming out of the South Atlantic and were compelled to be in the Gibraltar area.
 
 
 
- 280 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
    d) The area West of Gibraltar is very heavily patrolled up to West of Vincent.  The U-boats will be able to fulfil their tasks according to 3 a), detection of East-bound British supplies, in the coming full-moon period only in exceptional cases.  Losses are to be expected which will not be worth the success.
    e) I consider, therefore, that more will be achieved by using the 8 U-boats outward-bound for the area West of Gibraltar in the area off the Azores, since besides West to East traffic here also North to South traffic (W.S. convoys) can be intercepted and I propose, therefore, that they should be used for this.  It would also serve to quiet down the Gibraltar area, which would be of advantage to the passage of U-boats into the Mediterranean during the next new moon period.
    f) If necessary return into the area West of Gibraltar if the situation alters, or in the new moon period.
  4) I request agreement on this, having regard to letter Sk1.Ref. No. I and 2042/41 op.Secret.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
24. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 67
-
BE 62  
U 127
-
?  
U 581
- BP  
   
 
68
-
BF  
128
-
BF  
582
- AN 123  
   
 
71
-
BE 82  
129
-
BE 98  
653
- AM 17  
   
 
84
-
BF 71  
131
-
?  
654
- BE 62  
   
 
93
-
BF  
202
-
BE 99  
751
- BE 64  
   
 
107
- BF 65  
434
- ?  
A
- BF  
   
 
108
- BF 49  
451
- Gibraltar  
     
   
 
123
- BF  
567
- ?  
     
   
 
124
- CF 39  
571
- BF 86  
           
 
125
- BD 68  
574
- ?  
           
 
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 107 - 108 - 124 - 128 - 129 - 202 - 654 - 751 - UA.
  Sailed:  U 87 - 135 - 156 - 753.        
  Entered Port:  U 68 - 128 - 581 - UA.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) - b) None.
  c) See IVa of 23rd December 1941.  U 571 broke off search at 2030 for the tanker and continued her passage into the operational area.
       
       
       
- 281 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  d) Since there has been no radio traffic for several days with U 127 - 131 - 434 - 567 and 574 these boats are not being considered in connection with coming operations and must be assumed lost.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  U 559 in the Mediterranean 1 steamer sunk, 1 steamer torpedoed.
  U 562 in the Mediterranean 1 steamer, hit probable.
  U 568 in the Mediterranean 1 destroyer sunk.
       
VI. General:
  The Naval War Staff has agreed, in letter Sk1 2183/44 Gkdos, Secret, to withdrawal in the direction of the Azores of the boats bound for operational area West of Gibraltar.  It must be ensured that the Western Mediterranean is continually patrolled by a few boats.  This must be effected by Mediterranean boats on the orders of Senior Officer, U-boats, Italy.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
25. December 1941.
 
 
 
I.
U 67
-
BF 42  
     
U 135
- Brunsbüttel  
   
 
71
-
CF 21  
     
156
-     "  
   
 
84
-
BE 89  
     
202
- BF 72  
   
 
87
-
Brunsbüttel  
     
451
- Gibraltar ??  
   
 
93
-
BF  
     
571
- BF 75  
   
 
107
- BF 45  
     
582
- AN 23  
   
 
123
- BF  
     
653
- AM 74  
   
 
124
- BE 96  
     
751
- BF 44  
   
 
125
- BD 58          
753
- AN        
 
129
- BF 72          
           
 
   
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 107 - 124 - 129 - 202 - 582 - 751.
  Sailed:  U 66 - 203 - 373 - 552.        
  Entered Port:  U 108 - 654.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 658 reported at 2354 from AL 6443 having pursued, without result, two fast transports (17 knots).  She was forced to submerge by oncoming escorts and lost contact thereby.
  b) None.
  c) According to intercept messages the British gunboat K 196 was damaged by ramming a German U-boat at 1000 on the 22nd December in the Straits of Gibraltar.  (May have been U 451).
  d) None.
       
       
       
       
- 282 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
IV. Current Operations:
  a)- c) None.
  d) 1) U 582 was ordered to proceed to Trondheim at once in order to replace stud-bolts of exhaust valves.
    2) U 653 was assigned special operation.  It is planned to form a radio decoy with this boat which will give the impression of the presence of a large number of U-boats in the Atlantic.
    3) According to a report from Group West, the German tanker was sunk in Spanish territorial waters, off Cape Ortegal, by British bomber and torpedo aircraft.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
26. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BF  
U 124
-
BF 74  
U 451
- Gibraltar  
   
 
67
-
BF  
125
-
BD 57  
552
- BF  
   
 
71
-
CF 19  
129
-
BF 72  
571
- CG 12  
   
 
84
-
CF 26  
135
-
AN  
582
- AF  
   
 
87
-
AN  
156
-
AN  
653
- AL 67  
   
 
93
- BF 96  
202
- BF 48  
751
- BF  
   
 
107
- BF  
203
- BF  
753
- AN  
   
 
123
- BE 61  
373
- BF  
     
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 124 - 129 - 202 - 582.
  Sailed:  - . -      
  Entered Port:  U 67 - 107 - 751.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  None.
  b) Operational areas:  Group "Seydlitz"
     U 84 square - CE 46, 54, 55, 56.
    U 71 patrol line in area of squares CE 5870, 8210, 8240 to the East up to square 91 right edge.  U 552 patrol line in same area to the East and up to 93 right edge.  Point of concentration square 6972.
    U 203 patrol line in area of squares 7370, 76 to the East up to square 85, right edge.  U 373 square EE 48, 49.  U 93 squares CF 48, 49, 57.  U 571 squares CF 72, 75, 78.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:  None.
       
       
- 283 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
VI. General Situation:
  The new operational areas off the Azores extend into the area prohibited for U-boat attacks on account of our own merchant ships and auxiliary cruisers West of 320.  After consultation with the Naval War Staff this area was opened for the operations planned.  The area between 32 and 420 North and 36 and 40 West is prohibited as a pursuit area for U-boats.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
27. December 1941.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BF 40  
U 135
-
AN 34  
U 653
- BF 15  
   
 
71
-
CE 68  
156
-
AN 46  
753
- AN 34  
   
 
84
-
CF 46  
202
-
BF  
     
   
 
87
-
AN 46  
203
-
BF 65  
     
   
 
93
-
CF 33  
373
-
BF 68  
     
   
 
123
- BE 51  
451
- ?  
     
   
 
124
- BF 40  
552
- BF 70  
     
   
 
125
- BD 47  
571
- CF 38  
     
   
 
129
- BF  
582
- AF 59                
 
 
 
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 124 - 753.
  Sailed:  U 86 - 109 - 130 - 333 - 701.
  Entered Port:  U 202 - 129.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - d): None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  None.
  b)  According to a report from Group North, British landings have been made at Aelesund and Nordfjord.
    U 156, 87, 135, also U 582 which has put into Trondheim in the meantime have been ordered to proceed as quickly as possible to square AF 8490.  Operational areas:  U 156 square 8486, U 87 square 8723, U 135 squares 8492, 8495, U 582 squares 8516, 8519.
  c) None.
  d) U 753 reported cylinder cover cracks in both Diesels.  She was ordered to return to Kiel.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:
  After return of U 108, U 107, U 67 and U 751 it appears from reports of the Commanding Officers that 4 further ships were probably sunk from the HG 77, these being:
       
       
- 284 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  U 574 - 1 tanker, 2 steamers)
                                         )    both U-boats lost.
  U 567 - 1 steamer                  )
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
28. December 1941.
       
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BF 64  
U 124
-
BE 50  
U 451
- ?        
 
71
-
CE 83 (Op.Geb.)  
125
-
BC 67  
552
- CG 11        
 
84
-
CE 54 (Op.Geb.)  
130
-
BF 50  
571
- CF 56        
 
86
-
BF 50  
135
-
AE 87  
582
- AF 82 ?        
 
87
-
AE 87  
156
-
AE 87  
653
- AL 74        
 
93
- CF 29  
203
- BE 83  
701
- Br'büttel        
 
109
- BF 50  
333
- Br'büttel  
753
- AN 91        
 
123
- BE 41  
373
- BE 86  
           
 
 
       
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 753.
  Sailed:  - . -     Entered Port:  U 124.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) None.
  b) U 84 and U 71 have reached their operational area (see IVb of 26th December 1941).
  c) After consultation with Group North, U 161, 135, 87 and 582 have been released and ordered to continue their passage into the Atlantic.  U 582 is to return to Trondheim to carry out repairs planned.  U 653 for special operation.
  d) None.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 
 
29. December 1941.
 
     
 
I.
U 66
-
BF 49  
U 130
-
BF 40  
U 582
- Trondheim        
 
71
-
CE 83 (Op.Geb.)  
135
-
AF 78  
653
- AK 82        
 
84
-
CE 54 (  "       "  )  
156
-
AF 77  
701
- AN 66        
 
86
-
BF 40  
203
-
CF 21  
753
- AN 95        
 
87
-
AE 75  
333
-
AN 66  
           
 
93
- CF 54 (  "       "  )  
373
- CF 21  
           
 
109
- BF 40  
451
- ?  
           
 
123
- BD 38  
552
- CF 37  
           
 
125
- BC 84  
571
- CF 84 (Op.Geb.)  
           
 
   
         
 
     
 
- 285 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 753.
  Sailed:  - . -     
  Entered Port:  U 124.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - c) None.
  d) At 0600 on the 30th December a convoy is expected by reconnaissance line to leave from Gibraltar.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) None.
  b) U 93 and U 571 have reached their operational area.
  c) U 653 special operation.
  d) U 124, the last boat in the rescue action "Python", has reached St. Nazaire.  This special operation is therefore, concluded.
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:  None.
       
VI. General:
  Group North has requested permanent disposition of 3 U-boats for protection of the Norwegian coast between Bergen and Stadlandet.  Flag Officer, U-boats, has the following objections to this step:
  All such requirements (operations in secondary theaters of war, escorts, reconnaissance) overlook the decisive point of view, in my opinion, that the U-boat is the only weapon with which we can conduct naval warfare against England on the offensive.  If one considers the battle against Britain as decisive for the outcome of the war, then the U-boats must be given no tasks which divert them from the main theaters of this battle.
    The war in the Atlantic has been suspended for weeks now - the first objective must be to resume it with new forces as soon and thoroughly as possible.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
30. December 1941.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 47  
U 125
-
BC 77  
U 552
- CF 54 (Op.Geb.)        
 
71
-
CE 83 (Op.Geb.)  
130
-
BE 670  
571
- CF 75 (  "       "  )        
 
84
-
CE 54 (  "       "  )  
135
-
AM 33  
582
- Trondheim        
 
86
-
BE 61  
156
-
AM 31  
653
- AK 67        
 
87
-
AM 33  
203
-
CF 42  
701
- AN 34        
 
93
- CF 49 (  "       "  )  
333
- AN 34  
           
 
109
- BF  
373
- CE 39  
           
 
123
- BD 52  
451
- ?  
           
 
   
         
 
 
  On Return Passage:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 43 - 754     Entered Port:  U 753.
       
- 286 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) None.
  b) U 552 has reached operational area.
  c)  U 653 according to plan.  U 43 continuing return passage home.
  d) Since there has been no report on passage through the Straits of Gibraltar from U 451, which left sixteen days ago, this boat must be assumed lost (see III c of 25th December 1941).
       
V. Reports of Sinkings:  None.
       
VI. General:
  My views regarding further operations in the Mediterranean and the distribution of boats which become available, have been forwarded to Naval Staff as follows, in letter Gkdos, Secret 783:
  1) In Naval War Staff letter Secret 2024 orders were given for operations simultaneously by 10 U-boats in the Eastern Mediterranean and 15 West and East of the Straits of Gibraltar, divided approximately into half.  This entails sending about 34 boats into the Mediterranean.
  2)  At present there are 22 U-boats in the Mediterranean.  Therefore, 11 more must be sent into the Mediterranean.  This number is higher than that given in letter B.d.U. Ref .No. 2047 Group Command, Secret, to make good any losses sustained.
  3) Up to now passage through the Straits of Gibraltar, after sinking of the "Ark Royal" has cost 33% losses.  From 24 U-boats which were sent into the Mediterranean after the sinking of the "Ark Royal", 4 were lost in the Straits of Gibraltar, 4 turned back owing to bomb damage and only 16 got through into the Mediterranean.  The transfer of 11 further boats into the Mediterranean, therefore, entails sending 17 U-boats for this purpose, since 5 U-boats must be expected to be lost or damaged in the passage through the Straits.
  4) The simultaneous operation, as ordered, by 7 U-boats West of the Straits of Gibraltar also entails about 10 U-boats being available for this purpose since even in the new moon period loss must be expected in this very heavily patrolled area.
  5)  It should, therefore, be investigated whether the value of operations in the Mediterranean and off Gibraltar and prospects of successes by U-boats outweigh those high losses.
       
 
 
 
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    a) Operations by U-boats in the Eastern Mediterranean have up to now had an adverse effect on the African campaign.  If we succeed in putting out of action in that area a big ship our own transport facilities to Africa will be considerably improved.  Up to now anti-U-boat activity has been very weak in this area but, on the other hand, enemy traffic has been heavy.  THerefore, U-boat operations in the Eastern Mediterranean are justified.  There are chances of success and losses up to now have been slight.
    b) In the area West and East of Gibraltar there are strong defence forces.  Aircraft, even by night, at full moon.  Enemy traffic to the East up to now slight.  During the passage of the military transports or targets suspected by the Naval War Staff, for the attacks on which boats have been disposed in the Gibraltar area, particularly heavy escorts are certain. Prospects of success, therefore, are slight and very difficult.  Attacks can only be made with heavy losses.
  6) B.d.U. is, therefore, of opinion that operations simultaneously by as high a number as 15 boats, as ordered, in the Gibraltar area are not economical.  B.d.U. considers (see proposal letter B.d.U. Group Command 736 Secret) disposition of about 2 - 3 boats East and West of the Straits of Gibraltar for patrol, with sweeps to the Straits if necessary, to be justified.
  7) He proposes, therefore:
    a) Sending of 2 - 3 further U-boats into the Mediterranean.  Therefore, sending of U-boats into the Mediterranean temporarily concluded.  B.d.U. does not reckon on return of these boats into the Atlantic in the near future (see also regarding passage through the Straits of Gibraltar to the West, letter B.d.U. Ref. No. Group Command 763 Secret).
    b) Disposition simultaneously of only 3 boats West of Gibraltar.
  8) The proposal under 7) will also have a good effect on the resumption of the conduct of the war in the Atlantic.  For this reason also B.d.U. considers that forces should not be kept in the Gibraltar area if this is not economical and larger numbers should not be sent into the Mediterranean than absolutely necessary, since this means that the best U-boat Commanders and crews are no longer to be reckoned with for the Battle of the Atlantic.
  9)  A decision is requested so that B.d.U. may appropriately dispose the boats now becoming available.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
 
 
 
- 288 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
31. December 1941.
 
 
 
I.
U 43
-
BF 50  
U 125
-
CG 21  
U 571
- CF 75(Op.Geb.)        
 
66
-
BD 65  
130
-
BE 57  
582
- Trondheim        
 
71
-
CE 93(Op.Geb.)  
135
-
AM 16  
653
- AK 63        
 
84
-
CE 54(Op.Geb.)  
156
-
AM 14  
701
- AF 78        
 
86
-
BE 51  
203
-
CE 67  
754
- Brunsbüttel        
 
87
- AM 25  
333
- AF 79  
           
 
93
- CF 49(Op.Geb.)  
373
- CE 52  
           
 
109
- BE 58  
552
- CD 92(Op.Geb.)  
           
 
123
- BD 44                        
   
   
         
 
 
  On Return Passage:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 553     Entered Port:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  - . -
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - b) None.
  c) The British tanker "Cardita" was sunk in AM 1483 by a U-boat (U 135, 156, 87?).
  d)  Gibraltar convoy passed Tarifa at 1945 (13 ships, 3 destroyers, 2 corvettes, and 6 further escort vessels).
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) None.
  b) With U 203 and 373 Group "Seydlitz" is now complete in the operational area.
  c) 1) U 653 special operation.
    2) U 156 according to orders from the 5th U-Flotilla, will lay meteorological buoys on Rockall and Porcupine Bank.
  d)  None.
V. Reports of Successes:  None.
       
VI. General:
  No operations will be made against the Gibraltar convoy.  According to experiences with the last Gibraltar convoy, operations do not justify the result.  The "Seydlitz" boats, off the Azores, are also not to be considered for operations in the Mediterranean, i.e. their work does not include operations against H.G. convoys.
       
                                                                      (Signed)        DÖNITZ.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
- 289 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
Remarks regarding VI of 16.12.1941:
        The question of accelerating completion work on U-boats was dealt with in KV Tr No. 19572/41 Secret of the 31st December 1941.
        The following views are now given regarding the 4 proposals of Flag Officer, U-boats:
Re 1) The withdrawal of workers from repairs to surface ships is not permissible.
Re 2) As far as withdrawals can be avoided the necessary arrangements have been made.
Re 3) The completion work on U-boats is effected to a great extent at the dockyards of the U-boats in question.
Re 4) The question of transferring new constructions from smaller dockyards to larger ones has been thoroughly investigated and, up to now, found to be impractical.  However, so far as restriction on new U-boat constructions is necessary owing to shortage of raw material, these will be restricted primarily at dockyards with a smaller output.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
 
 
 
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