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

1 - 15 May 1943

PG30323

     
     
 
1.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BF 40
U 195
-
FU 44
U 403
-
Op(BC 68)
U 569
-
Op(BC 37)
 
68
-
CF 36
196
-
GQ 35
404
-
BF 40
571
-
BF 68
 
84
-
BE 64
197
-
DS 34
406
-
Op(BE 94)
575
-
BD 38
 
89
-
Op(BE 94)
198
-
GZ 42
410
-
CG 45
584
-
Op(AJ 76)
 
91
-
BF 40
202
-
BF 40
413
-
Op(AJ 30)
598
-
AK 89
 
92
-
Op(AJ 88)
203
-
AJ 96
415
-
BE 65
600
-
Op(BE 94)
 
103
-
BE 42
209
-
Op(AJ 30)
418
-
AE 66
607
-
Op(BE 85)
 
105
-
FE 13
217
-
BF 11
436
-
Op(BE 86)
610
-
AK 89
 
107
-
BE 41
218
-
AM 51
438
-
Op(AJ 75)
613
-
BE 66
 
108
-
AK 74
223
-
Op(BC 26)
439
-
Op(BE 94)
614
-
Op(BD 22)
 
109
-
BF 40
226
-
Op(BD 23)
447
-
Op(BE 95)
616
-
CG 90
 
117
-
DG 85
227
-
AE 66
448
-
Op(BC 62)
618
-
BE 55
 
119
-
BE 59
230
-
Op(BE 85)
454
-
Op(BC 65)
621
-
BD 25
 
123
-
Op(ET)
231
-
Op(AJ 30)
456
-
Op(BE 85)
628
-
Op(AJ 88)
 
125
-
Op(BC 23)
257
-
BE 64
459
-
AK 98
630
-
Op(AJ 75)
 
126
-
Op(ES 97)
258
-
Op(AJ 30)
460
-
CF 54
631
-
AK 89
 
128
-
Op(FC 53)
260
-
Op(AJ 87)
461
-
BD 36
634
-
Op(BC 26)
 
129
-
Op(CA)
262
-
Op(BB 40)
465
-
BF 80
638
-
AD 22
 
134
-
BF 40
264
-
Op(AJ 89)
466
-
Op(BC 62)
645
-
AE 66
 
154
-
Op(FC 96)
266
-
Op(BC 26)
468
-
Op(BC 62)
648
-
Op(AJ 30)
 
160
-
DG 36
267
-
AK 89
487
-
BD 87
650
-
Op(AJ 30)
 
161
-
Op(CB 10)
270
-
Op(AJ 87)
504
-
BD 36
659
-
Op(BE 86)
 
168
-
Op(AJ 76)
304
-
AF 87
506
-
CF 35
662
-
Op(AJ 75)
 
176
-
DG 98
306
-
AK 98
509
-
DH 14
664
-
BF 40
 
177
-
FU 64
332
-
Op(BE 94)
514
-
Op(AJ 76)
706
-
Op(AJ 30)
 
178
-
GG 25
340
-
AN 35
515
-
Op(ET 53)
707
-
Op(AJ 88)
 
180
-
KQ 90
358
-
Op(AJ 89)
516
-
BE 98
709
-
Op(BC 37)
 
181
-
GZ 56
359
-
OP(BC 65)
525
-
Op(BD 38)
731
-
AN 35
 
182
-
FE 71
377
-
Op(BC 34)
528
-
AK 18
732
-
Op(AJ 87)
 
183
-
DG 84
378
-
Op(AJ 30)
531
-
Op(AJ 30)
752
-
BE 44
 
185
-
BE 96
381
-
Op(AJ 30)
532
-
Op(AJ 30)
760
-
AN 36
 
186
-
Op(BC 68)
383
-
Op(BC 37)
533
-
Op(AJ 30)
952
-
AE 67
 
192
-
Op(AJ 30)
386
-
AK 24
552
-
Op(AJ 30)
954
-
Op(AJ 30)
 
188
-
BF 40
402
-
BD 34
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 84 - 108 - 134 - 160 - 182 - 183 - 185 - 188 - 203 - 257 - 306 - 404 - 415 - 387 - 506 - 509 - 516 - 571 - 598 - 610 - 613 - 618 - 631 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 571 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  U 640 Kiel;  U 190 - Lorient.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  Reconnaissance of England - Gibraltar traffic north of the "Drossel" disposition.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 33 (see para. IVa).
    2) U 515 reported:  In Et 6128 a freighter (7,000 GRT) burning and sinking, 2 other freighters of 6,000 GRT probably sinking.  (Presumably vessels belonging to the convoy attacked on 30.4)
       
- 301 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    3) U 182 sank "Adelfotis" (5,838 GRT) in FD 6884, course 400.  According to radio, up to 25 planes from FF 31 to FM 27 each day, speed 300 kilometers.
  b)  None.
  c) U-boat sightings:  AJ 42, AJ 8990.  Three sightings, position unidentified.  Report of attack in AJ 32.  Report of torpedoing in South Atlantis (position unknown).
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 33:  Final Remarks:
      The continuing bad weather also prevented contact being reestablished on 1st May.  As there was little prospect of picking the convoy up again while weather remained hazy, the boats were ordered to break off the operation at dusk on 1st May.
      To sum up:
      The operations against the convoy with 16 boats in all suffered from first to last from very hazy weather and strong S.W. wind, against which the boats had to struggle during their pursuit of the enemy.  Lookout, finding and shadowing of the convoy were much hampered thereby.  In all, only 5 boats contacted the convoy.  After 29th April contact could not be reestablished.
      The only success was scored by U 258, who probably sank 2 ships and torpedoed a third.  Naval defences were not reported as very strong.  No reports were received about them.  There was some air activity on the first day, but only seaplanes.  During the last night a boat reported continuous air patrol, probably based on Greenland.  The same boat observed what was probably a new type of location gear.  The Commander repeatedly noticed planes approaching at great height and carrying a light like a planet that went on and off.  No location was heard at the time.
      Two boats had to give up the chase because of enemy counter-measures.  They were bombed and depth-charged and badly damaged.  No boats were lost while attacking the convoy.
      The whole operation was hampered by heavy atmospherics, so that Operational Control had no definite information on the course of the operation from midnight until noon the next day.  It can therefore be said that this attack failed only because of the bad weather, not because of the enemy's defences.
    2) Convoy No. 34:
      At 2100 on 1st May, U 628 reported several plumes of smoke in BC 2215.  As Operational
 
 
 
- 302 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      Control assumed that it was the expected "SC 128", all boats belonging to Group "Specht" were detailed to attack.  They numbered 18 in all:  U 438, 662, 630, 584, 168, 514, 270, 260, 732, 92, 628, 707, 258, 264, 614, 226 and 125.  When it became obvious later that the convoy was definitely sailing N.E., boats belonging to Group "Star" which were stationed to the north, were also detailed to attack.  They were:  U 648, 533, 531, 954, 192, 381, 231, 419, 552, 378, 269, 258 and 650.  Thus a total of 31 boats were stalking the convoy.
      At 0109 U 628 reported the convoy in 8896 with course 0, speed 8 knots.  At 0444 U 260 reported star shell in AJ 8958.  Further reports on the convoy were not received.
      All reports were much delayed, as the boats could apparently not establish contact with Control because of radio interference in the convoy area. Boats were therefore again directed to use group frequency.  The operation is being continued.
  b) 1) Group "Amsel" and Group "Specht" have been ordered to steer an easterly course at 2400 with a speed of 7 knots and to man the position line reached at 0900 on 2nd May as a patrol strip.  This should ensure that the convoy which is expected from 1400 on shall not pass the patrol strip during the night.
    2) U 176 has been given a free hand in area DM, the eastern third of DL, and the western and central thirds of DN.  Focal points lie around DM 52 and DN 76.  Boat will be given situation summary by U 155, U 68 and U 183.
  c) U 487 has given her remaining fuel to U 461, has taken over Engineer Officer from U 504 and is continuing her homeward voyage.
  d)  None.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 515 - 3 ships  19,000 GRT
  U 182 - 1 ship  5,838 GRT.
       
VI. General:
  The increase of the boats in Northern Waters to 22 which was ordered in March has not brought good results because there is little enemy shipping.  The last "P.Q." convoy was attacked at the beginning of March, since then no contact has been made with the enemy.
  The war against total (enemy) tonnage demands that the submarines should be detailed to attack in the area that has proved the most fruitful.  As chances are better at present in the North Atlantic than in Northern Waters, and as there is no information about recommencement of supplies to Arctic harbors, First Division of Naval War Staff has issued the following order:
 
 
 
- 303 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    Group North is to keep 12 boats, so that there are always about 4 boats in the operational area.  If definite signs of a convoy or of an enemy landing are observed the group will be reinforced by boats from the Atlantic.  The danger of boats arriving too late has to be accepted.
  F.d.U. Norway has reported that the following boats are available for operations in the Atlantic:  U 269, 334, 355, 467, 636, 646, 657, 629, also U 304 is leaving Kiel.  The boats will be operationally ready by about 20.5.
    The boats reported as being available will remain with their former flotillas and are also to carry out their dockyard period there in order to make the most of the dockyard capacity available and also to relieve the yards in Western France.
       
       
       
       
       
       
 
 
 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
- 304 -
 
 
     

 

 

     
     
 
Supreme Command of the Navy
       
Second Division NAval War Staff/B.d.U. Op.
Reference No. 200.                  
1st May 1943.
 
Submarine Situation at 1st May 1943 .
       
I.
In Commission on 1.4.1943 :  
423
boats
Commissioned during April:  
18
boats
   
441
 
Losses during April, on operations:  
14
 
                                    at home:  
0
 
Paid off (Collisions in home waters)  
2
 
In commission on 1.5.1943:  
425
 
        plus foreign boats  
9
 
       
  Losses in March :
 
In the Atlantic:
Type VIIc:
U 635, 632, 376, 710
= 4
 
Type IX:
U 169, 124, 167, 526, 175, 189, 191, 174
= 8
In the Mediterranean:
Type VIIc:
U 602
= 1
In Northern Waters
Type VIIc:
U 644
= 1
 
 
14
  Details:
  In the Atlantic:  Type VIIc.
 
 
U 635
-
First trip.  Last message on 5.4.  East of Greenland reporting convoy.  Probably sunk by convoy escort
  U 632
-
Second trip.  Last message on 6.4. S.W. of Iceland reporting convoy.  Probably sunk by convoy escort.
  U 376
-
Well proved boat.  No message.  Lost in Biscay.  
  U 710
-
First trip, no message, no clues.
  Type IX
  U 124
-
Well proved boat.  Last message reported contact with convoy on 1.4. in CF 3658 west of Portugal.
  U 167
-
New boat, experienced Commander.  Sunk on 6.4 off Gran Canaria by plane.
  U 526
-
First trip.  Sunk on 14.4. off Lorient by a mine.
  U 169
-
First trip.  No message.  No clue.
  U 191
-
First trip.  Last message on 23.4 S.E. of England reporting convoy.  Probably sunk by escort.
  U 189
-
First trip.  Last message on 23.4. reporting convoy S.E. of Greenland.  Probably sunk by convoy escort.
  U 174
-
Old boat, new Commander.  Last message on 27.4 reporting convoy South of Newfoundland.  Probably sunk by escort.
 
 
 
- 305 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
 
U 175
-
Well proved boat.  Last message on 17.4. reporting contact with a convoy in Western Bay of Biscay.  Probably sunk by escort.
 
In the Mediterranean:  Type VIIc:
 
U 602
-
Well proved boat.  Last message on 24.4. from Western Mediterranean.  No clue.
In the North Atlantic:  Type VIIc:
 
U 644
-
First trip.  Last message on 20.3 reporting that 670 N had been passed.  Probably sunk by enemy submarine.
       
II. Distribution:
 
II
VIIa
VIIb/c
VIId
IXb/c
IXD1
IXD2
XB
XIV
Total
On operations:
3
-
166
3
50
2
7
3
6
240
On trials:
-
-
    89  
-
18
-
6
2
3
118
School boats :
33
4
     28**
-
2
-
-
-
-
67
 
  36*
4
283
3
70
2
13
5
9
425
* also 3 temporarily out of service in the Black Sea.      
** 12 of these temporarily transferred for training purposes.
     
       
III. During April :
 
Following have newly joined operational boats:    
22
 
Total increased by:   +
2
 
Operational boats increased by:   +
5
 
Boats on trial decreased by:   -
6
 
School boats increased by:   +
3
 
       
IV. Distribution of operational boats at 1.5.1943:
 
Atlantic
207
  (1.4.  194)
Mediterranean
18
  (1.4.  17)
Northern Waters
12
  (1.4.  21)
Black Sea
3
 
240
       
V. During April in the Atlantic:
 
Daily average at sea:
111
boats.
Of these, in operational area:
35
boats.
Cruising:
76
boats.
Of these, homeward bound
29
boats.
       
VI. During April following left port:
 
From home ports
22
boats
From Western France
76
boats (including 2 from Norway)
 
 
 
- 306 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
2.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 69
U 192
-
Op(AJ 60)
U 402
-
BD 12
U 569
-
Op(BC 62)
 
68
-
BE 98
195
-
FU 76
403
-
Op(BC 92)
575
-
BD 13
 
84
-
BF 40
196
-
GQ 63
404
-
BF 40
584
-
Op(AJ 89)
 
89
-
Op(BE 94)
197
-
DS 64
406
-
Op(BE 86)
598
-
AK 89
 
91
-
BE 66
198
-
GZ 57
410
-
CB 79
600
-
Op(BE 86)
 
92
-
Op(AJ 89)
202
-
BE 66
413
-
Op(AJ 60)
607
-
Op(BE 85)
 
103
-
BD 39
203
-
AK 79
415
-
BF 40
610
-
AK 89
 
105
-
Op(ET 85)
209
-
Op(AJ 60)
418
-
AE 67
613
-
BF 40
 
107
-
BD 37
217
-
BF 13
436
-
Op(BC 86)
614
-
Op(BC 26)
 
108
-
AK 79
218
-
AM 52
438
-
Op(AJ 76)
616
-
CG 90
 
109
-
BE 65
223
-
Op(BC 24)
439
-
Op(BE 94)
618
-
BE 64
 
117
-
DG 85
226
-
Op(BC 26)
447
-
Op(BE 95)
621
-
BD 12
 
119
-
BE 57
227
-
AE 67
448
-
Op(BC 65)
628
-
Op(BC 23)
 
123
-
Op(ET)
230
-
Op(BE 85)
454
-
Op(BC 68)
630
-
Op(AJ 76)
 
125
-
Op(BC 26)
231
-
Op(AJ 60)
456
-
Op(BE 85)
631
-
AK 89
 
126
-
Op(ET 74)
257
-
BE 66
459
-
AK 98
634
-
Op(BC 34)
 
128
-
Op(FC 82)
258
-
Op(AJ 60)
460
-
CF 76
638
-
AK 78
 
129
-
Op(CA)
260
-
Op(AJ 88)
461
-
BD 36
640
-
AO
 
134
-
BF 68
262
-
Op(BB 40)
465
-
BF 71
645
-
AE 67
 
154
-
Op(FC 97)
264
-
Op(BC 23)
466
-
Op(BC 68)
648
-
Op(AJ 56)
 
160
-
CF 76
266
-
Op(BC 37)
468
-
Op(BC 65)
650
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
161
-
Op(CB 10)
267
-
AK 89
487
-
BE 43
659
-
Op(BE 86)
 
168
-
Op(AJ 87)
270
-
Op(AJ 88)
504
-
BD 36
662
-
Op(AJ 76)
 
176
-
DC 89
304
-
AF 73
506
-
BE 97
664
-
BE 69
 
177
-
FU 92
306
-
AK 98
509
-
CF 82
706
-
AK 88
 
178
-
GG 61
332
-
Op(BE 94)
514
-
Op(AJ 87)
707
-
Op(BC 28)
 
180
-
Op(JA 29)
340
-
AN 30
515
-
Op(ET 53)
709
-
Op(BC 62)
 
181
-
GZ 63
358
-
Op(BC 22)
516
-
BF 74
731
-
AN 30
 
182
-
FD 63
359
-
Op(BC 68)
525
-
Op(BC 62)
732
-
Op(AJ 88)
 
183
-
DG 85
377
-
Op(BC 37)
528
-
AK 52
752
-
BD 62
 
185
-
BF 91
378
-
Op(AJ 60)
531
-
Op(AJ 60)
760
-
AN 30
 
186
-
Op(BC 92)
383
-
Op(BC 83)
532
-
Op(AJ 60)
952
-
AE 82
 
188
-
BF 40
386
-
AK 39
533
-
Op(AJ 60)
954
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
190
-
BF 54
381
-
Op(AJ 60)
552
-
Op(AJ 64)
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 84 - 108 - 134 - 160 - 182 - 185 - 188 - 203 - 257 - 306 - 386 - 404 - 415 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 516 - 598 - 610 - 613 - 618 - 631 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 134 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  U 405 - St. Nazaire;  U 636 - Drontheim.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  No reconnaissance because of weather.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 34 (see para. IVa).
    2) U 459 reported at 0215 that there was a destroyer in BD 3123, course 700, depth charges dropped.
  b)  None.
       
- 307 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) U-boat sightings:  AJ 89, FL 28.  (no boat ?)  One sighting without position.  (Group "Star" ?)
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 33:
      U 532 made a later report stating that she had fired a fan of 4 and of 2 at 0514 on 29.4. in AK 7856 and heard two definite detonations.  She was then hunted with depth charges for 15 hours.  Because of loud noises in the submarine itself, she began her homeward journey.
      U 192 fired a spread of 3 at a freighter of 5-6,000 GRT at 0230 on 1.5. in AJ 3797.  Detonation was heard, but success could not be observed because of enemy defences and high seas.  A double miss from stern tube fired at a 4,000 tonner was probably set too deep.
    2) Convoy No. 34:
      During the morning of 2nd May weather was reported from the convoy area as wind south 5, visibility 6 miles.  Towards evening the wind freshened to south 9, stormy, visibility up to 3 miles.  One boat reported fog.
      The only news of the convoy came from U 628, who reported at 0956 from AJ 8695 a wide band, probably a convoy, on a true bearing of 3000.
      U 358 reported that she had searched on a northerly course without success.  U 260, who had sighted a star shell during the night of 1/2 May, searched from 30 to 400, also without success.  According to the report from U 628 the convoy has probably steered a course of 20-250 and speed of 7.7 knots by dead reckoning.  This information was radioed to the boats as a clue.  Boats were also informed that enemy courses of 10-500 and 6.8 knots might be reckoned on for further hunting of the convoy.
      U 92 had to move away as her Diesel coupling and thrust bearing were faulty, 2 cylinder heads had cracked.  The operation is being continued. with 29 boats.
  b) 1) Following attack areas have been allocated:  U 128 Freetown sector between 40 - 00, U 105 between 0 - 3100.  Move away at full moon if situation demands it.
      Approach points:  U 203 to go to BC 31 after replenishing.  U 202, 109, 91, 66, 664, 645 to collect in BD 33 to a depth of 80 miles, it is intended that they shall proceed from here in wide formation.
 
 
 
- 308 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) 1) U 183 has refueled from U 117 and is returning.
    2) As the Italian submarine did not keep her rendezvous for refueling, U 117 has turned back.
  d)  Order:  In future do not report when Iceland-Faroes have been passed.  Report by short signal when passing 610 North to the south.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 532 - 2 hits
    U 192 - 1 hit.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
3.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 64
U 195
-
GF 31
U 403
-
Op(BC 99)
U 569
-
Op(BC 63)
 
68
-
BF 60
196
-
GR 47
404
-
BF 65
575
-
BD 14
 
84
-
BF 40
197
-
DS 91
405
-
BF 58
584
-
Op(AJ 90)
 
89
-
Op(BE 94)
198
-
GZ 91
406
-
Op(BE 86
598
-
AK 89
 
91
-
BE 65
202
-
BE 53
410
-
CG 80
600
-
Op(BE 86)
 
92
-
Op(AJ 97)
203
-
AK 89
413
-
Op(AJ 84)
607
-
Op(BE 85)
 
103
-
BD 34
209
-
Op(AJ 60)
415
-
BF 40
610
-
AK 98
 
105
-
Op(ET 92)
217
-
BF 10
418
-
AE 83
613
-
BF 40
 
107
-
BD 25
218
-
AM 50
436
-
Op(BE 86)
614
-
Op(AJ 96)
 
108
-
AK 98
223
-
Op(BC 35)
438
-
OP(AJ 90)
616
-
CG 90
 
109
-
BE 52
226
-
Op(AJ 90)
439
-
Op(BE 94)
618
-
BE 66
 
117
-
DG 59
227
-
AE 59
447
-
Op(BE 95)
621
-
BC 32
 
119
-
BE 42
230
-
Op(BE 85)
448
-
Op(BC 66)
628
-
Op(AJ 90)
 
123
-
Op(ET 10)
231
-
Op(AJ 60)
454
-
Op(BC 69)
630
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
125
-
Op(AJ 90)
257
-
BF 40
456
-
Op(BE 85)
631
-
AK 98
 
126
-
Op(ET 73)
258
-
Op(AJ 60)
459
-
AK 99
634
-
Op(BC 35)
 
128
-
Op(FK 12)
260
-
Op(AJ 90)
460
-
DG 33
636
-
AF 57
 
129
-
Op(CA)
262
-
OP(BB 40)
461
-
AK 89
638
-
BC 32
 
154
-
Op(FC 80)
264
-
Op(AJ 90)
465
-
BE 68
640
-
AN 30
 
160
-
CF 58
266
-
Op(BC 38)
466
-
Op(BC 66)
645
-
AE 83
 
161
-
Op(CB 20)
267
-
AK 89
468
-
Op(BC 66)
648
-
Op(AJ 37)
 
168
-
Op(AJ 90)
270
-
Op(AJ 90)
487
-
BE 56
650
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
176
-
Op(DM-DN)
304
-
AF 48
504
-
BD 14
659
-
Op(BE 86)
 
177
-
FV 77
306
-
AK 98
506
-
BF 74
662
-
Op(AJ 90)
 
178
-
GG 69
332
-
Op(BE 94)
509
-
CF 64
664
-
BE 64
 
180
-
JA 50
340
-
AN 28
514
-
Op(AJ 60)
706
-
AK 99
 
181
-
JJ 46
358
-
Op(AJ 90)
515
-
Op(ET 59)
707
-
Op(AJ 90)
 
182
-
FD 34
359
-
Op(BC 69)
516
-
BF 61
709
-
Op(BC 63)
 
183
-
DG 38
377
-
Op(BC 38)
525
-
Op(BC 63)
731
-
AN 28
 
185
-
BF 93
378
-
Op(AJ 67)
528
-
AK 86
732
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
186
-
Op(BC 99)
381
-
Op(AJ 60)
531
-
Op(AJ 60)
752
-
BD 29
 
188
-
BF 55
383
-
Op(BC 39)
532
-
AK 61
760
-
AN 28
 
190
-
BF 40
386
-
AK 60
533
-
Op(AJ 60)
952
-
AE 85
 
192
-
Op(AJ 62)
402
-
BC 35
552
-
Op(AJ 60)
954
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 84 - 108 - 160 - 182 - 183 - 185 - 188 - 203 - 257 - 306 - 404 - 415 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 516 - 598 - 610 - 613 - 618 - 631 - 706.
       
- 309 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  Entered Port:  U 516 - 188 - Lorient;  U 404 - St. Nazaire;  U 185 - Bordeaux.
  Sailed:  U 221 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  In search of south-bound convoy in area west of Portugal (Group "Drossel").
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoys Nos. 34 - 35 see para. IVa.
    2) U 177 sighted a tanker in DG 8298 on southerly course, speed 16 knots.  She was forced to submerge by escort, was depth-charged and later continued her rendezvous with U 460.
    3) U 415 was bombed 3 times by a plane in BF 74 while homeward bound.  Despite much damage she was still able to dive.  Boat has requested escort from outer point "KERN".
  b)  At 0844 convoy picked up in BE 9226.  Made up of 24 freight barges, 3 escorts, course 600.  Another machine reported 10 merchant ships and 6 escorts at 0830 in BE 6977, course 1800, moderate speed.
  c)  Submarine sighted by tanker in DG 8340 (U 117) two other reports by planes in unidentified position.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operation:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 34:
      At midday on 3rd weather was reported from the convoy area as wind S.W. 9, sea force 7, visibility 2-6 miles.  At nightfall visibility improved to 10 miles.
      No further reports came in about the convoy, so a reconnaissance line was detailed for 1800 with 29 boats from AJ 5333 via AJ 6348 to AK 4449 ahead of the supposed enemy course.  The reconnaissance line proceeded at 1800 on a course of 2050 over ground speed 4 knots, to meet the convoy, and at 000 was to remain stationary in the position line reached.
      U 614 had to move away to make repairs because of a cracked cylinder cover.
      If the convoy is not picked up by the patrol line, it is intended to break off the attack on the convoy, as most of the boats are short of fuel, and it is pointless for them to run about after the convoy.
    2) Convoy No. 35:
      "Drossel" air reconnaissance spotted a convoy
       
- 310 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      of 11 merchant vessels and 6 escorts in BE 6945 at 0830, southerly course, only 2 submarines heard the beacon signals sent by shadower.  The new patrol strip from BE 9812 to 9932 which was to be manned at maximum speed did not become effective as U 89 sighted the convoy in BE 9529 at 1425.  She was forced to retire temporarily during the afternoon, reestablished contact at 2145 and maintained it until the next morning.  At 1840 another "Kondor" again shadowed the convoy, 6 boats heard its beacon signals and were able to get a good fix.  The "Kondor" reported a second convoy of 27 transports up to 2,000 GRT and 3 escorts some 16 miles N.E. of the first convoy.  This convoy was recognized as the one expected, interpretation of photos on the plane's return showed that the convoy consisted of 27 landing craft of the LCT type.  (The same that had been sighted at 0844 in BE 9226 with course 600)
      U 89 and U 456 contacted only the landing craft convoy during the night.  U 89 fired 3 misses.  U 456 reported that the sea way prevented any chance of scoring hits.
      Contact was lost after dawn on 4.5.  The convoy of merchant ships was not found again, nor was it spotted by air reconnaissance during the day.  It probably sailed at more than 10 knots and was therefore not sighted again by the boats.  It is not intended to continue searching to the south, because of the strong enemy air patrols that must be expected from Gibraltar.  The operation is thus finished.
  b) 1) Group "Amsel" has been divided into several sub-groups and ordered to proceed to the new patrol strip at economical cruising speed.
      Following dispositions have been made:
              Sub-division 1 consisting of U 638, 621, 402, 575 and 504 to man strip from AJ 7933 to AJ 8837.
              Sub-division 2 consisting of U 634, 223, 266, 377 and 383 to man strip from AJ 9761 to BC 3274.
              Sub-division 3 consisting of U 709, 569, 525, 468 and 448 to man strip from BC 3765 to BC 6541.
              Sub-division 4 consisting of U 466, 454, 359, 186 and 403 to man strip from BC 6949 to BC 9646.
      This new type of disposition should avoid the drawbacks that arise when a patrol remains in one place for a long time so that it is D/F'd, sighted, located etc. by the enemy, who thus finds out its entire extent.  The outer boats have orders to create the impression of a complete patrol searching right around the Newfoundland Banks, but when the enemy uses his D/F or location gear he will find the gaps left by the
 
 
 
- 311 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      sub-divisions and will probably make for them.  It is also intended to combine the sub-divisions in a single line shortly before the convoys are expected to pass according to dead reckoning or high priority Radio Intercept Intelligence as it is not supposed that it will be possible to pick it up in such a short time.
    2) After the following boats have passed the approach points ordered on 16.4., they are to man the attack areas shown:  U 181 - KP 30, 50, 60 and KQ 10, 40.  Focal point Lourenzo Marques.  According to reliable reports there is brisk outward and inward traffic.
      U 198 and 196 - KP 80, 90 and KZ 10 to 30.  U 198 is to steer N.E. and U 196 S.W. of the line running from KP 8480 to KZ 3990.  Focal point off Durban.
      Italian submarine sank several ships in this area.
    3) ES 80 is new approach point for U 460.  It is intended that the boats off Freetown shall refuel here.
  c)  U 183 has refueled from U 460;  U 306 from U 459;  U 631, 610, 267, 706 and 108 from U 461.
  d)  None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
4.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 52
U 196
-
GR 78
U 402
-
Op(BC 27)
U 569
-
Op(BC 60)
 
68
-
BF 70
197
-
EH 31
403
-
Op(BC 90)
575
-
Op(BC 31)
 
84
-
BF 51
198
-
JJ 71
405
-
BF 40
584
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
89
-
Op(CG 10)
202
-
BE 52
406
-
Op(CG 10)
598
-
AK 89
 
91
-
BE 51
203
-
AK 89
410
-
CG 90
600
-
Op(CG 10)
 
92
-
Op(AJ 98)
209
-
Op(AJ 60)
413
-
Op(AJ 60)
607
-
Op(CG 10)
 
103
-
BD 24
217
-
AM 90
415
-
BF 46
610
-
AK 98
 
105
-
Op(ET 66)
218
-
AM 50
418
-
AE 85
613
-
BF 40
 
107
-
BD 13
221
-
BF 58
436
-
Op(BE 90)
614
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
108
-
AK 89
223
-
Op(AJ 97)
438
-
Op(AJ 60)
616
-
CG 90
 
109
-
BE 19
226
-
Op(AJ 60)
439
-
Op(BE 90)
618
-
BF 40
 
117
-
DG 64
227
-
AE 84
447
-
Op(CG 10)
621
-
Op(BC 23)
 
119
-
BD 39
230
-
Op(CG 10)
448
-
Op(BC 60)
628
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
123
-
Op(ET 16)
231
-
Op(AJ 60)
454
-
Op(BC 68)
630
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
125
-
Op(AJ 60)
257
-
BF 40
456
-
Op(CG 10)
631
-
AK 98
 
126
-
Op(ET 67)
258
-
Op(AJ 60)
459
-
AK 98
634
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
128
-
Op(FK 41)
260
-
Op(AJ 60)
460
-
DG 85
636
-
AF 48
 
129
-
Op(CA)
262
-
Op(BB 10)
461
-
AK 89
638
-
Op(BC 23)
 
154
-
Op(FK 10)
264
-
Op(AJ 60)
465
-
BE 55
640
-
AB 28
 
160
-
CF 37
266
-
Op(BC 31)
466
-
Op(BC 68)
645
-
AE 85
 
161
-
Op(CB 20)
267
-
AK 89
468
-
Op(BC 60)
648
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
       
- 312 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
168
-
Op(AJ 60)
270
-
Op(AJ 60)
487
-
BE 65
650
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
176
-
Op(DM-DN)
304
-
AE 65
504
-
Op(BC 35)
659
-
Op(CG 10)
 
177
-
GG 28
306
-
BE 46
506
-
BF 70
662
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
178
-
GH 78
332
-
Op(BE 90)
509
-
CF 39
664
-
BE 51
 
180
-
KZ 60
340
-
AF 79
514
-
Op(AJ 60)
706
-
BD 31
 
181
-
JJ 53
358
-
Op(AJ 60)
515
-
Op(ET 50)
707
-
OP(AJ 60)
 
182
-
ES 89
359
-
Op(BC 68)
525
-
Op(BC 60)
709
-
Op(BC 60)
 
183
-
DG 38
377
-
Op(BC 31)
528
-
AK 85
731
-
AF 79
 
186
-
Op(EC 90)
378
-
Op(AJ 60)
531
-
Op(AJ 60)
732
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
190
-
BE 66
381
-
Op(AJ 60)
532
-
AK 59
752
-
BD 16
 
192
-
Op(AJ 60)
383
-
OP(BC 31)
533
-
Op(AJ 60)
760
-
AF 79
 
195
-
GF 62
386
-
AK 75
552
-
Op(AJ 60)
952
-
AE 78
 
               
954
-
Op(AJ 60)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 84 - 108 - 117 - 160 - 182 - 183 - 257 - 306 - 386 - 415 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 528 - 532 - 598 - 610 - 613 - 618 - 631 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 84 - Brest.
  Sailed:  U 657 - Drontheim;  U 214 - Brest;  U 228 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  In search of south-bound convoy in area manned by Group "Drossel".
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoys Nos. 35 and 36, also orders to Group "Star" and "Specht" see para IVa.
    2) U 447 contacted 4 escort boats on southerly course at 2120.  She was, however, soon forced to sheer off and took up her station in the patrol strip.  After checking information with own air reconnaissance reports it was obvious that the escorts belonged to the Gibraltar-bound convoy of 27 landing craft.
    3) U 161 reported situation:Remained stationary in CB 27 and 28 to repair Diesels, nothing seen.  Then encountered destroyer patrol on convoy route in CB 21.  Impossible to operate there because of too much naval patrolling.  Boat proceeded to CA 90.
    4) U 195 reported freighter on course of 2900 in FN 89, speed 18 knots.  No opportunity of firing.
  b) Apart from the 27 landing barges with 4 escorts the air reconnaissance reported nothing.
  c) U-boat sightings:  BE 4236, AJ 3771, also 10 other reports from unidentified position (probably North Atlantic).  
    U-boat attack in DC 12.
  d)  None.
       
- 313 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 35:
      As the convoy was not contacted again by the patrol strip, the operation was broken off.  The boats were then so far behind the convoy that it was pointless to follow.
      Since contact with the convoy was maintained for only a short time, no report could be made on the defences.
      The operation suffered from the hazy weather, which also caused the loss of contact with the convoy.  The convoy probably escaped by making a determined detour to N.W. or east.  It is not believed that it passed the patrol strip despite the hazy weather, as the boats were only 8 miles apart.
    2) Convoy No. 36:
      As the search for Convoy No. 35 was unsuccessful, Groups "Specht" and "Star" were instructed to man a patrol strip from AJ 2758 to AK 4944 by 1000 on 5.5 as a new Group "Fink".
      Order of station:  U 438, 630, 662, 584, 168, 514, 270, 260, 732, 628, 707, 358, 264, 226, 125, 378, 192, 648, 533, 531, 954, 413, 381, 231, 552, 209 and 650.
      But before this new order could be carried out U 628 sighted at 2020 in AJ 6271, S.W.-bound convoy ("ON 180") that was expected by dead reckoning.
      During the afternoon several single destroyers with varying courses were reported by the boats, but they suggested rather stationary patrol.
      At 2040 U 628 reported "ON 180" in AJ 6271 with course 200 and speed 7 knots.  All Group "Fink", Groups "Amsel 1" and "Amsel 2" were ordered to attack the convoy, in addition U 614 and 258 were given a free hand.  In all 41 boats were stalking the convoy, but owing to lack of fuel it had to be assumed that several boats would not be able to operate for long.
      Shadower reports came in regularly and after a new fix U 628 reported the enemy's position.  During the day 5 more boats contacted the convoy and another 6 during the night.  At 0700 the convoy was reported in AJ 6465.
      Weather during the night wa reported as S.S.W. 3, sea force 3, visibility good.
      Operation against the convoy was continued.  4 boats had to give up the pursuit, amongst them, U 270 because of heavy damage from depth charges.  This left 37 boats to hunt the convoy.  During the night the following successes were scored:
 
 
 
- 314 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     
       
Assumed
 
Boat
Time
Report
Sunk
Torpedoed
U 125   AJ 6298 Single freighter 4,000 GRT sunk.   
1/4,000
U 264 0320/5 AJ 6514 1 6,000 tonner & 1 5,000 tonner twice torpedoed, 1 4,500 tonner torpedoed.
2/11,000
1/4,500
U 358 0424 - 0428/5 AJ 6517 1 8,000 tonner and 1 6,000 tonner sunk.
2/14,000
 
U 732 0251/5 AJ 6432 1 5-6,000 tonner hit with MZ torpedo.  Presumed sunk.
1/5,000
 
U 264 0659/5 AJ 6465 2 hits on 5,000 GRT ship, sunk.
1/5,000
 
U 707 night/5 AJ following convoy 1 7,500 GRT freighter (passenger) sunk
1/7,500
 
     
        Total:        8/46,500
1/4,500
     
              sunk        
torpedoed.
  b) 1) After the operation against Convoy No. 35 had been broken off, Group "Drossel" took up a new patrol strip from CF 6235 to CG 1861 at 0800 in 5.5. in previous order.  Two northbound convoys were expected from the morning.  Reconnaissance south of the patrol strip by 7 Kondor planes was arranged with the GAF Commander for the Atlantic Area.  From 0800 the boats kept D/F receiving watch.
    2) Sub-divisions "Amsel 2-4" cruised at economic speed in the new patrol strip.  "Amsel 2" manned the strip from AJ 9535 to AK 7758, "Amsel 3" from BC 3927 to BC 6637 and "Amsel 4" from BC 9275 to BC 9872.
      U 267, 107, 752 and 103 joined the corresponding groups and , in the order, lengthened the "Amsel 1" strip by one position to the east, "Amsel 2" to the S.E., "Amsel 3" to the north, and "Amsel 4" to the north.  ("Amsel 1 and 2" were directed to attack convoy No. 36 towards evening.)
    3) U 258 began her cruise to AK 8255 as supply boat.  She is to report if further operation is not possible after carrying out replenishment.
  c) - d) None.
 
 
 
- 315 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
V. Reports of Success:
    
U 125 1 ship
4,000 GRT
 
U 264 3 ships
16,000 GRT
  1 ship torpedoed
U 358 2 ships
14,000 GRT
 
U 732 1 ship
5,000 GRT
 
U 707 1 ship
7,500 GRT
 
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
5.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 19
U 198
-
JJ 83
U 403
-
Op(BC 98)
U 584
-
Op(AJ 28)
 
68
-
BF 40
202
-
BE 19
405
-
BF 44
598
-
AK 89
 
89
-
Op(CG 18)
203
-
AK 89
406
-
Op(CG 17)
600
-
Op(CG 17)
 
91
-
BE 16
209
-
Op(AK 48)
410
-
CG 90
607
-
Op(CF 62)
 
92
-
AJ 98
214
-
BF 58
413
-
Op(AK 44)
610
-
BE 14
 
103
-
BD 18
217
-
Op(BF 20)
415
-
BF 52
613
-
BF 40
 
105
-
Op(ET 60)
218
-
Op(AM 50)
418
-
AL 21
614
-
Op(AJ 69)
 
107
-
Op(AK 77)
221
-
BF 49
436
-
Op(CG 17)
616
-
CG 90
 
108
-
BE 11
223
-
Op(AJ 96)
438
-
Op(AJ 64)
618
-
BF 40
 
109
-
BE 14
226
-
Op(AJ 65)
439
-
Op(CG 18)
621
-
Op(AJ 94)
 
117
-
DG 64
227
-
AE 76
447
-
Op(CG 18)
628
-
Op(AJ 56)
 
119
-
BD 31
228
-
BF 58
448
-
Op(BC 66)
630
-
Op(AJ 27)
 
123
-
Op(ET 10)
230
-
Op(CF 63)
454
-
Op(BC 95)
631
-
BE 18
 
125
-
Op(AJ 64)
231
-
Op(AK 48)
456
-
Op(CF 63)
634
-
Op(AJ 95)
 
126
-
Op(ET 64)
257
-
BF 40
459
-
AK 82
636
-
AF 44
 
128
-
OP(FK 40)
258
-
AK 45
460
-
DG 64
638
-
Op(AJ 79)
 
129
-
Op(CA 90)
260
-
Op(AJ 64)
461
-
AK 89
640
-
AN 23
 
154
-
Op(FK 10)
262
-
Op(BB 10)
465
-
BE 27
642
-
BF 58
 
160
-
CF 32
264
-
Op(AJ 64)
466
-
Op(BC 92)
645
-
AE 79
 
161
-
Op(CB 24)
266
-
Op(BC 96)
468
-
Op(BC 65)
648
-
Op(AJ 27)
 
168
-
Op(AJ 65)
267
-
AK 77
487
-
BF 44
650
-
Op(AK 49)
 
176
-
Op(DM-DN)
270
-
Op(AJ 64)
504
-
Op(AJ 88)
657
-
AF 58
 
177
-
GG 67
304
-
AE 67
506
-
BF 40
659
-
Op(CF 39)
 
178
-
GQ 26
306
-
BE 56
509
-
CG 17
662
-
Op(AJ 27)
 
180
-
KZ 30
332
-
Op(CG 18)
514
-
Op(AJ 64)
664
-
BE 19
 
181
-
JK 26
340
-
AF 73
515
-
Op(ET 20)
706
-
BD 36
 
182
-
Op(ET 40)
358
-
Op(AJ 64)
525
-
Op(BC 63)
707
-
Op(AJ 64)
 
183
-
CF 79
359
-
Op(BC 95)
528
-
AK 82
709
-
Op(BC 39)
 
186
-
Op(BC 98)
377
-
OP(AK 77)
531
-
Op(AK 44)
731
-
AF 73
 
190
-
BE 64
378
-
Op(AJ 66)
532
-
AK 93
732
-
Op(AJ 64)
 
192
-
Op(AJ 66)
381
-
Op(AK 48)
533
-
Op(AJ 66)
752
-
Op(BD 14)
 
195
-
FU 23
383
-
Op(AK 77)
552
-
Op(AK 48)
760
-
AF 73
 
196
-
GZ 33
386
-
BE 13
569
-
Op(BC 39)
952
-
AL 21
 
197
-
EH 62
402
-
Op(AJ 94)
575
-
Op(AJ 88)
954
-
Op(AK 44)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 108 - 117 - 160 - 182 - 183 - 257 - 306 - 386 - 415 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 528 - 532 - 598 - 610 - 613 - 618 - 631 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 415 - Brest.
  Sailed:  U 603 - 663 - Brest;  U 521 - Lorient;  U 753 - La Pallice.
       
- 316 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
II. Air Reconnaissance:  In search of north-bound convoys in area patrolled by Group "Drossel" (West of Portugal)
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 36 see para. IVa.
    2) U 456, belonging to Group "Drossel" sighted a cruiser of the Fiji class with 2 destroyers, course 1300, high speed, at 1402 in CF 3988.
      Same formation was reported 2 hours later by U 230.  Neither boat scored any success.
      U 447 had an unsuccessful gunnery duel with a landing boat, during which she shot down a barrage balloon.
      U 160, who is on her homeward trip, encountered a destroyer at 1200 in CF 3858.  The forces reported were probably serving as escorts for the south-bound convoy of landing craft.  No attack took place, as the slight draught of these craft made torpedoes useless and shelling was impossible because of the escort.
    3) U 129 sank a tanker (5,000 GRT) in DC 12.
  b)  Unsuccessful air reconnaissance.  It is intended to make another sweep in the same area on 6.5. as the convoy is expected to be delayed.
  c) U-boat sightings:  DC 14 and 2 others in unidentified position.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy No. 36:
     On 5th at midday the weather in the convoy area was reported as southwest 2, visibility 15 miles.  About 2-3 hours before dark visibility decreased to 1-2 miles.  At 0400 on 6th a boat reported thick fog.
     At 0800 on 5th the convoy was reported in AJ 6485, course 2000.  Contact was reported all day long by several boats.  Towards evening several smaller formations were reported, such as part of a convoy or once 4 destroyers, etc.  It was therefore assumed that after making a leg during the night of 4th-5th May, the convoy had split up and was sailing in several groups.  About 2300 U 650 reported that the convoy definitely consisted of 20 vessels.  She was ordered to send beacon signals until dark.
     According to reports from 2 boats an extra formation of 4 destroyers appeared to have joined the convoy during the 5th May.  Above all, the spell of hazy weather put the boats at great disadvantage
       
- 317 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     with the convoy's naval escort, as sudden encounters kept cropping up in the fog.  No air patrolling was reported on the 5th.
    6 submarines reported considerable damage from depth charges, 4 of them had to break off the chase and turn back.  U 125 reported that she had been rammed, was moving away to the east on a course of 900 and requested assistance from other boats.  4 boats were ordered to help her - U 381, 260, 413 and 552.  25 boats are still operating against the convoy.  The others have had to turn back because of lack of fuel or damage from depth charges.
    The convoy was reported for the last time at 0425 in AJ 8562
    Successes:
     
       
Assumed
 
Boat
Time
Report
Sunk
Torpedoed
U 628 0244/5 AJ 6436 1 large freighter sunk, 1 medium sized freighter probably sunk, 1 freighter left burning, 1 hit heard  
3/17,000
  1 hit
      1 corvette sunk
 
      1 vessel that had probably ben previously damaged by U 628 was sunk "Harburg" (5,081)
1/5,081
 
U 584 1634/5 AJ 5965 1 7,000 tonner and 1 5,00 tonner sunk
2/12,000
 
U 266 2150/5 AJ 8395 1 5,000 tonner sunk, 1 5,000 tonner probably sunk, 2 other hits.
2/10,000
  2 hits
       
 
     
        Total:        8/44,081
  3 hits
     The operation is being continued.  It is intended to break off during 6th May, as the fog is causing more and more dangerous situations and even after the operation boats may be lost in this way.
  b) 1) The north-bound convoy is still expected, as its position has only been worked out on dead reckoning.  Group "Drossel" has been ordered to man the patrol strip from CF 3577 to CG 1428 from 0800 on 6th May, so that the group should definitely be ahead of the convoy on the morning of 6.5.  Boats are in the following sequence:  U 607, 456, 230, 436, 89, 332 and 439.  They are not to leave their present patrol strip until dark, if possible, to avoid the new patrol being compromised beforehand if there should be any enemy air reconnaissance.  See paras c) and d) for orders issued to U 600 and 406, U 659 and 447.
 
 
 
- 318 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    2) The outward bound boats from home waters, U 418, 952, 645 and 227 are manning squares AK 35, AK 34, AK 31 and AD 88 as temporary attack areas, in the sequence noted.  These boats are to be combined with the boats coming from Western France that are shown under para 2 a).  They will be set up as one patrol between Iceland and Greenland to stalk "ON" or "ONS" convoys.
      For this reason U 109, 91, 202, 664, 66, 465 and 190 are proceeding at economical cruising speed to take up a patrol strip from BD 3238 to BE 1843.  It is intended that they shall proceed from here to the north in close order.  The boats are being temporarily gathered into a patrol strip because there are many fast independents in this area, also in order to have several boats in the vicinity of a convoy should one be picked up.
  c) 1) U 598 and 532 refueled from U 461 for their return journey.  After further refueling, the tanker proceeded to K 8769 to a depth of 100 miles.
    2) Orders were given for the first lot of fuel to be given to U 119 in AK 8871.  Further transfer to be made in BD 1255.
    3) U 460 took over remaining fuel from U 117.  She will reach the proposed supply square (ES 80) about 17.5.  U 117 returning home.
    4) U 600 and 406 - belonging to Group "Drossel" collided about 1100 somewhere about CG 18 and had to turn back because of major damage.
  d)  The serious situation in the Mediterranean has forced further withdrawal of boats from other areas.  As ordered by Ob.d.M., U 447 and 659 have been instructed to try to break through during the present new moon period, without considering the amount of fuel consumed.  They are to go to Toulon.  Boats have been given all information available on conditions in the Straits of Gibraltar.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    
U 447 1 barrage balloon
   
U 129 1 ship
5,000 GRT
   
U 628 4 ships
22,081 GRT
- 1 corvette
U 564 2 ships
12,000 GRT
   
U 266 2 ships
10,000 GRT
- 2 hits.
       
VI. General:
  The order issued on 6th April that all type IXb and IXc boats were to be equipped within a reasonable length of time for use in the North Atlantic has been lifted with immediate
 
 
 
- 319 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    effect; boats of this type leaving port this month will be equipped for use in the south.  The reasons for this new order are as follows:
  a) The gaps caused by a rapid succession of convoy attacks in the North Atlantic during March had to be closed rapidly, as a large number of boats were needed to intercept the then widely scattered convoys.  The IXc boats putting out in March and the steady stream of VIIc boats leaving port in April were able to make good this deficiency.
  b)  Attacks on convoys during the past two months have definitely shown that Type IX boats are very vulnerable to bombing or depth charge attacks by reason of their more complicated structure.  Comparative losses in the Atlantic give the following picture:
     
Losses:
Type IX Type VIIc
March: 5 7
  2 of these during attack on convoy 4 of these during attack on convoy
   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
April: 7 and 1 boat that struck a mine 4
  5 of these during attack on convoy 2 of these during attack on convoy
   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    The ratio of Type IX to Type VIIc boats is 1 - 3.
    Hence the losses of Type IXc boats are much heavier, now that enemy defences in the North Atlantic have been strengthened, and operations are only justifiable if chances of success are proportionally increased.
  c) The expectation of better opportunities in the North Atlantic which led to the order for operations there being issued on 6.4 has not been borne out by the final information reports for March and April made by boats in the Cape Town, Natal - Freetown and Caribbean area.  Attacks made on convoys by U 510, 169, 515 showed that great successes are possible because of favorable anti-submarine conditions (few naval escorts with convoys and they lack experience).  Thus despite less shipping in these areas chances are actually no less than in the North Atlantic.
    It has therefore been decided:
     Type IXc boats leaving French ports are to be detailed to remote western or southern operational areas.  Boats of the same type from home ports will still make their first operational trip in the North Atlantic.
 
 
 
- 320 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
6.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 10
U 202
-
Op(BD 33)
U 406
-
Op(CF 36)
U 603
-
BF 54
 
68
-
BF 40
203
-
AK 89
410
-
CG 90
607
-
Op(CF 35)
 
89
-
Op(CF 36)
209
-
Op(AJ 86)
413
-
Op(AJ 80)
610
-
BE 24
 
91
-
BE 10
214
-
BF 45
418
-
AL 13
613
-
BF 68
 
92
-
AK 87
217
-
Op(BF 20)
436
-
Op(CF 36)
614
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
103
-
BC 66
218
-
Op(AM 50)
438
-
Op(AJ 80)
616
-
CG 90
 
105
-
Op(ET 66)
221
-
BF 47
439
-
Op(CG 14)
618
-
BF 58
 
107
-
Op(AJ 86)
223
-
Op(AJ 80)
447
-
Op(CG 45)
621
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
108
-
BE 27
226
-
Op(AJ 80)
448
-
Op(BC 66)
628
-
Op(AJ 84)
 
109
-
Op(BD 32)
227
-
AF 77
454
-
Op(BC 95)
630
-
Op(AJ 86)
 
117
-
DG 64
228
-
BF 49
456
-
Op(CF 35)
631
-
BE 28
 
119
-
AK 86
230
-
Op(CF 35)
460
-
DG 64
634
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
123
-
Op(ET 10)
231
-
Op(AJ 86)
461
-
AK 89
636
-
AE 68
 
125
-
Op(AJ 86)
257
-
BF 91
465
-
BE 10
638
-
Op(AJ 86)
 
126
-
Op(ET 64)
258
-
AJ 95
466
-
Op(BC 92)
640
-
AF 76
 
128
-
Op(FJ 90)
260
-
Op(AJ 80)
468
-
Op(BC 63)
642
-
BF 54
 
129
-
Op(DC 21)
262
-
OP(BB 10)
487
-
BF 49
645
-
AE 77
 
154
-
Op(FJ 30)
264
-
Op(AJ 80)
504
-
Op(AJ 80)
648
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
160
-
BE 97
266
-
Op(AJ 80)
506
-
BF 40
650
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
161
-
Op(CB 43)
267
-
Op(AJ 86)
509
-
CG 12
657
-
AF 57
 
168
-
AK 47
270
-
Op(AJ 80)
514
-
Op(AJ 80)
659
-
Op(CG 45)
 
176
-
Op(DM 50)
304
-
AE 82
515
-
Op(ET 69)
662
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
177
-
GG 95
306
-
BE 68
521
-
BF 54
663
-
BF 54
 
178
-
GQ 64
332
-
Op(CG 14)
525
-
Op(BC 63)
664
-
BE 51
 
180
-
Op(KZ 30)
340
-
AF 44
528
-
AK 89
706
-
BE 18
 
181
-
KZ 79
358
-
Op(AJ 80)
531
-
Op(AJ 80)
707
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
182
-
ES 39
359
-
Op(BC 95)
532
-
BD 31
709
-
Op(BC 39)
 
183
-
CF 81
377
-
Op(AJ 80)
533
-
Op(AJ 80)
731
-
AF 47
 
186
-
Op(BC 98)
378
-
Op(AJ 80)
552
-
Op(AJ 66)
732
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
190
-
BE 55
381
-
Op(AJ 80)
569
-
Op(BC 39)
752
-
Op(BC 36)
 
192
-
Op(AJ 86)
383
-
OP(AJ 86)
575
-
Op(AJ 80)
753
-
BF 91
 
195
-
FU 37
386
-
BE 25
584
-
Op(AJ 80)
760
-
AF 48
 
196
-
JJ 15
402
-
Op(AJ 80)
598
-
BD 31
952
-
Op(AK 34)
 
197
-
EH 93
403
-
Op(BC 98)
600
-
BE 98
954
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
198
-
JK 52
405
-
BE 65
459
-
AK 82
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 108 - 117 - 160 - 168 - 182 - 183 - 257 - 270 - 306 - 386 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 527 - 532 - 552 - 598 - 600 - 610 - 613 - 618 - 631 - 648 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 613 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  U 666 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Drossel" against Convoy No. 37 (West of Portugal).
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoys Nos. 36, 37 and convoy reports by U 418 see para IVa.
    2) U 217 broke off minelaying task off Land's End because of heavy enemy opposition.
       
- 321 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  b)  The expected convoy was spotted by planes at 1000 in CF 6629.  Planes sent beacon signals to guide submarines in the vicinity.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  BE 6575, AD 7819 and 12 other reports with unidentified positions.  (North Atlantic).  Three other boats were attacked with depth charges.
    2) Submarine attack in DC 12 (U 129).
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Convoy reported by U 418:
      With sea force 7.8., wind N.W., visibility 3 miles U 418 suddenly came upon a destroyer in AL 1275 at 1009 and sighted a westbound convoy at 1509 in AL 1312, speed 5-7 knots.  According to own dead reckoning it was "ONS 6".  U 952 was in the vicinity and was stalking the convoy on her own account, so no special order was given to attack.  All previous experience has shown that a single boat is not able to maintain contact for long in face of the strong enemy anti-submarine defences.
      U 418 was forced to submerge about 1900 by planes and destroyer and lost contact.  The last convoy position was at 1630 in AL 1317, course 2600, speed 9 knots, about 10 ships.  At 2330 the boat again encountered a destroyer and was chased by her.  The convoy was not found again.  No report was received from the other submarine, this was only to be expected with short-lived contact.  The hunt is being continued.
    2) Convoy No. 37:
      The air reconnaissance sent out sighted the expected convoy at 1000 in CF 6629; 48 ships and 3 escorts on northerly course.  Despite former unfortunate experiences when submarines were directed to attack convoys in positions reported by the GAF, Group "Drossel" was ordered to attack on this data, as GAF reports have been considerably more accurate recently.
      The "Kondors" maintained contact until 1200.  As no submarine had arrived by then, another reconnaissance sweep was made during the afternoon, but was unsuccessful.
      Group "Drossel" worked on converging points for 6-8 miles but as the convoy was not found, they later worked in sectors to cover an enemy course of 310-00.  The weather was very favorable; wind N.N.E. 5, visibility good.
      About 2000 the GAF corrected the position given at 1000.  The convoy was at that time in CF 6625, i.e. 30 miles farther to the S.W.  This
 
 
 
- 322 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      explains the boat's fruitless search, they passed by to the east.  The search was continued from the new position.  Taking a convoy course of 3400 as basis for calculation, a patrol strip from CF 2962 via 3458 to 3522 was ordered for 1800 on 7th May.  At 0553, however, U 607 sighted the convoy in CF 3762 with course 3200, speed 8 miles.  An hour later U 450 also made contact.As U 607 reported star-shell over the convoy, it appeared that the boat had attacked immediately.  Contact was maintained.Last position at 0715 in CF 3737.
      The operation is being continued.
    3) Convoy No. 36:
      The operation against the convoy was broken off at 0600 for the following reasons:  From 0400 in AJ 8562 there was no further contact with the convoy.  The thick fog made it extremely unlikely that the convoy would be found again.  In places visibility was only 200 meters and the danger kept increasing of the boats being surprised by locating destroyers, in fact several boats reported this.  U 125 reported that she had been rammed in the stern by a destroyer, and almost all the boats were depth charged, as the convoy escort were easily able to find the boats by location.  There was no prospect of the weather improving, as the convoy was approaching the Newfoundland Bank.
      Final remarks on convoy No. 36:
      The attack on "ON 180" lasted from the evening of the fourth to the morning of the 6th over a distance of 210 miles.  In all, 41 boats were detailed to a track, of these, all the boats belonging to Group "Fink" were in an especially favorable position when contact was established at 2020 on the 4th.  During the first night 8 boats were able to sink 13 ships straight away, probably mainly because of the suddenness of the attack.  Between picking up the convoy and darkness there were only 5 hours, these circumstances are always favorable, as the anti-submarine defences are not usually reinforced for action for about a day.  During the day two more successful underwater attacks were made and 4 vessels sunk.
      Total successes:  16 ships sunk totaling 90,500 GRT, 1 corvette and 3 ships torpedoed.
      After the first attack the convoy probably dispersed to a certain extent, as small convoy formations were reported several times during the 5th.  But about 2300 a boat reported the main body of 20 vessels.  The convoys speed of advance was 7 knots, course 2000.  It was obvious during the afternoon of the 5th that the escort
 
 
 
- 323 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      had been strengthened.  4 destroyers in company were reported twice, one boat reported 2 destroyers, all sailing in the offing of the convoy.  From this time the boats had far more trouble with the escort.
      Visibility was good and sea calm, and during the day a total of 15 boats had closed in on the convoy, an exceptionally high number, and especially good sinkings were expected during the night of 5th-6th May.  But about 2 hours before darkness fell, fog suddenly came up; it grew steadily thicker and spoilt all chances of a really good bag that night.  Nearly all boats lost contact again, and the convoy was sighted for the last time at 0400.  If the fog had held off for 6 hours many more ships would certainly have been sunk.  As it was, the fog ruined everything and no further successes were scored.
      Conditions grew steadily worse and what with the fog and the numerically strong enemy escort, the boats had a bad time.  Merely during this period, 15 boats were depth-charged, and 6 of these were suddenly attacked with gunfire by locating destroyers.  As they had no countermeasures against location, the boats were definitely at a disadvantage and had little prospect of success.  In all, 4 boats were so badly damaged that they had to give up the attack.  U 125 did not report again after she had been rammed, nor was she found by the 4 boats that searched for her.  Besides this boat 5 more did not report:  U 638, 438, 531, 630 and 192.  3 of these boats had reported contact with the convoy.
      If none of these boats report later, this loss of 6 boats is very high and grave considering the short duration of the attack.  The blame can be laid mainly on the foggy period that began at 2300 on 5th May.
  b) After the convoy attack had been broken off, the boats moved away to the east or southwest.  About 15 boats remained operationally ready and they were to take up station in roughly the same area as the "Amsel" boats off Newfoundland.  10 convoy attack boats refueled from U 459 and 461 for further operations.  Some of the remaining boats proceeded home after taking on a little fuel.
  c) None.
  d) 1) U 203 made her last report on 25.2. from AJ 67.  On 29.4. she was ordered to refuel in AK 8945.  The boat has not yet entered port, nor has she replied to numerous challenges.  She must be assumed lost.  No clues are available.
    2) While operating against Convoy No. 36 U 125 was rammed by a destroyer in the fog (AJ 8652).  She was unable to dive and moved away to the
 
 
 
- 324 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      east.  Several of the other boats in the vicinity searched in that square and to the east, but found no trace of U 125.  She did not reply to a request to send beacon signals.  U 264 was nearby when she was rammed, and heard heavy machine-gun and gun fire at 0610 and clearly heard sinking noises after a heavy explosion.  U 125 must be assumed lost.
    3) U 616 navigated the Straits of Gibraltar and joined the forces of F.d.U. Mediterranean.  There had been anxiety for this boat, but she had apparently waited for the new moon period to break through.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
VI. General:
  a)  At present, along with enemy air activity, enemy radar location is the worst enemy of our submarines.  The operation against Convoy No. 36 also had to be broken off because of enemy radar.  A summary and assessment of location conditions are enclosed.
     To sum up, the situation is as follows:
    Radar location by air and naval forces not only renders the actual attack by individual boats most difficult, but also provides the enemy with a means of fixing the stations manned by the submarines and of avoiding them, and he obviously makes good use of this method.  Radar location is thus robbing the submarine of her most important characteristic - ability to remain undetected.
    All responsible departments are working at high pressure on the problem of again providing the submarine with gear capable of establishing whether the enemy is using radar; they are also concentrating on a camouflage for the submarine against (radar) location, which must be considered the ultimate goal.  A solution of, at any rate, the first problem may be of decisive importance for submarine warfare.
  b) The enemy air force is already able to take over convoy escort duties in almost all the North Atlantic area, and it must be expected that the only remaining gaps will be closed within a reasonable length of time by land based planes, or at any rate by using auxiliary aircraft carriers.
    Air escort provided by a large number of planes operating over a fairly large area round the convoy, has always forced our submarines to lag hopelessly behind the convoy and prevented them achieving any successes, especially when naval and air escorts cooperated efficiently.
    In addition, enemy air forces have made themselves felt over the approaches to Biscay to a very marked degree - losses and damage in this area have again sharply increased, as during the period before the first improvised radar interception sets were introduced.
 
 
 
- 325 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     Anti-aircraft armament is being strengthened as a counter-measure.  But the solution can be considered satisfactory only when the boats' armament permits them to remain on the surface to fight it out with the planes, or at any rate when it is essential for boats attacking a convoy to get ahead to make an attack despite enemy air escorts.
     Anti-aircraft submarines (U 441 and 256) are also to be tried out against enemy aircraft in Biscay.  The first of these submarines will leave port at the beginning of May.  These boats carry strong anti-aircraft armament, and have a lightly armored bridge and weapons.  They are to operate on the surface in Biscay with the specialized task of attacking planes.
  c) Attacks on submerged boats with new types of location methods and apparently more powerful depth charges than previously, have become more concentrated. The recent increase in cases of damage to upper deck containers proves that more powerful depth charges are being used.  These containers must always be especially dangerous if weight is suddenly increased; thus boats operating in the North Atlantic had to be ordered to leave upper deck containers behind.
    The VIIc 42 boat has greater resistance and greater diving depths but cannot bring any easing of the situation for a long time.
  d) Finally the increasing number of anti-submarine vessels must be mentioned as a further hindrance to submarine warfare.  It is true that a start has been made in developing counter weapons - the "Pi 2", "Falke" and "Kreislauf" (circle runners) - but as yet we posses no really effective weapon.
     To sum up:  the submarine's struggle is now harder than ever, but all departments are working full out to assist the boats in their task and to equip them with better weapons.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
7.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 10
U 202
-
BD 33
U 406
-
BF 64
U 600
-
BF 71
 
68
-
BF 40
209
-
Op(AJ 95)
410
-
CG 90
603
-
BF 45
 
89
-
Op(CF 35)
214
-
BE 66
413
-
Op(AJ 96)
607
-
Op(CF 35)
 
91
-
BE 10
217
-
BF 20
418
-
AK 26
610
-
BE 29
 
92
-
AK 88
218
-
AM 50
436
-
Op(CF 35)
614
-
Op(AJ 94)
 
103
-
Op(BC 92)
221
-
BE 66
438
-
Op(AJ 80)
618
-
BF 64
 
105
-
Op(ET 66)
223
-
Op(BC 23)
439
-
Op(CF 35)
621
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
107
-
Op(BC 31)
226
-
AK 72
447
-
CG 84
628
-
AK 74
 
108
-
AL 22
227
-
AE 89
448
-
Op(BC 66)
630
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
109
-
BD 32
228
-
BF 47
454
-
Op(BC 95)
631
-
BE 61
 
117
-
DG 33
230
-
Op(CF 35)
456
-
Op(CF 35)
634
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
119
-
AK 88
231
-
Op(AJ 95)
459
-
AK 82
636
-
AE 59
 
       
- 326 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
123
-
Op(ET 20)
257
-
BF 68
460
-
DG 97
638
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
126
-
Op(ET 64)
258
-
AK 73
461
-
AK 89
642
-
BF 46
 
128
-
Op(FJ 90)
260
-
Op(AJ 93)
465
-
BE 10
640
-
AF 48
 
129
-
Op(DC 80)
262
-
Op(BB 10)
466
-
Op(BC 92)
645
-
AK 26
 
154
-
Op(FJ 30)
264
-
AJ 95
468
-
Op(BC 63)
648
-
AK 82
 
160
-
BE 96
266
-
Op(AJ 98)
487
-
BF 82
650
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
161
-
Op(CB 43)
267
-
Op(AJ 97)
504
-
Op(AJ 31)
657
-
AF 48
 
168
-
AK 81
270
-
AK 81
506
-
BF 40
659
-
CG 84
 
176
-
Op(DM 50)
304
-
AE 76
509
-
BF 74
662
-
AJ 92
 
177
-
GQ 21
306
-
BF 47
514
-
Op(AJ 98)
663
-
BF 45
 
178
-
GQ 93
332
-
Op(CF 35)
515
-
Op(EU 70)
664
-
BE 14
 
180
-
Op(KZ 30)
340
-
AE 66
521
-
BF 49
706
-
BE 52
 
181
-
KZ 82
358
-
AJ 98
525
-
Op(BC 63)
666
-
BF 54
 
182
-
EJ 85
359
-
Op(BC 95)
528
-
AK 89
707
-
Op(AJ 95)
 
183
-
CF 53
377
-
Op(AJ 98)
531
-
Op(AJ 80)
709
-
Op(BC 39)
 
186
-
Op(BC 98)
378
-
AJ 92
532
-
BD 36
731
-
AE 66
 
190
-
BE 51
381
-
Op(AJ 96)
533
-
Op(AJ 95)
732
-
AK 84
 
192
-
Op(AJ 80)
383
-
Op(AJ 98)
552
-
AJ 96
752
-
Op(BC 36)
 
195
-
FU 68
386
-
BF 37
569
-
BC 39
753
-
BF 81
 
196
-
JJ 22
403
-
Op(BC 89)
575
-
Op(AJ 86)
760
-
AE 66
 
197
-
ES 11
402
-
Op(BC 31)
584
-
Op(AJ 94)
952
-
AK 26
 
198
-
JK 34
405
-
BE 53
598
-
BD 39
954
-
AJ 95
 
  On Return Passage:  U 68 - 108 - 117 - 160 - 168 - 182 - 183 - 257 - 260 - 270 - 306 - 386 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 528 - 532 - 552 - 598 - 600 - 610 - 618 - 631 - 648 - 662 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 68 - Lorient;  U 618 - St. Nazaire;  U 257 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  In search of north-bound convoy for Group "Drossel" (West of Portugal).
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 37 and convoy report made by U 418 see para IVa.
    2) U 105 sighted convoy with course 135 at 1915 in ET 6621.  No further reports.
    3) U 198 found no traffic on the route to Cape Town specified, nor in the St. Helena anchorages.
    4) U 119 encountered north-bound destroyers in the vicinity of the supply square (AK 8873).
  b) The "Kondor" planes sent out sighted the convoy sailing in 11 columns of 4 ships in each and sent beacon signals.  An exact position report was not possible.
  c)  U-boat sightings:  CG 8591, CG 7955, CG 8472, CF 3786, CF 3483, and a depth charge attack.
     One report from unidentified position.
  d) According to high priority Radio Intercept intelligence the anticipated "HX 237" Convoy was in BC 7684
       
- 327 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    at 2330 on 6.5., speed 9.3 knots.  This course was first given as 1310, but this was later cancelled.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Convoy report by U 418:
      U 418 continued to pursue the convoy and at 1244 sighted a destroyer in AK 3118, shortly afterwards she sighted the convoy of about 10 ships in AK 3117, course 2100, speed 9 knots.  The boat was forced by the destroyer to submerge and after temporarily establishing contact about 1800 was finally forces to sheer off.  When U 418 requested further orders, she was instructed to give up the chase and proceed to AJ 30.
    2) Convoy No. 37:
      After U 607 and U 456 had contacted the convoy at 0700, U 230 also sighted it at 0830 in CF 3487.  U 436 and 89 made contact at 1000.  U 230 kept reporting contact all day long and sent her last shadower report at 2145 from CF 3143.
      According to U 230 the convoy consisted of more than 20 ships.GAF reported 44 ships in 11 columns, a destroyer ahead and 4 escorts on the flanks.  Shadowing was greatly hampered by continuous strong air patrols, that escorted the convoy day and night.  U 230 was twice attacked with bombs.  At night the planes worked with radar and approached the boats with searchlights.  3 boats were depth-charged, U 456 very closely, so that major damage was caused - both compasses were put out of action and so was the stern tube.  But she was able to continue operating.
      Visibility round the convoy worsened at 1700.  This coupled with the strong enemy defences, hindered the boats very greatly.  Orders were therefore, given during the night for the boats to give up the pursuit at dawn or, if the weather was very bad, at once.  There would be little point in continuing the chase as the enemy air patrols would be stronger nearer the coast of England.
      Successes:  U 89 reported that she had registered a hit with an "MZ" torpedo on a large freighter at 1200 on 7th May during the course of an under-water attack.  It can be assumed that this ship was sunk.
      U 607 reported registering a hit with a "FAT" torpedo at the end of 10 minutes.  It was one of a fan of four fired at 0646 on 7th May.
      Final remarks:
      The operation against the convoy proceeding to England lasted from the morning of the 7th to the morning of the 8th, as enemy air forces prevented any attack excepting in a small area off Finisterre.
 
 
 
- 328 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      Here, too, conditions were very difficult for the boats because of constant enemy air patrolling during the day and night.  These air patrols made it very difficult for the boats to shadow the convoy or haul ahead of it during the day.  The increasingly strong air patrolling forced the boats to break off the operation during the second night.
      The small number of boats taking part in the operation (5) was also a drawback.  They were U 607, 456, 230, 436, 89.  It must be assumed that U 439 and 332 had also operated against the convoy before the main attack.  Of the 5 boats 3 were individually attacked with depth charges, as the escorts had time to deal with each boat singly.  When a fairly large number of boats are operating, there is always more chance of some boats escaping when several simultaneous attacks are made.
      For this reason the sinking of one ship and torpedoing of another by 2 boats must be rated a very great success.  All 5 boats contacted the convoy.  If the two boats had had better luck with their torpedoes, they might have done even better and made this operation worthwhile.  No submarines were lost while attacking the convoy.
  b) 1) Contrary to former instructions U 418, 952, 645, 304, 109, 202, 664, 465, 91, 190, 405 66 and 227 made for AJ 30.  They are to form a patrol line south of Greenland to intercept "ON" or "ONS" convoys.
    2) According to own dead reckoning 2 east-bound convoys may be expected about 8.5 roughly in position 420 W.
      A 550 mile long patrol line formed of 28 boats was set up to intercept these convoys.  The boats that moved away to the east from Convoy No. 36 - U 634, 575, 584, 650, 614, 266, 533, 231, 514, 267, 621, 223, 504, 377, 107, 383 and 402 - were to be in position on this line from AJ 9421 to BC 6246 at 0800 on 8.5.  They were known as Group "Elbe".  Boats of the former Group "Amsel 3 and 4" were to join on the the south as a new Group "Rhein" and be in position at the same time in the line from BC 6284 to BC 9596.
      The partly damaged boats, or those that were short of fuel were primarily intended to serve only as reconnaissance and were to report fuel reserves and state of boat after they had picked up the convoy.  They were instructed to keep special watch on the areas when visibility was poor by proceeding at higher speed and making short listening dives.
      After high priority Radio Intercept Intelligence was received, which stated that the convoy was in BC 7684 at 2330 on 6.5., and it was fairly definite that it was sailing on the southerly convoy route, both groups were moved some 90 miles to the south and are now stationed in the strip
 
 
 
- 329 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      from BC 8141 to BC 6859 or from BC 6894 to CD 2377.  U 266 has broken down.  With a speed of 9.3 knots the "HX" convoy is expected to arrive by 1300 on 8.5.  It is intended to detail only some of the boats to attack when the convoy is picked up.  The others are to be reinforced by those at present refueling from the supply boat and are to form a patrol strip in the same area, as according to former experience the "SC" convoy which comes along one or two days later, follows the same course as the "HX" convoy.
    3) AM 8987 is a new approach point for U 217.  The boat is to lay several mine barrages in this area.
  c) U 514 has transferred her old Engineer Officer to U 552, U 258 has replenished from U 459 for further operations.
  d) 1) The Commander of U 214 was badly wounded by an air attack in Biscay; boat is putting back.
    2) U 663 was heavily bombed in BF 45 and requested fighter protection.  Her air extracting system is failed and she has other damage so that her diving capacity is limited. GAF Commander for Atlantic area has agreed to provide reconnaissance at 0900 on 8.5.
    3) U 410 has passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and has joined the command of F.d.U. Mediterranean.
       
V. Reports of Success:
  U 89 - 1 ship  7,000 GRT
  U 607 - 1 hit
       
VI. General:
  Provision of upper deck containers:
  On 30.4 the order was given to omit upper deck containers when fitting out all boats operating in the North Atlantic.  This order was necessitated by the gradually increasing number of cases where, when the boats were depth-charged or bombed, especially at fairly great depths, the upper deck containers were cracked or started leaking, or were swamped and thus very gravely endangered the boat, especially the Type IX which carries 8 deck containers.  It is suspected that this has been the cause of the loss of many boats.
  The following orders are now in force for the provision of upper deck containers:
  1) Type VIIb, c, d - none.
  2) Type IXb, c - normally none.
    Type IXc is to take 6 upper deck containers with 6 torpedoes when special orders are given, but only on operations in the south.
  3) Type IXd - 12 upper deck containers with 12 torpedoes.
  Thus, the upper deck cargo for IXc boats operating in the
 
 
 
- 330 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  south has been reduced from 8 to 6 torpedoes to reduce the danger to the boat if containers should spring a leak.  
    In connection with the foregoing order Ob.d.M. made the following decision regarding new construction of upper deck containers.
  i)  Containers on all boats in commission will not be replaced if they have proved faulty.
  ii) New construction Type VIIc will be equipped with stronger iron upper deck containers as already planned, also, as before, the loading gear for use at sea.
  iii) New construction Type IXc will be equipped with 6 upper deck containers built of light metal, but possessing greater stability; Type IXd will carry 12 containers.
  iv)  Type IXb and c boats putting to sea without upper deck containers will not have their ballast redistributed, but will carry some 5 tons less fuel.
  v) Type Xb will be issued with 6 upper deck containers as before, but they are only to be put on board if special orders are given.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
8.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 46
U 202
-
AK 98
U 406
-
BF 73
U 600
-
BF 73
 
89
-
Op(BE 87)
209
-
AK 79
413
-
AK 74
603
-
BE 66
 
91
-
BD 35
214
-
BF 45
418
-
AK 21
607
-
Op(CF 34)
 
92
-
BD 12
217
-
BE 30
436
-
Op(CF 31)
610
-
BE 62
 
103
-
Op(BC 68)
218
-
AL 63
438
-
Op(AJ 80)
614
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
105
-
Op(ET 66)
221
-
BE 64
439
-
BE 87
621
-
Op(BC 34)
 
107
-
Op(BC 38)
223
-
Op(BC 34)
447
-
CG 94
628
-
BD 12
 
108
-
AE 83
226
-
AK 82
448
-
Op(BC 68)
630
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
109
-
AK 95
227
-
AK 31
454
-
Op(BC 92)
631
-
BE 63
 
117
-
CF 55
228
-
BE 66
456
-
Op(BE 88)
634
-
Op(BC 31)
 
119
-
BD 12
230
-
Op(BE 88)
459
-
AK 82
636
-
AE 81
 
123
-
Op(ET 20)
231
-
Op(BC 37)
460
-
DT 18
638
-
Op(AJ 80)
 
126
-
Op(ET 60)
258
-
AK 72
461
-
AK 89
642
-
BF 45
 
128
-
Op(FJ 90)
260
-
AK 72
465
-
BE 10
640
-
AF 44
 
129
-
Op(DC 13)
262
-
Op(BB 50)
466
-
Op(BC 92)
645
-
AK 33
 
154
-
Op(FJ 30)
264
-
AK 78
468
-
Op(BC 68)
648
-
AK 48
 
160
-
BF 76
266
-
Op(AJ 77)
487
-
BF 85
650
-
Op(AJ 97)
 
161
-
Op(CB 46)
267
-
Op(BC 37)
504
-
Op(BC 37)
657
-
AE 66
 
168
-
AK 82
270
-
AK 86
506
-
BF 61
659
-
CG 94
 
176
-
Op(DM 50)
304
-
AE 74
509
-
BF 72
662
-
AJ 75
 
177
-
GQ 52
306
-
BF 49
514
-
Op(BC 37)
663
-
BE 66
 
178
-
GZ 22
332
-
BE 87
515
-
Op(EU 84)
664
-
BD 32
 
180
-
KZ 37
340
-
AE 67
521
-
BF 47
666
-
BF 49
 
181
-
KZ 55
358
-
BD 11
525
-
Op(BC 65)
706
-
BE 61
 
182
-
EJ 49
359
-
Op(BC 95)
528
-
AK 89
707
-
AK 74
 
183
-
GF 34
377
-
Op(BC 37)
531
-
Op(AJ 80)
709
-
Op(BC 65)
 
186
-
Op(BC 95)
378
-
AK 72
532
-
BE 18
731
-
AE 67
 
190
-
BE 28
381
-
AK 75
533
-
Op(BC 31)
732
-
AK 97
 
192
-
Op(AJ 80)
383
-
Op(BC 62)
552
-
AK 78
752
-
Op(BC 62)
 
195
-
FU 96
386
-
BE 63
569
-
Op(BC 65
753
-
BF 72
 
- 331 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
196
-
KY 98
402
-
Op(BC 62)
575
-
Op(BC 31)
760
-
AE 67
 
197
-
ES 42
403
-
Op(BC 96)
584
-
Op(AJ 94)
952
-
AK 24
 
198
-
JK 25
405
-
BE 53
598
-
BE 18
954
-
AK 77
 
  On Return Passage:  U 108 - 117 - 160 - 168 - 182 - 183 - 260 - 270 - 306 - 386 - 487 - 506 - 509 - 528 - 532 - 552 - 598 - 600 - 610 - 631 - 648 - 662 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 506 - Lorient.
  Sailed:  U 336 - 558 - Brest;  U 463 - 608 - Bordeaux;  U 273 - 232 - Kiel.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  To search for and escort U 663, who had been damaged by bombs in Biscay.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) Convoy report by U 952, see para. IVa.
    2) U 123 sank the British vessel "Holmbury" (4,566 GRT) in EU 7251, course 450, proceeding to Freetown.  Ship had been instructed to go close inshore.  A 6,000 tonner making zigs on a course of 2800 was sunk in EU 4792.
      At 2000 on 8.5 smoke was seen in EU 4845, no contact.  Planes seen twice.  At night, shipping apparently proceeds farther out.  Planes based on Monrovia have a range to about FE 3555 and FE 3158.
    3) U 126 reported Portuguese gunboat "Oxvelho" in ET 6278, course 1300, speed 8 knots.
    4) On 8.5 U 190 was damaged by bombs in BE 50.  After effecting repairs she continues her outward voyage.
  b)  U 663 was not found.
  c) U-boat sightings:  KY 5640, AK 1520 (U 952), ER 12, and a report that probably came from the Gibraltar area.
    Reports of torpedo attacks:  An unidentified vessel in FJ 62 (U 154 ?) reported an attack.  Another in the Gibraltar area, possibly a mine.
  d)  See para. IVb for special Radio Intercept intelligence.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  At 1415 U 952 reported smoke in AK 1627, speed 5-7 knots, course 2500.  According to dead reckoning it was the convoy reported by U 418 on the previous day.  U 418, 227, and 645 were close by proceeding to AJ 30 and they were ordered to attack.  However, none of the boats made contact, U 952 appeared to have very bad fixes, as the positions reported produced no course even remotely the same.  At 2054 the convoy was in AJ 3361, course 2600,
 
- 332 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    speed 10-12 knots.  Weather:  wind, N. 3, sea 2, snow showers.  In the dusk the boat observed a zig to the north, shortly afterwards she was forced to submerge by a destroyer.  Depth charges.  At 0110 she sighted the convoy for a short time on a N.E. course in AK 1381.  Contact was then finally lost.  No further reports were received.
  b) 1) The "HX 237" convoy expected by "Rhein" and "Elbe" at 1300 had not arrived by the evening.  According to a high priority Radio Intercept the convoy of 38 ships was in CD 1185 at 1600 on 7.5. on a course of 1280, speed 9 knots.
      A second high priority Radio Intercept contained a message radioed at 2200 on 5.5., instructing convoy "SC 129" to proceed east from BC 8184 via points CD 1566 and CD 2819.
      This very definite avoidance of the "Amsel 4" patrol strip which had been in position until 7.5. and of the "Elbe - Rhein" patrol which was ordered to take up station on this day, makes it most important to demand how the enemy was able to intercept our patrol strip.  Apart from any location by planes of which we remained in ignorance, the very busy exchange of radio messages when attacking convoy No. 36 in AJ 60 may have given us away.  A weather report was also made on 5.5. from the south position of the "Amsel" strip.  Despite the suggestions given this almost circular detour remains critical.  It may be possible that as a general rule enemy air reconnaissance picks up all our patrol positions by location, but this cannot be assumed.  It is also considered unlikely that the enemy has cracked our ciphers unless he has captured one of our boats.  The possibility of his having cracked our ciphers has been cancelled out by an immediate change in the cypher setting.  Other possible sources of leakage are again being checked.  Corresponding action is reserved.
      As soon as the message had been received Group "Rhein" and U 402 were detailed to proceed on a course of 1200 at maximum speed to set up a patrol strip from DB 7687 to CE 4154 at 2000 on 9.5. in order to intercept convoy "HX 237".  The boats will thus be ahead of the convoy in good time.
      An operation against convoy "SC 129" is planned with Group "Elbe".  No clue to the position if this convoy is to hand.  As it may be assumed that the position through the course ordered on 5.5 was farther west than BC 8184, a course of 1200 and speed of 10 knots was ordered for Group "Elbe" after making allowances for the most unfavorable circumstances. It is planned to set up a patrol strip from about BD 81 to CE 15 during the evening of 10.5.
      Group "Drossel" which is in BE 80 is also to be detailed to attack one of the two convoys and is therefore proceeding to the west at cruising speed.
 
 
 
- 333 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    2) U 266 is making for AK 8769 to replenish.
  c)  U 528 has handed over her remaining fuel to U 461 and is returning.
  d) 1) U 218 reported that she had laid mines in the North Channel.  On account of enemy defences and exhausted battery, she had to lay the barrage 12 miles farther to the N.W. - i.e. AM 5361 - 64 - 67 - and observed shipping there.  AJ 30 was allocated to this boat as a new approach point after she has transferred the sick member of her crew in AK 82 (U 459).
    2) U 465, 439, 332 have not yet reported since they left Western France.  Several challenges received no reply.  Their loss must be assumed during the last few days in April when air patrolling was very strong.  On 28.4. U 439 and 332 were detailed to assist U 437, who had been damaged.  They did not reply to this order either, although they must have been in the vicinity.
    3) Search planes sent out did not find U 663, although considering the prevailing sea force this was not extraordinary.  No reports were received from the boats detailed to assist.  So far, U 663 has not replied to control.  She can use only her emergency transmitter and probably cannot get through during heavy weather (antenna awash).
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 123 - 2 ships  10,566 GRT.
       
VI. General:  See para IVb.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
9.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BE 17
U 209
-
BD 12
U 406
-
BE 40
U 603
-
BE 40
 
89
-
CF 22
214
-
BE 40
413
-
AK 79
607
-
BE 88
 
91
-
AK 92
217
-
BE 30
463
-
BF 91
608
-
BF 91
 
92
-
BD 12
218
-
AL 55
418
-
AD 98
610
-
BF 40
 
103
-
Op(BC 98)
221
-
BE 52
436
-
BE 87
614
-
Op(BC 34)
 
105
-
Op(ET 60)
223
-
Op(BC 62)
438
-
Op(AJ 90)
621
-
Op(BC 62)
 
107
-
Op(BC 65)
226
-
AK 82
447
-
CG 94
628
-
BD 12
 
108
-
AE 68
227
-
AK 16
448
-
Op(BC 95)
630
-
Op(AJ 90)
 
109
-
AK 83
228
-
BE 56
454
-
Op(BC 98)
631
-
BF 40
 
117
-
CF 38
230
-
CF 23
456
-
BE 89
634
-
Op(BC 31)
 
119
-
BD 12
231
-
Op(BC 37)
459
-
AK 82
636
-
AL 12
 
123
-
Op(ET 96)
332
-
AO
460
-
DT 48
638
-
Op(AJ 90)
 
126
-
Op(ET 61)
258
-
BC 33
461
-
AK 87
640
-
AE 68
 
128
-
Op(FJ 20)
260
-
AK 82
466
-
Op(BC 98)
642
-
BE 66
 
129
-
Op(DC 13)
262
-
Op(BB 50)
468
-
Op(BC 95)
645
-
AK 16
 
154
-
Op(FJ 30)
264
-
AK 87
487
-
BF 90
648
-
AK 82
 
160
-
BF 85
266
-
AK 87
504
-
Op(BC 65)
650
-
Op(BC 34)
 
161
-
Op(CA 93)
267
-
Op(BC 61)
509
-
BE 40
657
-
AE 67
 
       
- 334 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
168
-
AK 82
270
-
AK 99
514
-
Op(BC 37)
659
-
CG 94
 
176
-
Op(DM 50)
273
-
AO
515
-
Op(EU 84)
662
-
AK 87
 
177
-
GQ 83
304
-
AK 31
521
-
BE 60
663
-
BE 60
 
178
-
GZ 53
306
-
BF 52
525
-
Op(BC 92)
664
-
AK 94
 
180
-
KZ 20
336
-
BF 54
528
-
BD 31
666
-
BF 40
 
181
-
KZ 34
340
-
AE 83
531
-
Op(AJ 90)
706
-
BE 66
 
182
-
EJ 15
358
-
BD 16
532
-
BE 52
707
-
AK 87
 
183
-
BE 98
359
-
Op(CB 23)
533
-
Op(BC 37)
709
-
Op(BC 92)
 
186
-
Op(BC 23)
377
-
Op(BC 55)
552
-
AK 87
731
-
AE 83
 
190
-
BE 54
378
-
AK 81
558
-
BF 54
732
-
BD 32
 
192
-
Op(AJ 90)
281
-
AK 82
569
-
Op(BC 92)
752
-
Op(BC 68)
 
195
-
GG 23
383
-
Op(BC 68)
575
-
Op(BC 31)
753
-
BE 60
 
196
-
KY 72
386
-
BE 40
584
-
Op(BC 34)
760
-
AE 83
 
197
-
ES 57
402
-
Op(BC 68)
598
-
BE 52
952
-
AD 98
 
198
-
KK 25
403
-
Op(BC 23)
600
-
BE 40
954
-
BD 12
 
202
-
AK 83
405
-
BE 27
 
 
 
  On Return Passage:  U 108 - 117 - 160 - 168 - 182 - 183 - 260 - 270 - 386 - 487 - 509 - 528 - 532 - 552 - 598 - 600 - 610 - 631 - 648 - 662 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 306 - Brest.
  Sailed:  U 641 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  Search for U 663 in sea area point "Kern".
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) For Convoy No. 38 see para IVa.
    2) Attacks by planes were reported as follows:  U 636 in AL 2438, U 405 in BE 8388.  During the day air patrolling on 45N. as far as 15W. every uneven hour.
    3) U 666 brought down a "Sunderland" with 6 shots in BE 6888.
    4) While proceeding westwards U 89 encountered sailing vessel with destroyer in BE 8483.
    5) At 0900 on 8.5. U 456 was sailed over by Convoy No. 37 while she was carrying out repairs under water, in BE 8896.  The submarine was listened to and depth-charged.  Despite oil trace she proceeded west to stalk the expected "HX" convoy.
    6) U 128 position report:  On 7.5 during the night 3 double misses were fired at a freighter (5,000 GRT) in FQ 21 left edge, her course was 00, speed 9 knots.  At the beginning of the run-in sharp changes in speed down to dead stop, boat did not turn away when the torpedo was fired.  Normal speed was then resumed, presumable she was listening to the submarine.  In reply, U 128 was informed that her report sounded improbable, and that no blame can be laid on ships if the Commander fires wide.
       
- 335 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  b)  U 663 was not found.
  c) U-boat sightings:  ED 11, FK 17 and 1 boat in unidentified position (North Atlantic, probably depth charge attack).
  d)  According to high priority Radio Intercept intelligence the "SC 129" convoy changed its course during the evening of 6.5 to 1500 in BC 8469.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) While proceeding to the patrol strip ordered for 2000 on 9.5 one boat encountered the convoy ("HX 237") as expected at 1306 in CD 3598.  Group "Rhein" was detailed to attack and U 359 was forbidden to attack until another boat had established contact.  Group "Drossel" was already approaching and was detailed to proceed at higher speed.  About 1340 when visibility was 5 miles U 359 was picked up by a destroyer and forced to submerge.  She lost contact and from hydrophone bearing suspected that the convoy had made a zig to the north.  At 1716 U 186 picked up a wide hydrophone band from 320 - 3500 in CD 3928.  Visibility had worsened and was reduced to 300 meters.  As the convoy was bound for England and would in any case have to return to a more easterly course, the boats were ordered to push on with determination and on no account to let themselves be shaken off.  Convoy speed was about 9 knots.  Visibility remained bad all night.  Convoy was not found again.  A patrol strip was therefore ordered from BD 8711 via 8783 - CE 1354 to CE 1683 to be manned at 0900 on 10.5.  Intervals between submarines to be 15 miles.  The chance of picking up the convoy is slim as a long leg to the north or south can be made by the convoy under cover of the constant fog.  The operation is being continued.
  b) 1) Group "Elbe" is proceeding S.W. and has been ordered to form a patrol strip from BD 8111 to CE 1849 during the evening of 10.5. to intercept the "SC 129" convoy on which we have information from high priority Radio Intercept.  The convoy should arrive in this area about 10.5.  U 402 is again joining Group "Elbe".  Boats of this group requiring fuel will replenish from U 119 in BD 1255.
    2) As the days are now lengthening it can be expected that the convoys will sail the north route more than formerly.  As, however, successes can be scored only where shipping is found, it is intended to set up a strong group south of Greenland.  U 258 and all those boats now refueling from the supply boat for further operations (about 10) have for this purpose been ordered to make for AJ 65, after completing fuel transfer.  The attack on the "HX 237" and "SC 129" convoys originally intended
 
 
 
- 336 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      has therefore been cancelled.  Both convoys were too far to the south.
  c) U 648, 168, 381 and 226 refueled from U 459.
  d) 1) So far, U 663 has not reported.  According to dead reckoning she must enter port at the latest on 12.5.
    2) U 531, 638, 438, 630 and 192 were detailed to attack the S.W.-bound Convoy No. 36.  The first 3 boats made contact and last reported from AJ 8368, AJ 6758 and AJ 8637.  U 531 and 438 were probably caught unawares and sunk in the thick fog, U 438 was probably lost after a daylight attack.  U 630 and 192 did not report at all after attacking the convoy.  Last message from U 630 was dated 21.4. as she left the supply boat in BD 25.  U 192 last radioed on 3.5. from AJ 3757 (Convoy No. 33)
      Both these boats may therefore have been lost earlier.
      5 boats must be considered lost.
       
V. Reports of Success:
  U 666 - 1 plane.
       
VI. General:
  In order to make it possible for the boats to guide in other boats when they themselves have sighted a convoy even when there are major differences in fixes, a shadower's signal buoy has been constructed and two boats have been equipped with one to try out.  The buoy is to be fired as a star or rocket in the same way as the former signal rocket with axial staff, and will be distinguishable by very obvious characteristics from star signals and illuminant rockets, as the enemy often uses these to lead our boats astray.  If these buoys are satisfactory, it is intended to use them operationally.  The boats gave the following information when they had tried the buoys out:
 

U 358:  First shadower's signal buoy launched with sea force 2-3 and angle of ascent 150, height 50 meters, second shadower's signal buoy launched 3-4, angle of ascent 350, height 150 meters, angle of fall depends on chance, burned for 10-15 seconds, in both cases the illuminant charge fell to pieces.  Third S.S. Buoy was a failure.

  U 381:  Shadower's signal buoy tried out with sea force 7, crooked flight, low angle of ascent, height to 150 meters, point of fall visible through sparks, otherwise satisfactory.  
  These results are not yet satisfactory, but are good enough to warrant use of the buoy right away.  At present the 27th Submarine Flotilla is carrying out practical tests.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
10.May 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 66
-
BD 35
U 202
-
AK 54
U 403
-
Op(CE 16)
U 600
-
BF 91
 
89
-
BE 77
209
-
BD 12
405
-
BE 20
603
-
BE 64
 
91
-
AK 83
214
-
BF 52
406
-
BF 40
607
-
BD 99
 
92
-
BD 12
217
-
BF 12
413
-
AK 87
608
-
BF 81
 
103
-
Op(CE 16)
218
-
AL 47
418
-
AJ 39
610
-
BF 49
 
       
- 337 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
105
-
Op(ET 40)
221
-
BE 53
436
-
BD 99
614
-
BD 48
 
107
-
CE 11
223
-
BD 76
447
-
CG 94
621
-
BD 76
 
108
-
AF 75
226
-
AK 95
448
-
Op(CE 16)
628
-
BD 12
 
109
-
AK 46
227
-
AJ 30
454
-
Op(CE 16)
631
-
BF 52
 
117
-
CF 33
228
-
BE 55
456
-
BE 78
634
-
BD 42
 
119
-
BD 12
230
-
BE 77
459
-
AK 82
636
-
AL 23
 
123
-
ET 94
231
-
BD 73
460
-
DF 78
640
-
AE 59
 
126
-
Op(ET 60)
232
-
AN 36
461
-
AK 87
641
-
BF 58
 
128
-
Op(FQ 30)
258
-
AJ 93
463
-
BF 82
642
-
BE 64
 
129
-
Op(CA 87)
260
-
AK 82
466
-
Op(CE 16)
645
-
AJ 30
 
154
-
Op(FK 12)
262
-
Op(BB 50)
468
-
Op(CE 13)
648
-
AK 82
 
160
-
BF 92
264
-
AK 87
487
-
BF 92
650
-
BD 45
 
161
-
Op(CA 93)
266
-
AK 87
504
-
BD 76
657
-
AE 59
 
168
-
BE 14
267
-
BD 76
509
-
BF 54
659
-
CG 94
 
176
-
Op(DM 50)
270
-
BE 11
514
-
BD 73
662
-
AK 87
 
177
-
GQ 98
273
-
AN 36
515
-
Op(EU 80)
663
-
BF 50
 
178
-
GZ 39
304
-
AK 23
521
-
BE 56
664
-
AK 57
 
180
-
KZ 51
336
-
BF 50
525
-
Op(CE 16)
666
-
BE 59
 
181
-
Op(KP 94)
340
-
AL 22
528
-
BE 15
706
-
BF 91
 
182
-
DT 79
358
-
BD 12
532
-
BE 64
707
-
AK 87
 
183
-
BE 96
359
-
Op(CD 16)
533
-
BD 48
709
-
Op(CE 16)
 
186
-
Op(CF 14)
377
-
CE 11
552
-
AK 87
731
-
AL 22
 
190
-
BE 42
378
-
AK 82
558
-
BF 45
732
-
BE 14
 
195
-
GG 38
381
-
AK 75
569
-
Op(CE 16)
752
-
Op(BD 79)
 
196
-
KZ 46
383
-
CE 11
575
-
NF 75
753
-
BE 67
 
197
-
FD 23
386
-
BF 64
584
-
BD 45
760
-
AL 14
 
198
-
JK 23
402
-
Op(CE 14)
598
-
BE 65
952
-
AJ 38
 
 
 
 
954
-
BD 12
 
  On Return Passage:  U 108 - 117 - 123 - 160 - 168 - 182 - 183 - 214 - 260 - 270 - 386 - 487 - 509 - 528 - 532 - 552 - 598 - 600 - 610 - 631 - 648 - 662 - 706.
  Entered Port:  U 214 - 631 - Brest; U 160 - Bordeaux.
  Sailed:  U 511 - 527 - 67 - Lorient.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  Searching for damaged U 663.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 129 situation report:
      On 28.4. in DC 9261 submarine cruiser of "Narwhal" class seen course 1700, speed 14 knots.  There appeared to be spasmodic independent traffic in DC 12 - 14 to S.W. along the 100-meter line.  Night relay off Hatteras.  Day air patrols only over the coastal route, no naval patrols.  On 6.5. night location after transmitting a radio message in DC 2280, also destroyer and strong day air patrols.  In CA 8825 fired a triple miss at 5 meters and 2 single misses at 4 meters at a tanker in ballast (8,000 GRT) course 1800, speed 9 knots.  On 9.5. miss fired at large tanker in CA 9997, course 1500, speed 17 knots.  Returning.
    2) U 128:  Bombed by "Lancaster" during low level attack in BF 7245, on 7.5.  A good deal of damage.  Boat continued on its outward course via supply submarine.
       
- 338 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    3) U 195 sank a modern freighter of a specialized type (5,000 GRT) on 7.5. in FU 1615 after a 24-hour chase that began in FU 3438.  Vessel settled 2 meters deeper at the stern after being hit in the screw by a MZ torpedo.  U 195 observed rocket signals in FU 17, 41, 49 and 84 and followed them up without success.
  b)  U 663 was not found.
  c) 1) Escort plane belonging to "SC 128" convoy which according to own dead reckoning might be somewhere in AL 10-30, reported:  Submarine sighted 4 depth charges dropped.  Boat still on the surface, but damaged.
      This must have been a faulty observation, for all boats that might have been involved, reported their position when requested by control.
    2) According to an agent's report a convoy of 18 ships should go from Durban to India on 9th or 10th May.
    3) U-boat sightings:  DN 7915, DC 21.  Another attacked in unidentified position ( = 5937 N).
  d)  Further passage point for "HX 237" on 11.5 is BD 9552 at 1600.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Operation against "HX 237":
    U 454 sighted carrier borne plane in CE 1388 coming from the west.  While U 403 was unsuccessfully chasing an independent with course 300 she encountered an ocean going tug in CE 2456 and through this established contact with the awaited convoy at 1830 in CE 2425.  However, she was immediately picked up by a destroyer and forced to move away.
    As group "Rhein" was about 90 miles behind the very fast convoy, and there was no information available on its future course, Operational Control decided to operate against convoy "SC 129" which was still expected, and detailed only Group "Drossel" (6 boats) and U 403 to attack convoy "HX 237".  While following up, U 403 had a machine-gun duel with a wheeled aircraft and was then forced by a destroyer to submerge.  Last hydrophone bearing was from CE 2191 in a direction of 250.  After the high priority Radio Intercept report had been received giving the passage point in BD 9552, the boats were instructed to operate against the convoy according to the time given, if they had not established contact earlier.  It was not considered expedient to employ further boats of Groups "Rhein" or "Elbe", as the slower convoy "SC 129" was considered to offer better chances of success.  "HX 237" was not picked up again by morning.  Visibility remained the same as on the previous day.
 
 
 
- 339 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    Operation against "SC 129":
    Two new groups were formed from "Elbe" and "Rhein" to intercept this convoy:
    U 634, 575, 584, 650, 752, 614, 709, 533, 569, 231, 525, 514, 468, 267 to be known as "Elbe 1" and form a patrol strip from BD 5711 to 8747 at 1100 on 11.5, adjoining to the south U 103, 621, 448, 466, 223, 454, 504, 402, 377, 359, 107, 383, 186 will form a patrol strip known as "Elbe 2" from BD 8777 to CE 4219.  Except for U 584 and 614 all the boats have sufficient fuel for this operation.  The convoy is expected from 1300 onwards.
  b) 1) Because of the position report made by U 129, stating that shipping was encountered proceeding round Hatteras, U 521, 66 and 190 have been given CA 87 as their new approach point.
    2) The first boats to arrive in the area south of Greenland were divided into two separate strips.  U 304, 227, 645, 952 and 418, known as Group "Isar", man the patrol strip from AJ 3169 to AJ 3595, U 109, 202, 664 and 91 known as Group "Lech" man the patrol strip from AJ 8972 to AK 4258.  U 340 and 731 are also making for AJ 30 to reinforce these groups.
  c) 1) U 168 was in BE 5346 to 1700 on 11.5. to hand over bridging cables ("Uberbrueckungskabeln") to U 405, who had been damaged by air attack.
      U 228 proceeded to AK 8769 to the tanker to repair damage caused by air attack.
    2) U 92 and U 954 refueled from U 119 for further operations; U 628 for return voyage.
  d) 1) U 262 reported that she had carried out her task, but found nothing. For further information see Operational Order "Elster" (Not included as appendix).
    2) U 511 has left port to carry out task according to Operational Order "Marco Polo" (Appendix).
    3) In a submarine situation report published on 7.5. by the enemy, he calculated 10-15 boats patrolling East of Cap Flamond.  Southern boundary 420 N.  This apparently covers both the "Amsel 3 and 4" strips, they numbered 12 boats and were disposed in BC 3927-6637 or BC 9275-9872 until 7.5.  Despite the weather reported by U 403 on 5.5. in BC 9872 only location by enemy aircraft can be accepted as the cause of our boats being picked up.  This also accounts for the detour made by the "HX" and "SC" convoys.
       
V. Reports of Success:
  U 195 - 1 ship  5,000 GRT
       
VI. General:
  Tests and operational use of new types of gear in torpedo warfare:
 
 
 
- 340 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  i) After due acceptance of a few weak points still existing in the gear, the following were sanctioned at the beginning of November 1942 for operational use:
      Pi 39 H (Pi 2)
      G 7A Fat
     The operational use of these new types of gear also represented a "front-line test" aimed at speeding up the further development and perfecting of these weapons.
  ii) Pi 2:
    1) Combined impact and non-contact pistol with the following operational limitations:
     
a) Can not be used with sea force over 4-5 or when there is a strong cross swell.
b) Track angle not below 300 and not above 1500.
c) "MZ one" is not to be used after heavy detonations (depth charges or bombs) near the boat.
      If these limitations are not observed non-detonators or prematures must be expected.
      Depth setting with "MZ one".  The following guiding principles are given for operational use:
     
a) Minimum depth setting in a calm sea:  2 meters.
b) Against merchant vessels when draught is estimated:  draught minus 1 meter.
  Against merchant vessels when draught is definitely known:  draught.
c) Against corvettes:  3 meters.
d) Against destroyers:  4 meters.
e) Against cruisers:  draught.
f) Against battleships; aircraft carriers; heavy cruisers:  draught plus 1 meter.
      These depth settings which were actually too shallow were chosen so that poor results should be avoided at the outset of operational use.  It was wittingly accepted that the majority of hits would probably lead to percussion hits that would not allow the full explosive force of the torpedo to be utilized.
 
 
 
- 341 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    2) First operational use of Pi 2 took place from bases in Western France and from La Spezia in December 1942.  They could be used only if special testing facilities were available in the base.  In February 1943 operational use was extended to cover Kiel and the bases in Northern Waters.  Each boat will be equipped with 6 "Pi 2" as soon as the torpedo situation at the base permit it.
    3) Experience gained:
      Up to 15.3 the following definite "MZ" hits had been registered:
     
a) 31.12.1942 - U 561 (Schomburg) sank destroyer of "Jervis" class in the Mediterranean.  2 hits were scored with "Pi 2 MZ one" depths 2 and 4 meters.
b) 28.12.1942 - U 260 (Purkhold) attacked North Atlantic convoy.  She scored a hit on a 5,000 ton freighter with "Pi 2 MZ one" depth 4 meters, vessel broke up amidships, sank immediately, hit had great force, slight, low column of water sent up.
c) 8.2.1943 - In Mediterranean U 596 (Jahn) blew an escort vessel of "Bridgewater" class out of the water with "Pi 2 MZ one" depth 3 meters.
d) 12.2.1943 - U 516 (Wiebe) attacked a 6,000 tonner in South Atlantic.  She broke amidships from a "Pi 2" finishing shot, depth 7.
      All other hits with "Pi 2" excepting a few doubtful cases, must be classed as percussion hits.
      Only very few self detonators occurred, and in every case when the operational limitations were not observed.
      On the whole, these first results were considered satisfactory, even though the potentialities of the "Pi 2" were not fully utilized.
    4) On 20.3.1943 new depth settings were ordered.  These aimed at a deeper setting of the "MZ" on one hand and on the other the introduction of fixed depth settings for different types and sizes of vessel should reduce the calculations the Commander had had to make in the past.
      The basic order for the new depth settings (B.d.U. Operations No. 1419/43 W) is enclosed as Appendix 1, the depth settings themselves (Standing Order No. 309) as Appendix 2.
 
 
 
- 342 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    5) To date the new depth settings have brought good results.  The number of "MZ" hits have increased.  However, a final opinion is not yet possible.
    6) Assembly figures for "Pi 2":  At present 200 a month.  Assembly will increase slowly to about 300 a month by April 1943.
    7) "Pi 2" is to be used only with a specially adjusted Eto (electrically driven torpedo), which will be known as "T III".
  iii) G 7A FAT:
    1) Loop running torpedo (Schleifenlaeufer-torpedo): with setting for loop to right or left, long or short, preliminary run of 5 to 5 hectometers up to 150 hectometers.  Torpedo speed - 30 knots, running range 12,500 meters.  As the track is visible, orders have been given to limit use of this torpedo to the night, so as to avoid giving the new weapon away to the enemy unnecessarily.
    2) First operational use took place in December 1942 in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic.  Because of the need for exact regulation of the preliminary run the operation was limited at first to 10 boats equipped with radar gear.  There was delay in delivery of radar equipment for other boats, so, on 8th January 1943 the order was given to equip as many as possible Type VII boats in the North Atlantic with "G 7A FAT" torpedoes irrespective of lack of radar.  This decision was taken to make the most of the torpedoes available, as they were so valuable for convoy attacks, more especially because the first use of Fat capable of evaluation (on U 406 - Dieterichs), proved the possibility of success with estimated range data.  At the same time the use of "FAT" in Northern Waters was ordered, but it was again cancelled in the Mediterranean because of the difficulties inherent in operation with "G 7A FAT" (phosphorescence, visibility of the track, defences).  From May 1943 use of "Fat G 7A" was again cancelled in Northern Waters as the perpetual daylight did not permit the use of the torpedo during the night as ordered.
      Thus, at present the torpedo is being used only in the North Atlantic.  Each boat carries 6 "FAT" torpedoes.
    3) Results:
      On the whole, the "FAT" can be considered a complete success.  During the first 5 months of operational use the percentage of hits
 
 
 
- 343 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      registered with this torpedo was about 75%.  The possibilities of success with "FAT" are specially shown by the following examples: