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

16 - 30 November 1943

PG30335

     
     
 
16.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 256
-
BF 55
U 466
-
BF 85
U 600
-
BE 82
 
86
-
BE 92
262
-
BE 79
488
-
DE 53
608
-
BE 78
 
91
-
BF 49
267
-
BE 46
508
-
BE 99
618
-
BE 96
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
AL 22
510
-
DH 42
625
-
AF 59
 
129
-
DD 94
274
-
BD 68
515
-
CF 33
648
-
BE 71
 
154
-
Op(EP 80)
280
-
BD 35
516
-
Op(EB 90)
672
-
AN 31
 
155
-
Op(FB 40)
281
-
BE 48
518
-
CE 18
709
-
BD 67
 
170
-
FD 54
282
-
BD 68
530
-
DF 42
714
-
BD 21
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
333
-
BE 79
536
-
CE 33
734
-
AE 67
 
193
-
DO 33
343
-
BE 71
537
-
Op(CC 20)
764
-
BD 35
 
211
-
BE 79
358
-
BE 79
538
-
AK 99
801
-
AF 72
 
212
-
BD 56
373
-
BE 73
541
-
AE 35
843
-
AK 76
 
214
-
BE 78
391
-
AK 98
542
-
AK 98
849
-
ES 75
 
218
-
DG 44
413
-
BE 54
543
-
AF 72
953
-
BF 57
 
219
-
DF 39
420
-
BD 68
544
-
AF 72
962
-
AL 21
 
226
-
BD 68
421
-
AE 68
552
-
BD 62
963
-
BD 38
 
228
-
BE 79
424
-
BD 21
575
-
BD 56
967
-
BD 56
 
231
-
BE 65
426
-
BE 78
586
-
BE 62
969
-
BE 39
 
238
-
BE 92
437
-
BE 69
592
-
BE 46      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 214 - 218 - 231 - 256 - 373 - 413 - 437 - 466 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 592 - 953 - 267 - 281.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 107 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 280 was attacked by an aircraft in BD 3836.
    2) U 969 sighted a destroyer in BD 3971.
    3) U 542 reported a steamer in BE 3917 at 0818.  Shortly after she sighted a searching group and fired a Zaunkönig torpedo at a destroyer at 0854.  Hit probable after 7 minutes.  At 1030 a Hudson aircraft was in sight and 20 minutes later another searching group.   A Zaunkönig torpedo fired detonated after 40 seconds (premature detonator).
  b) 1) A BV 222 sighted the expected convoy at 1025 in CG 7494 course 3600.  It also reported the S.E.-bound KMS 32 at 1030 in CF 9633.
    2) A FW 200 sighted a battleship and 2 destroyers, course 3200, speed 15 knots at 1231 in CG 4582.
  c) 1) An escort vessel belonging to MKS 30 reported an enemy shadower at 1000 from about CG 74.  Convoy was steering 2740, 7.5 knots (from this it appears that the convoy altered course to 3600 shortly after.).
    2) U-boat sightings: BD 3575, BD 3578, ED 9434, ED 9471.
    3) English units were located in AM 58, BE 13, BE 3190, BE 1870, CF 9390, CE 8360, AM 7720, BF 2185.
       
- 309 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  d) 1) Convoy rendezvous were fixed for HX 265 for (9.11. and 10.11. in BB 8792 and BB 9546.  The stragglers' route was altered on 10.11. and led through BD 5811 and AL 7856.
      On 14.11. this route too was changed and diverted to BE 4789 and AL 9844 (see paragraph IVa).
    2) On 17.11. stragglers from convoy ON 211 were instructed to proceed via a position in 570 51' N.  longitude not received.
      This instruction shows that the enemy is continuing to scatter his convoys widely over the whole North Atlantic and not routing them in the south only as appeared possible from recent course instructions (see Situation Review in the War Log of 12.11.).
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) The enemy sightings reported by U 969 and 542 and fairly certainly connected with searching groups from convoys SC 136 or HX 265, both of which are reckoned to be in this area.
      It is not known what reasons the enemy had for re-routing HX 265 (see paragraph III d 1).  They were probably based on Radar locations.
      As no further reports were received of the convoys by midday and the boats were now submerged and could not therefore press on, the operation ordered in accordance with the War Log of 15.11. paragraph IV c) was broken off.  The following order was given to Group "Eisenhart":  Boats which could reach the intended patrol line off BE 87 by 19.11. PM are to report their fuel stocks tonight.  Boats which cannot reach BE 57 by 20.11. are to report:  "No".  It was emphasized again here that boats were invariably to proceed submerged by day unless specific orders to the contrary were given.
      During the night U 343, 709 and 586 reported their fuel, i.e. that they could reach the patrol line by 19.11.  U 714 reported "No".
    2) Convoy No. 48:
      The reconnaissance BV sighted MKS 30 at 1025 in CG 7494, course 3600.  Shortly before a unit from this convoy had reported a course of 2740 and there was also a S.E.-bound convoy in the same area.  It was therefore assumed that MKS 30 was making an evasive movement in a northerly direction and would later return to a N.W. course.
      At all events the patrol line to be ordered for 18.11. will be so disposed that it can be moved E. or W. at short notice in accordance with the aircraft reported expected on 17.11.
      U 426 gave her position further N. than she was believed to be and there will therefore be 8 boats for the first disposition.
      Order:  U 608, 262, 228, 515, 358, 333, 211, 600 are to form
 
 
 
- 310 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      Group "Schill 1".  They are to form a patrol line from CF 2945 to CF 3855 PM, 18.11.  Boats are to make for positions accordingly.
      9 boats can be made available for the second patrol line which is to be off BE 87 if 3 boats at present still in Biscay are included.
      All the former "Eisenhart" boats, altogether about 15, will reach the patrol line off BE 57 on the 20th.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 542                destroyer probably torpedoed.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
17.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
BE 91
U 437
-
BF 48
U 592
-
BE 58
 
86
-
BE 91
256
-
BF 52
466
-
BF 82
600
-
BE 87
 
91
-
BF 57
262
-
CF 24
488
-
DE 34
608
-
CF 24
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
267
-
BE 57
508
-
CG 11
618
-
BE 95
 
107
-
BF 91
269
-
AL 23
510
-
DH 47
625
-
AF 82
 
129
-
DD 85
274
-
BE 47
515
-
CF 35
648
-
BE 75
 
154
-
Op(EP 80)
280
-
BD 39
516
-
Op(BE 16)
672
-
AN 24
 
155
-
Op(FB 40)
281
-
BE 57
518
-
CE 35
709
-
BD 69
 
170
-
FD 16
282
-
BD 69
530
-
DO 69
714
-
BD 26
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
333
-
CF 26
536
-
BE 78
734
-
AE 83
 
193
-
DO 31
343
-
BE 72
537
-
Op(CC 20)
764
-
BD 39
 
211
-
CF 34
358
-
CF 26
538
-
BD 33
801
-
AF 47
 
212
-
BD 64
373
-
BE 81
541
-
AE 84
843
-
BD 21
 
214
-
BE 84
391
-
BD 33
542
-
BD 63
849
-
FD 13
 
218
-
DG 43
413
-
BE 59
543
-
AF 47
953
-
BF 48
 
219
-
DG 44
420
-
BE 47
544
-
AF 47
962
-
AL 20
 
226
-
BD 69
421
-
AE 91
552
-
BD 66
963
-
BE 44
 
228
-
CF 25
424
-
BD 26
575
-
BD 65
967
-
BD 65
 
231
-
BE 69
426
-
CF 24
586
-
BE 44
969
-
BE 48
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 214 - 218 - 231 - 256 - 267 - 281 - 373 - 413 - 437 - 466 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 592 - 953.
  Entered Port:  U 256 - Brest;  U 953 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  U 761 - Drontheim.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Schill" against MKS 30.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a)  None.
  b)  Aircraft picked up the expected convoy (MKS 30) in CF 9217, course 3300, speed 8 knots.
       
- 311 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  2 boats in undecyphered positions, probably BE or CF Northern Sector.
    2) English units were located:  CG 7268, CG 7570, AM 54, BC 3510, BC 4360, BE 1236, BE 96, AL 9131.
    3) A unit from KMS 30 reported an aircraft shadowing in CF 9551.  Convoy's course 3200, speed 7 knots.
  d)  A late decipher showed another alteration to the stragglers' route for the SC 146 on 12.11.  The route then led via BD 8251, BD 6384 and AM 4189.  On 14.11. the stragglers received further orders to steer via BD 9426, BE 4788, and AL 98.  Stragglers' routes for HX 265 and SC 146 were thus approximately the same.  There is no indication of the reasons for these alterations (see War Log of 16.11. paragraph IVa 1).
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Convoy No. 48:
      Aircraft picked up the convoy at 1315 in CF 9217, course 3300, speed 8 knots.  Shortly afterwards an English unit reported the convoy in CF 9551, course 3200, speed 7 knots.  For purposes of disposing Group "Schill" the latter report was taken as the more correct, as according to previous experience aircraft positions are less accurate.
      Order:  Group "Schill" to be in patrol line from CF 5517 to CF 5367 at 1800/18/11.  Boats are to proceed submerged by day, to surface at 1830 and switch to D/F reception.  Bearings are to be reported at once if no contact has by then been established with the convoy.
      2 reconnaissance flights are scheduled for the 18th:  in the morning to improve the position of the patrol line submerged, from 1830 until dark to bring the boats to the convoy.
    2) As planned, a second patrol line will be set up one day's run to the north of the first.
      U 709 - 969 - 343 - 586 - 648 - 238 - 618 - 86 will form Group "Schill 2" and be in patrol line from CF 1338 to CF 2238 at 1800/19/11.
      U 426 will also join this group and have freedom of action according to her fuel stocks.
      As U 608 cannot reach her position with Group "Schill 1" in time, she will join Group "Schill 2" and extend the patrol line by one position to the west.
  b)  U 219, 170 and 510 are making for EH 80 to refuel.  U 510 is a Far Eastern boat and will be replenished to capacity.  U 170 will refuel for return passage only.  U 103, in the sea area off Takoradi, is to start on her return passage in time to reach EH 80 with 20 cbm remaining on about 3.12.  She will then return home and be used for training.  All other boats in the
 
 
 
- 312 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     South Atlantic have been informed that they cannot be refueled and must start on their return passage accordingly.
  c) - d) None.
       
V.  Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
18.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
BE 86
U 466
-
BF 82
U 600
-
Op(CF 37)
 
86
-
BE 86
262
-
Op(CF 52)
488
-
CD 77
608
-
CF 22
 
91
-
BF 57
267
-
BE 59
508
-
CF 33
618
-
BE 89
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
AL 16
510
-
DG 96
625
-
AF 57
 
107
-
BF 82
274
-
BE 48
515
-
Op(CF 53)
648
-
BE 79
 
129
-
DD 75
280
-
BE 42
516
-
Op(EB 90)
672
-
AF 87
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BE 58
518
-
CF 12
709
-
BE 78
 
155
-
Op(FB 10)
282
-
BE 48
530
-
DO 83
714
-
BD 35
 
170
-
ES 76
333
-
Op(CF 53)
536
-
BE 87
734
-
AE 82
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
343
-
BE 78
537
-
Op(CC 10)
761
-
AF 82
 
193
-
DO 16
358
-
Op(CF 53)
538
-
BE 18
764
-
BE 42
 
211
-
Op(CF 61)
373
-
BE 83
541
-
AE 79
801
-
BE 69
 
212
-
BE 44
391
-
BE 17
542
-
BE 45
843
-
BD 38
 
214
-
BE 86
413
-
BE 67
543
-
AE 69
849
-
FD 29
 
218
-
DG 25
420
-
BE 48
544
-
AE 69
962
-
AL 20
 
219
-
DG 75
421
-
AE 83
552
-
BE 45
963
-
BE 45
 
226
-
BE 48
424
-
BD 38
575
-
BE 44
967
-
BE 44
 
228
-
Op(CF 52)
426
-
CF 22
586
-
BE 75
969
-
BE 75
 
231
-
BF 48
437
-
BF 49
592
-
BE 59      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 214 - 218 - 231 - 267 - 281 - 373 - 413 - 437 - 466 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 592 - 963.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 667 - St. Nazaire;  U 850 - Kiel.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Schill" against MKS 30/SL 139.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 648 was attacked by surface forces at 0617 in BE 8765.  This must have been a stationary patrol group, as Convoy No. 48 was still much further south.
    2) U 552 fired a single Zaunkönig miss at an independent ship at 1920 in BE 1436.  Boat is starting on her return passage owing to various leaks.
  b) Morning reconnaissance sighted the convoy, comprising 64 ships, 3 destroyers and 4 corvettes at 0945 in CF 5636, course 3600, speed 7 knots.
     Aircraft which took off later picked up the convoy again at 1500 in CF 5366 and at 1930 in CF 5318.
       
- 313 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) 1) U-boat sightings in CF 34 - 35 and 4 others in undecyphered positions, probably however, the same area.
    2) English units were located in:  CF 31, BE 3290, BE 5190, AJ 9990, AL 6510, CF 2480, BE 3320, AM 48, AK 77 and BE 6740.
    3) Escort vessels with MKS 30 reported a shadowing aircraft at 1010 in CF 6477.  Convoy's course 00, speed 7.5 knots.  At 1330 in CF 9551, convoy's course 3200, speed 7 knots.
  d) MKS 30/SL 139 received an order of 70 groups on 18.11. which could not be deciphered.  An alteration was probably made to the route.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy No. 48:
    1) After the expected MKS 30/SL 139 had been picked up by our own aircraft and the Radio Intelligence Service on the 15th, 16th and 17th, the first U-boat group, Group "Schill 1", was to start operations PM on the 18th.  The group consists of 7 boats, U 262 - 228 - 515 - 358 - 333 - 211 and 600 and was submerged in patrol line from CF 5516 to 5367 on the morning of the 18th.  N.E. winds 3 - 5 were expected in the convoy area on the evening of the 18th, visibility good except for isolated showers.
      Our own aircraft reported the convoy in CF 5636, course N. at 0945/18.  The same aircraft gave the convoy's position as 5569 at 1400.
      As the patrol line was too far west for this direction of advance, Group "Schill 1" was ordered at 1200 to proceed N.E. submerged, course 300, speed 3 knots.
      When surfaced at 1830 the Group received orders to search on a N.E. direction making long legs and to be in a new, narrower patrol line from CF 2981 to 3782 at 2400.  Evening reconnaissance then picked up the convoy at 1930 in 5232 and at 2020 amended the enemy position to 5318.  The beacon signals which the aircraft made between 1930 and 2020 were only heard by one boat, U 262.  This boat reported the bearing 150 true from 5259 at 2017.  It afterwards turned out that this bearing was approximately correct.
      At 2300 U 515 reported that she had sighted the convoy at 1309 in CF 5340 on a N. course, speed 8 knots.  She believed the convoy to be in about 2670 at 2400.  The delay in making this important message was explained in a further radio message from U 515.  She reported:  "While making radio message at 1500 forced to dive by an A/S group.  2 T5 misses.  Heavy D/C's.  Am carrying out repairs".
      After the report from U 515 was received Group "Schill 1" was ordered to press on to the north at maximum speed.  At 0710 U 262 picked up the convoy in CF 2645.  At 0758 she reported contact lost.
 
 
 
- 314 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      Another obscure message without signature was received at 0200.  It read: "Convoy CF 5348, 12 o'clock, speed 12 knots, am unable to dive".
      Group "Schill 1" was ordered to dive at first light, as air escort was already observed to be strong during the night.  It is intended to operate Group "Schill 2" on the evening of the 19th.  This Group will be in patrol line from BE 7934 to 8825 by the morning of the 19th.  Group "Schill 1" will have to abandon the operation.  As regards the accuracy of aircraft and Radio Intelligence reports, the following may be noted.
     
1) The Radio Intelligence reports (the last report was times 1000/18 from 6477) cannot have been right.
2) The aircraft reports were better than the Radio Intelligence reports, but most have contained errors of 20 - 40 miles if they are to agree with the boat's reports.
3) There may be 2 separate convoys; this would explain the great discrepancy between aircraft and boat's reports.
      Finally it may be said that the operation of Group "Schill 1" during the first night was not successful because U 515 was not able to make the important report on the enemy owing to A/S activity and the convoy was therefore well ahead when the boats surfaced in the evening.  The great distance could have been reduced if the transmission of beacon signals about 2000 had led to success.  As however, only one bearing was reported, the enemy's position could not be fixed before U 515 made her clear report on the convoy at 2300.
    2) After the first aircraft report had been received a new patrol line was ordered for Group "Schill 3" (U 608 - 709 - 969 - 343 - 586 - 648 - 238 - 618 - 86) further east.  As U 515 gave the convoy's position much further north than expected, the line was moved 60 miles to the north in the evening and was thus from BE 7934 to BE 8825 at 1800/19/11.
      Of the boats mentioned U 238 and 618 have not yet made their passage reports, so that it is not certain that these positions are occupied at all.  U 518, 536 and 214 which may be in about BE 70 and 80 on their return passage are to make use of any chances arising in as far as their fuel permits.
    3) U 714 will also be able to reach BE 57 in time and there will therefore be 16 boats available for the disposition of Group "Schill 3".  U 714 - 843 - 424 - 212 - 391 - 967 - 538 - 542 - 575 - 282 - 274 - 764 have orders to be in patrol line from BE 4911 to BE 5813 at 1800/20/11, taking into account convoy's position reported by U 515.  U 420 - 226 - 552 - 91, some of which have not reported for 4 weeks and are short of fuel will have freedom of action immediately north of the above patrol line.  U 552 started on her return passage during the night.
  b)  None.
 
 
 
       
- 315 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
19.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
BE 80
U 466
-
BF 68
U 600
-
Op(CF 29)
 
86
-
Op(BE 88)
262
-
Op(CF 20)
488
-
CD 76
608
-
Op(CF 22)
 
91
-
BF 50
267
-
BE 67
508
-
CF 33
618
-
BE 80
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
AK 93
510
-
DT 12
625
-
AF 73
 
107
-
BF 81
274
-
Op(BE 81)
515
-
CF 29
648
-
Op(BE 87)
 
129
-
DC 96
280
-
BE 46
516
-
Op(EB 90)
667
-
BF 91
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BE 91
518
-
CF 21
672
-
AF 79
 
155
-
Op(FB 10)
282
-
Op(BE 49)
530
-
DO 79
709
-
Op(CF 22)
 
170
-
ES 71
333
-
Op(CF 29)
536
-
BE 88
713
-
Op(BE 44)
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
343
-
Op(CF 23)
537
-
Op(CC 10)
734
-
AL 21
 
193
-
DN 36
358
-
Op(CF 29)
538
-
Op(BE 46)
761
-
AF 57
 
211
-
Op(CF 29)
373
-
BE 91
541
-
AL 22
764
-
Op(BE 46)
 
212
-
Op(BE 48)
391
-
Op(BE 45)
542
-
Op(BE 49)
801
-
AE 68
 
214
-
BE 97
413
-
BE 69
543
-
AE 68
843
-
BE 44
 
218
-
DG 31
420
-
Op(BE 57)
544
-
AE 68
849
-
FD 65
 
219
-
DS 21
421
-
AE 85
552
-
Op(BE 15)
850
-
AO
 
226
-
Op(BE 49)
424
-
BE 44
575
-
Op(BE 49)
962
-
AK 96
 
228
-
Op(CF 29)
426
-
Op(CF 20)
586
-
Op(CF 23)
963
-
BE 54
 
231
-
BF 49
437
-
BF 68
592
-
BE 68
967
-
Op(BE 48)
                   
969
-
Op(CF 22)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 214 - 218 - 231 - 267 - 281 - 373 - 413 - 437 - 466 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 592 - 963.
  Entered Port:  U 437 - St. Nazaire;  U 466 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Schill" against MKS 30/SL 139.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 537 sighted a fast independent ship on a S.W. course at 1552 in BC 5496 and a strange periscope close by.
  b) The convoy was picked up at 1015 in CF 2639 and at 1815 in CF 2322 and comprised 70 ships.
  c) 1) 3 U-boat sightings in CF Northern Sector.  No exact position given.
    2) English units were located in BF 9820, BF 4550, BF 2511, AM 58, BF 4760, CF 4150, AM 8980, BF 1290.
    3) Escort aircraft with MKS 30/SL 139 reported the latter in CF 2392 at 1500/18.
  d)  None.
       
- 316 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy No. 48:
    1) Group "Schill 1":
      U 262 had reported the convoy in CF 2645 at 0710/19.  At 0758 she reported contact lost in 2642.  She was asked whet she had sighted and reported during the night 19/20 that she had seen 4 silhouettes and 2 escort vessels.  The night was very dark.
      The boats of Group "Schill 1" received ordered to continue operating against the convoy during the night 19/20 if their positions permitted.  If this was not possible they were to remain in the area and wait further orders.  The boat which reported herself unable to dive during the night 18/19 was probably U 333.  On the morning of the 20th she reported:  "Under-water attack, bombs at periscope depth, rammed by destroyer, very heavy D/C's, returning via the coastal route.
    2) Group "Schill 2":
      Wind force was estimated N.E. 5 in the convoy area on the evening of the 19th.  Slight showers, overcast, dark night as one day after the last quarter.
      Air reconnaissance reported the convoy, course N. in CF 2639 at 1015.  As U 262 had reported it in 2642 at 0800, the aircraft's position must have been 40 miles too far east.
      Group "Schill 2" was in patrol line from BE 7934 to 8825 with 9 boats on the morning of the 19th.  U 618 reported that she could not reach her position in Group "Schill 2" and was making for Group "Schill 3".
      U 536 joined Group "Schill 2", so that the following 9 boats were taking part in the operation:  U 608 - 709 - 969 - 343 - 586 - 648 - 238 - 86 - 536.
      When the aircraft report was received the Group was ordered to proceed E. submerged, at 3 knots and after surfacing at 1830 to steer S.E. towards the convoy at high speed, course 1200.
      At 1815 the evening reconnaissance sighted the convoy in CF 2322, this time only 15 miles E. of the position worked out from the boats' reports.  Towards 1900 the aircraft made beacon signals and 6 boats of the Group picked them up.  All of them reported almost at once at 1900, so that the aircraft cannot have changed its position much.  The point of intersection of all 6 bearings lay within an area of at most 10 miles diameter (T.N. Sic.).  The convoy was thus definitely fixed in BE 8780 at 1900 and this position corresponded exactly with that obtained by reckoning since the boat's last report.
      The boats were then ordered to operate against the convoy; according to reckoning they could all have reached it by 2400.
 
 
 
- 317 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      Towards 2140 3 boats reported what were probably the same flares.  At 2313 U 648 reported a hydrophone bearing of the convoy 1700 true from 8728.  This position agreed exactly with that obtained by plotting and pointed to the enemy's having maintained his course N.  Since then no further reports were received on the convoy.
      At 0330 3 destroyers were reported E. of the convoy.  At 0103 another boat S.W. of the convoy reported 3 destroyers and was heavily depth charged.  2 boats reported several run-ins by aircraft at night; no bombs were dropped.  These reports indicated that surface escort and night air escort were strong, which may have been the reason why no shadowers' reports were received.
      In conclusion, it may be noted:
     
1) It is possible that the few boats (probably 3 - 4) which were in the immediate vicinity of the convoy could not get close to it because of strong night air escort and anti-submarine activity by escort vessels.  The other boats were already far astern of the convoy shortly after midnight.  They were probably constantly forced to dive owing to aircraft and so dropped astern.
2) The very dark night (last quarter of the moon, low cloud, showers) probably affected the operation considerably making it very difficult to find the convoy.
3) It is unlikely that the convoy took evasive action because of the boat's beacon signal reports, as U 648's hydrophone bearing corresponded exactly with the enemy's position as plotted on a N. course since midday on the 18th.
  Group "Schill 2" were ordered to dive at daybreak and make use of any chances for under-water attacks.
    3) Group "Schill 3":
      For operations during the third night Group "Schill 3" will form a new patrol line from BE 4919 to 5837.  Our own aircraft will fly reconnaissance.
  b) The following temporary attack areas will be occupied:
     U 962 squares AL 71 - 74 - 77.
     U 269 squares AL 72 - 75 - 78.
     U 541, 421 and 734, coming from home ports, will make for AK 93.
    As soon as G.O.C. Air Forces has sufficient aircraft to fly reconnaissance for several days in AL against convoys coming from England, there is to be a combined operation in that area.  This will take place about the end of November with boats coming from home ports and Western France and the remaining"Schill" boats.
  c) - d) None.
 
 
 
       
- 318 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
VI. General:
  1)  Boats on passage in Biscay have been warned that enemy S/m's may be expected especially on light nights.  They are advised to zig-zag and snake the line.
  2)  The following new Serial Order No. 6 has been issued:
    a) The enemy's A/S activity, which is increasing in strength, makes it necessary to use every opportunity to fire successfully.  T5 is a weapon which can transform the boat from the hunted prey to a dangerous attacker when A/S forces are suddenly encountered.  A/S vessels are manly to be expected in the Iceland Passage as far as 200 W. and in Biscay as far as 200 W., and as many T5's as possible should be carried in the tubes in these areas.
    b) One bow and one stern tube are to be ready to fire with T5 at night, i.e.: tubes flooded, bow caps open, tube at the ready.
      Settings:  depth 4, firing angle 0 or 1800, angled shot control, gyro-angle adjuster engaged.  Firing of after tube switched to bridge.
    c) If targets appear by surprise fire over the jumping wire.  If angle on the bow is between 20 and 160, direct or angle by rule of thumb.  Officer of the watch has permanent authority to fire the tubes which are ready, if the Commanding Officer is not on the bridge he should crash-dive after firing.
    d) The tubes flooded by night should be drained daily and torpedoes drawn for daily maintenance.  (See Servicing instructions for T5, ship's edition, page 28).
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
20.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
Op(BE 87)
U 508
-
CF 30
U 618
-
Op(BE 58)
 
86
-
Op(BE 84)
262
-
Op(BE 29)
510
-
DT 39
625
-
AF 75
 
91
-
BF 50
267
-
BE 69
515
-
Op(CF 26)
648
-
Op(BE 87)
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
AL 70
516
-
Op(EB 90)
667
-
BF 83
 
107
-
BF 72
274
-
Op(BE 58)
518
-
CF 23
672
-
AF 77
 
129
-
DG 91
280
-
Op(BE 46)
530
-
ED 11
709
-
Op(BE 84)
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BE 93
536
-
BE 85
714
-
Op(BE 49)
 
155
-
Op(FB 10)
282
-
Op(BE 57)
537
-
Op(BC 55)
734
-
AL 13
 
170
-
ER 65
333
-
CF 52
538
-
Op(BE 57)
761
-
AF 49
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
343
-
Op(BE 84)
541
-
AL 21
764
-
Op(BE 58)
 
193
-
DN 26
358
-
Op(CF 26)
542
-
Op(BE 57)
801
-
AE 83
 
211
-
Op(CF 26)
373
-
BE 93
543
-
AE 83
843
-
Op(BE 49)
 
212
-
Op(BE 49)
391
-
Op(BE 49)
544
-
AE 83
849
-
FE 48
 
214
-
BE 99
413
-
BF 55
552
-
BE 27
850
-
AN 35
 
218
-
CF 78
420
-
Op(BE 54)
575
-
Op(BE 57)
962
-
AL 70
 
219
-
DS 27
421
-
AE 79
586
-
Op(BE 84)
963
-
BE 55
 
226
-
Op(BE 54)
424
-
Op(BE 49)
592
-
BF 47
967
-
Op(BE 57)
 
228
-
Op(CF 26)
426
-
Op(CF 20)
600
-
Op(CF 26)
969
-
Op(BE 87)
 
231
-
BF 57
488
-
CD 58
608
-
BE 84      
 
       
- 319 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 214 - 218 - 231 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 373 - 413 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 592 - 963.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 425 - Kiel.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Schill" against MKS 130/SL 139.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a)  None.
  b)  Of the aircraft which took off one FW 200 and one Ju 290 were lost (According to Radio Intelligence, shot down off Cape Ortegal).  2 other aircraft had unserviceable search gear.  The convoy was not picked up.  
  c) 1) U-boat sightings in BE 8219, BE 8319, BE 8166, BE 5852 and 2 others in undecyphered positions, probably in the same area.
    2) English units were located in:  CF 4820, AM 9226, AN 4570, CG 8370.
    3) According to a Radio announcement of 2.11. a German U-boat was sunk in the Caribbean after an action lasting 3 hours with 7 U.S.A. aircraft and one naval airship.  40 members of the crew were taken prisoner.  The airship and one aircraft were destroyed.  If the report is correct, it can only refer to U 516.  She has been ordered to report her position (Boat reported later).
  d) 1) HX 266 received instructions on 17.11. to cancel its present stragglers' route and use instead BC 2631, AK 8111, AL 4517 and AM 4189.  On 20.11. this route was moved further south and now leads via BC 3714, BD 1933, BD 3291 and AL 9149.
    2) ON 212 received orders on 20.11. to be in AM 4362 at 1000/21/11 and from there to steer 2800 (284).  This instruction goes to prove that the enemy is scattering his convoys over the whole of the North Atlantic.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy No. 48:
    1) U 238 reported at midday on the 20th that she had fired a T5 at a frigate at 2315/19, had heard an explosion after 9 minutes and had assumed that the vessel had sunk, as cracking and whistling sounds were heard and no further propeller noises.  The same boat reported that a convoy had passed over her at 0000/20 in BE 8729 and that she had afterwards been attacked with well-placed depth-charges.
      The fact that the convoy passed over the boat proves that it did not take any evading action after the beacon-signal
       
- 320 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      messages had been made, but had maintained its course due N. and its speed of barely 7 knots.  The convoy therefore got through to the north unsighted during the night in spite of the presence of several boats.  The reasons for this are set out in the War Log of 19.11.
      In conclusion the following may be noted about the operation of Group "Schill 2":  The boats did not find the convoy although its position was clearly fixed with the aid of beacon signals.  The failure may be attributed firstly to the very dark night and secondly to the particularly difficult A/S conditions, night air activity and destroyer escort.
    2) Operation of Group "Schill 3" during the night 20/21:
      Group "Schill 3" was submerged in patrol line AM on the 20th from BE 4919 to 5837.  The Group consisted of the following 16 boats:  U 714 - 843 - 424 - 212 - 391 - 967 - 538 - 542 - 575 - 282 - 274 - 764 - 618 - 420 - 226 and 280.  The 3 last mentioned boats were astern of the line.  During the day the patrol line was moved another 12 miles to the south so as to reach the convoy quicker on surfacing.  Our own aircraft did not pick up the convoy during morning reconnaissance, as one of the aircraft was shot down before reaching the reconnaissance area.  The Group therefore, had to operate without the assistance of aircraft reports.  Group "Schill 3" was therefore disposed along the convoy's course as plotted from the boats' reports, distance apart of the boats being 8 miles, this was to prevent the convoy passing unseen in the dark night.  U 618 and 648 each reported shooting down one aircraft (Sunderland and 4-engined bomber).  During the night many reports were received of flares sighted; if these flares were shot approximately in the convoy's area, the latter must have been very far behind.  This may perhaps be explained by the strong N.E. winds.
      Group "Schill" was sent S.E. in the direction of the flares, 1550 at 7 knots from 1200 and at 5 knots to the south from 0500.  In spite of the speed of approach the convoy was not sighted.
      According to the reports of the flares the convoy should have passed the patrol line between 0400 and 0800 or be just off it at first light.  The long delay must have been due to the bad weather.  It is considered impossible that it was diverted owing to the numerous reports of flares and destroyers.
      7 boats made reports of air escort and aircraft attacks and further numerous reports were received of location transmissions from the convoy area which probably meant that the boats had to contend with very strong air formations.  It is quite possible that they were forced to dive when the convoy passed.  The surface escort must also have been very strong judging by the many destroyer sightings.
 
 
 
       
- 321 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      As strong air activity was to be expected by day boats were ordered to dive at first light.
      At 1020/21 air reconnaissance picked up the convoy again in BE 5829, thus proving that the convoy, very much delayed by the weather, passed the patrol line without being sighted towards morning on the 21st.  According to reckoning it made 4 knots during the bad weather and 6 knots after the evening of the 20th.
    Final remarks on the whole operation:
     31 boats in 3 different night dispositions took part in the whole operation and one escort vessel was sunk and 2 aircraft shot down.  Our own losses cannot yet be estimated; they will be discussed in the War Log during the next few days.  The following conclusions are to be drawn from this 3 day operation:
    a) As events on the second and especially on the third night showed, after discovering the boats, the enemy is able in this area to take effective action against them very quickly with numerous aircraft and escorting destroyers.  The next operation in this area must therefore be carried out in one night with as close a disposition as possible so that a large number of boats can be massed around the convoy.
    b) Our own air reconnaissance obtained no results on the decisive last day because of the few aircraft available.
    c) Our own air reconnaissance and the transmission of beacon-signals must be continued after dark where possible.
    d) Above all, our own aircraft must be able to tackle enemy aircraft with the convoy at night so as to make operation easier for the boats.
  b)  U 107 is to make for CF 23.  It is intended to dispose the remaining "Schill" boats in approximately this area PM on the 24th to intercept KMS 33.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    
U 238 1 frigate
U 648 1 aircraft
U 618 1 aircraft.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 
 
       
       
       
       
       
       
- 322 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
21.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
Op(BE 58)
U 488
-
CD 64
U 608
-
BE 85
 
86
-
Op(BE 82)
262
-
Op(CF 23)
508
-
CF 30
618
-
Op(BE 50)
 
91
-
BF 80
267
-
BF 47
510
-
DS 65
625
-
AF 77
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
Op(AL 22)
515
-
Op(CF 23)
648
-
Op(BE 81)
 
107
-
BF 73
274
-
Op(BE 50)
516
-
Op(EB 90)
667
-
BF 81
 
129
-
Op(DC 80)
280
-
Op(BE 50)
518
-
CF 32
672
-
AN 11
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BF 71
530
-
EC 35
709
-
BE 86
 
155
-
Op(FB 10)
282
-
Op(BE 50)
536
-
BE 89
714
-
Op(BE 50)
 
170
-
ER 37
333
-
CF 61
537
-
Op(BC 50)
734
-
AL 15
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
343
-
Op(BE 86)
538
-
Op(BE 82)
761
-
AF 47
 
193
-
DN 27
358
-
Op(CF 23)
541
-
AL 10
769
-
Op(BE 58)
 
211
-
CF 37
373
-
BF 71
542
-
Op(BE 81)
801
-
AE 83
 
212
-
Op(BE 50)
391
-
Op(BE 50)
543
-
AE 83
843
-
Op(BE 50)
 
214
-
BF 77
413
-
BF 52
544
-
AE 83
849
-
FE 81
 
218
-
CF 84
420
-
Op(BE 50)
552
-
BE 53
850
-
AN 31
 
219
-
DS 20
421
-
AE 78
575
-
Op(BE 58)
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
226
-
Op(BE 50)
424
-
Op(BE 50)
586
-
Op(BE 82)
963
-
BE 67
 
228
-
Op(CF 23)
425
-
AO
592
-
BF 48
967
-
Op(BE 50)
 
231
-
BF 91
426
-
Op(CF 23)
600
-
Op(CF 23)
969
-
Op(BE 82)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 211 - 214 - 218 - 231 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 343 - 373 - 413 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 592 - 608 - 709 - 963.
  Entered Port:  U 413 - Brest.
  Sailed:  U 92 - 415 - Brest.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  Against MKS 30/SL 139.  25 He 177 took off.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) Convoy No. 48 see paragraph IVa).
  b)  The convoy was attacked by the He 177 in bad weather in approximately BE 5580.  Success 2 large ships sunk, 3 others damaged.  Of the 25 aircraft which took off 3 failed to return to their bases, but one of them made a forced landing on French soil.
     On the whole this attack, the first to be made at such long range, may be regarded as a complete success.  It is hopeful for the U-boat Arm because it may offer further possibilities of tactical cooperation against convoys.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  BE 5852, EO 6532.
    2) Aircraft attack on a U-boat in FB 4637 (may have been U 190, 155 or 154).
    3) English units were located in BE 7350, AM 5210, BE 4555, BE 3949, BE 5980, BE 2960, BF 3810.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Further to Convoy no. 48:
    After some FW 200 had carried out reconnaissance, G.O.C. Atlantic
       
- 323 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     Air Force operated 25 He 177 which attacked the convoy in BE 5580.  This position confirmed the fact that the convoy had passed the patrol line unseen.  During the night the following further reports were received from boats:
    U 575 dived after beating off a Liberator and heard 3 propeller noises drowned by a much louder humming sound. Boat suspected destroyers with noise boxes.
    U 969 used Aphrodite successfully during an aircraft attack and was not detected.
    U 967 was fired on by destroyers with flares.  No damage from ensuing depth charge hunt.
    U 618 picked up several location transmissions in Naxos at 0315/22 in BE 85.
    U 648 was approached by an aircraft with searchlights at 0504/22 and attacked with bombs and guns.  The aircraft was hit several times and disappeared into the clouds with a trail of white light. 
     21 boats of the former Group "Schill" will be available for the next disposition planned for the evening of 24/11 off CF 22. Of these, U 714 will have to return in 3 days time.  U 274, 280, 282 and 600 have not reported as ordered and some of them have not been heard of for 4 weeks so that it is not certain that they are still there. All the remaining "Schill" boats are on return passage owing to lack of fuel.
  b) U 537 has freedom of action at her own discretion. She is to make one radio message or short weather report daily in the BC area to simulate several boats and is to use different transmitters and waves.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
22.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 231
-
BF 68
U 426
-
BE 89
U 608
-
BE 97
 
86
-
Op(BE 80)
238
-
Op(BE 80)
488
-
CD 83
618
-
Op(BE 80)
 
91
-
BF 52
262
-
Op(CF 20)
508
-
CF 30
625
-
AN 11
 
92
-
BF 55
267
-
BF 73
510
-
DS 94
648
-
Op(BE 80)
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
Op(AL 72)
515
-
Op(CF 20)
653
-
BF 55
 
107
-
BE 98
274
-
Op(BE 80)
516
-
Op(BE 90)
667
-
BF 72
 
129
-
Op(DC 70)
280
-
Op(BE 80)
518
-
BE 97
672
-
AM 34
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BF 73
530
-
EC 52
709
-
BE 83
 
155
-
Op(FB 10)
282
-
Op(BE 80)
536
-
BE 98
714
-
BE 59
 
170
-
ER 22
333
-
CF 38
537
-
Op(BC 50)
734
-
AL 18
 
190
-
Op(FB 60)
343
-
BE 97
538
-
Op(BE 80)
761
-
AE 69
 
193
-
DN 17
358
-
Op(VF 20)
541
-
AL 10
764
-
Op(BE 80)
 
211
-
CF 36
373
-
BF 48
542
-
Op(BE 80)
801
-
AE 85
 
212
-
BE 83
391
-
Op(BE 80)
543
-
AE 85
843
-
Op(BE 80)
 
214
-
BF 79
415
-
BF 55
544
-
AE 85
849
-
FE 86
 
218
-
CF 59
420
-
BE 83
552
-
BE 64
850
-
AN 23
 
219
-
DS 20
421
-
AL 21
575
-
BE 59
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
226
-
BF 83
424
-
Op(BE 80)
586
-
Op(BE 80)
963
-
BE 69
 
228
-
Op(CF 20)
425
-
AN 35
592
-
BF 49
967
-
BE 82
             
600
-
Op(CF 20)
969
-
Op(BE 80)
 
       
- 324 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 91 - 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 231 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 343 - 373 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 575 - 592 - 608 - 709 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  U 91 - Brest;  U 231 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  U 230 - Brest;  U 172 - St. Nazaire;  U 629 - Bergen.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For the new Group "Weddigen" against the south-bound KMS 33/OS 59.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 212 sighted 2 destroyers at 0419 in BE 7986.  Course not given.
  b)  The convoy was not found.
  c)  English units were located in BE 28/29, AL 9680.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  None.
  b) 1) It is intended to form a patrol line from BE 7869 to BE 8768 with the remainder of the former Group "Schill" and one boat on outward passage to intercept the south-bound convoys KMS 30/OS 59.
      Order:  U 424 - 843 - 618 - 515 - 358 - 542 - 586 - 262 - 764 - 86 - 238 - 648 - 228 - 969 - 538 - 391.
      U 714 - 282 - 280 and 274 are to have freedom of action immediately south of the patrol line.
      Boats are to reach their positions during the night 23/24.11.  They will form Group "Weddigen".   U 600 has reported her position and will also join this group and extend the line by one position to the west.
    2) U 734 will occupy squares AL 41, 44 and 47 as temporary attack area in connection with the convoy operation planned in that area towards the end of November.
  c)  The report expected from U 219 is still outstanding and U 170 has therefore been ordered to proceed north via EH 10 at most economical speed.   The supply rendezvous cannot be fixed until U 219's report is received.
  d)  U 508 was on outward passage in Biscay and was, according to her own report, attacked by an aircraft at 0320/12/11 in BF 8253.  Since then, she has twice been ordered to give her position and has not replied.  She must be presumed lost.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- 325 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
23.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 230
-
BF 55
U 428
-
BE 98
U 608
-
BE 95
 
86
-
Op(BE 87)
238
-
Op(BE 87)
488
-
CE 18
618
-
Op(BE 79)
 
92
-
BF 46
262
-
Op(BE 79)
510
-
DS 89
625
-
AM 32
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
267
-
BF 81
515
-
Op(BE 79)
629
-
AF 87
 
107
-
BE 97
269
-
Op(AL 72)
516
-
Op(EB 80)
648
-
Op(BE 87)
 
129
-
Op(DC 70)
274
-
Op(CF 22)
518
-
BE 99
653
-
BF 49
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
280
-
Op(CF 22)
530
-
Op(EC 46)
667
-
BF 71
 
155
-
Op(FB 10)
281
-
BF 81
536
-
BE 99
672
-
AM 33
 
170
-
EH 87
282
-
Op(CF 21)
537
-
Op(BC 81)
709
-
BE 95
 
172
-
BF 91
333
-
CG 14
538
-
Op(BE 87)
714
-
Op(BE 23)
 
190
-
Op(FB 60)
343
-
BE 99
541
-
AL 10
734
-
Op(AL 40)
 
193
-
DM 62
358
-
Op(BE 79)
542
-
Op(BE 79)
761
-
AE 68
 
211
-
CG 12
373
-
BF 57
543
-
AE 84
764
-
Op(BE 79)
 
212
-
BE 79
391
-
Op(BE 88)
544
-
AE 84
801
-
AE 84
 
214
-
BF 88
415
-
BF 57
552
-
BE 65
843
-
Op(BE 78)
 
218
-
CF 64
420
-
BE 91
575
-
BE 67
849
-
FM 22
 
219
-
DS 20
421
-
AL 10
586
-
Op(BE 79)
850
-
AF 79
 
226
-
BE 91
424
-
Op(BE 78)
592
-
BF 82
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
228
-
Op(BE 87)
425
-
AN 31
600
-
Op(CF 25)
963
-
BF 47
             
969
-
Op(BE 87)
967
-
BE 91
 
  On Return Passage:  U 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 343 - 373 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 575 - 592 - 608 - 709 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 284 - 364 - Kiel.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Weddigen" against KMS 30/OS 59.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a)  For sightings by Group "Weddigen" see paragraph IVa).
  b) Reconnaissance aircraft sighted a cruiser, course 3000, speed 14 knots at 1212 in BE 5592.  The convoy was not found.  For further details see paragraph IVa).
  c) 1) Attack on a U-boat in EB 8485.  If this is correct it can only have been U 516.
      The radio announcement mentioned in the War Log of 21.11. may refer to an earlier sinking of a U-boat.
    2) English units were located in CG 58, AL 93/96, AM 84, AL 9680.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Operation by Group "Weddigen":
    One reconnaissance aircraft had to return early owing to damage, the search gear of a second failed.  It is therefore not absolutely certain that the convoy was not after all in the area covered.  It is unlikely however, as the area further north was thoroughly covered on the previous day.
       
- 326 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    As there is so far no information at all on the convoy it seems more and more likely that it hauled out further to the west, following the attack by the He 177 on the previous convoy, and has proceeded outside the area covered by air reconnaissance.
     Group "Weddigen" was ordered at 2000 to transfer the patrol line 90 miles in a direction 2300 at maximum speed.
     After U 515 had dropped out (she was repairing in DH 85) the line was from CF 1292 to CF 2272 in the order U 424 - 843 - 618 - 600 - 358 - 542 - 586 - 262 - 764 - 86 - 238 - 648 - 228 - 969 - 538 - 391.  During the evening and night the following reports were received from the boats.
     U 424 was hunted for 12 hours with hydrophones and D/c's by 3 destroyers in BE 7997.
    U 843 sighted a searching group in CF 2211 at 0811/23 and fired a Zaunkönig torpedo which however only detonated after 14 minutes (end of run).
    She also sighted a Jersey destroyer, course N., slow speed in CF 2138 and towards the evening of the 23rd several searchlights in CF 2152.
     U 714 reported at 0715/23 from BE 7989 star-shell and gun flashes from 2 destroyers.  Subsequently she was depth-charged for 5 hours.
     U 764 also sighted 2 destroyer at 0233/24 in CF 2153.  These reports cover such a small area over such a long period that they can hardly be connected with the escort of the expected south-bound convoy.  This must have been a stationary patrol group, because the boats, which were proceeding S.W. in close formation, should otherwise have sighted the convoy.
  b) 1) U 541 and U 421 will occupy squares AK 63, 66 and 69 as temporary attack area in connection with the convoy operation planned for the end of this month.
    2) U 230 is on her way to the Mediterranean.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:   None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 
 
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
- 327 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
24.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
Op(BE 87)
U 426
-
BE 99
U 618
-
Op(BE 79)
 
86
-
Op(BE 87)
262
-
Op(BE 79)
488
-
CE 24
625
-
AM 33
 
92
-
BF 45
267
-
BF 80
510
-
EH 25
629
-
AF 76
 
103
-
Op(EU 70)
269
-
Op(AL 72)
515
-
Op(CF 21)
648
-
Op(BE 87)
 
107
-
BE 88
274
-
Op(CF 22)
516
-
Op(EB 80)
653
-
BF 48
 
129
-
Op(DC 70)
280
-
Op(CF 22)
518
-
BF 77
667
-
BE 95
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BF 80
530
-
Op(EC 40)
672
-
AM 24
 
155
-
Op(FA 20)
282
-
Op(CF 21)
536
-
BF 78
709
-
BE 96
 
170
-
EH 73
284
-
AO
537
-
Op(BC 80)
714
-
Op(BE 87)
 
172
-
BF 83
333
-
CG 15
538
-
Op(BE 87)
734
-
Op(AL 44)
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
343
-
BF 77
541
-
AL 19
761
-
AE 67
 
193
-
DM 53
358
-
Op(BE 79)
542
-
Op(BE 79)
764
-
Op(CF 21)
 
211
-
CG 13
364
-
AO
543
-
AE 79
801
-
AE 79
 
212
-
CF 23
373
-
BF 80
544
-
AE 79
843
-
Op(CF 12)
 
214
-
BF 85
391
-
Op(BE 88)
552
-
BE 69
849
-
FM 37
 
218
-
CF 66
415
-
BF 49
575
-
BE 93
850
-
AF 76
 
219
-
DS 20
420
-
BE 92
586
-
Op(BE 79)
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
226
-
BE 93
421
-
AL 10
592
-
BE 80
963
-
BF 48
 
228
-
Op(BE 87)
424
-
Op(CF 12)
600
-
Op(BE 78)
967
-
DE 92
 
230
-
BE 49
425
-
AN 31
608
-
BE 96
969
-
Op(BE 87)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 343 - 373 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 575 - 592 - 608 - 709 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a)  For reports from Group "Weddigen" boats see paragraph IVa).
  b)  None.
  c) 1) U-boat sighting: ED 2298 (U 530).
      A U-boat was attacked in EB 9718 (U 516).
    2) English unit located in AE 6910.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  There is still no information on MKS 30/OS 59.  It is assumed that it has already passed the patrol line.
     Towards evening Group "Weddigen" was ordered to have the positions reached and to arrange course and speed so as to reach a new patrol line from CF 8350 to CF 6850 on the evening of the 27th.
     After U 586 has started on her return passage, the line was as follows:
     U 424 - 618 - 843 - 600 - 542 - 358 - 262 - 764 - 238 - 86 - 538 - 228 - 391 - 107 - 648 - 969.
       
- 328 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    It is intended to operate against MKS 31, expected on the evening of the 27th, in cooperation with G.O.C. Atlantic Air Forces.
     On her way S.E. U 262 sighted flares bearing 2300 from CF 2458 at 0300.  U 843 sighted flares at the same time bearing 700 from CF 1653.
     U 542 then reported that she had been chased by destroyers at 0307 in CF 2417.  The bearings of the flares were also in the direction of this position.
  b) 1) U 515 has been allocated the coastal area of square EK to EU as attack area.
    2) U 92 - 544 - 801 - 653 and 415 are to make for AK 69.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:   None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
25.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 70)
U 238
-
Op(CF 28)
U 426
-
BF 77
U 618
-
Op(CF 24)
 
86
-
Op(CF 26)
262
-
Op(CF 24)
488
-
CE 23
625
-
AM 23
 
92
-
BF 44
267
-
BF 67
510
-
EH 52
629
-
AF 72
 
103
-
Op(EV 80)
269
-
Op(AL 72)
515
-
DU 11
648
-
Op(CF 26)
 
107
-
CF 26
274
-
Op(CF 27)
516
-
Op(EB 90)
653
-
BF 47
 
129
-
Op(BD 92)
280
-
Op(CF 27)
518
-
BF 78
667
-
BE 91
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BF 67
530
-
Op(EC 60)
672
-
AM 23
 
155
-
Op(FA 20)
282
-
Op(CF 27)
536
-
BF 79
709
-
BF 73
 
170
-
EH 42
284
-
AN 36
537
-
Op(BC 84)
714
-
BE 89
 
172
-
BF 81
333
-
CG 21
538
-
Op(CF 29)
739
-
Op(AL 47)
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
343
-
BF 78
541
-
Op(AK 63)
761
-
AE 63
 
193
-
Op(DM 20)
358
-
Op(CF 24)
542
-
Op(CF 21)
764
-
Op(CF 24)
 
211
-
BF 77
364
-
AN 36
543
-
AL 14
801
-
AE 78
 
212
-
CF 32
373
-
BF 82
544
-
AE 78
843
-
Op(CF 16)
 
214
-
BF 82
391
-
Op(CF 29)
552
-
BF 48
849
-
FM 66
 
218
-
CG 41
415
-
BF 48
575
-
BE 71
850
-
AF 72
 
219
-
DS 42
420
-
BF 71
586
-
Op(CF 21)
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
226
-
BF 71
421
-
AL 10
592
-
BF 64
963
-
BF 49
 
228
-
Op(CF 28)
424
-
Op(CF 16)
600
-
Op(CF 24)
967
-
BE 93
 
230
-
BF 49
425
-
AN 24
608
-
BF 78
969
-
Op(CF 28)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 343 - 373 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 552 - 575 - 586 - 592 - 608 - 709 - 714 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  U 592 - St. Nazaire; U 425 - Bergen.
  Sailed:  U 311 - 741 - 967 - Kiel.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
- 329 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 625 sighted an English heavy cruiser, course S.E. high speed, in AL 3961.  No report of an attack.
    2) U 542 and 618, belonging to Group "Weddigen", were attacked by aircraft during the night in CF 5227 and CF 5136 respectively.
  b) None.
  c) U-boat sightings:  CF 2931, CF 2932 and ED 2552 (U 530?).
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Group "Weddigen" is still on passage to the intended patrol line.  It is regrettable that the 2 boats were sighted by aircraft, as the Group's direction of advance may now be known to the enemy.
    Our own aircraft will fly reconnaissance against the expected MKS 31 for the first time on November 26. The final disposition of the patrol line will be decided when the convoy's position has been established.
  b) Boats have been ordered to keep radio silence between 51 and 570 except for messages of tactical importance.
  c) U 219 will be in EH 1255 daily one hour before sunset and one hour after sunrise from 27.11. She is to refuel U 170 there for economical return passage.  U 510 has orders to proceed to this same rendezvous if her present position is favorable and to take over 40 cbm and corresponding provisions.   Next refueling operation is to be for U 103 in EH 80.
  d) 1) Naval War Staff (1st Division) is making a fresh attempt to get blockade breakers through to W. France.  THere are at present 3 ships in the South Atlantic ready to proceed north.  From 000/1/12 until further notice the sea area between the squares EF 6378, EH 6389, FE 2957, FE 8924, FC 9835, FC 3562 will be closed for attacks on independently routed ships.
    2) There are at present 12 boats at sea with several Borkum sets to be delivered to other boats.  Orders have been given that boats fitted with Naxos may take over one of these sets at a chance encounter without further instructions.  They are to do their best to obtain this gear as soon as possible.  As rendezvous can only seldom be arranged in the present operations areas so near the coast, boats with Naxos have permission to make small detours in order to reach known positions of boats with Borkum sets.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
VI. General:
  The internment of the crews of U 760 and U 617 has given rise to the following order issued to the boats:
       
- 330 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  Owing to strong English pressure on Spain, there is far greater danger of U-boats and crews being interned by Spanish authorities than previously, as recent cases have shown.  Boats must therefore act in such a way as to make it as difficult as possible for the Spanish authorities to plead reasons for internment.
  1) U-boats are permitted to enter neutral ports to repair damage within the limits indispensable to the safety of shipping (Naval Neutrality Convention Article 17) and damaged boats may therefore put into Spanish ports to re-establish seaworthiness.
  2) If at all possible boats are to put into Spanish ports under their own power and avoid requesting tugs.  
  3)  Application is to be made to the Spanish authorities for the time required to effect repairs. Boats are to leave the Spanish port within the time limit set by the Spanish authorities.
  4)  If the damage is so severe that it seems unlikely that seaworthiness can be re-established, the boat is to be scuttled in order to avoid internment.
  5)  As there is danger of internment if a boat is beached unless she can be refloated quickly, the boat is, if possible, to be sunk.  All confidential material and all installations and armament which may not fall into foreign hands are to be destroyed at all costs.
  6)  Scuttling is as far as possible to be carried out so that the fact does not become known.  The fact that the boat has been scuttled is not to be mentioned to the Spanish authorities, but the sinking is to be attributed to enemy action or damage.
  7)  If the boat is destroyed the crew is unlikely to be interned if:
    a) they are picked up by a neutral merchant vessel (e.g. Spanish fishing boat) and landed or,
    b) they reach the shore swimming or in a rubber dinghy.
    According to international agreement release is more likely in case a) than in case b) so that crews should, for this reason alone, aim at boarding a neutral merchant vessel.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
26.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 80)
U 238
-
Op(CF 52)
U 426
-
BF 78
U 629
-
AF 47
 
86
-
Op(CF 53)
262
-
Op(CF 52)
488
-
CE 32
648
-
Op(CF 53)
 
92
-
BE 66
267
-
BF 64
510
-
EH 16
653
-
BE 69
 
103
-
Op(EV 80)
269
-
Op(AL 72)
515
-
DU 17
667
-
BE 83
 
107
-
Op(CF 61)
274
-
Op(CF 52)
516
-
Op(EB 90)
672
-
AM 13
 
129
-
Op(DB 60)
280
-
Op(CF 52)
518
-
BF 84
709
-
BF 75
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
281
-
BF 64
530
-
Op(EC 60)
714
-
BE 95
 
155
-
Op(FA 20)
282
-
Op(CF 52)
536
-
BF 84
734
-
Op(AL 47)
 
170
-
EH 15
284
-
AN 31
537
-
BC 80
741
-
AO
 
172
-
BF 76
311
-
AO
538
-
Op(CF 61)
761
-
AE 85
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
333
-
BF 78
541
-
Op(AK 63)
764
-
Op(CF 52)
 
       
- 331 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
193
-
Op(DM 10)
343
-
BF 93
542
-
Op(CF 28)
801
-
AL 41
 
211
-
CG 11
358
-
Op(CF 52)
543
-
AL 13
843
-
Op(CF 27)
 
214
-
BF 57
364
-
AN 31
544
-
AL 18
849
-
FN 71
 
218
-
CG 19
373
-
BF 53
552
-
BF 49
850
-
AF 47
 
219
-
DS 72
391
-
Op(CF 53)
575
-
BF 72
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
226
-
BF 72
415
-
BE 66
586
-
CF 22
963
-
BF 57
 
228
-
Op(CF 53)
420
-
BF 72
600
-
Op(CF 52)
967
-
BF 71
 
230
-
BF 72
421
-
AL 10
608
-
BF 49
976
-
AO
       
424
-
Op(CF 51)
618
-
Op(CF 27)
969
-
Op(CF 53)
             
625
-
AL 02      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 267 - 281 - 333 - 343 - 373 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 537 - 552 - 575 - 586 - 608 - 709 - 714 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  U 343 - 373 - La Pallice; U 267 - 281 - St. Nazaire.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  In square CG 70 against MKS 31 expected by Group "Weddigen".
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) Reports from U 764 see paragraph IVa).
  b) Air reconnaissance sighted the expected convoy at 1344 in CG 7434, course 2700, speed 7 knots, comprising 25 merchant ships, 13 large landing ships, 5 - 7 escort vessels.
  c) 1) U-boat sighting in about 390 N., longitude not resolved.  (U 764).
    2) English units were located in:  CF 3840, CF 6150, CG 1270.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Group "Weddigen":
    The position reported by reconnaissance aircraft in CG 7434, course 2700, made it necessary to move the intended patrol line.  Towards evening the group received orders to be in a new patrol line from CF 8321 to CF 6516 at 1800/27/11.
    Order:  U 424 - 618 - 843 - 600 - 542 - 358 - 262 - 764 - 238 - 86 - 538 - 391 - 107 - 648 - 969.
     Boats are to remain submerged by day on the 7th, but make sure of very long wave reception.  G.O.C. Atlantic Air Forces has agreed to fly reconnaissance twice.   The afternoon reconnaissance will make beacon-signals on sighting the convoy from 1930.  Boats are to be surfaced by this time and have switched to D/F reception.
     U 764 was attacked by surface forces in CF 5690 at 2214 and probably forced to dive as at 0525 she reported an aircraft attack from the same position.
       
- 332 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  b) Until the start of the operation planned in that area, boats will occupy the following attack areas:
     U 801 - AL 71, AL 72, AL 81; U 544 - AL 41, AL 44, AL 47;  U 625 and 543 - AL 42, AL 45, AL 48;  U 667 is to make for AK 66.
    All boats have been ordered to consume the minimum of fuel on passage and in their operations area.
  c) U 103 reported her position in ET 7427.  She is therefore on her way to EH 80 to supply as ordered.
  d)  None.
       
V. Reports of Success:   None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
27.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 80)
U 230
-
BF 74
U 510
-
EH 12
U 629
-
AE 69
 
86
-
Op(CF 67)
238
-
Op(CF 67)
515
-
DU 44
648
-
Op(CF 68)
 
92
-
BE 65
262
-
Op(CF 67)
516
-
Op(EB 90)
653
-
BE 65
 
103
-
ES 93
269
-
Op(AL 72)
518
-
BF 85
667
-
BE 82
 
107
-
Op(CF 68)
274
-
Op(CF 60)
530
-
Op(EB 60)
672
-
AL 36
 
129
-
Op(DB 60)
280
-
Op(CF 60)
536
-
BF 85
709
-
BF 55
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
282
-
Op(CF 60)
537
-
BC 94
714
-
BE 96
 
155
-
Op(FA 20)
284
-
AN 24
538
-
Op(CF 67)
734
-
Op(AL 74)
 
170
-
EH 12
311
-
AN 35
541
-
Op(AK 63)
741
-
AN 35
 
172
-
BF 75
333
-
BF 76
542
-
Op(CF 59)
761
-
AE 84
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
358
-
Op(CF 59)
543
-
AL 18
764
-
Op(CF 56)
 
193
-
Op(DM 10)
364
-
AN 24
544
-
Op(AL 40)
801
-
AL 47
 
211
-
BF 84
391
-
Op(CF 67)
552
-
BF 57
843
-
Op(CF 59)
 
212
-
BE 98
415
-
BE 65
575
-
BF 91
849
-
FN 78
 
214
-
BF 50
420
-
BF 73
586
-
BE 89
850
-
AE 69
 
218
-
CG 24
421
-
AL 10
600
-
Op(CF 59)
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
219
-
EH 12
424
-
Op(CF 83)
608
-
BF 84
963
-
BF 50
 
226
-
BF 73
426
-
BF 76
618
-
Op(CF 83)
967
-
BF 73
 
228
-
Op(CF 67)
488
-
CF 13
625
-
AL 51
976
-
AN 35
                   
969
-
Op(CF 68)
 
  On Return Passage:  U 103 - 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 333 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 537 - 552 - 575 - 586 - 608 - 709 - 714 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 471 - 981 - Kiel;  U 178 - Penang.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  Against the N.-bound MKS 31 for Group "Weddigen".
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a)  Convoy No. 49 (Group "Weddigen") see paragraph IVa).
  b)  Air reconnaissance took off AM and PM.  The convoy was reported in CG 4478, course 3400 at 0830, in CF 6538, course 3400 at 2030 and in CF 6292, course 3500, at 0112/28.
       
- 333 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    Average speed 7 knots.
    3 cruisers were also sighted at 0005 in CF 6932, course 1500, speed 10 knots.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  CF 6617, CF 6298, CF 6617 and 4 others in undecyphered positions.  Probably convoy No. 49.
    2) English units were located in CF 6660 and CF 6860.
    3) An unidentified English steamer made a torpedo report from LM 6670 (probably a Japanese, as none of our own boats were in the vicinity.
      SSS report from an unidentified U.S.A. steamer from DB 3674 (U 129).
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Group "Weddigen" (Convoy No. 49):
    Aircraft reported the convoy in CG 7434 at 1345/26/11, course 2700 and it was assumed on the basis of previous experience that it would maintain this course at first and alter to north during the course of the 27th.  Morning reconnaissance on the 27th however sighted the convoy in CG 4478, course 3500, at 0830.   It must therefore have turned north PM on the 26th, probably after the shadowing aircraft flew off.  The patrol line from CF 8321 to CF 6516 is therefore fairly far to leeward; it was quite impossible to foresee this.
    In order to approach as near possible to the convoy Group "Weddigen" proceeded submerged from 1000, course 450 speed 3 knots and continued at high speed after surfacing at 1830.  In this way the boats could be 50 miles nearer the convoy by nightfall.
    Towards 1900 U 238 sighted 2 circling aircraft from CF 6489 and later one aircraft alone, but these could not have been part of the convoy escort.
    At 1830 U 391, obtained a weak hydrophone bearing of 950 from CF 6541.  This lay approximately in the direction of the convoy's supposed position.
     Towards 2030 one BV 222, flying the evening reconnaissance, picked up the convoy in CF 6539 and immediately made beacon-signals.  These were reported almost simultaneously by 5 boats (U 238 - 764 - 262 - 107 - 843) and the bearings all pointed in an E.N.E. direction.
    On the basis of aircraft report and bearings the convoy's position was taken as CF 6539 at 2030. The course steered so far had been 2950.   As it could not be foreseen what alterations of course the convoy would still make, the Group was given the following order:  U 107 to search along her own bearing line.  The more southerly boats to operate on convoy courses of 290 - 3200, the remaining
 
 
 
- 334 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     boats on courses between 320 and 3500.  Enemy speed assumed to be 7.5 knots.
    The BV 222 remained with the convoy until 0130 (excellent work) and continued to make beacon-signals.  It reported at 2210 that the convoy's course was 3400.  At 0112, on leaving, it reported the convoy's position as CF 6292.  Towards 2140 2 boats reported the beacon-signals and their bearings crossed in CF 6616, but this gave no clue.  U 107 was there which as already mentioned was now much further east.  (T.N. This is a literal rendering of the passage.  It is unintelligible).
     The next bearings from 5 boats were received between 0030 and 0040.  They all lay in an E. to N.E. direction.  At 0100 the mean position, reckoned from aircraft report and bearings, was taken as an area of 10 miles around CF 6347 and boats were informed accordingly.  Course was approximately 3500.
     U 107 heard a band of sound between 240 and 3600 from CF 6373 at 0015 and observed this and several D/C's until 0200.  According to earlier bearings this boat must have been quite close to the convoy and it was surprising that she did not sight it.
     At 0242 U 238 reported a bearing of 920 from CF 6169 on the convoy R/T wave.  The various position reports from the boats showed that they were all searching to the N. of N.E. at high speed.  The weather at the time (W 2 - 3, slight swell) was regarded as particularly favorable and made it quite possible for the boats to maintain this speed degree.  Nevertheless most of them were still so far astern of the convoy that probably only 4 - 6 could reach it before first light.
     Many of the boats were presumably held up and diverted by the many flares.
     It was seen here for the first time quite clearly that the enemy was systematically attempting to divert the U-boats with several groups shooting flares.  Thus, 2 boats sighted flares bearing 83 and 750 respectively from CF 6492 at 2130.  Between 0030  and 0400 6 boats reported bearings of flares, which all crossed in CF 6288.  During the same period 4 more bearings of flares sighted in about CF 6235 were received.  The convoy could have been 30 - 40 miles away from either of these positions.
    This fact and the very dark night (new moon) were probably the reasons why the convoy was not found for the present.
     Towards 0724, i.e. 1 1/2 hours before sunrise, U 262 sighted the convoy in CF 6223.  U 238 had sighted flares bearing 1480 from the same position at 0520, so she too must have been in the immediate vicinity.  No further reports on the convoy were received by 0800 however, but it can be assumed that one or other of the boats will have managed to fire.
    Anti-submarine activity:
     According to the aircraft the convoy consisted of 52 merchant
 
 
 
- 335 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     ships and 5 escort vessels.  No idea could be formed of the actual strength of the escort as none of the boats came in contact with it.  Air escort seems to have been very strong.  3 boats (U 764 - 391 - 262) reported aircraft attacks during the night.  According to Radio Intelligence there were 10 aircraft for anti-submarine operations 3 of which were presumably always with the convoy at a time.  An Azores aircraft made an SOS at 2113 from an undecyphered position (probably shot down by U 764), of the 16 boats operating, 11 reported during the night, 2 (U 648 and 969) are probably already on their way back owing to shortage of fuel and the 3 others (U 600, 542, and 538) may not have had any reason to use their radio.
    U 618 did not operate against the convoy.  After an aircraft attack at 0151/26/11 she was detected by a searching group and hunted for 38 hours with hydrophones and depth-charges.  She is at present in CF 54 carrying out repairs.
     For final remarks on Convoy No. 49 see War Log of 28.11.
  b) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
28.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 80)
U 230
-
BE 99
U 510
-
EH 12
U 648
-
Op(CF 39)
 
86
-
Op(CF 62)
238
-
Op(CF 38)
515
-
DU 71
653
-
BE 64
 
92
-
BE 64
262
-
Op(CF 62)
516
-
Op(EB 80)
667
-
BE 81
 
103
-
ES 67
269
-
Op(AL 75)
518
-
BF 82
672
-
AL 35
 
107
-
Op(CF 62)
274
-
Op(CF 60)
530
-
Op(EB 60)
709
-
BF 61
 
129
-
Op(DB 60)
280
-
Op(CF 60)
536
-
BF 82
714
-
BF 74
 
154
-
Op(EP 40)
282
-
Op(CF 60)
537
-
BC 96
734
-
Op(AL 47)
 
155
-
Op(FA 20)
284
-
AN 31
538
-
Op(CF 39)
741
-
AN 35
 
170
-
EH 12
311
-
AN 35
541
-
Op(AK 69
761
-
AL 25
 
172
-
BE 99
333
-
BF 84
542
-
Op(CF 39)
764
-
Op(CF 62)
 
178
-
LF 50
358
-
Op(CF 37)
543
-
Op(AL 42)
801
-
Op(AL 72)
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
364
-
AN 31
544
-
Op(AL 41)
843
-
Op(CF 62)
 
193
-
Op(DM 10)
391
-
Op(CF 38)
552
-
BF 82
849
-
FU 19
 
211
-
BF 85
415
-
BE 64
575
-
BF 64
850
-
AE 68
 
212
-
BF 77
420
-
BF 81
586
-
BF 97
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
214
-
BF 57
421
-
AK 61
600
-
Op(CF 39)
963
-
BF 57
 
218
-
CG 22
424
-
Op(CF 62)
608
-
BF 64
967
-
BF 81
 
219
-
EH 12
426
-
BF 85
618
-
Op(CF 39)
969
-
Op(CF 39)
 
226
-
BF 81
471
-
AO
625
-
Op(AL 42)
976
-
AN 35
 
228
-
Op(CF 39)
488
-
BE 87
629
-
AE 68
981
-
AO
 
  On Return Passage:  U 103 - 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 333 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 537 - 552 - 575 - 586 - 608 - 709 - 714 - 963 - 967.
  Entered Port:  U 709 - Lorient;  U 575 - 608 - St. Nazaire.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
- 336 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 154 situation:  Nothing found on the convoy route from EP 45 - EO 77 from 18.11.  Night air activity twice on 22.11. in EO 6289.  Return passage because of fuel.
    2) U 155 reports:  Strong anti-submarine activity along the 200 meter line in FB.  MTB's with depth charges and flares.  On 21.11. heavy aircraft bombs and subsequently hydrophone hunt for 10 hours.  Damage repaired to some extent, but return necessary.  According to prisoners traffic follows to 200 meter line.  The Commanding Officer considers the area promising provided enemy Radar is detected.   Sea patrol inexperienced.
  b)  None.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  EA 30 (position doubtful. U 530?).
    2) English units were located in AL 4580 and BE 9830.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Group "Weddigen" Convoy No. 49:
     The boats were ordered to dive at dawn, but to make use of opportunities for submerged attacks.  As expected, some boats made contact during the night 27/28 and scored successes.  U 262 did excellent work.  After being depth-charged by a destroyer, she surfaced at 0717/28 in the middle of the convoy and fired 4 torpedoes, including one Zaunkönig, at 3 ships.  She then dived again.  She heard 4 unmistakable detonations and sinking noises.  U 238 observed an aircraft shot down at 2212/27 in CF 6544 and another in CF 6222 at 0451/28, presumably by U 764 and 262 respectively.   She took the radio operator and 2 pilots from one aircraft on board.
     U 238 also sighted the convoy, course N., at 0930/28 in CF 3882 and fired a T5 at a corvette at 1042.  It is unlikely that it hit as the detonation was only heard after 13 minutes 25 seconds.
    U 764 was also several times in contact with escort vessels.   She reported later that she fired a Zaunkönig at a destroyer on 26.11 (end of run detonator) at 1116/28 she attacked another destroyer in CF 6257 and heard a detonation after 14 minutes 4 seconds and loud sinking noises.  She must have been wrong because a hit is impossible after such a long running time.  At 0346 she fired another Zaunkönig end of run detonator.   The boat was then heavily depth-charged and is at present only fit for individual operations owing to damage.  U 107 suffered a similar fate; she fired a Zaunkönig at a corvette and was afterwards hunted with depth-charges, but got away without damage.
       
- 337 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     No further reports were received from the boats.  The operation is thus ended.
    Final remarks:
    A. This convoy has yielded the following experiences:
     
1) The enemy has now resorted to the method of altering course drastically as soon as the shadowing aircraft observed by him has made its run away (convoy's course sighted at 1345/26/11 in CG 7434 was 2700, alteration of course to 3450, course sighted at 0830/27/11 in CG 4478 was 3450, alteration of course to 2950).  It is therefore difficult to dispose the patrol line for the next day on the basis of a single aircraft report.  It is essential to have a fresh aircraft report at latest 12 hours after the convoy is first picked up, so that the U-boats' positions can be improved.  A "current" air reconnaissance of this sort depends solely on the number of reconnaissance aircraft available and cannot at present be carried out.
2) It is quite possible for an aircraft fitted with shipping detection gear to shadow the convoy by night.  The transmission of beacon-signals at night gave satisfactory results.
3) The enemy is making systematic attempts to deceive the boats as to the convoy's position by means of escort vessels firing flares.  It is therefore essential to provide visual aides (shadowers' signal buoys dropped by the aircraft) to make it easier for the boats to find the convoy.  (Equipment of Atlantic aircraft with shadower's signal buoys is in progress).  It is important to change the characteristics of the signal buoys frequently, as the enemy is likely to make attempts at deception.
4) The enemy is making increased use of escort aircraft for anti-submarine operations by night.  So far as can be seen however the escort aircraft with the convoy have not been successful against the U-boats.  All the attacks reported by the boats were beaten off and 2 aircraft shot down.  It is possible that aircraft in the vicinity of the convoy have orders to fly over once without attacking in order to make sure that there is in fact a U-boat present (and not a dispersed ship), so that the second live attack finds the U-boat forewarned.
  Nevertheless, night air activity in great strength, means that it is very much more difficult for the boats to get near the convoy and is also an additional risk.
    B. The small results of the operation may be attributed to the following causes:
     
1) A bad start as the patrol line was in the wrong place, which meant that the boats reached the convoy very late and one at a time.  The fix by beacon-signals was
 
 
 
- 338 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     
  inaccurate as the bearings crossed at an unfavorable angle.
2) Strong anti-submarine activity by aircraft; presumably the boats were frequently ordered to dive.
3) Boats were diverted by flares from groups of destroyers.  Escort vessels were also numerous in the convoy's area.
4) Losses of boats uncertain.  3 boats did not report during this operation.  It must be assumed that they were sunk by night aircraft or anti-submarine groups on their way to the patrol line.
  b)  None.
  c)  U 228 has requested a Borkum set and will rendezvous with U 107 at 1900/29/11 in CF 3768.
  d) Results of preliminary interrogation of the British radio operator captured by U 238:
    1) Probably passive location.
    2) Use of searchlight not necessary for dropping bombs.
    3) Attacking course always at right angles to the boat.
    4) Point of aim said to be the wake (C.O. of U 238 believes this is an attempt to mislead, as aircraft generally fly over the main engine room).
    5) The radio operator had 2 years' anti-submarine training.  He claims to be able to distinguish a German U-boat from and English submarine with the same location.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    
U 262 3 ships 15,000 GRT
U ? 1 aircraft  
U ? 1 aircraft.  
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
29.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 80)
U 228
-
Op(CF 30)
U 471
-
AN 35
U 648
-
CG 11
 
86
-
Op(CF 30)
230
-
CG 11
488
-
BE 88
653
-
BE 56
 
92
-
BE 56
238
-
Op(CF 35)
510
-
EH 12
667
-
BE 57
 
103
-
ES 54
262
-
Op(CF 38)
515
-
Op(EK 11)
672
-
AL 26
 
107
-
Op(CF 30)
260
-
Op(AL 75)
516
-
Op(EB 80)
714
-
BF 75
 
129
-
Op(DB 60)
274
-
Op(CG 14)
518
-
BF 80
734
-
Op(AL 47
 
154
-
Op(EO 39)
280
-
Op(CG 14)
530
-
Op(EB 60)
741
-
AN 31
 
155
-
Op(FA 20)
282
-
Op(CG 14)
536
-
BF 80
761
-
AL 18
 
170
-
EH 12
284
-
AN 31
537
-
BD 42
764
-
Op(CF 53)
 
172
-
BE 99
311
-
AN 31
538
-
Op(CF 30)
811
-
Op(AL 72)
 
178
-
LF 10
333
-
BF 85
541
-
Op(AK 69)
843
-
Op(CF 30)
 
190
-
Op(FB 50)
358
-
Op(CF 30)
542
-
Op(CF 30)
849
-
FU 49
 
193
-
Op(DM 10)
364
-
AN 31
543
-
Op(AL 42)
850
-
AE 67
 
211
-
BF 82
391
-
Op(CF 30)
544
-
Op(AL 41)
962
-
Op(AN 74)
 
212
-
BF 78
415
-
BE 56
552
-
BF 67
963
-
BF 50
 
214
-
BF 55
420
-
BF 80
586
-
BE 98
967
-
BF 67
 
218
-
BF 78
421
-
Op(AK 69)
600
-
Op(CF 30)
969
-
CG 11
 
       
- 339 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
219
-
EH 12
424
-
Op(CF 30)
618
-
CF 50
976
-
AN 31
 
226
-
BF 80
426
-
BF 52
625
-
Op(AL 42)
981
-
AN 35
             
629
-
AE 67      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 103 - 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 333 - 420 - 426 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 537 - 552 - 586 - 648 - 714 - 963 - 967 - 969.
  Entered Port:  U 426 - Brest.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  In the area west of Ireland against S.-bound KMS 34.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 543 was attacked by a destroyer at 2245 in AL 7288.  She was then depth-charged, which caused a strong trace of oil.
  b)  The convoy searched for was not found.  The aircraft sighted 2 destroyers and 2 large merchant ships in AM 7721, course 900, speed 6 knots.
     As there are no boats in the vicinity no operation is possible (off the coast).
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  AL 4821 (U 811), MO 6484 (Japanese).
    2) Torpedo report from MP 6777 (Japanese).
    3) English units were located in AL 5120, AL 5130, AM 7350 and AK 6220.
  d)  Convoy SC 147 and stragglers were instructed at 2050/24/11 to proceed via BD 3313, AL 8556, AM 4854, AM 53.
    Of the 2 previous convoys, one evaded to the north, the other followed the Great Circle, so that the impression that the enemy is using the whole of the North Atlantic at random is further confirmed.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  Group "Weddigen", including U 618, has received orders to move off to BE 47.  It is intended to operate the remaining boats against a S.-bound convoy in approximately that area.
  b) 1) U 761 and 672, which have both made their passage reports, will occupy the squares AL 17, 18, 19 and AL 01 as temporary attack areas.  All boats at present waiting in that area area to remain submerged by day.  The operation planned against a W.-bound convoy is expected to begin on about 6.12.
    2) U 764 has been ordered to return, as operation in a remote area with 60 cbm fuel is not promising.
  c)  U 764 will take over the English air crew from U 238 on her return passage.  Both boats will be in CF 3711 one hour before sunrise on 30.11.
  d)  None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- 340 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
30.November 1943.
 
 
 
I.
U 68
-
Op(EW 80)
U 228
-
CF 37
U 488
-
BE 87
U 648
-
CG 12
 
86
-
Op(CF 30)
230
-
CG 11
510
-
EH 12
653
-
BE 52
 
92
-
BE 52
238
-
CF 37
515
-
Op(EK 10)
667
-
BE 46
 
103
-
ES 18
262
-
CG 14
516
-
Op(EB 80)
672
-
AL 18
 
107
-
CF 37
269
-
Op(AL 75)
518
-
BF 57
714
-
BF 84
 
129
-
Op(DB 30)
274
-
CG 13
530
-
Op(EB 60)
734
-
Op(AL 47)
 
154
-
EP 11
280
-
CG 12
536
-
BF 57
741
-
AN 23
 
155
-
ER 17
282
-
CG 12
537
-
BD 54
761
-
Op(AL 10)
 
170
-
EH 12
284
-
AN 23
538
-
Op(CF 30)
764
-
CF 37
 
172
-
CG 11
311
-
AN 23
541
-
Op(AK 66)
801
-
Op(AL 72)
 
178
-
MU 95
331
-
BF 83
542
-
Op(CF 30)
843
-
Op(CF 30)
 
190
-
Op(FB 40)
358
-
Op(CF 30)
543
-
Op(AL 72)
849
-
FU 84
 
193
-
Op(DL 30)
364
-
AN 31
544
-
Op(AL 41)
850
-
AE 83
 
211
-
BF 80
391
-
Op(CF 30)
552
-
BF 68
962
-
Op(AL 74)
 
212
-
BF 76
415
-
BE 52
586
-
BE 99
963
-
BF 50
 
214
-
BF 52
420
-
BF 80
600
-
Op(CF 30)
967
-
BF 68
 
218
-
BF 76
421
-
Op(AK 69)
618
-
CF 53
969
-
CG 13
 
219
-
EH 12
424
-
Op(CF 30)
625
-
Op(AL 42)
976
-
AN 23
 
226
-
BF 80
471
-
AN 35
629
-
AE 83
981
-
AN 35
 
  On Return Passage:  U 103 - 154 - 155 - 170 - 211 - 212 - 214 - 218 - 226 - 274 - 280 - 282 - 333 - 420 - 488 - 518 - 536 - 537 - 552 - 586 - 648 - 714 - 764 - 963 - 967 - 969.
  Entered Port:  U 214 - Brest; U 552 - St. Nazaire.
  Sailed:  U 972 - Kiel.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  For Group "Weddigen" in the area S.W. of Ireland against South-bound KMS 34.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 764 was attacked by 4 land-based aircraft on 29.11. while ventilating the boat.  She dived, but was afterwards hunted for 16 hours with hydrophones and depth-charges.
      She also reported that the loud humming noise so far observed by one boat is undoubtedly a new type of echoranging gear.
    2) U 238 was attacked by 3 carrier-borne aircraft with guns and bombs at 1830 near her rendezvous with U 764 (CF 3477). Casualties were heavy and she has been ordered to return.  It is therefore unnecessary for her to meet U 764.
    3) U 967, inward-bound on route "Morgenroete" BF 6758, was attacked by an aircraft at 0145.  She was picked up by her escort a few hours later.
  b) The convoy was not found.  Reconnaissance was not exhaustive.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  DC 6326 (U 129).  Also one sighting in 450 50' N., longitude not resolved (U 967 or 415).
    2) Torpedo report from an English steamer from MP 5990 (Japanese).
       
- 341 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    3) An unidentified American steamer reported an enemy warship in FK 2250.   None of our own U-boats in the vicinity.
    4) English units were located in AK 36, AL 6690, AL 6830, CF 1390.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Boats at present in AL 10, 40, 70 have been told to expect one W.-bound and 2 E.-bound convoys.  If these are sighted boats are to report and attack if opportunity offers.  Boats in favorable positions from which they could reach the convoy in one night are then to operate against it.
    2) Group "Weddigen" has orders to be in reconnaissance line from CF 2581 to CF 3513 at 2000/1/12, course 3100, days' run 80 miles, in the order:  U 618 - 238 - 391 - 107 - 358 - 228 - 86 - 424 - 843. U 600, 538 and 542 have freedom of action in the reconnaissance line area.  Boats are to proceed submerged by day.
      Air reconnaissance has been flown for 2 days without finding the convoy, and this reconnaissance line is to cover an area where the convoy may already be.
  b) U 667, 92, 653 and 415 are to arrange their speed so as to reach AL 40 by AM on the 6th.
  c) U 219 has supplied U 510 and 170.  The tanker is proceeding on to EH 80 and is there to refuel U 103 for her return passage.
  d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
VI. General:
  Boats have received the following radio message on the occasion of the award of the Knight's Cross to Lieut. (s.g.) Franke:
  The Fuehrer has, at my suggestion, awarded the Knight's Cross to Lieut. (s.g.) Franke.  One of the main reasons that I proposed him was the fact that several times he alone among all the Commanding Officers taking part in an operation forced his way up to the convoy in the face of strong opposition from aircraft and surface forces.  In the present situation the prospects of sinking ships are slight.  When considering decorations therefore I shall attach all the more weight to determination and perseverance in operations even if they do not lead to success.
 
 
 
       
                                                              (Signed): GODT.
                                                                     Chief of Operations Department,
                                                                    for B.d.U.
       
- 342 -
 
 
     

 


 

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