The excerpt below is only a small part of this document of over 263 pages dealing with the war journals of U-boats and U-boat headquarters.

 

 
 
 
 
 
I N T R O D U C T I O N
 
     
  This guide describes the records of 889 German submarines or U-boats (Unterseeboote), six related operational commands, and two flotilla headquarters during the Second World War, the bulk of which are reproduced on 147 of the approximately 4,200 rolls of National Archives Microfilm Publication T1022, Records of the German Navy, 1850-1945, received from the United States Naval History Division.  Essentially these records are the war diaries, or journals (Kriegstagebücher, or KTB's), for the operational commands and 810 U-boats covering the period Aug 1939-May 1945.  The descriptions have been supplemented by references to related German Navy records reproduced elsewhere on T1022, to records located within other record groups in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and to original German records currently in the custody of other depositories.  The German Navy archives, seized by Allied forces at Castle Tambach near Coburg in April 1945, were transferred by agreement to the British Admiralty for exploitation.  In London the records received new file designations according to the British registry system:  each record item was assigned a number and prefaced with the designation "PG" (reportedly an abbreviation for "pinched from the Germans"). The U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) microfilmed the great majority of these materials during the period Aug 1945-Jul 1947.  In 1955 the Admiralty began the restoration of the German naval records to the Bundesarchiv-Abt. Militärarchiv in Freiburg; the U-boat war journals, however, were not declassified and returned to German custody until 1977.  Between 1968 and 1978 the National Archives accessioned the ONI microfilm from the U.S. Navy as microfilm publication T1022; after declassification by the British the U-boat war journals became generally available for research in 1978.  
     
  Due to the irregularities in record item arrangement (e.g., multiple use of the same "PG" number for different records, nonsequential filming), the desire to include descriptions of U-boat materials supplemental to war journals, and to facilitate research, the U-boat descriptions are arranged by U-boat number.  
     
  Descriptions of those U-boats whose war journals were microfilmed include as headers the "PG" number, T1022 roll number, ONI microfilm number, and the date span of the war journal, followed by the name(s) of commanding officer(s) and a brief description of the war diary's contents.  The "PG" number usually lies within the series 30,000-30999 and is generally followed by a slash and another set of numbers (e.g., "1-13") indicating the number of component parts of the war journal; each number normally describes one war cruise while the last number usually represents an appendix of collected radio communications and torpedo firing reports.  The description includes such information as the submarine's operational areas, crew casualties, special missions (e.g., landing of agents, minelaying), claimed sinkings of Allied warships, the recovery of survivors of sunken ships or downed planes, and the U-boat's fate.  For the 79 U-boats that lack war diaries but for which other materials have been identified, the descriptions merely specify the pertinent records and summarize their contents.  
     
 
VII
 
     
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
  No materials whatever have been identified for 300 German U-boats commissioned into service before the end of the war.  Most of these were submarines that never left training duties or became operational only after the beginning of 1945.  These have been omitted from the guide, but are listed on page XVIII.  Many other U-boat numbers (e.g., U-112 through U-115, U-491 through U-500) were left open and never assigned during the war.  No attempt has been made in this guide to identify German midget submarines or manned torpedoes used during the war.  
     
  The war journals described are not synonymous with ship's logbooks, but are narratives of combat operations.  Training activities and periods in port for layover or repair are generally only summarized; detailed entries are found only for the periods of service at sea.  War journal entries include data on sea and meteorological conditions, radio communications received and sent, times and duration of submergings, a daily record of distances traveled on the surface and submerged, and all pertinent information concerning combat actions.  The amount of detail varies according to the style of the commanding officer, who was responsible for the journal's maintenance.  Following the war journal for each completed patrol is an analytical commentary by the Operations Department of the Commander in Chief of Submarines (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote) or by one of the U-boat theatre commands, together with route charts of the patrol; these are often accompanied by radio logs and torpedo-firing reports.  The submarines positions and movements are identified according to the grid-coordinates of the standard German chart, rather than latitude and longitude.  Mission orders are generally not included, and the accomplishment of such special missions as the landing of agents on enemy coasts is sometimes noted only as "executed" without the nature of the mission being specified.  The journals do not include crew lists.  For most of the U-boats lost in action before March 1944, the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote reconstructed a war journal of the last war cruise on the basis of the radio communications exchanged and subsequent intelligence information on the manner of the boat's loss and the fate of crew members.  No attempt was made to fix the exact location of U-boat sinkings.  The final date given for the span of a war journal often indicates the last date that communications were transmitted to the U-boat, rather than the actual date of loss.  For submarines sunk during the period March 1944-May 1945 such reconstructions are lacking, and the descriptions have drawn upon the war diaries of U-boat operational commands and other German Navy records to indicate known losses.  
     
  As this guide essentially describes German Navy records, its descriptions reflect the information available to German authorities at the time.  Postwar determinations of U-boat claims and losses have not been included, with the following exception:  where U-boat's correctly claimed the sinking of Allied warships but could not identify them, the names or numbers of the latter have been added in parentheses.  Except for ships of major significance (e.g., "Athenia," "Laconia") and ships from which prisoners were recovered, the names of merchant vessels sunk by U-boats are omitted from the descriptions.  
 
 
 
VIII
 
     
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
  The described records of U-boat operational commands complement the U-boat war journals in two capacities.  They furnish a daily review of the operational conduct of the U-boat war, placing the operations of individual submarines in their strategic context and detailing U-boat employment against Allied convoys.  In addition, these records furnish information on the operations and losses of specific U-boats whose war journals are incomplete or missing.  
     
  Closely related to the records described in this guide are other German Navy records reproduced on microfilm publication T1022.  Where feasible, references to these materials by their "PG" item and T1022 roll numbers have been incorporated into the descriptions.  Among the records not so treated are two series of card indexes (record items PG 30989a-b, T1022 rolls 3981-3982) of operational U-boats; though incomplete, these indexes summarize the operational history for the bulk of the German submarine fleet, noting for each U-boat the date of commissioning, commanding officers, dates of war cruises, and claimed successes.  These and other materials available on T1022 will be described in future guides to records of the German Navy, as will numerous technical records microfilmed by ONI but not yet converted to T1022 roll numbers.  In addition, a number of records of the Headquarters, German Navy High Command (Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine) have been microfilmed as National Archives Microfilm Publication T508 and are described in Guides to German Records Microfilmed at Alexandria, Va.: Records of Headquarters, German Navy High Command (OKM), No. 37. Information concerning international aspects of U-boat operations is scattered among the records reproduced on microfilm publication T120, Records of the German Foreign Office Received by the Department of State.  The records of U-boat operations during World War I are described in Guides to the Microfilmed Records of the German Navy, 1850-1945: No. 1, Records of U-boats and T-boats, 1914-18.  
     
  Other record groups in NARA custody also contain information regarding U-boat warfare.  This guide's descriptions include references to pertinent materials in the following record groups:  Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Record Group (RG) 38; General Records of the Department of State, RG 59; General Records of the Department of the Navy, RG 80; Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, RG 165; National Archives Collection of World War II War Crimes Records, RG 238; and Records of the Office of the Provost Marshal General, RG 389.  In addition to materials related to specific U-boats, RG 38 includes intelligence and operational data on anti-submarine warfare among the records of the Intelligence Division, Naval Attache Reports, and RG 165 includes technical intelligence reports on U-boat equipment and weaponry among the records of the G-2 Division, Military Intelligence Service-Y Branch (MIS-Y).  An addendum to the record item descriptions lists additional interrogations recently accessioned by NARA from the U.S. Navy Operational Archives, on page 199.  
     
  Several additional record groups include materials of related interest.  The records of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS), RG 243, contain information on U-boat construction, the effectiveness of Allied bombing of submarine  
     
 
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  shipyards, and a compilation of U-boat numbers, names of commanders, and individual U-boat fates (See European War Series, 100d).  Summaries of U.S. Army Air Force operations against German submarines are located among the Records of the Army Air Forces, RG 18.  The Records of the National Security Agency, RG 457, include the summary intelligence reports prepared by the German Navy's signal intelligence service, the B-Dienst, as well as copies of American intercepts of U-boat communications, Feb 1941-May 1945 (Summaries of Radio Intelligence, German Navy, or SRGN, Series).  Information regarding the activities and losses of American merchant shipping in the Atlantic can be found among the Records of the War Shipping Administration, RG 248, and the Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, RG 26.  The Special Archives Division of the National Archives and Records Administration has custody of photographs and motion pictures pertaining to U-boat warfare from these and other record groups.  
     
  Additional documentation of this topic is scattered among the holdings of several other depositories.  Where such materials have been identified as pertinent for individual submarines, they have been incorporated into the descriptions; original records recovered from U-505, for example, are in the custody of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and the Operational Archives, Naval Historical Center, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC.  Equivalent records for the Royal Navy are located with the Naval Historical Branch, Ministry of Defence, London, England, and are the Public Record Office, London (Kew), England.  The records of the operations of Canadian, South African, French, and Soviet forces against German submarines will be found in the appropriate archival depositories for those states.  
     
  Some U-boat war journals were inadvertently omitted or were unavailable for filming at the time of ONI's microfilming.  These, together with a small amount of U-boat records captured by the U.S. Navy and never incorporated within the PG registry, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as rolls 4195-4188 include frame numbers and preliminary data sheets for each item.  In addition to records of specific U-boats, these records include standing orders and instructions and procedural manuals issued by Doenitz to his U-boat commanders.  
     
  The scope of the material covered precludes comprehensive indexing of the information contained in the descriptions.  Indexes have therefore been prepared only for the names of commanding officers of U-boats described, the names or designations of over 200 Allied and Axis vessels, and a selection of topics.  The index terms were derived from the descriptive material and have been supplemented with "see also" references, cross-references, and explanatory subheadings.  The indexes can be found immediately following the instructions for their use on page 202.  
     
 
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  The master negatives of Microfilm Publication T1022 have been deposited with the Technical Services Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 20408, from which copies of specific rolls may be purchased.  Reference copies may be consulted in the Microfilm Reading Room of the National Archives Building.  For suggestions for citing microfilm, see App. A.  For instructions for ordering microfilm, see page 263.  
     
  For additional information concerning the history and nature of German Navy records for World War II period, the following articles are available:  Paul Heinsius, "Der Verbleib des Aktenmaterials der deutschen Kriegsmarine," Der Archivar, VIII, 2 (April 1955), pp. 75-86; Charles Burdick, "The Tambach Archive--A Research Note," Military Affairs, XXXVI, 4 (December 1972), pp. 124-126; Howard M. Ehrmann, "The German Naval Archives (Tambach)" and Ernest M. Eller, "United States Navy Microfilm of the German Naval Archives," both in Robert Wolfe, ed., Captured German And Related Records:  A National Archives Conference (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1974), pp. 157-172; and Michael Salewski, "Das Kriegstagebuch der deutschen Seekriegsleitung im Zweiten Weltkrieg," Marine-Rundschau, LXIV, 3 (June 1967), pp. 137-145.  A history of the Tambach Archive is included in the introduction to Guides to the Microfilmed Records of the German Navy, 1880-1945: No. 1, Records of U-boats and T-Boats, 1914-18.  
     
  For information regarding U-boat records in the custody of other depositories, the assistance of the following individuals is gratefully acknowledged:  Robert M. Coppock, Naval Historical Branch, British Ministry of Defence; Manfred Kehring, Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv; Bernard Cavalcante, Operational Archives, U.S. Naval Historical Center; W.A.B. Douglas, Directorate of History, Canadian National Defence Headquarters; Terri Sinnott, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry; and William E. Dornemann, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.  
     
  This guide was prepared by Timothy Mulligan.  Johanna M. Wagner and Mary Ann Coyle assisted in the final preparation of the guide.  The textual material was edited by Kathleen Quigley.  
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
 
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KRIEGSTAGEBUCH (KTB)
 
 
 
 
DES FÜHRERS/BEFEHLSHABERS DER UNTERSEEBOOTE (FdU/BdU)
 
     
  FdU/BdU:  Kapt.z.S. und Kommodore (later Konteradmiral, Vizeadmiral, Admiral, und Grossadmiral) Karl Doenitz.  From Jan 1936 to Aug 1939 the Commander of Submarines (Führer der Unterseeboote, or FdU) served within the German Navy's Fleet Command, subordinated to the Commander in Chief, Fleet (Flottenchef).  On Aug 23, 1939, with the outbreak of hostilities imminent, Doenitz established two subordinate theatre commands, FdU West and FdU Ost, to direct operations in the North Sea/Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea, respectively.  Doenitz himself occupied the post of FdU Ost concurrently with his original position, now redesignated FdU(Skl) to denote the command's direct subordination to the Operations Division of the Naval War Staff (Operationsabteilung/Seekriegsleitung, or 1/Skl).  On Aug 31, 1939, Doenitz yielded concurrent command of FdU Ost and assumed it for FdU West, holding that post until its dissolution on Jul 31, 1940.  The Naval War Staff elevated Doenitz's command title on Sep 19, 1939, to Commander in Chief of Submarines (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, or BdU), equal in flag rank to the Commander in Chief, Fleet.  The BdU exercised operational command of all U-boats engaged in combat operations in the North Sea and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans throughout the war, as well as in the western Mediterranean through November 1941.  During the war Doenitz activated subordinate theatre commands to direct U-boat operations in the Mediterranean (FdU Italien, later redesignated FdU Mittelmeer),  in Arctic waters (FdU Norwegen), and off southeastern Norway (FdU Mitte).  Donitz's promotion to Supreme Commander in Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine) on Jan 30, 1943, did not alter his status as BdU, though the operational conduct of U-boat warfare thereafter devolved upon the Operations Department of BdU.  In March 1943 this department was incorporated within the Naval War Staff as the Submarine Operations Division (Unterseebootsführungsabteilung/Seekriegsleitung, or 2/Skl BdU op.) under Konteradmiral Eberhard Godt.  
     
  The war journal (Kriegstagebuch, or KTB) began as a daily narrative summary of U-boat operations, claimed successes, losses, intelligence reports, perceived lessons in tactics and equipment, organizational matters, and discussions of legal and strategic issues.  Beginning on Jul 1, 1940, the KTB listed the general locations (by geographic area) of U-boats at the start of each semimonthly period; from Nov 15, 1940, submarine locations were specified according to the grid-coordinates of the standard German naval chart.  On Nov 1, 1941, the KTB was reorganized into the format it retained through Jan 1945, in which each day's entry covered (1) U-boat locations; (2) aerial reconnaissance results; (3) reports of Allied movements and activities, including signal intelligence assessments; (4) current operations, including losses of individual submarines; (5) reported successes; and (6) general observations.  Appendixes to the KTB included operational orders for specific missions and (beginning Jan 1942) monthly summaries of U-boat losses.  Each KTB was signed by Doenitz through Jan 15, 1943, thereafter, by Konteradmiral Godt of the BdU Operations Department.  No KTB entries after Jan 15, 1945, have been identified.  
     
 
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  A selection of the wide range of topics mentioned in the KTB includes: torpedo failures and developments (PG's 30248, 30250-30251, 30256, 30262, 30264, 30304b, 30323, 30332, 30339, 30350), signal communications security and intelligence (PG's 30290, 30297, 30304b, 30306, 30319, 30346), antiaircraft devices and measures (PG's 30310b, 30323-30326, 30329, 30334, 30336, 30338, 30341), actions against American naval and merchant vessels and operations off the American coast (PG's 30291, 30301a-30304a, 30306b, 30308a), operations in the Mediterranean (PG's 30248-30249, 30297, 30299-30301b, 30312a,b-30313b, 30328), operations in cooperation with Japanese forces in the Indian Ocean (PG's 30326, 30336, 30351), deployment and operations against the Allied invasion of Normandy, 1944 (PG's 30347-30352, 30355), the use of the Schnorchel device (PG's 30343, 30350, 30354), and official Spanish attitudes towards the repair and reprovisioning of U-boats in Spanish waters (PG's 30251, 30256, 30293, 30335, 30341).  Information regarding the continual formation of tactical groups ("wolf packs") is scattered throughout the BdU KTB.  
     
  Related records located elsewhere among German Navy records filmed on T1022 include:  Doenitz's service record, PG 31044 (roll 3288); organizational charts of the BdU command structure as of Jul 1, 1942, PG 31794 (roll 4038), Oct 1, 1942, PG's 9820-9821 (roll 4168), and Mar 1 1943, PG 36678 (roll 2152); operational orders and communications issued by BdU, in PG's 37896-37897 (roll 2447), 32419 (roll 1818), 440 (roll 3674), 31994, 32012 (roll 3981), 33359, 33416 (roll 3965), 33339-33342 (roll 2096), and 16434 (roll 3673); prewar planning on U-boat design and tactics, PG's 33378-33385 (roll 2100), 33387-33390 (roll 2138); reports on the production of late model (Types XVII-XXIII) U-boats, Jul-Nov 1944, PG 34184 (Roll 3991); summaries of convoy operations, PG's 30963 (roll 3404) and 30942-30943 (roll 3465); a collection of operational and procedural directives issued by BdU, reports on Italian U-boat operations in the Atlantic, and lists of U-boat survivors in British captivity, 1939-41, PG 33325 (roll 3103); and excerpts from individual U-boat war journals, reports and essays collected by BdU for general distribution, PG's 33334 (roll 2063), 33387, 33390-33391 (roll 2138), and 30972b (roll 4076).  Listings of U-boats by flotilla, including the name of each submarine commander (and in some cases the names of all ship's officers), appear for the following dates and PG numbers:  Aug 22, 1939, PG 32419 (roll 1818); Jan 1-Nov 1, 1941 PG's 36673-36674 (roll 2150); Dec 1, 1941-Dec 1, 1942, PG's 36675-36677, (roll 2151); Jan 1 and Mar 1, 1943, PG 36678 (roll 2152).  Reports of U-boat operations from mid-January into April 1945 are located in PG's 31752 (roll 3900) and 34425-34426, 31739-31740 (rolls 1755-1756, 1995).  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
 
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