O.K.M. - 1.SKL

Daily Situation Report

1-28 February 1945

PG31752

These records were made available by Aaron S. Hamilton

     
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-278 has begun return transit from the east coast of Scotland, 1 steamer torpedoed, reversal shot miss on steamer and patrol vessel.  Operations hindered by bad visibility.  Position AN 4395.
  b) U-1208 gave passing report from AM 48.
  c) U-927 departed Kristiansand for patrol.
  d) U-907 (weather boat) reported it will begin return transit on 17 February.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  Continual radio and destroyer traffic in area of the Murmansk coast reinforces suspicions that English independents are bypassing U-boats.  Boats are ordered from the coast to a position line from AC 8362 to 9436 for reconnaissance.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  Due to intensifying ice conditions two boats remain in the operations area west of the Nashorn barrier, remaining 3 boats return transit to Danzig for shipyard overhaul.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       757   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  U-485 returned to Bergen without reporting, was in the Channel operations area without shooting opportunities.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       758   
 
     
 
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The daily reports for 3 and 4 February are missing

 

     
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-989 (Rodler) on 3 February, U-1195 (Cordes), U-1021 (Holpert) departed Kiel via Horten, U-953 (Werner) via Kristiansand on 4 February for patrol.
  b) U-300 (Hein) continues outbound transit initially to BF 11.
  c) Dunkirk reports 20.23 hours bearing 335°T, estimated range = about 20 nm, strong flashing with subsequent heavy detonation (U-245?).
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  U-995 departed for the east, boat is scheduled to relieve U-293 (north of Petsamo).  U-956 reports 12 January in AC 8989 three-fat on 2 patrol vessels, detonation after 7 minutes 40 seconds, sinking sounds, afterwards only 1 sound bearing.  After 1-1/2 hours first depth charges.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  U-745 (v. Trotha) received orders to return, order was repeated on 2 February.  On 4 February the boat was asked for position, still no report received.  Last report from the boat on 29 January announcing breakthrough of the Nashorn barrier to the west.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report             
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) Departures:  U-866 (Rogowski), U-864 (Wolfram) Bergen, U-1235 (Barsch) Stavanger, U-683 (Keller), U-1302 (Herwartz) Kristiansand, U-2322 (Heckel), U-399 (Buhse) Horten, U-853 (Frömsdorf) Kiel.
  b) U-300 (Hein) reports position from BF 17, requests operations area Gibraltar.  Because boat has already proceeded far outbound and can see the situation clearly, was assigned requested operations area.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  U-739 return transit with diphtheria patient.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  U-475 searched for U-745 (v. Trotha) in AO 0266 without results.  Boat reports that on 30 January a meeting with U-745 occurred.  For the next 3 days ongoing heavy and medium detonations in easterly to northerly direction, on 4 January about 100 detonations heard, numerous drifting mines and net buoys.
  B.d.U. supposition:  Strong U-boat hunt after detection of a U-boat.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       760   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-880 (Schötzau), U-483 (Morstein) departed Bergen for patrol.
  b) In the afternoon a boat was detected with certainty in the Channel, numerous U-boat hunting units proceed in a hurry.
  c) U-907 (Cabolet) intends return transit on 22 February.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Weather aircraft reports 6 February at noon:  Convoy 10 merchant ships each 6000 GRT, 1 cruiser and 1 aircraft carrier in AF 4792, course 50°.  Norwegian Sea snorkel boats ready for Atlantic operation were released to F.d.U. Nordmeer to battle the convoy.  They are departing to take up patrol line from AB 6873 to 9292.  From Narvik 5 snorkel boats, at the same time come 3 boats on return transit, of these 2 briefly running into Harstadt for fuel supply and patient offload.  Boats form group "Rasmas".  Operating together with the 4 Murmansk boats is intended.  Air reports today at 06.55 hours convoy in AF 1995 located with FM-gear [radar].
  b) Weather aircraft reports after landing:  Aircraft carrier is a suspected auxiliary carrier, escorts set off to the east of the convoy, speed about 10 knots, northern tip of the convoy not seen due to twilight.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  Due to inexact mine situation (2 boats lost, Schicksal U-745 still unexplained) and no traffic both boats in operations are west of the Nashorn barrier moved off to the west.  Operation of a boat at the drift ice limit south of Utö and Hangö (enemy coastal traffic suspected there, additionally Utö supposedly departure of Russian U-boats) a further northwest of Dagö intended.
     
     
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       761   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-880 (Schötzau), U-1022 (Ernst), U-864 (Wolfram) run back into Bergen due to snorkel an hydraulic oil systems out of service.
  b) U-1009 (Zehle) reports arrival Trondheim.
  c) Aldenney reports:  20.57 hours in 35°T very far away once flash and dull detonation.
  d) All day U-boat hunt at South Falls (small combat units?).
  e) U-309 (Löder), U-989 (Rodler), U-857 (Premauer) departed Horten, U-861 (Gebauer), U-1169 (Goldbeck) Kiel, U-775 (Taschenmacher), U-1064 (Schneidewind) Bergen.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Air reports 7 February 09.42 hours convoy 17 ships and aircraft carrier observed, course 80°.  The course seems to be an observation error or a planned zigzag of the convoy.  In-between first and second observation (25 hours) the convoy had maintained course 50°, 9 knots.  Air was launched yesterday evening with BV 138 for reconnaissance, still no results reported.  Group "Rasmus" (8 boats) had shifted patrol line in 250°T, 60 nm and is positioned in AB 9113 to 9532.  Convoy if it holds course and speed is expected to be at the patrol line about the morning of 9 February
  b) U-1061 (torpedo supply boat) reports 7 February 21.30 that is is stranded while proceeding from Bergen - Kristiansand with "ALVÖ".  Requires towing assistance,  2 tugs are underway.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  New operations areas ordered for U-676 and U-475 south of the drift ice limit between Utö and Hangö and northwest of Dagö, boats were informed of the possibility of combat with enemy U-boats.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       762   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-927 (Ebort) passing report from AM 34, no defenses. 
  b) Departures:  U-1002 (Boos), U-1005 (Lauth) Kiel, U-953 (Werner) Horten.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Bearings were taken twice from land on the convoy on 8 February, 13.50 hours in AB 8550 and 14.15 hours in AB 8284 (cross and three bearings).  Due to the northerly tendency group "Rasmus" was drawn to the north submerged.  Due to the danger of the boats being located ahead they remained submerged.
    At 18.17 hours air reconnaissance reports several ships in AB 8313, after landing course 50° and disposition of the convoy in line abreast 40 nm wide and 10000 meters deep was reported.
    2 boats submerged from 22.00 hours as listeners and to detect bearings, other boats received orders to surface at 24.00 hours if bearings were not detected by then because by plotting the convoy should be at the northern part of the patrol line at 01.00 hours.  Additionally to bridge possibly poor radio conditions between boats and leadership, a group circuit led by U-711 (Lange) was ordered for the boats. 
    At 22.03 hours the escort carrier ordered search action against U-boats, rapid detection of a U-boat surfacing at 22.00 hours was possible. There are still no reports received from boats and air.  Boats received orders if there is no contact on northerly course by 06.00 hours, move off at increased speed to AC 82, to absolutely get off destination ports to detect and attack.
  b) From Murmansk boats U-995 (Hess) reports:  Because there is no traffic at Fischer Peninsula Kirkenes, 2 hits on 6000 GRT lying at the pier.  Suppose settled to the bottom.  Norwegian patrol vessel.
    B.d.U. supplement:  for small snorkelers penetration of the Kirkenes is an outstanding act of a Kommandant proven successful on all patrols.
  c) U-1061 2nd towing off attempt succeeded, arrived Bergen with considerable ship structure damage.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  To avoid any conflict with Sweden, from now boats are prohibited from taking shots on ships that are not perfectly identified, previous prohibitions by area are no longer practicable due to ice conditions.
     
     
                                                                                  2.Skl/B.d.U. Situation Report       763   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-1009 (Zehle) arrived Trondheim 8 February evening.
  b) U-862 (Timm) reports will arrive Jakarta 15 February.  Sunk:  2 liberty ships, probably under the southern coast of Australia.
  c) American steamer gives U-boat sighting report from GF 3670.
  d) 15.17 hours aircraft reports U-boat detection and attack preparation from AN 1199.  U-boat hunter formation working in cooperation with further aircraft was tasked 1 hour later possibly to detect a snorkeling boat.
  e) Afternoon in the Channel active operational radio traffic, suspect U-boat hunt.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Air reported convoy by Radio Message and partial sighting 09.43 hours in AB 6453, course 60° boats positioned favorably received orders to operate on report.  By plotting the northernmost boats of the earlier patrol line must be in the vicinity.  No reports were received from boats up to now.  Air reported 10 February, 04.15 hours several targets located in AB 6363 and AC 4137.  "Rasmus" and Murmansk boats (altogether 11 boats) received orders to be off the Murmansk coast if possible by 11 February at 06.00 hours, there boats will be ordered to individual squares as focal points.  Boats can at 10 knot speed of advance reach positions.  Weather in operations area ESE 5-7, Sea 6, snow showers, Vis. 2-4 nm.
  b) U-956 received return transit order, boat was position since mid December in operations area off Murmansk and was already beginning return transit at the start of the operation.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  U-475 intended focal point operations area at Tackkoma and Nekmangrund.
    Air photo-reconnaissance shows Helsinki harbor occupied by 38 medium and small freighters and Hangö by 6 small ships, i suspected U-boat.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       764   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-313 (Schweiger) reports position from AF 8130, anti-aircraft weapons out of service, main rudder heavily damaged.  Boat requests Trondheim, the rest not received.
  b) U-105 (Lauth), U-805 Bernadelli), U-190 (Reith), U-1273 (Knollmann) departed Kiel.
  c) U-483 (Morstein) received old operations area North Channel, U-1104 (Perlberg) North Minch, Loch Ewe, U-1004 (Hintz) west exit of the Channel.
  d) U-278 (Franze) reported arrival Narvik.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Air detected and fought convoy with success on 10 February at 10.30 hours in AC 4180.  Reported by U-boats.  PQ not expected in the attack area of the boats before evening 11 February.  Weather in operations area:  SE 2-4, showers, Vis. 2-5 nm.
  b) U-716 has begun return transit due to damage to flooding mechanism and U-293, probably due to fuel shortage (boat departed at the end of December).
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  U-475 received as focal point operations area Cape Rista.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       765   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) Departures:  "U-1022" (Ernst) Bergen
                       "U-878" (Rodig)
                       "U 879" (Manchen)
                       "U-1278" (Müller Bethke) Kristiansand for patrol.
                       "U-953" (Werner) for Bergen for repair of regulating tanks and Fu.M.O.
  b) "U-864" (Wolfram) for the third time not at escort meeting point.
  c) "U-275" (Wehrkamp), was plotted in Channel arrived St. Nazaire.  Boat proceeded to BF 25, from there due to heavy water intake at snorkel drive broke off patrol.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  Still no reports of the convoy from air or U-boats.  Further swing to the east possible, with this arrival in Kola area in the course of 12 February or night 12/13 February likely.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  Loss of U-745 (von Trotha) must be presumed.  Boat was expected in base for 10 days.  (See situation report from 5 February).
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       766   
 
     
 
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                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) From B-Dienst report 11 February afternoon 4 nm northwest of Eddystone Rocks Belgian steamer "PEREIER" torpedoes.  Ship sunk (U-1208?) (5382 GRT).
  b) Position of the two liberty ships sunk by U-862 (Timm):  VD 8222, course north and JF 6245 (330°).  Attack on tanker in VR 6455/65 hindered by air.  Boat had observed no traffic on the route south of Australia.
  c) U-313 (Schwiger) gave situation report:  In operations area (Pentland Firth) from 6 January to 3 February traffic:  warships strongly protected by destroyers and air, continual U-boat hunt, no merchant ship traffic.  Operation eastward AN 15397 to 15654 not possible due to current.  Nights snorkeling possible despite continual tones (Land).  Fat miss on freighter.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) No reports from air and U-boats concerning convoy.  Yesterday afternoon English units and voice traffic between carrier and aircraft in Kola Bay area by bearing and observation.  Indications point to arrival in the night of 12/13 February.
  b) U-310 departed Harstadt, transit to the east to group "Rasmus".
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       767   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) Reported arrival:  Kristiansand U-1232 (Bohratz), Trondheim U-325 (Dohrn), boat was in the Channel.
  b) Passing reports:  U-1064 (Schneidewind) from AM 35, U-1004 (Hintz) from AM 87.
  c) U-1273 (Knollmann) was in AO 40 attacked unsuccessfully by aircraft.
  d) U-278 arrived Narvik.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  No reports from the convoy, by eastern shift suspect still at sea.  Strong patrol vessel activity and U-boat hunt on coastal route on convoy approach from the east.  U-711 received orders to reconnoiter to the east with focal point AC 8893.  Further shift to the east and before arrival completed a 2-day strong U-boat hunt by air and sea craft with the last detected PQ (December 1944) has already begun.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       768   
 
     
 
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                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  U-327 (Lembke) received operations area Irish Sea, U-1019 (Rinck) continues initial southern transit to about BE 33..
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Decreasing destroyer and patrol vessel activity confirm PQ-convoy arrived yesterday.  Boats receive orders to move focal point to the coast.
    U-711 (Lange) reports convoy at 10.39 hours in AC 8869, southwest course, 9 knots, 2 Liberty ships sunk.
    U-968 (Westphalen) reports 12.30 hours 8 steamers course 230° entering Kola, in AC 8859 tanker "NORNESS", 9577 GRT sunk, 1 Liberty probably sunk, hit on 2 liberty.  By listening 270 depth charges, boat put on the bottom.
  b) Boats received orders to move off with strong defenses, operation of group on return QP or coastal traffic is anticipated.
  c) U-315 and U-965 departed Trondheim for Atlantic Operation.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       769   
 
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) New operations areas:  U-483 (Morstein), U-1064 (Schneidewind) North Channel under the Irish north coast.  If there are too few success opportunities here, free to penetrate the Irish Sea, U-927 (Ebert) coastal area from Landsend to about Portland Bill.  U-1019 (Rinck) Irish Sea, approach under the Irish south coast.  Objective for U-1235 (Barsch), U-866 (Rogowski) BB 87
  b) U-1021 (Holpert) departed Bergen, U-1195 (Cordes), U-681 (Gebauer) Kristiansand for patrol.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) By locating further English units in Kola Bay.  Boats were set on straggling and many towed ships (damaged by air on 10 February), further carriers located in the inland sea care pointed out.  U-992 (snorkel boat) positioned in preparation close off the entrance of the Kola Estuary) was asked for a situation report.  Boat reports 8 February in AC 8826 T V on search group, detonation after 5 minutes 53 seconds, 5 February in 8855 Russian escort destroyer sunk, on 13 February from convoy a vessel (probably a freighter) sunk with T V.  Boat had shot at the passing convoy by night by sound, certain sinking of a piston driven vessel after 2 minutes determined.  On 14 February sank a tanker from convoy 7000 GRT.  Boat reports further best shooting opportunity directly off the entrance to the Kola Estuary, boat had snorkeled unmolested in AC 8859 close under the coast, snorkel icing insignificant, began return transit.
    Group "Rasmus" received orders to report during the night, up to now nothing received.
  b) U-307 reported returning due to damage.  (Therefore was not positioned off the Kola Estuary).
  c) U-427, up to now assigned to protect convoy Kristiansand South - Stavanger, was after snorkel installation withdrawn for Atlantic operation.  Therefore 3 boats remain for convoy protection (sufficient).
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       770   
 
     
 
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1.) Atlantic: 
  a) Situation report from AM 37 from U-1017 (Riecken). Sunk:  2 freighters of 12000 GRT, 1 corvette probable.  Torpedoed 1 Liberty, due to fog sinking not observed.  BF 3155, 35323, 22955.  Boat believes diversion of traffic to Le Harve, opportunity close under the English coast.  Defense numerous, not very dangerous.  4 reversal shot misses.
  b) U-245 (Schumann) reported arrival.  Sank on Thames-Schelde convoy route 1 ship of 6000 GRT, torpedoes one further of 6000 GRT.
  c) U-1021 (Holpert) began return transit to Bergen due to snorkel failure.
  d) By B-Dienst report U-boat sighted by American steamer in CA 5640 (U 1233?).
  e) U-714 (Schwebcke) departed Kiel via Horten, U-862 (Timm) 15 February arrived Jakarta.
  f) U-1053 when diving before beginning shipyard period in Bergen was lost.  Reason unexplained.  Normal dive to determine required work, did not surface again.  Loss location 59°25.9'N, 5°15.8'E.
  g) 11.30 hours urgent radio traffic in Gibraltar area, suspect U-boat sighting.  Afternoon operational radio traffic in Portsmouth area, suspect U-boat hunt activity.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  U-286 reports 16 February 02.25 hours at Selenezki Island (AC 8972) convoy, 1 steamer 3000 GRT and 3 patrol vessels, westerly course.  Steamer sunk, hit on patrol vessel after 8 minutes, depth charges after an hour.
  U-310 coming from Narvik received operations area northwest corner Fischer Peninsula.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       771   
 
     
 
- 15 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-873 (Steinhoff) departed Kiel, U-260 (Becker) and U-1169 (Goldbeck) Horten.
  b) Arrival reported for Bergen:  U-825 (Stölker), had operations area Irish Sea, U-1235 (Barsog) due to snorkel failure (position AN 2414).
  c) Passing report from AM 2941:  U-775 (Taschenmacher).
  d) From B-Dienst report 11.00 hours off Gibraltar a ship was torpedoed (U-869).
  e) U 1273 (Knollmann) 17 February 08.30 hours arrived Westhafen from Horton, after sheet of flame and shortly following detonation  in foreship sunk, probably internal detonation (80 meters high sheet of flame, 150 meter high explosion column, high water column).  Recovered 57 dead, 8 wounded.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) U-968 reports again in the evening concerning convoy:  Only large ships, double line ahead, exact number not determined in heavy fog banks, all destroyers deaf from circular saw.  Asdic ineffective at periscope depth. Carrier aircraft (Martlette) at convoy.  Sank in ACV 8865 1 Liberty ship, 1 GROSNY destroyer, 1 further destroyer probably sunk.  Out of torpedoes, return transit.  (Excellent patrol by this boat, on 14 February reported at 15.00 hours convoy in AC 8942, about 10 steamers, northerly course, 9 knots, 1 destroyer sunk.
  b) There remains to fight convoy traffic on the Murmansk coast:  3 non-snorkelers, 3 snorkel boats, proceeding at increased speed to detect convoy to AC 42, to accelerate supply and immediately depart for Bare Narrows U-716.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       772   
 
     
 
- 16 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic:  Nothing to report.  See below.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  From radio and plotting convoy 18 February 05.00 hours in AC 5990 accepted.  Group "Rasmus" occupies patrol line from AC 4122 to 4188 (initially 4 boats, 2 further boats first after supply Harstadt).  Air performs reconnaissance with 3 BV 138 from tonight east of Bear Strait, still no reports.  Weather in operations area:  south 4-6, in rain front freshening to 8, misty, Vis. 1-2 nm.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) From short report U-313 (Schweiger) in area AN 1520/60 had large warships 8 times, mostly LONDON class, Kommandant in the opinion of F.d.U. was ready for action and operated well, however, due to the lack of shooting experience, was no match for the difficult warship targets.
  b) 00.03 hours U-boat locating with attack preparation in Gibraltar area by Pt. Lyauthey aircraft.
  c) Urgent operational radio traffic in Firth of Forth area (suspect enemy report).
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       773   
 
     
 
- 17 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-963 (Wentz) has begun return transit from the Irish Sea prematurely because snorkel mast cannot be lowered.  Operated from 1-10 February, remainder only repair of the boat. Return transit 16 February.  Position AM 76.  Traffic:  Strong on the Irish SE coast.  Days nothing, nights by sound bearings independents in AM 9296, 86, 64, 83, 34, 9281. Convoy in AM 9255.  One reversal shot by sound bearings missed.  Defenses:  many circular saws, passive many ML-boats.  Strong stratification, was not detected.  Snorkeled unmolested up to land gear Volume 5, circular saw 3.
  b) 19 February morning U-boat located by aircraft in CG 9881, later U-boat hunting vessel apparently had contact with U-boat, sometimes very urgent radio traffic.
  c) U-870 (Hechler) reported arrival Kristiansand.  U-1023 (Strenger), U-530 (Wermouth) departed Kiel
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Air due to technical malfunction and weather reconnaissance broken of prematurely, area not searched without gaps.  On 19 February 02.37 hours in AC 5720 briefly 2 small targets located.  By B-Dienst still no indications, the convoy has passed 25°E to the west.
    Group "Rasmus" since yesterday at 11.00 hours shifted patrol line to AB 3945 and 6348.
  b) U-992 (return transit for supply) reported both diesels out of service, therefore out of combat for QP-convoy.
    U-307 departed Narvik, at high transit sped to join Group "Ramsus".  Weather in operations area:  S 6-8 abating, Vis. increasing to 5 nm.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  U-676 on 19 February asked two times to report ice situation, has not reported up to now.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       774   
 
     
 
- 18 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) Departures:  U-953 (Werner), U-1021 (Holpert) Bergen; U-260 (Becker), U-1002 (Boos), U-1005 (Lauth), U-1169 (Goldbeek) Kristiansand; U-1132 (Koch) Kiel; U-773 (Baldus) on 19 February Narvik.  Reported arrival Kristiansand:  U-806 (Hornborstel).  U-1195 (Cordes) due to failure of the attack periscope Bergen.
  b) Operations areas received:  U-989 (Rodler) Channel, U-773 (Baldaus) Reykjavik via Denmark Straits.  U-775 (Taschenmacher), U-1302 (Herwartz) Irish Sea.
  c) Passing report:  U-683 (Keller) from AM 46, U-1302 (Herwartz) AM 47.  Both boats no particular reports.
  d) U-boat reports:  13.31 hours contact off Loch Ryan (AM 6546) attacked.  14.00 hours in Devonport, 14.30 hours in Portsmouth area U-boat contact.  Locating by aircraft (with attack preparations), 14.25 hours in 5745 north, 19.00 hours in 5844 north, same aircraft 19.23 hours: over diving U-boat, course 180°, speed 5 knots, have contact with bearing buoy (U-866?).
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) A Ju 88 located 20.02 03.50 hours formation in about AB 6672, position very inexact.  A second aircraft at 04.35 hours in AC 4721 located 13 targets.  Favorable positioned U-boats received attack orders.
    After an unsuccessful attack by own air, U-307 and U-716 received orders to operate off Havaristen, remaining boats on convoy course to the west.  Still no contact from U-boats up to now.  Air reconnaissance by 3 BV 138.  U-286 (return transit) reports breaking off return transit.  Boat operates off Havaristen.
  b) Russian flying boat type Catalina and Boston received orders on the morning of 20 February for reconnaissance against U-boats off the Murmansk coast.  One aircraft reported attack on U-boat in AC 8825.
  c) U-968 and U-992 arrived Harstadt.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       775   
 
     
 
- 19 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-714 (Schwebeke) was attacked by aircraft without success while on transit to Horten 21.09 hours in AO 4198 and 01.44 hours (position unclear).
  b) Departures:  U-1024 (Gutteck) Kiel for Horten, U-190 (Reith) Kristiansand, U-246 (Rabe) Bergen and U-772 (Reimers) Trondheim for patrol.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) Air located 21 February 06.30 hours in AB 6786 several targets, (position inexact).  On 22 February 00.38 hours in AB 8344 3 targets and 01.06 hours in AB 8522 one medium target.  From U-boats no reports, from leadership on targets, and Havaristen.
  b) U-711 reported situation from AB 9192:  Speed reduced by counter high Swell.  Success only possible against Havaristen.  U-739 reports during air attack on 20 February 12 detonations heard.  Group "Rasmus" received orders 22 February at 00.00 to break off search, return transit Harstadt.
  c) U-286 reported return.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  U-676 requested for position 3 times.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       776   
 
     
 
- 20 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) Departures:  U-242 (Riedel), U-326 (Matthes) Kiel.
  b) U-1019 (Rinek) reported position from AM 44.  On 16 February in AM 27 at periscope depth 3 aircraft bombs, major damage.  Again operable except for tube I.  Boat continued transit into the Irish Sea.
  c) U 683 (Keller) received operations area Channel.  Focal point off Cherbourg and Le Harve.  Transit under the English coast to on Coastal Convoy Route 2, if operations area unfavorable, boat is to go under the English coast, free to maneuver.
  d) U-965 (Unverzagt) reports he is returning off Trondheim due to periscope damage.
  e) From short report U-825 was positioned from 23-28 January on convoy route in Irish Sea.  3 convoys sighted, 2 heard.  On 27 January in AM 9469 1 steamer probably sunk, 3 further detonations heard.  Due to defenses no observation.  On 23 January 2 misses (on steamer and frigate).  Return transit due to depth charge damage.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  a) From Group "Rasmus" except for U-286, U-711 and U-716 reported return.
  b) On 22 February up to 4 Russian destroyers at sea off Murmansk coast.  Enemy radio traffic clear on arrival off Havaristen of the QP-convoy to Murmansk.  Murmansk boats (3) receive orders to operate on this.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland: 
  U-475 report situation from operations area northwest of Dagö:  "Ristna" no traffic up to now, no drifting mines observed, at times only pack ice, not a hindrance.  Radio Message traffic (receive and transmit) very bad.  On 21 February large motorship detected at depth 100 meters hunted by sound up to just off Pyrkudden, speed about 12 knots.  Suspect:  Swede.
  Boat goes to observe south of Bogskaer, in this area according to B-Dienst in the last days multiple enemy U-boats heard.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       777   
 
     
 
- 21 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) 20 February from voice traffic within Halifax bound convoy 16.25 hours 33 survivors, among them 3 officers (position BF 2439).
  b) 22 February ship torpedoed in BF 2288.
  c) 22 February 14.35 hours 2 ships sinking quickly in BF 2516, position not exactly clear, same attack as under b) possible.
  d) U-853 (Frömsdorf) departed Stavanger.
  e) Arrivals reported:  U-2324 (Hass).
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  U-boat arrivals from group "Rasmus".  New arrival reported U-739.  Am still missing reports from U-425 and U-307.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       778   
 
     
 
- 22 -
 
     

 

     
 
 
  Adjutant  
  des Oberbefehlshabers der Kriegsmarine                                          Berlin, the 24th February 45  
                        ------------                                                                W35, Tirpitzzufer 72/76.  
                                                                                                          Telephone:  21 19 08, extension 17.  
     
  To Chef Skl.  
     
          Attached is the "Situation Developing in U-boat Warfare" that the Ob.dM with corresponding Annex has presented to the Führer for information.  
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
Secret Command Document  !
 
     
 
The Situation Developing in U-boat Warfare.
 
 
(For this chart of U-boat sinkings)
 
     
  The considerations for U-boat employment in peace were based for the most part on two fundamental characteristics of the U-boats:  
 
  1.) Its advantage: due to its invisibility the submarine can to some extent penetrate in areas of enemy naval superiority that are closed to inferior surface forces;
  2) Its disadvantage: Little field of view and low speed; thus the submarine is poor in reconnaissance, one of its main problems is to find the enemy.
 
  The first property allowed, the second forced them, to use the U-boats first and foremost where the enemy traffic was sure to be found, i.e. where he had to close under the coast at the exit and endpoints of maritime traffic clusters.  
     
  The submarine was however only limitedly invisible. The need to recharge its batteries every day forced it to surface multiple times. It was therefore to be expected that a operation would be impossible close off the coasts when the enemy would raise numerous patrol vessels. Then it was necessary to detect the enemy in the vastness of the ocean and to deploy a concentration of U-boats against the expected concentration in convoys.  
     
  According to these underlying considerations, the use of boats was planned in peace, tested in war games and exercises, and their training was oriented:  
 
  on attack and behavior in heavily monitored coastal areas, on coordinated approach (for which the English invented the name "Wolf Packs"), as "concentration against concentration", to balance the bad reconnaissance features of the submarine with aerial reconnaissance.
 
 
 
     

 

     
 
- 2 -
 
     
  U-boat operations in war took place according to these considerations.  History has proven its accuracy, except for the not entirely foreseeable development of the enemy's air superiority.  
  The first year of the war (blue pins) saw the U-boats first predominantly in the narrower and wider sea areas off the enemy coasts, particularly around England. In addition, use was made of what in that time were remote, suitable ares for attacks against convoys, against which the required concentration of U-boat is only possible in large areas, which provide the time to concentrate. This deployment was his coronation in individual, with only a few boats, but very successful convoy battles in the fall of 1940.  
     
  In the second year of the war (yellow pins) as expected the increasing sea and air reconnaissance around England forced the shifting of operations of the surfaced and then exposed to the defenses U-boats into the open sea beyond, while American waters were still closed to U-boats. It was the year of the convoy battles, for the slow-growing submarine numbers gradually created more favorable conditions  
     
  The first half of 1942 (golden pins) opened American waters to U-boat warfare. Here boats once more had the possibility to close the traffic concentration points in the the coastal area, where the enemy still had no strong defenses.  This opportunity was used with all determination, not because convoy battles were no longer possible, but because it was necessary to tackle the enemy where there was the greatest opportunity for finding him. The success proved this deployment was correct.  
     
  This continued longer than expected, until late summer 1942.  Then, even here the still required to surface U-boats were again forced to seek remote areas by air and sea resources raised by enormous means.  
 
 
     

 

     
 
- 3 -
 
     
  In the second half of 1942 (red pins) the emphasis was back in convoy combat in the broad Atlantic. One could, despite growing difficulties due to the increasing air surveillance until March 1943 to continue with the highest success (1943 green pins). Then the U-boat came to an almost sudden and complete end due to the complete mastery the Atlantic by the enemy air in connection with the development of tracking devices.  It was to be continued in 1944 (orange pins) with little results.  
     
  Then: The air superiority of the enemy had made his coastal areas a free area due to the possibility of locating the surfaced U-boats. In both cases, the conditions were now the same: The U-boat which were tied for a substantial part of its life to the surface, was not a "U-boat", but a "submersible" that could exploit his underwater features only temporarily. For the times during which it was forced to surface it was inferior to the enemy's sea and air power.  
     
  At the turn of of U-boat War B.d.U. said, intended for the foreign press: "The aircraft can do the submarine as little as the crow to the mole". This phrase has since been ridiculed by the enemy again and again, nevertheless, he was right.  
     
  Now:  The U-boat was then no mole, it could not live under the surface, but carry out only a part of its life. But on the surface it was weaker than the enemy.  
     
  These conditions have now changed fundamentally. The snorkel has almost completely made even the old submarine type to an underwater vessel. Its weakness over water is no longer relevant, it no longer needs to surface. Weeks long patrols are carried out with no or only a few hours on the surface.  The U-boat can again fight and be successful in the most strongly monitored areas, where for years it could not even live. It  
 
 
     

 

     
 
- 4 -
 
     
  can again bring all its beneficial properties into force, features against which the formidable naval power of the Anglo-Saxons is essentially powerless because they rule on the water and in the air above the water, but not in the water.  
     
  With the perfect underwater vessel a turning point in naval warfare is brought up  
     
  The sharp weapon of the pure U-boats is at hand. It will be even sharper with the new U-boat types and their far higher underwater performance. It is important to go into combat with many of these sharp weapons.  
     
     
                                                                                               Signed in draft:  Dönitz  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-2324 (Hass) arrived Farsund.  Situation in operations area:  Little traffic on southern route, north of Firth of Forth only fishermen.  Weak defenses, was not detected.  No mine indications.  18 February in AN 5438 2 misses on steamer, course 330°.  Gyro failures.
  b) U-978 (Pulst), U-1195 (Cordes) departed Bergen, U-267 (Knieper), U-548 (Zimmermann) Kiel for patrol.  U-806 (Hornborstel), U-870 (Heobler) departed Kristiansand for Flensburg.
  c) U-865 (Rogwski) passing report from AL 2756.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea: 
  U-739 arrived Harstadt.  Concern exists concerning U-425 (Bentzien).  Boat departed Narvik on 6 February and was assigned from the beginning to the PQ-Operation.  On 17 February and 24 February the boat was asked for position, has not reported up to now.  Loss by strong U-boat hunt off Murmansk before PQ arrival was accepted.
     
3.) Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       779   
 
     
 
- 23 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-907 (Cabolet), weather boat began return transit from AL 13.  Situation:  Slight air defenses, when convoy passes (only AK southern half and BD) strengthened by carrier air.
  b) U-965 (Unverzagt) reports arrival Kristiansand North.
  c) U-778 (Jürs), U-826 (Lübke) departed Kiel, U-2324 (Hass) arrived Kristiansand South.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea,Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       780   
 
     
 
- 24 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-267 (Knisper) received a mine hit on Route 36, no water intake, however considerable damage.  Boat is going to Flensburg.
  b) 19.53 hours a U-boat (U-714 (Schwebeke) or U-249 (Kock) ) was attacked by aircraft off Kristiansand.  Signature was not picked up.
  c) U-1019 (Rinck), U-1302 (Herwartz), U-775 (Taschenmacher) receive as operations area southern part of the Irish Sea, optional penetration towards Cardiff.
  d) Both boats positioned on the east coast of England free to maneuver to the south up to the latitude of AN 5899.
  e) U-965 (Unverzagt) arrived Trondheim.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea,Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       781   
 
     
 
- 25 -
 
     

 

     
     
 
Secret Command Document
 
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                                    Führer Main Headquarters - Adm. Voss to present.
                                    Adm.z.V.b.Ob.d.M. - F II -
 
     
 
1.) Atlantic: 
  a) U-296 (Rasch) departed Bergen for the Atlantic.
  b) U-195 (Steinfeld) reports will arrive Jakarta on 4 March.  Position 27 February KM 28.
  c) Operations areas received:  U-714 (Schwebeke) received freedom to maneuver on the English coast from AN 0180 to 5869, focal point in southern half.  U-978 (Pultz) AN 15 (warship training area).  U-315 (Zoller) coastal convoy route between Landsend and Bull Point.
  d) From B-Dienst U-boats detected in the west exit of the Channel:
    16.15 hours aircraft clarifies at 07.15 on west oil trace.
    18.35 hours same aircraft to Plymouth:  certain detection.
    18.58 hours same aircraft: surfacing U-boat.
    19.08 hours suspicious object surfaced, dived on sighting, course 270°.
    21.27 hours give the same aircraft tactically important Radio Message.
  e) U-1017 (Riecken) reports arrival in 36 hours off intake point Trondheim.  Last report 17 February from AM 87 must have been incorrectly decoded.
     
2.) Norwegian Sea,Gulf of Finland:  Nothing to report.
     
     
                                                                                         B.d.U. Situation Report       782   
 
     
 
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