NARRATIVE.
 
     
  ORDERED TO SWEEP ASTERN OF THE CONVOY TO A DEPTH OF TWENTY MILES.  SPEED FIFTEEN KNOTS.  VISIBILITY WAS NEVER MORE THAN HALF A MILE WITH THICK MIST.  
      0740 WHEN TEN MILES ASTERN R.D.F. OBTAINED A CONTACT ON THE PORT BOW AT 5200 YARDS.  R/T REPORTS MADE TO PELICAN AND WEAR.  IT WAS CLOSING RAPIDLY.  ALTERED TOWARDS AT FULL SPEED AND CLASSIFIED AS SUBMARINE.  WHEN RANGE HAD DROPPED RAPIDLY TO 4200 BEARING DREW LEFT, STEADIED, AND REMAINED ALMOST STEADY FOR A MINUTE OR TWO.  IT THEN DREW LEFT AGAIN AND DROPPED RAPIDLY.  THE SUBMARINE HAD EVIDENTLY HEARD OUR H.E. WHEN WE INCREASED TO FULL SPEED AND HAD TURNED AWAY.  IT MUST HAVE THEN THOUGHT BETTER OF IT (DOUBTLESS BECAUSE IT LOST OUR H.E. IN ITS OWN WAKE) AND TURNED BACK AGAIN.  
          IT WAS FIRST SIGHTED AHEAD AT 800 OR 900 YARDS CROSSING FROM STARBOARD TO PORT WITH AN INCLINATION OF ABOUT 135 DEGREES.  
          IT WAS A LARGE SUBMARINE AND WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY AN ITALIAN ONE AND RESEMBLED THE "DESSIE" CLASS.  ITS SPEED WAS ESTIMATED AT TWELVE KNOTS.  
          FIRE WAS OPENED AT ONCE AND COURSE WAS ALTERED WIDE TO PORT TO EFFECT A COLLISION COURSE.  THIS WAS ATTAINED AND ALL WAS SET TO RAM.  THE FOUR INCH GUN CREW PERFORMED SOME QUITE EXCELLENT SHOOTING BY GETTING OFF FIVE ROUNDS BEFORE THE SUBMARINE DIVED TWO OF WHICH WERE FAIR AND SQUARE HITS AND A THIRD A POSSIBLE HIT.  
          OF THE TWO DEFINITE HITS ONE EXPLODED AT THE BASE OF THE CONNING TOWER, AT ITS AFTER END, AND THE OTHER PLUMB IN THE CENTRE HALF WAY UP (PORT SIDE).  BOTH EXPLOSIONS PARTICULARLY THE LATTER ONE, THREW UP A HEALTHY SHOWER OF DEBRIS.  THE CONNING TOWER WAS ALSO HIT SEVERAL TIMES WITH POM-POM AND OERLIKON.  NO PEOPLE WERE OBSERVED IN IT.  
          THE SUBMARINE CRASH DIVED WHEN THE RANGE WAS ABOUT 400 YARDS.  COURSE WAS ALTERED VERY SLIGHTLY TOWARDS AND ASDIC CONTACT ESTABLISHED.  
          THE DIVING SWIRL AND WAKE WERE SO PLAIN THAT THE ATTACK WAS DELIBERATELY CARRIED OUT BY EYE AND APPEARED TO BE VERY ACCURATE.  THE SUBMARINE WAS CROSSING ALMOST AT  
     
     

 

 
 
     
 
(2)
 
   
  RIGHT ANGLES AFTER SPEY HAD "THROWN OFF" FOLLOWING THE SIGHTING AND SPEY'S PREVIOUS COLLISION COURSE WAS ONLY ALTERED SLIGHTLY TO STARBOARD TO ALLOW FOR THE OPPOSING FACTORS OF THE SUBMARINES REDUCTION OF SPEED ON DIVING AND THE LENGTH OF SPEY PLUS TIME TAKEN FOR THE CHARGES TO EXPLODE.  THE ASDIC TEAM CONFIRMED THAT THE ORDER TO FIRE CONFORMED TO THE RECORDER TRACE.
          TEN CHARGES WERE DROPPED IN THE PATTERN THE LIGHTS BEING SET TO FIFTY FEET AND THE HEAVIES TOONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FEET.  IT WAS QUITE EXPECTED THAT THE SUBMARINE WOULD BE BLOWN TO THE SURFACE, BUT UNFORTUNATELY IT WAS NOT.  
          CONTACT WAS REGAINED ON PORT QUARTER AT ONCE AND A HEDGEHOG ATTACK BEGUN.  
          THE SUBMARINE TURNED AWAY AND A STERN CHASE ENSUED WITH THE SUBMARINE GOING AT A VERY SLOW SPEED NOT EXCEEDING TWO KNOTS.  WHAT APPEARED TO BE AN S.B.T. WAS RELEASED WHEN THE RANGE WAS STILL OVER A THOUSAND YARDS BUT THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THIS AND THE SUBMARINE ECHO (WHICH WAS HEARD WITHOUT TROUBLE THROUGH IT ) INCREASED AND IT DID NOT DECEIVE THE ASDIC TEAM.  
          ASDIC CONDITIONS WERE GOOD BUT APPARENTLY THE SUBMARINE HAD GONE VERY DEEP BY THE TIME WE GOT NEAR AS CONTACT WAS LOST AT 500 YARDS.  AS IT HAD BEEN A STERN CHASE WITH ALMOST NO ALTERATION OF COURSE IT WAS DECIDED TO CONTINUE THE ATTACK ALTHOUGH IT WAS REALIZED THAT THE CHANCES OF A HIT WERE NOT GOOD.  A DAN BUOY WAS DROPPED BY THE PATTERN.  
          THE SUBMARINE WAS PICKED UP ASTERN AT 700 YARDS HAVING APPARENTLY TURNED AWAY SINCE CONTACT WAS LOST ON THE RUN IN.  
          A DEEP DEPTH CHARGE PATTERN (500 AND 550 WAS SET AND A DELIBERATE ATTACK MADE.  CONTACT WAS LOST AT SIX HUNDRED YARDS.  CONTACT WAS NOT REGAINED.  
          AT THIS POINT H.M.S. WEAR JOINED SPEY AND A SWEEP WAS ORGANISED (SEE ATTACHED CHARTS).  AS SOON AS THIS WAS STARTED WEAR RECEIVED ORDERS FROM PELICAN TO INVESTIGATE AN HF/DF BEARING MUCH NEARER ASTERN OF THE CONVOY AND ON ITS STARBOARD QUARTER (WE WERE VERY SLIGHTLY ON THE PORT QUARTER).  PERMISSION WAS SOUGHT TO RETAIN WEAR WITH SPEY WHICH WAS GRANTED.  AT 0915 (AN HOUR AFTER THE LAST ATTACK) A CONTACT WAS AT FIRST BELIEVED TO BE THE SUBMARINE WAS OBTAINED.  
     
     

 

 
 
     
 
(3)
 
   
  iT WAS IN AN UNLIKELY POSITION BUT AS THE CHERNIKEEF LOG WAS BROKEN DOWN AND THE A.R.L. PLOT, IN CONSEQUENCE, NOT AS RELIABLE AS USUAL IT WAS DECIDED TO ATTACK IT.  NO DEPTH SETTING WAS DECIDED UNTIL IT COULD BE SEEN AT WHAT DISTANCE CONTACT WAS LOST.  DURING THE RUN IN LESS CONFIDENCE IN THE CONTACT WAS FELT.  IT WAS HELD TO 400 YARDS AND CHARGES WERE SET TO 150 AND 385 FEET.  THE ATTACK WAS DELIVERED WITHOUT CONVICTION AND CONTACT WAS NOT REGAINED.  A CAREFUL SWEEP WAS MADE ROUND THE WHOLE AREA BY BOTH SHIPS.
          THIS SUBMARINE WAS NOT HEARD OF AGAIN BY THE CONVOY.  
          AT 1015 IT WAS DECIDED TO SWEEP BACK TO THE CONVOY (THEN THIRTY OR FORTY MILES AHEAD) IN THE HOPE OF INTERCEPTING THE SUBMARINE WHICH WEAR HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN ORDERED TO LOOK FOR.  
     
     
          THE ATTACKS WERE INCONCLUSIVE.  SOME HOPE THAT THE SUBMARINE MAY HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IS BASED ON A COMBINATION OF THE FOLLOWING.  NO ONE POINT IS SUFFICIENT GROUNDS BY ITSELF BUT THE COMBINATION IS SUGGESTIVE.  
  1.  TWO DIRECT HITS WERE SQUARELY SCORED BEFORE DIVING-ONE AT THE BASE OF THE CONNING TOWER AND ONE HALF WAY UP IT.  BOTH PRODUCED SATISFACTORY EXPLOSIONS.  HITS WITH POM-POM AND OERLIKON MAY HAVE HELPED.  
  2.  THE SHALLOW PATTERN DROPPED WELL AHEAD OF THE SWIRL IF NOT ACTUALLY AS ACCURATE AS IT APPEARED TO BE MUST, AT LEAST, HAVE BEEN DAMAGING.  MORE PARTICULARLY SO AS ITALIAN SUBMARINES HAVE NOT SHOWN THEMSELVES TO BE CAPABLE OF AS MUCH PUNISHMENT AS GERMAN.  
  3.  THE FACT THAT IT DIVED SO DEEP IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS DAMAGE.  AGAIN ITALIAN SUBMARINES HAVE NOT SHOWN THEMSELVES  
     
     

 

 
 
     
 
(4)
 
   
  AS READY TO DIVE TO VERY GREAT DEPTHS AS HAVE THEIR ALLIES.
  4.  THE SUBMARINE WAS GETTING DEEPER AND DEEPER AS WAS SHOWN BY THE INCREASED DISTANCE AT WHICH CONTACT WAS LOST IN THE THIRD ATTACK (600 YARDS AS AGAINST 500 IN THE SECOND.)  
  5.  IF, AS IS SUSPECTED, THE ATTACK WHICH FOLLOWED LATER WAS NOT THE SUBMARINE AT ALL NO CONTACT WAS REGAINED BY THE TWO SHIPS SWEEPING IN GOOD A/S CONDITIONS DURING THE PERIOD 0815 TO 1015.  
  6.  THE SUBMARINE WAS NOT HEARD OF AGAIN BY THE CONVOY AS FAR AS IS KNOWN.  
     
     
                                                                                   
                                                                          COMMANDER, R.N.R.  
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 


 

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