U-103 - 1st War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason with the help of Ken Dunn

Departed
Date
Arrived
Date
Days at Sea
Kiel
21 September 1940
Lorient
19 October 1940
29

 

Click the icon to download a KMZ file displaying the U-boat track, significant events and locations for this patrol.  You must have Google Earth loaded on your computer to view this file.  Download Google Earth here

 

Ships Hit
Date
KTB Time
Position
Ship
Tons
Nationality
Convoy
6 Oct 40
22.04 - 23.50
53°03'N, 26°15'W
NINA BORTHEN
6,123
Norwegian
OB-222
9 Oct 40
22.11
57°51'N, 14°11'W
ZANNES GOUNARIS
4,086
Greek
SC-6
9 Oct 40
22.12
57°51'N, 14°11'W
GRAIGWEN (damaged)
3,697
British
SC-6
9 Oct 40
22.13
57°51'N, 14°11'W
DELPHIN
3,816
Greek
SC-6
13 Oct 40
08.46
56°57'N, 12°36'W
NORA
1,186
Estonian
15 Oct 40
18.20
58°51'N, 15°48'W
THISTLEGARTH
4,747
British
OA-228
     
 Total = 23,976
   
Note:  The positions in the table above and in the Google Earth patrol summary are derived from the KTB and in many cases do not match those set forth in authoritative references such as Jürgen Rohwer, Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two or the Uboat.net website.  The goal here is to present the picture relative to the U-boat and not the absolute position that the ship was attacked or sank.


 
 
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
        K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h    "U  103"  
        ==============================  
           
           
           
        Kommandant:  Korv.Kpt.    S  c  h  ü  t  z  e  
           
           
           
        Beginning:     5. 7.1940  
        Ending    :  19.10.1940  
                (Patrol from 21.9. to 19.10.40.)  
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
       
           
           
           
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
 
- 1 -
 
           
           
           
           
    05.07.40      
    10.00 Bremen, Deschimag Commissioning of "U-103" by the Kommandanten, Korv.Kpt. Schütze.  
    14.00 - 18.00       "             " Provisions loading, residual work.  
           
    06.07.40      
    14.00 Bremen, Deschimag Cast off Deschimag for 1st trim test.  
    15.25       "             " Made fast Deschimag.  
           
    07.07.40      
    11.00 Bremen, Deschimag Cast off Deschimag to dive for training.  
    12.00       "             " Made fast Deschimag.  
           
    08.07.40      
    07.10 Bremen, Deschimag    
      NNE 2, Sea 0, overcast mist, 1026 mb Cast off Deschimag for transfer cruise to Kiel, from Bremerhaven to Brunsbütel in mine escort.  
    23.45 Kiel Made fast Blücherbrüke.  
                                                          
    09. -14.07.40 Kiel U.A.K. testing, Kiel.  
      Berth Blücherbrüke    
     
10.07.40   
Radio direction finder calibration.  
     
15.07.40   
Piston shooting and took over dummy torpedoes.  
     
16.07.40   
Torpedo loading, dummy torpedo firing.  
     
17.07.40   
Took over dummy mines  
     
18.07.40   
Mine loading.  
     
19.07.40   
Mine ejection, balancing, dry docked, deballesting.  
     
22.07.40   
Undocked, trim test.  
                                                          
    24.07.40 Kiel    
    14.08 Kiel Cast off Blücherbrüke for transfer cruise to Gotenhafen.  
    15.30 Northeast of Kiel Lightship Shooting of the cannon and MG C 30.  
      SSE 1, overcast mist, 1030 mb, +18°C    
    18.15 Kiel After breaking off transfer cruise to Gotenhafen because the gear of the mine escort vessel "REGENSBURG" was not in service, made fast Blücherbrüke.  
    19.40 Kiel Cast off Blücherbrüke for transfer cruise to Gotenhafen.  
      WSW 2, Sea 2, overcast, 1023 mb, +18°C From Kiel Lightship to barrier off Hjedser [Gedser].  Mine escort by the steamer "REGENSBURG".  
           
    26.07.40      
    05.30 Gotenhafen - Oxhöft Made fast Arsenal Basin.  
                                                          
    26. - 31.07.40 Gotenhafen - Oxhöft Testing of the torpedo armament of "U-103" by the T.E.K. Branch Gotenhafen:  
      Danzig Bay  
        Torpedo firing on the surface and submerged, day and night firing, fire control firing (target ship MS "AHRENSBURG").  
           
    31.07.40 Danzig Torpedo shooting, afterwards cruise to Danzig.  
    16.25 Danzig Made fast Danzig Kaiser Harbor Holm side.  
                                                          
           
 
 
- 2 -
 
           
           
           
           
    01. - 09.08.40 Danzig - Danzig Bay Testing by Unterseeboots-Abnahme Gruppe 1, Danzig.  
     
01.08.40    
Sound trial off Kahlberg.  
     
02.08.40    
Fuel oil bunker check.  
     
03.08.40    
Measured mile on the surface and submerged, anchor training.  
     
04.08.40    
Fuel oil loading in Neufahrwasser.  
     
05.08.40    
Trim test, quick diving.  
        Examination for an oil trace, engine testing with diesel and E-motors.  
           
    05.08.40      
    17.42   Made fast alongside "WILHELM BAUER".  
                                                          
    06.08.40      
    20.35 Danzig At the disposal of "WILHELM BAUER" for special test, (defense test) afterwards made fast Kaiser Harbor.  
     
07.08.40    
Independent training, cannon exercises, room tightness testing, depth control training.  
      Danzig Bay  
     
08.08.40    
Independent training.  
           
    09.08.40      
    07.30 Danzig Put to sea from Kaiser Harbor for 8-hour AK cruise, fuel consumption measurement to Memel.  
    20.18 Memel Made fast alongside steamer "HERTHA".  
                                                          
    10. - 15.08.40 Memel Day and night torpedo shooting at steamer "HERTHA" (with 25. U-Flottille).  
        Torpedo shooting training:  5- B 3,  
                                                 5- C 3,  
                                                 6- B 7,  
                                                 5- C 7,  
                                                 1- B 8,  
                                                 3- B 9.  
                                               25 approaches.  
                                                          
    16.08.40      
    00.00   Put to sea from Memel for tactical training with the 27. U-Flottille.  
        Transit to start position.  
    06.00 AO 9558 Deep dive test depth = 50 meters.  
      Wind/Sea calm, Vis. very good    
    07.15   Surfaced.  
    08.00 AO 9500 1st Tactical Training.  
      AO 9200      Maneuvering ahead.  
      AO 5900 (Enemy formation:  WILHELM BAUER-AHRENSBURG, T 107, T 108, T 161).  
      AO 5600  
        Reached attack position in the afternoon.  
    18.00   Conclusion of training.  
    21.30 - AO 5600 2nd Tactical Training.  
      AO 6400 (Reconnaissance and night training from a patrol line)  
           
    17.08.40 Bright moonlit night, very calm    
    01.14      
    08.00 AO 5600 Began 3rd Tactical Training.  
           
 
 
- 3 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    17.08.40   Reconnaissance training with maneuver ahead from astern position.  
        As on 16 August the enemy was covered by a series of different type aircraft.  
      I believe that maneuvering ahead of a convoy strongly protected by aircraft is not possible because one nearly always has enemy masts out of sight and must be directed only by the aircraft flying above.  I believe this is very risky, if a U-boat is sighted even once by an aircraft the convoy probably gets away successfully, besides, one is so often forced to submerge that with the low speed excess maneuvering ahead can hardly succeed.  
      I only reach shooting position once in the evening.  
                                                          
    18.08.40      
    02.10 AO 9269 Conclusion of training.  
    08.00 AO 9100 Began 4th Tactical Training:  
      AO 9200 Reconnaissance- and contact keeping training continues with strong use of aircraft by the enemy formation.  
      AO 5900  
                                                          
    19.08.40      
    01.10 AO 91 Conclusion of training.  
    08.00 AO 92 Began 5th Tactical Training:  
      AO 59 Convoy exercise over a large sea area, contact holding day and night, morning and evening twilight  
      AO 94  
      AO 84    
                                                          
    20.08.40      
    00.00 AO 9260    
    10.15   Conclusion of training.  
    11.00 AO 8440 To accustom the U-boat crew two strong depth charges are thrown from WILHELM BAUER at a distance of about 800 meters.  
      The exercises of the 27. U-Flottille gave the new and young crew familiarization in a warlike sea voyage: the very often crash diving (one day up to 14 times) for aircraft, etc. was excellent training. The lookout training: first on the horizon, aircraft, shadows etc. was very valuable.  
      I consider this 5-day exercise especially correct and valuable for a new a newly commissioned U-boat.  
    xx.30 Rønne, Bornholm Arrived Rønne  
      W 4-5, calm sea, Vis. clear Final conference for the Tactical Training.  
    xx.30   Put to sea from Rønne.  
        Transit to the west.  
                                                          
    21.08.40 Central Baltic    
    00.00 AO 8354 Transit from the Baltic to Kiel.  
      W 3-4, weather deteriorating, Vis. moderate    
    08.00   Behind 2 escort vessels from the Gjedser barrier at 8 knots to Kiel.  
    11.30   Made fast at the Blücherbrüke, Kiel.  
        Took over luggage from "AMAZONE".  
           
           
 
 
- 4 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    21.08.40      
    23.30   Cast off from Blücherbrüke, Kiel.  
    23.55   Holtenauer Locks.  
                                                          
    22.08.40 Kaiser Wilhelm Canal    
    00.00   Cast off Holtenau.  
        Transit through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal to the west.  
    07.00   Brunsbüttelkoog.  
    08.00   Transit to Bremen behind Sperrbrecher.  
    16.30   Made fast Deschimag, Bremen.  
                                                          
    23.08.40 Bremen    
        Began final adjustments and overhaul.  
        Target date determination:  Reconstruction of the diesel mast and minor vital repairs.  
                                                          
    10.09.40 Bremen End of final adjustments and overhaul.  
    08.00 Fog, wind calm, Vis. under 100 meters Preparations for trim test.  
      Because the Sperrbrecher ordered for 09.00 hours has still not arrived at 11.00 hours and a telephone conversation with the Commander Wesemünde, the Speerbrecher is waiting at Wesemünde. . . .  
    11.00 Improving, light west wind, cloudy Put to sea down the Weser.  
    12.30 Vegesack Sperrbrecher XII on opposite course. I wait at Vulkanwerft until the steamer turns around at Bremen.  
    14.20   Transit behind Sperrbrecher XII to Wilhelmshaven.  
    17.20   Sperrbrecher anchors at Wesemünde.  On questioning he says he was held by Communications Station.  
    17.35 Wesemünde I lay at the pier, to check on the stoppage and realize that for this Sperrbrecher it is a completely insignificant message concerning the mine situation on the French coast and wonder that a message writing Petty Officer is capable of stopping a convoy by himself.  
    18.50 W 203, Swell, changing illumination, Vis. mostly clear Continued behind the Sperrbrecher.  
    22.45   Sperrbrecher anchored because Special Authorization Measure is missing  At the sane time anchored in the Wangerooger Channel.  
                                                          
    11.09.40      
    00.00 Wangerooger Channel Enemy aircraft were observed in the direction of Wesemünde.  
      W 3, Swell  
    03.40   Special Authorization measures were issued for an hour without the Sperrbrecher weighing anchor,  
           
 
 
- 5 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    11.09.40   although repeatedly prompted.  
    06.15   Weighed anchor with the Sperrbrecher.  
        Transit to Wilhelmshaven.  
    08.55   Made fast U-boat base.  
        Due to the lack of initiative by the Kommandant of the Sperrbrecher:  
        1)  Delay on the Weser.  
        2)  Stoppage due to the message in Wesemünde.  
        3)  Did not continue on issue of the Special Authorization measure on the Jade.  
        and in view of the poor utilization of the current the intention to begin loading U-103 the day before was frustrated and a regrettable substantial time loss was caused.  
                                                          
    12. - 15.09.40 Wilhelmshaven U-boat base.  
        Replacement of the strong noise producing gyro transformer.  
        Outfitting of the boat.  
        In accordance with B.d.U. Order U-103 took over the special task from U-43, deployment of a weather buoy in the Atlantic.  The loading was difficult because the buoy did not fit perfectly into the upper deck canisters.  They had to be modified.  Also the antennas were stored in the upper deck canisters.  
        Hopefully the weather conditions in the desired area will make it possible for us to do the work.  
                                                          
    16.09.40      
    11.00   Mine instruction of the Kommandant at Gruppe Nord.  
    12.00 Cloudy, showery weather, NW-wind Cast off from the U-boat base.  
        Cast off from the 3rd Entrance.  
        Departed together with U-123 in accordance with B.d.U. Outbound Orders through the Baltic entrance.   
        Transit to Brunsbüttel behind Sperrbrecher X.  
    23.50 Brunsbüttel Made fast.  
                                                          
    17.09.40      
    00.00 Moonlit night, Kaiser Wilhelm Canal Transit through the Canal.  
    03.10   Clutch of the starboard engine knocks very strongly, because it grows stronger engine stopped.  
    03.30   Also the port clutch begins to knock.  
           
 
 
- 6 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    17.09.40      
    06.10 Holtenau Made fast in the lock.  
    06.45                                                  Tirpitz Mole.  Inspection of the clutches by the Flottille Engineer and personnel of the D.W.K. dictates  the replacement of both clutches.  Duration:  3 days.  
    10.40   Shifted to D.W.K. [Deutsche Werke, Kiel] for repairs.  
                                                          
    17. - 19.09.40   Work on the clutches, D.W.K.  
                                                          
    20.09.40 Deutsche Werke Kiel    
    13.40   After completion of the clutches sea trial in Kiel harbor.  
    15.30   Trim test.  
    16.00   Made fast Tirpitz Mole.  
                                                          
    21.09.40 Kiel    
    05.00   Cast off Tirpitz Mole.  
        Together transit with U-123 to the north.  
    06.15 Kiel Lightship Continued behind patrol vessel.  
      Fair, cloudy, stiff W-breeze, Vis. very good    
    12.00 AO 7469 Day's run:  50 nm  
      Vis. very good    
    20.00 AO 7241 Anchored with Sperrbrecher south of the [Seelands Rev] barrier in accordance with B.S.O. [Befehlshaber der Sicherung der Ostsee] Orders.  
    22.30 Abating light W-wind At moonrise put the boat on the bottom.  
                                                          
    22.09.40 Kattegat    
      AO 7241 upper-right    
      Calm clear weather    
    06.00 Moderate W-wind, lightly cloudy Surfaced.  
    06.30   Weighed anchor.  
        Continued transit with "U-123" behind the patrol boat.  
    12.00 AO 4881 Day's run:  110 nm  
    14.05 AO 4919 Dismissed the patrol vessel.  Ho 59 joins to escort.  
      Vis. very good, Sea lightly choppy    
    20.30 AO 4466 Course 280° to Kristiansand, Ho 59 was released.  
      Clear dark night    
                                                          
    23.09.40 Skagerrak    
    00.00 AO 4443    
      Increasing cloudiness, wind calm    
    07.40 Vis. deteriorating strongly, rain showers, freshening SW-wind Oxö abeam.  
      Released escort.  
        West exit Kristiansand.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 21.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 22.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 23.09.40
 
- 7 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    23.09.40      
    09.33 AN 3563 Course 250°.  
      SSW 4-5, Vis. bad    
    10.13 AN 3562 Dived due to enemy U-boat danger and aircraft danger.  
    12.40 AN 3561 Surfaced for sun navigation fix.  
    12.50   Dived.  2 aircraft in sight.  
        Continued submerged.  
        Day's run:  95 nm  
    19.45 AN 3558 Surfaced.  
      Heavily cloudy, SW-wind 5, rough Sea Continued set off further from the coast.  
      No possibility for astronomical navigation fix.  Speed measurement system out of service.  
        Depth sounder out of service (both systems were checked in Kiel harbor under normal conditions and were in order).  
        So continued by plotting.  
        Initially due to suspected mines (from Gruppe Nord) square AN 3432 passed to the west then surfaced in the deep channel.  
                                                          
    24.09.40      
    00.00 Central North Sea Course 300°, GF.  
      AN 3199    
      Heavily cloudy at moon rise, wind abating    
    03.30 Bright when the moon occasionally comes free, calm Sea Steered zigzag course.  
    06.45 AN 2899 Dived because it is especially bright in the especially U-boat endangered area according to B.d.U.  
        Proceeded submerged, course 0°.  
    12.00 AN 2893 Day's run:  Submerged 75 nm  
    21.05   Surfaced, continued on the surface.  
      NNW 4-5, short rough Sea    
    22.00

Quite dark, stiff NNW-wind, with steep Sea

 

[the preferred configuration for quick crash diving]

The intended GF cannot be maintained due to the Sea State.  
      The boat lies much too deep in the sea.  My torpedo loadout, i.e. the upper deck tubes loaded with with 4 torpedoes, is inappropriate considering that the other tubes were taken up by weather buoys.  In moderate seas it is impossible to proceed with flooded negative buoyancy tank and open watertight forecastle against the rough seas.  
              Consideration should be given, when operating in the current operations area (North Channel) instead of keeping main ballast and reserve fuel oil tank IV free of fuel and the upper deck canisters empty. It is this type of boat it would be easier to maintain contact or close a convoy,  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 23.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 24.09.40
 
- 8 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    24.09.40   especially against the sea.  Furthermore torpedo downloading necessitates moving a great distance from the operation area, given the proximity of the the Atlantic ports it seems superfluous.  
                                                        
    25.09.40 Northern North Sea    
    00.00 AN 2396    
      Vis. changing, rising moon brings brightness, Wind and Sea unchanged.    
    08.00 AF 8754 Ship's position is by dead reckoning and is probably very inaccurate because the depth sounder and speed measurement are out of service and the plotting speed is only very approximate with the unusually ballasted boat.  Therefore I keep well off to the north.  
      NNW somewhat abating, Vis. changing, small rain showers, cloudy  
        Course change to 270°.  
    12.00 AF 8475    
      Vis. was worse, cloudy    
    12.35 AF 8474 Dived.  Torpedo maintenance.  Propulsion system check.  
      Vis. very bad    
    15.10 AF 7676 Surface, continued transit.  
      Wind strengthening, heavy Sea Weapons use is not possible.  
    17.15 AF 7684 Brief, but not perfect opportunity for a navigation fix.  
      Vis. greatly changing Difference between dead reckoning and actual position = 16 nm.  
        Transit speed without observation.  Course 260°.  
                                                          
    26.09.40 North of the Shetlands    
    00.00 AF 7822 The weather forecast of the embarked meteorologist given on the basis of received reports an unfavorable picture for completion of the special task (deployment of the weather buoys) in the north.  
      Wind abating, shifting counter-clockwise  
    08.00 AE 9962    
      W-wind freshening, increasing visibility deterioration    
    12.00 AE 9971 Day's run:  155 nm  
    13.25 AE 9895 Dived due to low visibility (below 100 meters) after 1/4 hour depth charges at great range.  
      Stiff WSW-wind, short Sea, Vis. very bad  
              Incoming Radio Message from B.d.U. concerning partition of the operations area.  By this U-103 is assigned the line square AL 39.  I believe that the B.d.U., knowing the weather situation in the Faroes, does not consider completion of my special task necessary at the moment and positioned U-103 in the vicinity of the 2nd position for the special task (off Rockall)  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 24.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 25.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 26.09.40
 
- 9 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    26.09.40         Waiting for the good weather necessary for weather buoy deployment would mean more time wasted.  I hardly believe it will ever be possible to get rid of the buoys. For this several people must work at least 2 hours on the upper deck.  Execution of the task, places the same demands as a torpedo downloading with the sole exception that the torpedo hatch need not be opened for this task, however, is tied to a location, that a) is directly at the enemy (U-boat danger), b) in Autumn the wind strength is almost never 0-1.  
              Initially I intend to head south of the position so as not to let the day time slip away uselessly but instead utilize it for attacks.  
    18.00 Wind strengthening and Sea larger, Vis. bad Dived.  When starting the compressor, depth charges at about 5000-7000 meters.  Propeller sounds are heard continuously.  
        Surfacing must be put off until darkness because visibility is also unfavorable.  
    21.00 AE 9889 Surfaced.  
      SW 6-7, very large Sea, Vis. moderate, Swell Continued transit to the SW.  
        "U-29" reports a large convoy SE of Rockall.  B.d.U. orders U-37, U-46, U-123 and U-103 to operate on it however countermands this by Radio Message.  
    22.50         Operate on convoy first after completion of special task.  If it cannot be completed at the moment, later possibly to the south at a position in accordance with orders.  
              I now have confirmation of my intention.  
                                                          
    27.09.40      
    00.00 AM 3121 Course 250° so as not to steer directly into the sea.  LF.  
      Strongly freshening from the SW, very large Sea, high Swell    
    08.00 AM 2251 Heavy seas that often run over the conning tower.  
      SW-storm, heavy Sea, Vis. good    
    12.00 AM 2191 Day's run:  145 nm  
    16.00 AM 2184 First Watch Officer facial laceration due to the Sea State (washed off the bridge).  Was out of commission for a day.  
      Low hanging clouds, At times Vis. very bad  
        Dead reckoning navigation is uncertain, no check possibilities.  I suspect that we are substantially further to the east.  
                                                          
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 26.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 27.09.40
 
- 10 -
 
           
           
           
           
    28.09.40      
    00.00 AM 1431    
      Bad weather unchanged    
    08.15 About AM 1368 Course 220°.  
    12.00   Day's run:  160 nm  
    14.15 About AL 3669 dead reckoning Rough sun navigation fix.  
      AM 1617    
      Weather improving quickly    
      WNW abating Course 180°, ran at GF to quickly get to the 2nd point for the next task (deployment of the weather buoy).  
              The weather forecast, prepared daily by the embarked meteorologist, Regierungsrat Dr. Schröder, offers the possibility of deploying the buoy tonight at Rockall.  
    19.20 AM 1847 Rockall.  
      Wind abates substantially, NW 1-2, low clouds, Vis. good, long Swell At the beginning of darkness I intend to deploy the weather buoy.  
      In agreement with the meteorologist deployment of the buoy at the Faroes is in question due to the weather conditions and one buoy is ready to deploy with certainty, I decide to deploy a second, which was lightly damaged while loading (in Wilhelmshaven additional disassembly was necessary to make the buoy fit in the upper deck canister)  
              I consider the deployment as a purely experimental task and therefore consider it urgent to place at least one buoy quickly.  
    21.00 AM 1879 Began deployment preparations. Despite the favorable weather conditions the swell continually over spills the entire deck of the very deep lying boat due to the not blown main ballast and reserve fuel oil tank IV.  
        The work is very difficult especially in darkness.  
        After the first buoy, which was separated from the anchor, is ready to throw, it was discovered that the internal settings, clock etc. did not function.  Because repair is not possible the buoy was thrown overboard and sunk.  
                                                          
    29.09.40      
    00.05 AM 0142 Afterwards prepared the 2nd buoy, during which the boat drifted at KF before the swell.  
      Light NNW breeze, long NW-Swell  
    02.35 AM 0141 upper-right Deployed the 2nd buoy in 260 meters water.  Functions well, however during subsequent transmission times it was not heard.  
      Vis. deteriorating  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 28.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 29.09.40
 
- 11 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    29.09.40      
    03.15 AM 0144 My deliberation to either deploy the next buoy immediately at the southernmost position (tomorrow?) or to go to the operating area first, is settled by a Radio Message from B.d.U.:  
   

 

03.30

Light wind stiffening  
        Take up posts in accordance with Radio Message 1112/26/189. (original deployment order).  
        Transit to square AL 39 on course 270°.  
              Apparently the operational disposition is more important to B.d.U. than further buoy deployment.  
    08.00 AM 1944 No observations.  
      NW 2, long Swell, calm Sea, Vis. clear, cloudy    
    10.32   Position question by B.d.U. is answered with simultaneous notification that 2 buoys (one of which was failed) were deployed.  Therefore B.d.U. knows that I am proceeding to the operations area.  
    12.00 AL 0345 Day's run:  224 nm  
      In places Vis. obscured, wind shifting counter-clockwise to the W    
    15.00 AL 39 center Am in the center of my operations area, square AL 39.  
    20.00 AL 3918 No observations.  
      WNW freshening to 4, rough Sea    
                                                          
    30.09.40      
    00.00 AL 0239 Back and forth in position in attack area square AL 39.  
      WNW 5, choppy Sea and Swell    
    08.00 AL 3937 No observations.  
      Vis. very bad 1/2 nm, rain showers    
    12.00 AL 3937    
      Vis. changing, abating somewhat, Swell    
    20.00 AL 3946    
      Vis. improving, sometimes very good, NW 2, short Swell    
                                                          
    01.10.40 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 3978    
      Very dark, Vis. bad, flat sea, light Swell    
    08.00 AL 3955 In attack position, no enemy sightings.  
      After dawn Vis. very good, light SE-wind No observations.  
    12.00 AL 3913    
      Changing rain showers, thick fog    
    14.30   Dived because visibility is below 500 meters.  
    16.20   At the same time worked on the torpedoes.  
    20.00 AL 3944    
      Vis. changing, very cloudy    
                                                          
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 29.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 30.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 01.10.40
 
- 12 -
 
           
           
           
           
    02.10.40 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 3977    
      S-wind, Vis. bad, Sea very choppy    
    08.00 AL 3999 Visibility about 4000 meters.  
      S-wind, calm sea, overcast    
    10.03 AL 0378 3 shadows distinguished in the west.  
      Wind and Sea strengthening Came to course 250°.  Apparently a convoy on a westerly course.  
        Until sending Radio Message:  αα Gustav Yellow.  
        Ran along with the shadows at the limit of visibility.  Visibility was worse.  
    10.27   Dived to attack.  
        Despite perfect sound bearings no targets come in sight.  Pursued the sound.  
    12.17 AL 0375 Surfaced.  Pursued the last sound bearing at 2 x GF.  
    12.45 AL 0371 Shadows in sight to the north, closed.  No convoy only fishing trawlers.  
      Freshening S-wind, rough Sea, Vis. changing, overcast  
    13.05   Radio Message to B.d.U.:  
      [SSD = Very Very Urgent] With SSD also another from B.d.U. to inform boats ordered to attack.  
              I remain in contact with the fishing trawlers which steer about 290°.  Perhaps they will accept a convoy.  
    14.00   Westerly course.  
    20.00 AL 3947 Fishing trawlers out of sight to the NW.  
      Strongly rising wind 6-7, high Swell, Vis. changing In position, no observations.  
                                                          
    03.10.40 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 0265 Because nothing is seen and the boat works heavily dived to depth 35 meters to give the crew some peace.  Listening gear remains occupied.  
      South-storm, Vis. bad, cloudy  
    08.00 AL 0279 NE-course to the center of square AL 39  
      Wind abating shifting clockwise, long high Swell Visibility is moderate.  
    12.00 AL 3949    
    19.00 AL 3877 Radio Message from B.d.U. new attack disposition.  U-103 square AL 64 and 65.  
        Therefore course 210°.  
    20.00 AL 3939 The area appears deserted.  
      Stiff SW-wind, completely overcast, long Swell Only wreckage from the destruction work, unfortunately of other boats.  
                                                          
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 02.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 03.10.40
 
- 13 -
 
           
           
           
           
    04.10.40 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 3991 4 hours dive to work on the torpedoes.  
    08.00 AL 6166 No observations.  
      Very strong WSW-wind, heavy Sea    
    12.00 AL 6158 Day's run:  105 nm  
      Heavy W-storm, high long Swell, steep Sea, Vis. moderate to good    
    14.30   Radio Message from B.d.U.  
        1)  No enemy traffic.  
        2)  Attack disposition in patrol line U-123, U-103, U-43, U-37, U-38, square AL 7220 to 9790.  Take up 5 October 16.00 hours.  
    20.00 AL 6418    
      Heavy Sea and very high Swell, rain squalls    
                                                          
    05.10.40      
    00.00 AL 5569 Dived at complete darkness to ride out the storm submerged.  
      Abating shifting wind with heavy Sea, low visibility  
    08.00 AL 5594 No observations.  
      NNE 3-4, short Sea, Vis. very moderate    
    12.00 AL 5846 Our inactivity may increase almost to moroseness.  
      NW 4, Sea and Swell, rain squalls, otherwise Vis. very good Day's run:  145 nm  
    20.00 AL 8179 Back and forth in position in ordered patrol line as ordered with depth 20 nm.  
      NW 2, moderate Swell, Vis. changing, at times rain showers  
                                                          
    06.10.40      
    00.00 AL 8182 In accordance with B.d.U. Orders tomorrow the patrol line proceeds as reconnaissance line to new position line AK 9311 to AL 8885 [typo 8785] from 06.00 hours.  
    05.50 AL 8184 Shadow in sight, unlit tanker, zigzagging.  Course about 250°.  
      Light W-breeze, long Swell, Vis. medium, heavily cloudy  
      Initiated surface attack.  
    05.53   1st miss, incorrect target angle (too large).  
    05.55   2nd miss, unexplained (possibly under ran - depth 4 meters)  
        Because the range is too low to turn away and observe, crash dived. Apparently the enemy sighted me.  
    06.10   Surfaced.  
    07.40 AL 8412    
      W 2-3, light Swell, Vis. very good, cloudy    
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 04.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 05.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 06.10.40
 
- 14 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    06.10.40      
    07.40   Attempt to match speed failed because the port diesel was out of service for a long time (shaft bearing replacement).  
        (tanker speed estimated at 10 knots.)  
        Headed for the new position line at diesel-electric.  
    08.50 AL 8149 Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a celestial navigation fix:  30.8 nm, 58°T.  
      Freshening W-wind, short Sea  
        Dived to reload the torpedoes.  
    09.10   Submerged a steamer in sight astern to starboard, course about 250°.  
        Surfaced, running ahead is not possible.  
        Attack attempt would fail because the range is too great.  
    10.45 AL 8148 At periscope depth waited for the next steamer to come in sight when a second is heard, then sighted astern to port.  He steers 220° heavily zigzagging.  Attack initiated.  With each zigzag towards hope springs anew however unfortunately range always remains above 4000 meters.   
        Also passes out of sight, must be given up.  
    14.25 AL 7259 Surfaced.  
      Wind W 4-5, rough Sea, Vis. changing in rain squalls My position in the area of the reconnaissance line is incorrect because the port diesel is still out of service and the battery is nearly empty.  Improving our position is not possible for now.  Course 265° one diesel 2 x HF.  
    20.00 AL 7259    
      Wind freshens further, short cross Swell, very rough Sea, Vis. changing No observations.  
    20.50   Large steamer sighted bearing 350°T.  Initial target angle 90°, however changes course to SSW.  
    21.10   Initiated submerged attack.  
        Boat is held with difficulty in the high sea.  Depth variations of 4 meters.  Because of increasing darkness showing a lot of the periscope was accepted.  
        Shortly before the shot heavy rain squall, that completely takes away visibility.  
    22.04 AL 7172 1st shot, target angle 90°, speed 9 knots, range = 1000 meters, led a bit.  Hit.  
        Large tanker 10000-12000 tons, up to now darkened, sets lights, takes a list to port however evens out again.  
    22.14   Closed submerged for a stern shot (coup de grâce 600-700 meters).  
        2nd shot.  Torpedo was not heard, apparently the engine did not start.  Sank.  
    22.38   Surfaced and ran in for the 3rd shot, new moon disappeared behind the clouds.  
    23.01   3rd shot.  Bow shot.  Hit just aft of center on the starboard side of the tanker.  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 06.10.40
 
- 15 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    06.10.40   Tanker takes a list to starboard without settling.  
    23.15   I now cruise on his port side.  Due to heavy sea artillery cannot be used.  Because the steamer is definitely stopped and is not sinking I run in from the lee side (port side).  
    23.30   4th shot.  Hit just aft of center on the port side.  The steamer is broken in the center the ends rear up.  Amidships only the upper edge of the bridge is out, otherwise only the fore and after ship.  
    23.50 AL 7172 I see the ship is lost and come to the new course given by B.d.U. to the next position line. [AL3566 to AM 1985]  
                                                          
    07.10.40      
    00.00   The position line for 00.00 hours can no longer be reached, due to the attack operation on the one hand, the out of service port diesel on the other, do not allow a speedy advance.  
        Course 0°, 12 knots.  
    02.30 AL 7146 Dived, to reload torpedoes and work.  
      SW 4-5, Vis. very bad    
    05.15 AL 7134 Course 47°, in accordance with orders 9 knots.  
    08.00 AL 4874 Port diesel in service again.  
    12.00 AL 4851    
      SW 4, freshening, Vis. changing, heavily cloudy, high Swell No observation.  
    20.00 AL 5426    
      SW 8-9, storm squalls, high Sea, long Swell, Vis. sometimes good sometimes very bad    
                                                          
    08.10.40      
    00.00 AL 5431 Dived to fill the battery. [with distilled water]  
      SW-storm, heavy Sea, Vis. mostly bad    
    08.00 AL 5271    
      SW 6-7, high Sea, long Swell, Vis. very good, could deck breaking up    
    09.50   Steamer bearing 40°T on westerly course.  
    09.58   Dived, no weapons use possible.  
    11.15   Surfaced when steamer disappeared on the horizon.  
        Continued advance in reconnaissance line in accordance with orders.  
           
Sun and Moon Data 06.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 07.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 08.10.40
 
- 16 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    08.10.40      
    16.00 AL 0287 No observations.  
      SW 4-5, high long Swell, rough Sea, Vis. very good    
    18.30 AL 3941 Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix 130°T, 26 nm.  
      (AL 0268)  
                                                          
    09.10.40      
    00.00 AL 3795    
      Abating wind, Sea was calmer, Vis. medium    
    01.05 AL 3769 Shadow to the north.  
   

01.14

Vis. medium U-boat conning tower about 800-1000 meters, apparently diving, U-103 dives also.  
    02.09   Surfaced, because there are no further observations.  
    05.00 AL 3816 I am in place in position line.  
      Light NW-breeze, rain showers, otherwise Vis. good, however dark    
    08.40 AL 3819 Several smoke traces and mastheads in sight to the east.  Convoy target angle about 90°, therefore southeasterly course.  
      NW 2-3, light Sea, Vis. good, at times rain showers  
    09.07   αα Reconnaissance report to B.d.U.  
        Gustav Yellow square 3818   δ East    λ Medium.  
    09.46   αα Short Signal to B.d.U.  
        Gustav Yellow square 3825   δ 110°.  
        A navigation update and enemy course based on bearings.  
              Hopefully all 4 boats can come up.  It is a rarely occurring opportunity.  The convoy must be destroyed.  
        I maneuver ahead on his starboard side.  Destroyers are at times positioned very far out and hold me off so that I can only make out the smoke trace of the enemy.  
    10.48 AL 3837 αα Short Signal to B.d.U.  
        Gustav Yellow square 3826.  
    10.50   Dived to attack.  
    12.35         Unfortunately a great disappointment:  Convoy had zigzagged heavily to nearly 80-85°.  So I cannot close.  4 protecting destroyers and 24 steamers are distinguished.  I attempt to still reach shooting position unfortunately unsuccessfully.  2 flying boats type Lerwik interfere with attack.  A stern sweeper (destroyer) forces me to remain submerged for a long time.  
    15.31 AL 3831 Surfaced.  
      Light MW-breeze, slight Sea, light long Swell, Vis. very far Followed the convoy on course 90° at 2 x GF.  Astern there are two further smoke traces.  
    16.10 AM 1711 Smoke traces of the convoy again in sight.  
        αα = Gustav Yellow square 3818  λ 7 knots  δ 100°.  
              I am not maneuvering ahead on the northern side to have the right illumination for an evening attack.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 08.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 09.10.40
 
- 17 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    09.10.40   The flanking destroyers force me to haul out very far.  
    19.05   Convoy is abeam.  
    19.08 AM 1722 αα = Gustav Yellow square 1728 δ 100° λ  7 slow.  
    20.15 AM 1734 Under the protection of increasing twilight I approach much closer.  The convoy seems to zigzag often, while he steered more than 100° the last time, he now suddenly goes back to 90° or less.  Directly to the left (northern column of the convoy) I dive to attack.  The heavily and often zigzagging destroyer ahead overruns U-103 (at depth 18 meters).  The shadows of the first large freighter is only distinguished with difficulty.  I am positioned directly ahead between the left and middle column of the convoy consisting of 3 columns.  Ahead there are almost only very large freighters.  In the failed morning attack I had picked out the largest member ahead in the 2nd row.  The column spacing is about 600 meters.  To shoot with the minimum parallax correction I position myself athwart on a northerly course and then come in very short order in shooting position on 3 steamers in the 2nd row which were all to be taken.  See attack sketch.  
      WNW 2, lightly choppy sea  
21.04 AM 1761
21.10 Light NW-breeze, long Swell, light Sea
   
    22.11 AM 1762 1st shot (stern shot) on about 7000-ton size steamer in the right column, target angle 100°, range = 900 meters.  
    22.12   2nd shot (stern shot) on center 5000-ton size steamer range about 250 meters, target angle 90°.  
    22.13   3rd shot (bow shot) on 7000-ton size steamer in the left column, target angle 100°, range = about 300 meters.  
        The hits on all three steamers were achieved within 1-1/2 minutes.  The first mentioned steamer was sinking over the forestem, the 3rd strongly down by the stern and the center steamer with strong fire amidships still observed for about 1-2 minutes, when the boat rose to depth 10.5 meters and then quickly to depth 40 meters.  After another 2-3 minutes there followed the detonation of 5-6 depth charges at close range, though the destroyer was not seen.   
        At depth 40 meters I ran below the convoy.  I manage to stay unobserved for some time, but unfortunately the rapid onset of Asdic soon quickly caught the boat.  There begins pursuit by first 3 then 2 destroyers which continually sound.  
    23.54   A new depth charge attack.  
                                                          
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 09.10.40
 
- 18 -
 
           
           
           
           
    10.10.40      
    00.48   A destroyer runs over locating the boat.  Steering a southerly course at depth 80 meters, I succeed in shaking off the destroyer.  
    02.35   The sounding and sounds of the enemy destroyer grew weaker and disappeared suddenly.  
    03.38 AM 1768 Surfaced, no observations.  
      NW freshening, short Sea, Vis. medium, rain showers Because my navigation is uncertain in the vicinity of Rockall I move off to the SW.  
    05.50 AM 1786 Radio Message from B.d.U.:  If no contact holder reports at 09.00 hours be in patrol line from square AM 2795 - 2985.  
    06.10 AM 1786 Came to course 90° to take up new position in accordance with orders, though without confidence in meeting my convoy again.  When surfacing in the night I am 40 nm behind him.  In the rising Sea State I must expect 8-10 hours, to get abeam, provided it is easy to find him.  With the maneuver ahead attack could follow in the evening hours given the unlikely condition that one is not hindered by aircraft etc. while maneuvering ahead.  
      NNW 3, freshening, moderate Sea, Vis. good, medium Swell  
    09.00 AM 1847 Rockall abeam to starboard.  
      N 5-6, freshening further, very rough Sea Course 90°.  
      No observations.  
    11.35 AM 1857 Enemy destroyer astern target angle 0°.  Crash dive.  Destroyer sounds and is heard for roughly 1-1/2 hours.  Afterwards torpedo and engine work was carried out submerged.  
      Strong N-wind, heavy Sea, Vis. very good, cloudy  
    15.10 AM 1853 Surfaced.  
    17.10 AM 1862 Flying boat, Crash dive!  
      NNW somewhat abating Then continued advance.  
    20.40   New area partition from B.d.U.:  
        U-103 square AL 37 and 38 and AM 17 and 18, so the line in the Rockall area with this as the eastern limit.  
        The are to the west is assigned to U-48 and in the east U-37, seems favorable to me although I would rather be 50-100 nm to the north.  
    21.10 AM 2745 Course 280° into the ordered area.  
        No observations.  
                                                          
    11.10.40      
    00.00 AM 1853    
      Wind greatly abating, short Sea, Vis. good No observations.  
           
Sun and Moon Data 10.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 11.10.40
 
- 19 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    11.10.40      
    08.00 AM 1711 Course 250°.  
      SW-wind, freshening, Vis. deteriorating    
    12.00 AL 3827    
      Strong SW-wind, Vis. changing, rough Sea    
              In the previous night the following Radio Messages were received:  
      To B.d.U. Eto failure on stopped steamer, square 1848 U-123 and  
      From B.d.U. on 9 October a steamer located square 1845 proceeding at 1 knot course 130°,  
      Suggests to me that it is one of the three steamers from the convoy torpedoed by me apparently the one observed on fire, was still not sunk and was shot the next day by U-123.  
      I am sorry that not all 3 ships did not fall on my account.  
    14.00 AL 3817 αα from U-48:  Gustav Yellow square AL 3977.  
      Very strong SW-wind, at times Vis. bad, heavy Sea State I immediately operate on this convoy.  Unfortunately the hope of reaching him before darkness turns out to be not possible.  Against the heavy sea at highest speed we can only make 12 knots.  
              Therefore I decide to go to a waiting position at the morning twilight position of the convoy, attack on the convoy with the bad weather in the night seems very questionable.  
        Course 136°, HF.  
    15.25 AL 3845 Radio Message from B.d.U. to attack.  
      Shifting counter-clockwise, SW 6-7, Vis. bad    
    20.15 AL 0335 Bearing signals from U-48 (Ordered by B.d.U.) were not heard.  
      Heavier Sea  
        At the moment weapons use is not possible.  
    21.47 AM 1941 U-48 gives bearing signals, heard faintly, because of frequency distortion of about 15kHz.  Bearings did not correspond with reconnaissance reports.  
      SW 7, heavier Sea, Vis. bad  
              U-48 is still at the convoy; the αα reports plot at course 90°, 8 knots.  
                                                          
    12.10.40      
    00.00 AM 1949 Radio Message from B.d.U.:  According to [B-Dienst] report a torpedoed steamer was sighted in square AL 0317.  
      Wind shifting to the S 7-8, heavy Sea, Vis. bad  
      Assume that U-48 navigation is 30 nm to the south.  
        A 30 nm navigation difference?  By bearings it seems that my navigation is better than U-48's.  I continue heading for the southern tip of Rockall Bank, the convoy can be expected there in the morning.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 11.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 12.10.40
 
- 20 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    12.10.40      
    01.42 AM 1973 U-48 has lost contact.  
              Hopefully visibility will be better in the morning, sunrise seems to me to be the best opportunity for a sighting with the very questionable navigation difference (all boats have had no navigation fix for 2 days).  
    05.00 AM 1968 Course 80°, 7 knots.  
      SSE 6-7, heavy rain, low clouds    
              One must accept one's fate, slowly running before the convoy and hope for better weather.  Possibly a steamer will still emerge out of the mist.  
              So now 6 boots wait desperately for a chance of success.  
    12.00 AM 0171 No weapons use possible.  
      Wind shifting clockwise, S 6, rain, fog, Vis. under 1000 meters    
    20.00 AM 0153 Weapons use not possible.  
      SSW 6-7, rain showers, Vis. very bad, heavy Sea No observations.  
        In accordance with Radio Message from B.d.U.:  After the beginning of darkness proceed to ordered positions if there is no contact on the convoy.  
    22.00   Course 280°.  
                                                          
    13.10.40      
    00.00 AM 0143    
      Strongly abating wind, Vis. improving, long Swell, sea calming No observations.  
    04.30 AM 1930 Shadow in sight bearing 270°T.  
      W 1-2, Sea calm, heavy Swell, Vis. very good, bright moonlit night Turned towards it, a dimmed steamer.  Maneuvered ahead to attack.  
    04.40   Dived for submerged attack.  
        Enemy zigzags strongly, about 40°.  
    04.46   Shot, target angle 80°, speed 9 knots, depth 5 meters.  Enemy zigzagged away.  Miss.  
        Surfaced and maneuvered ahead again.  
    06.35   New attack failed because the enemy zigzagged towards to exactly target angle 0° and overran the boat.  
    07.12 AM 09.19 Surface stern shot target angle 90°, speed 8 knots, range = 300 meters, depth 4 meters.  Miss.  
      Light breeze, dark, clear  
        I believe under running is possible despite the steamer being fully loaded (by estimate 2000-3000 tons).  
    08.46 AM 0161 Dived, attacked.  Target angle 80°, speed 8 knots, depth 3.5 meters, range = 500 meters.  Hit center.  
      Light W-wind, light Swell, Vis. very good  
      The upper deck cargo flies far, some up to the periscope.  
        The steamer (Estonian) "NORA" 1186 tons lists strongly  
           
Sun and Moon Data 12.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 13.10.40
 
- 21 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    13.10.40   with the upper deck to the water, his weather side is very heavily battered.  He still floats on the wooden cargo and lies stopped unable to maneuver.  The crew signals for assistance.  The dinghies, bridge, foreship superstructure is destroyed.  The steamer is a loss, towing over 300 nm is impossible.  I do not shoot with artillery, because the crew asks for assistance and seems unarmed and sends SSS Radio Message on steamer frequency.  
    09.30 AM 0127 Transit into ordered operations area.  
              It now becomes clear, after reading in the steamer details in Loyds Register that the draft was 4 meters, that unfortunately in both misses on this steamer (which was much smaller than first estimated - however the wood cargo made it appear much larger in the dark - ) the target was under steered.  Therefore:  it is preferable to set too shallow than too deep.  
              The heavy torpedo consumption is quite depressing for me.  This ridiculously small wood steamer took 3, the tanker cost 4 and the two first misses by the new experience may also have under steered  
              The depth fluctuations with counter running Swell in the remaining instances are also significant.  This is proved by the attack on the tanker, all shot with the same settings, however, as the explosion column clearly showed, impact was deep.  This time there was a particularly strong concussion of the steamer and a medium-sized explosive cloud, also a water cloud reaching about 10 times steamer height (apparently hit just under the water surface? !!! )  
    13.30 AM 1871 Passed Rockall.  
      Light W-wind, light Swell, lightly cloudy, Vis. very good Course 270°.  
      No observations.  
    20.00 AL 3892    
      Unchanged, Vis. very good weather conditions with especially good visibility    
                                                          
    14.10.40      
    00.00 AL 3871    
      Light SW-wind, light Swell, Vis. good Back and forth in position at the western edge of my operations area.  
    08.00 AL 3774 No observations.  
      West wind shifting clockwise, Vis. very good    
    12.00 AL 2862    
      W 2-3, cloudy, light Sea    
           
Sun and Moon Data 13.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 14.10.40
 
- 22 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    14.10.40      
    22.00 AL 0265 Orders from B.d.U.:  Emphasis in the east - at the same time  αα from U-93:  Convoy square 2673, westerly course.  
      Abating wind, light Swell  
                                                          
    15.10.40      
    00.00 AL 3916 Course 50°.  
      NNW 2-3    
    08.00 AL 3696 I now move back and forth in position on north south courses in the northerly part of my operations area (form a barrier).  
      NW 3, light Sea, short Swell, increasing cloudiness in the east  
    12.00 AM 1513 Unfortunately I am on the wrong horizon for the expected convoy.  (bright background and dark clouds in the direction of the enemy)  
      Vis. slowly deteriorating to the east  
    17.15 AM 1542 So a large steamer was seen very late, target angle 70-80°.  Despite this operated on him, although I must assume I have been seen.  
      NW 3-4, light Swell, Vis. changing  
    18.20 AL 3639 Dived to attack.  The steamer held course 270° (it is sure to belong to the now dispersed convoy.  
        Submerged shot:  Target angle 80°, speed 9 knots, depth 3 meters, range = 800 meters.  
        Hit center.  Initially the steamer takes a strong list to port however then lies even again and doesn't even look fully loaded (apparently only the center cargo hold is flooded.  Boats are out, the crew gets on board however quickly go back, when they notice that the steamer is not sinking further.  The steamer THISTLEGARTH (4747 tons) had two cannons astern and at first this prevented me from combat.  When I notice that the people take a collision mat out, I run ahead of the steamer with target angle 0° at 2000 meters surface and shoot with artillery.  The fire 3 (3 shots) is replied to with 5-6 shots from a bow cannon (apparently anti-aircraft).  
        Crash dived, to protect the boat from a random hit.  
        The 14th torpedo must be used.  I must hit him exactly in the engine room.  Despite the darkness submerged attack, target angle 90°, range = 600 meters, depth 4 meters.  
        Shot.  Hit at the after mast.  
        The steamer sinks within 2 minutes.  
              Now I have shot all of the torpedoes, initially I set off a bit to the SW at high speed, to get away from the scene of the 4-hour action quickly and begin the transit to Lorient.  
        Radio Message to B.d.U.:  
        Torpedoes shot.  Transit Lorient.  5 steamers about 31000 GRT of these a large freighter  
           
Sun and Moon Data 14.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 15.10.40
 
- 23 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    15.10.40   and a further freighter damaged.  
                                                          
    16.10.40      
    00.00 AL3655    
    08.00 AL 3759    
      Wind calm, no Sea, light Swell, Vis. very good No observations.  
    12.00 AL 3964 Day's run:  245 nm  
      Nearly flat, calm Sea, light Swell, Vis. very good    
    12.45   Orders from B.d.U.:  
        Deploy buoy on Porcupine Bank.  
        Course change to ordered position.  
        GF to reach the objective in the coming night.  I intend  at the same time to download a few torpedoes from the canisters in the upper deck.  
    20.00 AL 6638 No observations.  
      Unchanged, very good weather conditions, especially far visibility, calm Sea    
                                                          
    17.10.40      
    00.00 AM 4727 Main ballast and reserve fuel oil tank 2 + 3, 6 + 7 were converted. [for use as ballast tanks]  
      Bright moon, SE 1, Vis. far  
    04.30 AM 7211 Began preparations for deploying the buoy at HF.  Took advantage of the very far visibility with moonlight so that 5-6 men can work peacefully on deck.  
      Nearly calm Sea, very long low Swell  
    05.30 AM 7213 The clock mechanism of the buoy is inoperable.  Also the antenna stored in a separate canister had become unusable from moisture due to leakage in this canister.  
        Therefore the buoy cannot be deployed.  I decide to take it into the bow room to examine.  First a G7a torpedo is brought below then the buoy followed.  The transport is extraordinarily awkward because the assembly is too large.  After complicated removal of the anchor the buoy was passed through the torpedo hatch.  Due to the delay a second torpedo can no longer be brought below deck.  
    08.10 AM 7254 Transit to Lorient.  
      Completely clear sunny weather, Vis. very far, light long Swell, lightly cloudy Radio Message to B.d.U. concerning buoy deployment.  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 15.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 16.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 17.10.40
 
- 24 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    17.10.40      
    12.00 AM 7515 Day's run:  305 nm  
      Steady good weather No observations.  
    20.00 BE 3135    
      Light E-breeze, increasing cloudiness Course 180°.  
                                                          
    18.10.40      
    00.00 BE 3546 Return transit.  
      Moonlit, Vis. changing, mostly very good Course 150°.  
    08.00 BE 6327 No observations.  
      Increasing cloudiness, freshening NE to E wind, light Sea    
    12.00 BE 4176    
      NE 4, increasing Sea, Course 95°.  
    20.00 BF 4531    
      NE 2-3, cloudy, Vis. changing    
                                                          
    19.10.40      
    00.00 BF 4624    
      NE 3, abating, partly misty    
    05.10 BF 5429 Shadow to port, about 800 meters away.  Apparently the conning tower of an enemy U-boat.  
      Wind shifting clockwise, Vis. often bad, occasionally better  
      Because B.d.U. has reported Italian U-boats in this area I continue on.  Unfortunately the possibility that it was an English U-boat remains open.  It is regrettable that an attack must be withheld.  
    08.00 BF 5543    
      SE 2-3, light Sea, Vis. 2000-3000 meters No further observations.  
    10.00 BF 5553 Passed through the U-boat danger area at GF and zigzag course.  
    12.00 BF 6441 Day's run:  305 nm  
      SE 2, Vis. good. lightly cloudy    
    15.10 BF 6425 Bell Isle abeam.  
    17.15 BF 6173 Point II.  Taken in convoy.  
    18.50   Arrived Lorient.  
        Made fast at the pontoons.  
                                                          
           
Sun and Moon Data 17.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 18.10.40
Sun and Moon Data 19.10.40

Appendices to U-103's KTB - click on the text at left to proceed to the documents
Sketch Sketch of convoy attack on 9 October

 

 
 
     
 

                       Comments of the Befehlshabers der Unterseeboote

 
     
 
1.) A well and successfully executed patrol.  The performance of the Kommandanten is heightened because he scored with a new boat on its first war patrol, with only a small part of the crew with war experience.
2.) The attack on the convoy on 9 October was good.  With regard to the approach of other boats it probably would have been more important to attack a little later, that is, at night on the surface.
3.) The intention of the Kommandant (24 September) concerning measures for less fuel and torpedoes are not agreed to.
 
     
                                                                        Signed in draft    D  ö  n  i  t  z  .  
     
    For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote  
    - the Chief of the Operations Department -  
                                                         
                                       
     
 


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