U-123 - 4th War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason

Departed
Date
Arrived
Date
Days at Sea
Lorient
10 April 1941
Lorient
11 May 1941
32

 

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
17 Apr 41
15.50 - 16.03
51°45'N, 31°05'W
VENEZUELA
6,991
Swedish
 
     
 Total = 6,991
   
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  
                              =======================  
                                 of the Unterseebootes "U 123"  
           
           
           
                       Kommandant:  Kapitänleutnant    M  o  e  h  l  e  .  
           
           
           
           
        4th War Patrol.  
           
           
           
           
           
              Beginning:      1.3.1941.  
              Concluding:    11.5.1941  
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
       
           
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
 
- 1 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Saturday,      
    01.03.41   Work service.  Muster by B.d.U.  
        Examination of the crew.  
    Sunday,   Shipyard period.  
    02.03.41      
    Monday,   Dry-docked.  
    03.03.41      
    Tuesday,   Un-docked.  
    04.03.41      
    Wednesday,   Shipyard period.  
    05.03.41      
    Thursday,   Shipyard period.  Shifted to the oil pier.  
    06.03.41      
    Friday   Shipyard period.  
    07.03.41      
    Saturday,   Shipyard.  
    08.03.41      
    Sunday,   Shipyard period.  
    09.03.41      
    Monday,   Shipyard period.  Shifted from oil pier to Dock II.  
    10.03.41      
    Tuesday,   Shipyard period.  
    11.03.41      
    Wednesday,   Shipyard period.  
    12.03.41      
    Thursday,   Shipyard period.  
    13.03.41      
    Friday,   Shipyard period.  
    14.03.41      
    Saturday,   Shipyard period.  
    15.03.41      
    Sunday,   Shipyard period.  
    16.03.41      
    Monday,   Shipyard period.  
    17.03.41      
    Tuesday   Shipyard period.  
    18.03.41      
    Wednesday,   Shipyard period.  
    19.03.41                                              
           
 
 
- 2 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Thursday,   Shipyard period.  
    20.03.41      
    Friday,   Shipyard period.  
    21.03.41      
    Saturday,   Shipyard period.  
    22.03.41      
    Sunday,   Shipyard period.  
    23.03.41      
    Monday,   Shipyard period.  
    24.03.41      
    Tuesday,   Shipyard period.  
    25.03.41      
    Wednesday,   Shipyard period.  Shifted from dock II to Dock III,  
    26.03.41      
    Thursday,   Shipyard period.  
    27.03.41      
    Friday,   Shipyard period.  
    28.03.41      
    Saturday,   Shipyard period.  
    29.03.41      
    Sunday,   Shipyard period.  
    30.03.41      
    Monday,   Shipyard period.  
    31.03.41      
    Tuesday,   Shipyard period.  Shifted from Dock III to charging station.  
    01.04.41      
    Wednesday,   Shipyard period.  
    02.04.41      
    Thursday,   Shipyard period.  
    03.04.41      
    Friday,   Shipyard period.  Shifted from charging station to the Isêre.  
    04.04.41      
    Saturday,   Shipyard period.  
    05.04.41      
    Sunday,   Torpedo loading.  
    06.04.41      
    Monday,   Shipyard period.  Degaussing, radio direction finder calibration, water-tightness testing.  
    07.04.41    
                                                   
           
 
 
- 3 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Tuesday,   Outfitting of the boat.  
    08.04.41      
    Wednesday,   Trim test.  
    09.04.41      
    Thursday,      
    10.04.41      
    18.00   Departed Lorient.  
                                                   
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
 
- 1 -
 
           
           
           
    Thursday,      
    10.04.41      
    18.00 NE 3, Sea 1-2, 0/10, full moon Departed Lorient for 4th war patrol with escort.  
    19.54 At Point 2 Dived for U-boat hunting training with U-Jäger "A".  
    20.40   Released from convoy.  Transit via Point "C" to the west.  
                                                   
    Friday, Bay of Biscay  
    11.04.41      
    00.00 BF 6455 upper-left Course 180°, GF.  
      NE 3, Sea 2, 0/10, Vis. good    
    01.13   Course 270°.  
    04.00 BF 5595 upper-right    
      NNE 2, Sea 1, 0/10, Vis. good Course 270°, GF.  
    08.00 BF 5496 upper-right               "  
      NNE 2, Sea 1, 5/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 BF 5474 upper-right Course 278°, HF.  
      NNE 2, Sea 1, 6/10, Vis. good                                               Day's run:  222 nm  
    14.30 - 17.54   Dive training for instruction of new personnel and deep dive test to depth = 51 meters.  
    20.00 BF 4673 upper-right Course 278°, HF.  
      NNE 1-2, Sea 1, 2/10, Vis. good                                            
         
    Saturday, North Atlantic    
    12.04.41      
    00.00 BF 4558 center-right               "  
      NE 1-2, Sea 1, 0/10, fill moon    
    04.00 BF 4466 center-right               "  
      N 1-2, Sea 1, 0/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 BF 4443 lower-center edge               "  
      N 1, Sea 0-1, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 BE 6653 upper-right Course 280°, HF.  
      N 1, Sea 0-1, 0/10, Vis. good                                               Day's run:  215 (437) nm  
    12.30   Boxes fished out, contents:  safety matches from India.  
    14.23 - 15.14   Crash dive training.  
    15.26 - 15.37             "           "  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 10.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 11.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 12.04.41
 
- 2 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    12.04.41      
    20.00 BE 6534 center-right Course 280°, HF.  
      NW 0-1, Swell, 4/10, Vis. good                                            
         
    Easter Sunday, North Atlantic    
    13.04.41      
    00.00 BE 6512 center-left               "  
      WSW 1, Sea 0-1, 3/10, full moon    
    04.00 BE 6188 upper-left               "  
      W 1-2, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 BE 5395 upper-right               "  
      W 1-2, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 BE 5373 upper-left                                               Day's run:  214 (651) nm  
      WSW 3, Sea 2, overcast, Vis. good    
    04.12 & 11.55   Sent weather report.  
    16.00 BE 5259 upper-right corner Course 280°, HF  
      WSW 3, Sea 2-3, overcast, Vis. good    
    20.00 BE 5249 upper-left               "  
      SW 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good                                            
         
    Monday, North Atlantic    
    14.04.41      
    00.00 BE 5164 upper-left Course 310°, HF.  
      NWbyN 2, Sea 1-2, overcast (rain), full moon, Vis. good    
    04.00 BE 5113 center               "  
      WNW 2, Sea 1, 2/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 BE 1968 lower-center               "  
      WNW 1-2, Sea 1, 5/10, Vis. good    
    10.30 - 10.55   Crash dive for training.  
    11.30   Incoming Radio Message:  Objective for "U-123" square AK 37.  
    12.00 BE 1927 center Course 330°, HF.  
      WNW 2, Sea 1, 2/10, Vis. good                                               Day's run:  225 (876) nm  
    16.00 BE 1671 upper-right center Course 330°,   "  
      WNW 2, Sea 1, 3/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 BE 1535 center-left               "  
      WNW 2, Sea 1-2, 4/10, Vis. good                                            
           
Sun and Moon Data 12.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 13.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 14.04.41
 
- 3 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Tuesday, North Atlantic    
    15.04.41      
    00.00 BE 1285 upper-right Course 330°, HF.  
      NW 2, Sea 1, 4/10, Vis. good    
    04.48 BE 1215 lower-right To Action Stations!  Steamer in sight, coming from astern to starboard.  A large ship of 8000-10000 GRT.  Camouflage, cannon on the stern, bow protection gear.  Speed about 15 knots.  Before the boat was on attack course, target angle was already 100-110°.  
      W 2-3, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. good  
    05.08   Despite the unfavorable target angle torpedo shot from tube III.  Miss because the speed was initially estimated too low and because of the long range of 1800-2000 meters.  
    08.00 BE 1182 Maneuvered ahead at AK and GF.  
      SSW 2, Sea 1-2, 9/10, Vis. good, freshening    
    12.00                    "                            Day's run:  230 (1106) nm  
    12.36 BD 3626 lower-right corner Pursuit broken off, hopeless.  
      WSW 2-3, Sea 2, 8/10 (rain) Came to course 340°.  
    16.00 BD 3388 lower-center Course 340°, HF.  
      WSW 2, Sea 1-2, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    20.40 BD 3356 lower-right Incoming Radio Message with new attack areas:  
      WSW 2, Sea 1-2, overcast, Vis. moderate For "U-123":  60 nm strip from AD 78 to AK 24.  
    22.00   Came to course 320°, HF with the intention of going around the traffic poor area in accordance with the Monthly Traffic Chart for March, in our view the traffic density must be greater to the NW.  
                                                   
    Wednesday, North Atlantic    
    16.04.41      
    00.00 BD 3324 center-right Course 320°, HF.  
      SW 3, Sea 2, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    04.00 AL 7771 center               "  
      SW 3, Sea 2-3, overcast, Vis. good    
    08.00 AK 9934 lower-center               "  
      W 2, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AK 9681 lower-left               "                              Day's run:  143 (1240) nm  
      WNW 2, Sea 2, 7/10, Vis. good    
    16.00 AK 9539 lower-right corner               "  
      N 2, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. good    
           
Sun and Moon Data 15.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 16.04.41
 
- 4 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    16.04.41      
    20.00 AK 9282 center Course 320°, HF.  
      N 2, Sea 2, 3/10, Vis. good                                            
         
    Thursday, North Atlantic    
    17.04.41      
    00.00 AK 9217 upper-right corner Course 320°, HF.  
      N 1, Sea 0-1, 9/10, Vis. good    
    04.30 AK 6791 lower-left corner Steamer in sight directly ahead 20 nm, south of the neutral route.  Course 190°, speed 15 knots with set steaming lights.  Because its course does not conform to the neutral route (220°) took up pursuit.  Estimated size about 6000 GRT.  Maneuvered ahead at AK.  
      N 1, Sea 0-1, 7/10, Vis. good  
    08.00 AK 9114 lower-right    
      SSE 2-3, Sea 1-2, 9/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AK 8638 lower-left corner                                               Day's run:  248 (1488) nm  
      SbyE 2-3, Sea 1-2, 9/10, Vis. good    
    15.05 AK 8936 Dived for submerged attack.  
      SbyE 3, freshening, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    15.50   Stern shot from tube VI (G 7a) from target angle 90°, target speed 14 knots on measured range = 1160 meters.  Hit center.  Ship remains lying stopped, crew went to the boats.  It is the Swedish "VENEZUELA" of 6991 GRT.  
    16.00   1st coup de grâce from tube I (Eto).  Depth setting 3 meters from about 600 meters range.  No detonation.  Impact of the torpedo heard clearly in the boat in the G.H.G.  
        Pi-failure.  
    16.03   2nd coup de grâce from tube II (Eto).  Depth setting 3 meters on measured range = 510 meters.  Hit in forward cargo hold.  Heavy detonation,  Ships lists 10° to port.  Because the "VENEZUELA" is a modern refrigerator ship, there is very extensive underwater compartmentalization, this shot was not enough to sink it.  
    16.20   3rd coup de grâce from tube V (Eto).  3 meter depth setting from measured range 780 meters.  Hit in engine room on the starboard side.  Heavy detonation.  Ship settles on an even keel up to the cargo deck.  The fore, mid, and aftership still protrude from the water.  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 16.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 17.04.41
 
- 5 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    17.04.41      
    17.27   4th coup de grâce from about 800 meters range from tube III (Eto) with 5 meter depth setting, because the ship's draft has become 11 meters (normal draft 6 meters plus 3 meters due to settling).  No detonation, torpedo impact heard perfectly as with the first coup de grâce (Pi failure).  
        Thereupon moved off submerged.  
        Artillery firing could not be carried out due to the over coming seas.  
    19.28   Surfaced.  Nothing more was seen of the "VENEZUELA", it had sunk in the meantime.  
    20.00 AK 8698 lower-left Course 345°, HF.  
      S 4, Sea 3, 9/10, Vis. moderate                                            
         
    Friday, North Atlantic    
    18.04.41      
    00.00 AK 8664 center-left Course 345°, HF.  
      SSE 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    04.00 AK 8623 center-left edge               "  
      SSE 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    08.00 AK 8359 lower-right corner               "  
      SW 4, Sea 3, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    12.00 AK 8337 center-left edge Course 345°, LF.  
      NW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                               Day's run:  164 (1652) nm  
    16.00 AK 5989 lower-left corner               "  
      WNW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. changing    
    20.00 AK 5982 upper-center edge               "  
      WNW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. changing                                            
         
    Saturday, North Atlantic    
    19.04.41      
    00.00 AK 5951 center-right Course 0°, LF.  
      WNW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    04.00 AK 5924 upper-right corner               "  
      NW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    08.00 AK 5684 center-right               "  
      NW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 17.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 18.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 19.04.41
 
- 6 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    19.04.41      
    12.00 AK 5654 lower-right corner Course 0°, LF.  
      WNW 8-9, Sea 7, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                               Day's run:  102 (1754) nm  
    16.00 AK 5628 lower-left corner               "  
      NW 7, Sea 6, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    20.00 AK 5622 upper-center edge               "  
      NW 6, Sea 5, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                            
         
    Sunday, North Atlantic    
    20.04.41      
    00.00 AK 5382 center-right               "  
      WbyN 5, Sea 4-5, Vis. good    
    04.00 AK 5352 center-right edge               "  
      NW 3, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good    
    08.00 AK 5326 upper-left               "  
      NW 3, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AK 0248 center Course 0°, HF.  
      WbyS 3-4, Sea 2-3, 9/10 (rain), Vis. moderate                                               Day's run:  107 (1861) nm  
    15.30 - 16.58   Test dive and conversion of main ballast and reserve fuel oil tank VII for use as a ballast tank.  
    20.00 AK 2879 center-right edge Course 0°, H.F.  
      W 4, Sea 3-4, 7/10, Vis. good                                            
         
    Monday, North Atlantic    
    21.04.41      
    00.00 AK 2819 right edge lower               "  
      SSW 2, Sea 1-2, 5/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AK 2673 upper-right corner               "  
      SSW 1, Sea 1, 4/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AK 2613 upper-right               "  
      SSE 1-2, Sea 1, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AK 2446 upper-right corner               "                              Day's run:  176 (2037) nm  
      NE 2, Sea 1, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    16.00 AK 2276 lower-right               "  
      NE 5-6, Sea 5, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    20.00 AK 2243 lower-right               "  
      E 6, Sea 5, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                            
           
Sun and Moon Data 19.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 20.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 21.04.41
 
- 7 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Tuesday, North Atlantic    
    22.04.41      
    00.00 AD 7998 lower edge right Course 0°, HF.  
      SE 4-5, Sea 4, 4/10, Vis. good    
    02.00   Incoming Radio Message with new attack areas:  
        For "U-123":  Square AL 33  
        Course 130°, LF.  
    04.00 AD 8744 center-left edge               "  
      ESE 4, Sea 3-4, 6/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AD 8746 lower-center edge               "  
      ESE 4, Sea 3-4, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AD 8785 upper-right               "  
      ESE 3-4, Sea 3, 3/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run:  145 (2182) nm  
    16.00 AK 3121 upper-right corner               "  
      SE 4, Sea 3, 3/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 AK 3137 upper-left               "  
      SE 4, Sea 3-4, 4/10, Vis, good                                            
         
    Wednesday, North Atlantic    
    23.04.41      
    00.00 AK 3163 lower-center edge               "  
      SE 5, Sea 4, 3/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AK 3248 lower-center               "  
      SE 3, Sea 2-3, 2/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AK 3248 lower-right corner               "  
      SE 3, Sea 2-3, 2/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AK 3288 upper-right Course 130°, HF.  
      SSE 3, Sea 2-3, 3/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run:  95 (2277) nm  
    15.21 - 15.45   Test dive.  
    16.00 AK 3435 center Came to course 50° in accordance with operational orders to operate on "U-95" convoy.  Position 12.00 hours AE 8852.  
      SE 2, Sea 1, 2/10, Vis. good  
    19.07 AL 1178 upper-center Radio Message from "U-95", that it is not a convoy, instead about 6 patrol vessels and he is keeping contact on them!  Came to old course 130°.  
      SE 2, Sea 1, 2/10, Vis. good  
                                                   
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 22.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 23.04.41
 
- 8 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Thursday, North Atlantic    
    24.04.41      
    00.00 AL 1337 lower-center Course 100°, HF.  
      SEbyS 4, Sea 3, 8/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 1442 lower-right corner               "  
      SEbyS 3, Sea 2-3, overcast, Vis. good    
    08.00 AL 1442 lower-right               "  
      SSE 5, Sea 4, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    12.00 AL 2347 upper-left               "  
      SSE 5, Sea 4, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                             Day's run: 155 (2432) nm  
    16.00 AL 2357 lower-left corner Course 100°, LF.  
      SSE 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    20.00 AL 2391 center               "  
      SE 5, Sea 4-5, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                            
         
    Friday, North Atlantic    
    25.04.41      
    00.00 AL 2471 lower edge right               "  
      SE 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    04.00 AL 2484 center-right edge               "  
      SE 4-5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    08.00 AL 2498 upper-left               "  
      SE 4-5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    10.00 AL 2499 center-right In operations area, came to course 170°, LF.  
    12.00 AL 3511 lower-left corner Course 170°, LF.  
      SEbyS 3-4, Sea 3, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate                                             Day's run: 120 (2552) nm  
    14.22   Course 0°, LF.  
    16.00 AL 3514 center               "  
      SEbyS 3-4, Sea 3, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    20.00 AL 3371 lower-center edge Course 60°, HF.  
      SEbyS 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good                                            
           
Sun and Moon Data 24.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 25.04.41
 
- 9 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Saturday, North Atlantic    
    26.04.41      
    00.00 AL 3361 center-left Course 210°, HF.  
      SEbyS 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 3513 center-right edge Course 340°, HF.  Incoming Radio Message from "U-95":  Two large steamers, two destroyers 03.30 hours square AE 8728, course 250°, 15 knots.   
      SEbyS 3, Sea 2-3, overcast, Vis. good  
        Due to inexact own position (three days with no navigation fix) refrained from operating on such fast ships with an initial distance of 168 nm.  
    08.00 AL 3341 center-right edge Course 340°, HF.  
      SE 2, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    12.00 AL 2292 lower-right Course 135°, HF.  
      ESE 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. moderate                                             Day's run: 195 (2847) nm  
    14.00 AL 3178 upper-left Drifting mine shot with MG C/30.  
    14.55   Incoming Radio Message with new attack areas.  For "U-123":  AE 73, 76, 79.  
        Came to course 0°.  
    16.00 AL 3175 center Course 0°, HF.  
      SE 3, Sea 2, 3/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 AE 7864 lower-center edge               "  
      SE 1, Sea 1, 5/10, Vis. good    
    21.00   Course 160°, HF.  
                                                   
    Sunday, North Atlantic  
    27.04.41      
    00.00 AE 7895 center-right               "  
      ESE 1, Sea 1, overcast (rain), Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 2265 center               "  
      ESE 1-2, Sea 1, 8/10, Vis. good    
    05.10   Course 60°, HF.  
    08.00 AL 3146 upper-right               "  
      E 1-2, Sea 1, 5/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 3135 upper-right Course 242°, HF.  
      NE 1, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 202 (3049) nm  
    15.32 - 15.44   Test dive.  
    16.00 AL 3143 lower-left corner Course 242°, HF.  
      NE 1, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good    
           
Sun and Moon Data 26.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 27.04.41
 
- 10 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    27.04.41      
    19.35 AL 2291 center Crash dive for aircraft, apparently a "Lockheed Hudson".  
    19.39   Came to course 220°, depth = 60 meters.  
    19.49 NE 1, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good 5 aircraft bombs, however not very close.  
    20.30   3 depth charges.  
    20.57   5     "          "  
    21.09   6     "          "       These depth charges were at great distance (estimated range = 20 nm).  I believe this is a type of cooperation with a search group with the aim of keeping us submerged, until the search group is at the location.  
    21.24   Surfaced and initially ran off to the west at GF, because or position was betrayed by the aircraft sighting and in the shortest possible time after surfacing a search group must be expected.  
    23.14 AL 2335 center Smoke clouds in sight to starboard.  Held onto it.  Was distinguished as an inbound convoy with apparently very strong  destroyer escort.  
      NE 2, Sea 1-2, overcast, Vis. good  
                                                   
    Monday, North Atlantic  
    28.04.41      
    01.21   Radio Signal sent:  Enemy convoy in sight, AL 2332, enemy steers easterly course.    "U-123".  
        Attempted to penetrate into the convoy from astern.  In so doing with each approach was forced off by a destroyer who positioned himself with unerring certainty before our course and approached us, whether we came from starboard, to port, or directly from astern.  Apparently radar gear.  The convoy seems to have been warned to expect U-boat attacks from the aircraft yesterday.  
    02.16   Radio Signal sent:  Was forced off.    "U-123".  
    04.00 AL 2285 center-right edge Until dawn the continuous forcing off was repeated by this one destroyer.  When the twilight began, I let myself fall back a bit so as not to have to submerge at daybreak.  When it was light, I had the three columns exactly ahead of me and marked by the three smoke feathers.  
      NE 3, Sea 2-3, overcast, Vis. good  
        I thought it more important at first by day, to give perfect contact reports for the boats 95, 96, 65 and 552, as well as the Luftwaffe, so I purposefully stayed behind the convoy, and renounced my attack by day.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 27.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 28.04.41
 
- 11 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    28.04.41      
    07.48 NE 3, Sea 2-3, 8/10, Vis. good Radio Signal sent:  Position of the convoy is AL 3313, course 110°, 7 knots.    "U-123".  
    10.48 Freshening Radio Signal sent:  Position of the convoy is AL 3188, course 85°.    "U-123".  
    12.00 AL 3185 lower-right    
      NE 4, Sea 3-4, 7/10, Vis. changing                                             Day's run: 199 (3248) nm  
    12.10   Radio Signal sent:  Position of the convoy is AL 3195, enemy steers easterly course.    "U-123".  
    13.47 AL 3183 center Two American destroyers in sight, course 90°, 15 knots.  Coming up fast from astern.  Moved off to the south and southwest at AK on the surface.  Attack is hopeless in the seas.  
      ENE 5, Sea 4-5, 5/10, Vis. good  
    15.17 E 5-6, Sea 5, 4/10, Vis. good Radio Signal sent:  Last observed position of the convoy is AL 3271, was forced off by two destroyers.    "U-123".  
    17.00   Am free of the destroyers.  By this hunt I have come so far to the west that a pursuit behind the convoy seems pointless because due to the overcoming seas we can maintain at most 12 knots, that is a 2 knot speed advantage over the convoy.  Because the convoy is 50 nm ahead of us we can first react it after 25 hours.  Then it will already be directly off the coast.  
    20.00 AL 3142 lower-right corner Course 100°, HF.  
      E 5-6, Sea 4-5, 3/10, Vis. good    
    23.00   Incoming Radio Message:  If no contact on convoy, continue to operate on easterly advance course.    "B.d.U."  
                                                   
    Thursday, North Atlantic  
    29.04.41      
    00.00 AL 2263 upper-right Course 100°, HF.  
      E 3-4, Sea 3, 7/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 3161 upper-left corner               "  
      E 3, Sea 2, 5/10, Vis. good    
    05.10   Incoming Radio Message:  Form patrol line at 09.00 hours for "U-123" AL 1265.    "B.d.U."  
    07.17   Short Signal sent:  Can not carry out operational orders due to position.    "U-123".  
    08.00 AL 3246 upper-left Smoke cloud in sight, directly ahead.  On closing recognized as a thick fire cloud.  Probably a shot ship from "U-96" from our convoy.  Closed it at high speed, to give a coup de grâce if necessary.  
      E 4, Sea 3, 5/10, Vis. good  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 28.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 29.04.41
 
- 12 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    29.04.41      
    10.15   Mastheads and smokestack come out of the fire cloud over the horizon.  It seems to be a large tanker of about 8000 GRT.  
    10.20   Crash dive for destroyer comes out of a hail squall about 3000 meters south from the burning wreck.  Went to depth = 130 meters.  
    10.35   2 depth charges at great range.  
    10.50   12    "         "      exactly over the stern.  Destroyer works with sonar, the normal ticking is perfectly distinguished.  
    11.00   12 depth charges exactly over the conning tower.  
    11.06   4       "          "      at greater range.  
    11.14   1       "          "             "          "  
    11.16   1       "          "             "          "  
    11.22   5       "          "     exactly over the conning tower.  
    12.08   5       "          "           "       "                   "   
        Additionally there were still numerous depth charges at greater range heard up to 15.00 hours.  In total over 100 depth charges were counted, it seems the destroyer has lost us.  
    12.00 AL 3276 upper-right corner Listening pursuit.  
                                                    Day's run: 180 (3428) nm  
    19.55 AL 3195 lower-center Surfaced.  
      E 2, Sea 1, 7/10, Vis. good    
    19.57   Crash dive for flying boat coming from directly ahead out of the sun.  
    21.15 E 2, Sea 1, 7/10, Vis. good Surfaced.  Finally the air was clear again!  
        Moved off on course 270° at GF out of this hell.  
    23.18   Incoming Radio Message with new attack areas:  For "U-123" AL 23-34.    "B.d.U."  
                                                   
    Wednesday, North Atlantic  
    30.04.41      
    00.00 AL 3318 center-left Course 270°, GF.  
      ESE 1, Sea 1, 3/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 2417 upper-right               "  
      SW 1, Sea 1, 8/10 (rain), Vis. changing    
    08.00 AL 2317 upper-left Course 270°, HF  
      SE 2, Sea 1, 8/10 (rain), Vis. changing    
    12.00 AL 1427 upper-right               "  
      E 2, Sea 1, 8/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 226 (3654) nm  
    16.00 AL 1481 upper-center Course 15°, LF.  
      SE 3, Sea 2-3, 9/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 AL 1425 lower-right Course 70°, LF.  
      SE 4, Sea 3, 3/10, Vis. good                                            
           
Sun and Moon Data 29.04.41
Sun and Moon Data 30.04.41
 
- 13 -
 
           
           
           
           
    Thursday, North Atlantic    
    01.05.41      
    00.00 AL 1483 center Course 170°, LF.  
      ESE 4, Sea 3, 3/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 1491 upper-right Course 10°, LF.  
      SE 3, Sea 2-3, 4/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AL 1423 center Course 170°, HF.  
      SE 3, Sea 2-3, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 1491 upper-center               "  
      SE 2-3, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 180 (3834) nm  
    16.00 AL 1492 center Course 10°, HF.  
      ESE 2-3, Sea 2, 1/10, Vis. good    
    16.29   Smoke cloud in sight to starboard.  Held onto it.   
    16.39   Crash dive.  Destroyer coning at high speed towards us.  Came to course 130°.  
    17.50   7 depth charges at long range.  
    17.51   1      "          "         "        "  
    17.55   6      "          "         "        "  
    19.37   2      "          "         "        "  
    20.00 AL 1491 right edge lower Highest speed to depth 100 meters.  There are no indications that he has founds us with sonar or listening gear.  
    22.30   Surfaced, sky is clear.  
        Moved off on course 220° at GF.  
    23.50   Incoming Radio Message with orders for a patrol line.  For "U-123":  Square AE 8725, should be in position on 2 May at 12.00.  Cannot be there at the ordered time due to great distance.  
                                                   
    Friday, North Atlantic  
    02.05.41      
    00.00 AL 1627 upper-right Course 0°, GF to ordered patrol line.  
      EbyS 2-3, Sea 2, 3/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 1424 center-right edge          "                     "              "  
      EbyN 3, Sea 2, 7/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AL 1221 lower edge right Course 77°, GF.        "              "  
      ENE 2, Sea 1-2, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AE 7797 center          "                     "              "  
      E 1-2, Sea 1, 6/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 160 (3994) nm  
           
Sun and Moon Data 01.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 02.05.41
 
- 14 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    02.05.41      
    16.00 AE 7882 center-right Course 77°, GF.  Transit to patrol line.  
      E 2, Sea 1-2, overcast, Vis. good    
    20.00 AE 7954 upper-right Course 240°.  Began return transit due to lack of fuel.  
      E 3, Sea 2, overcast, Vis. good    
    22.48   Short Signal sent:  Have begun return transit.    "U-123".  
                                                   
    Saturday, North Atlantic    
    03.05.41      
    00.00 AB 7889 upper-left Return transit course 200°.  
      S 1, Sea 0, 9/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 2198 upper-right corner             "                     "  
      SE 3, Sea 2, 7/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AL 2388 upper-center             "                   220°.     
      SSE 3, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 1639 center             "                     "  
      ESE 4, Sea 3, 1/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 219 (4213) nm  
    16.00 AL 1683 lower-left corner             "                   200°.     
      SE 4, Sea 3, 1/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 AL 1827 lower-left             "                     "  
      SE 4, Sea 3, 1/10, Vis. good    
                                                   
    Sunday, North Atlantic    
    04.05.41      
    00.00 AL 1872 lower-right Return transit, course 180°.  
      EbyS 4, Sea 3-4, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    04.00 AL 0118 upper-center edge             "                       "  
      ESE 4, Sea 3-4, overcast (rain), Vis. moderate    
    08.00 AL 0172 center-right edge             "                       "  
      SE 2, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 4228 left edge upper             "                     240°.     
      SSE 1, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 170 (4383) nm  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 02.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 03.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 04.05.41
 
- 15 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    04.05.41      
    16.00 AL 4244 lower-right corner Return transit, course 120°.  
      SbyE 1, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 AL 4283 right edge upper             "                    240°.     
      SbyE 1, Sea 1, 8/10, Vis. good                                            
         
    Monday, North Atlantic    
    05.05.41      
    00.00 AL 4277 upper-center edge             "                    120°.     
      SSE 1, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 4525 center-right edge             "                    240°.     
      SE 1, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good    
    04.11   Sent weather report.  
    08.00 AL 4541 lower-right corner Return transit course 120°.     
      EbyS 1, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 4583 center             "                    240°.     
      EbyS 1-2, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 174 (4557) nm  
    16.00 AL 4578 lower-left corner             "                    120°.   
      SSE 1, Sea 1, overcast (rain), Vis. changing    
    20.00 AL 4829 center             "                       "  
      SSE 2, Sea 1, overcast (rain), Vis. changing                                            
         
    Tuesday, North Atlantic    
    06.05.41      
    00.00 AL 5744 lower-right edge             "                    240°.     
      E 2, Sea 1, 9/10 (rain), Vis. changing    
    04.00 AL 4896 center             "                    120°.   
      ENE 1, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. moderate    
    08.00 AL 8111 upper-center             "                    240°.     
      EbyS 1, Sea 1, 6/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 7253 center             "                    120°.   
      NE 2-3, Sea 2, 1/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 176 (4733) nm  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 04.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 05.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 06.05.41
 
- 16 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    06.05.41      
    16.00 AL 7291 center Return transit, course 120°.  
      ENE 2-3, Sea 2, 6/10, Vis. changing    
    20.00 AL 8178 lower-center             "                    240°.     
      EbyN 4, Sea 3, 6/10, Vis. good                                            
    Wednesday, North Atlantic    
    07.05.41      
    00.00 AL 7534 lower-right             "                    120°.   
      ENE 2, Sea 1, 5/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 AL 8442 lower-center edge             "                    240°.     
      ENE 1-2, Sea 1, 8/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 AL 7591 center-left             "                    120°.   
      ENE 1-2, Sea 1, 3/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 AL 8711 left edge lower             "                    240°.     
      ENE 2, Sea 1-2, 3/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 164 (4897) nm  
    16.00 AL 7852 upper-right corner             "                    120°.   
      ENE 2, Sea 1-2, 1/10, Vis. good    
    18.00 AL 7664 center-right Destroyer in sight directly ahead.  Course about 210°, 15 knots.  Probably "THUNDERBOLT".  Crash dive.  Seems not to have noticed us.  
    20.00 AL 7868 upper-left corner    
      ENE 2, Sea 1, 1/10, Vis. good    
    20.24   Surfaced.  Return transit course 150°.  
                                                   
    Thursday, North Atlantic  
    08.05.41      
    00.00 BE 1243 left edge upper Return transit, course 120°.  
      EbyS 1, Sea 1, 1/10, Vis. good    
    03.00 BE 1268 lower-right Destroyer in sight abeam to starboard in the moonlight.  Moved off at high speed.  
    04.00 BE 1293 center Return transit, course 120°.  
      E 1, Sea 1, 1/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 BE 1623 lower-left corner             "                    120°.   
      EbyN 1, Sea 1, 1/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 BE 2441 upper-right             "                       "  
      ENE 1-2, Sea 1, 1/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 232 (5129) nm  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 06.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 07.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 08.05.41
 
- 17 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    08.05.41      
    16.00 BE 2491 lower-right corner Return transit, course 120°.  
      ENE 3, Sea 2, 2/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 BE 2816 upper edge right             "                       "  
      NE 3, Sea 2, 3/10, Vis. good    
    23.49   Outgoing Radio Message:    Successes:  "VENEZUELA" 6991 GRT.    "U-123".  
                                                   
    Friday, North Atlantic  
    09.05.41      
    00.00 BE 2947 center Return transit, course 120°.  
      N 1, Sea 1, 3/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 BE 5332 lower-center edge             "                       "  
      NE 1-2, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. good    
    08.00 BE 6159 lower-right             "                    100°.   
      NE 2, Sea 1, 9/10, Vis. good    
    12.00 BE 6286 left edge upper             "                       "  
      NbyE 3, Sea 2, 2/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 300 (5429) nm  
    16.00 BE 6613 lower-left             "                     95°.   
      NNE 4, Sea 3-4, 2/10, Vis. good    
    18.36   Outgoing Short Signal:  Will be off return harbor in 36 hours.  
                                                                        "U-123".  
    20.00 BF 4414 right edge lower Return transit, course 95°.  
      NNE 3, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good                                            
         
    Saturday, Bay of Biscay    
    10.05.41      
    00.00 BF 4439 upper-left             "                       "  
      NNE 3-4, Sea 3, 5/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 BF 4537 lower-right corner             "                       "  
      NNE 3-4, Sea 3, 2/10, Vis. good    
    08.00 BF 4653 lower-center             "                       "  
      NNE 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good    
    11.30   Crash dive for aircraft astern.  
    12.00 BF 5454 upper-left Return transit, course 95°.  
      NNE 3-4, Sea 3, 6/10, Vis. good                                             Day's run: 302 (5731) nm  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 08.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 09.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 10.05.41
 
- 18 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    10.05.41      
    12.02   Surfaced.  
    16.00 BF 5488 lower-center edge Return transit, course 100°.  
      NNE 2-3, Sea 2, 6/10, Vis. good    
    20.00 BF 5596 lower-center             "                     90°.   
      NNE 2, Sea 1-2, 4/10, Vis. good    
    23.25   Reached Point "C".  Course 357°.  
                                                   
    Sunday, Bay of Biscay    
    11.05.41      
    00.00 BF 6482 upper-left Return transit, course 357°.  
      NNE 3-4, Sea 3, 8/10, Vis. good    
    04.00 BF 6179 lower-center             "                    0°.   
      NNE 1-2, Sea 1, x/10, Vis. good    
    06.30   Taken in convoy at Point II.  
    08.24   Made fast Lorient.  
        4th patrol ended.  
           
        Success:  1 steamer 6991 GRT, 31 sea days, 5952 nautical miles.  
           
           
                                                   
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 10.05.41
Sun and Moon Data 11.05.41

 
 
     
     
     
 

Comments of the B.d.U.

 
     
 
1.) It is regretted that the boat was able to maintain contact with the convoy until other boats arrived. This was a very important task.
2.) When the "VENEZUELA" was sunk, the Kommandant might have been able to establish neutrality on closer inspection.  On the other hand, in case of doubt it is correct to decide to sink.
 
     
   

Signed in draft: Dönitz

 
    For the Befehlshaber der Untereseeboote  
    The Chief of the Operations Department  
 
                        
     
 


Click the icons to view the associated records

Return to the U-boat KTB page