U-123 - Transfer Cruise

Translation by Jerry Mason

Days at Sea
16 May 1942
5 June 1944


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Ships Hit
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.

                                                     Copy No. 5   
                                 "  U    1  2  3  "  
        K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h  
        Transfer cruise to the homeland.  
                      Kommandant: Kapitänleutnant    H  a  r  d  e  g  e  n.  
      D  i  s  t  r  i  b  u  t  i  o  n  :    
      Copy No. 1       2. U.-Flottille    
      Copy No. 2       2. A.d.U.-Boote  
      Copy No. 3       B.d.U.    
      Copy No. 4/5    O.K.M. 2 x.    
        Beginning:  3 May 1942  
        Concluding 5 June 1942.  
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
- 1 -
Boat shifted to the Nassbunker.  [Keroman III]  
Cleared the boat, afterwards boat put on the slip.  
Began shipyard period.  Crew gear and training service.  
Work on board.  
Muster by Flottillenchef and award of the U-boat War Badge  
Visit of the Ob.d.M. and award of the Iron Crosses by the Grossadmiral to the crew.  
Work on board.  Crew vaccinated.  
     "           "  
Boat shifted from the slip to B 6.  
Torpedo loading.  10 Etos.  
Shift from B 6 to A 3.  Ammunition loading.  
Morning provisions loading, afterwards degaussing.  
Took over the boat.  
    "       "         "         Afternoon trim test.  
                           for 3-15.05.42            
    16.05.42   Morning fresh provisions taken over.  
    20.00 SW 2-3, 1/10, Sea 2, Vis. 8 nm Departed with "U-116".  In accordance with orders increased transit speed to Bergen.  
    21.43   Released from convoy at Point L II.  Departed at increased speed over ordered route. A few fishermen and sailing vessels on the route.  
    04.00   BF 5577  
    06.51   , proceeded submerged through the Bay of Biscay.  
    12.00   BF 5712                                     Day's run:  176 nm  
                                                           Of this          21 nm   
    20.00   BF 4932  
    21.09   .  
    24.00 SbyW 4, 4/10, Sea 3, Vis. 3 nm                                                        
    04.00   BF 4555  
    08.00   BF 4514  
    12.00 SW 3, 4/10, Sea 2-3, Vis. 10 nm BF 4191                                     Day's run:  200 nm  
                                                         Total:         376 nm  
    16.00   BE 3998                                     Of this          43 nm   
    20.00   BE 3866  
        BE 3573  
Sun and Moon Data 16.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 17.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 18.05.42
- 2 -
    04.00   BE 3437  
    08.00   BE 3175  
    10.00   Came to course 330°.  
    12.00 SW 2, 4/10, Sea 1, Vis. 12 nm BE 2336                                     Day's run:  290 nm  
                                                           Total:         666 nm  
    16.00   AL 9967                                     Of this          43 nm   
    17.50   , Crash dive for training.  
    20.00   AL 9685, course 0°.  
    24.00   AL 9628.  In the last two days have had continual malfunctions of the diesels, so that I must proceed on one diesel.  The current degraded operation is due to the fact that the Lorient shipyard did not carry out a set of overhaul work, e.g. repair of the exhaust valves, with regard to the shipyard period the homeland.  The valve seats are burned, pieces have broken off which now migrate as foreign bodies in the diesel.  Since 21.00 hours both diesels are out of service, am running on E-motors.  
    04.00   AL 9621  
    05.50   Starboard diesel is in service again.  
    08.00   AL 9382  
    12.00 NE 2, 9/10, Sea 1-2, Vis. 10 nm AL 9325                                     Day's run:  170 nm  
                                                         Total:         836 nm  
                                                           Of this          44 nm   
    16.00   AL 6927, both diesels are in service, course 20°.  
    20.00   AL 6629  
    23.40     Crash dive!  Land-based aircraft, course SE.  
    24.00   AM 4117  
    00.07   , course 50°.  
    04.00   AM 1986  
    06.05 SE 0-1, 10/10, Sea 0, Vis. x nm, rain   Crash dive!  Land-based aircraft, course NW.  
      At periscope depth the same aircraft, type Bristol "Beaufort" seen in the periscope.  Circles over us, due to low hanging rain clouds we were surprised.  
Sun and Moon Data 19.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 20.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 21.05.42
- 3 -
    06.58   , all around sweep clear.  
    07.00     Crash dive!  The same aircraft came directly towards us out of the clouds.  While diving recognized in the periscope that it was already so close that it did not fit into the field of vision at a small magnification, but nothing happened.  The luck has still not left us.  
    08.00   AM 0145  
    12.00 NNW 1, 10/10, Sea 0-1, Vis. 5 nm, rain AM 0123                                    Day's run:    280 nm  
                                                         Total:        1116 nm  
        AL 9967                                     Of this        56.5 nm   
    14.28     Crash dive!  Sunderland.  
    14.57   All around sweep initially clear, because the Sunderland came out of a rain squall close abeam to port  
    14.58     Crash dive!  4 badly placed aircraft bombs at depth A -40 meters.  
    16.00   AM 2771  
    17.17   Flying boat astern, athwart our course, that did not see us.  Remained on the surface.  
    17.36     Crash dive!  Abeam to starboard a land-based aircraft out of the clouds.  Flying boat was still in sight.  Both did not see me.  
    20.00 NNW 1, 10/10, Sea 0-1, Vis. 8 nm   Crash dive!  Land-based aircraft ahead to port.  
    23.11     AM 2746.  
    23.43     Crash dive!  Flying boat ahead.  
    24.00   AM 2726  
    00.12     Surfaced.  
    04.00   AM 2649  
    08.00 S 2, 10/10, Sea 2, Vis. 8 nm AM 3377  
    09.30     Crash dive!  Land-based aircraft.  Lockheed "Hudson".  
    12.00   AM 3355                                   Day's run:    207 nm  
                                                           Total:        1323 nm  
                                                           Of this          91 nm   
Sun and Moon Data 21.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 22.05.42
- 4 -
    14.26     Crash dive!  Type Bristol "Beaufort" abeam to port.  
    16.00 SSW 3, 6/10, Sea 2, Vis. 12 nm AM 3338.  2 times aircraft sighted far off.  
    19.35     Crash dive!  Flying boat "Catalina".  
    20.08     AM 3282  
    20.11     Crash dive!  Flying boat astern course NW as well as a land-based aircraft out of the sun.  
    23.07   Aircraft directly ahead athwart our course.  
    23.35 W 1-2, 4/10, Sea 0-1, Vis. 6 nm A vessel ahead to starboard at high speed.  At first suspected a U-boat.  Recognized the masts.  Ran off at high speed to the west and attempted to avoid in a large curve to the south.  Appeared to be a small fast patrol boat, which continually turned after us, despite me coming into the dark horizon. Either he heard me with the mirror flat sea or he used radar.  
    24.00   AM 3266  
    00.14   Aircraft astern.  Remained unseen.  
    01.54   Patrol vessel out of sight astern.  The flyers are unpleasant because they force us to submerged and there is no time to recharge the battery.  There is no night here, only three hours of twilight and in this period one must still bother with patrol vessels.  
    04.00   AM 1137  
    07.26   Aircraft ahead to starboard, remained unseen.  
    07.55     Crash dive!  Flying boat abeam to port.  
    08.30     AF 7767  
    09.08   Flying boat ahead to starboard.  
    09.20     Crash dive!  Land-based aircraft abeam to port.  
    10.20     Crash dive!  Flying boat.  
    10.52     Flying boat still in sight astern.  
    11.06   2 aircraft astern on opposite courses athwart our course.  An own 500-ton boat dived to port 4000 meters away.  Between us a drifting mine. One flying boat type "Catalina" approaches from port because he must have seen either us or the other boat, I remain on the surface.  For him I am positioned in the sun.  U-boat dives, flying boat closes and  
Sun and Moon Data 22.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 23.05.42
- 5 -
    23.05.42   flies close over the surface at the diving location.  
    11.36   Flying boat throws 5 bombs.  The impacts, and shortly thereafter the explosion columns are very beautiful, white from the sun. By the short time interval set shallow.  However the boat had been dived long enough.  Range was about 6000 meters.  Because the flying boat circles over the location, I can no longer remain on the surface.  
    11.37     Crash dive!   
    12.00   AF 7717                                     Day's run:  240 nm  
                                                           Total:       1563 nm  
                                                           Of this        118 nm   
    16.00   AF 7822  
    20.00   AF 7921  
    24.00   AF 7969  In the afternoon 4 more aircraft were seen, however in the good visibility can stay on the surface and remain unseen.  My Short Signal 30 hours off return harbor was not solved, because the Kenngruppen was not received.  Short Signal 24 hours off was not solved at all.  12 hour Signal was finally confirmed.  
    04.00   AN 2338  
    07.16   Marstein abeam.  
    07.30   Taken in convoy.  
    10.00   Made fast alongside "UNITAS" in Bergen.  
    20.00   Departed Bergen escorted by U-Jäger 1706 for Kristiansand.  
    18.00   Mad fast Kristiansand Pier 5.  
        Matrose Petzak was disembarked due to acute appendicitis.  
    19.00   Departed Kristiansand with escort.  
Sun and Moon Data 23.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 24.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 25.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 26.05.42
- 6 -
        Because by Radio Message I am first to be in Kiel on 29 May at 10.00 hours, ran into Aarhus.  
    21.00   Made fast Aarhus.  
    16.00   Departed Aarhus, escorted by Sperrbrecher.  
    10.00   Arrived Kiel.  Made fast Blücherbrücke.  Greeting by 2. A.d.U.  "U-123" is again in the homeland with 45 pennants and 304975 GRT.  
        Afternoon shifted into the Wik.  
    30.05.42   Cleared the boat.  
    31.05.42   Crew to Bremen.  Large reception by the population.  March through the city.  It was only with great difficulty that the platoon, which had been completely fragmented, could reach the Rathskeller.  The sea of flowers and the crowds of people were worse than the Atlantic.  For two days the the U-boat Fellowship carried out a lavish program.  
    01.06.42   12.00 hours reception in the Town  Hall by the reigning Mayor.  Officers and part of the crew were included in the golden book of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.  
    02.06.42   Return to Kiel.  
    03.06.42 21.00 Departed Kiel.  
    04.06.42 09.00 Ran into Rønne for sound trial.  Dispatched to the Nexø buoy field.  
        Sound trials from 12.00 - 17.00 hours.  
        Because of rising noise levels the testing was broken off at 17.00 hours.  Continued transit to Stettin.  
    02.00   Took pilot aboard off Swinemünde  
    03.00   Pilot on board.  
    07.00   Made fast Stettin U-boat Base.  
               From 30 May to 5 June:  
Sun and Moon Data 27.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 28.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 29.05.42
Sun and Moon Data 03.06.42
Sun and Moon Data 04.06.42
Sun and Moon Data 05.06.42


Comments of the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote

on the Kriegstagebuch of "U-123" from 3.5. to 5.6.1942.


                         Transfer cruise to the homeland.  
                         Nothing to note for execution.  

For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote

    - The Chief of the Operations Department -  

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