U-123 - 9th War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason with help from Robert Derencin

Departed
Date
Arrived
Date
Days at Sea
Kiel
5 December 1942
Lorient
6 February 1943
64

 

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
29 Dec 42
00.53
43°15'N, 27°35'W
BARON COCHRANE
3,385
British
ONS-154
29 Dec 42
05.00
43°09'N, 27°15'W
EMPIRE SHACKLETON (damaged)
7,068
British
ONS-154
     
 Total = 10,453
   
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 Unterseebootes "U 123"  
           
                                     10th Patrol.  
           
           
        Beginning:  5.6.1942  
        Ending:       6.2.1943  
           
           
                                     Time:          D.G.Z.  
                                     All naval squares  
                                     Patrol in accordance with Operations Order 53  
           
           
           
                                     Kommandant:  Oblt.z.S. v. Schroeter  
                           
                                     Distribution:  2 x O.K.M.  
           1 x B.d.U.  
           1 x Kmdr.Adm.d.Uboote.  
           1 x 2.Uflottille.  
           1 x 27.Uflottille.  
           1 x Agru-Front.  
           
                               
           
           
           
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
 
 
           
           
           
           
    05.06.42 Stettin Entered Stettin for major shipyard period.  
         
    07.06.42 Stettin Beginning of major overhaul.  
         
    12. - 18.06.42 Ausburg Invitation of the crew by M.A.N. to Augsburg.  
         
    23.06.42 Stettin Diesel installation hatch removed.  
         
    06.07.42   Dry docked  
         
    05.08.42   Un-docked.  
         
    10. - 17.08.42   Diesel installation hatch installed.  
         
    28.08.42   Dry-docked.  
         
    15.09.42   Un-docked.  
         
    17. - 18.09.42   Pier-side trial.  
         
    21.09.42   Shipyard trim test.  
         
    22. - 23.09.42   Sea trial.  
         
    27.09.42   Shipyard completed.  
         
    28. - 29.09.42   Outfitting.  
         
    30.09.42   Degaussing.  Departed Stettin for the east.  
         
    02.10.42 Hela Entered Hela for training with the Agru-Front.  
         
    08. - 09.10.42 Danzig Dry docked in Danzig (Holm Shipyard) due to diving plane damage.  
         
    11.10.42 Hela Released from the Agrufront at Hela to the 25.U-Flottille Danzig for torpedo firing.  
         
    15.10.42 Danzig Battery overcharging.  
         
    17.10.42   Released from the 25. U-Flottille Danzig to the 27. U-Flottille Gotenhafen for tactical training.  
         
    31.10.42 Gotenhafen Released from the 27. U-Flottille for Stettin for final adjustments and outfitting.  
         
    01.11.42 Stettin Entered Stettin.  
         
    03.11.42   Dry docked.  
                              05.06.-03.11.42  
                                                                
           
           
 
 
 
           
           
           
           
    17.11.42 Stettin Un-docked.  
         
    19.11.42   Dry docked and un-docked, pier-side trial.  
         
    20.11.42   Shipyard trim test.  
         
    21.11.42   Sea trial.  
         
    22.11.42   Overcharging, shipyard completed.  
         
    23.11.42   Torpedo loading.  
         
    24.11.42   Ammunition loading.  
         
    24 - .25.11.42   Provisions loading.  
         
    25.11.42   Fuel oil loading.  
         
    26.11.42   Degaussing, took over the boat.  
         
    27.11.42   Departed Stettin for Rönne and Kiel.  
         
    28.11. - 30.11.42 Rönne Sound trials.  
         
    01.12.42 Kiel Entered Kiel.  
         
    01. - 04.12.42 Kiel [illegible word]  
           
                        17.11. - 04.12.42  
                                                               
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
 
- 1 -
 
           
           
           
           
    05.12.42 Western Baltic    
    08.00 WSW 4, Sea 3, 3/10, Vis. medium Cast off from Kiel on 10th war patrol.  
    11.29   Taken in convoy, transit on Route Red through the Great Belt.  
    12.00 AO 7495 Day's run:   = 36 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 54°44.4'N    
      λ = 10°46.5'E    
    16.00 AO 7517    
    20.00 AO 7195    
    22.59 AO 7241 Anchored at anchorage "E", because the gear of the escort vessels is out of service.  
                                                               
    06.12.42 Samsö Belt  
    09.12 AO 7241 Raised anchor, continued in convoy.  
      N 4, Sea 3-4, overcast, Vis. 8 nm    
    12.00 AO 7216 Day's run:   = 107.8 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 56°14'N    
      λ = 11°21'E    
    16.00 AO 4873    
    20.00 AO 4819    
                                                               
    07.12.42 Kattegat    
    00.00 AO 4571 Transit in convoy.  
      NE 3, Sea 2, overcast, Vis. 2-3 nm    
    04.00 AO 4436    
    08.00 AO 4428    
    12.00 AN 3633 Day's run:   = 175.9 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 58°06'N    
      λ = 9°20'E    
    16.00 AN 3624    
    18.30   Made fast in Kristiansand, took on fuel and water.  
                                                               
    08.12.42 Southern Norway  
    07.00 SSW 8, Sea 5-6, overcast, rain, Vis. low Cast off from Kristiansand.  Due to weather no escort possible, came about.  Trim test.  
    10.00   Again made fast.  
        Day's run:   = 62 nm, = 1 nm.  
                                                               
    09.12.42 Skagerrak    
    10.17 SSW 3, Sea 2-3, fog, Vis. 1 nm changing Cast off Kristiansand, transit in convoy.  
    12.00 AN 3617 Day's run:   = 20 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 57°57.6'N    
      λ = 7°42'E    
           
Sun and Moon Data 05.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 06.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 07.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 08.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 09.12.42
 
- 2 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    09.12.42      
    14.24 AN 3529 Released from convoy ran off through barrier and own U-boat hunting area on course 270° and 2 x HF (14 knots).  
    16.00 AN 3527    
    19.00 AN 3429 New course 325°, LF diesel-electric (6.5 knots).  
    20.00 AN 3426    
                                                               
    10.12.42 West of southern Norway    
    00.00 AN 3184    
      SW 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. 2 nm, light marine phosphorescence    
    04.00 AN 3141    
    08.00 AN 4332    
    08.20   Crash dive for training.  New course 350°.  Proceeded submerged at depth A -20 meters.  Deep dive attempt to depth A +70 meters.  After some tightening, everything holds tight.  
    12.00 AN 2895 Day's run:   = 158.5 nm, = 9.2 nm.  
      φ = 59°14.5'N    
      λ = 3°44.5'E    
    16.00 AN 2867    
    17.03   Surfaced.  Course 350°, LF diesel-electric.  
    20.00 AN 2837    
                                                               
    11.12.42 Shetland-Bergen Narrows    
    00.00 AN 2386    
      S 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. 2 nm, medium marine phosphorescence    
    04.00 AM 2328    
    08.00 AF 8775    
    09.00   Crash dive for training.  Proceeded submerged at depth A -20 meters.  
    12.00 AF 8748 Day's run:   = 100.7 nm, = 21.5 nm.  
      φ = 61°15.5'N    
      λ = 3°01'E    
    16.00 AF 8741    
    16.35   Surfaced.  Course 350°, LF diesel-electric.  
    20.00 AF 8711    
                                                               
    12.12.42 Northern North Sea    
    00.00 AF 7666    
      SW 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. 3 nm, light marine phosphorescence    
    01.25 AF 7663 Second Watch Officer and Bridge Petty Officer see a light at low altitude above the horizon, beneath it a shadow.  Probably an aircraft, no detection.  About 02.30 hours noticed that the boat had steered an incorrect course of about 120°.  Switched over to magnetic compass.  Gyro compass replaced, the gyro compass was out of service for 4 hours.  The Engineer Officer handled quickly and energetically.  
    04.00 AF 7632    
    08.00 AF 7367 The first navigation fix in 3 days.  Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after navigation fix 345°T, 41 nm.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 09.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 10.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 11.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 12.12.42
 
- 3 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    12.12.42      
    08.49 AF 7364 Crash dive for training.  Dived to proceed submerged at depth A -20 meters, because of the low broken cloud deck and wet bridge favors surprise by air.  
    12.00 AF 4958 Day's run:   = 99.5 nm, = 23 nm.  
      φ = 63°57'N    
      λ = 1°42.5'E    
    13.00 AF 4955 New course 295°.  
    16.00 AF 4954    
    16.29   Surfaced.  Course 295°, LF diesel-electric.  
    20.00 AF 4917    
                                                               
    13.12.42 Norwegian Sea    
    00.00 AF 4823    
      NbyE 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. 2-3 nm    
    04.00 AF 4575 Switched to "America 1" Circuit in accordance with Radio Message 1754/12/48.  
    08.00 AF 4468 Did not dive because thick closed cloud cover and air surprise is hardly to be expected.  
    10.47 AF 4455 New course 245°.  
    12.00 AF 4457 Day's run:   = 123.5 nm, = 13.5 nm.  
      φ = 64°52'N    
      λ = 3°08'W    
    13.10   AK exercises with diesel for surprise by air.  In so doing found 2 possibilities:  
        1 If, for example, it is night, with the possibility of early diving, diesel-electric to AK, then the diesel with electric supplementation. Advantages: fast start, a diesel remains ready for diving with an electric motor running on the shaft.  
        2. With probably prolonged approach curve on the surface both diesels AK. Advantage more speed. The start-up will not last much longer if you kick over the idle diesel with the running E-motor.  
        In addition, in both cases you can drive the diesel with E-supplement and then on crash diving only open the clutches.  
    16.00 AE 6696    
    18.06 AE 6697 Crash dive for training.  The conning tower hatch is closed by an overcoming sea and the cable of the Fu.M.B. is broken.  Repairs submerged.  In so doing 2 other fractures arise. The solid wire antenna cable is flat but very sensitive, flexible cable would be better.
 
    20.00 AE 6697    
    20.30   Surfaced. Checked Fu.M.B reception by transmitting on 20 meters with the short wave transmitter.
 
    21.00   Fire in auxiliary switchboard 3 in the control room, caused by short circuit from water running from the conning tower bilge. Extinguished with dry fire extinguishers.  
                                                               
           
Sun and Moon Data 12.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 13.12.42
 
- 4 -
 
           
           
           
           
    14.12.42 North of the Faroe Islands    
    00.00 AE 6916 Course 245°, LF diesel-electric.  
      ENE 5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. 2-3 nm    
    00.55   Crash dive for detection.  Faint, about 182 cm.  
    01.33   Surfaced.  
    01.50   Crash dive for same detection, louder.  
    02.26   Surfaced.  
    02.51   Crash dive for detection about 260 cm, very loud.  Perhaps we have detected the check radiation of the short wave transmitter itself.  
    04.03 AE 6917 Surfaced.  Went to HF diesel-electric (8.5 knots) in order that the boat rides better before the sea and takes over less water.  
    08.00 AE 6855    
    09.58 AE 6849 Crash dive for training.  Proceeded submerged at depth A -20 meters.  
    12.00 AE 6872 Day's run:   = 121.45 nm, = 21.1 nm.  
      φ = 63°54'N    
      λ = 8°01'W    
    16.00 AE 6871    
    17.32 AE 6874 Surfaced.  Course 245°, both diesels 2 x HF (14 knots) to pass through the narrowest point.  
    20.00 AE 9122    
    22.30 AE 9117 New course 225°.  
                                                               
    15.12.42 Faroe Island Strait    
    00.00 AE 8365    
      SSE 4, Sea 3, 8/10, Vis. 2 nm, high short cross Swell    
    00.05   Crash dive for training.  By an overcoming Sea the Fu.M.B. shaft is broken, cable is safe.  Repaired submerged.  
    00.46 AE 8367 Surfaced.  Course 225°, HF diesel-electric (8.5 knots).  At first the boat lies better in the nasty Swell.  
    04.00 AE 8388    
    08.00 AE 8641    
    09.42 AE 8568 Crash dive for training.  Proceeded submerged at depth A -20 meters.  
        The flagstaff was fixed up with a spare Fu.M.B.  
    12.00 AE 8568 Day's run:   = 163.82 nm, = 14.05 nm.  
      φ = 62°06'N    
      λ = 13°26'W    
    16.00 AE 8594    
    17.25 AE 8586 Surfaced.  Course 225°, LF diesel-electric.  
    20.00 AE 8822    
                                                               
    16.12.42 West of the Faroe Islands    
    00.00 AE 8842 About 01.30 hours the boat drives through a large oil slick for about 1/2 hour.  
      SE 5, Sea 4, 8/10, overcast, Vis. 2-3 nm, medium Swell, rain showers  
    03.17 AE 8793 In accordance with Radio Message 1908/15/240 sent a Short Signal weather report on alternate frequency of Radio Circuit B.  
    04.00 AE 8793    
           
Sun and Moon Data 14.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 15.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 16.12.42
 
- 5 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    16.12.42      
    06.06 AE 8797 Because the Short Signal weather report was still not confirmed, sent once again on Ireland Circuit.  
    08.00 AL 3232 After 4 days again a one star navigation fix.  Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix 56°T, 32 nm.  
    12.00 AL 3233 Day's run:   = 120.25 nm, = 16.5 nm.  
      φ = 60°48'N    
      λ = 15°46'W    
    16.00 AL 3256    
    16.05 AL 3258 Crash dive for detection, 260 cm.  Dull vibrating tone.   A short time before the Fu.M.B. was back in service, now after a dive the one wire is broken again. A protracted search begins, this is the 4th time!  
    20.00 AL 3281    
    20.24 AL 3273 Surfaced.  Course 225°, LF diesel-electric.  
    21.46   Incoming Radio Message 1853/16/273:  1., . . . U-123 send radiosonde reports.  2.  New objective for U-123 . . . . . is naval square AL 72.  
                                                               
    17.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 3277 New course 210°.  
      ESE 5-7, Sea 4, 8/10, Vis. 3 nm, high Swell After the first balloon went up on its own and the second burst by striking against the hull, momentarily went to course 290° both diesels HF (12 knots) to launch the third. Unfortunately, the transmitter was not working properly and therefore could not be evaluated.  
    04.00 AL 3362    
    05.14   Came to course 270° both diesels HF (14 knots) for the last attempt.  Balloon is continually pummeled in the heavy squall against the bridge cladding and finally bursts.  Gave up.  
    08.00 AL 3383    
    12.00 AL 3516 Day's run:   = 129.9 nm, = 14.55 nm.  
      φ = 58°58'N    
      λ = 18°41'W    
    15.14   Next attempt for radiosonde fails, transmitter does not start.  
    16.00 AL 2636    
    17.35   Finally good luck with the launch.  
    18.25   Incoming Radio Message 1751/17/300 with second request for radiosonde reports.  
    20.00 AL 2667    
    21.58   Radiosonde message sent on Ireland Circuit.  
                                                               
    18.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 2688 Course 210°, LF diesel-electric.  
      SW 4, Sea 3, 5/10, overcast, Vis. 2-3 nm, high long Swell    
    04.00 AL 2819    
           
Sun and Moon Data 16.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 17.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 18.12.42
 
- 6 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    18.12.42      
    06.50 AL 2845 Crash dive for training.  The wood of the Fu.M.B. is broken at the old location.  The flagstaff was used as a replacement.  
        MG 15 taken below deck, the aluminum shows heavy pitting from seawater.  
    08.09 AL 2848 Surfaced.  Course 210°, LF diesel-electric.  
    12.00 AL 2799 Day's run:   = 131.1 nm, = 4.25 nm.  
      φ = 57°21'N    
      λ = 21°14'W    
    16.00 AL 2937    
    20.00 AL 2959    
                                                               
    19.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 2987 Course 210°, LF diesel-electric.  
      SW 9, Sea 7, 6/10, Vis. 2-3 nm, high short Swell, hail showers The barometer is like a roller-coaster.  The wind continually shifts so that the respective sea is very short and the heavy boat takes a lot of water.  At the same time mainly precipitation with greatly changing visibility.  
    00.15   Our pride, the flag staff-Fu.M.B., breaks exactly like its predecessor.  Salvaged and secured.  
    00.50   Incoming Radio Message 1832/18/232:  1.  As temporary attack areas occupy U-123 AL 48  . . . .  
    04.00 AL 5137    
    08.00 AL 5138    
    12.00 AL 5179 Day's run:   = 123 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 55°32'N    
      λ = 23°04'W    
    16.00 AL 5417    
    20.00 AL 4569    
    21.50 AL 4592 New course 250°.  Otherwise everything is smashed from the seas hitting directly ahead.  
    22.36 AL 4591 Dived due to weather conditions.  New course 210°.  
                                                               
    20.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 4594 Proceeding submerged,  Course 210°, LF.  
      S 10, Sea 7-8, overcast.    
    04.00 AL 4589    
    08.00 AL 4825    
    09.00   Surfaced.  Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix 33°T, 68 nm.  
    10.00   Switch to Ireland Circuit in accordance with Radio Message 2244/19.  
    12.00 AL 4563 Day's run:  = 65.6 nm, = 31.25 nm.  
      φ = 55°08'N    
      λ = 23°31'W    
    16.00 AL 4592 Incoming Radio Message 1459/20/197:  1.  U-123 . . . form Group Spitz.  2.  In named order on 23 December at 00.00 hours be in patrol line from AL 4845 to AL 8541.  This will be our Christmas roast.  
    20.00 AL 4592                                                        
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 18.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 19.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 20.12.42
 
- 7 -
 
           
           
           
           
    21.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 4827 Incoming Radio Message 2214/20/108:  . . . . U-123 as soon as possible send radiosonde report.   
      SSW 8, Sea 5-6, 7/10, Vis. 2-4 nm, hail and rain showers  
      For the time being, it is not possible.  
    04.00 AL 4843 Am in attack area.  Back and forth in position on SE-NW courses.  
    08.00 AL 4859    
    11.30   Finally manage a balloon ascent after one burst and the pressure reducing valve did not work.  
    12.00 AL 4859 Day's run:  = 127.5 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 54°01'N    
      λ = 24°03'W    
    16.00 AL 4899    
    16.18   Radiosonde report sent on Ireland Circuit, alternate frequency too weak.  
    20.00 AL 4883    
                                                               
    22.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 4846 Back and forth in position in AL 48 on SE-NW courses.  
      SW 4, Sea 3, 4/10, Vis. 6 nm, full moon, low long Swell    
    04.00 AL 4846    
    08.00 AL 4885    
    12.00 AL 7231 Day's run:  = 132 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 53°39'N    
      λ = 23°50'W    
    16.00 AL 7231    
    20.00 AL 4885    
                                                               
    23.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 4873 Back and forth in position in patrol line with SE-NW courses.  
      SW 9, Sea 6-7, 9/10, Vis. greatly changing, 1/2 to 4 nm  
    04.00 AL 4873    
    08.00 AL 4842 Switched to Diana Circuit in accordance with Radio Message 1912/22/151.  
    08.10   Crash dive for training.  Dived to balance the boat and all around sound sweep.  
    09.04 AL 4845 Surfaced.  
    10.33   Incoming Radio Message 0924/23/762:  . . . . 1.  U-123 immediately report weather.  
    11.30   Short Signal weather report sent.  Nothing heard.  
    12.00 AL 4841 Day's run:  = 135 nm, = 3 nm.  
      φ = 54°04'N Visibility makes diving to listen no longer required.  
      λ = 24°54'W    
    12.12   Short Signal weather report sent and understood.  
    16.00 AL 4845    
    19.00 AL 4849 In accordance with incoming Radio Message 1805/23/766 new course 222°.  By a navigation fix, determined difference between dead reckoning and actual position 106°T, 52 nm.  
        Both diesels HF (plotted at 9 knots).  
    20.00 AL 5777    
                                                               
           
Sun and Moon Data 21.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 22.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 23.12.42
 
- 8 -
 
           
           
           
           
    24.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AL 7229    
      WSW 6, Sea 5, 7/10, Vis. 3 nm, high Swell    
    02.00 AL 7257 New course 275° to the center of our square.  
    04.00 AL 7247    
    08.00 AL 7155    
    09.36 AL 7145 In square.  SE-NW courses.  Light precipitation makes diving to listen unnecessary.  
    12.00 AL 7149 Day's run:  = 177.87 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 53°11'N    
      λ = 26°09'W    
    16.00 AL 7149    
    19.26   Incoming Radio Message 1744/24/772, whereby Group Spitz is to proceed in reconnaissance line course 222°, 6 knots.  
    19.57   Crash dive for training.  Dived for a short Christmas celebration.  
    20.00 AL 7145 New course 222°.  
    22.04   Surfaced.  HF diesel-electric (7 knots), more is not possible against the sea.  
                                                               
    25.12.42 North Atlantic  
    00.00 AK 9393    
      W 7-9, Sea 7, 5/10, Vis. 5 nm, bright moon    
    04.00 AK 9626 It has abated, only the Swell is still high.  Came to diesel HF (plotted 8.5 knots).  
    08.00 AK 9649    
    10.00   After star navigation fix on the bright moonlit horizon position was incorrect 18 nm in 126°T.  Plotted to the 12 hour point in the reconnaissance line, the 11 hours point is not reachable.  
    12.00 AK 9647 Day's run:  = 148.25 nm, = 6 nm.  
      φ = 52°28'N New course 40°, one diesel LF.  
      λ = 27°41'W    
    16.00 AK 9651    
    17.00   After sun navigation fix difference between dead reckoning and actual position 277°T, 9 nm.  New course 75°, both diesels HF.  
    18.00 AK 9628 In position.  Course 40°, one diesel LF.  
    19.00 AK 9625 In accordance with Radio Message 1739/25/778 new course 200°, speed 7 knots.  
    20.00 AK 9628                                                        
    26.12.42 North Atlantic  
      AK 9673 Course 200°, 7 knots.  
      W 2-3, Sea 2, 7/10, low Swell, medium marine phosphorescence, Vis. 3 nm    
    00.23 AK 9676 Crash dive for training.  Fu.M.B. again out of service.  Used to balance the boat and all around listening sweep.  
    01.10 AK 9676 Surfaced.  
    04.00 AK 9917    
    08.00 AK 9917 Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix 25°T, 24.6 nm.  Diesel 2 x HF.  
    12.00 AK 9899 Day's run:  = 166.94 nm, = 2.55 nm.  
      φ = 51°04'N    
      λ = 28°05'W    
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 24.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 25.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 26.12.42
 
- 9 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    26.12.42      
    13.35 BD 3138 In accordance with Radio Message 1011/26/749 back and forth in position in ordered patrol line.  
    16.00 BD 3138    
    18.20 BD 3162 Incoming Radio Message 1746/26/797 with convoy sighting by Gräf.  Immediately afterwards disposition order by B.d.U. for Group Spitz and Ungestüm.  
    18.45 BD 3138 New course 150°, both diesels GF.  
    20.00 BD 3247    
    22.00 BD 3513 New course 160°, because B.d.U. believes that the convoy proceeds to the west.  Boat takes much water, therefore  
    23.25   new course 140°, both diesels GF.  Boat does not lie better so  
                                                               
    27.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 BD 3557 new course 170°, both diesels HF.  
      SbyE 8-9, Sea 6, Vis. 2 nm, medium Swell The radiosonde report requested by Radio Message 2046/26/706 is not possible.  Convoy steers 210-230° since about midnight, as a result our chances improve considerably.  
    04.00 BD 3825    
    05.55   The 3.7 cm has been beaten loose and turns back and forth.  There is no chance of going on deck.  
    08.00 BD 3886    
    09.30 BD 6223 New speed both diesels 2 x HF.  
    10.40 BD 6237 New speed, both diesels GF.  
    11.13 BD 6264 Turned before the sea and launched a balloon.  The third is finally completed and rises.  
    12.00 BD 6261 Day's run:  = 227.1 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 47°57'N    
      λ = 26°54'W New course 170°, both diesels GF.  
    16.00 BD 6563 The 10 hour convoy position by Gräf sound bearing and Dietrichs sighting suggests a westerly course, therefore new course 190°.  
        Fu.M.B. brought out, visibility 2 nm.  
    16.59 BD 6565 Radiosonde report sent.  
    17.10 BD 6568 Dived to listen.  By Leimkühler's report we must be in the vicinity.  No bearings.  Main ballast and reserve fuel oil tank 7 emptied and converted [for use as a ballast tank].  
    18.10 BD 6568 Surfaced.  No bearing signals.  Ran along on course 210° with both diesels HF.  Without bearing signals and with the inexact plot, 1-1/2 days without a navigation fix, we sit high and dry.  
    20.00 BD 6597 In accordance with Leimkühler's Short Signal 1934, course 150°.  
    20.50 BD 6598 Dived to listen.  No bearings.  
    21.23 BD 6832 Surfaced.  Still always no bearing signals.  
        Ran along on course 190°, both diesels LF.  
                                                               
    28.12.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 BD 6821 Finally about 03.00 hours a pair of stars.  Better than nothing.  Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix 338°T, 31.4 nm.  
      SW 3, Sea 2, 5/10, low Swell, Vis. 1 nm, slight marine phosphorescence  
    04.20 BD 6858 Finally bearing signals.  Initially in 35°T, then not so well in 155°T.  The latter agrees well with the Purkhold report in 9312 so  
           
Sun and Moon Data 26.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 27.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 28.12.42
 
- 10 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    28.12.42      
    05.00 BD 6855 new course 160°.  On request reported position by Short Signal.  
    07.00 BD 6889 Dived to listen.  Nothing.  
    07.35   Surfaced, lashed the 3.7 cm and encumbrances to the upper deck.  
    08.00 BD 9223 Twilight navigation fix.  Difference between dead reckoning and actual position 102°T, 9.7 nm.  
    10.30 BD 9269 After Purkhold report came to course 200°.  
    12.00 BD 9298 Day's run:  = 241.33 nm, = 6.95 nm.  
      φ = 44°42'N    
      λ = 26°40'W    
    14.00 BD 9564 Dived to listen.  Faint bearing:  a band 130-150°T, individual bearings in 240°T and 270°T.  U-boats?  
        Reported by Radio Message.  
    14.51 BD 9564 Surfaced.  New course 160°, both diesels HF, it is [pottendick = kettle thick] very foggy.  
    16.00 BD 9595    
    16.25 BD 9598 Suddenly there is a tear in the horizon and the convoy stands before us, already high out.  
    17.09   Short Signal on Diana Circuit, was not heard.  
    18.06   Repeated on Ireland Circuit, was understood.  On request by Leimkühler bearing signals sent at 18.40 and 19.20 hours.  Several boats are now on it.  The smoke cloud of the port sweeper is easily distinguished.  Contact keeping report is not given due to the heavy traffic on the frequency.  
    20.00 BD 9862 Convoy disappears in the twilight on a completely black horizon, above it on the western evening sky nothing more is seen.  
    20.45   The fireworks of star shells and machine gun fire begins, at times quite large across 180° of the horizon.  
    21.39 - 21.55 BD 9859 Dived to listen.  Bearing in 285-315°T, was in agreement with Leimkühler report.  
    22.10   Reported losing contact with Radio Message 2139/28/711.  
    23.02 BD 9855 Finally some shadows, among them a damaged steamer.  One shadow repeatedly pushes us off to the south.  
                                                               
    29.12.42 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 9849 Also with the next cripples a sharp shadow, that eventually turns out to be a cripple.  Because both are still floating well, one with a slight fiery glow under the bridge, the other with a red top light, decide on a coup de grâce.  
      SSW 1, Sea 1, overcast, long Swell, Vis. 2 nm, medium marine phosphorescence  
    00.53 BD 9849 Tube II (Eto) and tube III (Ato) fire.  Both lead angle 0° on lying stopped targets.  Tube III hit after 2 minutes 05 seconds = 2500 meters on 5000 GRT freighter, smokestack astern, bridge forward freestanding like a whaler, much cargo.  Sank after 6 minutes.  
        Detonation on 2nd freighter, normal type 4000 GRT, after about 7 minutes. (nothing further stopped)  Was possibly another U-boat.  Steamer breaks amidships and sinks.  
           
Sun and Moon Data 28.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 29.12.42
 
- 11 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    29.12.42      
    01.07 BD 9849 After the convoy on course 250°, both GF.  
    01.31 BD 9848 Shadow to starboard, turns out to be an eastbound independent.  Behind him very faint is a second.  
    02.35 BD 9872 Turned away hard before an oncoming shadow, possibly a U-boat, lost again.  
    03.30   Questioned B.d.U. because am in the area of Route Anton [blockade runners route].  
    04.00 BD 9879    
    04.30   Received attack permission from B.d.U.  
        Outer tube door of tube I cannot be opened.  Because shot must be taken at long range, shot three-fan with set four-fan with tube I secured and impact point at the target.  
    05.00 BD 9882 Fan tube III, II, IV fire.  Target speed 6 knots, target angle right 48°, range = 3000 meters.  Hit forward edge of the bridge after 5 minutes 35 seconds.  That was a little test of nerves.  Identified as type LOCHKATRINE (9419 GRT).  Steamer settles up to the forecastle, turns and approaches again out up to the after edge of the smokestack.  While turning away behind the steamer comes a shadow.  Apparently a U-boat.  Moved off a bit.  After five minutes the steamer was shot with artillery, hardly necessary.  Sank after 42 minutes.  
    05.59   New course 280° to the reported convoy position.  
    06.05   U-boat in sight, yet another.  
    08.00 BD 9872    
    08.53   Dived to listen.  Faint sound bearing, nothing seen in the periscope.  
    10.05   Surfaced.  In the north a destroyer comes over the horizon.  
    10.08 BD 9793 Crash dive.  To periscope depth.  Destroyer shifts by sound slowly to the SW.  In the east a new sound bearing.  After a bit in the periscope a destroyer in target angle 0°.  Turned away for a stern shot.  Destroyer zigzags and passes about 3000 meters behind the stern.  A pity.  In the periscope Morse traffic observed, the second cannot be seen.  
    12.00 BD 9848 Day's run:  = 240.27 nm, = 11.85 nm.  
      φ = 43°15'N Meanwhile there are a total of 4 destroyer sound bearings, that slowly shift to the SW.  
      λ = 27°47'W  
    12.26   Surfaced, nothing more to see.  Reported by Radio Message.  Tightened the bolts on beating upper deck canisters.  
        New course 270°, both GF on Purkhold report, 12.30 hours in BD 8997.  
    14.20 BD 9793 Own U-boat in sight, Recognition Signals exchanged.  Runs on southwesterly course and passes out of sight again.  
    16.00 BD 9783    
    20.00 BD 8991 New course 250°, because according to Radio Message 1005/29/754 we should search in a southwesterly direction.  
    22.00 BD 8985 New course 245°, on Zetzsche report [convoy] in BD 8893, course 240°, speed 9 knots.  
                                                               
           
Sun and Moon Data 29.12.42
 
- 12 -
 
           
           
           
           
    30.12.42 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 8979 Star shells are often seen ahead and to starboard.  Did not turn towards, because they are far off and suspect offset destroyer as we observed ourselves at midday.  
      SSE 4, Sea 3, 8/10, Vis. 2 nm, slight Swell, marine phosphorescence  
    04.00 CE 21xx    
    08.00 CE 1376    
    12.00 CE 1521 Day's run:  = 280.31 nm, = 1.3 nm.  
      φ = 41°54'N By plotting am at the intercept point for convoy course 240°.  Search courses on the hour circles for 9 knots.  
      λ = 33°49'W  
    12.29 CE 1513 Incoming enemy report from Scheibe in CE 1211.  From the Scheibe report of 29 December at 18.30 hours this gives a convoy course of 270°, 8 knots.  
        New course 310°.  
    16.00 CE 1155    
    17.30 BD 7984 By plotting error and navigation fix offset am positioned far to the north.  Dived to listen, nothing.  
    18.42 BD 7973 Surfaced.  New course 215°, operating on Scheibe Short Signal of 18.58 hours.  
    20.00 BD 7975    
                                                               
    31.12.42 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 7861 Dived to listen.  By plotting am at convoy.  Nothing heard, reported by Radio Message.  
      SSE 4, Sea 3, overcast, medium Swell, marine phosphorescence  
    01.13 BD 7867 Surfaced.  Because no zigzag to the south has been found, initially operated on northerly courses.  
    04.00 BD 7851    
    05.38 BD 7819 Dived to listen.  Nothing, reported by Radio Message.  
    05.52 BD 7815 Surfaced.  Operated to the south.  
        About 06.30 hours the Mech.maat [torpedo man] reported to me that gas was coming from the flooded tube III.  The torpedo has been in the tube 2 days and flooded for 10 hours.  Boat put into the sea and the torpedo withdrawn.  Findings:  battery dry, rather discharged and discharging further; motor charred and scorched, water in it; smells of a short circuit.  Torpedo put into the bilge with continuous ventilation. Mech.maat collapsed, in the afternoon one seaman presents with advanced testicular hernia and we are again 70 nm behind the convoy.  Losing streak!
 
    08.00 BD 7736    
    12.00 BD 7756 Day's run:  = 232.86 nm, = 5.62 nm.  
      φ = 43°23'N    
      λ = 37°35'W    
    16.00 BD 7778 New course 245°.  By plotting tomorrow at 04.00 we will be at the convoy position for 255°, 9 knots.  
    20.00 CD 2337    
    21.05 - 21.27 CD 2352 Dived to listen.  Nothing.  In accordance with Radio Message 1727/31/876 search broken off and remained in position.  Reported fuel and position by Short Signal.  
                                                               
           
Sun and Moon Data 30.12.42
Sun and Moon Data 31.12.42
 
- 13 -
 
           
           
           
           
    01.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 CD 2324 Back and forth in attack area.  
      SSE 3, Sea 2, overcast, Vis. 2-3, medium Swell Sent Radiosonde report.  
    04.00 CD 2313    
    08.00 CD 2313    
    12.00 CD 2313 Day's run:  = 190.8 nm, = 1.5 nm.  
      φ = 42°51'N In accordance with Radio Message 1327/1/887 we have square CD 23 as temporary attack area and should expect a tanker here.  
      λ = 39°56'W  
    16.00 CD 2313    
    20.00 CD 2313 By Radio Message requested to give the seaman with testicular hernia to Dieterichs because the pain has increased.  
                                                               
    02.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 CD 2313 New course 90° to meeting point.  Transfer of the seaman approved by Radio Message 0132/2/893.  
      SSE 3, Sea 2, 9/10, Vis. 2 nm, medium Swell  
    04.00 CD 2333    
    08.00 CD 3126    
    12.00 CD 3255 Day's run:  = 190.8 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 42°28'N    
      λ = 37°10'W    
    16.00 BD 7783    
    20.00 CD 3255    
    20.57   Met Dieterichs.  New meeting point agreed because transfer of the man is not advisable due to darkness and Sea State.  
                                                               
    03.01.42 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 CD 3228    
      NW 3, Sea 2, 4/10, Vis. 2 nm, slight Swell    
    04.00 BD 7798    
    08.00 CD 3228    
    10.00 CD 3255 Am in the square by plotting, nothing seen.  
    12.00 CD 3255 Day's run:  = 122.68 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 42°23'N    
      λ = 37°16'W Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix null.  
    16.00 CD 3255  
    16.47   By Short Signal requested bearing signals to facilitate meeting.  Unfortunately we had favorable weather this morning for the rubber boat.  
    18.04 CD 3255 Dieterichs in sight, he had first supplied Scheibe.  Man transferred in a diving suit on a line.  
    20.00 CD 3258 Transfer ended, transit into attack area.  
                                                               
    04.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 CD 3248    
      SbyW 5, Sea 4, 9/10, Vis. 1-3 nm, summer lightening and marine phosphorescence    
    04.00 CD 3183    
           
Sun and Moon Data 01.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 02.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 03.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 04.01.43
 
- 14 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    04.01.43      
    08.00 CD 3175    
    12.00 CD 2397 Day's run:  = 122.68 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 42°07'N    
      λ = 39°27'W    
    16.00 CD 2385    
    20.00 CD 2388    
                                                               
    05.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 CD 3145    
    04.00 CD 3141    
    08.00 CD 2368    
    12.00 CD 2385 Day's run:  = 75.67 nm, = 1.46 nm.  
      φ = 42°06'N    
      λ = 39°41'W    
    16.00 CD 2385    
    20.00 CD 2385 Incoming Radio Message 1817/5/832 with supply orders and Radio Message 1857/5/833 by which we are supposed to send radiosonde report tomorrow morning.  
                                                               
    06.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 CD 2381 Attempted balloon ascent three times.  No or bad transmitting.  Transmitters apparently have short circuits from rain and spray.  
      SSW 6, Sea 5, 5/10, Vis. 2 nm, rain shower  
    04.00 CD 2345    
    08.00 CD 2328    
    12.00 CD 2334 Day's run:  = 65 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 42°44'N    
      λ = 39°22'W    
    16.00 CD 2334 Rain has stopped, balloon ascent succeeds.  
    20.00 CD 2334    
    21.51   Sent radiosonde report.  
                                                               
    07.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BC 9967 Transit to supply point.  
      SSW 4, Sea 3-4, 1/10, Vis. 2 nm, medium Swell    
    04.00 BD 7747    
    08.00 BD 7757    
    12.00 BD 7757 Day's run:  = 65 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 43°13'N    
      λ = 37°55'W    
    16.00 BD 7757 In accordance with Short Signal Newmann is delayed 15 hours.
    20.00 BD 7761    
                                                               
    08.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 7767    
      WSW 4, Sea 3, 8/10, Vis. 2 nm, short high Swell    
    04.00 BD 7797    
    08.00 BD 7785    
    12.00 BD 7757 Day's run:  = 65 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 43°15'N    
      λ = 37°55'W    
           
Sun and Moon Data 04.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 05.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 06.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 07.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 08.01.43
 
- 15 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    08.01.43      
    16.00 BD 7759    
    17.08 BD 7755 Hermann comes in sight.  In this Swell U-boats are very difficult to see.  
    17.40   Schiebe comes in sight.  We run into the objective square as a threesome.  
    20.00 BD 7757    
    21.25 BD 7749 Dived to proceed submerged.  Course, speed, depth and meeting point arranged by underwater telegraphy.  
                                                               
    09.01.42 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 7748 Proceeding submerged.  
      W 6, Sea 4-5, 9/10, medium Swell, rain and hail showers    
    04.00 BD 7747    
    08.00 BD 7748 No reply on underwater telegraph.  
    09.02 BD 7749 Surfaced.  Nothing is seen of the other boats.  
    12.00 BD 7757 Day's run:  = 57.75 nm, = 34.9 nm.  
      φ = 43°13'N    
      λ = 37°54'W    
    16.00 BD 7758 Back and forth in position.  
    20.00 BD 7783    
    21.05 BD 7783 Dived to proceed submerged.  Strong offset to the east.  
                                                               
    10.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 7783    
      WbyN 6, Sea 5, 8/10, high Swell, Vis. 2 nm    
    04.00 BD 7782    
    08.00 BD 7781 Sound bearing shifting astern in 300°T  
    08.49 BD 7781 Surfaced.  Briefly encountered sound bearing in 230°T, nothing seen.  Entered square.  
    10.37 BD 7757 Hermann in sight.  He had Neumann during the entire night, he must be very close.  Searched.  
    12.00 BD 7754 Day's run:  = 64.9 nm, = 28 nm.  
      φ = 43°22'N    
      λ = 37°58'W    
    12.24 BD 7746 Hermann has Neumann in sight.  Closed and during supply protected Neumann to port.  
    16.00 BD 7744 Closed again, when Hermann has finished it has freshened strongly.  
    20.00 BD 7744 In line abreast proceeded next to Neumann.  He is only temporarily insight, wind from SE reached hurricane strength.
 
    21.41 BD 7744 By agreement dived to proceed submerged.  
                                                               
    11.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BD 7748 Despite my request to man the underwater telegraph, Neumann does not answer.  Once again we are off.  
      SW 10-11, Sea 8, overcast, Vis. 300-1000 meters  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 08.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 09.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 10.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 11.01.43
 
- 16 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    11.01.43   At 02.00 hours Hermann reports hurricane eye at 945 mb.  
    04.00 BD 7772    
    08.00 BD 7779    
    09.03 BD 7779 Surfaced.  In the mean time wind had shifted to W, strength 8.  
    12.00 BD 7773 Day's run:  = 49.25 nm, = 26.38 nm.  
      φ = 43°07'N    
      λ = 38°00'W    
    13.09 BD 7742 Neumann surfaces next to us.  Great.  Hung on.  
    16.00 BD 7717    
    20.00 BD 9936    
    23.15 BC 9932 New course 160°.  
                                                               
    12.01.43 Northwest of the Azores    
    00.00 BC 9932    
      W 3, Sea 2, overcast, Vis. 2 nm, long low Swell    
    04.00 BC 9939    
    08.00 BC 9969    
    11.00 BD 7774 Began fueling on course 310°.  
    12.00 BD 7781 Day's run:  = 81 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 43°10'N    
      λ = 37°55'W    
    13.12 BD 7781 Completed fueling.  By our measurement received 22.3 cbm.  
        New course 335°, HF diesel-electric (7.5 knots).  
    16.00 BD 7718    
    20.00 BD 7474    
                                                               
    13.01.43 North Atlantic    
    00.00 BC 9662    
      NbyW 4-5, Sea 4, 5/10, Vis. 3 nm, medium Swell    
    04.00 BC 9386    
    08.00 BC 9352    
    12.00 BC 6979 Day's run:  = 166.5 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 45°39'N    
      λ = 39°36'W    
    14.40 BC 6972 In accordance with Radio Message 1032/13/900 reported position by Short Signal.  
    16.00 - 16.48 BC 6944 Test dive.  
    20.00 BC 6598 In accordance with Radio Message 1836/13/805 we should send radiosonde and Short Signal weather report in the morning.  Balloon ascent succeeds on the second try.  
                                                               
    14.01.43 North Atlantic    
    00.00 BC 6555 01.56 hours radiosonde report sent.  
      SbyW 5, Sea 4, 5/10, Vis. 3 nm, medium Swell    
    04.00 BC 6522 From 04.30 - 07.22 hours sent Short Signal weather report a total of seven times on America II, Ireland and Hubertus.  Radio repeater!!!!  
    08.00 BC 6246    
    12.00 BC 6211 Day's run:  = 168.52 nm, = 2.28 nm.  
      φ = 48°15'N New course 315°.  
      λ = 41°22'W    
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 11.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 12.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 13.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 14.01.43
 
- 17 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    14.01.43      
    15.39   In accordance with Radio Message 1340/14/811 weather message sent on B 3.  Not acknowledged.  B 3 was heard with Volume 3.                                   [Bruno 3 Circuit]  
    16.00 BC 3791    
    17.10   Incoming Radio Message 1558/14/812 with orders to occupy a position 20 nm southeast of Hermann.  
    17.31   Weather message sent on America II and understood.  
    18.00 BC 3756 New course 285°.  
    20.00 BC 3754    
                                                               
    15.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 BC 3741 Once again we are against the sea. The boat crashes every which way, hopefully the torpedoes will not suffer. However, because the patrol line is not moved a bit every day as assumed, we must now work our way to the west.  
      W 9, Sea 7, overcast, high medium-long Swell, Vis. 1-3 nm, rain and hail showers  
    04.00 BC 2937 HF diesel-electric plotted at 5 knots..  
    08.00 BC 2925    
    12.00 BC 2912 Day's run:  = 134 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 49°11'N In accordance with Radio Message 1132/15/822 we can count on supply in BD 90 from 26 January if necessary.  
      λ = 44°29'W  
    16.00 BC 2598 New course 305° to the northern end of our sector.  
    20.00 BC 2558    
    22.00 BC 2546 In patrol line.  
    23.31 - 23.57 BC 2549 Dived to listen.  Nothing.  
                                                               
    16.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 BC 2549    
      WSW 7, Sea 5, overcast, medium Swell, showers, Vis. 1-3 nm    
    03.33 - 04.06 BC 2581 Dived to listen, nothing.  
    07.44 - 08.09 BC 2559 Dived to listen, nothing.  
    12.00 BC 2582 Day's run:  = 83.5 nm, = 3.2 nm.  
      φ = 49°26'N    
      λ = 45°18'W    
    15.50 - 16.14 BC 2549 Dived to listen.  Nothing.  Wind shits strongly to the left, bad visibility due to showers.  
    18.00 BC 2557 In accordance with Radio Message 1618/18/833 the patrol line is dissolved and we are to occupy as temporary attack area AJ 8982 with depth 40 nm.  
        New course 0°, LF diesel-electric.  
    20.00 BC 2551    
                                                               
    17.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 BC 2521 Transit to attack area.  
      N 6, Sea 5, overcast, Vis. 3-4 nm, low long Swell, rain showers    
    04.00 BC 2257    
    08.00 BC 2224    
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 14.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 15.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 16.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 17.01.43
 
- 18 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    17.01.43      
    12.00 AJ 8984 Day's run:  = 116.9 nm, = 1.35 nm.  
      φ = 51°07'N    
      λ = 45°21'W In attack area.  
    16.00 AJ 8993 Difference between dead reckoning and actual position after a navigation fix 72°T, 16 nm.  That is small for 4 days without a navigation fix.  
    20.00 BC 2223    
                                                               
    18.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 8986 4-hour breakdown in the gyro compass installation.  Thank God the gyro ball itself is in order.  For a day the boat has had a list to starboard.  It turns out the blowing line from starboard been holed below the upper deck.  
      NNW 4, Sea 3, 8/10, medium Swell, Vis. 4 nm  
    04.00 AJ 8991    
    08.00 AJ 8964    
    12.00 AJ 8961 Day's run:  = 96.25 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 51°30.5'N    
      λ = 44°54'W    
    16.00 AJ 8959    
    20.00 AJ 8982    
    21.38   Crash dive for training.  Proceeded submerged.  
    22.30 AJ 8981 New course 270° to the patrol line ordered in Radio Message 1836/18/854.  
                                                               
    19.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 8973 The Chief Engineer made repairs to the flooded binoculars, a few are in service again.  
      WNW 9, Sea 7, 8/10, medium-high Swell, Vis. clear  
    04.00 AJ 8972    
    08.00 AJ 8893    
    10.31 AJ 8892 Surfaced.  New course 240°.  
    12.00 AJ 8895 Day's run:  = 36.97 nm, = 30.65 nm.  
      φ = 51°09'N    
      λ = 46°19'W    
    14.00 AJ 8897 New course 280° to the new patrol line ordered by Radio Message 1225/19/364.  We must work against the sea.  
    14.54 AJ 8889 Crash dive for flying boat bearing 120°T, course west.  Was not noticed, no detection.  
    15.28 AJ 8889 Surfaced.  
    16.00 AJ 8886 New course 330°, HF diesel-electric.  
    20.00 AJ 8854 New course 300°.  
                                                               
    20.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 8817    
      NW 8, Sea 7-8, 9/10, Vis. 2 nm    
    04.00 AJ 8734 In our line.  Fu.M.B. brought out.  
    04.50 AJ 8731 Crash dive for detection 135 cm, low steady tone.  
    05.26 AJ 8723 Surfaced.  While blowing. . .  
    05.33 AJ 8723 Crash dive for detection 137 cm, same tone.  
    06.45 AJ 8723 Surfaced.  While blowing . . .  
    06.50 AJ 8723 Crash dive for detection 133 cm, same tone.  
    09.08 AJ 8731 Surfaced.  A weak sound bearing north of us not pursued, because no conyoy-  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 17.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 18.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 19.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 20.01.43
 
- 19 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    20.01.43   sounds.  Bearing located in 0°T, distinct single bearing.  may have been the departing Hellriegel.  
    10.30 AJ 8732 Incoming Radio Message 0601/20/873 with shifting of the reconnaissance line to the SW due to the failure of Hellriegel.  
    12.00 AJ 8731 Day's run:  = 107.44 nm, = 10.59 nm.  
      φ = 51°49'N In reconnaissance line legs around general course 200°, speed of advance 4 knots.  
      λ = 47°58'W  
    16.00 AJ 8727    
    18.00 - AJ 8751 Due to continual bad visibility dived to listen.  Driving snow, -5°C  
    18.40 AJ 8754  
    19.58 AJ 8749 Due to weather conditions dived to proceed submerged.  Barometer falls to 968 mb.  
    21.00 AJ 8749 In accordance with Radio Message 1628/20/875 stopped in reached line.  
                                                               
    21.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 8748    
      SSE 9, Sea 7, overcast, Vis. 1/2-1 nm, snow and hail showers, high Swell    
    02.03 AJ 8773 Surfaced for Program time.  
    03.09 AJ 8781 Dived.  
    04.00 AJ 8773    
    08.00 AJ 8773    
    10.37 AJ 8773 Surfaced.  Always the same weather.  
    12.00 AJ 8772 Day's run:  = 46.8 nm, = 34.33 nm.  
      φ = 51°17.5'N    
      λ = 48°42.5'W    
    14.31 AJ 8781 Dived.  
    16.00 AJ 8781 Surfaced.  The rubber boat is smashed together with its holder, the overdeck is a shambles.  
    17.57 AJ 8772 Dived.  
    20.18 AJ 8748 Surfaced.  The barometer holds at its low.  Visibility is changing greatly, mostly bad.  
    22.07 AJ 8781 Dived.  
                                                               
    22.01.43 East of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 8773    
      SW 6, Sea 5, overcast, Vis. 1/2-2 nm, hail and snow showers, high Swell    
    04.00 AJ 8773    
    06.20 AJ 8773 Surfaced for Program time.  It has abated, dry bridge.  However still snow showers and fog.  
    09.06 AJ 8773 Dived.  
    10.55 AJ 8773 Surfaced.  After star navigation fix on the moon horizon difference between dead reckoning and actual position in 192°T, 47 nm.  Last navigation fix on 17 January, sextant only conditionally usable.  
    12.00 BC 1342 Day's run:  = 62.16 nm, = 35.45 nm.  
      φ = 50°41.5'N It has abated enough that we can go on the over deck.  Tightened canisters and torpedo gear  
      λ = 48°46'W  
           
Sun and Moon Data 20.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 21.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 22.01.43
 
- 20 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    22.01.43      
        secured, blowing piping 7 starboard brought in order.  
    14.26 BC 1315 New course 75° on the convoy reported by Hellriegel.  
    16.00 BC 1321    
    17.00 BC 1323 From Radio Message 1605/22/900 it is clear that Group Jaguar should remain.  New course 325° to position.  A Radio Message of a boat with a convoy report was not heard by Control and was interrupted.  Somewhat later Holtorf reported an independent with SW course nearby.  Therefore initially did not operate on it, awaited orders.  
    20.00 AJ 8785    
    21.00 AJ 8781 Operated on corrupted convoy report.  Apparently Control still didn't have it.  The boat (Zitzewitz) reported a second time, that he had lost contact.  Group Haudegen should have a radio repeater!  We ourselves were also not heard.  
                                                               
    23.01.43 Northeast of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 8711    
      NNW 3, Sea 1, 5/10, Vis. 4 nm, low Swell Poel reports contact at 02.15 hours, was not heard by Control.  
    04.00 AJ 7625    
    08.08 AJ 7317 Because by plotting we must be in the immediate vicinity, dived to listen.  Weather has strongly freshened, NNW 10.  Fu.M.B. cable is repaired.  It is now so short that the gear must be moved to the control room.  About 09.30 hours one time 1 and 2 times 3 depth charges to port far off.  
    10.44 AJ 7314 Surfaced.  Due to weather conditions ran along for a while on course 0°, KF diesel-electric (plotted 3.5 knots).  We are positioned to the east and at some point the convoy must go to the east.  
    12.00 AJ 7311 Day's run:  = 212.17 nm, = 3.5 nm.  
      φ = 53°39'N    
      λ = 50°26'W    
    14.24 AJ 4977 Dived to listen.  The listening has its drawbacks, due to possibly missed Radio Messages.  Because Control has not heard us, they are also not repeated.  
    15.00 AJ 4974 Surfaced.  
    16.00 AJ 4974    
    18.02 AJ 4971 Crash dive for training.  The boat is stuck on the surface like postage stamp and must be kept just at periscope depth with 5 tons negative buoyancy.  
        The Fu.M.B. is broken in a sea, now our self-made iron rod extends almost to the cross.  
    18.42 AJ 4947 Surfaced.  
    20.00 AJ 4947    
    22.00 AJ 4944 Dived to listen.  Proceeded submerged due to weather conditions.  New course 90°.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 22.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 23.01.43
 
- 21 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    23.01.43   From the Poel situation report the northeast tendency of the convoy is evident.  Because our fuel is just enough for return transit, I decide to operate on the most easterly possible course of the enemy, following the great circle.  
                                                               
    24.01.43 Northeast of Newfoundland    
    00.00 AJ 4945 New course 70°.  Thereafter we are for enemy course 60° and speed excess of 4 knots at intercept point in about 20 hours.  
      NW 6, Sea 5, 5/10, Vis. 3 nm, medium Swell  
    04.00 AJ 5714    
    05.44   Radio Message to B.d.U.:  Position AJ 4945.  Operating on general course 60°.  41 cbm plus 2 cbm lubricating oil.  Request orders!  Only now sent because of clogged frequency. However, Control does not listen to us and to the very quickly interjecting radio repeater.  
    08.00 AJ 5496    
    10.29 AJ 5558 Radio Message sent on Ireland Circuit and understood.  
    12.00 AJ 5565 Day's run:  = 180.78 nm, = 9.27 nm.  
      φ = 55°04'N    
      λ = 46°18'W    
    12.99 AJ 5566 In accordance with Radio Message 1112/24/846 began return transit.  
    13.06 - 13.35 AJ 5644 Dived to listen.  Nothing.  
    15.39   Radio Message to B.d.U.:  1.  14.00 hours naval square 5644 no sound bearings.  Return transit 33 cbm.  2.  NW 4, 986 mb rising, 1/10 Cumulus and Alto-cumulus, +3°C, low short Swell, Vis. 12 nm.  
    16.00 AJ 5912    
    20.00 AJ 5926    
                                                               
    25.01.43 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AJ 6714    
      NWbyN 4, Sea 3, 3/10, Vis. 3 nm, medium Swell    
    02.40   In accordance with Radio Message 1912/24/855 sent Short Signal weather report.  
    04.00 AJ 6728    
    07.00   Radio Message 0130/25 and 0312/25 from Jessen repeated for Control.  
    08.00 AJ 6738    
    12.00 AJ 6865 Day's run:  = 132.8 nm, = 1.8 nm.  
      φ = 54°10'N    
      λ = 41°48'W    
    16.00 AJ 6945    
    17.00   In accordance with Radio Message 1259/25/871 balloon ascent completed.  
    19.31   Sent radiosonde report.  
    20.00 AJ 6958    
                                                               
    26.01.43 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AJ 6968    
      NNE 3, Sea 2, 8/10, Vis. 2 nm, low Swell    
           
Sun and Moon Data 23.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 24.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 25.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 26.01.43
 
- 22 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    26.01.43      
    02.29   In accordance with Radio Message 2153/25/881 sent Short Signal weather report.  
    04.00 AK 4772    
    08.00 AK 4782 In accordance with Radio Message 2153/25/881 Switched to Ireland Circuit.  
    12.00 AK 4794 Day's run:  = 104 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 53°52'N    
      λ = 38°54'W    
    16.00 AK 4796    
    17.05   In accordance with 1137/26/135 sent Short Signal weather report.  
    20.00 AK 4887    
    20.18   A Short Signal from Hesemann not heard by Control:  Destroyer AJ 3438, course 110°.  Repeated, also not understood.  
                                                               
    27.01.42 North Atlantic    
    00.00 AK 7232 In accordance with Radio Message 1929/26/139 attempted to balloon ascent twice unsuccessfully.  
      NW 6, Sea 4-5, 7/10, Vis. 2 nm  
    04.00 AK 7312    
    08.00 AK 7326 Again attempted two balloon launches.  
    12.00 AK 8117 Day's run:  = 124 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 53°29'N    
      λ = 35°29'W    
    15.12   In accordance with Radio Message 1158/27/143 sent Short Signal weather report.  
    16.00 AK 8423 Balloon ascent succeeded.  
    20.00 AK 8514    
    21.33   Sent radiosonde report.  
                                                               
    28.01.43 North Atlantic  
    00.00 AK 8528    
      SW 4, Sea 3, 5/10, Vis. 2 nm, flat Swell    
    04.00 AK 8563    
    08.00 AK 8651    
    12.00 AK 9471 Day's run:  = 142 nm, = 0 nm.  
      φ = 52°12'N    
      λ = 30°56'W    
    16.00 AK 9482    
    16.19   In accordance with Radio Message 1225/28/156 sent Short Signal weather report.  
    16.21 AK 9482 Dived to proceed submerged due to weather situation.  
    20.00 AK 9489    
                                                               
    29.01.43 North Atlantic  
    00.00 AK 9498 Proceeding submerged.  
    03.58 AK 9811 Surfaced, the same weather.  Just go straight with both diesels LF.  Remained on the surface to charge.  
    08.00 AK 9824    
    09.38 AK 9828 Dived to proceed submerged.  
    12.00 AK 9829 Day's run:  = 65.45 nm, = 40.5 nm.  
      φ = 51°38'N    
      λ = 28°36'W    
    13.57 AK 9837 Surfaced, it picks up again.  
    16.00 AK 9862    
    16.43   The delightful weather has gone, the control room and diesel bilge continually run full. Dived.  
           
Sun and Moon Data 26.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 27.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 28.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 29.01.43
 
- 23 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    29.01.43      
    20.00 AK 9941    
    22.40 AK 9946 Surfaced to charge.  In so doing held the boat abeam to the sea with one E-motor, with the other diesel only charged.  No possibility for the radiosonde report requested in Radio Message 1117/29/175.  
                                                               
    30.01.42 North Atlantic  
    00.00 AK 9946    
      WbyS 8, Sea 6, 5/10, high Swell, Vis. 1 nm, hail showers    
    04.00 AK 9946    
    06.02 AK 9957 Dived to proceed submerged.  Wind reaches hurricane strength.  
    08.00 AK 9958    
    12.00 AK 9959 Day's run:  = 22 nm, = 37.75 nm.  
      φ = 51°20'N    
      λ = 27°09'W    
    16.00 AK 9967    
    18.02 AK 9992 Surfaced. It is moderating again.  
    20.00 AK 9993    
    22.00 AL 7775 With a sea running from behind the entire bridge watch hangs only by the belts, the diesel takes water.  The Obersteuermann slams on his left shoulder and must be caught.  Turned off somewhat, otherwise the watch is over strained.  
                                                               
    31.01.43 North Atlantic  
    00.00 AL 7779 Course 130°, LF diesel-electric.  
      WbyS 7-9, Sea 7, 8/10, Vis. 2 nm, high short Swell    
    04.00 BD 3326    
    08.00 BD 3365 In accordance with Radio Message 0036/31/104 switched to Coastal Circuit.  
    12.00 BE 1172 Day's run:  = 100 nm, = 13.8 nm.  
      φ = 50°22'N    
      λ = 24°45'W    
    16.00 BE 1189 Finally we can steer on the Great Circle again.  
    20.00 BE 1543 Fu.M.B. checked by control transmission.  
                                                               
    01.02.43 North Atlantic  
    00.00 BE 1553    
      WNW 6, Sea 5, 6/10, Vis. 2 nm, high long Swell    
    00.15 BE 1561 Crash dive for detection 142 cm; dull, raucous tone.  
    01.17 BE 1561 Surfaced.  
    04.00 BE 1644    
    04.18   Crash dive for detection 142 cm, same tone.  Is this caused by our own control radiation?  
    06.24 BE 1645 Surfaced.  
    08.00 BE 1646    
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 29.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 30.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 31.01.43
Sun and Moon Data 01.02.43
 
- 24 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    01.02.43      
    10.23   In accordance with Radio Message 0818/1/14 reported position by Short Signal, fuel appended.  
    12.00 BE 1692 Day's run:  = 124.35 nm, = 9.25 nm.  
      φ = 49°28'N By Radio Message 1450/1/20 return harbor is Lorient.  
      λ = 20°44'W    
    16.00 BE 2473    
    19.30 BE 2494 Mastheads in sight directly ahead.  It is a modern freighter of about 6000 GRT with southerly course.  We get a bearing and then the steamer is lost from sight in a hail squall.  Closed and maneuvered ahead a bit.  In the twilight the mastheads are not seen again.  In the high Swell shadows can be seen everywhere.  
    20.34 - 20.45 BE 2497 Dived to listen.  Quite weak sound bearing in 120-150°T.  
        Steered 30 minutes with both diesels GF, course 150°, nothing seen.  
    21.25 BE 2732 Broke off due to lack of fuel.  Due to erroneous data did not report.  
    22.30 BE 2733 A medium size running up sea smashes the Fu.M.B. cable, which has become very weak due to the many patches. Beautiful prospects with this aft sea.  
                                                               
    02.02.43 Southwest of Ireland    
    00.00 BE 2814 Instead of the requested by Radio Message 1924/1/24 Requested radiosonde report sent by Short Signal weather report in order to express the infeasibility of balloon ascent.  
      WbyS 8, Sea 5, 8/10, medium-high Swell, Vis. 1 nm, showers  
    02.57   Dived for repair of the Fu.M.B. cable.  
    04.19 BE 2825 Surfaced.  
    08.00 BE 2838    
    09.53 BE 2917 New course 140°.  The sea continuously runs up from astern over the heads, using the Fu.M.B. is unthinkable.  
    11.29 BE 2942 When it starts on this course, turned off strongly, dived to proceed submerged.  
    12.00 BE 2942 Day's run:  = 147.7 nm, = 5.95 nm.  
      φ = 48°49'N    
      λ = 17°12'W    
    16.00 BE 2951    
    19.16 BE 2955 Surfaced.  It had greatly abated, the most beautiful weather.  
    20.00 BE 2955    
    22.00   Balloon ascent completed.  
                                                               
    03.02.43 Southwest of Ireland    
    00.00 BE 2969 00.50 hours sent radiosonde report.  
      W 4, Sea 3, 5/10, Vis. 2 nm, long Swell    
    01.45 BE 3772 Crash dive for detection 260 cm. Dull, raucous tone.  
    03.15 BE 3772 Surfaced.  
           
Sun and Moon Data 01.02.43
Sun and Moon Data 02.02.43
Sun and Moon Data 03.02.43
 
- 25 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    03.02.43      
    04.05 BE 3773 Crash dive for detection 142 cm.  
    05.00 BE 3773 Surfaced.  
    08.00 BE 3786    
    09.16 BE 3794 Dived to proceed submerged.  
    12.00 BE 3798 Day's run:  = 73 nm, = 29.45 nm.  
      φ = 48°23'N    
      λ = 14°42'W    
    13.04 - 13.11   Surfaced to shoot the sun.  
    15.43 - 15.52 BE 6136 Surfaced to shoot the sun.  
    16.00 BE 6214    
    19.08 BE 6215 Surfaced.  
    20.00 BE 6215                                                        
         
    04.02.43 West of the Bay of Biscay    
    00.00 BE 6262    
      NNW 3, Sea 2, 2/10, Vis. 2 nm, flat Swell    
    04.00 BE 6359    
    08.00 BF 4176    
    08.49 BF 4416 Short Signal sent:  Position 48 hours off meeting point with escort.  
    08.50 BF 4416 Crash dive for inbound aircraft bearing 135°, large land-based aircraft, possibly own Condor.  
    12.00 BF 4424 Day's run:  = 142.1 nm, =21.65 nm.  
      φ = 47°12'N    
      λ = 10°51'W    
    16.00 BF 4429    
    18.59 BF 4434 Surfaced.  
    20.00 BF 4435    
                                                               
    05.02.43 West of the Bay of Biscay  
    00.00 BF 4528    
    04.00 BF 4618    
    08.00 BF 5441    
    08.34 BF 5445 Aircraft bearing 180°, range 3000 meters, course south.  Had overflown us in the clouds, was not seen.  
        Turned out to be a Ju 52.  
    09.00 BF 5446 Dived to proceed submerged.  
    12.00 BF 5454 Day's run:  = 151.6 nm, =24.03 nm.  
      φ = 46°57'N    
      λ = 6°28'W    
    16.00 BF 5455    
    18.53 BF 5456 Surfaced.  
    20.00 BF 5467 From this point on multiple lighted fishermen.  
    21.28 BF 5571 New course 55°.  
    22.06 BF 5571 Passed Point Kern.  
    23.41 BF 5545 Crash dive for detection 142 cm.  
                                                               
    06.02.43 Bay of Biscay  
    00.00 BF 5545    
      SSW 4, Sea 2, overcast, Vis. 1 nm, marine phosphorescence    
    00.09 BF 5545 Surfaced.  
    00.15 BF 5543 While blowing crash dive for detection 142 cm.  The radioman determined that reception took place at depth 80 meters.  Examined and determined that own shallow depth sounder was the cause.  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 03.02.43
Sun and Moon Data 04.02.43
Sun and Moon Data 05.02.43
Sun and Moon Data 06.02.43
 
- 26 -
 
           
           
           
    continued      
    06.02.43      
    01.29 BF 5543 Surfaced.  Because out soundings indicate an offset to the northwest and this brings us into the warning area off Penmarch, requested bearing signals from Transmitter 1 by Short Signal.   
    02.17 BF 5555 The first bearings.  We are not to the northwest but to the southeast.  
    03.19 BF 5552 Bearing inexact from 55-60°T.  New course 55°.  
    04.00 BF 5529 Good bearing exactly 55°T.  
    08.00 BF 6478    
    08.50 BF 6177 Taken in convoy.  
    11.15   Made fast Lorient.  
        Day's run:  = 98.1 nm, =21.15 nm.  
        Total distance covered     :  7866.32 nm  
                                               :     635.49 nm  
                                                      8501.81 nm.  
           
                                G  e  n  e  r  a  l    R  e  m  a  r  k  s  .  
           
   
Fu.M.B. Wooden cross: The shaft is too lightly constructed, little by little up to 80 cm had to be replaced by metal parts from below (70 cm from the quartz)..
  Cable: Very delicate, had to be patched constantly. If breaking point unknown, tedious searching required with many penetrations through the rubber sheath, thereby reducing the overall strength. In addition, the cable got shorter, so that the unit had to be moved into the control room. The inner shield of the cable could not be maintained after many repairs, receiving was good anyway.
  Suggestion: Stronger wooden cross, as already seen with other boats. Provide spare cable and patch material. If possible, a plug on the cable at the cross to attach to the cable so that it can just be replaced if broken. Broken cables can then be repaired in calm without the device being out of service. The best would be flexible cable instead of solid wire.
     
Anti-aircraft weapons  
  M.G. C/30: Continuous ammunition difficulties even with good ammunition. Mostly case burners, sometimes failures, which can also be caused by low tension level of the breech recoil spring.
  M.G. 15: In general good.
    The mount is too weak in the forked column. The light metal is corroded by seawater and the M.G. slips out. Spring tension in the drums slowly fell off, as a result, from the outset or after 30-40 shots, bad cartridge feed and firing failure.
 
           
           
                                              
                                   Oberleutnant zur See and Kommandant.  
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 06.02.43

 

  Appendices to U-123's KTB - click on the text at left to proceed to the documents
   
Chart Track chart for the entire patrol
   
Sketch Sketch of convoy operation

 

 
 
     
                           Comments of the Befehlshabers der Unterseeboote  
 

                          on the Kriegstagebuch of "U 123" from 5.6.42 - 6.2.43.

 
     
 
        First patrol of the Kommandant.
        The operation on the Spitz convoy was neither skillful or lucky. Contact was first gained by the boat in the afternoon of  28 December.  The attack opportunities were only hesitantly perceived and fired at great range on the disabled vessels. The observations at 29 December at 05.00 hours and the pursuit was not energetic enough (see 30 December at 00.00 hours). The operation of the boat was affected by navigation difficulties.
        To operate by sound observation:  U-boat sounds can be distinguished well during reasonably close observation from the sounds of a destroyer or steamer.
        If there is prospect of success in contact with the enemy, one should not be stopped because of fuel concerns. The B.d.U. will not let you down, if you use the last drops of oil in the attack.
 
     
     
   

For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote

 
        Chief of the Operations Department.  
                           
                                                                      
     
 


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