This record was kindly provided by the generous assistance of Tony Cooper

                SUNK AT ABOUT 1330 ON 17th DECEMBER, 1941, IN
                APPROXIMATELY 34° 30' N.  AND 13° 45' W.
          This report includes information obtained from the survivors of "U 574" and "U 434," who were interrogated at the same time as "U 131," these three boats having all been concerned in the attack on a homeward bound convoy from 17th to 19th December, 1941.  
          It should be noted that interrogation of the survivors from "U 434" and "U 131" was rendered considerably more difficult by the fact that nineteen days elapsed between the capture of the crews and their arrival in the United Kingdom on 5th January, 1942.  During this period they were interrogated in Gibraltar and the passage home would appear to have given them ample opportunity to recover their equanimity and to become less valuable subjects for interrogation.  The crew of "U 574" was not quite so unsatisfactory in this respect, since the period between their capture on 19th December and their arrival in the United Kingdom on 27th December was only eight days.  
          It is generally admitted by the interrogation staff of all three services that German naval prisoners are much more difficult to deal with than those from other branches of the armed forces.  The German naval authorities are fully aware of the intensive examination which U-Boat prisoners undergo; they also have access to the British press accounts of the sinking of U-Boats, which they conclude must be based on statements made by survivors.  Similar statements are contained in radio announcements which are doubtless also received.  All this adds to the difficulties of interrogating officers, who are now faced with the most obdurate type of security-conscious prisoner.  
II.  CREW OF "U 131 "
          The complement of "U 131" at the time of her sinking totalled 48, which included five officers, three chief petty officers, 12 petty officers and 28 men.  All were saved.  
          The Commanding Officer was Korvettenkapitän (Commander) Arend Baumann, born on 20th March, 1903.  He belonged to the 1922 term.  There were 26 entries in this term of whom he is the only one to join the U-Boat service.  He served for some time before the war in a Fishery Protection vessel.  In 1936, whilst serving in this ship, he was invited to be present at a football match in England, where he was presented to Lady Oxford and Asquith and Princess Bibesco, an event which appears to have made a great impression on him.  Inter alia, he mentioned Inverness, Edinberg, Glascow and Grimsby as being well known to him.  His youngest child, now aged one, was born during an air raid on Kiel.  Since no taxis were available, the mother was rushed to hospital by the fire brigade.  Before the outbreak of war Baumann was navigating officer of the cruiser "Köln."  He transferred later to the U-Boat service.    
          Before sailing on a cruise Baumann used to make each member of his crew swear to him personally that, if captured by the enemy, they would on no account reveal anything whatsoever.  He used even to tell them that they must remember that, should their captors use any threats during interrogation if they refused to talk, they could rest assured that no punishment would be meted out to them.  The English, he would add, had too much respect for International Law to do such a thing.  Though he himself gave a strong impression of friendliness towards Britain, he seems to have been one of the most security-minded commanders yet captured.  
          Baumann had pleasant manners and was affable when not speaking on naval or military subjects.  He had no war experience in surface ships.  
  (C44067)                                                                                                                            M*  


          Oberleutnant zur See (Lieutenant) Rembert van Delden, aged 25, belonged to the 1936 term.  On outbreak of war he was in the Naval Air Service; but like so many others, was transferred later to the U-Boat branch.  He is a native of Rheine, Westphalia.  Of an unusually secretive nature, his commanding officer's lectures on security had evidently fallen on fertile ground, for he was consistently found to be barren of any useful information.
          Leutnant zur See (Sub-Lieutenant) Karl Seiferth, aged 31, was born in Hanover and is married.  From 1936 to 1938 he served in the Merchant Service in the liner "Bremen," belonging to the North German Lloyd.  He was transferred to the Navy in the middle of 1940.  
          The Engineer Officer of "U 131" was Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) (Engineer Lieutenant-Commander) Eckehardt Schaaf, of the 1933 term.  He is married and has a wife living in Kiel.  In 1937 he served in the cruiser "Emden," in which ship he visited Falmouth, the only occasion on which he had been in England before his capture.  On the outbreak of war he was at the Naval School at Wesermünde and later served in various surface ships, but he said that he was glad to join the U-Boat service, as he realised he would be his own master there.  He did not give the impression of disliking the English and was extremely "correct" in his behavior.  He was lacking in charm.  He said that he hoped to visit England after the war to continue his engineering studies.  
          Fähnrich zur See (Midshipman) Wendt is arrogant, stupid and obstinate, a typical product of the Hitler Youth Movement.  So impervious was he to external influences that he refused even to give his name.  Aged about 20, this young officer may be regarded as a sample of the new type of German naval Officer.  
          Apart from this young midshipman the deportment of the crew of "U 131" was, on the whole, correct.  Nevertheless, the effect of the strict drilling in security matters by their commanding officer was most marked.  Only one Petty Officer was definitely anti-Nazi in his outlook, the remainder being in favor of the existing regimé in a greater or less degree.  
          An interesting feature of this crew's reactions was that many of them seemed now to have swung around to the opinion that the present war would, after all, last for quite a time.  Previous captured crews have mostly been noted for the conviction that the war must soon result in an Axis victory.  
          Many of the ratings had had very little or no previous U-Boat experience and were very young.  Some of them confessed that they had undergone no training in school boats.  One of the telegraphists stated that, had he returned from this cruise he would have been given charge of the wireless apparatus in another U-Boat.  Three of the senior ratings could be considered to have the requisite experience usually necessary for the U-Boat service.  
          It would seem from conversation with ratings that Grand Admiral Raeder was not altogether popular with lower ranks in the German Navy and that such unpopularity might to some extent be ascribed to his alleged attachment to the "ancien régime."  Several ratings spoke of him as too much inclined to admire the ex-Kaiser's naval methods and atmosphere.  At the Grand Admiral's expense a joke was told which relied for its effect on the play with the word "Raeder," which in German also means "wheels."  If the German Navy has to rely on "Raeder" (wheels), it was said, it cannot expect to go very far.  Too much importance should not, however, be placed on this type of political "plaisanterie," since it has long been a tradition in Germany to retail jokes about leading personalities, and there is evidence to show that the Nazi régime has not discouraged it.  
          An instructive sidelight was thrown on the immense importance which the German authorities generally are now placing on security.  It became known from other types of prisoner of war that, whilst stationed in Bergen, talking shop or otherwise indulging in military conversations when off duty invariably led to the offender being made to stand a round of drinks.  It is not thought that any such importance was placed on security matters at any time during the last war.  
          "U 131" was a 740-ton U-Boat, Type IX, built by the Deschimag Yard, Bremen.  Prisoners would not say when this U-Boat was laid down nor when she was launched, but a number of those interrogated stated that they were  


  drafted to Bremen to stand by "U 131" during the final stages of her construction in June and July, 1941.  It would appear from information obtained regarding "U 131's" trials that she was commissioned towards the end of July, 1941.  At the beginning of August, 1941, "U 131" apparently proceeded to Kiel, which port she used as base while carrying out trials in the Baltic.  Prisoners stated that they visited Danzig, where torpedo exercises were carried out, and Gotenhafen, where they had gunnery practice, and tactical instruction.  According to one prisoner "U 131" was in company with "U 574" while off Gotenhafen.  One prisoner alleged that Baumann also put into Stolpmünde for one day to see his brother.
          "U 131's" period of trials proved unusually eventful.  A prisoner related that on one occasion, while carrying out tactical exercises, they were fired at by a Russian submarine; later, "U 131" was nearly hit by a torpedo fired by another German U-Boat, the torpedo passing beneath them.  Her final adventure was to become entangled in some anti-torpedo nets.  She took one and a half days to extricate herself and in doing so damaged her hydrophone gear.  
          Prisoners alleged that towards the middle of October, 1941, "U 131," her trials having been completed, put into Stettin, where the customary overhaul was undertaken.  
          "U 131" left Stettin on 26th October, 1941, and proceeded to Kiel, where she embarked torpedoes and provisions and completed with oil, although it was not until 17th November, 1941, that she sailed on her first war cruise.  Prisoners stated that while in Kiel they experienced a heavy air raid, much damage being done to surrounding docks.  
          On the last night before departure from Kiel there was the customary carousal, which appears in the case of "U 131" to have been particularly frolicsome.  An officer prisoner stated that he was dancing until half past one in the morning, when the company adjourned to a cellar.  Drinking and dancing continued "according to the temperament of the girls present."  Deck chairs were brought in which those who were completely overcome could recover.  Baumann danced and postured in a woman's gown, presumably taken from one of the guests.  The officer added that such things were possible as it was a private, and not public, entertainment.  
          According to prisoners "U 131" sailed from Kiel on 17th November, 1941.  On the first day out she was heading north and came into collision with a Norwegian freighter.  Although she escaped serious damage, her stern was slightly stove in and it was thought advisable to put back to Kiel, where she arrived on the following day.  Repairs took approximately one week and "U 131" again left Kiel on 25th or 26th November, 1941.  Prisoners stated that they believed at this time that they were under orders to proceed to a patrol area in the Atlantic and that their final port of destination was to be Lorient.  They followed the Norwegian coast up to the latitude of Bergen, where they turned west.  "U 131's" sole success against shipping occurred after she had reached the Atlantic, when she sank an unescorted 6,000-ton freighter.  According to one prisoner this sinking took place on the evening of 6th December, 1941.  The prisoner alleged that he remembered the date owing to a coincidence of sixes, the six thousand-ton ship being sunk on the 6th by six torpedoes.  The prisoner added that their victim was alone.  She came zigzagging towards them and as it was already dark they decided to attack on the surface.  Their attack was successful, the steamer finally sinking at 2100 hours (N.I.D. Note.  This ship was possibly "Scottish Trader," 4,616 tons, which failed to arrive in Convoy S.C.56, due in Mersey 8th December, 1941.)  
          On the following day "U 131" sighted a lifeboat containing about 15 Portuguese survivors.  Acting on instructions from Baumann the shipwrecked sailors were given condensed milk, water, tinned meat and cigarettes.  
          Another prisoner stated that on one occasion they sighted a fully illuminated ship at night time.  They had received instructions not to attempt an attack on such a ship; but it was not until the ship switched on three searchlights, giving rise to suspicions that she might be a U-Boat trap, that Baumann decided  
  (C44067)                                                                                                                            D*2  


  to abandon the chase.  "U 131" was also stated to have maneuvered to attack a 12,000-ton ship which avoided them by zigzagging.  "U 131" took up the pursuit but, at the critical moment, the port Diesel engine failed.  Before repairs could be effected the merchant vessel had long passed out of sight and further action by the U-Boat was considered useless.
          Prisoners stated that while in the Atlantic they were repeatedly forced to dive to avoid attracting the attention of aircraft patrols.  
          On or about 12th December, 1941, "U 131 apparently received orders to proceed south to the Gibraltar area, one prisoner even making the statement which could not be confirmed, that "U 131" was instructed to proceed to the Mediterranean.  Whatever her exact instructions may have been, the prospect of missing Christmas in harbour caused a general depression aboard the U-Boat.  According to one prisoner, "U 131" reached a position about two days from Gibraltar when she came upon Convoy H.G.76.  Prisoners from "U 574" and "U 434," both of which were sunk in the attack on this convoy, stated that they were directed to the Convoy by "U 131," which was the first U-Boat in contact.  These statements have not been confirmed by prisoners from "U 131," but, if they are correct, it would appear that "U 131" first sighted the convoy on 16th December, 1941.  
          On the night of 16th/17th December, 1941, when following the convoy, "U 131" rose to periscope depth and found herself right in the middle of the British ships.  This miscalculation may be attributed to inefficient working of the hydrophones, which appear to have been only indifferently repaired after "U 131's" collision with the anti-torpedo nets in the Baltic.  Recovering from his surprise, Baumann decided that his position was too dangerous for comfort and accordingly he allowed the convoy to pass over his head before following at a more discreet distance.  
V.  SINKING OF "U 131"
          H.M.S. "Stork," Senior Officer's ship of the escort of Convoy H.G.76, reported that at 0625 on 17th December, 1941, aircraft sighted a U-Boat on the starboard quarter; this was quickly corrected to 190° convoy 22 miles (on the port beam).  "Stork" proceeded towards the position at full speed and ordered the three fastest escorts and the nearest, to do likewise; there ships were "Blankney," "Exmoor," "Stanley" and "Pentstemon."  
          "Blankney" arrived first, followed by "Stork" at the position indicated by the circling aircraft.  "Blankney" passed to "Stork" in quick succession; "Several non-sub echoes here,"  "Rattle effect" (twice), "Oil" and "No contact"; she then dropped a pattern of depth charges.  "Stork" was unable to confirm any of these reports except the first mentioned.  "Exmoor," "Blankney" and "Stork" were then formed in line abreast 1-2 miles apart and commenced a sweep on a course of 270° "Stork's" appreciation being that as the U-Boat had been shadowing the convoy on a westerly course, she would probably continue west, even though forced to dive.  
          Meanwhile "Pentstemon," coming up astern with "Stanley," obtained a contact, which was classified as "submarine."  Echoes were indifferent but the contact was attacked at 1106-1/2 with a pattern of ten depth charges, in which six "Lights" were set to 150 feet and four "Heavies" to 385 feet.  Contact was not regained after the attack.  
          At 1133 "Stanley" and "Pentstemon" were ordered to rejoin "Stork" if not in contact - which they did.  
          Having swept 12 miles to the westward, "Stork" carried out two turns to port, thereby altering the direction of sweep to 090° and transferring it to cover fresh ground to the southward.  The order of ships was then (from north to south) "Pentstemon," "Stanley," "Blankney," "Stork," "Exmoor" in line abreast 1-2 miles apart, course 090°.  


          According to prisoners' accounts of operations up to this time "U 131" had been proceeding submerged since the break of day, but had surfaced for a quick look around at the very moment when a British aircraft was within visual range.  This was at 0925.  Baumann deduced correctly that the aircraft would draw British warships to his position, if he had been sighted, and he dived to 250 ft., after, it was stated, he had sighted approaching warships.
          At 1108, as one prisoner stated, a number of depth charges exploded around the U-Boat.  Three were particularly close and damage within the U-Boat was severe.  A considerable quantity of water entered aft and, according to one prisoner, the U-Boat lay at an angle of nearly 40° and began to sink.  A number of gauges in the control room were smashed and the electric motors damaged, although they did not become entirely useless.  Oil from a leaking tank began to pour into the Diesel room.  The hydrophones, which had been working at irregular intervals only, now went completely dead.  The lights were not extinguished.  
          Prisoners alleged that "U 131" had sunk to a depth of over 600 ft. before she could be got under control.  This statement must be taken with reserve; survivors are always inclined to exaggerate the depth to which they sink during attack.  Steel plates were cracking, as if they would give way at any moment.  Paint was peeling in blisters from the inside of the hull; locker doors were warped and jammed shut by the tremendous pressure.  When all seemed lost Baumann managed to get some trim on the U-Boat and he ordered the tanks to be blown.  "U 131" reached surface with only eight kilograms (17.5 lb.) of air pressure left.  
          Prisoners were of the opinion that, had they been able to remain a further half an hour submerged, they would certainly have escaped.  As it was, they broke surface when "Stanley" was still near enough to sight them and she immediately reported to "Stork"; "Submarine on the surface bearing 060°."  "Stork" altered course by Blue Pendant to 060° and ordered ships to proceed at utmost speed.  In the ensuing rush the two Hunt class destroyers drew ahead, followed by "Stanley," then "Stork," with "Pentstemon" only just astern.  
          At 1307 "Audacity's" relief fighter, to whom the U-Boat's position had been given, dived to attack the U-Boat.  
          "U 131," unable to submerge again, had been straining her engines beyond all safety limits to produce her maximum possible surface speed, which prisoners alleged was over 20 knots.  She was steering away from the distant destroyers and had hoped to escape out of sight without being seen.  She saw the aircraft coming and manned her 2 cm. and 3.7 cm. guns.  According to prisoners, they got the range of the aircraft and bullets from the 2 cm. gun struck the cockpit, probably killing the pilot.  At the same moment a 3.7 cm. shell scored a direct hit and tore off one wing.  The aircraft plunged into the sea.  
          The renewed lease of life which "U 131" had brought for herself by this success was short.  Her best speed, even if she could maintain it, was not enough to out distance the destroyers and, at seven miles range, "Exmoor," "Blankney" and "Stanley" opened fire, the former making particularly excellent shooting.  "Stork" opened fire about five minutes later.  
          Baumann now recognized that his position was hopeless.  His one effective gun at such range was trained forward and could not be brought to bear without a disastrous alteration of course.  Accordingly, he ordered a signal to be sent to Vice-Admiral U-Boats, reporting the circumstances.  
          By this time shells were straddling "U 131" and Baumann therefore ordered the vents to be opened and the crew to abandon ship.  When interrogated, Baumann stated that his ship was not actually struck by shells and that she was sunk by scuttling and not by explosive charges.  All prisoners stated that although the shooting was very good, "U 131" was not hit.  
          "Stork" reported that "U 131" fired a few rounds at "Blankney" (a fact not confirmed by prisoners), but sank at 1330 on 17th December, 1941, in position 34° 30' N. and 13° 45' W.  "U 131's" entire crew was picked up.  
          The body of the British pilot was recovered by "Stork" and buried at sea the following day.  
  (C44067)                                                                                                                             D*3  


  (i)  Engines  
          "U 131" was equipped with two nine-cylinder four-cycle M.A.N. Diesels, the horse-power of each motor being said to be 1,800.  At economical speed prisoners estimated that the Diesels made between 250 and 300 revolutions per minute.  One engine-room petty officer said that the motors vibrated uncomfortably at 450 revolutions.  This opinion has been shared in the past by prisoners from other U-Boats of the same class.  
          The following maximum speeds were given and conform with statements made by prisoners from "U 574," which had similar engines:  
Full speed ahead (G.F)   20 knots;
Utmost speed (A.K.)   21.5 knots;
Emergency speed (3 A.K.)   22 or more knots.
  In cases of the direst emergency, one of the engine-room petty officers could be authorised by the Commanding Officer to remove a special seal on the instrument controlling the speed of the Diesels.  By so doing, another half to one knot could be squeezed out of the engines.  
          The electric motors were made by Siemens, and had an estimated horsepower of 800.  
  (ii)  Armament  
          "U 131" had four forward and two stern torpedo tubes.  These were all loaded and she also carried eight spare torpedoes below decks.  Although it was known that she was provided, when originally built, with ten upper-deck containers, it would not be safe to assume that she still carried all these at the time of her destruction.  It is a well-known practice to remove U-Boats' torpedo containers during trials, or later, if the boat's manoeuverability is thereby improved, or if the possession of so many containers is found to be unpractical, wither by reason of the space thereby occupied, or because the difficulty of transferring torpedoes from containers to tube while at sea involves too great a risk of being caught on the surface while indulging in this operation.  She carried the usual armament for a U-Boat of her class, consisting of one 105 mm. (4.14 in.) gun forward, one 37 mm. (1.45 in.) aft and one 20 mm. (0.79 in.) on the bridge.  
  (iii)  Depth Gauges  
          "U 131" carried two depth gauges, one of which was the normal fitting graduated in metres up to 200, the other, mounted on the same pressure system, was smaller and showed depths rather less accurately, from 200 to 300 metres.  Although the markings on the standard gauge did not go beyond 200 metres, members of the crew invariably assumed that, when the movement of the gauge's needle was finally checked on contact with the limit pin, placed for this purpose, a depth of 250 metres had in fact been attained.  
  (iv)  Hydroplane Protection  
          All four of "U 131's" hydroplanes were protected from damage on contact with other objects by metal framework or guard placed below, before and abaft them.  The lower and after protection took the shape of a serrated wire device.  This was so arranged that its razor-sharp edge would be able satisfactorily to sever any object with which it came in contact.  In the case of the after hydrophones, the arrangement was the same, except that the cutting edge faced aft, instead of forward, so as to act similarly when the U-Boat was proceeding astern.  This device for hydrophone protection which, crew members asserted, was now being fitted to all 750-ton U-Boats, replaces the earlier device for this purpose, which used to be fitted only to the bows of U-Boats.  Apart from merely protecting the hydroplanes, the new arrangement has, it is claimed, the additional advantage of protecting the U-Boat's propellors.  (N.I.D. Note.  The information in this section would appear to supplement that already contained in Section IV, Chapter VI, of C.B. 4051 (30).)  


  (v)  Upper-Deck Torpedo Transport
          "U 131" was fitted with an ingenious apparatus for moving her upper-deck torpedoes as required.  When it became necessary to remove one of these from its container between the upper deck and the pressure hull, much of the labour of transport, normally experienced, was eliminated by means of placing it on a small truck, which ran on specially constructed rails both fore and aft on either side of the U-Boat athwartships, before and abaft the conning tower.  Including the erection of the derrick used in this evolution, the entire process of removing a torpedo from an upper-deck container into a tube was said not to take more than 30 minutes for the first torpedo and 15 minutes for each subsequent torpedo handled.  
          It was customary, when it was desired to remove a torpedo from its container to any other required location, to insert a handle to operate a worm gear through the upper deck on either side of the container.  This had the effect of gradually raising the container and its torpedo up from its original position to a level above the upper deck at which it could convienently be placed on the trolley provided.  In order to perform this operation, it was, of course, necessary to first remove the relative portion of the upper deck so as to permit egress.  The foundation of the rail track was made of a light alloy, so as to minimise the weight of the whole construction.  
          The danger that the U-Boat might be attacked or sighted while actually engaged in this operation was to a large extent mitigated by a device for locking the trolley to the T-shaped rails if it suddenly became necessary to dive.  As the torpedo and its container were themselves lashed to the trolley, it was therefore quite possible for the U-Boat to dive without fear of the torpedo being lost.  
  (i)  Cuxhaven  
          Prisoners stated that there is a naval gunnery school in Cuxhaven.  From information volunteered, it would appear that the ratings under training number approximately 800.  
          It was also stated that there are a further six divisions of 200 men each for the initial training of recruits on entering the German Navy at this base.  
          One able seaman stated that Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Rahmlow, Captain of the captured "U 570," was previously on the staff of this establishment.  
          The course at the petty officers' school has been considerably reduced and now averages from two to three months.  
  (ii)  Flensburg  
          The final torpedo course of future U-Boat commanders ("Kommandantenschüler") before taking over their first U-Boat, is taken at the torpedo school at Flensburg.  This purely technical course was stated to last for some six weeks.  
  (iii)  Gotenhafen  
          It has now been established that one of the Kommandanten Schulen (School for the training of future U-Boat Commanders) is definitely in Gotenhafen.  Korvettenkapitän (Commander) Büchel is stated to supervise the tactical exercises of new U-Boats.  
  (iv)  Kiel  
          A petty officer, with a good knowledge of Kiel, stated that up to 36 boats can be moored under the overhanging, camouflaged sides of the Tirpitz Moel, thus rendering them safe from air observation.  This petty officer said there were usually 30 boats awaiting trials by the U-Boats Acceptance Committee ("U-Boots Abnahme Kommission").  
  (v)  Pillau  
          A senior petty officer stated that a new U-Boat base was under construction at Pillau.  The eastern end of the Hinterhafen, including the Fischereihafen, has been dredged and rebuilt.  Where the central Fischereihafen formerly lay.  
  (C44067)                                                                                                                           D*4  


  a pier has been constructed, on either side of which U-Boats lie.  Two other piers have been built at each end of the newly dredged harbour, U-Boats lying along each of these jetties.  South of the Hinterhafen an area approximately 300 yards square is being turned into new barracks for U-Boat personnel.  It was stated that in autumn, 1941, this reconstruction was not yet completed.
          It was stated and confirmed that the depôt ship "Pretoria" lies in the narrow passage leading to the Hinterhafen, just off the quay on which the signal station is built.  
  (vi)  Rendsburg  
          Several ratings stated that they had received their preliminary naval instruction here.  The size of the base has not yet been established.  
  (vii)  Warenhof, near Waren, Meckienburg  
          Several signal ratings stated that they had undergone training at this establishment.  The normal course appears to last for 12 weeks.  Two ratings stated that the barracks housed 4,000 men.  
  (viii)  Bergen  
          Naval prisoners from the Vaagsö raid stated that the 51st Patrol Boat Flotilla ("Vorpostenbootsflotille") was based on Bergen.  These boats are named after the various meteorological conditions, which may be clearly seen from some of the following names:  "Blitz," "Föhn," "Wirbel," "Orkan," "Typhun," "Sturm," "Donner," etc.  The number of boats in the northern flotillas is stated to be eight.  None of these boats is equipped for minesweeping nor degaussed, as the water is considered too deep.  
          Naval ratings are usually billeted in private houses which have been taken over by the military authorities.  There is also a sailor's home ("Marineheim") for the more junior ratings.  
          A prisoner from "U 433" stated that at Bergen U-Boats were berthed fairly far up the harbour, where the slipways are situated.  A yard had been established here for U-Boat maintenance.  This prisoner stated that one or two small vessels were under construction here.  
  (ix)  Haugesund  
          A training establishment for naval recruits is said to be in existence at Haugesund.  
  (x)  Horten  
          Prisoners who were in Horten in March, 1941, stated that there is a torpedo factory there constructed of wood and stone.  The compressor pumps are built in the north-west corner of the building and the southern portion is devoted to the assembly of the machinery.  Nearby there are some sheds which occasionally house some old torpedo boats taken over from the Norwegians for the defence of the harbour.  A tanker which brings petrol from Drammen is often moored just south of the aircraft factory.  
          There are about 600 troops in the Horten area; these appear to be mostly recruits and they parade daily on the barrack square.  There are also soldiers accommodated in the S.S. "Brabant," of 3,500 tons, and "Christian Radich," which were lying alongside the Blücher Quay.  
          Two sailing ships, stated to have been previously used as training ships, are now used for housing personnel in addition to the above vessels.  
  (xi)  Apenes (Horten Area)  
        The Germans have now built an elaborate new quay, slightly to the south-east of the old one.  This quay is of concrete construction, supported on thick wooden pillars.


  (xii)  Kirkenes
          The captured officer from "U 451" stated that he had previously been on an operational U-Boat cruise in Russian waters.  In connection with this he mentioned Kirkenes, and from the ensuing remarks made by him it would appear that U-Boats have been based there.  (N.I.D. Note.  This has been confirmed from other sources.)  
          A naval prisoner stated that a ship was torpedoed and sunk outside Kirkenes on the 1st December, 1941.  She had, amongst other cargo, 20,000 bags of flour on board, and prisoner stated that he saw local fishing craft later on collecting the bags out of the water.  
  (viii)  Narvik  
          According to statements made by the naval prisoners who were brought back from the Vaagsö raid, the 59 "Vorpostenbootsflottille (Patrol Boat Flotilla) is stationed at Narvik.  From this flotilla of eight boats the following names were ascertained:  "Geier," "Rabe," "Elster" and "Habicht."  This flotilla was stated to have been based on Bergen up to May, 1941.  
          From the same source it was stated that three destroyers of the Narvik Flotilla were reported to have left on 14th October, 1941.  
          There are said to be facilities for naval ratings to receive four weeks' training in the use of 2 cm. guns at Narvik.  
          The wireless station is stated to be between the railway station and the Royal Hotel.  
          The naval officer in command at Narvik was stated to be Kapitan zur See (Captain) Oehrl.  
  (xiv)  Ramsundet  
          One of the prisoners captured on the recent raid on Norway claimed to have seen two fishing boats approximately 100 ft. long.  He stated that these boats were armed with one torpedo tube of 4 to 5 metres in length and one machine-gun.  
  (xv)  Trondheim  
          It has now been established from more reliable statements of prisoners that the dock at Trondheim can accommodate four U-Boats.  This is the Mekaniske Verkstad.  
          Recently captured prisoners stated that the motor ship "Hauskaran" is still in Trondheim.  Her equipment and workshops are said to be most up to date.  Her armament consists of two A.A. machine-guns.  
          Dock 1.  It is stated that at the present rate of building progress this dock is approaching completion.  It is constructed in five separate cells, two cells each 17 m. (55 ft.) in width, and the other three each 12 m. (39 ft.) wide, the total length being 152 m. (498 ft.).  The depth of the dock is to be approximately 20 m.  Water seepage is said to have greatly impeded work on those docks, which are made of concrete.  
          Dock 2.  This dock was stated to be projected, but up to September, 1941, no constructional work had yet taken place.  It is scheduled to be finished in two to three year's time.  
          The east side of the harbour is being extended and improved and a tunnel blasted through the rocks at one place.  
  (xvi)  Antwerp  
          It was alleged that there were usually between one to three German U-Boats in the Bassin Canal up to March, 1941.  
  (xvii)  Breda  
          A few ratings claim to have done their preliminary naval training at Breda.  The complement of the establishment is not thought to exceed 1,000 men, who are stated to be trained mostly by reserve officers.  


  (xviii)  Roosendal
          Stated to be a small naval training establishment for not more than 500 to 600 new entries.  
  (xix)  Rotterdam  
          A report from late 1941 states that one U-Boat shelter has already been constructed; this is alleged to house three U-Boats.  No further details are available and it is not known whether other shelters are being built.  
  (xx)  Assen  
          Reserve naval artillery ratings are stationed here, awaiting disposal.  
  (xxi)  Aalborg  
          Several prisoners had attended a short course in the use of light anti-aircraft weapons at Aalborg.  There are stated to be two divisions of 200 men stationed here.  
  (xxii)  St. Nazaire  
          It was stated that at St. Nazaire a spy in German officer's uniform succeeded in obtaining admittance to the military headquarters and shooting a General; the spy was later found and shot.  
          The "Flottillenchef" (U-Boat Flotilla Commander) at St. Nazaire early in November, 1941, when "U 433" started on her last cruise, was stated to be named Becker.  Becker saw the crew off and stated that he would rejoin them in Italy.  
          Prisoners stated that a number of cases of sabotage in U-Boats had occurred in Lorient and St. Nazaire, all being committed by German dockyard labourers who had been bribed by foreign agents.  It was stated that during air raids the French frequently showed lights through their skylights, and that it was customary, on these occasions, for the Germans to fire at offenders or toss hand grenades through the windows.   
          U-boat crews, when in St. Nazaire, are accommodated in the "U-Bootshiem," specially arranged quarters for U-Boat men, situated about one mile distant from the docks.  
  (xxiii)  Lorient  
          A boatswain's mate of "U 95" expressed some anxiety regarding the continued British mining of the approaches to Lorient.  He said that the anti-minelaying aircraft patrol there was insufficient.  He had little confidence in the rather ancient coast-watchers, who were stated to be reservists more interested in food and drink.  The crews of U-Boat escort vessels were always pleased to get back alive.  
          This prisoner spoke of the inadequate anti-aircraft arrangements which existed at Lorient during the earlier air raids; nevertheless, little damage had been caused to arsenal, barracks, workshops or docks, although many civilian houses had been demolished.  There had been naval anti-aircraft batteries which, prisoner stated, were not so efficient as the regular "Flak" manned by the Air Force, which had replaced them.  
          It was said that considerable purloining of stores and wine from France to Germany took place; the official lorry with two trailers, normally used to take confidential books and papers from France to Kiel, being made use of for this irregular purpose.  
  (xxiv)  Spezia  
          On several occasions it had been stated that a German U-Boat Flotilla was to be based on this harbour.  (N.I.D. Note.  This has been corroborated.) The flotilla now there is believed to be the 29th, under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Schroeder.  The new flotilla belongs  


  to the "Mittelmeergruppe West" (Western Mediterranean Group).  Two ratings thought that the 21st Flotilla had also moved to Spezia, under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Herbert Schutlze.  This should be treated with reserve.
  (xxv)  Salamis  
          Many conflicting statements have been made by prisoners about the disposition of the German U-Boats now operating in the Mediterranean.  It is, however, possible that the 26th Flotilla, under the command of Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Frauenheim, may now be based on Salamis.  (N.I.D. Note.  This has been corroborated.)  
  (xxvi)  Vigo  
          A survivor from "U 574" was firmly convinced that the name of the depôt ship in Vigo harbour from which his boat had obtained supplies was the "Hermes," of the Neptune Shipping Company of Bremen.  In support of this view he produced a towel marked "Neptun Bremen," which he said he had removed from the ship when he had had a bath on board during "U 574's" visit to Vigo.  He also said that the crew of the depôt ship referred to her as the "Hermes."  
          Despite these assertions, it is believed that this ship is the "Bessel."  It is not unusual for the names of ships to be altered for some purpose and it is possible that this may have been done to placate the Spanish authorities.  The silhouette of the "Bessel" corresponds exactly with the description of her given by prisoners, while details of the S.S. "Hermes" do not agree with prisoners' description of the vessel.  
          The "Bessel" was said to have a complement of 18, all in civilian rig.  She was painted black, flew no flag and had never been known to raise steam.  Provisions were stowed forward and fuel for U-Boats aft, where a tank had been specially built.  She had in all five loading hatches, three forward and two aft; she had only one funnel.  
          U-Boats were said to approach her always at a pre-arranged time, so that the necessary fuel and provisions could be prepared in advance and thus minimise any delay in loading.  The crew of the U-Boat usually took a bath while this was being done.  
          The method of approach was nearly always the same.  Vigo Bay would be entered at night and, when the U-Boat was about 500 metres distant from the "Bessel," she would stop and be met by a pulling boat from the supply ship, where occupants would inspect her papers before authorising her to make fast alongside the ship.  
          The process of provisioning and fueling rarely took more than from five to six hours.  Should the U-Boat be obliged to remain longer and risk being caught in daylight, she would submerge until darkness made recognition impossible.  
          There are, it was stated, 45 minesweeping flotillas in the German Navy, numbered from 1 to 45.  Each flotilla consists of eight such boats, giving a total of 360 craft.  
          The minesweeping service is said to be divided into two commands.  Baltic and North Sea.  The Senior Officer of the entire service is Kapitan zur See (Captain) Ruge, who has his headquarters in Brest.  The title held by this officer is "Befehlshaber der Minensuchboote" (Senior Officer Minesweepers), which is usually abbreviated into B.d.M.  
          Each flotilla has a commanding officer with the rank of Kapitan zur See (Captain).  
          Each minesweeper was stated to have a complement of 47, consisting of one Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander), one Oberleutnant (Leutnant) and 45 other ranks.  


          In addition to the minesweeping flotillas proper, there were also a variety of other auxiliary services such as auxiliary minesweepers consisting of converted fishing boats and yawls and small craft employed for keeping harbours clear of mines.
          Reference was also made to the existence of special minelaying submarines, which alleged to carry mines exclusively, having no torpedo tubes.  These are said to be intended to lay mines in enemy harbours.  Prisoners did not know, however, whether any such boats had yet been commissioned.  The opinion was expressed that no U-Boats had yet ventured into the River Thames.  
          German acoustic mines weigh 500 to 1,000 kilograms (1,100-2,200 lb.).  Those dropped from aircraft are termed L.M.A. and L.M.B. (Luftmine "A" and Luftmine "B").  These statements must, of course, be taken with reserve.  
          U-Boats of 1,500 tons were also said to be under construction at Kiel and Danzig for purely minelaying purposes.  These are stated to have vertical mineshafts both inside and outside the pressure hull, the mines being dropped vertically.  Two purposes of these craft were mine British ports and also the waters ahead of British convoys.  
  (i)  Raider"16"  
          Prisoners confirmed that the raider sunk in the South Atlantic on 22nd November, 1941, at 0938, position 04° 13' S., 18° 43' W. by H.M.S. "Devonshire" was Raider "16" (Kapitan zur See Rogge).  It was stated that Rogge was returning to Germany, having spent 643 days at sea.  (N.I.D. Note.  Raider"16" left Kiel on 11th March, 1040.)  
          Homeward bound, Rogge reached the South Atlantic area with his ship still well supplied with il, fresh water and provisions, presumably obtained from a supply ship or a captured British merchantman.  Prisoners stated that Rogge signalled home offering to supply any U-Boats in the South Atlantic area, thereby saving a supply ship the hazardous southern run from a French port.  This offer was accepted, further signals were exchanged and a rendezvous arranged with one 1,000-ton U-Boat and possibly others.  On the day of the rendezvous "Devonshire" arrived at a time when oil and fresh water were being pumped onto the U-Boat.  In addition the U-Boat Commander was in the raider having a bath.  Oil and water hoses were slashed through and the U-Boat submerged, leaving a heavy oil wake behind her.  Such was the hurry that both the Commander and the First Lieutenant of the U-Boat were left aboard the raider.  
          Rogge and his crew abandoned ship incontinently and took to the boats.  In this manner, by avoiding action, only two men of the raider's crew lost their lives.  Following the sinking of Raider "16" and the disappearance of "Devonshire" the U-Boat surfaced and took all Rogge's boats in tow.  Prisoners believed that by this means Rogge's men were brought to the coast of Angola where they were put ashore.  (N.I.D. Note.  There is no confirmation of this statement, which is considered improbable.)  
          Subsequently the U-Boat was believed to have returned to France carrying Rogge and a number of others of his officers and men, possibly totalling 56, with her.  
          No special award was given to the U-Boat Commander, but he is alleged to have received a telegram of thanks from Vice-Admiral U-Boats.  
          The name of this U-Boat Commander was given as Oberleutnant zur See Bauer, and it seems probable that this officer is Ernst Bauer, believed to be in command of "U 126," a 740-ton U-Boat.  
  (ii)  Dwarf Boats  
          So-called "dwarf boats" ("Zwergboote") were mentioned by one of the prisoners.  They were said to have been seen during Christmas, 1941, in Tromsö, from whence it was believed they had been sent further north.  It was stated that they had also been seen in Narvik.  (N.I.D. Note.  This is the first reference yet made to this kind of craft and no further details are yet available.  These so-called "Dwarf Boats" should not be confused with "midget U-Boats.")  


  (iii)  E-Boats ("S-Boote")
          One prisoner had seen the latest type of E-Boat in Kiel travelling at full speed, estimated at 40 knots.  Only the cupola could then be seen, the rest of the vessel being apparently submerged.  She was believed to have a pressure hull.  Her full complement numbered ten.  When seen on this occasion no naval crew was on board, she being then manned by a staff from the Kreigsmarinewerft at Kiel.  
          Oberleutnant (Lieutenant) Bobby Fimmen's "S-Boot" was stated to belong to the 1st "S-Boots Flottille."  He is one of the best-known S-Boat Commanders.  He commanded "S-26" in the summer of 1940.  
          E-Boats are fitted with Diesel engines.  
  (iv)  Patrol Vessels  
          A midshipman from "U 433" stated that he had served with patrol flotillas (Vorpostenflottillen).  He stated that some of these vessels had previously been Danish trawlers.  They had been mounted with a 7.5 cm (3 in.) gun forward and a machine-gun aft; their speed was about eight knots.  He had been employed escorting coastal convoys and U-Boats in and out of Lorient.  One or more of these flotillas had their administrative base in Bordeaux.  
  (v)  "Europa" and "Bremen"  
          A prisoner stated that both the "Europa" and the "Bremen" were being completely broken up and the material used to construct small transport steamers.  
  (vi)  "Scharnhorst"  
          A prisoner stated that the "Scharnhorst" during her action against H.M.S. "Glorious" had been struck by a torpedo aft, which caused her starboard propeller to cease functioning.  The after gun turret was put out of action and there were 94 casualties in it.  Necessary repairs after this action occupied four months.  
          It was stated that the cruiser "Admiral Hipper" and the two battleships "Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" had been between them sunk 300,000 tons of merchant shipping.  
(From statements made by a Boatswain's Mate in "U 574")
          Further evidence continues to come to hand bearing out previous information regarding conditions in German concentration camps.  
          There is also reason to believe that the long arm of the Gestapo, the authority chiefly responsible for Germany's huge prisoner population, was accustomed to reach out well into "neutral" territory.  A close liaison for the purpose of arresting "doubtful" Germans was maintained, for instance, between the Gestapo and the German Consular Service.  
          German-controlled merchant ships were often searched immediately on arrival in port, it being customary for 10 to 15 Gestapo men to carry out this procedure.  Where no evidence of crime could immediately be procured against the defendant, German law provided that he must be at once set free.  This did not result, however, in the accused being liberated, since the Gestapo invariably re-arrested the person concerned on some technical charge and held him at their disposal indefinitely.  
          One of the main charges on which seafarers have been thus summarily arrested has been that of possessing subversive literature.  Such material often took the form of apparently harmless brochures on, say, photography, which, after a few pages, suddenly turned into anti-fascist propaganda.  The penalty for possessing such literature was usually three months in a concentration camp.  
          When this time had been completed, however, it was not by any means certain that the accused would be released.  Cases were frequent of prisoners being told of their liberation and actualling saying "good-bye" to their friends, only to be brought back the same day to a worse section of the same camp.  Sometimes they were then tricked into a situation when they could be "shot while trying to escape."  


          The Roman Catholic Church used to refuse burial to all corpses emanating from certain camps, and special burial grounds had to be made.  The refusal is stated to have been due to a general antipathy to the National-Socialist movement.
          Nevertheless is sometimes happened that camp guards were dismissed for too brutal treatment, especially if those maltreated were well known in their home towns.  An instance is on record of a famous archaeologist, who had had three of his ribs trampled in by kicking, being made the subject of an enquiry which resulted in just such a dismissal.  
          The younger guards were described as invariably more brutal than the older men.  One of the pastimes they most enjoyed in a certain camp was to kick the crutches away from the arms of a one-legged man whose injuries had been derived from the last war.  
          It was unusual for prisoners to be moved from camp to camp during their term of imprisonment.  The first camps were known as "examination camps" and the rest generally as "working."  There was, for instance, and examination camp at Münster (Westphalia) and a working camp at Papenburg (Oldenburg).  No one in the camps knew much about his neighbor nor about the officers, all of whom were usually referred to by numbers.  
          The first process on arrival was usually that of equalisation ("Gleichschaltung"), which implied standing in line to receive a number of blows on the face.  
          Each prisoner was allowed one cigarette a week.  The penalty for being caught smoking when not allowed was a public beating with an ox-yard.  
          One section of the Papenburg camp was set aside for the extraction of information from prisoners.  This consisted of six little cells with a barbed wire fence around them.  There was no furniture nor covering of any kind in these cells, which were only just wide enough for a man to turn round.  Each time the guard was relieved the inmates had to stand up and say for what crime they were there and, if the guard were a young one, receive in turn a blow in the face.  
          There were ten huts in the Papenburg camp, which also contained a laundry and all other necessities.  Each hut had a big day-room with separate lockers where men could keep their belongings, a wash-room similar to German lower-deck washrooms, and a big dormitory with 12 beds side by side, all having a straw mattress and one blanket.  
          The lavatory was outside the huts across a courtyard.  The fact that so many prisoners using it at night did not return to their huts gave rise to the impression that a night visit was dangerous.  
          Work at Papenburg consisted mostly of labour in the adjoining marshes, the extent of each prisoner's task being paced out for him daily by the guards.  
          Once, when foreign visitors were brought to inspect the camp, work for that day was cancelled and better food provided.  The visitors did not speak to prisoners without S.S. men and the Commanding Officer being present.  
          In the prisoner of war's estimation, there were at the present time three to four thousand inmates of the Papenburg camp, some 7,000 in Oranienburg, 6,000 in Dachau and a further 2,000 in all such smaller establishments as Moabit and Münster.  This would produce an estimated total of some 19,500 in all German concentration camps.  
          Punishments in the German Navy, both in U-Boats and in surface craft may be divided into two classes, those inflicted summarily by the commanding officer and those awarded by sentence of court-martial.  
          Summary punishments given by the commanding officer are:  
          (i)  Stoppage of Leave:  This punishment can be inflicted for a maximum period of three weeks, but eight days is the usual period.  
         (ii)  "Gelindearrest" (Mild Arrest):  This punishment entails confinement in cells in a naval barracks for a period not exceeding 14 days, during all of which the diet is normal.  


       (iii)  "Scharfarrest"  (Severe Arrest):  This form of punishment entails confinement in cells ashore up to a maximum of three weeks on low diet.  For two days out of three only bread and water is allowed.
          The usual period of punishment is not more than from five to eight days.  
          Punishments awarded by court-martial include the sending of the offender to the service punishment camp at Hela and the death sentence.  The usual term of imprisonment at Hela is from five to eight months, but it is permissible to send a man there for two years, or for the duration of the war.  
          There were stated to be no facilities for detentive punishment on board any smaller type of German craft.  It was, therefore, necessary to wait until a ship reached port before such could be inflicted.  In larger ships, however, special cells existed for this purpose.  
          Stoppage of leave is the usual punishment inflicted for all minor offences.  Mild arrest is usually inflicted for offences such as leave breaking for short periods, impertinence or not properly saluting superiors.  Severe arrest is given for leave breaking for longer periods, inattention when on watch and for failing to report when ill with venereal disease.  
          Courts-martial are ordered for more serious offences which cannot be dealt with summarily.  
          There is not usually any punishment for drunkenness, unless gross breaches of military behavior occurred .  
          Certain U-Boat commanders had a bad reputation for harsh treatment.  Among these may be mentioned Prein Jenisch and Zerpka, and engineer officer belonging to the Pillau U-Boat School.  
          The Hela disciplinary camp is regarded as the final degradation of any person committed to it.  The punishment is in fact known as "entehrende Strafe" (dishonouring punishment) and it is impossible for a man to return to service life after having been there.  The camp was alleged to have no electric light nor other amenities for prisoners, is administered by the S.S. and was stated to contain at present some 1,000 persons.  No inmate could receive money, parcels or letters from any outside source.  Daily working hours were from 0600 to 1700.  
  (i)  Air Co-operation  
          In "U 574's" last attack on the convoy, the co-operation between Kondor aircraft and U-boats had been excellent.  Whenever "U 574" had lost contact with the convoy on account of having to submerge, she received messages from the Vice Admiral U-Boats telling her that Kondors would reconnoitre at a certain time and that "U 574" should wait until then for the information she required.  Such information followed with great accuracy and enabled her to re-establish contact with the convoy.  
  (ii)  Air Raid Damage  
          (a)  Hamburg.  The Elbe Chaussée, an important street running along the North Bank of the Elbe at Hamburg, has been damaged from the suburb of Altona to the Blohm & Voss shipyards.  Municipal buildings in the Deutscher Ring, together with the law courts, have been gutted, and also the big emporia of Tietz (Deutsches Kaufhaus), not far away on the Jungfernstieg.  Several big buildings on the Alsterdamm, where were the offices of the Hamburg-America Line, have been wrecked, the Mercedes-Benz building being notably affected.  The main business street, the Mönckebergstrasse, reveals similar results.  In the port area in the immediate vicinity of the town's centre, certain coal depôts and smaller docks between Altona and the main Hamburg landing stages have been hit, and aerial torpedoes and incendiary bombs were stated to have made havoc in the docks and storage warehouses generally.  Despite this, however, there was said to be still plenty of activity in this region.  
          In the large Blohm & Voss yards, where up to 20,000 workmen of various nationalities are employed, serious damage has also been caused.  The morale of the workers was consequently said to be poor, especially as they objected to  


  continuing work during the raids.  It was believed that the R.A.F.'s leaflets dropped had met with a good reception, and the authorities dared make only few arrests owing to their desire not to lose the services of a single workman.  Such employees' general peace of mind had not been heightened by the knowledge that the Konkordiahaus, the big "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength through Joy) building, and an institution where Dutch and Italian workmen lived, have been blown sky-high.  In the Konkordia incident 250 deaths were caused.
          The policy of the Hamburg authorities in deliberately minimising air raid damage in all organs of publicity seemed not to have allayed the suspicions of the population that something serious had happened.  For instance, after one particularly heavy raid when 250 persons were killed, morale had been particularly low, despite official assurances that only slight damage, never to military objectives, had been caused.  
          Though shelters had been extensively built, especially under the famous Reeperbahn amusement street in St. Pauli, they were far from adequate.  Most of them were said to be about 65 ft. deep.  Many persons habitually made use of the Elbe tunnel leading to the Blohm & Voss shipyards for this purpose.  In Barmbeck, a Hamburg suburb, 150 families were stated to have been drowned in a cellar in one night's raid.  
          Hamburg listeners to the wireless propaganda reported that the emissions had to finish punctually half an hour before the arrival of the British bombers  
          (b)  Wilhelshaven.  In the middle of town near the junction of the Kaiserstrasse and the Höhestrasse, every third house had been destroyed.  In a day raid the post office and police station were wrecked, together with the Ratskeller building, many large shops and the barracks in the Hohestrasse, though in the latter building the ground and first floors were said to be still in use.  
          (c)  Kiel.  Six docks were hit in the raid on Kiel in May, 1941.  
          (d)  Rotterdam.  This city was described as a huge town with at least one square mile razed to the ground.  The sight of these ruins appears to have made a profound impression on many German sailors.  
  (iii)  Anti-Aircraft Defences  
          It was stated that the whole of the area formerly constituting the Rissen Golf Club at Hamburg was now devoted to "Flak" defence.  The Heiligengeistfeld in the centre of the town was also given up to "Flak."  There was once an A.A. post on top of one of the biggest buildings in the Deutscher Ring in Hamburg, but this was blown to pieces in a raid on the town.  
          In Kiel there were four 15 cm. "Flak" guns placed just behind the house numbered 25 on the Knivsberg.  
  (iv)  Conditions in the German Navy  
          Prisoners did not appear exactly enthusiastic about present service conditions which they had to undergo.  They spoke with longing of their earlier days in the Navy, but complained that conditions had latterly changed sensibly for the worse.  Many cases were related to those who, sometimes, because of the higher pay received, had joined the Navy for choice in peace-time, but who, even before the war, had been forced to continue service after the elapse of the statutory four-year period.  Feeling had become so high on this point that it had required a special decree of the Führer to permit the return home in peacetime of only sons, whose fathers had fallen in the last war, who now had mothers to support.  
          A complaint heard was that the "diving allowance" ("Tauchzulage") due to U-Boat crews was often to some three months in arrears.  An extra allowance was also payable for service in France and is known as the "Frankreich-Zulage" (French Allowance).  
          It was added that those who lost their belongings on service received Rm. 250 as compensation, together with extra sums representing any special objects specified in advance, such as privately-owned cameras.  
          U-Boat pay was generally composed of a basic salary, plus various allowances.  Thus a Petty Officer gets a monthly basic salary of Rm. 155, plus Rm. 60, made up of a diving allowance ("Tauchzulage") and "hard lying money" ("Raumbeschränkungszulage").  


          There is still abundant evidence to show that U-Boat crews on their return are accorded a distinction bordering on veneration.  Such an attitude has, however, been known to be abused, as the following story will show.  One U-Boat, whose number and commanding officer's name are not known, announced by W/T that she had sunk a large number of ships.  This gave rise to an immediate round of revelry on return to port, the commanding officer and some of the crew being given the Iron Cross, 1st Class.  This orgy of entertainment, however, brought just retribution in its wake, for some of the crew gave away, in an unguarded moment, the fact that in reality, their boat had sunk nothing at all.  As soon as the authorities got to hear of this, the whole crew was transferred to the dreaded punishment camp of Hela.
          It is still difficult to form a worth-while opinion as to the morale of crews captured, but there is no lack of survivors who speak with loathing of their service.  Some stated that they would never have joined the U-Boat arm if they had known in advance the realities of life on board.  Doubts were also expressed regarding the eventual success of U-Boat warfare as a whole.  
          The difficulties experienced in training sufficient personnel seemed to be substantiated by the recent edict that any member of a U-Boat crew contracting venereal disease rendered himself liable to from one to ten years' hard labour.  One of the crew of "U 131" was ill with a complaint of this kind and was much relieved to find himself a prisoner of war.  
  (v)  Fires in U-Boats  
          Carbontetracloride was stated to be used for putting out fires in U-Boats.  
  (vi)  Conditions in Germany  
          Considerable irritation was expressed at the continued growth of house-to-house collections in Germany and at the ever-widening orbit of official control.  One prisoner stated that it was no longer possible to buy new furniture for private dwellings in those parts of Germany known to him.  A shortage of glass was also prevalent.  
          Promiscuity among young Germans was said to be worse than at any time during the last war.  It was usual for women whose husbands were at the front to amuse themselves as best they could with the many thousands of Danes, Dutchmen and Italians comprising Germany's serf population.  Police mad a raid on establishments in the Hamburg Reeperbahn one evening which resulted in some 500 women being dragged out and lectured on the evils of polyandry.  
          Inflated prices appear to prevail for such rarities as genuine coffee beans, which in Kiel fetch as much as Rm. 20 per pound.  
          At the end of last September many Jews were evacuated from Berlin to the General-Government in Polish territory.  They were mostly sent to ghettos in Warsaw and Lodz, the latter town now known to the Nazis as Litzmannstadt.  Other cities besides Berlin took similar action.  The evacuation, which wa in all cases carried out in the very early morning and at very short notice, was concentrated largely on those whose services were not indispensable to the Reich.  
          It was confirmed that, ever since last summer, the German authorities had earmarked all stocks of furs, skiing gear and other similar winter material, for the use of the army.  
          Several prisoners seemed to have a healthy respect, often mingles with hatred, for the S.S.  A story that appeared to have captured their admiration was that of the S.S.'s treatment of coloured prisoners from the Western Front.  One evening, just as a detachment of the S.S. was on its way home, it was detailed to guard an incoming trainload of negro prisoners, a duty it was very reluctant to undertake.  When the train stopped at Gelsenkirchen, some of the negroes jumped through the open doors of the luggage van and began to attack some men standing in the station yard.  Tired and bored with guarding such a low racial species, the S.S. promptly shot the lot, the innocent sharing the fate of the guilty.  One prisoner of war urged that Germany should treat all British captives similarly, though his views were not widely shared.  


          The fact that white bread was still current in England made a great impression on prisoners, who lamented its disappearance from German bakeries.  Civilian food conditions were admitted to be unsatisfactory.  Horseflesh was already difficult to obtain.  Soups, made with potatoes and a little "Kruat," as the basic civilian diet.  U-Boat crews, however, are still extremely well fed.
  (vii)  German Occupation of Russia  
          An order had been made forbidding Germans to enter homes recently vacated by Russians.  A Korvettenkapitän (Commander) had been appointed Commandant of Odessa and took over a house for his staff, but the very first night they occupied it, it was blown sky-high and they were all killed.  This had given rise to the belief that all houses in towns evacuated by the Russians were mined.  "If it had not been for this practice," said one prisoner, we should have taken Leningrad by now."  Since such happenings, careful precautions had always been taken in advance.  
  (viii)  Outlook on the War  
          Two more year was the most usual estimate among prisoners of the further duration of the war.  Many of them expressed cynical disrespect for treaties, philosophically adopting the old German maxim that "might is right."  It was suggested that Germany's proper policy after the fall of France would have been to attack Russia at once before there was any chance of the U.S.A. entering the war.  It was frequently admitted that Germany had stirred up much hatred for herself by the invasion of other European countries, notably the Netherlands.  A massacre might also be expected if the Russians were to invade Germany.  
  (ix)  Position in the Mediterranean  
          Prisoners were of the opinion that the outlook for General Rommel's land force in Libya was much rosier than had appeared previously.  This they ascribed to the presence of increasingly large numbers of German U-Boats in the Mediterranean, their main task being to help supplies get across from Axis bases and assist in the elimination of Malta.  



List of Crew of "U 131"
English Equivalent.
Baumann, Arend Korvettenkapitän Commander
Schaaf, Eckehardt Kapitänleutnant (Ing.) Engineer Lieutenant-Commander
van Delden, Rembert Oberleutnant zur See Lieutenant
Seiferth, Karl Leutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant
Wendt, Hugo Fähnrich zur See Midshipman
Spicker, Wilhelm Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class
Knacke, Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class
Daasch, Heinrich Obersteuermann Chief Q.M., 1st Class
Seipel, Obermaschinenmaat Mechanician, 1st Class
Heck, Johannes Obermaschinenmaat Mechanician, 1st Class
Goldmann, Otto Obermaschinenmaat Mechanician, 1st Class
Lange, Hinrich Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class
Plomann, Paul Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class
Schwenner, Ernst Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
Witt, Albert Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
Wörbach, Otto Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
Wiesner, Kurt Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
Arlt, Funkmaat P.O. Telegraphist, 2nd Class
Kackel, Werner Funkmaat P.O. Telegraphist, 2nd Class
Kuschnereit, Benno Mechanikersmaat P.O. Artificer, 2nd Class
Lion, Heinz Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
Jansen, Herbert Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
Gebhardt, Fritz Mechanikerobergefreiter Artificer, 1st Class
Gerdau, Hans Mechanikerobergefreiter Artificer, 1st Class
Dannehl, Otto Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Klang, Karl Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Beutel, Helmut Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Ostenried, Franz Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Hildebrand, Ernst Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Stadler, Ludwig Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Bartenbach, Heinz Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Skowronek, Bruno Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
Hofneister, Franz Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Gratzl, Josef Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Pierschalik, Konrad Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Moninger, Adam Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Funke, Freidrich Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Heese, Dietrich Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Gremerath, Helmut Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Kottusch, Werner Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Overheu, Rolf Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Rosch, Helmut Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Grimmler, Richard Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Kampfer, Franz Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Mayer, Heinz Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Hartwig, Rudolf Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
Kagel, Friedrich Funkgefreiter Ordinary Telegraphist, 1st Class
Hohlbein, Helmut Funkgefreiter Ordinary Telegraphist, 1st Class
                                        Total Crew:
Officers . .
Chief and Petty Officers . .
Men . .
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