U-18 - 1st War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason with the help of Robert Derencin

Days at Sea
30 August 1939
7 September 1939


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
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.

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Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
- 1 -                                                
    23.08.39 Arkona 207°T, 5 nm    
    17.20 E 2, cloudless, misty, Sea 1-2 Departed on course 81° at GF.  Course set via the Adlergrund Lightship  
    20.09   Adlergrund Lightship abeam to starboard.  Course changed to 82°, Stolpebank was passed to the north, to avoid the steamer track.  
    02.22 Square L 40 upper edge center Boat positioned at 16°E, lights extinguished.  
      SE 1-2, Sea 1, cloudless, Vis. good    
    03.56 Square M 2841 lower left Two dimmed vessels in sight ahead 60° to starboard, Morse traffic observed.  
    03.58   Course change to 20°.  
    04.15   Steamer in sight ahead 40° to starboard.  
    04.18   Crash dive, course 20°, LF.  
    05.07   Course change to 80°, passed English steamer "BENGOVE HEAD", London, course 270° at a distance of 1000 meters.  
    05.20   Smoke cloud in sight directly ahead.  
    06.30   Steamer out of sight, a sailing vessel comes up from astern.  
    06.50   Course change to 45°, KF.  
    07.45   Course change to 0°, to avoid sailing vessel.  
    08.35   2 steamers on westerly course sighted.  
    09.02 Square M 2793 lower-center Course change to 45°, LF  
    10.28 Square M 2743 upper left Surfaced.  
    10.45   Course change to 90°, 400 RPM with charging.  
    13.30   Smoke cloud ahead to starboard and mastheads in sight.  
    13.33   Crash dive.  
    13.59 Square M 2493 Course changed to 120°, LF.  The Swedish steamer "KALMARSUND X" with NW course passed at a distance of 600 meters.  
    15.05   Steamer out of sight.  3 aircraft (Wale) in sight ahead to starboard at 5 minute intervals, course east.  
    15.45 Square M 2443 Surfaced.  Course change to 90°, 400 RPM.  
    16.06   Aircraft sighted abeam to starboard.  5000-6000 meters away.  Crash dive.  
    16.15   Surfaced.  
    17.32   3 aircraft in sight abeam to starboard.  Course west, distance 10000 meters.  
    17.39   Aircraft ahead to starboard, high altitude.  Crash dive.  
Sun and Moon Data 23.08.39
Sun and Moon Data 24.08.39
- 2 -
    17.59   Surfaced.  Surfaced U-boat in sight bearing 220°T.  
        On call with letter recognition signal answer:  U-14.  
    18.15   Course change to 170°.  
    21.00   Course change to 90°.  
    21.15   East of Rixhöft, astern to starboard, Morse signal:  "w,w" observed.  
    23.35   2 fishing vessels, avoided by stopping and various courses.  
    25.08.39 Square M 2087    
      E 2, Sea 1, Vis. good    
    02.11   Stopped in square M 2087.  
    03.32   Dived at the beginning of twilight.  In the course of the day several courses were steered in the western half of the square. Warships were not seen.  20 inbound and 15 outbound steamers were sighted.  
        4 aircraft were noted.  
    18.52   After Arrival of the Radio Message "Fall Weiß" came to northerly course, LF.  
    19.50 Square M 2087 Surfaced.  
      SE 3, Sea 2, rain, Vis. medium Came to course 0°, at 2 x GF.  
    21.27   On receipt of Radio Message Order:  "Arrive in Memel".  Course changed to 46°.  
    31.08.39 Square M 1645    
    00.00 S 2, Sea 1, overcast, Vis. medium U-18 proceeding to ordered patrol line.  Course 227°, 2 x GF. [From U-14 KTB:  Order: to patrol line from M 2291 to 2038. (U-14 and U-18)]  
    05.05 Square M 1989 Sailing vessel in sight abeam to port.  
        Crash dive.  
        After the sailing vessel was lost from sight astern a steamer is sighted.  
    09.00 Square M 2038 "U-18" in position in ordered square 2038 in patrol line.  Steered west and east courses submerged with 1 motor KF.  No vessels or aircraft in sight.  
      S 3, Sea 2, overcast, misty, Vis. medium  
        Surfaced briefly at 08.30 hours and 12.30 hours to ventilate the boat.  
    14.00   1 motor sailer and afterwards 1 steamer in sight.  
    14.30   On Radio Message Orders course change to 339° for square M 2144.  
    15.00   Surfaced and with GF and charging ran to new position.  
Sun and Moon Data 24.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 25.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 31.09.39
- 3 -
    31.08.39   3 destroyers in sight ahead.  
    18.30   Crash dive.  
        While diving the destroyers were recognized as German with SE course.  
    19.30   Surfaced.  
        After surfacing several darkened vessels passed on the port side, some Morsing was observed.  
    21.00 Square M 2144 "U-18" in position.  
      NW 2, Sea 1-2, cloudy, Vis. medium    
    01.09.39   Up to 04.53 hours on 1 September in square back and forth in position.  
    04.53   Steamer in sight, crash dive.  
    07.00   U-boat sighted on westerly course.  After is was positively recognized as German, surfaced.  ("U-14")  
    07.34   Crash dive for steamer.  Back and forth on various courses submerged at KF.  
    10.40   Surfaced, back and forth in position at LF.  
    11.10   Crash dive for aircraft  
    12.30       "        "    "       "  
    13.10       "        "    "       "  
    15.04   Crash dive.  At the southern edge of the square 3 German minesweepers in sight on easterly course.  
    20.40   On Radio Message orders ran off to the north.  
    02.09.39 Square M 2149    
    01.52 N 3, Sea 3, cloudy, Vis. good "U-18" is returning to the ordered square.  During an avoidance maneuver for a steamer a Polish U-boat comes in sight on northeasterly course.  I attempt to move off to the limit of visibility on northerly course and then close in the twilight.  Radio Message was sent.  
        The U-boat passed out of sight on course 70° at about 03.00 hours.  
    04.00   I ran further on course 70° as long as it was dark, and after diving at 04.00 hours I turned to 235°, to come to opposite course  
    07.00   Until 07.00 hours the U-boat had not come in sight.  I surfaced and went on course 270° and 180° to the ordered square 2145.  
    from 11.30 N 4, Sea 3-4, Vis. very good Surfaced and submerged back and forth on various courses in square 2145.  
    14.50   Underwater detonation from 4 depth charges heard.  
Sun and Moon Data 31.08.39
Sun and Moon Data 01.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 02.09.39
- 4 -
    02.09.30 Square M 2145    
    up to 19.45 N 4-5, Sea 4, cloudy, Vis. good Back and forth in square.  
    19.50   On Radio Message order came to northerly course, to move off out of the square during the night.  To take a sun navigation fix by day and in the evening a star navigation fix; ship's position was exact in the evening.  
    03.09.39 Square M 2045    
      NE 6-7, Sea 5, cloudy, Vis. good I wanted to dive at 04.00 hours at the beginning of twilight in the ordered square on southerly course.  
    03.55   At 03.55 a Polish U-boat came in sight directly ahead, range 3000 meters, course east.  I dived immediately to attack submerged in the twilight.  I did not see the boat in the periscope further, probably it also dived.  Radio Message was sent.  
        In the course of the day back and forth submerged in the square.  
    12.59 ) Depth charge explosions.  
    13.00 )  
    19.30 Square M 2196    
      NE 3, Sea 2-3, Vis. good Surfaced in the twilight.  Course 270°.  Before blowing a U-boat sighted abeam to starboard.  Range 4000 meters on westerly course.  Immediately crash dived and changed course to 0°, to close.  In the periscope nothing seen.  Surfaced, only blew in so far as the conning tower was clear.  From the conning tower recognized it perfectly as a Polish U-boat, range 1500 meters, course west.  
    19.40   Crash dive, tubes 1 and 2 made ready to shoot.  Depth setting 6 meters.  
    19.51   U-boat came in sight in the periscope directly ahead.  No measurable shift, set:   
        Lead angle = 30°, bow left, target angle = 90°.  
        19.51 hours shot went from tube I, estimated range = 200 meters.  After the shot I turned hard to starboard to 90°.  No success observed.  
    20.15   Ran off until 20.15 hours then surfaced.  On the surface nothing more is seen of the enemy, I ran a few more minutes to the west, could not get him in sight. Another pursuit was not executed because:  
        1.)  The battery acid density had fallen below 1.13 g/cm³ and a dive of only a brief time at KF could be executed.  
        2.)  "U-14" is positioned 3 squares to the west and must get the enemy in sight.  
Sun and Moon Data 02.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 03.09.39
- 5 -
    from 21.00   Back and forth on north and south course in the new area ordered by Radio Message, squares 2145, 2146, 2095, 2096.  During the night the 4th torpedo (G 7a) was loaded in tube I.  
    03.55 Square M 2146 Dived, previously took morning navigation fix.  
      NE 1, Sea 1-2, clear, Vis. good    
    05.42 - 06.04   Detonation of 15 depth charges.  
    11.15   New waiting position ordered by Radio Message.  Until twilight back and forth submerged in squares 2196, 2197, 2146, 2147.  
    19.45   Surfaced.  
        During the night back and forth in the square with charging.  
    03.50 Square M 2146 Dived.  Back and forth submerged by day.  
      SE 2, Sea 1, clear, Vis. good    
    08.12   Detonation from 22 depth charges.  
    19.40   Surfaced.  During the night steered changing courses in the square.  
    06.09.39 Square M 2196    
    03.10 SE 2, Sea 1-2, clear, Vis. good Began return transit to Swinemünde.  Due to the steamer traffic various courses were steered.  
    09.54   Crash dive; aircraft abeam to port.  
    10.22   Surfaced.  
    11.13 to 11.58   Crash dive for 2 steamers.  
    12.59   Crash dive for a NE-steering steamer.  Passing at a distance of 600 meters the steamer turns and runs at the boat with target angle 0° on collision course.  On passing distinguished as the steamer of the Richard Griebel Steamship Company in Stettin.  
    14.15   Surfaced and continued transit on the surface.  
    19.30   Bornholm in sight.  
    06.00   Swinemünde approach buoy abeam.  
                                     Signed in draft,   B  a  u  e  r  
Sun and Moon Data 03.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 04.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 05.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 06.09.39
Sun and Moon Data 07.09.39
- 6 -

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