U-205 - 3rd War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason

Days at Sea
3 November 1941
La Spezia
10 December 1941


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.

- 1 -
                                "  U  205  "    
              Beginning:  4.10.41.    
                          3rd War Patrol.    
    04.10.41 Lorient Began shipyard period.  
    07. - 22.10.41      " Lay in the slip.  
    27.10.41      " Pier-side trial.  
    31.10.41      " Sea trial and trim test.  
    03.11.41   Departed on 3rd war patrol.  
    18.10      " Cast off, escort by patrol boat.  
    20.00   Released escort.  
    04.11.41 Bay of Biscay    
    04.00 BF 5584    
      NE 4, Vis. 3 nm, 2/10    
    08.00 BF 5484    
      NbyE 4, Vis. 3 nm, 6/10    
    09.04   Deep diving test, afterwards proceeded submerged.  
    12.00 BF 5474 Day's run:  220 nm (211 + 9)  
    13.30   Surfaced.  
    14.07 BF 4696 Crash dive for aircraft (type unknown).  
        2 depth charges in the vicinity.  
        Continued submerged.  
    16.00 BF 4695    
    20.00 BF 4689    
    20.10   Surfaced, on account of the moon (full moon) continued on the surface at 2 x HF.  I want to put the air danger area behind me as soon as possible.  
    24.00 BF 4599 I will operate in BE 6353 where a German aircraft lies according to a Sea Emergency Radio Message.  
      NNW 5, Vis. 4 nm, overcast  
    05.11.41 Bay of Biscay    
    00.27   Radio Message from B.d.U. to head for CG 86, after questioning if the necessary chart outfitting for the area to the east therefrom was on board.  This was affirmed by me.  Therefore am bound for new hunting grounds in the Mediterranean.  
    04.00 BF 4545 Before I go to the south I will first head for the sea emergency square.  
      NNW 4, Sea 4, overcast  
    08.00 BF 4425 At 08.30 hours I am in the specified square and, after nothing is observed, turn to the south.  
      NbyW 5, Sea 4, overcast  
    10.14 BF 4454 Crash dive for flying boat.  
        Proceeded submerged until 12.30 hours.  
    12.00 BF 4446 Day's run:  191.5 nm (163 + 28.5)  
    12.30   Surfaced, course 200°, I want to get  
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Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
- 2 -
        a bit further from the coast.  
    16.00 BF 4714    
      NbyW 4, Sea 2, overcast    
    19.24   Radio Message (Officer-Only) from B.d.U. containing instructions on behavior in transit to the operations square.  I should proceed to the south without great delay and en-route attack only valuable targets which can be had without prolonged operation.  
    20.00 BE 6995    
      NNE 3, Sea 2, overcast    
    24.00 BE 9329    
      NbyW 2, Sea 2, overcast    
    06.11.41 Western Bay of Biscay    
    02.25 BE 9383 A dimmed steamer, course 270°, 6000 GRT, speed 8 knots, range 3000 meters.  It must be a German ship which proceeds on the prescribed route.  Malice of fate, I cannot attack in accordance with Standing Kriegsmarine and Operations Orders.  
      Very bright night  
    04.00 BE 9386    
      NE 3, Sea 2, 10/10    
    08.00 BE 9653    
      NE 3, Sea 2, 2/10    
    08.42 BE 9655 Again a steamer on the route prescribed for German ships.  Nationality lights set, side of the hull illuminated, therefore apparently proceeding disguised.  Range = 3000 meters, course 90°, speed 7-8 knots, 7000 tons.  Also this time I must let go.  
    12.00 BE 9923 Day's run:  220 nm (217 + 3)  
      NE 3, Sea 3, overcast    
    16.00 BE 9959    
      E 3, Sea 4, 7/10    
    20.00 CG 1328    
      E 5, Sea 4, 3/10 Test dive.  
    24.00 CG 1382    
      ENE 3, Sea 2, 5/10    
    07.11.41 West of Spain    
    04.00 CG 1652    
      E 3, Sea 2, 2/10    
    08.00 CG 1685    
      ESE 3, Sea 2, 3/10    
    12.00 CG 1952    
      ESE 3, Sea 2, 4/10    
    16.00 CG 1988    
      SE 4, Sea 4, 1/10    
    20.00 CG 4355    
      SE 4, Sea 3, dew 7/10    
    24.00 CG 4388    
      SE 4, Sea 3, overcast                                   
Sun and Moon Data 05.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 06.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 07.11.41
- 3 -
    08.11.41 West of Spain    
    04.00 CG 4652    
      SE 5, Sea 4, 6/10    
    08.00 CG 4688    
      SSE 5, Sea 4, rain overcast    
    10.00   Dived to proceed submerged due to very low hanging cloud deck.  
    12.00 CG 4928 Day's run:  155 nm (148 + 7)  
    15.00   Surfaced, continued transit.  
    16.00 CG 4956    
      S 5, Sea 4, 6/10    
    20.00 CG 4997    
      SSW 5, Sea 4, 7/10    
    22.00   Radio Message to B.d.U. gave standard Short Signal, was not understood.  
        I did not repeat, to not give myself away.  
    24.00 CG 8147    
      S 5, Sea 4, 2/10    
    09.11.41 South of Spain    
    01.25 CG 8175 Dimmed vessel, apparently an English steamer.  Despite long search not found again.   
    02.46 CG 8179 Steamer with set lanterns and illuminated, Spanish markings, course 20°.  
    04.00 CG 8424    
      SbyW 5, Sea 4, lightening overcast    
    08.00 CG 8494    
      SWbyW 4, Sea 4, 8/10    
    09.30 Dived to proceed submerged. I want to be off Gibraltar absolutely unseen.  
    12.00 CG 8736 To receive very low frequency program time went to depth 17 meters.  
        No Radio Messages for our boat.  
        Day's run:  186 nm (169 + 17)  
    16.00 CG 8818    
    20.00 CG 8827    
    20.20   Surfaced and continued at HF.  
    24.00 CG 8945    
      SSW 5, Sea 4, overcast    
    10.11.41 West of Gibraltar    
    04.00 CG 8966    
      SW 4-5, Sea 5, 6/10    
    08.00 CG 9765    
      SW 5, Sea 5, 4/10    
    08.35   Dived to proceed submerged.  
        I want to go through the Gibraltar Strait tonight, however I have received not the slightest instructions for my task  
    12.00 CG 9914 [typo CG 9814] Day's run:  182 nm (146 + 36)  
    16.00 CG 9913    
    20.00 CG 9587    
    20.07   Surfaced.  I am positioned 14 nm off Cape Spartel.  Headed for the Strait at 2 x HF.  Weather is very favorable, very dark, at times rain.  All beacons burn.  
Sun and Moon Data 08.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 09.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 10.11.41
- 4 -
    10.11.41   Contrary to expectations I run quickly through the Strait.  Plotting at times shows 16.5 knots at only HF.  Therefore the current runs to the east.  On land everything is brightly illuminated.  
        Passed individual steamers with set lights.  At Tangier a patrol vessel ran past on course 270° at range = 900 yards, however could not see us because we had a dark background.  I get through without hindrance or incidents before 24.00 hours.  The Rock of Gibraltar is clearly recognized, the harbor illuminated.  
    24.00 CG 9672    
      N 5, Sea 4, 8/10, rain    
    11.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 7447 I receive allocation of operations area by Radio Message (CH to longitude of square 8669) I cannot determine the disguised square in the Mediterranean however accept that it is that of the cited limit. Guggenberger is also on the way here.  After passing the longitude of CH 7896 I am to make a passing report.  
      NbyW 3, Sea 2, rain, overcast  
    08.00 CH 7469 We welcome our first day in the Mediterranean.  
      NbyW 3, Sea 2, rain, overcast    
    09.40 CH 7544 Dived to charge the torpedoes.  It rains from low hanging clouds.  
    12.00 CH 7545 Day's run:  196 nm (165 + 31)  
    16.00 CH 7552    
      WSW 4, Sea 3, 7/10    
    17.21 CH 7561 Crash dive for flying boat.  I remain submerged due to the bad visibility.  
    20.00 CH 7562 Surfaced.  
    24.00 CH 7627    
      WbyS 4, Sea 2, 2/10    
    12.11.41 Western Mediterranean I receive the detailed allocation of the attack area by Radio Message.  It is the area between CG 9595 to the east to the connecting line AD [CH] 7347 to 8481.  Guggenberger has the southern part.  
        We are to maintain radio silence except for report of enemy convoys, warships and apparent operations against Italians.  Attack free against valuable targets.  We should therefore remain undetected.  
    04.00 CH 7624    
      W 6-7, Sea 5, 8/10    
    08.00 CH 7377 In the twilight a steamer with set lights ahead, apparently without illuminated hull markings.  I dive for submerged attack and am ready to shoot very nicely.  Steamer speed 10 knots, course 30°, range = 2000 meters.  Textbook approach.  At target angle 40° I determine that the flag and side of the hull are illuminated, perfectly Spanish, a pity.  I let him go.  
      W 6, Sea 5, 7/10  
Sun and Moon Data 10.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 11.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 12.11.41
- 5 -
        Passed by at 400 meters.  Size about 7000 tons.  1/2 hour later surfaced, steered astern of the steamer on the opposite course.  
    10.15 CH 7311 Crash dive for an aircraft formation of 4 2-engined bombers.  Overflew us at an altitude of 2000 meters.  Type unknown.  
    12.00 CH 7333 Day's run:  130 nm (102 + 28)  
    13.10   After the mid day meal surfaced.  
    16.00 CH 7563    
      W 6, Sea 5, 2/10    
    20.00 CH 7588 Radio message report that Italian air reconnaissance has sighted an English formation consisting of a battleship, aircraft carriers, cruisers and destroyers in square CH 9148 or 9412, course west, speed about 15 knots.  B.d.U. suspects that formation is expected in the northern part of our operations area and also orders Guggenberger there.  
      SSW 6, Sea 5, 4/10  
        I set course 60° and by plotting should meet the formation about 04.30 hours.  I suspect that the enemy will stay in the center of the body of water.  I won't be fooled.  
    24.00 CH 7644    
      W 6, Sea 5, 2/10 Nothing seen up to moonrise.  It is lightly hazy.  Hopefully the enemy will not come insight in the moonlight.  That would be bad for the attack.  Otherwise it is a bright clear night, from two areas of the horizon summer lightening, that often seems like artillery fire.  
    13.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 7622 As early as 04:30 hours I want to believe that we have missed the enemy when suddenly the starboard aft lookout, Mtr.Gefr. Weise, detects on the favorable horizon abeam, just in the bright moon track, 3 heavy wallowing ships.  Very easily seen, but difficult to identify.  Certainly is it a formation of fat ships.  Range = 8000 meters, target angle 90-100°, course west.  Immediately came about and ran towards at high speed.  I recognize forward an aircraft carrier (ARK ROYAL) behind it a unit without superstructure (FURIOUS) and lastly a battleship.  
      W 4, Sea 3, 2/10  
    04.40 CH 7623  
Sun and Moon Data 12.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 13.11.41
- 6 -
        It is a shame that we are a bit behind, I cannot get ahead against the sea with the enemy speed of 15 knots, but I will definitely stay here for a shot, this is a never-recurring opportunity, these three fat morsels make a powerful image.  
        I calculate quickly.  The normal running track of the Etos is not enough, but perhaps we can get a bit more out of them.  
        Attempt:  I have a fan ready.  And because luck favors me.  The enemy zigzags towards.  The range is smaller, also the target angle is sharp again.  I must take this opportunity.  I take the aircraft carrier as the target and am well positioned without a large target angle.  
    05.06 CH 7623 3-fan from tubes I, II and IV.  Range = 6000 meters, enemy speed 14 knots, target angle bow right 90°, depth 3 meters, target length 200 meters.  More than one shot must hit home.  After the shot immediately turned away and ran off at AK.  
        Long minutes of waiting.  After 3 minutes 29 seconds a bright smoking fiery glow, then nothing more.  
        It is impossible that it was the carrier, it must have been a destroyer positioned on his starboard side which took a torpedo.  Nothing more is seen.  Suddenly after 6 minutes 54 seconds running track 7000 meters, 2 hard metallic impacts, that were heard in the boat despite our high speed, these are the hits, a joyous occasion in the boat.  
        We wait on star shells, pursuing destroyers or other defense, but there is nothing like that.  The Englander must have been completely shocked.  And now while running off on the starboard side we see even more.  
        A further partial formation of 3 fat ships, in which another aircraft carrier follows the first at an interval of about 3000 meters.  Attack on this formation is not possible target angle is already broad.  Range = 7000 meters.  I still have only 2 single shots ready in the tubes.  A pursuit seems hopeless.  
        The whole event was a great experience and triggered the greatest joy in the crew.  Our first hits since the first patrol were against an enormous target.  
        What was the success of the attack?  This is the question on everyones mind. [illegible few words] I delayed a reconnaissance report which I  
Sun and Moon Data 13.11.41
- 7 -
        now send while running off, to still bring up Guggenberger.  
        Because I am currently running on the surface even now a dimmed steamer.  
        It was worthwhile.  
        Double good luck.  
        He runs on course 95°, speed 10 knots.  size 400 [typo 4000] tons, I maneuver ahead to starboard, quickly load tube I and initiate attack.   
    17.13 [typo 07.13] CH 8874 [typo 8174?] Double shot from tubes I and II, range = 1000 meters, speed 10 knots, bow right target angle 90°, depth 3 meters.  Target forward and after mast.  Inexplicably both miss.  I had matched speed and determined course exactly.  Range could have been greater, but for that I had a 0° shooting angle.  I suspect that the steamer continually varies his speed setting.  
        Again maneuvered ahead then turned to  
        shoot from tube V.  Speed 10 knots, target angle bow right 90°, this time depth 2 meters, range = 2500 meters, with the assumption that there may have been an undershoot.  
        Again a miss, this time also unexplained.  
    08.00 CH 8776 [typo 8176] I reload once again, maneuver ahead at GF for a submerged day attack.  Twilight is already advanced.  
      W 4, Sea 3, 3/10  
    08.07 CH 8776 [typo 8176] The rapid onset of brightness forced me to submerge early.  I could not get far enough ahead, however still attempted to attack.  By the time I balanced the boat and was at periscope depth the steamer has passed by, range = 3000 meters, broad target angle, also seems to run at high speed now, it is possible that he saw me at the shot.  It was probably already too bright.  So I gave up the attack and remained submerged.  On the starboard side an illuminated fishing trawler ran towards me, I had to go deep for him.  Otherwise he would run over us.  
        I reloaded torpedoes and remained submerged due to the likely air reconnaissance.  
    12.00 CH 8174 Day's run:  164 nm (150 + 14)  
    16.00 CH 7393 About 17.00 hours the combat helmsman in the conning tower heard far off depth charges, that slowly came closer.  
    20.00 CH 7592 Heard 3 patrol vessels that located with listening gear.  One throws depth charges steadily, which are not too close.  Asdic is not determined with certainty.  The depth charges lay almost exclusively at long range.  Accepted that one of the two steamers saw me this morning and reported. Otherwise I can not explain the cause.  The attack last night on the formation displayed its consequences. (See report)  
        Up to 21.00 hours [rest of this sentence illegible]  
Sun and Moon Data 13.11.41
- 8 -
        withdrawing patrol vessel, apparently the others have disappeared.  
    21.37   Because it is now as dark as it will get above I decide to surface shortly.  We come up well.  Immediately moved off on 1 diesel 2 x HF.  It is quite dark, there is a patrol vessel astern at 1600 meters range and stubbornly throws his 2 charges every 10 minutes.  By this method he probably wanted to hold us submerged as long as possible and eventually force us to surface when there was no alternative.  Therefore the depth charges were probably only scare bombs.  
    24.00 CH 7385    
      NW 3, Sea 2, 2/10    
    14.11.43 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 7611    
      W 3, Sea 2, 2/10    
    08.00 CH 7528 Thick overcast sky with low hanging rain clouds, drizzle, flat sea.  
      NW 2, Sea 1, 9/10  
    08.32 CH 7528 Dived, I still expect U-boat hunts today and on cue at 09.30 hours the first depth charges fall at great range, approaching, however then further away.  Since yesterday night it seems the devil is loose everywhere here.  Propeller sounds are sometimes heard close, sometimes further away.  Depth charges are heard up to 12.00 hours.  
    12.00 CH 7527 Day's run:  123 nm (187 + 36)  
    16.00 CH 7543    
    20.00 CH 7543 Surfaced.  
    22.00   Radio Message from B.d.U.:  Reuters reports the sinking of the ARK ROYAL.  Report successes and observations.  
        A cheer in the entire boat.  We have struck well.  Hence the depth charges yesterday and today.  Excitement in the Mediterranean.  I report back as success:  3 hits on aircraft carrier and destroyer.  
        B.d.U. replies "Well done".  What more will Guggenberger report?  Was he there?  
    24.00 CH 7569    
      W 2, Sea 1, 2/10    
    15.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 7353    
      WNW 3, Sea 1, 1/10    
Sun and Moon Data 13.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 14.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 15.11.41
- 9 -
        Towards morning the report from Guggenberger comes in:  4-fan on battleship, ARC ROYAL, FURIOUS.  1 hit probable on battleship, 2 hits uncertain target.  His shooting position was only 32 nm west of mine.  He shot at 16.36 hours, I at 05.09 hours.  By this the speed of advance of the enemy was only 3.5 knots.  The reason for this low speed can only have been a heavily damaged ship which probably had to be towed by the battleship.  The ARC ROYAL was not sunk Guggenberger's attack, so we share the tonnage, because he probably caught the ship with his 2nd hits.  The order of the ships during a further attack was also different (see this).  
        So the situation remains to be clarified  
    08.00 CH 7365 I go again into my operations area in accordance with B.d.U. Orders:  Jebsen, Guggenberger, Reschke occupy area north of square 96 [CG 9671], in named order from west to east.  East limit of the attack area remains line from square CH 7347 to square 8481.  
      WNW 2-3, Sea 1-2, blue sky  
    10.24   Crash dive for 3 aircraft bearing 240°T, land-based aircraft.  I remained submerged.  
        Weather worsening.  
    12.00 CH 7391 Day's run:  210 nm (187 + 23)  
    16.00 CH 7399    
    20.00 CH 8414 Surfaced and proceeded to the south, at midnight again to the north.  
        After surfacing we heard Hans Fritsche speak about the sinking of the ARC ROYAL on the Politischen Zeitungsschau show.   The news service mentioned it as a special message indicating the names of the Kommandanten.  We are all proud and happy.  Also the Wehrmachts Report carries the success.  First appearance of U-boats in the Mediterranean.  
        Congratulatory Radio Messages area received from Ob.d.M. and Generaladmiral Karls.  The World Press is especially bad for England at this moment.  
    24.00 CH 8444 Radio Message from B.d.U. we are Group Arnauld and have as return harbor La Spezia. Routes for use of the Italian Navy are given.  
      SE 2, Sea 0, overcast  
        [missing line of text]  
Sun and Moon Data 15.11.41
- 10 -
    15.11.41   allocated with heavy U-boat hunt to the east.  
    16.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 7629    
    08.00 CH 7613    
      NW 2, N 2, Sea 1, 3/10    
    08.25   Dived.  
    12.00 CH 7617 Day's run:  146 nm (99 + 47)  
        The light traffic in this sea area leads me to believe, that the Englander largely proceeds in neutral sea areas and under neutral markings.  Except for the single steamer on 13 November no further dimmed vessels have been seen.  Possibly since the attack on 13 November all traffic has been strongly restricted and forced by day through strong air surveillance and scaring U-boats to submerge to get the ships through the U-boat endangered area.  
        Operating by day on the surface in the western operations area is no longer possible now.  As a result I am submerged by day and use higher speed settings at night to surveil the area.  
    16.00 CH 7642    
    20.00 CH 7655 Surfaced and moved off a bit to the east in the area assigned by B.d.U.  
    24.00 CH 8117    
      W 2, W 1, Sea 1, overcast    
    17.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 8123 At 01.40 hours a properly illuminated steamer (Spanish) passed us on course 200°, range = 4000 meters.  
      SW 3, Sea 1, overcast  
    08.00 CH 5871    
      NW 2, Sea 1, 9/10    
    12.00 CH 5823 Day's run:  211 nm (180 + 23) [typo 203 nm]  
      NE 3, Sea 1, 6/10    
    16.00 CH 5868 [First part of the sentence is illegible]  mountains of Algeria over the picturesquely beautiful horizon.  
      NE 7 [?], E 2, Sea 1, overcast  
    20.00 CH 8261    
      NW 1, Sea 0, clear, 8/10    
Sun and Moon Data 15.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 16.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 17.11.41
- 11 -
    17.11.41   Each crewman can come on the bridge once.  
        In N-S legs I run two times through the sea area from Ibiza to Algiers, no traffic.  
        By Radio Message was given information on Italian Recognition Signals.  A complicated system.  
    18.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    04.00 CH 5837    
      ENE 3, Sea 2, 8/10    
    08.00 CH 5855    
      NE 3, Sea 2, 7/10    
    08.36   Test dive.  
        Radio Message from B.d.U. concerning extensive observations of the neutral coast and English U-boats in the operations area.  
    12.00 CH 8228 Day's run:  260 nm (258 + 2)  
      E 3, Sea 2, 4/10 11.26 hours Radio Message from B.d.U.  Immediately go to another operations area CO at high transit speed via CJ 7611.  Further transit instructions follow.   
        Meaning:  Tobruk.  Accordingly there follows detailed transit instructions through the Strait of Messina.  I have specific objective points.  
    16.00 CH 8317    
      E 2, Sea 1, 1/10    
    16.30 CH 8318 Crash dive for aircraft.  
    19.35   Surfaced.  
    20.00 CH 8321 Hold Italian Recognition Signals for 2 days.  For us only Italian Recognition Signals apply in the Mediterranean from 25 November.  
      E 2, Sea 1, 4/10  
        Radio Message Reschke and Jebsen proceed at transit speed so as to arrive on 25 November in CO 5385.  
        Therefore I still have time and can run a bit slower.  
    24.00 CH 5992    
      E 2, Sea 1, 1/10    
    19.11.41 Western Mediterranean    
    01.30   2 steamers, course N and S.  Approached one closely to exactly determine his illuminated markings.  
Sun and Moon Data 17.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 18.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 19.11.41
- 12 -
        They are French.  Both steamers probably proceed in Marseille - Algier traffic.  
    04.00 CH 9127    
      E 2, Sea 1, 1/10 The water is incredibly strongly phosphorescent.  As a result high speed in the dark nights is useless.  
    08.00 CH 9211    
      E 2, Sea 1, 3/10    
    12.00 CH 9231 Day's run:  208 nm (199 + 9)  
      ESE 2, Sea 1, 2/10    
    12.20   A flying boat on parallel course at great range abeam to starboard, course east.  Did not dive.  
    16.00 CH 9322    
      ESE 2, Sea 1, 2/10    
    20.00 CJ 7412    
      E 3, Sea 2, 1/10    
    24.00 CJ 7432    
      E 3, Sea 2, 3/10    
    20.11.41 South of Sardinia    
    04.00 CJ 7522    
      E 2, Sea 1, 1/10    
    08.00 CJ 7616    
      SE 1, Sea 0, 1/10    
    12.00 CJ 7632 Day's run:  228 nm  
      E 2, Sea 1, 2/10 Outgoing Radio Message.  Position 30 hours off objective point.  
        The Radio Message is barely out when I Crash dive for aircraft.  Apparently Italian sea reconnaissance "R 043" however flies so foolishly that I am forced to submerge.  I still have plenty of time until tomorrow10.00 hours so do not mind being submerged.  
    16.00 CJ 8711    
    18.30   Surfaced.  
    20.00 CJ 8713 My Short Signal was not confirmed, therefore I was not understood.  
      E 2, Sea 1, 4/10  
    24.00 CJ 8579    
      E 2, Sea 1, 4/10    
    21.11.41 West of Sicily    
    04.00 CJ 8675 I have still not received any information on Recognition Signals for today, which I absolutely need now that I am in Italian waters.  
      S 1, Sea 1, 4/10  
Sun and Moon Data 19.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 20.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 21.11.41


Pages 13 and 14 are numbered incorrectly in the original KTB.  The dates have been corrected and order of the pages has been switched to put the KTB in chronological order.


- 14 -
    06.00   Radio Message to B.d.U.  Request Recognition signals.  Am 12 hours off ordered point.   
        Was not understood, unexplainable to me.  
    07.53 CJ 8649 At daybreak I see that I am at the level Ustica Island, am forced to move off to the west and submerge, to avoid any traffic.  
    08.00 CJ 8649 Now I must let own depth charges fall, I was probably seen from the island.  The depth charges all lie far off.  
        Jebsens Short Signal was understood.  He will be at the meeting point with the escort tomorrow at noon.  I will send another Short Signal today  for 12 hours.  The missing Recognition Signals are most unpleasant.  Diving was unnecessary.  
    12.00 CJ 8647 Day's run:  177 nm (149 + 28)  
    13.00   Went to depth 14 meters for very low frequency reception.  Nothing for us.  
    16.00 CJ 8649 Depth charges force me deep again.  
    18.38 CJ 8654 Surfaced and continued transit to the east north of Ustica Island.  
    20.00 CJ 8655 I will have to do without Recognition Signals and attempt to arrive while staying clear.  
      E 2, Sea 1, overcast  
    24.00 CJ 9475    
      SE 1, Sea 1, 6/10    
    22.11.41 North of Sicily    
    04.00 CJ 9753    
      EbyN 2, Sea 1, 8/10    
    07.00   Taken in convoy by escort vessel, which moves around me at suspicious distance at Raroloma.  He waits in vain for an answer to the Recognition signal.  First after calming searchlight signal traffic, Italian rambling, he dares approach us.  Escort to Messina at 2 x HF.  
        Fantastic sunrise behind the smoking "Etna"  
    08.00 CJ 9823    
      E 1, Sea 0, 8/10    
    09.40   Off Messina an Italian currier officer from our Allied Navy and 2 Officers from the German Navy Command Italy come aboard and give me all the information I require for the next period.  
Sun and Moon Data 21.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 22.11.41
- 13 -
    22.11.41   We now have enough papers and Recognition Signals for 2 months.  
    10.40   I decide to run into Messina briefly.  I want to download both G7as from the over deck and try and get some fruit and vegetables.  
        We moor in the Italian U-boat harbor, Radio Message from B.d.U. fuel oil only if absolutely necessary.  
        Since the oil bowser lying next to us contains just 11 cbm of oil, I take this into boat.  
        I am also supplied with drinking water and 120 alkali cartridges.  
        I report to the Italian Admiral to thank him for the supplies.  
        He had given us the fruits and vegetables that we took over.  
        The reception, wherever you go, also in the Officer's Mess where they herald us with roses, are accommodating and delightful.  
        Despite our refusals we cannot avoid the crowd.  
        We go for dinner at the Officer's Mess.  In the meantime the word had spread that out boat was involved in the sinking of the ARK ROYAL.  Among the officers the Admiral offers high praise. They envy us a bit, especially since according to the Reuters report it was universally assumed that Italian U boats achieved the success.  In Messina they had already prepared a festive reception for the boat.  That was told to me by the P.K. Leutnant to whom I gave an interview. (Lt. S. Mühlmann).  
    12.00 CJ 9828 Day's run:  175 nm (154 + 21)  
    16.00 CJ 9828 Jebsen arrived at 15.00 hours.  
    17.00   Put to sea.  We are supplied wonderfully.  Fruits and vegetables in quantity.  Escort brings us to CJ 9853.  
    20.00 CJ 9869    
      ENE 1, Sea 1, 5/10    
    20.30   Test dive, lasting only 5 minutes.  
    24.00 CJ 9991    
      EbyN 2, Sea 1, 8/10    
    24.11.41 West of the Greek Islands    
    04.00 CK 7782    
      E 1, Sea 0, misty, 6/10    
    08.00 CK 7872 Dived to proceed submerged.  
      Calm, Sea 0, damp air 7/10 We find here at about the same point a drifting rafts, 1 rubber and 1 dinghy.  Wood and wreckage strewn  
Sun and Moon Data 22.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 23.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 24.11.41
- 15 -
    23.11.41   around.  
    12.00 CK 7879 Day's run:  179 nm (166 + 13)  
    16.00 CO 1222    
    18.15 CO 1220 Surfaced. Quite heavy Swell,  Summer lightening in the SE.  
    20.00 CO 1262 Radio Message allocating attack areas CP 4700 and 7100.  Focal point is area 7160, 7190, 7430.  Jebsen is allocated the two west neighboring squares.  
    24.00 CO 1376    
      SE 3, Sea 2, 3/10    
    24.11.41 West of the Greek Islands    
    04.00 CO 1634    
      SSE 4, Sea 3, 6/10 Dived.  
    07.47 CO 2447    
    08.00 CO 2448    
    08.28   Completely by surprise an aircraft bomb falls quite close.  Unexplainable by me.  I was proceeding at depth 35 meters.  It seems impossible that we were seen.  Despite this I go to depth = 40 meters.   
    12.00 CO 2473 Day's run:  147 nm (115 + 32)  
        The depth charge throwing goes on. We also hear propeller sounds, but apparently further away. At times the noise and detonations get a bit closer but are not surely intended for me. It is quite unsettled here in the eastern Mediterranean.  
    16.00 CO 2484    
    18.13 CO 2488 Surfaced.  It is still surprisingly bright outside  
    20.00 CO 2734    
      SE 4, Sea 3, overcast    
    20.40   A column of fire bearing 230°T, perhaps a torpedoed steamer.  
    24.00 CO 2848  
    25.11.41 Southwest of Crete    
    04.00 CO 5231    
      SbyE 2, Sea 1, 6/10    
    07.10 CO 5345 Dived.  
    08.00 CO 5345    
    12.00 CO 5349    
    16.00 CO 5385 Day's run:  142 nm (128 + 34) [typo 162]  
Sun and Moon Data 23.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 24.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 25.11.41
- 16 -
    18.11 CO 5386 Surfaced.  
        Several Radio Messages are received.  They report strong English formations off Sollum and Sidi Barrani with course E and W.  
        For us the enemy cannot be reached.  
        Tiefenhausen reports today at 16.00 hours torpedoing a battleship.  The English replenishment of Tobruk goes on day and night, also ground combat by attacks of the heavy units.  
    20.00 CO 5398    
      SE 2, Sea 1, 7/10    
    24.00 CO 6425    
      SE 2, Sea 1, 7/10    
    26.11.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CO 6544    
      SSE 2, Sea 1, 4/10    
    06.10 CO 6587 Dived.  Twilight set in very early here.  According to the experience of the 23 U.Flottille there is considerable air reconnaissance in the eastern Mediterranean and therefore daytime transit on the surface is precluded.  
    08.00 CO 6582    
    08.20   Went to periscope depth due to loud audible propeller sounds.  Nothing is perceptible on the horizon.  The listening range is very large.  
    12.00 CO 6586 Day's run:  155 nm (119 + 36)  
    16.00 CO 6595    
    17.58 CO 6599 Surfaced.  Visibility clear, bright moon.  
    19.55 CO 6912 Crash dive for flying boat to starboard, about 600 meters away.  Seen very well by by the lookout again Mtr.Gefr. Weise (had also first seen ARC ROYAL).  Flies on opposite course, apparently had not seen us.  Therefore also reconnaissance against U-boats at night.  
    20.00 CO 6912    
      SE 2, Sea 1, 5/10    
    20.35   Surfaced.  
        Again twice kr reports concerning sighting of English warships, also not reachable by us today.  
        The enemy speed is always very high.  
    24.00 CO 6934    
      NE 1, Sea 0, 7/10    
    27.11.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CP 4743    
      Calm, Sea 0, damp air, mist, 1/10 The water is as flat as a duck pond.  
    05.57 CP 4756 Dived.  
    08.00 CP 4791    
Sun and Moon Data 25.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 26.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 27.11.41
- 17 -
        At 11.20 hours quite suddenly 2 aircraft bombs fall.  At depth = 40 meters he could not have seen me.  
    12.00 CP 4796 Day's run:  141 nm (103 + 38)  
    16.00 CP 4798    
    17.00 CP 7132 Again several aircraft bombs scattered over time.  
    18.42 CP 7131 Surfaced.  Freshened strongly.  A quite high sea from the NW.  
    20.00 CP 7134    
      W 3, 8/10 2 kr reports concerning enemy sightings, dated from the afternoon and are no longer usable for us.  
    23.00 CP 7164 Foreign U-boat ahead to port, course 280°.  I am positioned unfavorably in the moonlight and therefore turned away, showed a sharp silhouette, I suspect that the boat pounding in the oncoming sea was Italian (high forecastle, broad conning tower) and let him go.  To attack I would have to go to the moonlit side and could probably no longer approach in the seas.  I came again to course 140° and then searched for the English cruiser and merchant ships reported by Radio Message (CO 9367, course 100°, medium speed, at 16.45 hours).  I first received the Radio Message at 22 15 hours a bit late.  Still I will try my luck and operate on his course.  I accept 12 knots as medium speed, by this I can no longer reach him.  Apparently he is going to Alexandria.  So initially I run at higher speed to his suspected course line then continue on course 100°.  
    24.00 CP 7192 Lookout sights a dimmed sailing vessel ahead.  It must be a small English supply ship, despite the fact that the target is very small I will attempt to attack with a torpedo.  I maneuver ahead in the moon lee.  Artillery operation is not possible in the sea and inappropriate now while searching for the larger more valuable target.  
      NNW 5, Sea 5, 9/10  
    28.11.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    00.22 CP 7193 Shot from tube II, target angle bow left 90°, speed 5 knots, range = -- meters, depth 0 meters, miss.  
        The data on such a small target is undoubtedly inaccurate.  The range too great, however I could not get closer with such a bright night without being seen.  
        Further operation seems pointless to me, I continue searching for the large cruiser, after 1 hour steering on  
Sun and Moon Data 27.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 28.11.41
- 18 -
    28.11.41   course 100°, came to opposite course 280° in the hope that the enemy runs at much less than 12 knots.  
        Unfortunately after taking a midnight navigation fix, our position is 10 nm further north than thought so naturally the enemy was not found.  Until 02.00 hours I still steered search courses athwart his course on 250° and 310° and then went to the north to obscure my position.  I must assume that the sailing vessel saw me, it is almost a certainty.  
    04.00 CP 7162    
      NNW 4, Sea 5, 8/10    
    06.00 CP 7138 Dived.  
    08.00 CP 7135    
    12.00 CP 4798 Day's run:  127 nm (90 + 37)  
    16.00 CP 4791    
    18.05 CP 4734 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CP 7135    
      NNW 3, Sea 2, 9/10    
    21.35 CP 7162 A shadow in sight ahead to port, range = 3000 meters.  I turned to a parallel course and moved off, because the enemy proceeded at a similar speed and lay at a sharp target angle towards me.  Turned towards again and determined that it is not an Italian as yesterday but instead this time an Englander running out of Alexandria on course 295° for the Kythira Strait at Crete.  Because I am quite close, with the brightness I decide on a submerged attack.  The enemy is positioned in the moon mist.  
    21.59   Came to attack course and dived, searched with the periscope.  He is not seen.  The sea forces the boat out several times.  The field of view is still too small.  
    22.38   Surfaced and followed at high speed by sound bearing in 295°T.  Accept that with an enemy sped of 8 knots I will be there about 01.00 hours.  
    24.00 CP 7126 Also at  
      NNW 2, Sea 2, 9/10    
    29.11.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    01.05   01.05 hours nothing seen.  Dived briefly,  
Sun and Moon Data 28.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 29.11.41
- 19 -
    29.11.41   sounds bearing 235°, exactly as loud as before, but the enemy runs faster.  Surfaced and ran towards the sound.  Nothing.  The moon gradually sets, the night was darker, visibility worse.  After searching another hour I came to the opposite course to the east.  The listening gear is probably not completely reliable.  I cannot determine the range from the sound strength, so do not know if we are closer or further away.  I can only tell when I continuously man the gear submerged.  
    04.00 CF 7151    
      E 2, Sea 1, 7/10    
    06.05 CP 4778 Dived.  
    08.00 CP 4775    
    12.00 CP 4748 Day's run:  152 nm (112 + 40)  
    16.00 CP 4742    
    18.04 CP 4742) Navigation Surfaced.  Transit to the north.  
    20.00 CP 4718) offset    
      NE 3, Sea 3, 2/10    
    24.00 CO 6683 I still have 36 cbm fuel and begin the return transit because I must continue to Spezia.  
      NbyW 3, Sea 3, 8/10  
    30.11.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CO 6614    
      N 5, Sea 3, 9/10    
    06.46 CO 6286 Dived.  
    08.00 CO 6282    
    12.00 CO 6243 Day's run:  180 nm (146 + 34)  
    16.00 CO 6248    
    18.10 CO 6247 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CO 6193    
      N 2, Sea 1, 8/10 I send a Radio Message to confirm that Spezia is the return harbor and to report fuel and torpedo inventory.  
        I hold in position until the reply arrives.  
        Answer reads:  "Why return transit?"  
        Therefore I assume, that I am not to go to Spezia, and after submitting fuel come about and report the justification for beginning return transit.  
    24.00 CO 6541 My last Radio Message was sent twice, however not understood.  A wonderful indication of my position for the enemy.  
      NNE 4, Sea 3, 10/10  
Sun and Moon Data 29.11.41
Sun and Moon Data 30.11.41
- 20 -
    01.12.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CO 6553 At 06.10 hours I repeated the Radio Message a second time.  Even now there are frequent issues, transmission takes half an hour. That long a transmission is an intolerable situation.  
      NbyE 3, Sea 2, 9/10  
        Now the enemy knows our position at a minimum.  
    06.36 CO 6562    
    08.00 CO 6566    
    12.00 CO 6671 The result of our Radio Messages - aircraft bombs, though somewhat far off.  
        Day's run:  141 nm (107 + 34)  
    16.00 CO 7676    
    18.28 CO 6687 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CO 6689 By Radio Message we were informed that the return harbor for us and three other boats is Spezia.  
      NW 1, Sea 1, 8/10  
        I figure that I need 29 cbm with a bit in reserve, therefore enough to remain a further 2 days in operations area. My recent decision on return transit with 35 cbm was somewhat rash.  
    24.00 CP 4716 Kaufmann reports that this afternoon he encountered 3 cruisers and 2 destroyers reported by kr running into Tobruk.  He himself had 5 misses.  In these bright nights where you must shoot at long range, this is quite possible.  
      NbyE 1, Sea 1, 4/10  
    02.12.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CP 4765 The reported convoy and one further English formation on the African coast are not reachable by me.  
      E 1, Sea 1, overcast  
    06.10 CP 4848 Dived.  
    08.00 CP 4872 Again scare aircraft bombs fall.  
    12.00 CP 4875 Day's run:  155 nm (118 + 37)  
    18.08 CP 7132 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CP 7138    
      NW 4, Sea 3, 9/10 Again 4 steamers reported, course west.  Passed by me today.  I was still in the northern part of the operations area.  




CP 7167


CP 7186

2 vessels ahead to starboard bearing 150°T.  To Action Stations, fan ready.  I initiate approach, when suddenly the destroyer (distinguished as such) zigzags away and runs off at high speed to the south.  They disappear instantly in the dark of the night.  I chase at high speed and actually get them in sight ahead.  They are still on a SW course, apparently proceeding as patrol vessels.  I set off a bit to starboard and make a fan ready.  
Sun and Moon Data 01.12.41
Sun and Moon Data 02.12.41
- 21 -
    02.12.41   They are out, overlapping well and are both broad targets.  
        The opportunity may not happen again.  
    23.55 CP 7186 Four fan fire!  Range = 2500 meters (probably greater), enemy speed 11 knots, bow right target angle 110°, spread angle 3, shooting angle minimal.  Ran off at high speed against the sea.  Target passes out of sight.  Long wait.  Running time is up!  Because after 10 minutes running time there is a sharp, strongly noticeable metallic impact.  But still a hit at a run of 8200 meters.  Good Etos.  They ran further than expected.  
        At target angle 130° and speed 14 knots the lead angle is the same, shot range of 8700 meters would then equate to 5000 meters.  It could well be.  The estimation of distance is not very difficult, but you must remain that far if one is not to be seen.  The hit possibilities are correspondingly poor. But that would be better than luck if it still catches a destroyer.  
        I put as a result of the approach:  Hit probable.  Perhaps I will get some confirmation.  
    24.00 CP 4716 To disguise our position moved off to the north.  
      NW 4, Sea 3, 7/10 I consider:  I only have 3 torpedoes, all only single shots.  Is success promising with the bright nights?  No!  Therefore I decided today, to begin the return transit slowly tomorrow.  
    03.12.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CP 7244    
      NNW 5, Sea 4, 6/10    
    05.09 CP 7215 Dived.  
    08.00 CP 7211    
    12.00 CP 4799 Day's run:  153 nm (116 + 37)  
    16.00 CP 4792    
    18.08 CP 4791 Surfaced.  Strong Swell and Sea from the NW.  
    20.00 CP 4764    
      NW 4, Sea 4, 7/10, Swell    
    24.00 CP 4488    
      NNW 3, Sea 2, 7/10    
Sun and Moon Data 02.12.41
Sun and Moon Data 03.12.41
- 22 -
    04.12.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CP 4419    
      NNW 2, Sea 1, 8/10    
    06.30 CP 4174 Dived.  
    08.00 CP 4174    
    12.00 CO 6396 Day's run:  147 nm (112 + 35)  
    16.00 CO 6394    
    18.03 CO 6386 Surfaced.  
        Fuel measurement run for 2 x HF.  
    20.00 CO 6375    
      S 3, Sea 2, rain 10/10    
    24.00 CO 6284    
      S 4, Sea 3, 10/10 Sent Radio Message concerning return transit, fuel and torpedo inventory, probable hit on destroyer.  
    05.12.41 Eastern Mediterranean    
    04.00 CO 6274    
      SSW 6, Sea 5, overcast    
    06.35 CO 6192 Dived.  
    08.00 CO 6191    
    12.00 CO 6182 Day's run:  145 nm (111 + 34)  
    16.00 CO 6173    
    18.08 CO 6172 Surfaced.  
    18.30 CO 6172 Dived.  1 Masch.Gefr. is seriously injured in the left foot by a fallen Torpedo rail. We push and stretch the area. Hopefully it's just a sprain and no fracture. When inserting a bone sprang audibly into the joint.  The pain is now slightly less.  
    20.00 CO 6174 The Wehrmacht Report reports a destroyer at Cirenaika [Benghazi Libya] damage by a U-boat.  Was that us?  It was however not at Cirenaika, instead off Alexandria.  However another U-boat has not reported.  
      NNE 5, Sea 3-4, overcast  
    24.00 CO 5316    
      NNE 4, Sea 3, 3/10    
Sun and Moon Data 04.12.41
Sun and Moon Data 05.12.41
- 23 -
    06.12.41 South of Crete    
    04.00 CO 2896    
      NE 6, Sea 5, 10/10    
    05.58 CO 2816 Dived.  
    08.00 CO 2814    
    12.00 CO 2733 Day's run:  179 nm (144 + 35)  
    13.00 CO 2731 Also in this area over the entire afternoon occasional aircraft bombs.  Where it does not bang in the Mediterranean?  
    1816 CO 2489 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CO 2476    
      NWbyN 2, Sea 1, 5/10    
    24.00 CO 1656    
      NW 3, Sea 2, 10/10    
    07.12.41 West of Crete    
    04.00 CO 1534    
      NN 2, Sea 1, 1/10    
    07.05 CO 1275 Dived.  
    08.00 CO 1275    
    12.00 CO 1193 Day's run:  194 nm (160 + 34)  
        Sound bearing, propeller sounds astern, they move off.  Aircraft bombs fall continuously at this time.  
        Additionally aircraft bombs fall over the entire afternoon at times closer and further away.  Sounds were no longer audible.  
    16.00 CO 1167    
    18.29 CO 1159 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CO 1151 Radio Message from U-Chef:  Escort positioned from 08.00 hours Point Sofia.  
      NW 2, Sea 1, 5/10  
    24.00 CN 3331    
    08.12.41 East of Sardinia    
    04.00 CJ 9971    
      NW 3, Sea 2, turbid, 2/10    
    08.00 CJ 9867 Taken in convoy (Italian torpedo boat).  
      SW 3, Sea 2, 3/10    
    09.26 Messina At the roadstead off Messina a currier brings me a letter, from the F.d.U.  
Sun and Moon Data 06.12.41
Sun and Moon Data 07.12.41
Sun and Moon Data 08.12.41

Appendices to U-205's KTB - click on the text at left to proceed to the documents
ChartA Track chart covering entire war patrol  3 November - 10 December 1942
ChartB Track chart covering the period in the western Mediterranean 10 - 17 November
ChartC Track chart covering the period in the eastern Mediterranean 23 November - 7 December

Comments of the Befehlshabers der Unterseeboote

to the Kriegstagebuch of "U 205" from 4.10. - 10.12.1941



1.) The Kommandant exploited the shooting opportunities well and quickly.  However due to the large shooting distances and the rapid sequence he could in no case report exact hit results.  They are mostly based on assumptions.  Move closer and try to see more.
2.) According to several documents from B-Dienst at the time indicated by "U-205" there were no results in attacking the aircraft carrier "ARC ROYAL" .  The sinking of the aircraft carrier is thus attributed to the attack by "U-81" this attack time (16:36 hours ) coincides with the attack time determined by B-Dienst.
3.) The hits on "ARC ROYAL" by "U-205" are based on an assumption. Except 2 metallic impacts there were no observations.  Based on the running time results are also very unlikely.
4.) Hits and sinking during the attack were the escort vessel "LADY GLACIE".

Signed in draft: D ö n i t z .

          For correctness:  
  Leutnant z.S. and Adjutant  


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