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

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                  A 500-TON U-BOAT, SUNK AT 0006 ON 9th AUGUST, 1942.  
          "U 379" was sunk in approximate position 56° 30' N., 32° 05' W., ay 0006 G.M.T. on 9th August, 1942 by H.M.S. "Dianthus," who was escorting Convoy S.C.94 at the time.  She was prevented from taking aboard more than five survivors, owing to the proximity of other U-Boats.  None of the officers survived.  
          "These joined 21 survivors from "U 210," which had been sunk three days previously by H.M.C.S. "Assiniboine," escorting the same convoy.  All were landed at Liverpool, and arrived at the interrogation centre on the evening of 14th August.  
  "U 379" had a complement of 43.  She was commanded by Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant Commander) Rudolf Kettner, of the 1933 term, who in 1937 and 1938 was seconded for a while to the German Air Force.  He had made three patrols in a 250-tonner, based on Riga, against the Russians, but had sunk nothing on any of these.  He held the Spanish Cross ("Spanienkreuz"), a sports badge ("Sportabzeichen") and the U-boat badge, as well as the Iron Cross, 2nd Class.  He was a most unpopular commanding officer, described as a lazy, inefficient martinet.  He spent a large part of each day lounging in his bunk in pyjamas, threatened his men with the death penalty for minor offences, and gave one of them eight days' solitary confinement for a trivial reason during "U 379's" last patrol.  He was of a superstitious nature, having once, as related in a subsequent chapter, refused to fire at a target because it was Friday.  One of his weaknesses was his personal vanity: he was very fond of putting up notices all over his boat, signed "Kettner, Lieutenant-Commander," with such instructions as "Lift the seat" and "This glass is in no circumstances to be moved from my table."  
          Kettner generally gave instructions not to be called before 0800, when coffee was brought to him in his bunk.  He would listen to the wireless until 0900, continuing his siesta until midday, when he would be woken up again, and would eat a good lunch, always insisting on plenty of sweets.  After lunch he would listen to the wireless again until about 1400, when he settled down to sleep again until 1600.  He then had a cup of coffee and ordered the crew to pipe down until 1900, while he attended to paper work.  At 1900 he would have a substantial meal, followed by music until 2000, when "Pipe down" was again ordered, so that he could have a sleep before his night watch.  At midnight he went up on to the bridge for an hour, and drank coffee and beer and ate tinned asparagus and cakes.  Having finished his hour on the bridge, he went below, changed into pyjamas and returned to his bunk, leaving instructions not to be called until 0800 the following day.  
          The First Lieutenant, Leutnant zur See (Sub-Lieutenant) Karl Heinz Haager, of the October, 1938 term, however, was popular with the crew and considered efficient.  
          The Second Lieutenant was Leutnant zur See (Sub-Lieutenant) Stoll.  This may either have been Karl Heinz Stoll, of the April, 1937 term, or Hermann Stoll of the 1938 term.  
          The Engineer Officer, Oberleutnant (Ing.) (Lieutenant (E)) Max Lang, of the April 1937 term, was by far the most popular officer in the boat.  The crew described him as "wonderful."  
          "U 379" also carried two midshipmen named Moll and Goehlmann, but nothing is known about either of them.  
          The most experienced man on board was Maschinenmaat (Stoker P.O.) Porges, who had served before the war in the "Deutschland," and had seven or eight U-boat patrols behind him.  Some of these he had done with Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Helmut Rosenbaum, now in command of "U 73."  
          The youngest rating was aged 18-1/2.  
          Generally speaking, the morale was poor, principally owing to the laziness and inefficiency of the commanding officer, against whom some of the crew intended to lodge a complaint on return from patrol.  Discipline had to be maintained largely by the senior Petty Officers.  
          "U 379" was a 500-ton U-Boat of the VII.C. type, built by the Kreigsmarinewerft at Kiel, and one of the series "U 371" to "U 386."  She was commissioned some time before Christmas, 1941, and carried a white circle as yard sign.  While she was under construction, there were several cases of sabotage in the yards.  Strikes also broke out, owing to the low wages of the dockyard workers.  This resulted in French prisoners of war being drafted there for employment.  

Note:  The Commanding Officer's name was Paul-Hugo Kettner not Rudolph Kettner

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          She did her engine and diving trials for about a week in and near Kiel.  Before diving, she entered the pressure dock at the Deutsche Werke, where she was tested to the equivalent of a depth of 90 metres.  She afterwards went to the U-Boat harbour at Kiel-Wik, where she was frozen in, in company with "U 335" and eight or ten other boats, until March, 1942.  
          After the ice had melted she stove in her bows against a floating dock, owing to a mistake on the part of one of her crew, Mechanikergefreiter (Seaman Torpedoman) Schmidt, who put the telegraphs wrong.  While she was frozen in, her crew was given leave.  They were accommodated in the barracks at Kiel while their boat was there.  
          "U 379" then carried out the usual torpedo-firing exercises at Eckernförde, after which she proceeded to Danzig for her working up, which, owing to her having been frozen in for so long, was curtailed to two weeks.  There she was in company with a 750-tonner and several other boats, and returned on 28th May to the Deutsche Werke at Kiel for a week's refit.  
          "U 379" left Kiel on 25th June, 1942.  She was accompanied by another U-boat and was eventually bound for Brest, which she was due to make on 1st September.  
          She proceeded via the Kattegat to Kristiansand South, where she made fast alongside the mole for one night.  Next morning, she left and crossed the North Sea on the surface, not diving until she had passed the Shetlands.  She passed between the Faeroes and Iceland and crossed the minefields on the surface by day.  The area of the minefields is known as the "Rosengarten."  This name appears on pre-war German charts in approximate position 63° 30' N., 11° 30' W.  When crossing the "Rosengarten," they once had to crash-dive on sighting what the Captain thought was a corvette.  The corvette stopped her engines, and they imagined they must have been detected.  No attack however, developed.  They sighted no aircraft.  
          On 9th July she made contact with a large British westbound convoy off Newfoundland, and followed it for three days.  There was a dispute with another U-Boat as to which had made the first sighting.  Towards dusk on the first evening, she was driven off by gunfire from destroyers.  Survivors said that six rounds were fired at her, one falling some 10 metres to starboard.  She then submerged, and survivors counted ten depth-charges.  The next day, 10th July, she was running alongside the convoy and had a 14,000 ton ship in her sights.  The Captain, however, refused to fire since it was a Friday.  
          On the morning of Sunday, 12th July, when 8,000 metres from the convoy, she was again driven off.  "U 379" crash-dived and, before she was fully submerged, counted several patterns of depth-charges.  At least twenty detonations were heard but all were a long way off, and survivors believed that they were meant for another U-Boat.  One prisoner stated that, whilst they were following this convoy, they often closed to an attacking position and then sheered off.  This annoyed the ship's company, who made such remarks as "What the hell does the Captain think he's up to?"  
        Later, when on board "Dianthus," survivors witnesses the torpedoing of several ships in daylight, they could hardly believe their eyes.  They had not imagined it was possible to attack the convoy except by night and thought at first that the ships had been mined.
          (N.I.D. Note:  No convoy was attacked nor any U-Boats attacked by escorts on or near 9th July.  It seems likely that the convoy referred to above was O.N. 113, in which the first ship was lost on 25th July.  The incidents referred to as having taken place on 10th and 12th July probably did not occur until 24th and 26th July respectively.)  
          About 27th July "U 379" made contact with a supply U-Boat ("Versorgungsboot").  Survivors said that the only reason for contacting her was that Kettner wanted some fresh water for washing.  In any case cans of fresh water and provisions were taken on board.  All prisoners were positive that no fuel oil, torpedoes, or Diesel or motor spares were embarked.  The meeting with the supply U-Boat took place early one morning in a northerly latitude and lasted for about six hours.  It is believed that other U-Boats were either alongside or very close at the time.  (For a description of this "Versorgungsboot" see Section VIII.)  
          About 30th July when "U 379" had been over five weeks at sea, a "Bergfest" took place on board, at which the Captain ordered champagne to be served.  This marked the start of her homeward passage.  
          One night about 4th August, "U 379" sighted an aircraft with its searchlight on and promptly submerged.  She was not however, attacked.  This event subsequently caused some amusement on board, everyone saying that the look-out had evidently seen a ghost.  To their great surprise, this was the first aircraft they had sighted since leaving the Norwegian coast.  
          (N.I.D. Note:  It is not known that any Canadian aircraft use searchlights.  Landing lights might have been switched on but the look-out more probably saw a star.)  
          "U 379" was homed on to another convoy with which, it is believed, she did not make contact until about 2000 G.M.T., 8th August.  
V.  SINKING OF "U 379"
          At 1910 on Saturday, 8th August, H.M.S. "Dianthus'" coxswain reported a possible conning tower bearing 010°, but it was immediately obscured by a rain squall.  "Dianthus" was in position at 3,000 yards on the port bow of convoy S.C.94, proceeding from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the United Kingdom.  At 2012 the masthead look-out reported a conning-tower in sight, bearing 045° eight miles, but once more the view was blotted out by rain.  


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          It was not until 2045 that "Dianthus" sighted "U 379," in company with another U-Boat, bearing 030° six miles distant.  One minute later, she opened fire on "U 379," which was the left-hand of the two boats, at a range of 12,000 yards.  Twelve rounds in all were fired, one of them, according to survivors, falling only one metre to port of her conning-tower, and three others being very close.  
          At 2058 "U 379" dived to 30 metres (98 ft.), bearing 027°, six miles from "Dianthus," probably altered course and proceeded at half speed.  About an hour later she came to periscope depth for a short time, and dived again to 30 metres.  "Dianthus" at 2126 began to sweep an ever-increasing square at 15 knots.  
          At 2308, her signalman sighted a dark object bearing 300°, and one minute later this was seen to be a U-Boat, the number of which it has been impossible to identify.  "Dianthus" then fired eight rounds of star shell, but the effect of this was spoilt by rain.  She thereupon continued her sweep.  
          At 2339, however, a slight echo, classified as submarine, was detected at extreme range bearing 355°, and five of "Dianthus'" sixteen remaining light charges were set to 100 ft.  
          "U 379's" hydrophone operator at that moment reported the sound of propellers, relative bearing 310°.  But her captain, who always maintained he had no use for instruments of this kind, told the operator he was talking nonsense, whereupon the latter threw down his headphones in disgust.  
          At 2345, echoes were instantaneous dead ahead on 250°, and "Dianthus" half a minute later fired a depth charge pattern.  
          "U 379's" survivors said that the first of these burst below their boat, slightly to port.  Others followed, but they were not sure in what position they fell, and they had been almost deafened by the noise of the first.  They thought, however, that the second exploded immediately below them, and the U-Boat appeared to be thrown upwards.  The main switches were burnt out, the electric lighting failed, the depth gauges, pressure gauges and periscopes were put out of action, and general confusion reigned.  No water, however, entered the boat.  The behavior of the crew was very good, considering their alleged inexperience of such attacks.  
          The Engineer Officer thereupon ordered the tanks to be blown.  Kettner rushed to the conning tower hatch and tried to open it, but failed.  "I can't do it!" he shouted.  But the Control Room Petty Officer, an experienced seaman named Kahn, came quietly up and opened it for him.  
          "U 379" surfaced at 2347, and "Dianthus" promptly put her wheel hard a-port, switched on her searchlight, set another five depth-charge pattern at 50 ft., stood by for ramming and ordered all weapons to open fire when on target.  
          On surfacing, Kettner and his Second Lieutenant were the first to abandon ship, the latter pushing others off the conning-tower ladder in his haste.  Married men were sent up first, and survivors were convinced that the whole ship's company had time to abandon ship before she sank.  Meanwhile, the Engineer Officer, with the same quiet efficiency that the crew had come to expect of him, had gone below and opened the vents.  He was the last to leave his ship.  
        At 2350 "Dianthus" rammed "U 379" forward of her conning-tower at an angle of about 60°, and fired six depth-charges at 50 ft. when her stern was over the U-Boat.  The target was well illuminated by searchlight and snow-flakes.  "Dianthus" then rammed her three times more and fired seven rounds of 4-in., 100 rounds of pom-pom, and seven belts of Hotchkiss into her.  At the fourth ramming the U-boat lifted and struck "Dianthus" on the starboard side of the forecastle.  At 0006/9, "U 379" rolled over on her beam ends, righted herself and eventually sank stern first.
          "Dianthus" made every reasonable attempt to pick up survivors, bringing one of the survivors from "U 210" on to her bridge so as to order his countrymen in the water to swim alongside, but this proved a slow process.  
          By 0050 only five survivors had been picked up and, in view of the possible proximity of other U-Boats, "Dianthus" did not consider it safe to remain in the vicinity.  She accordingly pushed overboard a Carley float with the usual rations and a floater net, and told those still in the water to swim towards it.  
          Survivors said that they last saw their Captain swimming in the Atlantic, and asking who had his life-jacket.  
  (i)  Badge  
          "U 379" had a horseshoe on her conning-tower.  
  (ii)  Diesels  
          The Diesels were named "Castor and Pollux."  This nickname was said to be usual in U-Boats.  
  (iii)  Batteries  
          The batteries were made by A.F.A. (Akkumulatoren-Fabrik A.G., Berlin), and had 56 cells each, giving 120 volts.  


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  (iv)  Switchboard  
          The main switchboard was operated by circular hand switches.  
  (v)  Anti-Asdic Devices  
          "U 379" was fitted with an anti-asdic device.  Though often called "Pillenwerfer" this device is more properly referred to as S-Gerät Vertilger" (literally Search-Gear neutraliser).  
  (vi)  Torpedoes  
        The usual outfit of 14 torpedoes was carried.
  (i)  "U 73"  
          A survivor said that he had seen Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Helmut Rosenbaum of "U 73, " in Kiel just before "U 379" set out on patrol.  He must have been on leave, since Rosenbaum was credited by German communiqués with sinking H.M.S. "Eagle," on 11th August, in the Mediterranean.  
  (ii)  "U 376," "U 377" and "U 378"  
          "U 366," and "U 377" left the Kreigsmarinewerft at Kiel before "U 379" was commissioned.  "U 378" was completed and doing her trials at that time.  
  (iii)  "U 380"  
          Survivors said that "U 380" was in commission.  
  (iv)  "U D 4" and U D 5"  
          The Dutch-built boats "U D 4" and "U D 5" have as badges a Dutch man and a Dutch woman, respectively.  
  (v)  "Versorgungsboote" (Supply U-Boats)  
          The supply U-Boat met in mid-Atlantic by "U 379" looked like a large-scale 500-tonner, but wa actually of 1,600 tons.  She had a normal bow and conning-tower and mounted two 3.7-cm. (1.46-in.) guns, one before and one abaft the conning-tower.  One prisoner said he had heard of this "Versorgungsboot" supplying an entire Junkers compressor to a U-Boat lying alongside.  
  (i)  Kiel  
          It was confirmed that the depot ship "Hamburg" had been hit by bombs and burnt out, with 400 men killed.  The "Ubena" was also hit.  Three slips of the Germania yards were hit, but had been repaired.  
  (ii)  Pillau  
          In summer, 1941, Oberleutnant zur See (Lieutenant) Gerke commanded the 6th company of the First U-Boat Instructional Division.  Leutnant zur See (Sub-Lieutenant) Graf was in command of the third platoon.  
  Crash-Diving Record  
          Survivors stated that a U-Boat could crash-dive to 15 metres (49 ft.) in 30 seconds and that the record crash-dive was 40 metres (131 ft.) in 38 seconds.  
  (i)  "Prinz Eugen"  
        The "Prinz Eugen" is so badly damaged that she will not be able to put to sea again this year.  This s the opinion of survivors and of dockyard workers to whom they spoke.  Some 15 metres (49 ft.) of her hull aft had been blown away, leaving her propellers visible from above.
  (ii)  "Köln"  
          The "Köln" is being fitted with new engines capable of producing 36 knots.  


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List of Crew of "U 379 "
  (i)  Survivors:  
English Equivalent.
Biewald, Georg Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate, 1st Class
12. 8.19
Porges, Walter Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
Wein, Helmut Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
Nowicki, Joachim Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
27. 7.19
Knüppel, Werner Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
2. 3.23
Total:           5
  (ii)  Casualties  
Kettner, Rudolf Kapitänleutnant Lieutenant-Commander.
Haager, Karl Heinz Leutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant.
Stoll Leutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant.
Lang, Max Oberleutnant (Ing.) Lieutenant (e.).
Moll Fähnrich zur See Midshipman.
Goehlmann Fähnrich zur See Midshipman.
Zischank Obersteuermann Chief Quartermaster, 1st Class.
Wagner Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class.
Beuing Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class.
Ackermann Funkobermaat P.O. Telegraphist, 1st Class.
Siepmann Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate, 1st Class.
Klassen Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate, 1st Class.
Hodyra Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class.
Kahn Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class.
Kammerer Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class.
Diesel Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class.
Wiechmann Funkmaat P.O. Telegraphist, 2nd Class.
Bussbach Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
Müller Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
Peetz Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
Klie Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class.
Schultz Funkobergefreiter Telegraphist.
Schmidt Mechanikergefreiter Artificer, 2nd Class.
Sporer Mechanikergefreiter Artificer, 2nd Class.
Bock Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Schleicher Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Albrecht Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Napierski Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Keil Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Christiansen Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Eisewicht Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class.
Schwenkkraus Funkgefreiter Ordinary Telegraphist, 1st Class.
Pogota Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class.
Kunkler Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class.
Fischer Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class.
Dohe Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class.
Mysen Matrose II Stoker, 3rd Class.
Officers . .
Chief and Petty Officers . .
Men . .
Total Crew
Officers . .
Chief and Petty Officers . .
Men . .
  (C46571) 425  10/42  

Note:  The Commanding Officer's name was Paul-Hugo Kettner not Rudolph Kettner


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