U-515 - 4th and 5th War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason

Departed
Date
Arrived
Date
Days at Sea
Lorient
21 August 1943
Lorient
22 August 1943
2
Lorient
29 August 1943
Lorient
12 September 1943
15

 

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 Attacked
None
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.


 

 
                           
 
           
                                                                       Copy No.:  . .3. . .  
           
                                                            
           
           
           
           
                                  
           
   
K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h.
 
   
 
   
- U - 515 -
 
       
       
           
      Commander: Kapitänleutnant  H  e  n  k  e  
           
      Beginning: 25.  June 1943  
      Ending: 12.  September 1943.  
           
           
   
 
           
      Copies to:  
     
Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, 2.Skl/B.d.U.Op., Copy No. 1, 2 and 3
Kommandierender Admiral der U-Boote
"
4
Führer der Unterseeboote West
"
5
Führer der Unterseebootsausbildungflottillen
"
6
Kommando der 27. Unterseebootsflottille
"
7
Kommando der 10. Unterseebootsflottille
"
8
 
           
      Enclosures:    
     
1 Track chart with 1 sketch
To
"
2, 3, 4, 5 and 8
1 Summary of the radio log  
"
2, 3, 4, 5 and 8
 
           
           
           
         
           
           
           
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB

 

The cover page would indicate that the aborted patrol from 21-22 August should be covered however the KTB at picks up with the boat at sea on 3 September. There are no page numbers on the original KTB. 

 

 
- 3 -
 
           
           
           
           
    03.09.43      
    08.12 BE 9871 Dived.  
    12.00 West of Spain    
      BE 9796    
      43° 02' N    
      14° 36' W    
      SW 2-3, Sea 2, light W-swell, 6/10, Vis. good, 1018 mb Day's run surfaced        84  
            "        submerged    29  
                                          113 nm  
    16.00 BE 9798    
    20.00 CG 1113    
    21.51   Surfaced.  
    24.00 CF 3363    
    04.09.43      
    04.00 CF 3388    
    08.24 CF 3569 Dived.  
    12.00 West of Portugal    
      CF 3568    
      41° 25' N    
      16° 28' W    
      SW 2, Sea 2, 7/10, Vis. good, 1018 mb Day's run surfaced      101  
            "        submerged    27  
                                          128 nm  
    13.25 CF 3592 Surfaced.  
    15.21 CF 3589 Dived.  
    21.33 CF 3822 Surfaced.  
        Radio message from B.d.U.  
        Henke, Pfeffer, Schauenburg proceed to CE 40, supply is intended there.   Maintain radio silence after sending post supply message.  
    24.00 CF 3843    
    05.09.43      
    04.00 CF 3764 Radio message to B.d.U.  
        CF 37, Bay of Biscay, advanced by darkness, no enemy radar detection.        Henke  
    08.19 CF 3747 Convoy bearing 298°T, course 180°, 10 knots, consists of approximately 25 medium to large freighters, numerous escorts and destroyers.  
    12.00 West of Portugal    
      CF 6117    
      39° 58 N    
      18° 40 W    
           
Sun and Moon Data 03.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 04.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 05.09.43
 
- 4 -
 
           
           
           
           
    05.09.43      
      NNW 3, Sea 2, medium NW-swell, 6/10, Vis. good, 1042 mb Day's run surfaced      146  
            "        submerged    22  
                                        168 nm  
    16.02 CF 5397 Dived for 4-engined land-based aircraft.  
    17.09 CF 5631 Surfaced.  
    17.51   Dived for aircraft.  
    20.15 CF 5629 Surfaced, contact on convoy, distance 15 nm.  No contact keeper report, because there are no boats nearby and none to be brought up.  
        While closing in twilight I realize the almost black conning tower should be painted lighter as otherwise, no surface attack is possible.  
        Approached from astern the convoy, inside the right outer escort, a light cruiser strongly zig zagging.  
    24.00 CF 6474 The moon is well covered, and night becomes starry, I decide to attack now.  The moon comes out suddenly, I am noted by an escort and steamer and am fired upon with anti-aircraft machine guns and artillery.  
    06.09.43      
    00.10 NE 2, Sea 2, light N-swell, 8/10, Vis. medium Dived to depth 2 A +10.  Depth charges distant at first, am held by Asdic.  2 destroyers throw 2 series of very well-placed depth charges, boat sinks to 3 A +10 and is held only by blowing all ballast tanks, numerous failures.  
    01.40 CF 6474 Surfaced and ran off.  
        Damage:  2/3 of all ballast tanks torn, 6 upper deck torpedo storage canisters dented and flooded, several air lines torn, main bilge pump and high pressure piping leaking, numerous other minor failures.  
    04.00 CF 5682 Decide to return to base.  
        Radio message to B.d.U.  
        During attack on convoy CF 6470, course SE 10 knots, heavy depth charging and damage, return to base necessary.        Henke  
    08.00 CF 5556    
    08.49   Dived.  
    12.00 West of Spain    
      CF 5552    
      38° 58' N    
      20° 28' W    
      NE 2, Sea 1, overcast, medium NE-swell, Vis. medium, 1018 mb Day's run surfaced      211  
            "        submerged    18  
                                        229 nm  
           
Sun and Moon Data 05.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 06.09.43
 
- 5 -
 
           
           
           
           
    06.09.43      
    14.10   Surfaced.  
    15.41 CF 5288 Dived.  
    20.09 CF 5285 Surfaced.  
    24.00 CF 5251    
    07.09.43      
    04.00 CF 2881    
    09.23 CF 2814 Dived.  
    12.00 West of Spain    
      CF 2814    
      41° 59' N    
      21° 05' W    
      NE 2, Sea 2, light NW-swell, 5/10, Vis. good, 1026 mb Day's run surfaced      128  
            "        submerged     15  
                                          143 nm  
    14.51 CF 2811 Surfaced.  
    18.46 CF 2911 Dived for aircraft.  
    20.56 CF 2912 Surfaced.  
    24.00 CF 2926    
    08.09.43      
    04.00 CF 3497    
    08.00 CF 3594    
    10.14   Dived.  
    12.00 West of Spain    
      CF 3681    
      41° 32' N    
      15° 53' W    
      NNE 3, Sea 2, 8/10, Vis. medium, 1021 mb Day's run surfaced      227  
            "        submerged    12  
                                          239 nm  
    15.12 CF 3682 Surfaced.  
    20.00 CG 1461    
    21.22 CG 1541 Dived for 2 radiating land-based aircraft.  180 cm distant 8-10 nm.  
    22.10   Surfaced.  
    24.00 CG 1552    
    09.09.43      
    04.00 CG 1626    
    06.46 CG 2421 Dived for enemy radar detection 175 cm.  
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 06.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 07.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 08.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 09.09.43
 
- 6 -
 
           
           
           
           
    09.09.43      
    12.00 West of Spain    
      CG 2189    
      42° 05' N    
      10° 42' W    
      SW 2, Sea 1, 3/10, Vis. good, 1015 mb Day's run surfaced      211  
            "        submerged    25  
                                          236 nm  
    15.06 CG 2198 Surfaced.  
    17.48   Dived.  
    21.16 CG 2239 Surfaced.  
    24.00 BF 7845    
    10.09.43      
    04.00 BF 7699    
    07.12 BF 8488 Destroyer and aircraft bearing 55°T distant 6 nm.  
    07.40   Dived.  
    12.00 Bay of Biscay    
      BF 8498    
      43° 51' N    
        6° 55' W    
      NE 1, Sea 1, 6/10, Vis. good, 1018 mb Day's run surfaced      186  
            "        submerged    38  
                                          224 nm  
    16.00 BF 8499    
    2118 BF 8575 Surfaced.  
    24.00 BF 8564    
    11.09.43      
    04.00 BF 8622    
    07.05 BF 8355    
    12.00 Bay of Biscay    
      BF 8328    
      45° 20' N Day's run surfaced      114  
        4° 52' W       "        submerged    30  
                                          144 nm  
    16.00 BF 8325    
    21.17 BF 5887 Surfaced.  
    24.00 BF 5823    
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 09.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 10.09.43
Sun and Moon Data 11.09.43
 
- 7 -
 
           
           
           
           
    12.09.43   Entered Lorient.  
           
           
           
     
Lessons Learned:
 
     
1.) Bay of Biscay outbound transit Point Liebe to BE 86.  Remained on the surface the entire night (new moon).  Speed 10-12 knots (according to visible wake) no enemy radar detection, no aircraft sighted.  Bridge watch 1 officer, 8 men, concurrently manning anti-aircraft weapons.
2.) Gibraltar convoy 5 September, course south, 10 knots, maintained contact from dawn to 24.00 hours, weak air escort, only additional escort by sea, no zig zagging.  Gave the impression that the escort expected no attacks.  Approximately 25 ships, medium to large freighters, two columns, 8-10 corvettes, 4 destroyers, 1 cruiser main escort ahead and on the flanks.  Cruiser and 1 destroyer behind.  No night air, no enemy radar detection, sighted by the escort, probably because of dark paint scheme.
  Experience has shown that 6 upper deck torpedo canisters represent a great danger to the boat during depth charge pursuit.
  Use of bigger depth charges is supposed.
 
           
                                                 
                                                 Kapitänleutnant and Kmdt.  
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
Sun and Moon Data 12.09.43

  Appendices to U-515's KTB - click on the text at left to proceed to the document
   
Track Chart A Track Chart the the 2nd War Patrol - 29 August to 12 September 1943
   
Track Chart B Combat Sketch for 5-6 September 1943
   
Radio Summary Excerpt of radio log (Funkkladde).

 
 
     
 

Commentary of the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote

 
 
On the Kriegstagebuch of "U-515" from 29.08.43 - 12.09.43.
 
 

 

 
 
        Unfortunately, the patrol had to be broken off due to heavy depth charge damage after the attack failed, because the boat was detected too early by an escort.  Unfortunately, this time, the proven Kommandant was unlucky, however, in the process, once again skillful.  Shooting earlier after the motto "The bird in the hand" .... would probably have been more positive!
        The fast Bay of Biscay transit is remarkable.
  
 
       
   

For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote

 
   
- The Chief of Operations -
 
 
                                       
     
                                                                                
                                                                        
     
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