U-756 - 1st War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason with the help of Ken Dunn and Rainer Kolbicz

Days at Sea
15 August 1942
1 September 1942


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Ships Attacked

Significant Events
15 Aug U-756 departed Kiel with orders to proceed to AL 22.
23 Aug BdU requested a weather report from U-756 and ordered the boat to proceed to AK 39.
24 Aug 08.23 The boat sent a passage report from AL 2219 after passing through AK 87. (see the note concerning this positon from which the passing report was sent following BdU's reconstructed KTB)
25 Aug 18.36 U-756 was assigned to Group Vorwärts.
27 Aug about 12.00 The boat reached its position in the patrol line.  (Time estimated from the boat's likely speed of advance and the position from which she sent her passage report.)
29 Aug 24.00 U-756 advanced the in reconnaissance line at 250° 5 knots (120 nm day's run).
31 Aug 07.55 U-609 reported contact on convoy SC 97.  Group Vorwärts was ordered to act on U-609's report.
31 Aug 17.28 U-756 reported sighting smoke clouds in AK 0213. (From BdU's reconstructed KTB for U-756 and BdU's KTB)
31 Aug about 20.00 U-756 reported "Enemy convoy in sight quadrant 2888, speed 8 knots, course 75°  U-756" (From U-411's Radio Log - Time estimated at about 20.00 based on likely position of convoy taking into account U-756's apparent navigation error (about 115 °, 40 nm))
31 Aug 21.04 U-756 attacked by day in AK 2868 (Position reported in error BdU's KTB as AK 2686 but correctly in U-411's Radio Log as "U-756 intended attack on convoy in AK 2868".  Time of this signal from BdU's KTB.
1 Sep 00.15 U-756 reported "Driven off by destroyer during day attack.  Depth charges without damage.  In pursuit.  Last position of convoy 24.00 hours quadrant 3771, general course 70°, 7 knots, about 20 steamers, 8 destroyers and escorts.  Harney" (From U-411's Radio Log.  Time of the signal from BdU's reconstructed KTB for U-756.)
1 Sep 02.00 U-756 reported convoy position AK 3745.  (From U-407's KTB)
1 Sep 02.50 HMCS Morden gained radar contact on U-756 1500 yards off the starboard quarter.  Morden was stationed astern of the convoy at the time turned to ram.  Morden fired anti-aircraft weapons as she closed and U-756 dove.  After three attacks with depth charges HMCS Morden fired starshells and returned to station.
03.16 2 MK VII light DCs set for 50 feet were dropped by eye on the swirl.
03.28 5 MK VII light DCs set for 150 feet were dropped by asdic.
03.37 10 MK VII DCs - 5 light set for 150 feet and 5 heavy set for 300 feet were dropped by asdic.
Nothing further was seen of or heard from U-756.  All other boats involved in the attacks on SC 97 subsequently reported and eventually returned to base.
1942 The Assessment Committee concluded "Insufficient evidence of damage" for HMCS Morden's attack.
1945   After the war the assessment concluded that U-756 had been sunk on 1 September in an attack at 1827z by Catalina "B" of 73 Squadron USN in position 58° 08'N, 27° 33'W.  That attack was actually against U-91 which was slightly damaged.  (see precis of attack)
1987 UK Ministry of Defence reassessed the loss of U-756 and credited HMCS Morden with the destruction of the boat. (see the Post war reassessment)

  Commissioning                                                     Copy No. . . 4 . .  
K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h
"  U  756  "
                     Kommandant:  Kapitänleutnant     H  a  r  n  e  y  
                     Copies to:  
                  6. U-Flottille
                  2. A.d.U.-Boote
Copy No.
4 and 5
                         Beginning:  30.  December 1941,  
                         Ending    :  14.  August 1942.  
  © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
  30.12.41 Wilhelmshaven Commissioning at the Kriegsmarinewerft  
  31.12.41 - Took over the boat from the shipyard, fitting out, degaussing, and compensation.  
  04.01.42 - Transfer to Kiel.  
  06.01.42 - Kiel U.A.K. trials  
  25.01.42 - Education duties due to ice impediment.  
  18.04.42 - Transit to the East, to Cape Arkona under escort from "KMS SCHLESIEN".  
  21.04.42 - Hela Agru -Front training.  
  05.05.42 - Rönne (Bornholm) Sound trials.  
  10.05.42 Hela Agru - Front training, transit to Danzig.  
  11.05.42 Danzig Transit to Gotenhafen.  
  12.05.42 - Gotenhafen T.E.K. - trials.  
  14.05.42 - D.W.K. - Gotenhafen.  
  18.05.42 Danzig Transit to Danzig.  
  19.05.42 U.A.K. - test run to Hela.  
  20.05.42 - Torpedo firing with the 25. U-Flottille.  
  01.06.42 - Gotenhafen Tactical training with the 27. U-Flottille.  
  10.06.42 Transit to Danzig.  
  11.06.42 Danzig Transit to Königsberg.  
  11.06.42 - Königsberg At the U-boat base.  
  15.06.42 Begin final adjustments and overhaul at Schichau yard  
  24.07.42 First sea trial.  
  27.07.42 2nd sea trial.  
  01.08.42 - Transit via Swinemünde for Rönne (Bornholm).  
  04.08.42 Rönne Sound trials.  
  05.08.42 Transit to Kiel.  
  06.08.42 - Kiel K.M.W. because of noise from the diving planes.  
  13.08.42 - Arming.  
                          Kapitänleutnant and Kommandant  
K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h  "  U  756  "
Kommandant:  Kapitänleutnant Harney
(Constructed by BdU)
  15.08.42 Kiel Put to sea with orders to proceed to AL 22.  
  19.08.42 To U-756:  On 20.08.42 at 08.00 switch to Ireland circuit.  
  22.08.42 Request for weather report.  
  23.08.42 Request for weather report and ordered to proceed to AK 39.  
  08.23 AE 5219 From U-756:  AE 87 east side heavy patrol cordon with air.  North-south.  Sighted during breakthrough.  117 cbm.  
  18.36 Radio message from BdU:  . . . . . Harney . . . . . form Group "Vorwärts".  In order mentioned with economical speed occupy patrol line from AK 3765 to 6629.   Depth 20 nm.  
  31.08.42 U-756 reports smoke cloud AK 0213 upper-right.  
  00.15 U-756 reports:  Driven off by destroyers during day attack. Depth charges without damage.   Chasing after.   Last location convoy 24.00 hours quadrant AK 3771.   General course 70 degrees, 7 knots, about 20 steamers, 8 destroyers and escorts.  
  The boat made no further reports, message requesting position of 3 September remains unanswered.  It is probable that the boat was lost at the convoy.  
  Effective 3 September 1942 to 22.10.42 U-756 is missing - one star, on 07.03.43 missing - two stars.  A total loss must be accepted.  
For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote
- The Chief of Operations -
Sun and Moon Data 31.08.42
Sun and Moon Data 01.09.42

Note: the position on 24 Aug at 08.23 (AE 5219) plots off the NE coast of Iceland and therefore must be in error.  U-411 recorded the position in this radio message her KTB as AS 5219.  This is a disguised grid square and with the method of disguising grid squares in use at the time, the AS and 5 are substituted and the 219 is correct.”  The most likely square given a SE course passing through AE 87 towards AK 37 and ending in 219 is AL 2219.  This is also the same square that U-756 was ordered to make for when she departed on patrol so it is reasonable that the breakthrough was considered to have been achieved when it was reached and is a likely position from which to send the breakthrough message.

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