F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

16 - 29 February 1944

PG30341

     
     
 
16.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
ER 31
U 262
-
BF 83
U 530
-
BF 82
U 761
-
CG 23
 
JT 24
-
LY 16
264
-
Op(BE 42)
532
-
KS 78
762
-
BF 49
 
66
-
EK 76
271
-
Op(AL 72)
539
-
Op(BC 66)
764
-
Op(AL 74)
 
91
-
Op(BE 11)
281
-
Op(BE 11)
546
-
Op(AL 57)
802
-
AL 11
 
123
-
EU 73
283
-
Op(AL 42)
547
-
BF 44
845
-
BC 56
 
154
-
CD 64
333
-
BF 82
549
-
Op(AL 44)
846
-
Op(AK 94)
 
168
-
MR 92
358
-
BF 83
571
-
Op(BE 15)
852
-
CD 29
 
170
-
CG 11
386
-
Op(BE 18)
586
-
CG 95
953
-
BF 75
 
177
-
GF 13
406
-
Op(AL 71)
603
-
Op(BE 15)
962
-
BF 82
 
178
-
Op(KG)
413
-
Op(BF 24)
608
-
Op(BE 12)
963
-
Op(AL 78)
 
183
-
LD 71
424
-
Op(BE 11)
650
-
Op(BE 42)
967
-
CG 95
 
188
-
LM 76
437
-
Op(BE 15)
666
-
Op(BE 42)
984
-
AL 98
 
212
-
Op(AL 45)
441
-
Op(AL 44)
709
-
Op(AL 78)
985
-
Op(AL 01)
 
218
-
BF 72
445
-
BE 21
714
-
AL 94
986
-
AF 71
 
231
-
Op(BE 43)
448
-
BF 57
731
-
BF 57
989
-
Op(AL 45)
 
256
-
Op(AL 75)
510
-
MQ 91
734
-
Op(AL 77)
1059
-
AE 69
 
257
-
Op(BD 65)
516
-
BF 81
550
-
AE 68
1062
-
DR 98
 
260
-
Op(AK 37)
518
-
DQ 23            
 
  On Return Passage:  U 188 - 260 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 714 - 731 - 762 - 953 - 984.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 552 - St. Nazaire.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 546 was attacked by an aircraft at 1226 in AL 5723, also U 984 in AL 9874 at 2019.  U 546 afterwards reported engine damage which she could repair with her own resources.
    2) A fast E.-bound convoy passed over U 608 at 0030.  Last hydrophone bearing in BE 1237.
  b)  Aircraft picked up a convoy at 1610 in AM 7416, course 1800 (presumably deceptive course).  No further details, as neither aircraft returned.  Speed, by dead reckoning, 6 - 6.5 knots.
  c) 1) Aircraft of No. 15 Group reported at 2027:  Am over surfaced U-boat, am being fired on with Flak (U 984?).  Shortly beforehand the same aircraft had reported an ASV location.  Two other ASV locations in unresolved positions.
    2) Enemy units were located in:  AM 4980 - 1610 - AL 9520 - 3240.
    3) Allied steamer made an SSS report from MT 7340 (Japanese U-boat?).
       
- 103 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  d) Shadowing aircraft were reported several times:
    1) With convoy unit "Siege" (course of convoy 2300, speed 8 knots, position AM 7195).
    2) With convoy unit "Product" (course 1800, 6 knots, AM 7246).
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Group "Igel I" is proceeding at maximum speed in the direction of BE 14.   "Igel II" is remaining in the attack area ordered.
  b) U 168 reports:  2 ships sunk in the area of the 1 1/20 Channel (Radio message badly corrupt, boat is to make it again).  Also situation report:  Statements by captured Greek ship's officers on Colombo:
    1) There are buoyed inward and outward routes to the harbor, 10 miles long, probably 2700.  The approach buoy is a red-white spar buoy.  About 8 - 10 steamers put in or leave daily, by day only.  About 3 convoys per week.  20 - 25 ships in the harbor, many of them Liberty, small patrol vessels only, few corvettes. No net barrage off the entrance, lights extinguished.
    2) Air situation is believed to be:  lively air activity by day, a few aircraft by night.  Sea patrol only for convoys.
*      
  d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
* c) U 532 (Indian Ocean) did not supply from tanker "Schliemann" on 11.2. because of bad weather.  On the following day she sighted flying boats twice.  After that she could not find tanker again.  New rendezvous at 1200/19/2 mean local time in JC 2665.  Boat is to report by 21.2. at latest if tanker found or not.
     U 178 is to make for the same square.  If necessary to deliver fuel to U 532.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
17.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
ER 62
U 260
-
AK 39
U 518
-
DQ 15
U 734
-
Op(BE 14)
 
JT 24
-
LX 66
262
-
BF 81
530
-
BF 57
761
-
CG 26
 
66
-
ET 21
264
-
Op(BE 42)
532
-
JD 11
762
-
BF 57
 
91
-
Op(BE 11)
271
-
Op(AL 75)
539
-
Op(BC 44)
764
-
Op(AL 14)
 
123
-
EU 47
281
-
Op(BE 11)
546
-
Op(AL 84)
802
-
AK 34
 
154
-
CD 82
283
-
Op(AL 74)
547
-
BF 45
845
-
BC 46
 
168
-
LM 5535
333
-
BF 81
549
-
Op(AL 78)
846
-
Op(AL 95)
 
170
-
CF 36
358
-
BF 82
550
-
AE 91
852
-
CD 56
 
177
-
GF 29
386
-
Op(BE 14)
552
-
Op(BE 15)
953
-
BF 76
 
       
- 104 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
178
-
Op(KG 94)
406
-
Op(AL 77)
571
-
CG 95
962
-
BF 81
 
183
-
Op(LC 65)
413
-
Op(BF 24)
586
-
BF 82
963
-
Op(AL 77)
 
188
-
LW 42
424
-
Op(BE 11)
603
-
Op(BE 15
967
-
CG 95
 
212
-
Op(AL 77)
437
-
Op(BE 14)
608
-
Op(BE 15)
984
-
BE 22
 
218
-
BF 71
441
-
Op(AL 78)
650
-
Op(BE 42)
985
-
Op(AL 72)
 
231
-
Op(BE 43)
445
-
BE 25
666
-
Op(BE 42)
986
-
AE 69
 
256
-
Op(AL 75)
448
-
BF 82
709
-
Op(AL 78)
989
-
Op(AL 75)
 
257
-
Op(BD 67)
510
-
Op(MQ 89)
714
-
BE 21
1059
-
AE 68
       
516
-
BF 82
731
-
BF 55
1062
-
EH 17
 
  On Return Passage:  U 188 - 260 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 714 - 731 - 762 - 953 - 984.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
   Day: Reconnaissance for reported convoy by 3 Ju 290.
   Night: By 1 BV 222 and 1 Ju 290.  Both aircraft returned because of defects.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 518 reports:  Fired T 5 on 13.2. in DF 8564 at an auxiliary depot ship.  3 hits heard.  Escorted by 4 destroyers, course 2400. Strong searching group 15.2. in DF 87, depth charges.  To Japanese Attache "Kiefer" passed 100 W. 6.3. (Translator's note:  sic).  Own position 18.2. DF 7544.
    2) U 188 sank 3 cargo sailing vessels on 12.2. in LA 3613. 
  b)  Aircraft picked up:
    1) 1525 convoy in  square AL 9731, consisting of at least 12 large merchant ships and 1 aircraft carrier.
    2) 1625 apparently the same convoy in AL 9722.  28 merchant ships, 8 escort vessels (including 2 destroyers), 2 carriers identified.  Course 2700, 7 knots.
    3) 1425convoy (25 smoke clouds) square BE 2352.
    4) 1715 carrier in square BE 2373, course W.
  c) 1) A U-boat was sighted at 1040 by an aircraft of 19 Group, probably in BF 7656 and at 1047 3 surfaced U-boats were sighted, probable course 2700, speed 7 knots, probably in BF 7685 by the same aircraft.
    2) U-boat sighting in MF 8310 (not one of ours).
    3) 3 ASV locations in unresolved positions.
    4) Enemy units were located in AM 5311 - 0210 - 4622 - BE 2620 - 2520 - BF 2299.
       
- 105 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  d)  Convoy unit "Bayrum" reported a shadowing aircraft, course 520, 10 knots.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Group "Igel I and II" dissolved.
    2) On the basis of the aircraft report at 1625 the following boats, as Group "Hai I", will form a patrol line from AL 7464 via BD 3369 to BE 1818 by 1800/18/2:
      U 414 - 546 - 283 - 549 - 985 - 989 - 406 - 764 - 212 - 734 - 256 - 709 - 424 - 608 - 91 - 603 - 386 - 437 - 264.
      Distances apart 12 miles.  Boats which have not reported for some time will form "Hai II" and will be in patrol line from AK 9925 - BE 1717.   Order: U 271 - 963 - 281 - 571 - 650 - 666 - 231.  Tactical instructions for the coming operation have been given to the boats.
  b)  U 168 sank a 5,000 tonner in LC 9519 on 14.2., on her way to her operations area.  3 hits, 1 P: G 7 H (Translator's note:  torpedo pistol, impact firing) failed.  15.2. LC 8777 - "Epaminondas C. Embiricos" (4,385 GRT), proceeding in ballast to Lourenco Marques.  3 hits, 2 misses.  Both Colombo - 1 1/20 Channel, 9 knots.  Boat's position:  LM 5535.  Return passage, supply, 180 cbm., 1 air-driven torpedo.
  c)  None.
  d) U JT 23 sank while transferring from Shonan to Penang, after a hit by a torpedo fired from a submarine.  Commanding Officer and 14 men saved.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    
U 188 3 cargo sailing vessels    
U 168 2 ships 9,385 GRT.  
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
18.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
ES 72
U 262
-
BF 73
U 530
-
BF 57
U 761
-
CG 29
 
JT 24
-
LX 88
264
-
Op(BE 18)
532
-
JC 35
762
-
BF 57
 
66
-
ET 26
271
-
Op(BE 17)
539
-
BC 45
764
-
Op(BD 33)
 
91
-
Op(BE 14)
281
-
Op(BD 33)
546
-
Op(AL 74)
802
-
Op(AK 24)
 
123
-
EU 41
283
-
Op(AL 77)
547
-
BF 49
845
-
BC 54
 
154
-
CD 76
333
-
BF 73
549
-
Op(AL 77)
846
-
Op(AK 91)
 
168
-
LM 55
358
-
BF 84
550
-
AE 83
852
-
CD 82
 
170
-
CF 62
386
-
Op(BE 14)
552
-
BF 57
953
-
BF 81
 
177
-
CF 65
406
-
Op(AL 77)
571
-
Op(BD 33)
962
-
BF 73
 
178
-
KS 12
413
-
Op(BF 24)
586
-
CG 95
963
-
Op(AK 99)
 
183
-
Op(LC 37)
424
-
Op(BE 14)
603
-
Op(BE 14)
967
-
CG 95
 
188
-
LW 72
437
-
Op(BE 18)
608
-
Op(BE 14)
984
-
BE 29
 
212
-
Op(BD 33)
441
-
Op(AL 74)
650
-
Op(BD 36)
985
-
Op(AL 77)
 
218
-
BE 96
445
-
BE 28
666
-
Op(BD 36)
986
-
AE 88
 
231
-
Op(AK 99)
448
-
BF 81
709
-
Op(BE 11)
989
-
Op(AL 77)
 
256
-
Op(BE 11)
510
-
Op(MQ 72)
714
-
BE 24
1059
-
AE 91
 
257
-
Op(BD 67)
516
-
BF 82
731
-
BF 52
1062
-
EH 49
 
260
-
AL 4198
518
-
DP 35
734
-
Op(BD 33)      
 
       
- 106 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 260 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 714 - 731 - 762 - 953 - 984.
  Entered Port:  U 731 - Brest.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  Total sortie:  10 aircraft, of which 6 in the reconnaissance area (1 BV 222, 2 FW 200, 3 Ju 290).
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 518 reports, additional to yesterday's radio message:  1925 sighted ship, type "Friesenland", normal bows, 1 mast, 1 well deck, 9,000 GRT, speed 17 knots.  One T 5 (Translator's note:  acoustic torpedo), hit after 13 minutes 45 seconds.  Loud explosion, swishing noises and sounds of frames cracking for 4 minutes, then no more propeller noises.  Presumed ship sunk.
    2) Further reports see IV a.
  b)  Aircraft picked up convoy 3 times and made beacon-signals twice.  Analysis of boats' reports received after this showed.
    1) Convoy's position at 0110 square BE 1680.
    2)        "              "            0434      "      BE 1943.
    3) BV 222 reported the convoy in BE 1948 at 0500.
  c) 1) Aircraft of No. 19 Group sighted a surfaced U-boat in BE 6173 at 2202, course 900, speed 8 knots.  5 U-boat sightings by aircraft in unresolved positions.
    2) Enemy units were located altogether 13 times in the area AL 90, AM 70, BE 20, also in AM 4820/30, BF 2369, AM 4360, BC 3620, BC 82, AM 4960.
  d)  Radio guard boat with convoy unit "Seige" fixed by radio direction finder at 0830 - 0900 in the area square BE 16.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Convoy situation:
     During the night 17/18 the air reconnaissance most important for the operation was not flown, and therefore all available aircraft were used for reconnaissance during the night 18/19.  They were expected to reach the reconnaissance area at dusk and to make beacon-signals from 2030.
    On the afternoon of the 18th a Radio Intelligence report was received giving a radio direction finder fix for a radio guardship which probably belonged to the convoy.  The
       
- 107 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     bearing was approximately in the area from BE 1620 to 1630.  According to this report, the convoy must have been diverted to the S.  Both patrol lines were therefore ordered at 1400 to cover 20 miles submerged in direction 1500 before surfacing at 2000.
     When they had surfaced, the boats were ordered to continue on a course of 1800, speed 11 knots.  The patrol lines were transferred even further to the S. because at 1310 U 264 reported that she had been depth-charged by a searching group of 3 in BE 1824, course 2300.
     As no air reconnaissance report had been received by 2200 and the boats were sufficiently far S. according to dead reckoning of the convoy, they were ordered to proceed E. at 13 knots in order to get at the enemy as quickly as possible.  The convoy was believed to be E. of the patrol line.  It was possible for the boats to maintain the high speed, as weather was S.W. 1, sea 0.  Visibility was 1 - 2 miles.
     Between 2000 and 2400 4 reports were received from boats of aircraft attacks and aircraft sightings from 1485, 1738, 1825 and 1851.  These reports indicated that the convoy was passing the S. sector of the patrol line.
     At 0710 aircraft reported the convoy in BE 4225.  The aircraft shadowed until 0210 and made beacon-signals from 0130 to 0210.  These were reported by 4 boats.  Bearings were far to the N.E. of the convoy's position given by the aircraft.  No exact enemy position could be fixed from the bearings, the probable position covered the squares 1910 to 1660.  The 16 most southerly boats of each patrol line were directed to this area.
     Towards 0400 various reports were received from boats of flares and destroyers.  This was clearly the escort at long range from the convoy.
    Towards 0500 a second aircraft made contact with the convoy and sent beacon-signals.  These were reported by 5 boats and gave a definite enemy position for 0500 in BE 1942.  Boats were ordered to this position at maximum speed.  In theory 6 - 8 boats could have reached the convoy before first light.
    6 of our aircraft were on reconnaissance during the night and shortly after 0500 a third reached the convoy.  It reported an attack by 3 fighters which it was able to shake off.  One boat also reported attack by an aircraft at 0551.  This showed for certain that there were carrier-borne aircraft with the convoy, as had already been supposed when 2 carriers were identified.
     The few boats which might be anywhere near the convoy were therefore ordered to dive at dawn, but to remain at periscope depth and take advantage of any opportunity to make a day attack.
     No further boats made contact with the convoy.
 
 
 
- 108 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    Final comments:
    1) The operation failed for the following reasons:
     
a) Air reconnaissance during the night before last would have been decisive for the operation.  As it was not flown, the convoy's tendency to steer S. rather than W. was not known in time to dispose the boats accordingly.
b) Last night aircraft reconnaissance did not pick up the convoy as planned, shortly after dark, probably because the decisive aircraft made an error in the position, and it was not found until 0200 by an aircraft on its way home.  This meant a loss of 6 hours for the U-boats' operation, though even the position was not hopeless, as the boats had been operating on a E. course at high speed since 2230.
    2) Air reconnaissance could only be flown by straining resources to the utmost.  2 aircraft had defects in the night before last, which was why the decisive reconnaissance was not flown.
    3) The beacon signal procedure unfortunately did not give a certain enemy position fix until too late.  It was proved however that the basic principle of co-operation between aircraft and U-boat is workable.
    4) This type of operation will have to be tried again and again.  If there is adequate air reconnaissance it must be possible to move the U-boat patrol line in accordance with the convoy's evasive movements in time to get most of the U-boats to the convoy early in the night the action is to take place.  We could also try to keep several boats above water shadowing the convoy by day, despite carrier aircraft.  This could only be done, however, if the initial defects in the 3.7 cm. gun have been overcome in the improved design now coming into production.
  b) - c) None.
  d)  U 193 (El Ferrol) has been given 4 days to repair by the Spanish Foreign Office, so that the boat must leave by 22.2.  As far as can be seen so far, this will be long enough.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 518                1 ship                9,000 GRT.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
19.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
ES 79
U 262
-
BE 48
U 518
-
DE 99
U 761
-
CG 55
 
JT 24
-
KH 92
264
-
Op(BE 42)
530
-
BF 57
762
-
BF 57
 
66
-
Op(ET 60)
271
-
Op(BE 42)
532
-
JC 26
764
-
Op(BE 13)
 
91
-
Op(BE 18)
281
-
Op(BE 14)
539
-
BC 44
802
-
Op(AK 2445)
 
123
-
Op(EU 80)
283
-
Op(AL 78)
546
-
Op(AL 78)
845
-
BC 43
 
154
-
DE 33
333
-
BF 72
547
-
BF 49
846
-
Op(AK 95)
 
168
-
LM 85
358
-
BF 48
549
-
Op(AL 78)
852
-
CD 87
 
       
- 109 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
170
-
CF 63
386
-
Op(BE 14)
550
-
AE 85
953
-
BF 67
 
177
-
FT 50
406
-
Op(BE 15)
552
-
BF 57
962
-
BF 71
 
178
-
KS 19
413
-
Op(BF 24)
471
-
Op(BE 14)
967
-
CG 95
 
183
-
Op(LC 90)
424
-
Op(BE 18)
603
-
Op(BE 18)
963
-
Op(BE 11)
 
188
-
KH 16
437
-
Op(BE 42)
608
-
Op(BE 18)
984
-
BE 61
 
212
-
Op(BE 15)
441
-
Op(AL 78)
650
-
Op(BE 18)
985
-
Op(BE 11)
 
218
-
BE 95
445
-
BE 61
666
-
Op(BE 18)
986
-
AE 67
 
231
-
Op(AK 99)
448
-
BF 48
709
-
Op(BE 18)
989
-
Op(BE 11)
 
256
-
Op(BE 15)
510
-
Op(MP 60)
714
-
BE 28
1059
-
AE 83
 
257
-
Op(BD)
516
-
BF 82
734
-
Op(BE 15)
1062
-
EH 85
 
260
-
AL 72                  
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 260 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 714 - 762 - 953 - 984.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 843 - Lorient;  U 267 - St. Nazaire;  U 421 - 214 - Brest;  U 365 from Kiel to Northern Waters;  U 193 - El Ferrol.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 437 sank a destroyer and an escort vessel belonging to a strong S.W. group of the convoy with T-5 in BE 1949 at 0405/19/2.  No hydrophone bearing, no contact.
    2) U 984 fired a T 5 at a destroyer in AL 6449 at 0449/15/2.  Explosion after 12 minutes 30 seconds.  Sinking heard in hydrophones.
    3) U 608 was not able to shake off a location transmission picked up in Naxos (Translator's note:  radar interception set) at 0400/19/2 for 40 minutes, despite numerous Aphrodite (Translator's note:  radar decoy balloons) and alterations of course.  After she had dived a destroyer approached at high speed.  Depth charges, location by gear similar to echo-ranging and sonic telegraphy.
  b) 1) None.
    2) Use of reconnaissance aircraft for operation against ONS 29 from 13.2 to 18.2.44.
      Aircraft available for reconnaissance:
      11 Ju 290, of which 5 were operationally effective.
      4 Ju 88 for very long range, all operationally effective.
      2 BV 222, neither serviceable.  One aircraft expected to be ready by 13th or 14th.
      Number of sorties:
      2 Ju 88 - 17 Ju 290 - 3 FW 200 - 2 BV 222 of which the following turned back:
       
- 110 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     
a) 4 Ju 290 and 1 BV 222, because of engine trouble.
b) 2 Ju 290: because radio and radar broke down.
c) 2 Ju 290: because of compass trouble.
d) 1 FW 200 for other reasons.
      3 Ju 290 are overdue, 2 probably shot down by carrier-borne aircraft, 1 by Mosquitoes in the Biscay (according to English broadcast).
      Conclusions:
      The defects which arise particularly at the end of a reconnaissance are due to overworking the available aircraft so that through maintenance is not possible.  The reconnaissance could only be flown at all because twice the necessary number of machines were used at each sortie plus a reserve.  The sorties could only be flown, especially last night, thanks to great efforts made by ground staff.
      The essential and only remedy for the difficulties which have arisen is to get more aircraft.
  c) 1) 2 ASV locations in unresolved positions.  An aircraft of No. 19 Group had an ASV location at 0521 and reported at 0543:  Over surfaced U-boat position not resolved, course 1600, speed 12 knots.
    2) 23 locations of enemy units, mainly in BE 20/40.  2 enemy units made 5 short signals from CG 95 to Gibraltar between 0404 and 0630, some of them with high priority.
    3) Enemy aircraft reported at 1225 5 merchant ships, 3 escort ships in AE 7769, course 3000, 7 knots.
    4) SOS from an aircraft of No. 19 Group from BF 1261.
    5) Radio guardship of convoy "Favour" was located in the area BE 16 and later with greater accuracy in BE 2550.  Guardship of convoy "Siege" was located in area BE 27, later in BE 41/45.  Guardship of convoy "Mayor" reported 2 aircraft shadowing at 0557/19/2 and was later located in area DE 19 and BE 4596.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Group "Hai I and II" were dissolved.  U 406 - 368 - 650 - 231 - 666 are to start on return passage and are to report when passing the longitude of BE 2955.  These boats have not reported for some time.  The remaining boats are moving off towards AK 60.
      It is intended to operate the remaining boats and some others fresh from France against a S.-bound Gibraltar convoy on about 28.2.
    2) U 546 is relieving U 846 and U 549.  U 257 as weather boat
 
 
 
- 111 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      and will start weather reports on 22.2.
  b) - c) None.
  d)  U 586 reported her position from CH 6524 and thus enters the Mediterranean.
       
V. Reports of Success
    
U 437 1 destroyer
  1 escort vessel
U 984 1 destroyer.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
20.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
FD 27
U 257
-
Op(BD 60)
U 448
-
BF 47
U 714
-
BE 56
 
JT 24
-
KH 94
260
-
AL 87
510
-
Op(MP 50)
734
-
Op(BE 15)
 
66
-
Op(EU 50)
262
-
BF 47
516
-
BF 82
761
-
CG 58
 
91
-
Op(BE 18)
264
-
Op(BE 47)
518
-
DQ 22
764
-
Op(BE 13)
 
123
-
Op(EU 70)
267
-
BF 58
530
-
BF 57
802
-
Op(AK)
 
154
-
DE 37
271
-
Op(BE 42)
532
-
JC 26
843
-
BF 55
 
168
-
LW 25
281
-
Op(BE 14)
539
-
Op(BB 66)
845
-
Op(BD 41)
 
170
-
CF 65
283
-
Op(AL 78)
546
-
Op(AL 74)
846
-
Op(AK)
 
177
-
FT 50
333
-
BE 93
547
-
BF 49
852
-
DF 49
 
178
-
KS 54
358
-
BF 47
549
-
Op(BD 36)
953
-
BF 68
 
183
-
Op(LC 80)
386
-
BE 46
550
-
AE 87
962
-
Op(BE 93)
 
188
-
KH 17
406
-
BE 18
552
-
BF 45
963
-
Op(BE 11)
 
193
-
BF 87
413
-
Op(BF 24)
571
-
Op(BE 14)
984
-
AL 6449
 
212
-
Op(BE 15)
421
-
BF 55
603
-
Op(BE 18)
985
-
Op(BE 11)
 
214
-
BF 55
424
-
Op(BE 18)
608
-
BE 1821
986
-
AE 83
 
218
-
BE 86
437
-
Op(BE 1949)
650
-
BE 43
989
-
Op(BE 11)
 
231
-
BE 15
441
-
Op(AL 78)
666
-
BE 46
1059
-
AE 85
 
256
-
Op(BE 15)
445
-
BE 66
709
-
Op(BE 18)
1062
-
ER 23
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 231 - 260 - 386 - 406 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 650 - 666 - 714 - 762 - 953 - 984.
  Entered Port:  U 953 - La Pallice.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 546 was attacked by a Sunderland without Radar on 16.2.  Aircraft was driven off to a safe alarm range of 3.7 cm., no bombs after diving.
    2) U 764 fired T 5s simultaneously from bow and stern tubes at 2 destroyers at 2011 in BE 1843.  Explosions after 3 minutes 10 seconds and 2 minutes 02 seconds.  Loud sounds of sinking and breaking-up.  Then no more hydrophone bearings.
       
- 112 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    3) U 437 sighted an enemy battleship at 2141 in BE 4246.
    4) U 66 sighted a convoy with Jervis class destroyer at 0730/19/2 in ET 6267 to 55.  T 5 miss at destroyer, end-of-run detonation after 12 minutes.  Boat suspects this was due to the effect of the tropics.
  b) None.
  c) 1) 2 ASV locations in unresolved positions.
    2) 15 enemy units were observed by radio, mainly in area AL 90, BE 40/50.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) None.
  b) U 550 is to make for AK 20 upper half.  Boat is to relieve U 802 as weather boat.
  c) None.
  d) 1) U 967 reported her position from CH 6811 and thus enters the Mediterranean.
    2) U 762 must be presumed lost.  The boat last reported on 8.2. that she had been bombed by aircraft at low level on 7.2. in BE 12.  On that day the boat still had 20 cbm. fuel and should therefore have entered port by now.  No information as to cause of loss.
    3) Serial order No. 9 was radioed to all boats (in Appendix).
       
V. Reports of Success
  U 764                2 destroyers.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
Serial Order No. 9
issued February 1944
Night attack tactics of anti-submarine aircraft
       
1)   Anti-submarine aircraft fly their patrols along set routes which change every day and are so arranged that the area to be searched is exhaustively covered.  Height of flight about 600 meters.  Radar set is switched on at the take-off and remains on during the whole of the flight.  As our radar interception gear improves economiser and deceptive tactics will be used again (see Standing War Order 250).  The range of the gear is great.  Ordinarily a U-boat can be detected at 20 - 30 miles, but it is even possible to pick up at 50 - 70 miles.  Aircraft gets down to a low flying height in order to be able to see
 
 
 
- 113 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    well and proceed to attack at any time.  The direction in which the U-boat is proceeding cannot be observed, on account of the great differences in speed.
2) Attack from 15 miles at the first approach from any direction; on light nights aircraft try to get into a favorable attacking position first, after sighting the U-boat.  A diagonal flight over the boat is considered best.  Searchlights switched on about 1 mile off the target; on bright nights or in a very phosphorescent sea no searchlights.  2 - 6 bombs dropped by visual sighting.  At the same time flares are dropped and fire opened with aircraft armament.  If the first approach is not correct, bombs are not dropped and a new approach is made.
3)   After flying over the boat, aircraft makes off.  New approach according to light and horizon:
  a) With a blurred horizon aircraft has to fly by instrument (artificial horizon) therefore:  runaway in a blind flying turn, new approach by radar.  Aircraft is back again in about 5 minutes, i.e. boat can dive after it has flown over.
  b) With a sharp horizon, aircraft can fly by eye as by day, therefore:  runaway, sharp turn, new attack after about 1 minute therefore boat remains on the surface.  The rapidity with which the second attack follows depends on whether or not the target is kept in sight during the turn.
4) Moonlight, windless nights are best for anti-submarine activity.  Dark nights, fog and gales are unfavorable.  Bombs can only be dropped by radar, which is too inaccurate.
5) For attack tactics by day see Standing War Order No. 181, Appendix 3.
       
      Naval War Staff (2nd Division)/B.d.U. Op. 02112/Fs.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
21.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
FD 28
U 256
-
Op(BE 11)
U 510
-
Op(MP 50)
U 714
-
BE 64
 
JT 24
-
KS 23
257
-
Op(BD 83)
516
-
BF 82
761
-
CG 83
 
66
-
Op(ET 60)
260
-
BE 15
518
-
DQ 18
764
-
Op(BE 14)
 
91
-
Op(BE 14)
262
-
BE 68
530
-
BF 55
802
-
Op(AK 20)
 
123
-
Op(EU 70)
264
-
Op(BE 14)
532
-
JC 26
843
-
BF 83
 
154
-
DE 52
267
-
BF 83
539
-
Op(BB 69)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
168
-
LW 52
281
-
Op(AL 77)
546
-
Op(AK 96)
846
-
Op(AK)
 
170
-
CF 86
333
-
BE 92
547
-
BF 54
852
-
DF 46
 
177
-
FT 50
358
-
BE 66
549
-
Op(BD 39)
962
-
BE 92
 
178
-
KS 82
386
-
BB 54
550
-
AE 79
963
-
Op(AL 77)
 
183
-
Op(LC 60)
406
-
BE 51
552
-
BF 48
984
-
BE 66
 
188
-
KH 57
413
-
Op(BF 21)
603
-
Op(BE 14)
985
-
Op(AL 77)
 
193
-
BF 88
421
-
BF 54
608
-
Op(BE 11)
986
-
AE 85
 
212
-
Op(BE 11)
437
-
Op(BE 42)
650
-
BE 54
989
-
Op(AL 74)
 
214
-
BF 57
441
-
Op(AL 72)
666
-
BE 55
1059
-
AL 87
 
218
-
BE 85
445
-
BF 47
709
-
Op(BE 11)
1062
-
ER 37
 
231
-
BE 43
448
-
BE 68            
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 231 - 260 - 386 - 406 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 650 - 666 - 714 - 984.
       
- 114 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  Entered Port:  U 267 - St. Nazaire.
  Sailed:  U 621 - Brest.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) On the subject of her sighting of a battleship at 2002/20/2, U 437 reports additionally:  While blowing in BE 4246, heavy unit at 140 hectometers, 2600 true, inclination 900, type "Revenge", pyramid-shaped, high tripod mast, course N. or S., probably high speed, no escort.  No hydrophone bearing before surfacing or after crash-diving.  Nothing to be seen in periscope.
    2) U 168 torpedoed a tanker of 10,000 GRT in LM 2824 with her last air-driven torpedo.  Main course by day 3200, by night 400, 12 knots.  Tanker went on a N. course.  Boat had no 10.5 gun and was on her way to supply.
  b)  None.
  c) 1) 2 ASV locations in unresolved position.
    2) 12 enemy units were located by radio direction finder, mainly in BE 10/20, AM 40 and CG 60.
    3) Allied steamer made SOS from CB 7580; required immediate assistance, large leak in engine-room (no boat in the vicinity).
    4) An Allied steamer made an SSS report.  Torpedoed amidships.  U 168's success (see III a) 2).
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) 1) Former group "Hai" is proceeding with 14 boats to provisional waiting area AK 60/90.
    2) U 262 - 358 - 448 - 962 - 552, coming from France, are making for AL 50.
  b)  U 154 is to make for EB 60.  Boat is to operate in the Caribbean, passing through Windward Passage on her way there.
  c)  None.
  d)  The following boats must be presumed lost:
    1) U 571.  The boat made her last report from AL 9843 on 18.1:  T 5 fired at a destroyer, explosion after 12 minutes.  Later the boat was allocated to Group "Hinein" (operations area AL 60) then to Group "Igel" (attack area AL 90 and BE 10).  No information as to date and cause
       
- 115 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
      of loss.  3 orders to report were not answered.
    2) U 424.  The boat made a passage report from BE 5351 on 7.2. and proceeded to her attack area in AL 80.  It is not known if she operated against  the ON convoy.  No information as to cause and date of loss.  3 orders to report remained unanswered.
    3) U 734.  The last report was a "passing" report from BE 2967 on 8.2.  Then the boat proceeded to its attack area BE 10, AL 50, and should have operated with Group "Hai" on the ON convoy on 18.2.  There is no information concerning cause of loss or date.  There was no reply to three requests for a report.
    4) U 283.  Last report on 10.2. in AE 8899 concerned an aircraft attack which was then over.  Boat was then to occupy an attack area in AL 30 and operate against the ON convoy on 18.2.  No information as to cause and date of loss, possibly another air attack on 18.2.  3 orders to report remained unanswered.
    5) U 271.  Last report on 28.1. from AM 7153 concerning R/T intercepted and location transmissions picked up in Naxos.  The boat was later allocated to Groups "Igel" (AL 60, AM 50) and "Hai"  No information as to cause and date of loss.  3 orders to report after Group "Hai's" convoy operation ended on 18.2. remained unanswered.
      An analysis of the most likely positions in which missing U-boats were lost in December, January and February shows a probable concentration in about BE 10, 20 and the S. sector of AL 80, 90.  This goes to show that patrol by surface and air forces has been reinforced in this area, as had already been discovered from radio intercepts.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 168                1 ship                torpedoed.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
22.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
FD 86
U 231
-
BE 54
U 448
-
BF 67
U 709
-
Op(AL 77)
 
JT 24
-
KS 52
256
-
Op(AL 77)
510
-
Op(MP 60)
714
-
BE 69
 
66
-
Op(EU 70)
257
-
BD 61
516
-
BF 82
761
-
CG 91
 
91
-
Op(AK 99)
260
-
BE 43
518
-
DP 62
764
-
Op(BD 36)
 
123
-
Op(ET 60)
262
-
BE 67
530
-
BF 55
802
-
Op(AK 21)
 
154
-
DE 57
264
-
Op(BD 33)
532
-
JC 26
843
-
BF 85
 
168
-
LW 82
281
-
Op(AK 96)
539
-
Op(BB 69)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
170
-
CF 83
333
-
BE 91
546
-
Op(AK 95)
846
-
AL 98
 
177
-
FT 50
358
-
BE 65
547
-
BF 55
852
-
DF 84
 
178
-
JC 22
386
-
BE 56
549
-
Op(BD 61)
962
-
BE 91
 
183
-
Op(LC 90)
406
-
BE 55
550
-
AL 22
963
-
Op(AK 93)
 
188
-
KH 84
413
-
Op(BF 24)
552
-
BF 47
984
-
BF 44
 
193
-
BF 86
421
-
BF 45
603
-
Op(AL 77)
985
-
Op(AK 93)
 
212
-
Op(AL 74)
437
-
Op(BE 14)
608
-
Op(AL 77)
986
-
AE 87
 
214
-
BF 49
441
-
Op(AL 47)
621
-
BF 55
989
-
Op(AL 71)
 
218
-
BE 84
445
-
BF 45
650
-
BE 56
1059
-
AE 79
             
666
-
BE 56
1062
-
ER 66
 
       
- 116 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 231 - 257 - 260 - 386 - 406 - 445 - 516 - 530 - 532 - 547 - 650 - 666 - 714 - 846 - 984.
  Entered Port:  U 530 - Lorient.
  Sailed:  U 488 - Brest.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 413 (operations area off the Scilly Islands) sank a fast escort vessel of the VW class with FAT (type torpedo) on the 20th.  Did not manage to fire at the convoy as boat was probably observed beforehand.  Strong air activity observed in Naxos, boat moved off.
  b)  None.
  c) 1) 2 U-boat sightings by enemy aircraft (one Iceland aircraft and one aircraft of No. 19 Group) and 2 ASV locations in unresolved positions.  (Iceland aircraft's sighting probably U 550.  See III s) 2)).
    2) Enemy units were located in:  BE 6250 - 2740 - 1595 - BD 91/94 - BF 2440 - 3260 - 1640 - AM 8897 - AK 9256.
   
3) a) English steamer reports:  heavily damaged, danger of breaking up in bad weather.  Steamer was ordered by Colombo to proceed to Addu Atol (LN 2720).  An hour later the steamer detailed her damage.  This was the tanker torpedoed by U 168.
  b) Another English steamer reported a torpedo track in MS 2750.  (U 183 or Japanese U-boat).
  c) Torpedo report from the Aden area.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) The remaining boats of ex-Group "Hai" and 4 boats coming from France (17 boats) will form Group "Preussen" and will occupy the following attack areas, depth 40 miles:
     
U 441
-
AK 9563  
U 256
-
BE 1415
985
-
AK 9816  
603
-
BE 1734
963
-
AK 9973  
764
-
BE 4193
281
-
BD 3192  
437
-
BE 4472
212
-
BD 3349  
448
-
BE 4557
91
-
BD 3555  
262
-
BE 7131
709
-
BD 3864  
358
-
BE 4948
608
-
BD 3992  
962
-
BE 7525.
264
-
BD 6384  
 
       
- 117 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  b) 1) U 333 is to make for AM 50 and then to have freedom of action in the North Channel.
    2) U 413 has been ordered to occupy her present operations area (Scilly Isles) or an operations area in the North Channel, at her own discretion.
  c)  U 532 reported that she had not met "Schliemann".  It must therefore be assumed that "Schliemann" has been sunk.  She has not so far replied to an order to report.
    1) U 532 will receive 50 cbm. from U 178 on 26.2. in JC 1815. U 178 is starting return passage to W. France. U 532, 168 and 188 will wait in KS 90 for tanker "Brake" to arrive (in about a fortnight).
    2) U JT 24 is continuing on her passage to W. France and will be supplied in the Central Atlantic from U 488 if necessary.
  d)  None.
       
V. Reports of Success:
    U 413                1 escort vessel.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
23.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
FL 22
U 231
-
BE 55
U 448
-
BE 59
U 709
-
Op(BD 36)
 
JT 24
-
KS 57
256
-
Op(BE 14)
488
-
BF 91
714
-
BF 47
 
66
-
Op(EU 80)
257
-
BE 42
510
-
Op(MP 60)
761
-
CG 95
 
91
-
Op(BD 35)
260
-
BE 55
516
-
BF 82
764
-
Op(BE 17)
 
123
-
Op(ET 60)
262
-
BE 59
518
-
DP 56
802
-
Op(AK 26)
 
154
-
DE 72
264
-
Op(BE 39)
532
-
JC 26
843
-
BF 76
 
168
-
LM 82
281
-
Op(BD 32)
539
-
Op(BB 66)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
170
-
CF 86
333
-
BE 64
546
-
Op(AK 92)
846
-
AK 99
 
177
-
FT 50
358
-
BE 59
547
-
BF 61
852
-
DR 22
 
178
-
JC 26
386
-
BE 64
549
-
Op(BD 91)
962
-
BE 83
 
183
-
Op(LN 30)
406
-
BE 56
550
-
AL 21
963
-
Op(AK 99)
 
188
-
KS
413
-
Op(BF 24)
552
-
BE 69
984
-
BF 46
 
193
-
BF 86
421
-
BF 44
603
-
Op(BD 36)
985
-
Op(AK 95)
 
212
-
Op(BD 33)
437
-
Op(BE 41)
608
-
Op(BD 36)
986
-
AE 79
 
214
-
BF 47
441
-
Op(AK 93)
621
-
BF 54
989
-
Op(AL 71)
 
218
-
CF 91
445
-
BF 49
650
-
BE 64
1059
-
AL 22
             
666
-
BE 64
1062
-
ES 72
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 231 - 257 - 260 - 386 - 406 - 445 - 516 - 532 - 547 - 650 - 666 - 714 - 846 - 984.
  Entered Port:  U 547 - Lorient.
  Sailed:  U 618 - Lorient.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
- 118 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - b) None.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  Norwegian steamer sighted a periscope in FF 1160, another sighting in about LU 70 (presumably Japanese U-boat).
    2) 3 ASV locations by aircraft of No. 19 Group.  Two aircraft later reported attack abandoned.
    3) 3 ASV locations by Iceland aircraft in unresolved positions.
    4) Guardship BNO was located by radio direction finder in AM 75, convoy unit DMA in AM 7433.
    5) Enemy units were located in:  BE 5370 - 5810 - 4570 - AM 1890 - 7420 - 7134 - CG 8670.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) U 989 and U 281 of Group "Preussen" are returning (16 boats left).
  b) U 549 took over Naxos and Borkum (Translator's note: radar interception gear) from U 212 on 25.12. 1 hour before sunset.
  c) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
24.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
FL 26
U 218
-
CF 86
U 510
-
Op(MP 60)
U 714
-
BF 48
 
JT 24
-
KS 90
256
-
Op(BE 14)
516
-
BF 57
761
-
CG 95
 
66
-
Op(EU 96)
257
-
BE 45
518
-
DP 46
764
-
Op(BE 41)
 
91
-
Op(BD 35)
260
-
BE 56
532
-
JC 24
802
-
Op(AK 24)
 
123
-
Op(ET 50)
262
-
BE 57
539
-
Op(BB 66)
843
-
BF 78
 
154
-
DD 96
281
-
AK 31
546
-
Op(AK 67)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
168
-
LM 88
333
-
BE 88
549
-
Op(BD 91)
846
-
BD 36
 
170
-
BE 78
358
-
BE 58
550
-
AL 11
852
-
DR 29
 
177
-
FT 50
413
-
Op(AM)
552
-
BE 65
962
-
BE 82
 
178
-
JB 37
421
-
BE 69
603
-
Op(BE 17)
963
-
Op(AK 99)
 
183
-
Op(LC 60)
437
-
Op(BE 44)
608
-
Op(BD 39)
984
-
BF 55
 
188
-
KS 37
441
-
Op(AK 95)
618
-
BF 55
985
-
Op(AK 98)
 
193
-
BF 92
445
-
BF 57
621
-
BF 46
986
-
AL 22
 
212
-
Op(BD 38)
448
-
BE 57
650
-
BE 91
989
-
AL 71
 
214
-
BE 69
488
-
BF 83
709
-
Op(BD 38)
1059
-
AL 23
                   
1062
-
ES 76
 
       
- 119 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 257 - 260 - 281 - 445 - 516 - 532 - 650 - 714 - 846 - 984 - 989.
  Entered Port:  U 984 - Brest.
  Sailed:  U 856 - Kiel;  U 672 - St. Nazaire; U 744 - Brest.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U JT 22 reported her position from FS 84, boat was attacked by day by a Liberator in FS 4761 on 12.2.  6 depth charges after the third approach.  Periscope and No. 4 external fuel tank shot away.  32 cbm. fuel lost.  Several hits with 2 cm. observed on aircraft.
  b)  None.
  c) 1) Gibraltar aircraft reported:  Am over enemy U-boat in CG 9492.  Later an American aircraft made an important short signal from CG 9493.  Both reports probably concern U 761.  (According to an agent's report a German U-boat was sunk in the Straits of Gibraltar).
    2) 1 ASV location in AM 9799 (U 413?), 2 in unresolved positions.
    3) English S.S. "Empire Buckler" reported from ES 3680 that she was being chased (U 66, U 123?).
    4) Radio guardship 182 was located in BE 2790 - BD 14/36 and in BE 17.
    5) Enemy units were located in:  AL 97 - 6370 - AM 4350 - 7750 - AK 8839 - BE 2310 - 5140 - 2190, BF 2295.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) - c) None.
  d) The following boats must be presumed lost:
    U 231
     Boat's last report was from BE 7636 on 12.1.  94 cbm.  Later the boat was allocated to Groups "Reugen", "Hinein" and "Igel" and was first in the area BE 20/30, later BE 50, Al 900.  Boat was to operate against Group "Hai's" convoy on 18.2., was ordered to return at the end of the operation and to report when passing 170 W.  Report was not received.  Date of loss uncertain.  Reason unknown.
       
- 120 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    U 406
     Boat's last report was on 26.1. from AL 6649 and concerned a Feldwache (Translator's note:  experimental radar gear) observation and the failure of the 3.7.  Later the boat joined Group "Stürmer", "Igel" (AL 30) and "Hai" and was to have operated against these groups' convoy on 18.2.  After the operation ended the boat was ordered to return and to report when passing 170 W.  Report was not received.   Date of loss uncertain, but possibly before the convoy operation.  Cause of loss unknown.
    U 666
    Boat made her last signal on 10.2., reporting the sighting of a destroyer in AL 6416.  Boat was on her way to her attack area in BE 10 and was to have operated against Group "Hai's" convoy on 18.2.  Possibly lost on 10.2.  No information as to cause of loss.  Boat was ordered to return at the end of the convoy operation and to report when crossing 170 W.  Report was not received.
    U 386
    The boat reported being attacked by aircraft at 0551/19/2 in BE 1869 during Group "Hai's" convoy operation.  Since then no further report.  Boat was ordered to return at the end of the convoy operation and was to report when passing 170 W.  The report has not been received.  It is presumed the boat was lost by air attack.
    U 264
     Boat last reported during Group "Hai's" convoy operation, when she sighted a destroyer in BE 1973.  She was ordered to report her experiences with Schnorchel (Translator's note: extensible Diesel air intake) on 21 and 22 and to give her position on the 24th, but no reply was received to any of these calls.   Probably lost during convoy operation, cause unknown.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
25.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
FS 88
U 256
-
Op(BE 14)
U 518
-
DP 47
U 761
-
CG 95
 
JT 24
-
KS 90
257
-
BE 54
532
-
JC 18
764
-
Op(BE 41)
 
66
-
Op(EU 90)
260
-
BE 67
539
-
Op(BB 66)
802
-
Op(AK 23)
 
91
-
Op(BD 35)
262
-
BE 73
546
-
Op(AK 91)
843
-
BE 99
 
123
-
Op(FT 50)
281
-
BD 39
549
-
Op(BD 62)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
154
-
DD 97
333
-
BE 82
550
-
AK 32
846
-
BE 18
 
168
-
LW 28
358
-
BE 57
552
-
BE 65
852
-
DR 64
 
170
-
BE 77
413
-
Op(AM 76)
603
-
Op(BE 17)
856
-
AO 47
 
177
-
FT 50
421
-
BE 93
608
-
Op(BD 39)
962
-
BE 73
 
178
-
JC 18
437
-
Op(BE 44)
618
-
BF 54
963
-
Op(AK 99)
 
       
- 121 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
 
183
-
Op(LC 30)
441
-
Op(AK 95)
621
-
BE 42
985
-
Op(AK 98)
 
188
-
Op(KS 60)
445
-
BF 57
650
-
BE 92
986
-
AL 23
 
193
-
BF 64
448
-
BE 46
672
-
BF 58
989
-
AL 78
 
212
-
BD 38
488
-
BF 81
709
-
Op(DD 38)
1059
-
AL 15
 
214
-
BE 93
510
-
Op(MP 40)
714
-
BF 64
1062
-
FD 21
 
218
-
CF 88
516
-
BF 57
744
-
BF 55      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 257 - 260 - 281 - 445 - 516 - 532 - 650 - 714 - 846 - 989.
  Entered Port:  U 193 - Lorient;  U 714 - St. Nazaire.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 989 sighted 4 destroyers at 1500 in BE 1364, course N.E., 10 knots (possibly an escort group on the SC convoy, which according to dead reckoning was in this area.
    2) U 212 was attacked by aircraft in BD 3815.
  b)  None.
  c) 1) American steamer sighted a U-boat at 1852 in MP 5420 and made a radio message with that time of origin:  Am being pursued by U-boat, an firing on U-boat.  (U 510?).
      An aircraft of No. 18 Group attacked a U-boat crash-diving at 0945, course 420, 6 knots, with depth charges in an unresolved position.
    2) 2 ASV locations in an unresolved position.
    3) An Allied steamer reported at 0145 that she was being chased by a U-boat in DD 1810, and had opened fire (not one of our boats).
    4) Enemy units were located in AM 4563 - 7140 - 7730, AL 9690 - 2810 - BE 2250 - 6880.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) Group "Preussen" will occupy the following new attack areas by 1200/27/2, depth 30 miles:
     
U 441
-
BD 3952  
U 963
-
BE 1774
985
-
BD 6316  
709
-
BE 4191
91
-
BD 6536  
256
-
BE 4458
212
-
BD 6396  
603
-
BE 7112
608
-
BD 6835  
448
-
BE 4548
764
-
BD 6925  
358
-
BE 4766
437
-
BD 9324  
262
-
BE 4861
   
962
-
BE 7185
       
- 122 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    ON 225 is expected in this area from 27.2.  According to a Radio Intelligence report the convoy was in AM 4630 at 1300/24/2, course 2240.
  b) 1) U 550 will occupy U 802's present reporting area and will make weather signals twice daily.  U 802 is to steer for BC 50 and then proceed to operations area BB and the W. half of BC.
    2) U 333 requested an operations area in the North Channel for the next new moon period. Until then boat will join Group Preussen.
    3) U JT 22 reports that she can reach Penang without refueling, despite loss of fuel in air attack on 12.2.
  d)  None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
26.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
GE 15
U 256
-
Op(BE 41)
U 516
-
BF 61
U 744
-
BF 54
 
JT 24
-
KS 90
257
-
BE 55
518
-
DO 92
764
-
Op(BD 69)
 
66
-
Op(EV 70)
260
-
BE 68
532
-
JC 18
802
-
AK 25
 
91
-
Op(BD 38)
262
-
Op(BE 49)
539
-
Op(BB 66)
843
-
CG 12
 
123
-
Op(ET 50)
281
-
BE 18
546
-
Op(AK 94)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
154
-
DO 33
333
-
BE 58
549
-
Op(BD 34)
846
-
BE 43
 
168
-
LW 56
358
-
Op(BE 48)
550
-
Op(AK 22)
852
-
DR 68
 
170
-
BD 99
413
-
Op(BF 21)
552
-
BE 61
856
-
AN 35
 
177
-
FT 50
421
-
BE 95
603
-
Op(BE 14)
962
-
Op(BE 72)
 
178
-
JC 18
437
-
Op(BD 93)
608
-
Op(BD 63)
963
-
Op(BD 36)
 
183
-
Op(MS)
441
-
Op(BD 31)
618
-
BF 46
985
-
Op(BD 35)
 
188
-
KS 90
445
-
BF 57
621
-
BF 41
986
-
AL 16
 
212
-
Op(ED 38)
448
-
Op(BE 46)
650
-
BE 93
989
-
BE 25
 
214
-
BE 98
488
-
BF 73
672
-
BF 57
1059
-
AK 38
 
218
-
CF 87
510
-
Op(MP)
709
-
Op(BE 41)
1062
-
FD 27
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 188 - 257 - 260 - 281 - 445 - 516 - 532 - 650 - 846 - 989.
  Entered Port:  U 516 - Lorient.
  Sailed:  U 801 - Lorient;  U 267 - St. Nazaire;   U 851 - Kiel;   U 255 - Bergen.
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 437 is moving off to the W. to repair damage to periscope.
  b)  None.
       
- 123 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  c) 1) ASV locations in BF 1522, 2 locations in unresolved positions.
    2) Radio guardship BLZ was located in the area AL 85 - AL 97.  Guardship belongs either to HX 279 or to SC 153.
    3) Enemy units were located in AM 7170, BE 2760, CG 9720.
      Gibraltar aircraft reported:  the bubble sighted in DS 2522 has disappeared.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) None.
  b) 1) U 333 has requested not to operate in the North Channel until the next new moon.  Boat is joining Group "Preussen" and will occupy attack area BD 6656.
    2) U 621 is making for AL 30 and will occupy operations area North Minch at the next new moon.
    3) U 552 has been ordered to make for BD 36; she is later to join Group "Preussen".
  c) None.
  d) 1) English escort vessel CTS reported to Gibraltar:  1702 U-boat surfacing.  1711 surfaced, boat sunk, am rescuing survivors.  At 1709 another escort vessel also reported:  am rescuing survivors.
    2) The following was radioed to all boats:
      Admonitory Radio Message No. 90
      When discharging Bold 4 (Translator's note: acoustic decoy device) at great depths, note that Bold is only effective after 7 minutes at depth A + 40 meters and at depth 2A probably only after 10 minutes, but will not give an echo for certain.  Bold is used up 25 minutes after being discharged.  Observations on this point are to be noted in the war log and in the Underwater Location Report.  
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
 
 
- 124 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
27.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
GE 51
U 256
-
Op(BD 64)
U 518
-
DO 83
U 801
-
BF 55
 
JT 24
-
JB 45
257
-
BE 67
532
-
JC 13
802
-
AK 18
 
66
-
Op(EV 70)
260
-
BF 64
539
-
Op(BD 66)
843
-
CF 36
 
91
-
Op(BD 65)
262
-
Op(BE 48)
546
-
Op(AK 68)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
123
-
Op(ET 50)
267
-
BF 55
549
-
Op(BD 51)
846
-
BE 55
 
154
-
DO 26
281
-
BE 43
550
-
Op(AK 20)
851
-
AO 47
 
168
-
LW 86
333
-
BE 54
552
-
BE 52
852
-
DR 96
 
170
-
BD 97
358
-
Op(BE 47)
603
-
Op(BE 74)
856
-
AN 43
 
177
-
FT 50
413
-
Op(BE 21)
608
-
Op(BD 68)
962
-
Op(BE 71)
 
178
-
JB 63
421
-
BE 97
618
-
BF 45
963
-
Op(BE 17)
 
183
-
Op(LC 10)
437
-
Op(BD 67)
621
-
BE 62
985
-
Op(BD 63)
 
188
-
KS 63
441
-
Op(BD 39)
650
-
BF 48
986
-
AL 17
 
212
-
Op(BD 63)
445
-
BF 64
672
-
BF 82
989
-
BE 53
 
214
-
CG 11
448
-
Op(BE 45)
709
-
Op(BE 41)
1059
-
AK 39
 
218
-
DG 33
488
-
BF 71
744
-
BF 43
1062
-
FD 57
 
255
-
AF 79
510
-
Op(MP)
764
-
Op(BD 69)      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 178 - 188 - 257 - 260 - 281 - 445 - 532 - 650 - 846 - 989.
  Entered Port:  U 445 - 260 - St. Nazaire.
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) - b) None.
  c) 1) 1 U-boat sighted diving by an aircraft in an unresolved position, course 2500, 10 knots.
    2) Guardship BIY of convoy "Silence" was located by radio direction finder in AL 91/BE 21.
    3) Enemy units were located in BE 2580 - AM 5380 - AL 6810.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a) - b) None.
  c) U 549 reports the following concerning the air attack on U 212:  While taking over Naxos between 1900 and 2100/25/2, dived away from aircraft without being noticed.  (It is assumed that U 212 was sighted at 2100).
  d)  Serial Order No. 5 and No. 7 were radioed to all boats (see 2 Appendices).
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
- 125 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
Serial Order No. 5
Handling of 3.7 cm.
       
   Boats at sea are to take the following precautions in order to ensure that the 3.7 cm. Flak M 42 U remains in working order:
1)   The parts of the gun are to be moved every time the boat surfaces and treated inside and out with ZDM 26 (Translator's note:  type of lubricating oil).
2)   Always use the packing cartridge to protect the cartridge.
3)   As soon as ammunition without tracer is available carry out test firing daily, otherwise whenever the situation permits.
4)   After the gun has been fired for any length of time thoroughly clean and grease the whole automatic mechanism.
       
      Naval War Staff (2nd Division)/B.d.U. Op. Most Secret 02807/Fs.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
Serial Order No. 7
Use of Radar as aircraft warning set
       
1) Our own radar set is an important and sure means of warning boats of approaching aircraft, especially if radar interception sets are out of order or it is suspected that the enemy has new means of location which cannot be detected.  When GEMA set was used against HE 111 and Ju 88, the aircraft were clearly observed in numerous approaches:
  a) at a flying height of 350 meters 12 Km. off
  b)  at a flying height of 100 meters 7 Km. off
    Low level aircraft were not reliably observed.  It is to be assumed that larger aircraft and greater heights would improve on the above results.
2)   Radar interception, as a means of warning of aircraft, has the disadvantage of depending on whether the enemy is using radar or not, while with the radar set the aircraft will be observed in time regardless of whether the enemy is making location transmissions and the type of gear he is using.
  The objection is often been raised that a boat with Radar can be picked up by an aircraft with radar interception gear, but this is unfounded, because:
  a)  Although it is possible for enemy aircraft to carry interception gear, it is unlikely that they do so at present and there is no evidence to that effect.
 
 
 
- 126 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  b) Radar interception would be no advantage to the enemy aircraft, because with their latest radar sets they can pick up the boat at the same distance and at the same time measure range currently.
     Surface craft alone if they are equipped with radar interception sets at all, could perhaps observe boats sooner with this than with radar.
  c)  It is more important for boats on passage to be warned of aircraft and not surprised by an attack than to remain entirely unobserved by the enemy.
3) Conclusion:
  a) On passage and as long as the boat has not to remain unobserved at all costs, use own Radar as aircraft warning set so far as the state of the gear and the weather permit.  Best rate of sweep while searching is 250 a second.  Relieve watch keepers frequently, as it is tiring operating the set.
  b)  If it is essential for the boat to remain unobserved (e.g. in patrol line), do not use Radar sets.
  c)  It is important to train radio personnel in the handling of the Radar set at every opportunity.
       
      Naval War Staff (2nd Division)/B.d.U. Op. -  00208/Fs.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
28.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
GE 64
U 255
-
AF 76
U 518
-
DO 84
U 764
-
Op(BD 69)
 
JT 24
-
JA 93
256
-
Op(BD 64)
532
-
KS 89
801
-
BF 57
 
66
-
Op(EV)
257
-
BE 68
539
-
Op(BB 66)
802
-
AK 42
 
91
-
Op(BD 65)
262
-
Op(BE 48)
546
-
Op(AK 68)
843
-
CF 39
 
123
-
Op(ET 50)
264
-
BF 83
549
-
Op(BD 54)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
154
-
DO 24
281
-
BE 54
550
-
Op(AK 20)
846
-
BE 56
 
168
-
LW 31
333
-
BE 45
552
-
BE 43
851
-
AN 35
 
170
-
BD 89
358
-
Op(BE 47)
603
-
Op(BE 44)
852
-
EH 12
 
177
-
FT 50
413
-
Op(BF 10)
608
-
Op(BD 68)
856
-
AN 23
 
178
-
JB 56
421
-
CG 36
618
-
BF 79
962
-
Op(BE 71)
 
183
-
Op(LC 10)
437
-
Op(BD 68)
621
-
BE 61
963
-
Op(BE 17)
 
188
-
KS 90
441
-
Op(BD 39)
650
-
BF 49
985
-
BD 63
 
212
-
Op(BD 63)
448
-
Op(BE 45)
672
-
BF 81
986
-
Al 17
 
214
-
CG 36
488
-
BE 96
709
-
Op(BE 41)
989
-
BE 64
 
218
-
DG 32
510
-
Op(MP)
744
-
BF 41
1062
-
FD 82
             
1059
-
AK 64      
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 178 - 188 - 257 - 281 - 532 - 650 - 846 - 985 - 989.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  - . -
       
II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
- 127 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) U 744 was attacked by an aircraft at 0631 in BE 63.
  b)  None.
  c) 1) U-boat sighting in ED 1925 and a surfaced boat in BF 4127, course 2700, 12 knots.
    2) ASV locations in BF 2492 and BF 1516.  A further 6 locations in unresolved positions.
    3) Enemy units were located in AK 8720 - AM 4830 - BD 3820 - 3730 - BE 5584 - 6660 - 8330 - BF 1623 - 1521.
  d)  None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
  a)  Group "Preussen's convoy not sighted.  It can only be expected to pass now if enemy speed is less than 7 knots.
  b) - d) None.
       
V. Reports of Success:  None.
       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
       
29.February 1944.
 
 
 
I.
U JT 22
-
GE 93
U 255
-
AF 48
U 518
-
DO 76
U 764
-
Op(BD 69)
 
JT 24
-
JA 94
256
-
Op(BE 46)
532
-
KS 90
801
-
BF 49
 
66
-
Op(EV)
257
-
BF 47
539
-
Op(BD 66)
802
-
AK 44
 
91
-
Op(BD 65)
262
-
Op(BE 48)
546
-
Op(AK 91)
843
-
CF 62
 
123
-
Op(ET 50)
267
-
BF 82
549
-
Op(BD 45)
845
-
Op(BB 63)
 
154
-
DO 19
281
-
BE 56
550
-
Op(AK 22)
846
-
BE 65
 
168
-
KH 61
333
-
Op(BD 65)
552
-
Op(BE 18)
851
-
AN 28
 
170
-
CE 13
358
-
Op(BE 47)
603
-
Op(BE 47)
852
-
EH 18
 
178
-
JB 57
413
-
Op(AM 40)
608
-
Op(BD 68)
856
-
AF 76
 
183
-
Op(LC)
421
-
CF 28
618
-
BF 78
962
-
Op(BE 71)
 
188
-
LS 90
437
-
Op(BD 66)
621
-
BE 28
963
-
Op(BE 17)
 
212
-
Op(BD 63)
441
-
Op(BD 39)
650
-
BF 57
985
-
BE 47
 
214
-
BE 88
448
-
Op(BE 45)
672
-
BF 73
986
-
AL 17
 
218
-
DG 26
488
-
BE 99
709
-
Op(BE 41)
989
-
BE 65
       
510
-
Op(MP)
744
-
BE 63
1059
-
AK 59
                   
1062
-
FD 88
 
  On Return Passage:  U 168 - 178 - 188 - 257 - 281 - 532 - 650 - 846 - 985 - 989.
  Entered Port:  - . -
  Sailed:  U 575 - St. Nazaire; U 741 - 625 - 392 - Brest;  U 537 - 541 - Lorient.
       
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II. Air Reconnaissance:  None.
       
III. Reports on the Enemy:
  a) 1) U 178 reports:
      1)  5.2. fast ship in KG 43, course 3250.
      2)  Searchlights were scanning the horizon when boat approached KG 5887 (Mauritius).  Signal station was making morse, no traffic off the harbors.   No air or sea patrol.  Having supplied U 532, boat will continue on her return passage.   She suggests a rendezvous further S. than present one for supplying the remaining boats.
    2) U 441 reported star shell bearing 340 true from BD 3994.
  b) None.
  c) 1) U-boat sightings:  1245 boat diving, course 2800, 9 knots, position unresolved.  0615 in BF 4127 surfaced boat, course W., 12 knots.
      ASV locations in BE 6399 - BF 1513 - 1242 and 3 ASV locations in unresolved positions.
    2) Unidentified English steamer made a torpedo report from LD 4370.
      There was an SSS report from an English tanker from LD 7640, concerning a submerged and then surfaced U-boat.  Later probably the same ship reported that the U-boat had fired 2 torpedoes which missed (U 183?).
    3) Wellington repeated an SSS report from an Allied steamer concerning a torpedo miss in JO 41 (ran past astern).
    4) Enemy units were located:  AL 0360 - 6690 - AM 4410 - 4380 - 5280 - 4340 - BE 5510 - 8620 - CF 3310.
    5) According to a Radio Intelligence report, St. John's is closed on account of ice.   U 845 and 539 have freedom of action in the Newfoundland area.
  d) None.
       
IV. Current Operations:
    a) Group "Preussen's" convoy can no longer be expected.  Boats have broken formation and will make for the following attack areas at most economical speed:
     
U 448
-
AL 7179  
U 603
-
BE 1782
552
-
AL 7548  
963
-
BE 4228
358
-
AL 7767  
709
-
BE 4173
262
-
AK 9691  
212
-
BE 4528
       
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952
-
BD 3341  
441
-
BE 4752
608
-
BD 3659  
91
-
BE 7221
333
-
BE 1159  
764
-
BE 7266
437
-
BE 1494  
256
-
BE 7529.
  b) None.
  c) German tanker "Brake" sailed on 26.2. and will probably reach the supply area on 11.3.
  d) U 177 must be presumed lost.   Boat was on her way to the Indian Ocean and made her last report from CG 4523 on 14.1.  Orders to report her position on 19, 20, 21 and 26.2. remain unanswered.  No information as to cause of loss.
       
V. Reports of Success:   None.
       
VI. General:
  ON 225
  According to Radio Intelligence report received on 25.2. the convoy assembly point for ON 225 was in about AM 4633 at 1300/24/2, course 2240.  This course led to BE 40 and lay in the area which has frequently been passed by convoys latterly.  Group "Preussen" was to operate against this convoy, which was to be expected in BD 60 in the evening of 27.2. assuming a day's run of 216 miles.
  On 23.2 however a Radio Intelligence report was received according to which the convoy had been given the following order:  "Delete radio message 1301/23/2. New assembly point (remainder of radio message not deciphered).
  Radio traffic from this convoy showed further that it had been in the area 400 W. at midday on 29.2.  The convoy could only have reached a position so far W. if it did not haul out to the S., as expected from information of 25.2., but proceeded along the Great Circle.
  The convoy therefore took evading action, presumably the disposition of "Preussen" was known.
       
       
                                                              (Signed): GODT.
                                                     Chief of Operations Department
                                                                    for B.d.U.
       
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Appendix to War Log of 20.2.1944
U-boat's Flak armament State as on 20.2.1944
       
A. Following the summaries made in B.d.U.'s War Log of 16.6.1943 and 1.12.1943, a further summary is given below of the measures taken to strengthen the Flak defences of U-boats.
 
 
 
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   The following are discussed in detail:
  1) 2 cm. guns (quadruple and twin mountings).  
  2)  3.7 cm. automatic (M 42).
  3)  Bridge armour.
  4)  Conning towers with guns pointing ahead.
  5)  Use of Rockets.
       
B. 1) 2 cm. guns
     The opinions given on 1.12.43 remain unchanged.  Hanomag's improved quadruple mounting (M 42) and the twin mounting are still to be regarded as fully effective weapons.  The only disadvantage is that the caliber is too small.  U 763 (Cordes) succeeded in shooting down 2 4-engined enemy aircraft in January and February 1944.
  2) 3.7 cm. Automatic (M 42)
     About 80% of all front-line boats were fitted with this gun from the beginning of December 1943.  Due to delays in delivering the 3.7 the remaining 20% had to put to sea still with 2 cm. quadruple mountings, twin mountings or 3.7 cm. type C/30 automatic gun.
    A considerable number of experience reports were received from boats in January 1944 and it was possible to give a definite opinion on this gun.  Apart from the few good experiences, by far the most reports showed that the 3.7 cm. Automatic suffered from a great many defects, i.e.
    a) Defects of construction, which were due to the firms being too much pressed to produce large quantities and to firms which were making guns for the first time having too little experience in construction.  These could be countered by more careful examination when accepting the guns and by making conditions of acceptance more severe, if necessary at the expense of a slower rate of production.
    b) Liability of the gun to rust in sea water.  The gun could only be kept in working order on patrol if it was constantly cared for, handled by experts and test firing carried out frequently.  This cannot be done in most cases by boats on their way out and back and in operations area with their present tactics (submerged the whole time, surfacing only at night to charge batteries).  This defect could be remedied by making especially sensitive parts of rustless material, but this would take some time (about 3 - 4 months).
    c) Lack of knowledge of the gun in many cases.  This is not the fault of the gun, and everything is being done to improve the training of crews and mechanics.
     These defects applied for the most part to automatic parts of the gun.  When the automatic mechanism failed, it was used successfully for single shot firing (6 - 80 rounds
 
 
 
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     per minute) in several cases.  Odd favorable reports of the gun show however that, when it is working properly, it is a great improvement in Flak armament.  Thus U 343 (Rahn) was able to drive off several aircraft in the Mediterranean, while she was unable to dive, and shot down 2.  Here the 3.7 cm. worked excellently for automatic firing, despite a minimum of maintenance.
     In conclusion it may be said that there is nothing basically wrong with the gun.  The initial defects will be overcome.  All boats are still being equipped with it.
  3) Bridge armour
     Nothing new since War Log of 1.12.1943.  With the present underwater tactics the armour does not play such a large part.
  4) Conning towers with guns pointing forward
    One boat (U 973) has front-line experience.  She has a type VI conning tower.   The boat gives a good account of the bridge as far as preventing spray and breaking the wind go.  Crash-diving and depth-keeping are more difficult.
     Disadvantage:  Very bad effect on stability.
     Measures to improve stability required a loss of 20 tons of fuel from No. 1 internal fuel, which cannot be accepted for boats operating in the Atlantic.
    Further trials are being made with U 673 (conning tower type VI) and U 362 (conning tower type V), which have meanwhile sailed into Northern Waters.
  5) Use of rockets
     The first boat to be fitted with rocket firing gear, U 986, left on her first patrol at the beginning of February after final trials at home had been successfully completed.  Front-line experiences are not yet available.
       
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Appendix to War Log of 20.2.1944
U-boat situation
       
I. Development of convoy action since May 1943.       Convoy operations
  1) By May 1943 enemy sea escort and especially air escort of convoys had reached such strength that even large groups of U-boats could no longer hold out against it and reach the center of the convoy.  This and the general increase of enemy air activity in all parts of the N. Atlantic caused such great losses, while at the same time increasingly fewer successes were scored, that on 24 May the order to "clear" the N. Atlantic had to be given.  The equipment of aircraft with excellent Radar sets, which had been proceeding since March 1943, was the decisive factor in the success of the enemy air force.
 
 
 
- 132 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     These sets enable the aircraft to find the U-boats quickly, and without being noticed themselves, by day or night and in any visibility conditions at very great range;  they made it possible for the aircraft to choose its own time and position for attacking, which for the U-boats meant a dangerous surprise attack.
    Radar made the U-boat "visible"; it could no longer surprise and its fighting effectiveness was thus greatly diminished.
  2)  For the time being we tried to operate U-boats still in operations area against the American - Gibraltar convoys, as these were in an area out of reach of land-based enemy aircraft.  All dispositions tried there failed however, because the area was so large, Radio Intelligence provided no information and we had no air reconnaissance.  In no case was a convoy found.  By degrees the boats were withdrawn from the area S.W. of the Azores, passing the islands to the S., into the area between the Azores and Spain.  Here again there were heavy losses, especially to enemy aircraft taking off from Gibraltar, and so the fight was finally abandoned and the convoy battle in the Atlantic was at an end for the present.
  3)  The time had now come to use all boats (including type VIIc) in the Central American coastal area, the Caribbean, the coasts of Brazil and W. Africa.  At the same time at home work was proceeding at a feverish rate on the development of our Flak, and 2 cm. quadruple and twin mountings were fitted in the boats. It was hoped that enemy aircraft would be driven off with this Flak armament, or at least deterred from making their dangerous low-level attacks.
    Zaunkönig (Translator's note:  T 5 acoustic torpedo) as an offensive weapon against destroyers was intended to break the superiority of the enemy anti-submarine forces.  The Hagenuk Wanz (Translator's note:  radar interception gear) was intended to enable the boats to pick up enemy location transmissions in all the enemy radar bands known and was supposed to be free of the spontaneous radiation suspected in Metox, the radar interception set used hitherto.  Radar decoy device Aphrodite was developed as an effective countermeasure against enemy radar and all boats were equipped with it.
    The date for the first operation depended on when Zaunkönig, the decisive weapon, could be ready and issued to boats.  This date was fixed for 29.9., allowing sufficient time for boats to pass unnoticed into the operations area in the North Atlantic.
  4) Group "Leuthen" (Fig. 1)
    Zaunkönig convoy 19.9. - 23.9.
     Boats approaching from the S. to join the first patrol line planned from AK 34 to AL 47 picked up ONS 18 and/or ON 202 on 19.9.  Opposition from enemy surface forces (presumably from 2 convoys) was very strong indeed, but air escort was comparatively weak and was hindered by unfavorable
 
 
 
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     weather conditions.  The operation continued for 4 days and resulted in a great success.  Sunk:
      12 + 3 destroyers (by Zaunkönig)
      9 steamers (46,000 GRT)
      2 steamers torpedoed.
     Own losses:  2.
    At first, however, it did not emerge from boats' reports that the weather conditions, which had been so bad for enemy aircraft, had played an all-important part in the operation and the false impression was formed that, with their improved Flak equipment, boats had been able to stand up to enemy aircraft surfaced by day.  On the basis of this impression boats engaged in operations "Rossbach" and "Schlieffen" were ordered to continue the operation by day and to hold out together against enemy aircraft and haul ahead.
    Group "Rossbach"
    This group, in patrol line from AK 26 to 68 and from AD 88 to AK 63 between 26.9. and 6.10. was to take action against ON 204 and ONS 19, but met with no success, because the convoys managed to evade the boats, even though the patrol lines were moved N. several times.  On the other hand there were several losses (probably 3 boats) due to enemy aircraft.
    The same group was disposed in AK 39 - 92 between 7 - 9.10. against HX 259 and SC 143 and picked up several groups of submarine chasers in the vicinity of the convoy, but not the convoy itself.  The boats contacted these submarine chasers while they were on their way S. to their new dispositions and not in the positions intended.  The convoy itself was only picked up later by our air reconnaissance.  3 destroyers were sunk, but 2 boats were lost by enemy air attack.
     Both operations clearly showed the effectiveness of the enemy air force, which discovered the extent and position of the patrol lines and played a decisive part in the action against the U-boats.
    Group "Schlieffen"
    After the last "Rossbach" operation, a new group "Schlieffen" was formed in the area from AK 28 to AK 67 to pick up ON 206 and/or ONS 20.  After a Radio Intelligence report had been received, the patrol line was moved N.  ON 206 was picked up further E. by a boat coming home to join the group.  She lost contact owing to strong forces of escorting aircraft and could not find the convoy again.
    Operations Control ordered the boats to fight the escort aircraft surfaced by day (the aim being to continue shadowing by day and to get ahead) and this led to the loss of 6 boats.  The operation was a complete failure, only one steamer being sunk and one torpedoed.
 
 
 
- 134 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
     Lessons learnt afterwards from this convoy were:
    a) that a U-boat with 2 cm. Flak guns cannot stand up to the heavily armored large bomber or flying boat.
    b) that convoy action by day will no longer be possible in future with the present Flak armament of 8 2 cm. guns if there is strong enemy air escort.
    But these facts were not realized to the full at the end of the Schlieffen operation, because the positive results of the Zaunkönig convoy outweighed the negative results of later operations.
    Group "Siegfried"
    The remaining boats of Group "Schlieffen" and some fresh boats coming from Western France were formed into a new group in AJ 90 to BD 10 to pick up E.-bound convoys.  Boats were ordered to proceed to their stations submerged by day, surfaced by night in order to make it more difficult for the enemy to discover the dispositions.  The group was in patrol line from 23 0 27.10. and was divided into 3 groups on 28.10 to cover the area BC 30 - 90.  On 31.10 the 3 groups were redisposed into 2 groups.
    "Körner" and "Jahn"
     On 15.11. there was an entirely new disposition in the area AJ 95 to BC 20, with altogether 5 groups.  By now it was realized more clearly that the enemy aircraft were superior to our own defences and it was therefore intended, in the operations of Groups "Siegfried", "Körner", "Jahn" and "Tirpitz", not to pursue the convoy by day if there was strong air escort.  An extract from U-boat situation of 1.11 reads:  "The attempt to force an attack on a convoy with all boats remaining surfaced at the same time will have to be abandoned until the boats are equipped with 3.7 cm. Flak, despite the good experiences with the "Leuthen" convoy.
    Group "Tirpitz I-IV"
     One boat was stationed on the enemy side between each group, to act as advance observer and report any signs of increased air activity (air escort with convoys).  This did not lead to any contact with any of the expected convoys; it was afterwards discovered that they all avoided the areas in which the groups of U-boats were stationed.
    It was now realized that the enemy had discovered the last dispositions of patrol lines with his radar and on the 8th Group Tirpitz was dissolved and
    Group "Eisenhart"
    set up, which was to occupy the area from the S.E. tip of Greenland to about BD 50, in various small groups of 3 boats each.  They were to remain submerged by day and surface by night.  They were to keep moving constantly to make it more difficult for the enemy to locate them.
 
 
 
- 135 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    But this disposition was never realized. Various information derived from Radio Intelligence and direction finder bearings of escort aircraft in the Azores area showed that, in the main, the convoys were now sailing much further S., in the area covered by Azores aircraft, about between AK 85 and BD 93.  Groups "Eisenhart" were therefore directed S.E. to BE 40 while still on their way.  In spite of the large number of boats, again no contact was made with any of the expected enemy convoys.
    As the boats' fuel stocks were almost used up after these unsuccessful operations and it did not seem expedient to redispose them in the area of the North Channel - Newfoundland convoy traffic, they were formed into:
    Group "Schill"
     This group was to operate against a N.-bound Gibraltar convoy in the area CF, northern third and BE southern third.  This operation, in cooperation with G.O.C. Atlantic Air Forces lasted from 19 - 21.11.  Afterwards most of the boats had to return home, the England - America convoy area remained empty.
     The next disposition here was not made until a sufficient number of boats had arrived from home and from W. ports, i.e. on 5.12. with
    Group "Coronel"
    This group was intended to operate against ONS 24 and HX 268 in AL 10 - 70, but, although it was moved several times, it had made no contact with the enemy by 8.12.  Then followed the operation together with G.O.C. Atlantic Air Forces against ON 215, which failed because of the inadequate reporting by the Ju 290 flying on 12.12. and the insufficient number of reconnaissance aircraft.  The boats were then divided into 3 groups and later into 6 groups.
    "Ruegen I to VI"
    In AE 80 to BE 10.  On 7.1. patrol lines were broken up and all boats disposed individually.
  5)  At the same time as the operations described under 4) were in progress, several small convoy operations took place in CF and BE against N. and S.-bound England - Gibraltar convoys, in cooperation with G.O.C. Atlantic Air Forces.
       
II. Changes in methods of disposition to pick up convoys, due to the effect of enemy Radar.
  1) The order, given on 7.1. to dispose the boats singly in the area of convoy routes, marked the end of the method hitherto used to pick up convoys, that is, by patrol or reconnaissance line in the absence of our own air reconnaissance.
     Through the influence of enemy radio-location, a development had been brought to a close which during the previous year had become more and more strongly defined and which was to be foreseen as final.
 
 
 
- 136 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
    As long as our own air reconnaissance was inadequate, patrol lines covering a wide area but lacking in depth could best be exploited in surveying great distances and picking up convoys.  As often expressed already, the disadvantage of the lack of depth was obviously paid for dearly.
  2)  1943 convoy operations proved that the enemy was able, with the aid of his aircraft radar, to discover the extent of the patrol lines and to avoid them.  He managed this on a large scale already in January 1943 and avoided our dispositions so cleverly that for some time we suspected that he had broken into our cipher system.  It was only realized for certain that the enemy got his accurate information of our dispositions by means of radar when the range of enemy radar sets became known.
  3)  The following countermeasures were taken in the course of 1943:
    a) Patrol lines were moved frequently;
    b) New dispositions were made for short periods;
    c) Boats remained submerged by day;
    d) Boats were equipped with radar interception gear and ordered to dive immediately when a location transmission was picked up;
    e) Patrol lines were split into single small lines;
    f) Boats were disposed in short patrol lines with small distances between boats and large distances between individual groups.  Single boats were stationed in the gaps between the various lines.
  4) In spite of all the disadvantages the patrol line principle was never wholly abandoned.  The patrol line offered the following advantages over the single-boat type of disposition:  
    a) It covers large areas and therefore gives the best chance of picking up convoys;
    b) Good shadowing, the first shadowing boat is quickly relieved by neighboring boats;
    c) A number of boats operate together which means that enemy escort forces are split up, chances of success are greater and our own losses fewer.
    d) Chances of finding the convoy again if contact is lost, as boats rush to the convoy's last position from both wings of the patrol line.
     (N.B.:  The disadvantages of patrol line disposition for convoy actions as compared with a deep disposition are obvious and have often been discussed;  there is no point in discussing them here).
 
 
 
- 137 -
 
 
     

 

     
     
 
  5) When the measures detailed under 3) were found to be unsuccessful and no contact was made with the enemy, boats were split up into tiny groups.  These groups did not remain stationary in one position, but moved about all the time ("Ruegen I to VI").  By altering the relative positions of the various groups to one another, by disposing them now in close, now in loose formation, it was made impossible for the enemy to discover the exact positions of the boats.  The most he could do was establish the presence of U-boats in a certain large total area.  This splitting up actually did lead to some success and several contacts were made with the enemy.
  6)  In no case however was it possible to bring up all 3 boats of a group when contact was made with the enemy.  The small groups therefore had no further point and transition to a single boat disposition was automatic.  Chances of successes were naturally further reduced when collective action by several boats against a convoy was abandoned, one boat would now have to fight the entire convoy escort alone.
  7) In future strong enemy air reconnaissance is to be expected ahead of convoys in the whole of the N. Atlantic and, as so far no means of making the boats immune to enemy radar has been devised, any type of disposition will be known to the enemy and avoided.
    In future therefore successful mass U-boat operations against convoys will only be possible, with the types of boats available and planned, if the boats can be brought up to the convoys by constant reconnaissance by our own aircraft.
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
 
 
 
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