U-138 - 1st War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason with the help of Robert Derencin

Days at Sea
10 September 1940
26 September 1940


Click the icon to download a KMZ file displaying the U-boat track, significant events and locations for this patrol.  You must have Google Earth loaded on your computer to view this file.  Download Google Earth here


Ships Hit
KTB Time
20 Sep 40
25°15'N, 79°45'W
20 Sep 40
24°39'N, 83°51'W
20 Sep 40
25°15'N, 84°03'W
21 Sep 40
23°39'N, 83°57'W
 Total = 34,644
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.


K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h
__"  U  138  "__
                Kommandant: Oblt.z.S.   L  ü  t  h  
      Beginning:  27.6.1940    
      Ending:      26.9.1940    
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
- 1 -
    10.00 Kiel, Blücherbrücke Commissioning held.  
        Joined the 1st U-Flottille.  
        Temporarily at the direction of UAK-Kiel  
    26.06.40 to Kiel UAK testing.  
    17.00 Kiel Ready for sea, transit to Swinemünde and 8-hour AK-sea trial.  
    16.00 Swinemünde Entered port to disembark UAK.  
    19.00   Departed for Gotenhafen.  
    17.00 Gotenhafen Entered Gotenhafen.  
    12.07.40 to   TEK-testing  
    18.07.40 to Central Baltic Central Baltic.  
    24.07.40   Tactical exercises with the 27. U-Flottille.  
    07.00 Rönne, Roadstead Rönne, Roadstead  
        Made fast alongside "WILHELM BAUER" for training conference.  
    14.00   Ready for sea, transit to Danzig.  
    09.00 to Danzig Testing by the UAG 1.  
    14.00 Danzig Transit to Memel.  
    02.00 Memel Entered Memel.  
    02.08.40 to Memel Torpedo firing with the 25th U-Flottille.  
    06.08.40 to Memel Torpedo firing with the 24th U-Flottille.  
    22.00 Memel Ready for sea, transit to Kiel.  
    18.00 Kiel Entered Kiel, made fast Tirpitz Mole.  
    30.08.40 to Kiel Shipyard period, Deutsche Werke.  
    06.09.40 Kiel Sea trial, practice torpedo firing, degaussing.  
- 2 -
    xx.09.40 Kiel Radio direction finder calibration, measured mile, U-boat sound testing.  
    xx.09.40 to Kiel, Tirpitz Mole Boat supplied for 5 weeks remote patrol.  
    10.09.40 Kiel Ready for sea.  
    20.30 Kiel, Lightship    
    21.00 Point "Rot 1" In convoy with "Sperrbrecher 13", waiting on supply ship "UCKERMARK".  
        Radio message from BSO [Befehlshaber der Sicherung der Ostsee = Commander of Maritime Security in the Baltic Sea] "UCKERMARK" will report on 11.09.40 at 06.00 hours.  "U-138" is ordered to wait.  
    22.00 N 3-4, Vis. good Made fast near the stern of "Sperrbrecher 13".  
    00.00 to   English aircraft over Kiel.  
    11.00 WNW 3, Vis. good "UCKERMARK" meets us.  
        Proceeding through the Great Belt in convoy with "Sperrbrecher 13" astern "UCKERMARK".  
    12.00   Day's run:  13 nm.  
        Transit through the Kattegatt.  
    06.00 Kattegatt Released from "Sperrbrecher 13".  
      Anholt Continued escorted by 2 torpedo boats.  
      NNE 3-4, Sea 3-4    
    12.00   Day's run:  233 nm.  
    14.00 Kattegatt Released from convoy.  
      Point "Schwarz 25" "UCKERMARCK" is passed by both T-boats at high speed.  
      W 3, Vis. good  
        T-boats asked by Morse [Aldis lamp] for the Oksøy lighthouse near Kristiansand to be lit at 24.00 hours.  
Transit to Kristiansand.  Drifting mine at the ship's side.  
    20.27 AN 3633    
      W 3, Sea 2-3, overcast, rain showers, Vis. bad    
    24.00 AN 3616 Boat position by plotting - off Kristiansand.  
      S 4, rain, misty, Vis. bad    
    00.40 AN 3616 Oksøy lighthouse in sight at 4 nm.  
        Entered Kristiansand at LF trimmed down.  
    01.37 Oksøy Lighthouse Inbound passed abeam.  The inner beacon off Kristiansand comes into view.  
        Proceeding around Flekkerøy Island.  
    03.24 Oksøy Lighthouse Outbound on bearing 57°T.  Transit through the German mine warning area in the Skagerrak.  
      SW 5, Sea 4-5, rain showers  
Sun and Moon Data 10.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 11.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 12.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 13.09.40
- 3 -
    06.30 Skagerrak Dived after passing the mine warning area, continued transit in the North Sea.  
    08.00 AN 3564 upper-left    
    12.00 AN 3555 center-right Day's run:  = 138 nm.  
                                12 nm.  
                          =     150 nm.  
    12.30   Surfaced to ventilate the boat.  
    13.23   Dived.  
    16.00 AN 3527 lower-center    
      WSW 3, Vis. moderate    
    17.00   Surfaced to ventilate the boat.  
    17.35   Dived.  
    21.55 AN 3516 center-right Surfaced, transit to operations area.  
      WSW 1, Sea 1, light swell    
    24.00 AN 3199    
    04.00 Northern North Sea    
      AN 3146 center-right    
      WSW 3, rain, misty    
    06.00 AN 3115 center-right Dived.  
    08.00 AN 3112 lower-right    
    12.00 AN 2978 center Day's run:  = 92 nm.  
                              29 nm.  
                          =   121 nm.  
    12.30 NNW 3, Sea 3 Surfaced.  
    12.45   Crash dive for aircraft.  
    16.50 AN 2974 Surfaced.  
    17.34   Dived.  
    20.00 AN 2947    
    2x.x0 AN 2866 Surfaced  
      NE 2, Vis. good, bright moonlit night    
    23.07   Short Signal:  Have passed 59°N.  
    24.00 AN 2839    
    02.10   Short Signal repeated because there was no confirmation.  
    04.00 AN 2559    
    06.14 AF 7998 Dived.  
    12.00   Day's run:  = 80 nm.  
                        =    29 nm. = 109 nm.  
    12.20 AF 7991 Surfaced.  
    13.42 AF 7964 Short Signal:  "Have passed 60° 50'N", since there was no confirmation.  
      NW 2, Sea 1, Vis. good  
    16.00 AF 7954    
    18.43 AF 7866 Aircraft to port at the limit of visibility.  
      NW 2, Vis. good, high clouds    
Sun and Moon Data 13.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 14.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 15.09.40
- 4 -
    19.26 AF 7865 Crash dive for aircraft to starboard.  
    19.52 AF 7864 Surfaced.  
      NW 2, Sea 2    
    24.00 AF 7828    
    04.00 Northwest of the Shetland Islands    
      AF 7793    
      NNW 2, light swell    
    08.00 AN 1217 Dived, so as not to be surprised by morning reconnaissance aircraft from the low clouds.  
      Low clouds  
        Depth keeping practice.  
    10.50 AN 1139 Surfaced.  
    12.00 AN 1165 Day's run:  = 202 nm.  
                         =     6 nm.  
    15.17   Aircraft to port in the direction of the Shetland Islands  
    16.00 AN 1181    
      NW 2, Sea 2    
    17.00 AN 1175 Course changed to Cape Wrath, so that the boat can pass the exit of the Minch during the night on a westerly course and be positioned at dawn again out of sight of the Hebrides.  
    17.10 AN 1178 2 masts bearing 270°.  
        Maneuvered ahead at the limit of visibility.  
        Steamer running on course 190°, 7-8 knots.  
    18.10 AN 1178    
      SE 3, Sea 3, Vis. moderate changing Crash dive for aircraft.  
    18.30   Surfaced.  
    20.00 AN 1315    
    20.25   Crash dive for aircraft.  
    20.45   Surfaced.  
    21.28 Between the Shetland and Orkney Islands Dived, boat positioned ahead of the steamer on opposite course.  
      AN 1318 I prefer to fire submerged because the prevailing full moon nights are bright and do not allow a surface shot.  
      SE 4-5, Sea 3-4, twilight, cloudy  
    22.03 Darkness Miss on the steamer.  
        Target angle 90°, speed 7 knots, estimated range 900 meters.  
        Steamer had 2 masts forward, smokestack and bridge astern.  
        Navigation lights were set shortly before the shot.  Of the contours of the steamer nothing more was to be seen.  
        I believe I had sufficient plotted firing data to have shot.  
Sun and Moon Data 15.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 16.09.40
- 5 -
    22.33 SE 4-5, Sea 4, rain Surfaced, again maneuvered ahead for attack.  
    24.00 AN 1318 Steamer steaming at 3-5 knots, course 180°, steamer has lights set.  
      At times hazy  
    01.00 AN 1317 Closed to 600 meters for attack.  
        Did not shoot because as we neared the size was estimated at only 700 tons.  Now he lies almost stopped.  It is assumed that he wants to head for the Pentland Firth only in daylight.  
        Ran off to the 200-meter line on course 270°.  
    04.00 AM 3429    
    08.00 AM 3366 Dived, depth keeping practice.  
      SW 2, Sea 2, medium swell, low clouds    
    11.50 AM 3369 Surfaced.  
    12.00   Day's run:  = 144 nm.  
                         =     11 nm.  
                          =     155 nm.  
    12.05 WNW 4, Sea 4, long swell, Vis. medium Smoke feather in sight to the south on southerly course, maneuvered ahead.  
    14.15 AM 3396 Land came in sight bearing 122°.  
        It must be the north tip of the Hebrides or the Sulisker Rocks  
        The vessel is made out as a fishing trawler which steers frequently changing courses to the south, therefore, ran off to sea on a westerly course.  
    16.00 AM 3394    
      WNW 5, long high swell    
    20.00 AM 3379    
      NW 7-8, Sea 6-7, Vis. bad    
    24.00 AM 2434    
      NW 8, Sea 7    
    04.00 West of the Hebrides    
      AM 2627    
      NW 6, Sea 6, moonlit    
    08.00 AM 2563 The rough sea has caused dirt from the external fuel tanks to get into the diesels and has clogged the fuel pump and fuel valves.  
        Boat dived for repairs.  
    12.00 AM 2568 Day's run:  = 122 nm.  
                         =   12 nm.  
Sun and Moon Data 16.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 17.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 18.09.40
- 6 -
    13.14 AM 2568 Surfaced.  
    13.15 NW 3-4, partly overcast, Vis. good Smoke cloud bearing 100°.  
      Held on.  
        The diesels are still not right, they falter momentarily one after the other.  
    16.00 AM 2822 I do not get closer.  The bearing is steady.  Saint Kilda come in sight.  
    16.30   Smoke cloud out of sight.  
        A second smoke cloud in sight to the south on a northerly course.  
        Maneuvered ahead.  
    18.15 AM 2853 Dived to attack.  
    20.00 AM 2864 In firing position on a steamer of only 500 tons, did not fire.  
      Sea 3, light swell  
    20.51   Surfaced.  
    24.00 AM 2898 Reached the limit of the operations area.  
      SE 4, Sea 3, Vis. good    
    04.00 AM 3941 Transit to the SE-corner of the operations area:  
      SE 5, Sea, overcast, rain AM 5394, 2927, 2723, 3968  
        Barra Head abeam, burning normally.  
    08.00 AM 3971 Dived.  
    09.29 AM 3971 Surfaced.  
      SSW 4, Sea 3-4, rain, Vis. moderate    
    12.00 AM 5317 Day's run:  = 164 nm.  
                         =       9 nm. = 173 nm.  
    16.00 AM 5382    
      SW 5, Sea 4    
    18.00 AM 5354 Dived, depth keeping practice.  
        Deep dive test to test depth -50 meters.  
        Sea water density measurements at various water depths, flood, drain, and trim tests at deep depths.  
    21.00 Off the North Channel Surfaced.  
      AM 5354 Back and forth in position at the southeast part of the operations area.  
      NNE 3, Sea 3, rain, Vis. bad  
    24.00 AM 5382 Lighthouse on Inishtrahull burning normally.  
    04.00 AM 5382 Courses so arranged that during darkness we are apositioned within the 100-meter line.  During the day I want to be positioned further from land to have more room to cruise and maneuver ahead and be in deeper water in case of pursuit.  
    06.17 AM 5357 Crash dive for destroyer masts 500 meters astern  
      NW 5, Sea 4, misty Boat gets under poorly into the sea, was overrun, when at depth 15 meters.  
Sun and Moon Data 18.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 19.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 20.09.40
- 7 -
    08.00 AM 5346    
    09.25 AM 5346 2 large passenger steamers with 2 smokestacks and 2 escorts in sight in the periscope at 4000 meters, target angle 30°.  
      NW 6, Sea 6, swell, Vis. good  
    09.41   Course 20° into the Barra Passage.  
        Steamers out of sight, submerged at 10.5 meters depth they could only be seen in the periscope just at the crest of a wave.  
        Surfaced, steamer in sight to the west, target angle 60°, estimated range 10000 meters.  
        Steamer turns to starboard towards the boat, target angle 0°, course 80°.  
    09.46   Dived.  
    10.20   Steamer again lost from sight.  Surfaced.  
        Steamer remains out of sight, it must be making more than 15 knots, came to a NE- course and chased after the steamer.  
    12.00 AM 5343 Day's run:      Surfaced 98 nm.  
                         Submerged 16 nm.  
    12.56 AM 5351 Crash dive for aircraft.  
    13.30   Surfaced.  
    15.15 AM 5353 Crash dive for aircraft.  
      NW 2-3, Sea 2-3, swell, Vis. good    
    15.40   Surfaced.  
    16.00 AM 5352 Smoke cloud bearing 30°T, above that point 2 aircraft, maneuvered ahead, general course 130°.  
    17.49 AM 5353 Crash dive for aircraft.  
      W 2-3, Sea 2-3, swell, Vis. good    
    18.11   Surfaced.  
    18.50 AM 5356 Crash dive for aircraft.  Northern tip of Ireland in sight.  I can not get ahead of the convoy in time.  Come to course 90° and want to try to operate on the last of the 10 smoke trails.  
        Running submerged at GF.  
    19.14   Surfaced.  
Sun and Moon Data 20.09.40
- 8 -
    19.14   Boat runs on course 90° perpendicular to the convoy  
    19.27 AM 5364 The superstructure of the middle ships is in sight.  Dived, continued submerged at GF, after plotting I estimate I will reach the last steamer in just under an hour.  
    20.00 AM 5365 Steamer passes at 2000 meters, target angle 70-90°.  A moment later 2 steamers with target angle 0° in sight, then the convoy in 8 columns, distance 400-500 meters between rows, irregular ship distances in the columns, approximately 30 steamers. Course 270°, speed 7 knots.    
        2 aircraft over the convoy, 1 escort on each flank, likely gunboats recognized.  
        Every steamer zigzags on its own or in groups.  The boat takes position between the middle columns, in which the largest steamers are positioned.  
    21.18 Off the North Channel Aircraft approaches periscope - briefly retracted.   
    21.20 AM 5365 Shot on 1st steamer in the 3rd column, target angle 95°, speed 6 knots, range 460 meters, running time 28 seconds, depth 3 meters, hit 20 meters aft, very loud detonation.  Probably a boiler explosion.  A high black explosion column, stern settles in seconds up to the bridge.  
      W 2, Sea 2, twilight, light swell  
        Appearance:  about 6 hatches,  
                             2-3 masts,  
                             2 pole masts,  
                             vertical bow, normal stern.  
        The whole periscope was filled at low magnification by the length of the ship, at high magnification only the central nave round the bridge could be seen.   
        Size estimated at approximately 8000 tons.  
Sun and Moon Data 20.09.40
- 9 -
    20.09.40   Turned to port to shoot at the first steamer of the 4th column which approached the boat at target angle 0°.  After shooting turned further to port to approach the 2nd steamer of the 4th column to shoot.  Boat cut under to depth 15 meters.  Went to HF to get back to periscope depth, as a result the boat got within 300 meters.  
    21.23 AM 5365 Shot at the 2nd steamer in the 4th column.  
        Target angle 100°, enemy course 280°, speed 7 knots, range 300 meters.  
        Torpedo running time 19 seconds, depth 3 meters, hit amidships.  
        Especially loud detonation, high explosion column, stern settles immediately.  
        Appearance:  about 5 hatches,  
                              2 masts,  
                              4-6 pole masts,  
                              vertical bow, normal stern.  
        More than the whole periscope was filled at low magnification by length of the ship.  
        Size estimated at approximately 7000 tons.  The 2nd steamer of the 3rd column swerved to course 330°.  
        Boat turned to starboard to counter him.  
    21.26 AM 5365 Shot on the 2nd steamer in the 3rd column.  
        Target angle 85°, enemy course 330°, speed 7 knots, range 400 meters, torpedo running time 24 seconds, torpedo depth:  3 meters.  Hit amidships.  Ship buckled amidships.  A moment later, two depth charges.  
        Appearance:  about 5 hatches,  
                             2 masts,  
                             2-3 pole masts,  
                             vertical bow, normal stern.  
        At high magnification only the bridge and surroundings were to be seen.  Ship was smallest of the three and is estimated at approximately 6000 tons.  
Sun and Moon Data 20.09.40
- 10 -
    20.09.40   A part of the convoy turns to the north, the smaller part to the SW, 2 steamers rescue the survivors.  
    22.00 AM 5365 Surfaced.  
      Approaching darkness The 3rd shot steamer lies stopped of 500 meters astern with a broken keel.  Amidships deep in the water, foredeck and stern tower high from the water.  Nothing more is seen of the first two torpedoed steamers.  
        In the direction of the North Channel lively Morse signalling is observed.  Boat departs to the north, then to the west, after the larger part of the convoy.   This part ran off approximately 3 nm to the north into a dark bank of clouds and has turned to the west again.  Some steamers which had broken out to the SW try to rejoin on a northwesterly course.  The moon just rises, however, it is still covered by clouds, this will only last an hour, until it shines fully.  Until then the boat maneuvers ahead far enough to the west that the convoy is now abeam to the north.  
    24.00 AM 5355 Meanwhile the last torpedo is reloaded.  Boat maneuvers ahead of the convoy and then to the north to attack the steamer on the far right wing from the lee of the moon on the surface.  Convoy is arranged in 7-8 columns.  Separated by 1000 meters, the biggest ships are in the center in front. Course 270°, speed 7 knots.  
      W 2, Sea 2, bright moonlit night  
Sun and Moon Data 20.09.40
- 11 -
    02.00 AM 5318 Begin the attack.  Convoy is positioned exactly in the moonlight.  
      Calm weather, bright moonlight, Vis. good  
      Escort, (probably a gunboat) approaches the boat at target angle 0°.  
        Crash dive.  
        Initiated attack on the outermost steamer, which is set back slightly.  
    02.27 AM 5318 The first 3 steamers of the center column move so closely in line that they overlap and for practical purposes provide one target ship width of approximately 300 meters.  Because 3 steamers are essentially bigger than the outermost steamer, I shot at them in spite of the greater distance.  
        Shot at the 2nd steamer of the center column.   
        Target angle 70°, enemy course 275°, speed 7 knots, range 2800 meters.  
        Torpedo running time 3 minutes 7 seconds.  Torpedo depth 3 meters.  Hit aft 30 meters.  
        Stern settles deeper.  The third steamer in the column stops and lowers lifeboats.  Work lights and flash lights are seen.  The steamer, still seen on the surface, was particularly long and broad, substantially larger than the outermost steamer which passed the boat within 500 meters after the shot and was estimated at 5000-6000 tons.  
        Target width at target angle 80° approximately 3/16° at low magnification of the periscope.  
        Size estimated at 8000 tons.  
        Convoy scatters wildly.  
        Most of the convoy runs slowly in a NW direction, a part to the south.  The moon shines from east.  The boat departs to the north.  
Sun and Moon Data 21.09.40
- 12 -
    21.09.40   A larger tanker approaches to 400 meters in shooting position, only there are no torpedoes.  
        The high-speed engines of warships are heard twice.  
    03.00 AM 5318 Surfaced, ran off to the north.  
        2 patrol boats - 3000 meters distant - search for the boat.  
        Observed Morse signaling to the south.  The torpedoed steamer lies with her stern deep in the water, a second steamer lies with her.  Lifeboats and lights are seen.  
    03.30 AM 5318 Patrol boats have 3 green lights in a triangle set in the masthead and in the course of the next hour throws 15 depth charges.  
        Range is about 4000 meters.  
        He seems to steer a north-northwesterly course.  
        Boat goes to AK.  
    05.00 AM 5311 lower-center Bearing to the patrol boat is still always astern.  However, the distance has become greater.  Barra Head is illuminated, bears 40°T.  Nothing more is seen of the convoy.  It must have again run to the west.  I want to deliver a reconnaissance report first by day if the situation has clarified, particularly as none of our boats are close by.  
      NW 2, Sea 1, bright moonlit night  
    05.44 AM 5311 upper-left Proceeding on northwesterly course.  
    08.00 AM 0259 Proceeding on westerly course.  
    12.00 AM 2966 Day's run:      Surfaced 116 nm.  
                         Submerged 13 nm.  
        Began return transit on southwesterly course.  
        Delivered reconnaissance report:  
        "Enemy convoy in sight AM 5318.  Enemy out of sight in direction 270°.  Enemy speed 7 knots."  
Sun and Moon Data 21.09.40
- 13 -
    16.00 AM 2989 Crash dive for aircraft.  
      SE 2, Sea 1, some low clouds Crew given rest.  
    19.44   Surfaced.  
    20.00 AM 5113    
      SW 3, Sea 1-2, overcast    
    24.00 AM 4365    
    04.00 AM 4638    
      SSE 5, Sea 4, rain, Vis. bad    
    08.00 AM 4695 Dived.  
    09.15   Surfaced.  
    12.00 AM 4935 Day's run:      Surfaced 144 nm.  
      SW 4, Sea 4, overcast                  Submerged 12 nm.  
    16.00 AM 4992    
      W 4-5, Sea 4, long swell    
    20.00 AM 7362    
    24.00 AM 7398    
    04.00 West of Ireland    
      AM 7492    
      WNW 2, Sea 3, Vis. good    
    08.00 AM 7968    
      South of Ireland    
    12.00 BE 3338 Day's run:      Surfaced 223 nm.  
                         Submerged -- nm.  
    14.10 BF 1173 Radio message concerning distress case of He 111 in BF 17, turned to close at HF.  
        Distance 90 nm.  
Sun and Moon Data 21.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 22.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 23.09.40
- 14 -
    23.09.40   Sent position by Short Signal to B.d.U.  
    14.30 BF 1173 Crash dive for aircraft.  
      NNW 1, long swell    
    14.47   Surfaced.  
    16.00 BF 1413    
    20.00 BF 1473    
      NW 1, Vis. good    
    22.45 BF 1746 Reached the area of the distress case, search started at GF.
      NE 2, light swell, Vis. moderate Sent position by Short Signal to B.d.U.  
    24.00 BF 1718    
    01.00 BF 1742 In the east a white star is shot, boat also shoots a white star. Turned to the east.  Exchanged recognition signals with U-100 which is also searching for the airmen.  
        Afterwards continued to steer search curve.  
    04.00 BF 1743    
      NE 2    
    08.00 BF 1754    
      Light swell    
    09.15 BF 1757 Search broken off.  On course to Lorient.  
    11.25 BF 1786 Crash dive for aircraft.  
      Rain showers    
    11.52   Surfaced.  
    12.00 BF 1786 Day's run:      Surfaced 219 nm.  
                         Submerged 2 nm.  
    16.00 BF 1877    
      NNE 3, Sea 3    
    20.00 BF 4237    
    20.47   Avoided a sailing vessel bearing 130°T.  During the afternoon avoided 4 sailing vessels (French fishermen).  
    24.00 BF 4373    
      NNE 4, Vis. bad                                                                 
Sun and Moon Data 23.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 24.09.40
- 15 -
    25.09.40 Western Bay of Biscay    
    01.10 BF 4385 Recognition Signal call 1000 meters ahead.  
      Vis. bad, low black clouds Responded with Aldis lamp no answer, Recognition Signal shot, otherwise nothing further observed.  
    04.00 BF 4399 Avoided 3 sailing vessels during the night.  
      NNE 5, Sea 4    
    08.00 BF 5427    
    12.00 BF 5493 Day's run:      Surfaced 231 nm.  
                         Submerged -- nm.  
        Avoided 4 sailing vessels in the morning.  
    12.30   Received orders to be off Lorient on 26 September at 12.00 hours.  
    12.50   Dived, to reach Lorient as scheduled.  
    16.00 BF 5575    
      NNE 5, Sea 4, overcast, large swell    
    20.00 BF 5584 left half    
    20.30 NNE 5, Vis. moderate 5 sailing vessels sighted in the periscope during the afternoon.
        Surfaced, to proceed on the surface.  
    24.00 BF 5586 left half    
    04.00 BF 5599 upper-center    
      NE 4, large swell    
    08.00 BF 6418 center-left 7 fishing vessels seen with lights set during the night.  
      NE 5-6, Vis. good    
    09.00   "U-47" in sight astern 180°.  
        Boat steers zigzags.  
    11.55 BF 6173 lower-center Torpedo wake in sight course 100° from 240°.  
      6 nm southwest of lighthouse Pen Men on Ile de Groix Hard to starboard, port diesel ahead AK.  
      Starboard diesel astern AK.  
        Track passes under the boat at the forward edge of the MG C/30.  
Sun and Moon Data 25.09.40
Sun and Moon Data 26.09.40
- 16 -
    26.09.40   2nd track passes 10 meters ahead of the boat.  
        Tracks visible in direction 240° for about 2000 meters.  U-boat [enemy submarine] not seen.  Boat continued at AK.  
    11.58   4 torpedo detonations heard.  
    12.00   Day's run:      Surfaced 117 nm.  
                         Submerged 14 nm.  
    12.25 On the mine route to Lorient Boat runs behind mine escort and "U-47" to Lorient.  
      Northwest of Pen Men 1 flying boat with German markings and 4 engines, foreign design, approaches us.  Is fired on by from land.  Boat opens fire from MG C/30, target is covered, aircraft turns away to the NW.  
        A light single-engine aircraft approaches us from the SE.  Opened fire, target is covered, aircraft turns away.  Afterwards continued with the mine escort.  
    13.35 Lorient Made fast.  
Sun and Moon Data 26.09.40

  Appendices to U-138's KTB - click on the text at left to proceed to the documents
Chart Track chart covering entire patrol                           13 - 26 September 1940
Torpedo Torpedo Firing Reports


Commentary of the Befehlshabers der Unterseeboote




        A very good patrol for a small boat.  Excellent performance during the attack on the convoy.

        The achievement of the Kommandanten was even greater, because it was made with a boat on its first war patrol.

Signed in draft:    D  ö  n  i  t  z

For the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote.
- The Chief of the Operations Department -

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