U-26 - 2nd War Patrol

Translation by Jerry Mason with the help of Robert Derencin

Days at Sea
22 October 1939
5 December 1939


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Ships Attacked
KTB Time
13 Nov 39
36°16'N, 2°13.5'W
 Total = 4,285
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  26  "  
                     Kommandant: Kaptlt.    S  c  h  e  r  i  n  g  e  r  .  
      Beginning:   27.  9.1939    
      Ending:       21.10.1939    
        © U-boat Archive 2014  - all rights reserved  
Click the flag to view the above page from the original German KTB
    27.09. - 19.10.39 Wilhelmshaven Shipyard.  
    20. - 21.10.39 Wilhelmshaven U-boat base.  
                                  For correctness:  
        For the Kommando of the 2. Unterseebootsflottille:  
                      The Kapitänleutnant at Headquarters.  
                                 K  r  i  e  g  s  t  a  g  e  b  u  c  h
                                                "  U  26  "
                                    Kommandant:  Korv. Kapt.  E  w  e  r  t  h  
                        Beginning:  22. 10. 39  
                        Concluding:  5. 12. 39  
                        Enclosures:    1 Track chart (general)  
                                             1 Track chart (Strait of Gibraltar)  
                                                                   (Bay of Gibraltar)  
                                              1 Excerpt of the Radio Log  
- 1 -
    22.00 Wilhelmshaven Cast off U-boat Base.  
      W 1, isolated clouds, flat Sea, half moon, Vis. clear, bright night    
    22.30 - 23.30   Lay in the 3rd Entrance to correct a fuel oil leak in the port external fuel tank due to leaking seal in the vent piping.  
    23.30   Departed.  Headed down the Jade.  
    23.10.39 Schilling Roadstead    
    00.50 - 01.10 NW 0-1, isolated clouds, flat Sea, moonshine, Vis. clear, bright night Trim test in calm water.  
    02.20   Passed Lightship "F".  Course 282°, speed 9 knots.  
    04.30 Southern North Sea Passed 2 patrol vessels.  Vessels did not notice us.  Therefore no Recognition Signals exchanged.  
      Level of Norderny Lightship  
    05.30   Came to course 343°.  
    06.00 - 06.50 Southern North Sea Test dive.  
      Wind calm, flat Sea, half overcast, Vis. clear    
    07.35         "        "        " 1 aircraft abeam to starboard on northerly course, far off.  
    07.45         "        "        " Recognition Signals exchanged with Vorpostenboot 128.  
        In the vicinity there is a mine layer (COBRA-type).  
    08.10 Southern North Sea Recognition Signals exchanged with an aircraft.  Did not dive, because the aircraft flew past close to the patrol boat and COBRA (?) was recognized as German.  
      NW 1, changing cloudiness, fair, flat Sea, Vis. good  
    11.30   Passed 2 Vorpostenbooten.  Recognition Signals exchanged with Vorpostenboot "409".  
        After receiving Radio Message 0724/26 concerning detection of English U-boat by "STRAHL" steered zigzag course.  3 detonations heard (depth charges?).  
    12.00   Mid-day navigation fix:  φ =  54°50'N  
                                             λ =   25'E  
        Note:  the navigation information is in latitude and longitude because no secret grid square charts are on board.  
    15.25   Came to course 0°.  
Sun and Moon Data 22.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 23.10.39
- 2 -
    17.30 WSW 2-3, changing cloudiness, from time to time rain showers, Sea 1-2, Vis. good Crash dive for training.  
      Afterwards came to GF to get out of the warning area by night.  
    19.50   Reached Route Blau 12.  
    24.00 Central North Sea Left the mine warning area.  
      Great Fisher Bank    
      NW 3-4, changing cloudiness, rain showers, Sea 2-3, Vis. mostly good, bad in rain squalls, at times moonshine    
    01.45 Central North Sea Illuminated fishermen avoided .  
      Great Fischer Bank    
      NW 4-5, changing cloudiness, rain showers, Sea 2-3, Vis. good, bad in rain squalls, at times moonshine    
    10.15 NW 5-6, changing cloudiness, Sea 5, Vis. good, at times rain showers Crash dive for aircraft.  
      Remained over the midday period.  
    13.00   Surfaced.  
        Mid-day navigation fix:  φ =  57°54'N  
                                             λ =   04'E  
    14.00 - 15.25   Crash dive for aircraft.  Flies on an easterly course.  
    16.50 - 18.45   Dived for a sailing vessel (fisherman).  
        Due to the wind and seas will go through the Fair Isle Passage, transit north of the Shetlands.  On course 345° stayed about in the middle of the North Sea.  
    07.00 Northern North Sea, level of Utsire [Utsira] Dived for a sailing vessel.  
      Remained over the midday period.  
      NNW 5-6, changing cloudiness, at times Made adjustments to the port diesel.  
Sun and Moon Data 23.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 24.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 25.10.39
- 3 -
      rain and hail showers, Sea 5, Vis. good-medium    
    14.00   Surfaced.  
    21.00   Passed 60°N to the north.  
    26.10.39 Northern North Sea, level of the Shetlands    
      NNW 7-8, changing cloudiness, Sea 7, Vis. good    
    11.00 - 13.00   Test dive.  
        Clock set back 1 hour.  
      NNE 7-8, changing cloudiness, Sea 7, Vis. good Evening navigation fix:  φ =  61°47'N  
                                          λ =   44'W  
        Course 290°.  
    27.10.39 Atlantic north of the Shetlands    
    06.15 NW 3, lightly cloudy, Sea 2-3, Swell, Vis. good Dived for a vessel on the horizon.  Probably a destroyer.  It is too dark for periscope observation.  Moved off to the west.  
        Remained to pull and ventilate the torpedoes in tubes III and IV.  At the same time raised the torpedoes lying in center of reserve storage.  
    13.00   Surfaced.  
    14.10 - 17.10 N 2-3, fair, isolated clouds, Sea 2, Swell, Vis. good Dived for a vessel.  
      Probably the same as in the morning.  
        Continuously had bearings in the listening gear.  
        Midday navigation fix:  φ =  60°30'N  
                                            λ =   56'W  
    28.10.39 Atlantic, level of Orkney Islands    
    10.00 SE 2, half overcast, Sea 1, Swell, Vis. good Dived, vessel in sight bearing 290°T.  
      maneuvered on the steamer with the intention of stopping him.  
        Closed to 4000 meters.  Steamer flies the Danish flag and steers about 55°.  
Sun and Moon Data 25.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 26.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 27.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 28.10.39
- 4 -
    28.10.39   Because his course is to the north around the Shetland Islands, holds course and does not zigzag, refrained from an examination because it did not make sense.  Any ship bound for England must steer an easterly or westerly course.  
        Position:  φ =  59°29'N  
                       λ =   50'W  
        Own course 250°.  
    13.00   Surfaced.  
    29.10.39 Atlantic, level of Northern entrance to the Irish Sea    
    12.00 NE 2, SW-Swell, Sea 1, fair, Vis. good Midday navigation fix:  φ =  56°52'N  
                                          λ =   12°20'W  
                                                    Course 200°.  
    18.15 - 18.45   Test dive.  
        No particular events.  
    30.10.39 Atlantic, west coast of Ireland    
    12.00 NE 4, Sea 3-4, overcast, at times light rain showers, light W-Swell, Vis. good, Wind freshens in the course of the day to E 5-6 Midday navigation fix:  φ =  53°30'N  
                                          λ =   13°00'W  
                                                  Course 180°.  
    18.10 - 18.55   Test dive.  
        No special events.  
    31.10.39 Atlantic, level of the south tip of Ireland    
    06.30 E 5, Sea 5-6, overcast, misty, Vis. medium, beginning of twilight Steamer in sight bearing 200°T on easterly course with set lights.  Due to Sea State the cannon cannot be manned.  Distance 7000-8000 meters.  Cannot get closer submerged.  
    10.00 ENE 5-6, Sea 5-6, overcast, misty, Vis. medium Midday navigation fix:  φ =  50°57'N  
                                          λ =   13°17'W  
        Steamer in sight astern bearing 20°T with southerly course.  Dived and attempted to close.  Depth control at periscope depth is only possible at HF.  Due to the Sea State the steamer is not distinguished in the periscope.  Distance is too great.  According to the listening gear he quickly shifted to the SE.  
Sun and Moon Data 28.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 29.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 30.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 31.10.39
- 5 -
    31.10.39 Atlantic, level of south entrance to the Irish Sea    
    12.00 ENE 5, Sea 5,-6, overcast, Vis. medium Nothing more is heard of the steamer.  
      all torpedoes pulled and combat pistols adjusted.  At the same time cleaned the diesel lubricating oil filter.  
    17.05 Wind abates Main blow valve operated.  
    01.11.39 Atlantic, level of Scilly Island    
    02.10 SW 2, E-Swell, half overcast, bright moonlit night, Vis. good Illuminated steamer in sight bearing 90°T.  Steamer steers SW-course was not stopped because it is still not light enough for artillery operation.  Avoided on the surface.  
    12.00   Midday navigation fix:  φ =  48°25'N  
                                            λ =   13°25'W  
    18.30 - 19.00   Test dive.  
    02.11.39 Atlantic, level of Bay of Biscay    
    12.00 W 4-5, Sea 4, strong W-Swell, changing cloudiness, at times rain showers, Vis. medium to good Midday navigation fix:  φ =  45°07'N  
                                          λ =   13°17'W  
    18.10 - 18.50   Test dive.  
    20.12   Outgoing Radio Message:  1315/2/80  
        B.d.U. from "U-26":  Passed 45°N at 13°W.  Position when sending:                           φ =  44°10'N  
                                               λ =   13°20'W  
    03.11.39 Atlantic, level of Cape Finisterre    
    10.00 W 1-2, W-Swell, clear, Vis. good Following radio message received on the 600 meter wavelength:  To All:  
        Bâtiment ennemi, probablement sousmarine par 43° Nord, 14° 20'West a 20.10 h le 2.11.position douteuse.  
                        O 100 / 3 / 11 Quessant Radio  
        The reported U-boat would seem to be us.  
        Bearings were probably taken on sending the Radio Message 1315 / 2 / 80.   
        It is thus proven that bearings are taken on all Radio Messages sent on shortwave and evaluated.  Error between the actual and bearing position:  
                        80 nm in direction 214°.  
        The 600-meter wavelength remains continually monitored as much as possible, because steamer reports, U-boat and mine warning reports can provide important clues.  
Sun and Moon Data 31.10.39
Sun and Moon Data 01.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 02.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 03.11.39
- 6 -
    10.20 W 1-2, W-Swell, clear, Vis. good On the basis of the U-boat report went closer to the Spanish coast.  New course 145°.  
    12.00   Midday navigation fix:  φ =  41°55'N  
                                            λ =   13°00'W  
    13.30 - 17.00 W 2-3, W-Swell, clear, Vis. good, later SW 3-4, overcast Dived to adjust all combat pistols.  
    04.11.39 Atlantic, level of Berlenga Island    
    09.30 NW 4-5, Sea 3, NW-Swell, fair, Vis. good Tanker in sight bearing 290°T.  
    09.45   Dived to close .  
    11.00   Surfaced.  Norwegian tanker (9000 GRT) "STORANGER" from Bergen stopped.  It travels in ballast from Rotterdam to Suez, to receive new orders there.  After checking papers released.  
        Position:  φ =  39°15'N  
                       λ =   11°35'W  
        Moved off to the north out of sight of the tanker, then again to course 180°.  
      NW 4-5, Sea 3, NW-Swell, clear, Vis. good No further events.  Course 145°.  
    05.11.39 Atlantic, level of Lisbon    
    10.20 S 4, Swell, clear, changing cloudiness Vis. good, later W 2 Dived for a steamer.  Came in sight bearing 270°T.  Because we are approaching the Strait of Gibraltar from now no steamer examinations.  
    12.00   Midday navigation fix:  φ =  36°53'N  
                                            λ =   10°30'W  
    13.20   Surfaced and dove again immediately because a steamer was in sight bearing 130°T .  
    17.00   Surfaced and continued transit .  
    19.00   Lighthouse at St. Vincent comes in sight.  Passed St. Vincent at a distance of 22 nm.  Brisk steamer traffic close under St. Vincent.  
    06.11.39 Atlantic, level of Cádiz    
    06.30 SE 1, overcast, Sea 0-1, Vis. good Dived.  Steamer in sight bearing 290°T.  Remained to remain unseen.  
Sun and Moon Data 03.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 04.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 05.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 06.11.39
- 7 -
    06.11.39           Intentions for the next days:  
        Head for Cape Trafalgar.  Remain lying there on the bottom on 7 November 1939 to load the T.M.B.  With the beginning of darkness surface and proceed in the Strait of Gibraltar.  If possible I want to get in Bay of Algeciras and put the boat on the bottom there on the Spanish coast so that it is possible to observe Gibraltar through the periscope.  
    12.00   Midday navigation fix:  φ =  36°25'N  
                                            λ =   35'W  
                                                  Course 95°.  
    18.40   Surfaced.  Continued transit ..  
    07.11.39 Cádiz Bay, Trafalgar    
    05.30   Dived before steamer.  
    06.30 SE 1-2, Sea 1, W-Swell, overcast, Vis. good Put the boat on the bottom north of Cape Trafalgar to load the T.M.B. in tubes I and III.  
        Position:  φ =  36°14.7'N  
                       λ =      6°9.7'W  
    18.30 SE 2, Sea 0, fair, Vis. good, starry clear night, no moon Surfaced.  
      Proceeded close under the Spanish coast.  In so doing avoided several illuminated Spanish fishermen.  Searchlight training in the direction of Gibraltar, 6-8 searchlights.  
    22.45         "        "        " Passed Tarifa . at a distance of 500 meters. West of us there is an illuminated fisherman about 1000 meters away.  There is the possibility that he has seen us.  
      Strait of Gibraltar Continued, held close to the Spanish coast.  
    23.00 SE 1, Sea 0, Vis. good, clear starry night, no moon Crash dive before an un-illuminated vessel.  Apparently an S-boat.  Direction 90°.  
        Many illuminated departing steamers on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar.  
        Current sets to the east, therefore remained .  Depth 20 meters.  
    08.11.39 Strait of Gibraltar    
    03.00 SE 0-1, flat Sea, bright starry night, no moon, Vis. good Went to periscope depth.  By plotting the boat must still be west of Punta Carnero, actually the current had already pushed us passed it.  
    03.30         "        "        " Surfaced on the line Algeciras - Ceuta, 5 nm southeast of Carnero.  Without blowing . on E-motors headed for Carnero.  
Sun and Moon Data 06.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 07.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 08.11.39
- 8 -
    08.11.39   The beacon at Europa Point and the Gibraltar Mole beacon are sighted.  The city of Gibraltar and the steamers lying in the roadstead are brightly illuminated.  No blackout.  
    03.14   Before the lights of Gibraltar Roadstead the shadow of a destroyer stands out sharply, initially he was stopped, then gets under way on a southeasterly course.  Am about 2.5 nm south of Europa Point.  
    03.55   Dived, because the destroyer comes close to us.  He does not seem to have noticed us, then he waits on a steamer coming in sight from the SE.  
    04.00 Bay of Gibraltar Rounded Punta Carnero .  It was still water, so it was easy.  Held close to the Spanish coast on a northerly course.  The current runs out now.  
      SE 0-1, flat Sea, bright starry night, no moon, Vis. good  
        Many illuminated fishermen and at times also S-boats (?) frequently force us to go deep.  
    07.30 Wind calm, flat water, very misty, at times fog, Vis. bad Passed Algeciras.  Distance 1 nm.  
    09.00   Boat put on the bottom on the "Bajillo del Tambor" Bank in 12 meters water to observe the harbor of Gibraltar.  The flat water requires the greatest caution.  The visibility is very limited.  
        Results of the observation:  


SE 0-1, flat water, Vis. good, fair, at times a bit misty

There are 3-4 destroyers continually under way observing the Strait and the Bay.  They stay mostly on the line South Mole Gibraltar - Punta Carnero and east of Punta Carnero.  Arrivals head mostly to the South Mole on course 30-40° and shortly before the entrance come to a northerly course.  Both entrances are utilized. Departing the opposite course.  In the harbor at the inner edge of the South Mole lie 3 cruisers each with 3 smokestacks (10000 tons).  Of these one with camouflage.  At the Center Mole a tender.  On the roadstead between La Linea and Palmones lie a total of about 30 steamers.  In the western part predominantly Italians.  In the rest English and French.  Many of them painted dark gray.  Armament can be discerned in a few.  Probably these are auxiliary ships or traps.  There was welding on the forecastle of many English and French steamers.  Apparently to bring armament on board.  
    11.00 - 11.30   2 modern destroyers run in with 3 steamers from the west.  
    11.45   One transport runs out to the Mediterranean.  It steers the following course:  Initially 200-210°, then 180° and finally turns to 40°  
      Wind calm, leaden flat sea, clear, Vis. good Due to my low height of eye the turn points could not be determined exactly.  The escort consisted of 2 destroyers.  
        Off the Center Mole outside the harbor lies a large Italian passenger steamer at anchor "OCEANIA" type.  
Sun and Moon Data 08.11.39
- 9 -
    08.11.39   2 times the take off of a 2-engined sea plane (flying boat of older type) was observed.  Apparently these serve to guard the Strait.  By day find no net barrier off either entrance.  Whether the presumed net barrier lies to the west of the Center Mole cannot be exactly determined.  It is noticeable that merchant steamers coming out of the south entrance come initially to a southerly course, then move off on a SW course, after a period first turn to the north to get to the Roadstead.  
      Wind calm, leaden flat sea, fair, Vis. good    
        The minefield west of Europa Point seems to be in place.  The course of inbound and outbound vessels give rise to this suspicion.   
    21.40         "        "        " Surfaced and remained lying in position to ventilate the boat, compress air and pump the bilges.  The boat lies in front of a dark part of the bay and is probably not seen.  Completion of the mine task seems hopeless.  With the flat, calm water any approach would be detected immediately.  Due to the water depth the T.M.B. must be deployed approximately 100 to 200 meters off the Mole.  There, however, the periscope can be used only very sparingly even at night, because the illuminated city throws a bright glow on the water.  Continual fixing of the ship's position by bearings made through the periscope is not possible, because the entire harbor is awash in the glow of 1000 lights, however the Mole beacons do not burn.  Due to the current running there determining the ships position by plotting is not sufficient.  
      Brightly illuminated by the lights off Algeciras and Gibraltar Bay, starry clear night, no moon  
      Wind calm, leaden flat sea, Vis. good, starry sky, no moon, the Bay is well illuminated On the basis of Radio Message 1806 / 6 / 62 I decide not to carry out the fouling.  I intend to leave the Bay submerged and break through into the Mediterranean.  
    22.00   Dove again.  Held close to the Spanish coast on a southerly course.  Passed Algeciras.   
    22.30   In the conning tower suddenly a regular, very high chirping sound is heard.  The interval between the tones is 7 seconds.  The tone is very high and reminds one of the German S-gear.  In the listening gear nothing is heard.  Also some members of the crew are not able to hear it.  
        One has the clear impression that a bearing is taken because the tone comes from forward and runs over the port side to aft, the then again comes back.  At the same time I see in the periscope on the port side (260°R) a vessel with a top lantern and a green side light.  
Sun and Moon Data 08.11.39
- 10 -
    08.11.39   The side lantern is positioned very low and far astern in relation to the top light.  We already saw encountered this arrangement in the previous night when seeing patrolling destroyers, which apparently wished to appear as fishing vessels.  
      Wind calm, leaden flat sea, Vis. good, starry sky, no moon  
        The vessel maintains the same bearing and range.  About every 5-10 minutes a group of bearing tones is heard, so that undoubtedly it seems that we have been located.  The destroyer to port stops and goes at timesly so that it is always abeam to port.  Therefore I turn to the Ensenada de Getares, where there are swarms of illuminated fishermen, and let the boat fall to the bottom in 29 meters water.  Distance from the coast is about 1 nm.  The bottom is rocky.  
    09.11.39 Gibraltar Bay    
    01.00 Ensenada de Getares All auxiliary machinery secured.  The gyro compass was shut off.  Through the entire night up to 12.00 noon the bearing tone continued to be heard.  As before at regular intervals.  The heard vessel stops frequently and gets under way for a short time again.  Because of the danger of being heard, no air purification. Mouth breathing through potash cartridges.  
      No weather observation because submerged  
    14.30         "        "        " Boat raised from the bottom and carefully brought to periscope depth.  No patrol vessel is found in the immediate vicinity.  Unfortunately a few fishing vessels.  East of Punta Carnero there is a patrolling destroyer.  He seems not to have detected us, instead stays in his position.   
        rounded close around Punta Carnero and initially steered a westerly course with the current.  There is busy steamer traffic.  2 further patrolling destroyers  and one armed fishing trawler were sighted to the southwest and south.   
    17.00   Because we are apparently not detected, came to course 145°, to cross over to the African side.  The current sets to the east.  Course over ground 120°.  
    about 17.00 Strait of Gibraltar From the west a dispersing convoy runs in for Gibraltar.  3-4 steamers, among them 1 fat tanker, escorted by 2 modern French destroyers.  Range is too great to approach.  Both French destroyers run out again and exchange Recognition Signals with 2 English destroyers.  Letter "Bruno" is recognized.  
      E 2-3, Sea 2, overcast, misty, Vis. medium, at times bad visibility  
    21.45         "        "        " After 24 hours submerged, surfaced close under the Ceuta Lighthouse.  
      Dark, overcast night  
Sun and Moon Data 08.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 09.11.39
- 11 -
    09.11.39   Began . transit to Cape Tres Forcas.  At night 2 illuminated steamers avoided.  
    10.11.39 Mediterranean, Cape Tres Forcas    
    09.00 - 15.30 E 4-5, Sea 3, overcast, Vis. good Dived for a small steamer proceeding close under the African coast.  
    16.40 - 17.45 ENE 3-4, Sea 3, overcast, misty horizon, Vis. bad Dived for a vessel that briefly came in sight astern to port.  Because in the listening gear nothing is heard, it may also have been Alborán Island (!).  No evidence of steamer traffic.  Therefore I want to advance to the east up to Oran to determine if regular traffic and if convoys run here.  I suppose that "U-25" is not there.  
    11.11.39 Cape Falcon    
    05.30 W 2, Sea 1, half overcast, Vis. good Dived because I am within sight of land from Cape Falcon and Habibas Island.   proceeded slowly eastward off the Gulf of Oran.  Distance about 10 nm from Oran, 5 nm from Cape Falcon.  No traffic was entering or departing Oran.  A patrol vessel (fishing trawler) with a small cannon on the foreship is positioned off Cape Falcon moving back and forth on east-west courses.  Oran seems possible as an assembly place for convoys.  
    18.07 Level of Cape Falcon Surfaced after darkness and moved off to the north, to observe traffic under the Spanish coast.  10 minutes after surfacing an oval white spot is sighted.  Apparently marine phosphorescence on the side of a hull.  Since oil spills were also observed, and probably air bubbles, it may have been a dived U-boat that submerged ahead of us.   Before it had stood against a dark cloud bank.   
      W 3-4, Sea 3, half overcast, Vis. good, dark night, no moon  
    18.45   Searchlight beam 2000-3000 meters astern in the direction of Oran.  It is a dimmed vessel, that searches the water surface at the position were the suspected U-boat was sighted.  
    22.45 North of Oran . moved off in the direction of Almeria.   
      W 5-6, freshening, Sea 4-5, half overcast, Vis. medium to good, no moon A shadow in sight bearing 0°T.  It is a dimmed merchant steamer on course for Gibraltar.  Because this is first recognized later, the target angle is too great to shoot a torpedo.  I may attack a dimmed steamer in the western Mediterranean because it can only be English or French.  All neutrals are brightly illuminated with illuminated markings on  
Sun and Moon Data 09.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 10.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 11.11.39
- 12 -
    11.11.39   the side of the hull.  . pursued at AK and attempted to maneuver ahead.  The steamer runs about 13-14 knots.  The still deeply lying boat pounds very strongly in the sea and takes a lot of water over.  The speed advantage is very slight.  
    12.11.39 Line Oran - Almeria    
    00.15 W 5-6, Sea 5, half overcast, Vis. medium to good, no moon Approached to about 1000 meters.  Target angle is still 100-120°.  Bow shot fired.  
        Again pursued at AK and attempted to get ahead.  Attack initiated for stern shot, to use the G7a torpedo loaded in tube V.  
    01.50   Due to estimation again shot from target angle 120°.  Miss.  
        Pursuit broken off because the sea is ever greater and success is questionable.  Approaching with the boat working heavily in the seas is uncertain and inexact.  
    06.12 Level of Almeria at Cape de Gata Dived before a steamer.  Came in sight bearing 35°T.  Cannot get close enough to observe in detail.  
      W 4-5, Sea 5, half overcast, Vis. good    
    08.00 - 20.00   Afterwards .  6 T.M.B. pulled from the tubes and torpedoes reloaded.  
    21.00   Surfaced.  3 nm south of Cape Gata at Almeris.  While surfacing a vessel in sight ahead to port.  Type not distinguished. I take him for a destroyer because it was heard shortly before surfacing and despite sufficient Volume was not taken as a merchant steamer.  Because it is too close to the coast and still too bright did not attack.  
        There is a lot of steamer traffic here.  Apparently everything going to the north passes here.  Course again set for Cape Tres Forcas, to observe there once more.  Up to now no convoys seen.  
    13.11.39 Line Almeria - Tres Forcas    
    03.00 SW 3-4, Sea 3, half overcast, Vis. good, no moon Dimmed vessel in sight, bearing 70°T.  Turns out to be a merchant steamer on course for Gibraltar.  Initiated attack.  
    03.34   Bow shot - Miss -.  Apparently a pistol failure because in the boat several people heard an impact.  
    03.40   Stern shot.  Hit forward.  The steamer sank quickly.  After about 30 seconds is has disappeared.  
Sun and Moon Data 11.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 12.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 13.11.39
- 13 -
        Size estimated at 5000-6000 tons.  Heavily loaded.  
        Position:  φ =  36°16'N  
                       λ =   2°13.5'W  
        Because in the southwest an illuminated steamer runs towards the location, did not look for survivors, instead moved off on southerly course.  
    06.00 SW 3-4, Sea 2-3, fair, sunny Vis. good Dived, steamer comes in sight bearing 100°T.  Approach initiated.  Through the periscope later recognized as a Greek in ballast.  No examination, to not confirm the presence of U-boats.  
      North of Alborán Island    
    up to 13.40 SW 3, Sea 2-3, half overcast, Vis. good Remained submerged to reload the torpedoes.  
    15.10   Dived.  Steamer bearing 280°T.  Approach initiated, in the periscope later recognized as Norwegian.  
        No examination.  
    19.10   Surfaced.   
        During the night again reached Cape Tres Forcas and moved back and forth in position.  No traffic.  
    14.11.39 North of Cape Tres Forcas    
    06.18 W 1-2, Sea 1, fair, sunny, Vis. good Dived at dawn, to remain submerged by day.  
      Distance from Cape Tres Forcas about 6-10 nm.  The entire day except for 2 small fishing vessels (Spanish) only in the evening 1 steamer with course for Melilla observed.  
    19.00 N 1, Sea 0, clear, starry sky, Vis. good Surfaced.  Ran . to the north, to be on the steamer route north of Alborán Island by early morning.  The Lighthouse on Alborán Island does not have the identifier given in the Lighthouse Directory of 4 flashes but instead only 1 flash with a pause of 8.5 seconds.  
    15.11.39 Mediterranean, north of Alborán Island    
    06.00 W 2, Sea 1, clear, misty horizon Dived at dawn.  
      .  Piston 3 of the port diesel pulled and replaced.  Duration of the work 25 hours.  
        In the course of the day 1 tanker - probably English naval tanker - sighted on westerly course and one steamer painted grey.  
        The steamers were spotted too late in the periscope for submerged attack.  
Sun and Moon Data 13.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 14.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 15.11.39
- 14 -
    15.11.39   Because the port diesel is out of service, maneuvering ahead . is not in question.  Surfaced at darkness.  During the night back and forth in position on the steamer route north of Alborán Island.  Nothing seen.  
    24.00   Incoming Radio Message 0712/15/96.  Contained convoy report from "U-53" cannot be evaluated because no grid charts are on board.  A short time later U-boat Warning from Casablanca on 600-meter wavelength heard with position 35°30'N, 8°30'W.  Additionally 2 radio messages to A.F.B. Officer Only Radio Message No. 2335/15/61 and No. 2218/15/60 cannot be decoded because there are no documents [key material] on board for that.  
    16.11.39 Mediterranean, northwest of Alborán Island    
    06.30 - 09.50 W 4, Sea 3, clear, misty horizon Dived.  Steamer in sight bearing 260°T.  
      Initiated attack.  The steamer carries Swedish markings.  Attack broken off.  
    12.15 - 13.15   Dived for a vessel bearing 100°T.  It turns out to be Alborán Island (!), which in the mist is easily mistaken for a steamer.  Strikingly light traffic.  
        I intend to stay further to the north during the night, to deploy periscope-decoys there and then begin return transit because fuel is already tight.  I want to be about 30-40 nm south east of Gibraltar early in the morning, remain there by day and surface and proceed to the west so that by moonset (about 23.00 hours) I am at Ceuta, to break through just off the African coast.  
        Summary of observations in the western Mediterranean:  
        Convoys were not observed.  They seem to run only west of Gibraltar.  On the African coast at Cape Tres Forcas up to Oran no steamer traffic.  The main traffic runs between Gibraltar and Cape de Gata close under the Spanish coast partly within territorial waters.  At Cape de Gata the route forks.  From or to Gibraltar north or south of Alborán Island only independent steamers run, among them those with westerly course dimmed at night.  So far scheduled surveillance does not seem to be carried out in this area.  Neither warships or aircraft were observed.  Vessels seem to be stationed in the Gibraltar area in limited numbers (no flying boats).  
Sun and Moon Data 15.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 16.11.39
- 15 -
    16.11.39   They apparently serve to monitor the Gibraltar Strait and the surrounding area to the west.  Operation of U-boats in trade warfare seems promising initially, however defenses and strengthened surveillance of the Gibraltar Strait must be expected.  
    17.11.39 Mediterranean east of Ceuta    
    08.00 W 3, Sea 2, clear, Vis. good, morning and evening a bit misty Dived.  Distance from Ceuta about 30 nm.  Remained submerged by day.  No traffic observed in the eastern outlet of the Gibraltar Strait.  It is quite striking that the steamer traffic has been so light in the last two days.  It seems to run close under the Spanish coast.  
    19.00 NW 0-1, mirror flat sea, starry clear, moonshine, Vis. good Surfaced.  Moved back and forth on one engine and charged the battery with the other.  Deployed periscope decoys.  Searchlight training (6-8 searchlights) against air targets (?) observed at Gibraltar.  
    23.00 No moon, very misty Began return transit through the Gibraltar Strait.  According to the Sailing Handbook the current at the edge of the Gibraltar Strait sets to the west from about 23.00 - 04.00 hours.  
    24.00   Ceuta Lighthouse abeam to port, distance 800-1000 meters.  
    18.11.39 Gibraltar Strait    
      Wind calm, flat Sea, starry clear, no moon, Vis. good, a bit misty Between Gibraltar and Punta del Carnero dimmed destroyer patrols again.  At the same time an illuminated steamer runs into the Bay of Gibraltar.  A searchlight on the Gibraltar Mole illuminates him a few times.  This is repeated with each arriving steamer.  In order not to be heard we proceed . on E-motors.  Close under the African coast many fishing nets are set out, they are illuminated every 200 meters by cork floating lamps.  These lights are confusing until you see what they are.  They are recognizable by a somewhat reddish glow.  We had to travel through such nets.  Several bright glows on the horizon were observed on the water surface.  On coming closer they were recognized as the bright lamps from fishing boats.  The lights of these boats are either brightly burning acetylene lamps or a type of torch that flicker strongly and  
Sun and Moon Data 16.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 17.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 18.11.39
- 16 -
    18.11.39   glow somewhat reddish.  
    01.00 Wind calm, no Sea, flat Sea, Vis. good, misty on the coast On the starboard side just off the Spanish coast a dimmed destroyer on parallel course in sight.  Disappears later again to the east.  
    02.15 - 03.20   Dived for a vessel with a top lantern that lies towards us.  The arrangement of the position lanterns suggests a warship.  Numerous times very small slightly shifting vessels are observed, in addition to the bright side lanterns, green top lights run over the entire horizon (S-boote?).  
    03.30   Tarifa abeam to starboard.  Continued to run on a westerly course out of the Strait of Gibraltar close under the African coast.  
    04.10   Dived for a dimmed destroyer, that moves back and forth in position north of Tangier.  The destroyer leaves his position at sunrise.  Remained the rest of the day because I am too close to the coast.  Through the periscope several arriving and departing merchant ships were observed.  Mostly neutral.  Among them an English armed steamer.  Carries a gaff flag.  Bow and stern cannons recognized.  Distance too great for torpedo attack.  
      Gibraltar Strait north of Tangier  
      E 3-4, Sea 3, clear, Vis. medium, misty horizon  
    19.00 E 4-5, Sea 3-4, starry clear, bright moonlit night, Vis. very good Surfaced.  Began transit along the steamer route to Cape Vincent.  
    20.00   3-4 shadows in sight bearing 180-200°T.  Apparently a large vessel with several destroyers.  The formation zigzags.  General course west.  The moonlight is too bright for a surface attack.  Dived.  However nothing is seen in the periscope.  Did not carry out attack.  In the listening gear sounds are quickly lost.  
    21.00   Surfaced.  
    19.11.39 Atlantic, Tarifa to St. Vincent    
    08.50 ENE 1-2, Sea 2, clear, fair, Vis. very good Dived.  2 steamers in sight directly ahead.  Initiated submerged attack with the intention of stopping the steamers with the cannon.  Both have Spanish markings.  No examination.   
    11.00   Shortly thereafter a steamer comes from Tarifa.  No examination, it is Italian.  
    15.00   An American passenger steamer coming from St. Vincent.  No examination.  It seems as if this generally customary route would be avoided by the English and French.  Also by independent steamers.  
    16.30 W 0-1, Sea 1, clear, fair, Vis. very good, misty towards the coast Surfaced.  On the Portuguese coast several smoke clouds, coming from fishermen.  
    23.20   Outgoing Radio Message 2213/19/67.   By which I reported beginning return transit.  
Sun and Moon Data 18.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 19.11.39
- 17 -
    20.11.39 Atlantic, level of Cape St. Vincent  
    06.30 - 10.50 NW 5-6, Sea 5, clear, Vis. good Dived in twilight for a vessel.  Type not distinguished.  Nothing seen in the periscope because the vessel was not close enough.  Followed continually in the listening gear.  
    11.10 - 15.30 N 7-8. Sea 7, clear, Vis. good Dived for a vessel bearing 180°T.  Possibly a destroyer.  Apparently the same vessel as in the morning.  
    21.11.39 Atlantic, level of Lisbon    
    06.45 NNE 7-8, Sea 7, clear, Vis. good Morning navigation fix:  φ =  38°48'N  
                                          λ =   10°42'W  
        Course 341°.  
    18.10 - 18.50   Test dive.  Otherwise no events.  
    22.11.39 Atlantic, level of Cape Finisterre    
    18.00 - 18.30 NE 2-3, Sea 1-2, clear, Vis. good Test dive.  
    19.45 NE 1-2, Sea 1, changing cloudiness, bright night, moonshine, Vis. good Shadow in sight bearing 330°T.  Was recognized as a dimmed passenger steamer of the "HIGHLAND BRIGADE" type (?) (14100 tons).  The steamer zigzags very strongly that it is thought he had seen us in the bright night.  General course about 160°.  Zigzags at irregular intervals between courses 100° and 220°.  
    19.54   3 torpedoes shot from target angles of 90°, 100° and 180°.  Three misses due to mis-estimating the speed on one hand and on the other by the strong zigzagging of the enemy.  Range at the shot about 2000-3000 meters.  
        Position:  φ =  42°50'N  
                       λ =   11°50'W  
        Ran behind at AK with the intention of maneuvering ahead for a new attack.  However the steamer runs at 16-18 knots and maintains his zigzags course regularly so that he may not have seen us.  
    23.00   Due to lack of fuel pursuit was given up.  Additionally the speed advantage is too slight.  A pursuit, which would have taken all night, could not be permitted because of our limited fuel inventory, due to the southern course of the steamer.  After giving up the pursuit of the steamer came to most economical speed.  Diesel-electric both diesels LF, 5.3 knots through the water by railing log.  
Sun and Moon Data 20.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 21.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 22.11.39
- 18 -
    23.11.39 Atlantic, level of the Bay of Biscay    
    11.00 SW 1, Sea 1, at times mist, temporary fog banks, Vis. bad Incoming Radio Message 0845/23/81 concerning sighting of a convoy by U-43.  Due to lack of fuel I cannot operate on it, but perhaps it will run into our hands.  By our calculation at this speed (diesel-electric 5 knots) we can just make it to Wilhelmshaven, because the fuel sounding of an internal fuel tank had an error of 8 cbm.  In the course of the afternoon, the wind shifts substantially to the SW, so around 19.00 hours wind strength is 10 (20-25 meters/second measurement).  
      SW 7-8, Sea 6, clear, Vis. good  
      Freshening to SW 10  
      A contact keeper report received from U-43 again uses the new grid square.  Weapons use in this weather is not possible.  
    18.00 - 19.15   Test dive.  
    24.11.39 Atlantic, level of the Bay of Biscay  
    00.00 - 04.00 SW 10, at times 11, Sea 10, half overcast, moonshine, Vis. bad due to spray Wind shifts over W to N and freshens.  High seas, lookout not possible, conning tower hatch closed, the diesel air intake shaft was overrun by the sea, so that with pumping the diesel bilge cannot be held for long.  Therefore initially ran . on E-motors until the bilges were pumped, and then dived to depth 40 meters.  Seas are noticeable up to depth 60 meters.  Both port regulating tanks flood on their own, apparently torn.  
        Midday navigation fix:  φ =  45°20'N  
                                            λ = 11°40'W  
    18.15 NNE 8-9, Sea 8, clear, moonshine, Vis. good Surfaced.  Transit continued ..  
    25.11.39 Atlantic, level of the Bay of Biscay  
    08.00 - 10.05 NNW 2, Sea 1, heavy N and NE-Swell, overcast, Vis. medium Dived for a steamer.  Initiated attack.  In the periscope Swedish markings of the steamer are recognized.  Because he steers a southerly course no examination.  
      Later freshing and shifting to SW 7-9 Midday navigation fix:  φ =  46°39.5'N  
                                          λ = 12°08'W  
        No special events.  
Sun and Moon Data 23.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 24.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 25.11.39
- 19 -
    26.11.39 Atlantic, level of Quessant    
    12.00 WSW 7-10, squalls, Sea 8-9, misty, Vis. medium to bad, overcast Midday navigation fix:  φ =  48°40'N  
                                          λ = 12°05'W  
      No special events.  
    27.11.39 Atlantic, west entrance to the English Channel  
      SW-NW 7-10, Sea 8-10, changing cloudiness, Vis. medium Midday navigation fix:  φ =  50°28'N  
                                          λ = 12°25'W  
      No special events.  
    28.11.39 Atlantic, level of the southern tip of Ireland  
    09.00 SW 4-5, Sea 5, strong W-Swell, overcast, Vis. medium Steamer in sight bearing 280°T.  Dived.  In the periscope Spanish (Norwegian?) markings on his hull are recognized.  However, the course of approximately 90° and the deck cargo of wood is suspicious.  Normally at this time of year in the bad weather no deck cargo would be carried.  It might be a trap.  
        Due to the seas no weapons use is possible.  
    12.00   Midday navigation fix:  φ =  52°15'N  
                                            λ = 12°45'W  
    12.30 SW 6-7, Sea 5-6, heavy W-Swell, misty, Vis. bad Attempted to surface.  On reaching periscope depth a flying boat in sight on westerly course.  
    13.50   Surfaced.  Continued transit ..  
    29.11.39 Atlantic, west coast of Ireland    
    12.00 W 5-6, Sea 5, W-Swell, overcast, Vis. medium Midday navigation fix:  φ =  55°18'N  
                                          λ = 12°11'W  
        Course 20°.  No special events.  
Sun and Moon Data 26.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 27.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 28.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 29.11.39
- 20 -
    30.11.39 Atlantic, west of the Herbrides    
    09.00 - 14.10 WSW 6, Sea 6, heavy W-Swell, half overcast, Vis. good Dived to reset the torpedo combat pistols, charge and ventilate the torpedo batteries.  Additionally to shift fuel while submerged out of the starboard regulating bunker into the starboard internal fuel tank.  
        Morning navigation fix:  φ =  57°37'N  
                                            λ = 10°10'W  
        No special events.  
    01.12.39 Atlantic, west of the Shetland Islands  
    08.15 - 10.40 E 3-4, Sea 3, heavy W-Swell, overcast, rain showers, Vis. medium - bad Dived.  Ahead a smoke cloud in sight.  In the periscope later recognized as a fishing trawler on a southerly course.  While proceeding submerged at about 10.00 hours 8 depth charge detonations were heard at great range.  Boat is in the monitored area Orkney - Faroes - Shetlands.  
    14.25 ESE 3, Sea 3, overcast, rain showers, Vis. medium - bad Dived.  Smoke feather in sight bearing 15°T.  Again nothing seen in the periscope or in the listening gear.  The approach of a vessel is recognized.  
    17.23   Surfaced.  Several illuminated vessels avoided at night.  Internal fuel tank had 4 cbm less fuel than thought.  
    02.12.39 Atlantic, north of the Shetland Islands  
    10.30 N 5-6, Sea 4, E-Swell, overcast, rain showers, Vis. medium - bad Dived, steamer bearing 110°T.  Too far off.  While submerged torpedo in tube 2 pulled and put in reserve storage because the guide stud [on the tailpiece] was damaged during the regularly scheduled torpedo work.  Damage can be repaired with on board means.  
    13.25 N 9-10 Surfaced.  Continued transit ..  
Sun and Moon Data 29.11.39
Sun and Moon Data 01.12.39
Sun and Moon Data 02.12.39
- 21 -
    03.12.39 North Sea, east of the Shetland Islands  
    07.00 NW 3, Sea 3, changing cloudiness, Vis. good Morning navigation fix:  φ =  60°04'N  
                                          λ =    3°40'E  
        Already during the night a strong dislocation to the south was determined by soundings.  Therefore closed the Norwegian coast on course 90°.  Offset:  224°T, 38 nm.  Explainable because for several days taking the ships position had not been possible due to bad weather.  
    08.00 NW 3, Sea 3, clear, fair, Vis. very good Passed 60°N latitude to the south.  
    10.00   Dived.  Vessel in sight bearing 200°T.  While dive the repaired torpedo was reloaded.  
    11.55   Surfaced.  2 steamers were seen at the limit of visibility, avoided ..  
    14.30 - 16.40 WSW 3, Sea 3, clear, fair, Vis. very good Dived for a small steamer running to the SW.  Night at the level of the southern tip of Norway to the level of Cape Skagen several steamers seen running to the west.  Trade warfare in this area would be promising.  
    04.12.39 North Sea, southern tip of Norway and Skagerrak  
    08.45 - 10.35 SE 7-8, Sea 7, overcast, Vis. medium - bad, rain showers Dived for a small sailing vessel.  Received Radio Message 0531/4/33, which assigns Cuxhaven as return harbor.  
      S-WSW 2-3, Sea 3, Swell, overcast, rain shower, Vis. medium - bad Under unfavorable navigation conditions headed for Route Blau 12.  Inexact morning navigation fix.  Shallow range of the Elac depth sounder is out of service.  Soundings by explosive sounding, no radio bearings because the direction finder is out of service.  
    11.50   Incoming Radio Message 0916/4/37.  Contents: Report position.  
    13.50   Outgoing Radio Message 1216/4/40.  Contents:  Position 12.00 hours E 2709.  
    14.00 S 2, Sea 2-3, Swell, overcast, Vis. medium - bad Black drifting mine with lead horns sighted on the Fischer Bank.  
    20.30 SW 4, Sea 2-3, Swell, overcast, Vis. medium - bad Occasional broken cloud deck.  In the light of a bright star a drifting mine sighted in 56°00'N, 6°10'E.  
    20.30   Incoming Radio Message 1931/4/42, giving bearing possibilities.  The bearing possibilities cannot be utilized because the radio direction finder has become so loose from the seas that bearings are off by as much as 90°.  
Sun and Moon Data 03.12.39
Sun and Moon Data 04.12.39
- 22 -
    04.12.39   It was already determined on the last patrol that the direction finder was no longer usable after 14 days.  The overhaul directed by N.E.K. identified a too weak spring tensioning device.  However the newly installed spring is not better.  Furthermore, submerged reception on very low frequency on the direction finder is not sufficient.  Reports on this subject had already been submitted several times by "U-26" in peacetime.  It is unusable in the present condition for wartime.  Experience reports and proposed changes are presented separately.  
      North Sea, north coast of Denmark    
    23.30   Incoming Radio Message 2246/4/43 with return harbor Wilhelmshaven.  
    05.12.39 Deutsche Bucht    
    04.00 - 08.00 SE 4, Sea 4, overcast, rain showers, Vis. medium The buoy intended for 54°47'N and 6°45'E was not sighted.  By plotting the buoy was passed at a distance of 5-7 nm.  
    13.30 - 13.45 SSW 4-5, Sea 4, overcast, Vis. good Test dive.  
    17.00   Wangerrooge Lighthouse comes in sight.  The outer beacons burn except for Lightship "D".  On request by star signal Lightship "D" showed the beacon.  At the same time Lightship "F" went out and did not answer our Morse signal or come on again.  Ran in on the courses given in Radio Message 2246/4/43.  
        When meeting with patrol vessels in the Wangerrooge Channel determined that incorrect Recognition Signals were received.  The key numbers given in Radio Message 0520/12/66 of 13 November are in effect from 17 November.  There was not an encryption error.  No new key number was received.  
    21.00 SSW 3-4, no Sea, cloudy, at times rain showers, good beacon visibility Passed Schillig Roadstead.  Outer beacon cancelled by Morse message via Schillig.  
    22.00   Entered into Wilhelmshaven Entrance III  
Sun and Moon Data 04.12.39
Sun and Moon Data 05.12.39

Appendices to U-26's KTB - click on the text at left to proceed to the documents
ChartA Track chart
ChartB Track chart
ChartC Track chart
ChartD Track chart
Radio Excerpt of the Radio Log

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