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INTERROGATION OF SURVIVORS OF CREW OF "U433,"  A 500-TON U-BOAT,
 
                SUNK AT ABOUT 2348 ON SUNDAY, 16th NOVEMBER, 1941, IN
 
 
                POSITION 36° 13' N,  004° 42' W.
 
 
 
 
___________
 
 
 
 
I.  INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
 
 
 
 
        "U 433 was sunk at midnight on 16th November and "U 95" was sunk in the early morning of 28th November, 1941.  Thirty-seven survivors from the former and 11 from the latter arrived at the Interrogation Centre together on 21st December, 1941, and were interrogated at the same time.  Owing to the length of time elapsing since the sinkings and to opportunities prisoners had to converse among themselves, it was found that they were exceptionally security conscious, particularly the officers.  Two or three of the Petty Officers of "U 433" had conspired together to concoct a fantastic story which centered round the fact that the U-boat had left on her last cruise from a port about 50 miles south of Spezia, Italy.  Some time elapsed before this story could be proved false.  Interrogating Officers were happily able to confront the more reticent members of the crew with captured documents and papers which proved beyond doubt that they had been in St. Nazaire a bare week before their sinking.  In this manner the importance of preserving all scraps of paper taken from prisoners, however irrelevant they may appear upon first perusal, was again demonstrated.
 
 
        "U 433" proved to be the first U-boat sunk in the Mediterranean from which German prisoners have been captured.
 
 
        As "U 433" and "U 95" had embarked  on the same mission and subsequently, the fate of their crews became closely interlocked, it was decided that all general information should be collated for publication in a later report, namely, that on interrogation of a prisoner from "U 451"; therefore this report on "U 433" contains only such information as concerns this U-boat.
 
 
        Since the destruction of "U 433" and "U 95" the following six U-boats have been sunk during the month of December, 1941, from which survivors have been captured.
 
 
 
 
Boat.
Date Sunk.
Number of Survivors
"U 131"
. .         . .
17th  December 1941
. .         . .
48
"U 434"
. .         . .
18th  December 1941
. .         . .
44
"U 574"
. .         . .
19th  December 1941
. .         . .
16
"U 451"
. .         . .
21st  December 1941
. .         . .
  1
"U 79"
. .         . .
23rd December 1941
. .         . .
44
"U 75"
. .         . .
28th  December 1941
. .         . .
30
 
 
 
 
        The crews of "U 79" and "U 75," sunk in the Mediterranean, are being interrogated in the Middle East.
 
 
 
 
II.  CREW OF "U 433"
 
 
 
 
        The complement of "U 433," totaling 44 men in all, consisted of six officers (including two Midshipman under training), three Chief Petty Officers, 11 Petty Officers and 24 ratings, of which one Petty Officer and five ratings did not survive.
 
 
        The Commanding Officer, Oberleutnant zur See (Lieutenant) Hans Ey, was born in 1916 in Hanover, which city later "adopted" "U 433."  He was unmarried.  He belonged to the 1935 term, becoming a Midshipman in 1936 and in 1937 he had served in the destroyer "Theodor Riedel" of the Second Destroyer Flotilla.  He was promoted to Sib-Lieutenant in April, 1838, and served in the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, one of the North Sea Flotillas.  He was promoted to Leutnant in October, 1938.
 
 
(C43802)
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

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        Prisoners stated that Ey had previously served as First Lieutenant with Kuppisch in "U 94," for which boat some considerable successes were claimed during the latter part of 1940 and early months of 1941.  Ey was stated to have been serving on board "U 94" when 36,000 tons were sunk and to have subsequently been in command of a boat which sank 8,000 tons on one Atlantic cruise.  He had been awarded the decoration of the Iron Cross, 1st Class, for these services.
 
        In spite of Ey's earlier successes, one of the Pretty Officer Telegraphists of "U 433" stated that he had more confidence in the Captain of a U-boat he had served in previously.  This Petty Officer stated that it was considered an honor to be given command of a U-boat destined for the Mediterranean.
 
 
        Ey appeared to be a good type of naval officer and did not seem to be too adversely affected by his recent experience.
 
 
        He had made, with Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant Commander) Schreiber of "U 95," a determined effort to escape into Spain from Gibraltar, where he spent some weeks before being transferred to England.
 
 
        The First Lieutenant, Leutnant zur See (Sub Lieutenant) Helmuth Trummel, 22 years of age, a native of Bad Wildungen, Hessen, joined the Navy in 1937.  As a cadet he had made a cruise in the battleship "Schleswig-Holstein," to the West Indes, touching at Falmouth.  In April, 1939, he became a Midshipman, carrying out his training at the Marine Schule, Mürwik, During the early part of 1940 he served in the cruiser "Emden" in which ship he was promoted to Sub-Lieutenant.  In November 1940, he joined the U-boat School at Pillau and in March, 1941, was appointed as Junior Officer to "U 433," some weeks before commissioning.  It seems probable that he made one or more operational cruises for training before joining "U 433."
 
 
        Trummel was by no means in good health and whilst in Bergen in August, 1941, had been twice medically examined as it was suspected that he was consumptive.  In November, 1941, at St. Nazaire whilst preparing for the last cruise, Trummel was appointed First Lieutenant, relieving Oberleutnant (Lieutenant) Georg Preuss.
 
 
        The Junior Officer was Oberfähnrich zur See (Senior Midshipman) Eberhard Happel, born in Reichenbach, in the Vogtland mountains, was 20 years of age and had joined the Navy in 1939.  His father was the headmaster of a school.  He became a Midshipman in July, 1940, and a Senior Midshipman a year later.  Prior to joining the U-boat arm early in 1941 he had served in patrol vessels.  He had volunteered for the U-boat service and had undergone training in the U-boat School in Pillau, and appears to have made several war cruises in other U-boats before joining and relieving Trummel as Junior Officer of "U 433" at St. Nazaire in October 1941.
 
 
        Two Midshipmen, Kolb and Wächter, joined "U 433" for training in October, 1941, at St. Nazaire.
 
 
        Fähnrich zur See )Midshipman) Franz Kolb, 20 years of age, was born at Muhlhausen, near Heidelberg.  He joined the Navy in October, 1940, and underwent initial training at Stralsund and later in the cruiser "Prinz Eugen."  He had not undergone any course at the U-boat School; this was to have followed after two or three cruises in "U 433."  He was a pleasant and able young officer.
 
 
        Fähnrich zur See (Midshipman) Hans Wächter 21 years of age, was a native of Berlin and joined the Navy in December, 1939, undergoing training in the school sailing ship "Gorch Fock" and the battleship "Schlesien" and later served in patrol vessels off the French coast.  He became a Midshipman in September, 1941, but had done no U-boat School training.  He was exceptionally polite during interrogation.
 
 
        The Engineer Officer, Oberleutnant (Ing.) Lieutenant (E) Günther Gess, was born in 1918 in Stralsund.  He joined the Navy in September, 1937, and made a seven months' cruise in the cruiser "Emden," commanded by Kapitan zur See (Captain) Bürkner, becoming Midshipman (E) in 1938.  For six months up to October, 1939, he served in the destroyer "Hermann Kunne," being promoted to Sub-Lieutenant (E) in August, 1939.  He joined the U-boat School in Pillau in December, 1940, and was appointed to "U 433" early in 1941 to stand by the boat before commissioning.  "U 433" would appear to be the first U-boat in which he had served as Engineer Officer.  He was promoted to Oberleutnant (Ing.)
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

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(Lieutenant (E)) in September, 1941.  He created a good impression whilst undergoing interrogation and appeared to be a keen and capable officer.  Although polite he was very much on guard against giving any useful information.
 
        The Chief Quartermaster, 30 years of age, was a good type but had little experience in U-boats, to which arm he had been drafted early in 1941, "U 433" being his first boat.  He was very reticent and had taken pains to instruct the crew in security matters, particularly during their passage from Gibraltar to England.
 
 
 
 
        The Chief Mechanician, in charge of the electrical equipment, 26 years of age, had served in U-boats since 1936, whereas the Chief Mechanician, in charge of the Diesels, had only been in U-boats since 1940; he had previously served with Topp in "U 552."
 
 
        Of the nine Petty Officers interrogated, three had joined the U-boat service towards the end of 1939, two during 1940 and four early in 1941, thus for almost half of them "U 433" was their first boat.  Most of the surviving other ratings were not more than 20 years of age and had been drafted to the U-boat service between January and April 1941, and, for them, "U 433" was their first experience of a war cruise.
 
 
        Some of the younger prisoners stated that they had volunteered for the U-boat service, but it seems unlikely that they had much option.  They were typical Hitler products, U-boat fodder, with no experience and very little intelligence.
 
 
        As usual all had been carefully instructed in security and had had ample opportunity of regaining their power of resistance before interrogation.
 
 
 
 
III.  EARLY HISTORY OF "U 433"
 
 
 
 
       Prisoners were unable to state when this boat was laid down or launched.  "U 433" was a 500-ton U-boat, built by the Schichanwerft, Danzig, being Type VII C and similar to the captured "U 570," now H.M.S. "Graph."  (See C.B. 4051 (31).) 
 
 
        It was stated that "U 434," which was being built on the same slip as "U 433," was well advanced in May, 1941, and was expected to be launched shortly afterwards.  "U 435" was also stated to be building there at this time.
 
 
        Captured documents, substantiated by prisoners' statements, proved that "U 433" was commissioned on 24th May, 1941, and allocated to the Third U-boat Flotilla.
 
 
        Some members of the crew were drafted to Danzig shortly before commissioning and during this period resided in a building which had previously been an old Polish Post Office; the remainder joining on commissioning, with the exception of a few who joined later, in Kiel.
 
 
        Preliminary trials were carried out, from Danzig as base, for a period of three weeks.  About middle of June, 1941, "U 433" proceeded to Kiel, where torpedoes were embarked, including two in upper deck containers, and trials continued off Wesermünde, for a period of four to five weeks.  It was stated that these trials were carried out alone and that no dummy attacks on convoys or refuelling exercises were practised.  During torpedo trials "U 433" fired four to five torpedoes each day and exercises in the laying of torpedo mines were said to have been conducted, two mines being loaded into each tube, although, later, no mines were carried.
 
 
        After 12 days' leave had been granted to each watch, "U 433" sailed from Kiel about the middle of July and, passing through the Belt via Christiansand and Bergen, arrived four days later in Trondheim.  It is possible that on this voyage "U 433" called for a short time at Horten.
 
 
        In Trondheim "U 433" was berthed alongside the "Huaskaren," a converted merchantman now used as a depot ship.
 
 
        It was stated that four or five 500-ton U-boats were also at Trondheim at this time.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  "U 570" and "U 501" are known to have been carrying out torpedo trials at this time, off Lo Fjord, a few miles north of Trondheim.  A third boat, also believed to have been present, was either "U 84" of "U 87.")
 
 
(C43802)
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 8 -
 
        "U 433" remained in the Trondheim area for two to three weeks until mid-August, carrying out further torpedo and other trials outside Lo Fjord.  When in Lo Fjord U-boats berth alongside the depot ship"Weisse", the "Hertha" and "Blank Prince" were also stated to be in this fjord.  Two patrol vessels (Vorpostenboote) were here, but no destroyers or other warships, and only a few small merchant vessels.
 
        Prisoners stated that an accident occurred during torpedo trials, the battery of an exercise torpedo generating a gas which leaked and caused an explosion, all but blinding one of the Petty Officers.  This man was put ashore.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  The Petty Officer in question is probably Mechanikersmaat (P.O. Artificer, 2nd Class) Kallenbach, who is known to have left the "U 433" in Norway, together with two engine room Petty Officers named Fink and Pinkau.)
 
 
        The crew of "U 433" appear to have enjoyed their stay in Trondheim, where car trips and other amusements were organised for them, there being, apparently, no lack of "Schnaps" and light beer.
 
 
        During their stay the crew were accommodated partially on board and partially in one of the depot ships.  Here preparations were made for their first operational cruise, amongst others the crew being issued with fur coats, fur trousers and blue, fur-lined headgear.  In view of the Russian campaign Vice Admiral, U-boats, had given instructions for warm clothing to be issued at once, as the Army were appropriating all available stocks.  Later prisoners stated they were instructed to surrender warm underclothing for the Army, which caused no little annoyance.  During trimming trials on the day before sailing, whilst proceeding at half speed on both Diesels a fracture occurred in the starboard reversing gear, which necessitated a spare being obtained by air from Kiel, the fitting of which delayed their departure and caused them to visit Bergen, where they arrived on, or about, 17th August, 1941.  Two days after their arrival at Bergen, where a yard had been reserved for the use of U-boats, the spare part arrived and the necessary repairs were effected and the boat completed with oil fuel.
 
 
        Prisoners stated that at Bergen, at this time, were present one other U-boat, one patrol vessel and a vessel being used as a depot ship.
 
 
        During their weeks's stay in Bergen some of the crew were billeted in the Pension Metropole and the remainder in other quarters in the town.  Although the black-out was in force and the crew nominally confined to their billets after a certain hour, they succeeded, disguised as fishermen, in breaking out on amorous escapades, the favorable rate of exchange giving a ready supply of Kroner for these purposes.
 
 
        At Bergen Leutnant zur See Trummel, who had been ailing for some time, was medically examined, being apparently a suspect consumptive, but X-ray photographs showed this not to be the case.
 
 
 
 
IV.  FIRST WAR CRUISE OF "U 433"
 
 
 
 
        On or about 24th August, 1941, "U 433" sailed on her first war cruise, which proved not only unsuccessful, but also the only war cruise she undertook prior to the cruise during which she was sunk.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  It is known that "U 570," possibly accompanied by "U 568," sailed from Trondheim on 24th August, 1941, presumably on the same mission.)
 
 
        Owing to the danger of patrolling British submarines, "U 433" sailed from Bergen in the evening at 1900 hours, the crew having been mustered one hour previously.  Two brass bands, one naval, and one attached to the local anti aircraft batteries, played the U-boat on her way as she passed the quayside.  As the strains of the march "Were Sailing Against England!" died away "U 433" increased to full speed ahead while still in the harbour and, possibly owing to the general excitement, was inadvertently steered over a shallow patch where she grazed bottom.  This incident was considered of little account and "U 433" proceeded to sea, being escorted by two patrol vessels.  For this cruise she carried 14 torpedoes in all, 12 within the boat and two in upper deck containers.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

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        Having parted company with her escorts "U 433" made her way across the North Sea and, having passed between the Shetlands and the Faroes, took up station in an operational area, 60 miles square, off Iceland.
 
        When "U 570," now H.M.S. "Graph," was captured on 27th August, 1941 (see C.B. 4051 (31)), "U 433" was stated by prisoners to have been in the vicinity and to have picked up "U 570's" distress signal reporting that she had been bombed by aircraft and could not dive.  Accordingly "U 433" reported to Vice-Admiral, U-boats, that she intended to render assistance, but she was ordered to ignore the distress signal and remain where she was.
 
 
        "U 433" remained for seven or eight days in the operational area allotted to her, two other incidents of note occurring during this time.
 
 
        On one occasion, whilst patrolling at the bottom of her square, a plume of smoke was sighted, its disappearance being followed soon thereafter by a formidable explosion.  It was surmised that the ship in question had been sunk by a companion U-boat operating in the square south of that of "U 433."
 
 
        On a second occasion two plumes of smoke were sighted and "U 433" began to dive in order to carry out an attack.  While the U-boat was in the act of diving the radio operator picked up a message from Vice-Admiral, U-boats, to themselves, stating that two Swedish ships were approaching their vicinity and were to be allowed to pass unmolested.  The message arrived just in time, as inspection showed that the ships responsible for the smoke were, indeed, the Swedes.
 
 
        On or about 4th September, 1941, "U 433" received orders to proceed in a westerly direction.  According to a Petty Officer prisoner "U 433" had reached a position a few hundred miles off the coast of Newfoundland when she received further orders to put about and intercept a convoy.  Prisoners are confused as to the next events, but it appears that, after racing two nights and a day at full speed, "U 433" made contact with the convoy at a time when it was already engaged in a running fight with other U-boats, who had succeeded in torpedoing some victims.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  Convoy S.C.42 was attacked on the night of 9th/10th September.  The attacks were continued intermittently until the morning of 11th September.  "U 501" was sunk by "Chambly" and Moosejaw" at 2140 on 10th September.)  [penciled note:  ship time 0300/11/9/41 CB 4051 (30)]
 
 
        When "U 433" arrived on the scene, the escorting destroyer screen had been considerably increased while patches of fog had made conditions for a successful attack doubly difficult.  "U 433" was kept at a distance from the convoy by a destroyer and was out of contact throughout the following night.  On the next day, while proceeding on the surface, "U 433" was surprised by either a Sunderland or a Catalina aircraft which was stated by one prisoner to have attacked with two bomb, both missing, although other prisoners deny that bombs were dropped. "U 433" endeavoured to dive at once, but at the first attempt the vents jammed and it was some minutes before the defect could be cleared, enabling the U-boat to make her escape under water.  This incident is alleged to have occurred 2-1/2 weeks after leaving Bergen and would, therefore, be on or about 12th September, 1941.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  There were several air attacks south of Iceland on 11th and 12th September, not too far from Convoy S.C.42.)
 
 
        For the rest of this day "U 433" proceeded submerged, but towards evening prisoners claimed that they had received a signal giving the position of the convoy.  Throughout the night "U 433" continued in hot pursuit, finally to make contact with a ship stated to be already in flames and with "a few" escort vessels standing by.  "U 433" approached to within approximately 3,000 metres (3,280 yards) to make an attack and fired three torpedoes from periscope depth.  All these torpedoes were misses, but prisoners state that they heard one detonation at a time when the torpedoes had passed their intended objective.  They believed it possible that a ship accidentally in the line of fire might have been struck, but they did not claim this "possible" as a definite success.  Prisoners excused their lack of success by blaming poor visibility and the heavy seas alleged to have been running at this time.
 
 
        "U 433" now proceeded to follow up the convoy and again received a signal giving its exact position.  The next encounter was with a 4,000-ton ship which, prisoners alleged, was mistaken for a merchantman, but in reality, they stated, proved to be a "Q-ship."  Oberleutnant zur See Ey ordered the U-boat to dive and
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 10 -
 
approached cautiously at periscope depth.  Prisoners stated that when he came within comfortable visual range, to his consternation, he saw a number of small fast motor-boats being lowered over the side; these motor-boats were stated to be carrying depth charges.  He took this to mean that his position was detected and at once dived to a considerable depth.  Scarcely had he reached a depth considered to be safe when a rain of depth charges fell and exploded in the vicinity, but too far away to cause damage to the U-boat.  "U 433" turned away and after proceeding for some time submerged, surfaced and avoided further attacks.  The next day contact was again re-established with the convoy.  Ey sighting three large merchantmen accompanied by three destroyers.  "U 433" was maneuvering into a suitable position to carry out an attack when suddenly the periscope became obscured by, it was believed, a greasy rag.  There appears to have been some argument among the officers as to the best course to adopt and, according to a petty officer, Oberleutnant zur See Preuss, the First Lieutenant at this time, urged that "U 433" should surface quickly, fire three torpedoes, and then dive at once and make her escape.  Ey, however, refused to be persuaded and, counting discretion the better part of valor, turned the U-boat away to a healthier locality.
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  This incident cannot be traced.  The story of a "Q-ship" and the "small fast motor-boat" is apocryphal, as may well be the remainder of these statements.
 
 
        If prisoners' accounts are to be believed, this incident ended "U 433's" adventures on her first war cruise and, presumably acting on orders from Vice-Admiral U-boats, she made her way to St. Nazaire, proceeding at half speed during daylight hours and full speed at night.
 
 
        One last thrill for the crew occurred as "U 433" was about to pass the mine barrier off the French coast, where it was believed that a British submarine was shadowing them.  Prisoners stated that, as they had been forbidden to fire torpedoes when in mined areas, they increased to full speed to shake off their pursuer.
 
 
        At 0930 on 3rd October, 1941, the date of "U 433's" arrival in St. Nazaire, while lying off the harbour, prisoners stated that they received a distress message from a U-boat which read:  "Have been torpedoed."  This U-boat, they alleged should have reached port 24 hours before them, and they presumed she had been torpedoed in the harbour mouth.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  This incident cannot be identified.)
 
 
        Two hours after the reception of this signal "U 433" entered St. Nazaire harbour, still carrying 11 of her torpedoes after five weeks at sea and flying not a single victory pennant.  She moored alongside a pier.
 
 
        Having arrived in St. Nazaire the crew, who seem to have been generally over-fond of the bottle, lost no time in sampling the pleasures of the port.  On the first night a number were helplessly drunk and a petty officer behaved so obstreperously that he was confined to his quarters on the U-boat for seven days and refused all leave.  The majority of the other members of the crew each received 12 days' leave, in addition to two days' traveling time, which was granted in two consecutive periods, in watches.  Across each man's leave pass Ey wrote the grandiloquent phrase:  "Engaged in the most exacting occupation:  U-boat warfare against England."  This recommendation apparently entitled the bearer to extra food rations and railway travel concessions.
 
 
        While half the crew were away "U 433" was moved into No. 1 dock, where a general overhaul was carried out by German workmen.  During this period of refitting, which lasted for rather more than five weeks, "U 433" was twice moved to a U-boat shelter upon the sounding of an air raid alarm.  Prisoners stated that "U 433" shared her shelter with another U-boat, the number of which had conveniently been forgotten by the entire crew.  It was alleged that while "U 433" lay in the open no attempt was made to camouflage her.
 
 
        At this time only a skeleton watch remained on board.  "U 433's" officers were accommodated in the Hotel Roseray,at neighboring La Baule, and the crew in a U-boat "Home," stated to be about a quarter of an hour's walk from the docks.  Cars were provided for the use of officers and crew and according to one prisoner, these vehicles bear the "Snorting Bull" device originally displayed by Kapitänleutnant Prein on the conning tower of his U-boat and known as the "Steer of Scapa Flow."  This device apparently now the emblem of the whole of the 7th Flotilla based on St. Nazaire, and to which "U 433" was now reallocated.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 11 -
 
        A delivery note taken from a prisoner shows that on 20th October, 1941, "U 433" embarked special canteen stores which included 150 1/2-lb. packets of chocolate, 18 bottles of rum, 20 lb. of fruit bonbons, 24 lb. of chocolate drops, 50 cartons of sweets, 100 lb. of sweet biscuits, 200 packets of "Schokakola," 180 packets of "Dextro-Energen"; both these latter articles are special energising tablets.
 
        Early in November, 1941, "U 433" completed with oil from a tanker, and received 14 torpedoes, the remaining from her first cruise having been landed when she first entered port.
 
 
        On 5th November, 1941, "U 433" put to sea, but had only been out one day when a leak developed in the Control Room.  "U 433" immediately returned to St. Nazaire, where she arrived on 7th November, and repairs were at once undertaken.
 
 
        By 8th November, 1941, these repairs had been completed, but during the day a number of ratings had gone ashore and again become thoroughly intoxicated.  Among captured documents is a report by an engine-room petty officer describing how he discovered three engine-room ratings incapably drunk at 1500 on 8th November, 1941, sitting on some sacking outside the St. Nazaire railway station.  When these men returned on board they brought with them a case of beer which was immediately broached.  A fight started in the Diesel room, where one of the ratings had been sick, and the three chief culprits had to be forcibly ejected from this compartment.  It was stated that these men were unable to go on watch for a further eight hours.
 
 
        While in St. Nazaire, Oberleutnant zur See Georg Preuss left "U 433" to become interrogating officer at La Baule, and three Midshipmen, named Happel, Wachter and Kolb, joined the boat.  The junior officer, Leutnant zur See Trummel, was promoted to First Lieutenant, the place of the junior officer being filled by Happel, who expected to become a Leutnant zur See in April, 1942.
 
 
 
 
V.  LAST CRUISE OF "U 433"
 
 
 
 
        "U 433" sailed from St. Nazaire on her second and last cruise at about 1700 on 9th November, 1941.  For the first stage of her journey she was accompanied by two Me.109 fighter aircraft, and for ten miles by four patrol vessels.  According to a petty officer prisoner, a boat, commanded by Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commander) Endrass left St. Nazaire at the same time as "U 433," but he did not know where Endrass was bound.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  It is believed that Endrass is in command of "U 567.")
 
 
        "U 433" sailed under sealed orders and prisoners stated that it was not until they were well out to sea that they were instructed by Vice-Admiral U-boats to make for an Italian port, Genoa being mentioned, which was to be their base for Mediterranean operations.  It was believed by prisoners that they were to be one of four U-boats based on that port, two of which were commanded by Kapitänleutnant (Lieutenant-Commanders) Guggenberger ("U 81") and Reschke ("U 205"), which U-boats were involved in the sinking of "Ark Royal."  The third U-boat was to have been "U 95" (Kapitänleutnant Schreiber), sunk on 28th November, 1941.
 
 
        "U 433" accordingly made her way to Gibraltar, continually sighting aircraft and being forced to dive.  Prisoners stated that they arrived off the Straits of Gibraltar on 13th November, 1941.  When night fell they slipped through on the surface keeping close to the Tangier shore.  The clearly saw the lights of Tangier and later Mellila, and also the rock of Gibraltar.  There was a certain amount of traffic in the Straits, and it was alleged that on one occasion a corvette, outward bound, passed within 1-1/2 miles of the U-boat.  Signals from patrol boats were also seen, but it appeared obvious that they were not challenging "U 433."  The progress of the U-boat appears to have been alternate bursts of full speed ahead and spells of drifting with stopped engines.
 
 
        The next two days "U 433" loitered in the vicinity of the Straits, sailing within Spanish territorial waters by night and outside them by day.
 
 
        The morning of 16th November, 1941, broke clear and sunny, and Ey announced to his officers that he intended to approach Ceuta and lie off there to make observations on the following day.  It was while carrying out this manoeuvre that disaster overtook "U 433."
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 12 -
 
VI.  SINKING OF "U 433"
 
 
 
        On Sunday night, 16th November, 1941, the corvette "Marigold," having been delayed by engine defects, was proceeding to overtake a convoy escorted by "Deptford," "Wild Swan" and four corvettes in the Eastern approaches to the Straits of Gibraltar.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  This was a dummy convoy intended to draw U-boats known to be operating close to the eastward of Gibraltar.)
 
 
        The sea was calm with a slight swell, light airs and visibility one mile.  Course was 020°, speed 12 knots.  At approximately 2250, when in position 36° 13' N. and 004° 42' W., the R.D/F operator reported a contact, bearing Red 30.  Orders were given to him to hold it and this he did successfully.  From his reports it was evident that the contact was passing rapidly down the port side.  Course was altered towards, full speed ahead rung on engines, and action stations sounded.  Range closed rapidly and when it was 2,000 yards the contact was identified as a submarine, which later proved to be "U 433."  Orders were given to the depth charge crews to set a pattern at 50 ft.  The target altered course towards and at this point "Marigold" altered course to port under full helm.  Helm was kept on until the submarine was again fine on port bow and order "Stand by to ram" given.  Asdic contact was now made and held.  As the submarine proceeded from port to starboard course was altered to keep her fine on port bow till close range.  When the submarine had closed to 300 yards the bridge lookout reported that she was crash diving.  The order "stand by" was given to the depth charge crews and on an attacking course of 090° a pattern of five depth charges was fired at 2310.
 
 
        Up to this stage, if prisoners' accounts are to be believed, Ey, who had been stalking "Marigold" for some time, still considered that he had the situation well in hand, and indeed, that he would be able to dictate the future course of events.  It would appear that "U 433" sighted "Marigold" before she herself was perceived and had maneuvered into position to carry out torpedo attack on what was taken to be a light cruiser.
 
 
        This failure to identify their target immediately was attributed by prisoners to the excellent camouflage of the corvette which gave her the appearance of a much larger vessel.  Having gained the position he wished, Ey decided to try a surface attack and fired three bow torpedoes, fanwise, none of which hit.  This lack of success apparently shook the nerves of the U-boat men.  The torpedoes had been fired with rams in use to prevent the escape of air bubbles which would have disturbed the strongly phosphorescent water.  Nevertheless, bright white tracks were visible from the U-boat as the torpedoes had been fired with a depth setting of only two metres.  It was considered inevitable that the position of the U-boat must have been revealed.  As the torpedoes were approaching their mark prisoners state that "Marigold" turned away at full speed,as they believed, to take avoiding action.  As no mention of torpedoes is contained in "Marigold's" report it must be assumed that this sudden change of course was more providential than planned.  As the corvette was turning, Ey fired a fourth torpedo.  This, prisoners stated, actually hit "Marigold," but at an angle which prevented the pistol detonating.
 
 
        At this point, prisoners alleged, "Marigold" fired starshells and turned towards.  As he had now no more bow torpedoes available, Ey apparently decided to crash dive.  Accordingly, "U 433" submerged to a depth of 120 metres (390 ft.).
 
 
        "Marigold's" first depth charge pattern was heard to explode some distance away from the U-boat and no damage whatsoever was reported.  "U 433's" crew appear to have been taking things very easily, for a number of prisoners have stated that at the time of the first depth charge attack they had not been ordered to action stations and were still asleep.
 
 
        On board "Marigold," after the depth charges had exploded, speed was reduced to half ahead.  The H.S.D. carried out the normal procedure to regain contact astern, but nothing could be picked out from the disturbances caused by the depth charges.
 
 
        At 2317, as no "sub" contact had been regained, it was decided to carry out a "block search."  Course was altered to 020° and maintained for ten minutes.  It was estimated that, after the attack by depth charges, the submarine would alter course away and at 2327 the turn was made to port.  Course was 290° and at 2337 altered to 200°.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 13 -
 
        At 2344 contact was gained, bearing dead ahead, range 1,200 yards.  It was classified immediately as a submarine and it was decided to attack without opening the range.  A pattern of depth charges was already set to 150 ft. and 300 ft.  Target was reported to be moving slowly left and a course of 190° was set.  Target steadied and at 2345, at a range of 900 yards, "attacking" speed was rung and the order "stand by" given to depth charge crews.  The target then began to move slowly right and course was altered to bring target on the port bow.  Target was kept edged off and at 2347, at a range of 200 yards, course being 215°, and attack was made.  
 
        At approximately 2348 the order "Fire" was given and pattern of ten depth charges, setting "E," fired in succession.
 
 
        Below water in "U 433" Ey and his officers had been completely deceived by "Marigold's" movements.  In anticipation of the first pattern of depth charges the U-boat's hydrophones had been switched off, but, as no further pattern followed immediately, they were again switched on.  It was reported that propeller noises could be heard, but they were fading in the distance.  The next half hour was spent by Ey and his officers in consulting as to the next step.  Ey apparently was in favour of surfacing and making use of the cover of night to effect an escape, a course which appears to have been against the wishes of the crew who later blamed their commander, among themselves, for throwing away his U-boat.  As no further noises were reported by the hydrophones, however, Ey decided that he could safely carry out his plan.  Accordingly, orders were given to surface.  "U 433" rose to 60 ft., where she was checked for listening purposes.  What happened next is best described in the words of a midshipman prisoner:  "All of a sudden there was a terrific sound of propellers to starboard.  The devil had been lying in wait quite close to us, with engines stopped.  We put our nose down to dive again, and she came directly over us.  We could hear her propellers inside the boat - we weren't very deep and she probably saw our wake.  She then dropped depth charges.  They were terribly close.  The U-boat heeled over and plunged deeply; there was a leak forward, and everything imaginable was damaged.  The high pressure air whistled through the boat, the switchboards of the main motors were smashed and the gyro-compass overturned.  Everything in the W/T room was wrecked.  The forward spare torpedoes had broken adrift from their stowage.  You never saw such a mess on board.  It was then, I believe, that the order "Put on life-saving apparatus" was given.  We were steadily going down; the boat was breaking up and sinking very slowly.
 
 
        A prisoner stated that had these depth charges not been set too deep, the effects would have been even more devastating.
 
 
        A petty officer stated that three depth charges exploded below the U-boat, one amidships and below, and two beneath the bows.  A fourth exploded above, while the remainder fell to each side.  The depth charge over the boat severely damaged the 8.8 cm. gun and the 2 cm. machine gun, the barrel of the latter being pressed flat and the cocking lever torn off.  Those which exploded beneath the boat caused the major damage within the pressure hull.  These caused the boat to tremble violently.  The welded seams parted, the doors of the refrigerator and all lockers burst open, cascading a conglomeration of tinned foods and other provisions and the personal belongings of the crew into the boat.  All but the emergency lights were extinguished.  The starboard electric motor seized.  The majority of instruments in the control room were smashed.  At this time, when "U 433" appeared hopelessly lost, Ey gave the order "Blow tanks; prepare to abandon ship!"  Using the last of her compressed air the U-boat laboured up towards the surface.  The midshipman prisoner, already quoted, stated that the rudder was out of action, but the hand gear was manned.
 
 
        As the U-boat broke surface Ey opened the conning tower hatch and stuck there owing to the terrific pressure of air from the boat.  The chief quartermaster who was directly below at the hatch, was blown up into the conning tower and fell down there.  At this moment the starboard Diesel was started up.
 
 
        "Marigold" reported that almost immediately after the explosions of the last pattern of depth charges "U 433" was seen to surface dead astern.  Helm was put hard a starboard and orders given to the 4 in. gun, the Lewis guns on the bridge and the pom-pom to train on and open fire.  Tracer bullets were observed hitting the conning tower immediately.  The 4 in. gun could not be depressed enough as range was too short, but it was kept firing.  The crew of the submarine were
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 14 -
 
heard screaming and as "Marigold" passed close to the target, men were seen and heard in the water and it was clear that the U-boat was being abandoned.  The hissing of blown tanks was heard and engines were still running as the U-boat proceeded on the surface, steering a zigzag course, making it impossible to board her.
 
        Close contact was kept with the submarine and fire maintained until at midnight, after two explosions, presumably scuttling charges, were heard aboard, she sank.
 
 
        Prisoners stated that when giving the order to abandon ship Ey also ordered his ship to be scuttled.  These preparations consisted in fixing scuttling charges, timed to explode in 10 minutes, next to the torpedoes remaining in the bow compartment, ordering full speed ahead on the one functioning Diesel engine and in opening the vents.  This task was supervised by the Engineer Officer in accordance with a prearranged routine.  After these preparations were completed the entire crew were ordered into the water.
 
 
        No person remained on board "U 433" who ploughed her way through the men as they were swimming and possibly ran one or two down.  Shortly afterwards the crew watched their boat sink, following two explosions believed to have been caused by the warheads of torpedoes detonated by the scuttling charges.
 
 
        After the sinking of "U 433" "Marigold" sent away her starboard lifeboat to pick up survivors and at 0215 on 17th November, 1941, the starboard lifeboat was hoisted in.  All survivors, numbering 38, that could be seen or heard, had been picked up.
 
 
        Prisoners stated that at least two of their number, an engine-room petty officer and an engine-room rating had been foolhardy enough to strike out for the Spanish coast which, they judged, was at least thirty miles away.  They, themselves, after a lengthy immersion, were chilled and numb and no one could possibly have survived a swim which under ideal conditions, even if it were possible, would have demanded exceptional endurance.  They added that six men in all were lost.
 
 
        Some prisoners were at a loss to account for the fact that their U-boat had been abandoned, and they boasted that, had they been in the place of their captain, they would have endeavoured to escape.  There appears little doubt, however, that the U-boat was very badly damaged, and that Ey, having made his initial blunder, took the only course left open to him.
 
 
       (N.I.D. Note.  Prisoners' statements regarding depth of the U-boat should be treated with particular reserve.)
 
 
 
 
VII.  DETAILS OF U 433"
 
 
 
 
(i)  General Remarks
 
 
        "U 433" was a 500-ton U-boat, Type VII C., built at the Schichauwerft, Danzig, being one of the series "U 431" to "U 448" building at this yard.  Some prisoners stated that this boat was of Type VII C., which was designed by Frederick Krupp, Kiel, and is the same type as the series "U 551" to "U 651," built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg.  This is known to be correct.  "U 570," of this type, was captured on the 27th August, 1941, and was commissioned as H.M.S. "Graph," and is described in detail in C.B. 4051 (31) and C.B. 4051 (33).
 
 
        "U 433" would seem to be the first U-boat of her series built by Schichauwerft to have been sunk.
 
 
(ii)  Gunnery Armament
 
 
        Prisoners stated that "U 433" mounted one 8.8 cm. (3.5 in.) gun and one 2 cm. machine gun.
 
 
(iii)  Torpedo and Mining Armament
 
 
        Four bow and one stern torpedo tubes were fitted.  Fourteen torpedoes were carried, five in the tubes, seven reloads internally and two reloads externally in upper deck containers which were stated to be fitted one forward and one aft.
 
 
        As described in Section III, an explosion occurred during trials which was attributed to the gas generated by one of the electric torpedoes.
 
 
        No mines were carried, although minelaying had been exercised during trials, two mines being loaded into each tube.
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 15 -
 
(iv)  Diesels
 
        Prisoners stated that the Diesels were six cylinder, four cycle, of Krupp manufacture.
 
 
(v)  Main Motors
 
 
        The main motors were stated to be of Siemens' manufacture, giving a maximum of 600 h.p. at 470 revolutions per minutes.
 
 
        A prisoner denied that Diesel electric propulsion, as described in C.B. 4051 (31) was used.
 
 
(vi)  Diving Angle
 
 
        The Engineer Officer stated normally they used a 10° diving angle and in some circumstances they had exceeded this angle.
 
 
(vii)  Detector Gear (S-Gerät) - German Asdic
 
 
        A prisoner stated that "U 433" was fitter with "S-Gerät" fitted with transmitting and receiving gear, which could be revolved 360°.  The apparatus was stated to be effective up to 10 kilometers and would search a sector of 20° to 30° in any direction.
 
 
        (N.I.D. Note.  These figures are obviously exaggerated.)
 
 
        "S-Gerät appears to cover all forms of transmitting detector apparatus.  Two distinct forms are known.
 
 
        K.D.B. Gear.  The German asdic, of which few details are yet known.
 
 
        A.E.G. Gear.  The mine detector device.
 
 
        In "U 570" now "Graph" it was estimated that A.E.G. gear could obtain bearings up to 45° on each bow and up to a similar angle of elevation and depression.  The gear itself does not elevate or train.
 
 
(viii)  Underwater Sound Apparatus (U.T. Anlage)
 
 
        A petty officer telegraphist stated that "U 433" was fitted with "U.T. Anlage" (underwater telegraphic apparatus) the transmitters being sonic.  The effective range was stated to be 10 miles.
 
 
(ix)  Echo-Sounding Sets - shallow and deep ("Esholot")
 
 
        Shallow and deep sounding sets were fitted.  The deep echo-sounding set ("Tiefenlot") fitted in "U 433" was stated to be effective up to 10,000 metres, depths being shown on an indicator.  (See C.B. 4051 (31).)
 
 
(x)  W/T Apparatus
 
 
        "U 433" was stated to be fitted with three W/T transmitters, one long-wave, one short-wave and one spare.  An all-wave receiver for long and short waves and one short-wave receiver were fitted.
 
 
(xi)  Surface Endurance
 
 
        Prisoners stated that the surface endurance of boats of this type was from 8,000 to 10,000 miles.  (See C.B. 4051 (33).)
 
 
(xii)  Device
 
 
        Most prisoners stated that "U 433" had no device or badge on her conning tower, although one prisoner maintained that this was a "Horseshoe," which device was used when the city of Hanover, where Ey the Commanding Officer, was born, "adopted" the boat.
 
          Hanover had presented the boat with books, a gramophone and records.  
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

- 16 -
 
APPENDIX
 
 
 
___________
 
 
 
 
List of Crew of "U 433"
 
 
 
 
(i)  Survivors:
 
 
 
 
Name. Rank. English Equivalent. Age.
Ey, Hans Oberleutnant zur See Lieutenant
25
Trummel, Helmut Leutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant
22
Gess, Günther Oberleutnant (Ing.) Lieutenant (E)
23
Happel, Eberhard Werner Oberfähnrich zur See Midshipman (Senior)
20
Kolb, Franz Fähnrich zur See Midshipman (Junior)
20
Wächter, Hans Fähnrich zur See Midshipman (Junior)
21
Kaiser, Karl Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class
25
Lindemann, Werner Obermaschinist Chief Mechanician, 1st Class
27
Busse, Heinrich Obersteuermann Chief Q.M., 1st Class
31
Stolpmann, Erich Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate, 2nd Class
21
Hänsel, Gerhard Bootsmannsmaat Boatswain's Mate, 2nd Class
23
Mansfeld, Theodor Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
23
Lögow, Karl-Heinz Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
24
Fechner, Ernst Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
24
Klinke, Erwin Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
22
Griessbach, walter Maschinenmaat Mechanician, 2nd Class
27
Bartodzi, Fritz Ludwig Funkmaat P.O. Telegraphist, 2nd Class
25
Geissler, Wolfgang Funkmaat P.O. Telegraphist, 2nd Class
21
Heppel, Willi Mechanikersmaat P.O. Artificer, 2nd Class
22
Hantke, Ernst Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
24
Seifferth, Heinz Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
20
Liesegang, Helmut Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
19
Hartnamm, Walter Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
18
König, Rudolf Matrosengefreiter Ordinary Seaman, 1st Class
19
Grosshennig, Heinz Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
20
Fischdick, Kurt Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
21
Malkowski, Heinz Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
20
Burger, Helmut Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
20
Hellwig, Herbert Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
20
Schaefer, Paul Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
19
Kornmeier, Alfons Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 2nd Class
21
Wiatr, Hans Funkgefreiter Ordinary Telegraphist, 1st Class
19
Radusch, Heinz Funkgefreiter Ordinary Telegraphist, 1st Class
20
Nowack, Karl Mechanikergefreiter Artificer, 2nd Class
21
Schöning, Herbert Matrose Ordinary Seaman, 2nd Class
20
Tannebaum, Walter Matrose Ordinary Seaman, 2nd Class
20
Weidig, Kurt Matrose Ordinary Seaman, 2nd Class
19
Kossack, Gerhard Matrose Ordinary Seaman, 2nd Class
21
 
 
 
 
Officers . .
6
Chief and Petty Officers . .
13
Men . .
19
  Total
38
 
 
 
 
(ii)  Casualties:
 
 
 
 
May . . Bootsmannsmaat . . Boatswain's Mate, 2nd Class
Motzkus   Mechanikergefreiter   Artificer, 2nd Class.
Frick   Maschinengefreiter   Stoker, 2nd Class.
Scheel   Maschinengefreiter   Stoker, 2nd Class.
Kiemann   Maschinengefreiter   Stoker, 2nd Class.
Tadday   Matrose   Ordinary Seaman, 2nd Class.
 
 
 
 
Officers . .
--
Chief and Petty Officers . .
1
Men . .
5
  Total
6
 
 
 
 
                                   Total Crew:
 
 
Officers . .
6
Chief and Petty Officers . .
14
Men . .
24
  Total
44
 
 
 
 
(C43802)  325  1/42
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

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