This record was kindly provided by the generous assistance of Tony Cooper and Roger Griffiths


U. 607
September, 1943.


  General Construction
  Building Yard
  Armament:  Disposition and Description of Guns
      (a)  M.G. 81
      (b)  Single 20 mm (.79") Guns
      (c)  20 mm (.79") Quadruple Mounting
  Torpedoes and Mines
  Bridge Structure
      (a)  Diesels
      (b)  Motors and Switch Boards
  Radar Decoy Balloons ("Aphrodite")
  Smoke Screen Apparatus
  Diving Performance
  Electric "Curly" Acoustically Directed Torpedoes
  Ultra-violet searchlights
  New U-boat types
  (a)  U-boats with turbine propulsion
  (b)  U-boats with double pressure hulls
  (c)  Torpedo-supply U-boats
  Torpedo Pistols
  "Curly" Torpedoes
  New U-boat Anti-Aircraft Tactics
  Moral Effect of the new U-boat Armament and Future Plans
  37 mm (1.46") guns
      (a)  Loading
      (b)  Crew
      (c)  Recoil
      (d)  Elevation and training limits
      (e)  Range
      (f)  Weight of projectile
      (g)  Ammunition
      (h)  Gun sights
      (i)  Twin 37 mm (1.46") gun
  20 mm (.79") Quadruple gun Mounting
      (a)  Sights
      (b)  Fire discipline
  Closing-up of the A/A guns
  Specially-trained A/A gunners carried in U-boats
      (a)  Stripping and assembly of 20 mm and 37 mm guns
      (b)  Clearing stoppages
      (c)  Firing Tests
      (d)  Sighting
      (e)  General
  Present U-boat policy
  U-boat lenses
  Careers of U-boat officers
  1940 Term
  Shortage of U-boat crews
  Death of Admiral Dönitz's son


  Barrage Balloons
  1200 ton U-boats
  U-boats in the Far East
  Kondor Reconnaissance
  Convoy attacks
  Depth Charge attacks
  Upper Deck Torpedo containers
  Rubber Dinghies
  U-boat series
  Survivors leave for U-boat crews
  U-boat Captain shot
  Main Units in General
  Surface Raiders
  Sperrbrecher 15
  (a)  Armament
  (b)  M/S Gear
  (c)  Miscellaneous
  Sperrbrecher (General)
  Cuxhaven Flotilla of Harbour Defense Vessels
  14th M/S Flotilla
  16th M/S Flotilla
            (A)    FRANCE
  La Pallice
  St. Nazaire
  (a)  Defences
  (b)  Shelters
  (c)  Air Raids
  (d)  Quarters at La Pallice
  (e)  Shipping in St. Nazaire
  (f)  U-boats
  (g)  Personalities
            (B)    JAPAN
  German Fighter Aircraft in France
  German Naval Staff
  German Admiralty
  Factories on War Production
  Supplying of U-boats in neutral harbours
  Neptune yard, Rostock
  Goliath Radio Transmitting Station
APPENDIX "A" - Building and Working up of U.607
APPENDIX "B" - Previous Patrols of U.607
  First Patrol:  24,000 tons sunk
  Second Patrol:  U.607 heavily damaged
  Third Patrol:  a 12,000 ton tanker sunk
  Fourth Patrol
APPENDIX "C" - Ship's Company of U.607
  First Lieutenant
  Second Lieutenant
  Engineer Officer
  Probationary Engineer Officer
  APPENDIX "D" - Nominal Roll of U.607



        U.607, a 500 ton U-boat under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Wolf JESCHONNEK, was sunk at 0833 on 13th July, 1943, in position 45.02N : 009.14W, by Sunderland N of 228 Squadron supported by Halifax O of 58 Squadron.  Four officers, including the Captain and three ratings, were later picked up by H.M.S. WREN from a rubber raft dropped by the Sunderland.  
        This U-boat was on her fifth patrol.  Following the fourth patrol she had been specially modified in St. Nazaire and had added A/A armament.  Her mission on her final patrol was to lay mines off the harbour of Kingston (Jamaica).  The other U-boats which were in company at the time of her sinking were allegedly bound for Haiti where they were to lay mines in coastal waters.  
        The extreme youth of the officers of U.607 may be noted.  The average age of the four executive officers, including the Captain was 21 years 6 months.  The Engineer Officer, aged 31, was a Lower Deck promotion.  
        Features of this report are:  
Details regarding 1) Radar Decoy Balloon
  2) Electric "Curly" Acoustically directed torpedoes.
  3) Magnetic torpedo pistols
  4) Ultra-violet searchlights
  5) New U-boat types
  6) New U-boat armament
  7) Modified Conning Tower
  8) U-boat A/A/ gunners course at Swinemünde
        Corresponding German and Naval rank equivalents used in this report are:  
Konter Admiral
Rear Admiral
Commodore (2nd Class)
Kapitän zur See
Oberleutnant zur See
Leutnant zur See
Junior Sub-Lieutenant.
Oberfähnrich zur See
Senior Midshipman.
Fähnrich zur See
Junior Midshipman.
Surgeon Lieutenant.
        The suffix (Ing) after a rank in place of "zur See" denotes Engineer Officer thus, Oberleutnant (Ing) = Sub. Lieutenant (E).  
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(i) Displacement: 500 tons
(ii) General Construction: Type VII C Standard
(iii) Building Yard: Blom and Voss, Hamburg
(iv) Guns:  (Disposition): No 88 mm (3.46") gun forward; one G.A.F. type machine gun, M.G.81 mounted on each side of conning tower; two single 20 mm (0.79") guns, one on each side of bandstand; a 20 mm. quadruple gun mounting on an extended gun platform aft.  An extra Ordnance Artificer was carried for maintenance of this equipment.
  (a)  M.Gs. 81: This type give a phenomenal rate of fire of between 1200 and 1500 rounds per minute per barrel.
    Ammunition was in 500 rounds disintegrating (articulated) link belts.  For convenience of feed it was split up into smaller lengths of 200/250 rounds.  These rounds were kept in iron boxes about 15" long, 10" deep and 4" wide.  The boxes were passed up from the Control Room as required.
    A prisoner estimated that it did not take more than 20 seconds for a belt to be changed.  About 25 boxes each with 500 rounds were carried in all.  It was said that the guns did not stand up well to rough treatment and were soon affected by sea water
  (b)  Single 20 mm (.79") Guns: Type C.38.  One fitted on each side of bandstand.  Each gun could be brought to bear from 00 to 1800 on its own side. If one gun were out of action its sector could not be covered by the other.
    Elevation limits were 850 and depression 40.
    To give fair conning tower clearance the guns had to be elevated to 350.
    The C.38 type has a cocking toggle above the gun which makes access to the breach easier and so simplifies clearance of stoppages.  The gun has a control lever on the right which permits either single shot or automatic firing.  The following were stated to be the most common stoppages:
Breech block jams in breech end of barrel.
Remedy:  two men jump forward and force the barrel to the rear.
Breech block does not go forward owing to bad maintenance.  Remedy:  oil.
Separated case.  Remedy:  None.
    There was one ready use locker containing seven magazines of 20 rounds each, fitted on the bandstand.
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  (c)  20 mm (.79") Quadruple Mounting. This mounting had a crew of three; one gunlayer and two loading number.  The controls consisted of two pedal triggers, the left firing pedal controlling the two left guns and the right firing pedal controlling the two right guns.  All barrels could be fired simultaneously.  The gunlayer sat on a seat revolving round with the gun.  A dial on each side indicates the elevation of the gun.  Elevation limits were from slightly over 500 and depression to 90 depression but through an angle to 180 to either side of the fore and aft line, looking forward, the guns had to be elevated to 450 for fire to clear the conning tower.  Training was then possible through 3600.  Elevation was controlled by an elevating wheel on a vertical axis and training by a wheel or a horizontal axis. 
    Range was given as 2,000 yards, but it was more usual to wait for range to close to 1,000 yards before opening fire.  The guns were magazine fed, each of the loading numbers loading two guns.  Rate of fire was 60 rounds per minute per. barrel: a total of 240 rounds per minute.  When a magazine was empty it was automatically released.  (N.I.D. Note:  The Automatic release is not in accordance with British practice).  120 boxes of ammunition were carried with 100 rounds in each.  Rounds were in magazines held 40 rounds.  The 40-round magazines were those first loaded on the quadruple gun when surfacing, in order to give adequate time for more magazines to be brought from the lockers while the first burst was being fired.
    Ammunition was both tracer and armour piercing, the tracer being extinguished at 1,500 metres.  There were four ready use lockers, each containing seven magazines in rear of the gun.  On submerging it was necessary to screw down the lids of those lockers, but in an emergency they were all merely closed.
    Armour plating:  The gun had two shields which folded back to lessen water resistance when the U-boat dived.
    Mounting:  The gun was mounted on ball bearings.
    Gun sights:  (See also Section V).  A ring and bead sight was fitted with a target speed bar graduated from 10 metres/second to 200 metres/second.  In the case of U.607 the bar was set at 60 m/second.  (N.I.D. Note:  This would allow for a mean aircraft speed of 135 m.p.h.)
(v)    Torpedoes and Mines:  According to an officer prisoner seven torpedoes and eight T.M.C. mines were carried on the last patrol.  One prisoner said that the mines were to be loaded two to a tube; that two spare torpedoes were stowed on the floor plates in the bow compartment, and probably spare mines in the forward bilges and on bow compartment floor plates.  Upper deck containers had been removed.
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"curly"/. . . .



        "Curly" torpedoes were carried, which traveled a maximum of 6 minutes completing 28 "legs".  Their speed was 30 knots and their rate of advance 6 knots.  Long "legs" were 900 metres and short "legs" 630 metres.  Legs were 60 metres distance apart.  Initial straight run could be set up to 4,000 metres.  (N.I.D. Note:  The accuracy of this information is doubtful.)
        Torpedo tubes:  Four bow; one stern.
        Torpedo pistols:  Pi2, improved type only, carried on last patrol.
(vi)  Bridge Structure:  Before sailing on her last patrol U.607 was fitted with a new type of bridge structure.  This was in three sections.
        The forward section comprised the bridge, the sides and front of which were protected by 2 - 3 cm. (1" - 1.18") thick welded armour plate.
        The steel doors hinged on each side of the conning tower, could be swung back to meet just by the after periscope, affording protection to bridge personnel.  The doors were left open when the U-boat dived.  When shut a space below them allowed for water clearance.
        The centre section comprised the bandstand, which stood about 20" above the level of the bridge.  The bandstand had been widened by about 20" on either side, to facilitate the mounting of the two single 20 mm. guns.
        Port and starboard ladders led down through openings in the bandstand guard rails to a lower bandstand, on which was mounted the 20 mm. quadruple gun.
        Spare barrels for the 20 mm. gun were carried in a store below the lower bandstand, which had an opening on the main deck.  The lower bandstand was protected by guard rails.
        The new bridge structure took about 20 days to fit.
        Two hydrogen bottles about 5 feet high were secured on the port side of the forward section.  Those were for use with R.D.B. (Sec. (xi))  (N.I.D. Note:  Those bottles should not be confused with the acetylene bottles frequently carried for welding purposes.)
(vii)    Propulsion:  (a)  Diesels:  M.A.N.
                            (b)  Motors and Switchboards:  Brown Boveri Company.
(viii)    Radar.  Fitted.  Wavelength was given as 80 cm.  The aerial was of mattress type and was mounted on the port side of the bridge.  It could be raised and lowered by an electric motor in the control room, and when not in use was housed in a slot in the bridge fairing.  Measurements were given as, roughly, 39" x 23" x 8".  A prisoner said that the whole rectangle was covered in wire mesh except at the top, that the diploes were fixed vertically to an unknown number of insulators in the middle and were slightly curved at the top.  When raised, the aerial "box" just cleared the top of the bridge fairing.  It could be revolved by means of a flexible shaft and a hand wheel.  Range was not more than 20 miles.  The apparatus was constantly being damaged when dives to considerable depth were made, and was practically useless.
(ix)    G.S.R.   Fitted.  A Southern Cross type aerial had been removed before the last patrol.  In its place a new drum type aerial had been fitted mounted on a fixed support before the periscope.  It could not be raised or lowered and was permanent.  The aerial itself was slightly higher than the conning tower fairing.  It was described as like a sieve, or a rotating ventilator to be found on the roof of buses or trains.  It had two dipoles, 20 cm (8") high.  Dimensions of aerial were:  Height about 4", diameter about 9".
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(x)  S.B.T./ . . . .


(x)    S.B.T.  This gear had been fitted, but was removed prior to the last patrol.
(xi)    Radar Decoy Balloons ("Aphrodite").
        (N.I.D. Note:  The following description was given by the Captain and another officer of U.607.  Certain details were also provided by a torn instruction found on a prisoner from U.461, sunk on 30th July, 1043).
        (a)  The purpose of R.D.B. is to provide a decoy target for destroyers and aircraft hunting U-boats.  The type ("Aphrodite") described below is intended for use at night, and only floats for 2 hours, so that there is no danger of its being found at daybreak.  The officers disagreed in their opinions as to its value, the abler of the two technically, thinking it silly.
        (b)  The R.D.B. consist of a rubber balloon, which is inflated immediately before use to 650 mm (26") diameter, a float and a 100 foot long connecting wire, to which are attached about four 100 foot long streamers, from which hang metal foil ribbons.  In a moderate wind the streamers are blown sideways, providing a target rectangular in shape.
        Probably 60 uninflated R.D.B. were carried stowed in cases on the deck of the U-boat.  When required for use, the balloon would be inflated with hydrogen  to a diameter of 650 mm. the diameter being gauged against marks painted on the conning tower.  The hydrogen is supplied from 30 litre hydrogen bottles carried outside the conning tower, each capable of inflating about 20 balloons.  (Note:  This refers to R.D.B. with Kapsel II, R.D.B. with Kapel I has an automatic gas generator.)
        The balloon and wire are then allowed to rise, being guided by the left hand, while the float is held in the right hand.  When the wire is all paid out, the float is heaved forcibly over the side.
(xii)    Smoke Screen Apparatus:  An Ordinary Seaman alleged that a container for creating a smoke-screen was carried.  The container was secured on the port side of the bridge next to the gas bottles.  No details were known of the method of operation.
(xiii)    Badge:  Bull of Scapa Flow (7th Flotilla Badge).
(xiv)   Camouflage:  Dark grey paint.
(xv)    Best Diving Time:  About 30 seconds to periscope depth commencing with normal watch on deck.  Rather longer commencing with the full deck complement topsides.
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        Survivors stated that the purpose of this patrol was the laying of mines in West Indian waters in company with three other U-boats.  The Captain stated that his orders were to proceed to Kingston, Jamaica.  The other U-boats were proceeding to Haiti, where they were to watch shipping routes for two weeks before laying mines.  One of the four U-boats detailed for this task failed to make rendezvous, having had to put back owing to a structural defect.  All the U-boats had been given explicit instructions that they were not to attack convoys.
        U.607 left St. Nazaire at 0730 on 10th July, 1943, accompanied by a U-boat of the same modified type, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Fenn.  The U-boats, Fenn leading and Jeschonnek about a cable astern, were preceded by a 4,000 ton sperrbrecher and a UJ-boat on each quarter of U.607.  Sperrbrecher and minesweepers turned back at Buoy 1, which was reached after four and a half hours' steering a general course of 2700.  Life jackets had been worn until this buoy was reached.
        Air escort of four Ju.88's should have picked the U-boats up at this position, but only one aircraft arrived.  This approached, fired a recognition signal and made off.
        The two UJ-boats remained in company until nightfall.
        At 2300, U.607 submerged and did not surface until 0700 on 11th July.  At 0800 Radar contacts, believed to be enemy surface vessels, were picked up and U.607 again submerged.  A signal, warning of the presence of British destroyers in the vicinity, had previously been received from C-in-C U-boats.
        U.607 again surfaced at 1400 and charged batteries for three hours.  That evening the third U-boat, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Köppe, joined company, having sailed from La Pallice.  It was then arranged that each boat should be guard boat for twenty-four hours.  Besides keeping W/T watch, the guard boat determined whether or not to dive on the approach of aircraft.  Should it be intended to stay surfaced and fight, the signal agreed upon was a green flag, normally kept for harbour use only, waved in the form of a figure eight.  Intention to dive was to be flashed by lamp.  The three U-boats each kept G.S.R. watch on different wavelengths.
        When surfaced the three U-boats proceeded in line abreast, U.607 being furthest to port.
        At nightfall on this day U.607 again submerged.  She reached 130 feet, her normal cruising depth, but it was decided to continue the dive to 260 feet for exercise.  This was the greatest depth reached on this patrol.
        The 12th July was uneventful.  The three U-boats remained in company, surfaced by day and submerged by night.
        At 0001 on 13th July a bottle of champagne was opened and a toast drunk by the officers in celebration of Oberleutnant zur See Jeschonnek's birthday,
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        At 0755 on 13th July, U.607 had just surfaced and taken up the port position in arrowhead formation, Köppe, guard boat for the day, leading, when a Halifax was sighted astern.  Almost immediately afterwards a Sunderland was sighted ahead.  U.607 turned away from the Halifax in order to present as narrow a target as possible.  This turn increased the distance between her and the other U-boats.
Jeschonnek and his officers were all confident that the combined fire of the three U-boats would drive off the aircraft, and he and the First Lieutenant both lit cigarettes and waited for the aircraft to come within range.  Fire was opened at 1,000 yards and continued until both the single and 20 mm. guns jammed.  The quadruple 20 mm. gun remained in action.
        (N.I.D. Note:  Sunderland N of 228 Squadron reported first sighting the three U-boats in arrowhead formation at 0753, 13th July.  Halifax O of 58 Squadron sighted the U-boats five minutes later.  The two aircraft started to circle the U-boats clockwise, O/58 following N/228 in circuit about 5,800 yards from the enemy.  All three U-boats immediately opened fire at both aircraft from 20 mm guns abaft the conning tower.  The U-boats were taking evasive action, by turning in tight circles at high speed outside the U-boat nearest the aircraft, continually drawing away and turning stern on to the aircraft so that maximum fire power could be brought to bear.
        The two aircraft finally succeeded in getting into touch with each other by flying alongside, and it was agreed that O/58 should fly on reciprocal.  She turned and commenced circling the U-boats in anti-clockwise direction.  The maneuvre was successful in splitting the fire of the U-boat gunners, who slackened off and finally ceased fire after the aircraft had made two more circuits.
        After 40 minutes one U-boat became isolated, and having got some distance from the other two, was compelled to turn back to attempt to rejoin.  This gave N/228 an opportunity of carrying out an attack from an angle fine to its track.  The attack was made immediately from a very low level.
        N/228 went in through heavy fire to drop a stick of seven D/Cs Torpex, 250 lbs., 25 feet setting, 60 feet spacing, released from 50 feet, fine from the stern (port quarter to starboard bow.  It was estimated that three D/Cs fell close to the port side aft, one of the conning tower and three close to the starboard side forward.  The pilot had to jink the aircraft over the conning tower after release.  The tail gunner and at least one other of the crew saw the conning tower blown into the air.  A large portion of the bow went forward, stood on end, went over the vertical and slid into the sea.  The remainder of the U-boat rocked violently, capsized and sank.  Large pieces of wreckage and some 25 survivors were seen in the sea.  N/228 dropped a dinghy and later saw that 6 men had clambered into it.
        Prisoners said that they had had no intention of diving before this attack was made.  They ascribed their sinking to the fact that they were deserted by their two companion U-boats, who submerged under cover of U.607's fire.  This had never been intended.  The diving signal, if it was given, never reached U.607.
        One prisoner said that they felt capable of dealing with the two aircraft had they not flown on reciprocal courses.  When the final attack was made, fire from the Sunderland pierced the shields of the quadruple 20 mm gun and killed the gun's crew.  Immediately afterwards the D/Cs were dropped so accurately that the U-boat broke her back.
        The distribution of the men on deck when the vessel was sunk was as follows:  three men on the quadruple 20 mm. and one supply number; two men on each side of the single 20 mm. guns and one supply number for both; the gunnery officer (Leutnant zur See Gassauer); one hand to clear empty cartridge cases; two hands to hoist ammunition from below decks; one
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port/ . . .


port look-out; one starboard look-out; the Captain; the First and Third Lieutenants and the coxswain.  A number of these men are known to have been killed.  It was thought that only a small number of men succeeded in escaping from inside the U-boat.  None of the men thrown into the water were wearing life jackets and many speedily drowned.  A yellow raft was dropped by the Sunderland near the main group of survivors and seven men managed to clamber into it.  Of these seven men, four were officers.
        The party drifted in the raft throughout the day.  The sun was shining fiercely and the men began to suffer from sunburn aggravated by superficial burns from ignited Diesel oil.  British aircraft were continually flying over the position.  Towards noon vessels of the second Support Group were sighted and these passed close by the raft without stopping.
        (N.I.D. Note:  Captain (D) Second Support Group reported that he reached the scene of the sinking at 1143 on 13th July.  He continued: "By this time there were four aircraft flying round the position, and a considerable amount of oil was seen on the surface as well as seven disconsolate Huns squatting in a rubber dinghy.  With the prospect of a kill in front of me, I could not spare a ship to pick them up and perforce left them to a contemplation of nature while the hunt was on.")
        Towards evening the dejected party sighted five Ju.88 aircraft flying in formation at a height of some 10,000 feet.  These aircraft passed over the dinghy apparently unaware of its existence.  No other incident occurred until rescue.
        (N.I.D. Note:  H.M.S. WREN reported that, returning to the area in the early hours of 14th July, the raft was sighted in position 44.50N : 008.50W, at 0400 Zone Time.  A whaler was lowered and when it had approached the raft the survivors were asked for the number of their U-boat.  This they refused.  The whaler immediately put about and the Germans were told "No number, no rescue".  This speedily decided the Captain to divulge the number and he called the whaler back.  The party was pickled up at 0405.)
v. / . . .
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(i)    Electric "Curly" Acoustically directed Torpedoes.
        The Second Lieutenant said that the latest German torpedo development was an Electric "Curly" acoustically directed torpedo, which was only fired from the stern tube.  The torpedo had to be set for a straight initial run but when this limit was reached it began to turn on a "curly" course until the target came within its acoustic field, when it at once altered course towards the noise.  The shortest initial straight run which could be set with safety was 700 meters (765 yards); otherwise the initial run could be set at any distance up to 3000 metres (3280 yards).
        The torpedo was fitted with a contact pistol and the acoustic apparatus was fitted on its top side.
        It was said to be ideal for firing at pursuing destroyers.  A great advantage was that being an electric torpedo it could be used  during the day while the normal "curly" torpedoes, being air propelled, were best used at night.
        It was said that a U-boat commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Trojer had used these torpedoes with success.
        (N.I.D. Note:  The combination of "curly" and acoustic gear in the same individual torpedo is unexpected and not at present established.)
(ii)    Ultra-violet Searchlights.
        The Second Lieutenant stated that U-boats of the 3rd Flotilla at La Pallice had been fitted with ultra-violet searchlights to protect them from air attacks.  The rays of this searchlight were invisible but any object caught within them was visible to the operator should he wear special glasses.  Should an aircraft attempt to locate a U-boat at night and be caught by the searchlight the pilot would not know he had been observed unless he himself was wearing the same glasses.  The glasses might, in addition, be telescopic.  Trials with this searchlight were in charge of Korvettenkapitän Zapp, S.O. of the 3rd Flotilla at La Pallice.
        (N.I.D. Note:  This might well be an infra-red searchlight.  Such confusion is not uncommon in prisoner's statements.)
(iii)    New U-boat types.
        (a)  U-boats with turbine propulsion.  The Second Lieutenant said that Blohm and Voss had completed six U-boats which had no electric motors.  They were known as type VII/42 and they were numbered from U.1060 upwards.  Trials with this type had been going on for two and a half years at Hel Peninsular in the Baltic and the present captain of the experimental boat was said to be Korvettenkapitän Otto Schuhart.
        The fuel used was liquid air and oil and the engines were turbines.  The U-boats were said to be faster underwater than on the surface and they were able to dive at phenomenal speed.  The 2nd Lt. said that he had seen one of these U-boats on trial in the Baltic.  It was about 500 tons and was faster than his own U-boat.  It had been impossible for him or any of his fellow officers to board the U-boat.  He had heard that it had a thicker pressure hull than the usual.  He understood that it carried an apparatus which extracted oxygen from the air, converted it into liquid oxygen and stored it.
        (N.I.D. Note:  There is no confirmation from other sources that liquid air has been employed for propulsion in submarines.)
        (b)  U-boats with double pressure hulls.  The Second Lieutenant also stated that a series of U-boats starting with U.851 was being built with double pressure hulls.  The space between the two pressure hulls formed fuel tanks.  This type was reputed to be able to dive to an extreme depth.  He claimed that this type of U-boat was fitted with 6 E-boat type V 20 Diesel
engines/ . . .
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engines.  They could run on two, four, or all six engines.  They were capable of a speed of 24 knots.  (N.I.D. Note:  Prisoners have previously stated that E-boat engines have been fitted in U-boats.  Owing to maintenance difficulty it is thought that this type of installation is improbable.)
        (c)  Torpedo Supply U-boats.  This type may be the same as (b).  Described as of about 1000 tons.  Has double pressure hull and the latest W/T and electrical equipment including G.S.R. capable of picking up the shortest wavelengths and possibly W I M Gerät.  She had torpedo tubes and carried between 30 and 40 torpedoes in a special Torpedo compartment.  The main use of this type was to act as a torpedo supply vessel for other U-boats (N.I.D. Note:  W I M is the German technical listening service, observing very high frequency transmission, such as Radar.  It controls certain jammers in addition.  It is not clear what is meant by W I M apparatus by this prisoner.)
(iv)    Torpedo Pistols:
        The Second Lieutenant said that he had heard of a new pistol about 3 feet long, which was shortly to be issued.  There was a small battery in the pistol.  It had already been on trial in the Mediterranean.  It was affected in some way by the ship's iron, but the de-gaussing of a ship would not prevent its explosion.
        The pistol could be set for magnetic-contact, or for contact alone, but not for magnetic alone.  It was known as M.Z. which stood for Magnetzündung (Magnetic firing).  All the torpedoes so fitted were air torpedoes.  The captain said that the ship's field did not affect the working of the pistol.  (N.I.D. Note:  The pistol referred to is probably the PI,2, which has certainly been used in electric torpedoes and probably in them only.)
(v)    "Curly" Torpedoes:  (See C.B. 04051 (64) Page 9).
        Referring to "Curly" torpedoes the Second Lieutenant said that when attacking convoys a fan of four "curlies" could be fired each with a different initial straight run setting.  In this manner a larger area of sea could be covered.  He added that U-boat officers were being sent when possible to Flensburg to attend eight day courses in "Curly" torpedoes.  Few officers took the course seriously and it was the general practice to arrive three days late, spend three days in attendance and then proceed on leave.
(vi)    New Anti-Aircraft Tactics:
        Survivors including the Captain and other officers gave their views on Germany's new U-boat A/A defences.
        At present U-boats are at a disadvantage against any aircraft attacking from dead ahead or on the bows so long as the aircraft can keep within 15 degrees up track on either bow.  Consequently a U-boat Captain always tries to bring his main armament to bear.  This means keeping his stern towards the aircraft, a maneuvre which has the advantage of presenting the smallest possible target.  In addition, U-boats are able to change direction in tighter turns than aircraft and so are felt to increase the difficulties of the bomb-aimer.
        The Captain was confident that the policy of sending U-boats through the Bay of Biscay in numbers sufficient to provide intense covering fire would be maintained.  He felt that the ultimate success of this policy would depend on whether the G.A.F. could afford to give U-boats adequate air protection.  At present he considered three passages in and out of the Bay as worth a Ritterkreuz.  Because of the policy of staying surfaced through the Bay, casualties among the guns' crews and bridge watches had become heavy, it had therefore been decided to add medical officer to the complement of as many U-boats as possible.  A Surgeon Lieutenant was carried by U.607.  The Bay of Biscay crisis area is now considered to extend to 190W.
(vii)    Moral effect of the new U-boat A/A armament and future plans.
        It was suggested that the effect of the new armament has been to induce new confidence into U-boat Captains, and to a lesser extent, into
ship's/ . . .
- 10 -


ship's companies.  Reports of the shooting down of aircraft receive the widest circulation.  Losses of U-boats are unlikely to become known outside of individual Flotillas.  Prisoners defended their comparative lack of success of the new armament with the plea that countermeasures to A/S aircraft have been hurried and will improve.
        Improvements anticipated by prisoners are:
        i)  Some form of automatic or computer sights
        ii)  Larger caliber guns of the pom-pom type
        iii)  Some type of F.A.C.
        iv)  A combination of all three of the above was expected.
        Prisoners also thought that the mounting of some quick firing A/A armament forward of the conning tower was planned to cope with the most feared form of attack.
(viii)    37 mm (1.46") gun.
        One prisoner who claimed detailed knowledge of this gun, although it was not fitted in U.607, gave the following information:
(a)  Loading. Whereas the 37mm gun (land) is fed with five shot clips, the 37 mm (naval) fires only single shot.
(b)  Crew. One layer, one trainer and one loading number.  Theoretically an extra number who acts as assistant loading number.
(c)  Recoil. A very heavy one of about 330 lbs. checked by a spring.
(d)  Elevation and Training Limits: Elevation 850, depression 90.  Training through 3600.
(e)  Range. Theoretically 3,000 yards.  In practice 2,500 yards.
(f)  Weight of projectile. 2-1/2 lbs.
(g)  Ammunition. A.P. or incendiary ammunition was fired in daytime.  A.P. tracer was used at night.  A new phosphorus incendiary shell was also mentioned; contact fuse, self destroying at about 3000 metres (3280 yards).
(h)  Gun sights. Fitted with a pressure tight gun sight.  This consists of a box 12" high x 8" long x 4" deep with six ring sights probably on a strip of plexiglas, allowing for aim-off speeds of 50, 100, 200, 250, and 300 metres/second.  The appropriate ring sight will appear in an aperture on the left as selected by rotating a small wheel on the right.
(i)  Twin 37 mm. (1.46") gun. The policy as to fitting of 37 mm. guns in 500 tonners is still undecided.  A number of twin 37 mm guns were said to be lying in the stores at St. Nazaire pending possible mounting.
(ix)    20 mm (.79") Quadruple gun Mounting.  (See also Section II)
        (a)  A specialist A/A gunner said that although the target speed bar was graduated from 10 to 200 metres/second and was normally set at 60 metres/second (135 m.p.h.) gunners still had to place the target in the correct place relative to the ring.  An aircraft approaching at a speed of say 180 m.p.h. would be placed a little over half way between the smaller and larger ring sight as the gunner began to fire.  (N.I.D. Note:  This seems similar to current eye shooting practice.)
(b)/ . . .
- 11 -


        (b)  Discipline.  In theory range was estimated by the U-boat Captain or Officer of the Watch who then ordered open or cease fire as he thought fit.  In practice many guns crews fired independently once the initial open fire order had been given.  Range estimation was more or less guess work and no effort was made to estimate range by wingspan in relation to ring sight, or any similar method.
(x)    Closing up at the A/A/ guns.
        The O.O.W. manned the starboard M.G.81 and the Leading Hand the other.  Three other men on watch manned and cleared away the quadruple 20 mm gun.  Two ratings from the Watch below closed up at the 20 mm guns on the bandstand.  When surfaced at night one of the three after look-outs permanently manned the gunlayer's seat at the quadruple 20 mm gun.
(xi)    Specially-trained A/A gunners carried in U-boats.
        U-boats equipped with the new A/A armament may carry up to four specially trained A/A gunners.  These men are called "Flakspezialisten" and in theory there should be one "Flakspezialisten" to a watch.  This is probably seldom the case at present.  Two such gunners only were carried in U.607.
        The Flakspezialist's badge consists of a device approximately 2" long.  It depicts an exploding shell with wings and is worn on the left sleeve below the non-substantive badge.
        Only gunners who have passed out satisfactorily from special courses at Swinemünde or Misdroy are entitled to wear the badge.
        A Flakspezialist survivor said that out of 80 men who took the course with him at Swinemünde 8 were dropped before they had completed the course and 18 failed to pass the comparatively simple tests.  The course was specifically intended as a gun Captain's course and the men participating were expected to be able to train other members of their crew in gunnery duties.
        Flakspezialist Test.
        This was divided into three parts and an oral examination.  The oral test was very simple and the examiner merely picked the men out at random and shot gunnery questions at them.  The other tests were as follows:
        (a)  Stripping and Assembly of 20 mm and 37 mm guns.
        The average time for stripping a 20 mm gun was about 8/10 minutes and assembly about 35/40 minutes.  The average time for assembly of a 37 mm. gun was 20 minutes.  Before the test the guns were stripped down to their minutest parts by Petty Officers.
        (b)  Clearing Stoppages.
        The main stoppages were:
        a)  Breech block jam in end of barrel
        b)  Double feed
        c)  Separated cases
        d)  Breech block does not go fully forward.
        (c)  Firing tests.
        Candidates had to fire 40 rounds at a drogue towed to simulate an attack up or down track and 40 rounds at a drogue simulating a beam attack.  Hit were not essential, it was merely necessary to fire in such a way as to show correct deflection allowance.  The entire test took about two hours.
        (d)  Sighting.
        A total of about two hours lectures were given on two occasions on the theory of sighting.  Gunners were not taught to allow for gravity drop but
were/ . . .
- 12 -


were told to correct for it after the first sighting burst.  The following simple rules were expected to suffice:
"Aircraft flying from the right side - in the lower right half of your ring".
"Aircraft flying from the left side - in the lower left half of your ring".
"An approaching target is always a dropping target (in relation to your ring) and you must sight either in the right upper or the left upper half of your ring".
"The line of flight must go through the centre of your ring".
"You must estimate speed exactly".
        (e)  General.
        At the school one man fired the gun and another observed the tracer and called out corrections to aim.
        Both the school and on operations they were instructed that they could safely allow the target to come within 1,000 yards before opening fire.
(xiii)    Present U-boat Policy.
        The Captain said that the majority of U-boats now out were being sent on patrol with the main object of keeping in touch with the latest Allied counter-measures.  If all U-boats were withdrawn while further improvements were made to them their present tactics would be obsolete within six months.
        The Second Lieutenant anticipated a speedy renewal of U-boat warfare in the Caribbean Sea.
(xiii)    U-boat Losses.
        The Second Lieutenant said that present losses of operational U-boats had risen to as much as 50% of the average number at sea during any one month.  In some months, this figure had been as high as 60.  The position had steadily become worse since April 1943.  Before that month losses had averaged about 5%.
        In figures, Germany was losing thirty-nine to forty U-boats a month.  He thought about 340 U-boats were available for operations.  Of these one third at the most were in operational areas, a third were proceeding to and from base and a third were in dock.
        He claimed that in April or May U.607 took part in an attack on a convoy with 43 other U-boats.  Of this number 16 were sunk by escort vessels and a further 12 in the Bay of Biscay on their way back to base.  (N.I.D. Note:  This impression regarding losses is considered to be pessimistic.)
(xiv)    Careers of U-boat Officers.
        The Second Lieutenant stated that the ideal career of a successful young U-boat officer was as follows:
        Three patrols as First Lieutenant under an experienced Captain; three months at a Commanding officers' course; six months in the Baltic in command of a School Boat; commissioning as C.O. of a 500-tonner building, involving two months standing by; four months working up in Baltic; 6 to 8 patrols bring with them promotion to Lieutenant; commissioning of a 740 ton U-boat; 7 to 8 patrols in the 740 tonner.  Promotion to Lieutenant-Commander and shore post as S.O. of a U-boat Flotilla.
        This career, from time of first appointment as First Lieutenant, would take at least three years to complete and would probably involve well over 20
patrols/ . . .
- 13 -



patrols counting those in which the officer had participated as midshipman and Junior Watch-keeping officer.  (N.I.D. Note:  An ambitious young U-boat officer would be more than lucky to complete this career.  Few, if any, have ever done so.)
(xv)    1940 Term.
        The Second Lieutenant said that of 900 naval officers of his 1940 Term only 320 remained alive.  Chief casualties were among those who had joined U-boats or minesweepers.
(xvi)    Shortage of U-boat crews.
        The Second Lieutenant said that about 30 U-boats were lying in Hamburg only half-manned.  This was because of a growing shortage of trained ratings.
(xvii)    Death of Admiral Dönitz's son.
        An officer prisoner said that Leutnant zur See Piot Dönitz, one of Admiral Dönitz's two sons, had been lost in a U-boat commanded by an officer named Loewe.  Piot Dönitz had been serving as 2nd Lieutenant.  (N.I.D. Note:  It is known from other sources that in 1941 both Admiral Dönitz's sons were serving as midshipmen in U-boats.  The Loewe mentioned is believed to be Kapitänleutnant Odo Loewe.  The second son now has a shore appointment being unable to stand submerged pressure owing to a silver plate in his head.)
(xviii)    Mines.
        The Second Lieutenant gave the following definition of German mines: 
        T.M.B. I and II.  Both magnetic mines, "I" was for use in deep water and was more robust than "II", which was lighter and for use in shallow water.  Three of either type could be loaded in a U-boat's torpedo tube.
        T.M.C.  Combined magnetic and acoustic mines.  They bear either a blue or a red spot indicating whether they are intended to react to a North or South Pole.
        He added that U-boats fitted with mine shafts were laying mines of about 4'9" in diameter.  They were moored magnetic and contact mines which could be laid in 1000 feet of water.  They had been laid by minelaying supply U-boats of the type beginning with U.116 which could carry 66 such mines.  It was intended to lay mines off the American coast, the Gulf of Mexico, the eastern entrance to the Panama canal and the coast of Africa.  (N.I.D. Note:  Type G.O. mines are laid from U-boat mine shafts.  The charge is 770 lbs and diameter 42").
(xix)    Radar.
        The Second Lieutenant said that Radar transmissions in U-boats were always vertical and that at present they had a large number of dipoles.  Experts were endeavoring to cut the number down to four.  (N.I.D. Note:  Prisoner was unable to state whether this referred to fixed surface watching or rotatable type.)
(xx)    Barrage Balloons.
        One prisoner claimed to have heard that some U-boats may be fitted with barrage balloons.
(xxi)    1200 ton U-boats.
        The Second Lieutenant said that the modified armament of 1200 ton U-boats was one 105 mm (4.14") gun, two 20 mm. quadruple mountings one abaft the other, and two extra 20 mm. guns.  They carried 24 torpedoes.
(xxii)    U-boats in the Far East.
        The Second Lieutenant said that the U-boats now proceeding to the Far East were to be accompanied by a Supply U-boat carrying 700 tons of fuel and by a second Supply U-boat carrying 35 spare torpedoes.  (N.I.D. Note:  There
is/ . . .
- 14 -


is at present no confirmation of the existence of a U-boat modified to carry 35 torpedoes).
(xxiii)    Kondor Reconnaissance.
        The Second Lieutenant severely criticized the inaccuracy of reports of convoy positions made by Kondor pilots on reconnaissance patrols.  He remembered one case in which a Kondor had made an error of 250 miles in reporting the position of a convoy.  In addition, owing to a garbled signal, the convoy was found to consist of eight ships only instead of the reported 81.
(xxiv)    Convoy attacks.
        An Officer prisoner stated that he had considerable experience of convoy attacks.  On a clear day it was possible to detect the presence of a convoy visually up to 25 - 30 miles by its smoke.
  (xxv)    Depth Charge Attacks.
        In U.607 it was compulsory for each man to carry a torch and a spare fuse in his pocket, so that the lights could be immediately repaired should they fail during a depth charge attack.
(xxvi)    Upper Deck Torpedo containers.
        The Second Lieutenant said that a main reason for the removal of upper deck torpedo containers from U-boats was that they were liable to leak following a depth charge attack and leave bubble trace on the surface.
(xxvii)    Rubber Dinghies.
        The Second Lieutenant said that all U-boats were being fitted with an increasing number of rubber dinghies.  They were stowed before the conning tower in metal lockers in place of upper deck torpedo containers.  A normal equipment for a 500-ton U-boat was one four-man dinghy, carrying a small radio transmitter, two three-man dinghies and about 30 more holding one or two men.  The larger dinghies were equipped with small masts and sails and all the dinghies with paddles.
(xxviii)    U-boat Series.
        The Second Lieutenant stated that the Blohm und Voss Yard was now building 500-ton C type U-boats numbered from U.951 to U.1050.  (N.I.D. Note:  This is probably correct).
(xxix)    Survivors leave for U-boat crews.
        Should U-boat men be rescued by German vessels or sea planes following sinking they are first sent to the U-boat men's rest centre at Krumuhübel for from four to six weeks.  They are then given four weeks home leave.  Later they are given home guard service.  After a reasonable period has elapsed they are again surveyed for service in U-boats.  It was not believed that many passed this survey.
(xxx)    U-boat Captain shot.
        The Second Lieutenant alleged that Kapitänleutnant HIRSACKER, former Captain of U.572 had been court martialed and shot, having been found guilty of cowardice in the face of the enemy.
        The particular charges against him were that he had twice failed to attack a convoy when in a favorable position to do so and that on one other occasion, when ordered to proceed  to the Mediterranean, he had reported that he had been forced to turn back at Gibraltar owing to too strong defences and the damaging of his hydrophones.  The latter was not the case.  HIRSACKER had been reported by his officers.  The Court Martial had taken place in Berlin where HIRSACKER was later shot, Hitler having refused pardon.  HIRSACKER was convicted on three counts and sentenced to death, to ten years imprisonment and to loss of civic rights.
- 15 -



(i)    "GNEISENAU".
        It was stated that repairs to GNEISENAU will take two years to complete.  An entire new bow will have to be provided, that is to say everything forward of the bridge.  A number of fittings on the control bridge had been burnt out and destroyed.
(ii)    Main Units in General.
        An officer prisoner, discussing W/T, said that German battleships were fitted with 800-watt transmitters.
(iii)    Surface Raiders.
        The Second Lieutenant said that a Signal to the Fleet had been issued instructing that surface raiders were in future to be known by U-boat numbers starting from U.900 upwards.  This was to confuse Allied Intelligence.  It was not disclosed when this order came into effect, nor how long it would remain in operation.
        Germany had about ten surface raiders available and about eight of these were at sea.  One of these was under the command of Konteradmiral Robert Eyssen, and a second under the command of Kapitan zur See Helmut Rückteschell.  Both were of between 5,000 and 6,000 tons.
        A prisoner stated that the U-boat commanded by Korvettenkapitän Sturm returned from her second patrol in late May or early June, 1943, with 180 men on board.  This figure included her own ship's company.  The passengers were survivors from an unarmed German surface raider alleged to have been sunk in the vicinity of Gibraltar.
(iv)    Sperrbrecher 15.
        A prisoner who had served in this vessel made the following statements about her:
        a)  Armament:  Two 105 mm. (4.14") guns;
                                Three 37 mm. (1.45") guns;
                                Seven 20 mm. (0.79") guns;
                                Three or four light machine guns on bridge;
                                One flame thrower.
        b)  M/S Gear:  Otter gear was carried amidships, but it had never been used during the year prisoner was on board.  They had themselves swept thirty mines, all of which had exploded forward of the beam at ranges varying between 25 and 30 yards but prisoners had no knowledge of the gear used.  No pinnaces for wire sweeping were carried.
        c)  Miscellaneous:  The bows of the ship were filled with empty casks; all sleeping accommodation was aft.  Sperrbrecher 15, whose base was at Wilhelmshaven, usually lay at the Villa Sceblik Quay.  She had never been attacked by air or surface forces.
(v)    Sperrbrecher (General).
        There were always two Sperrbrecher in Cuxhaven used for sweeping from the Elbe mouth out to the sea.  These vessels were thought to have sand in the holds covered with a layer of brushwood surrounded by empty petrol cans.
        In mid-1942 one Sperrbrecher was mined in the Elbe estuary, well out to sea; she returned somewhat down by the bows but otherwise undamaged.
(vi)    Cuxhaven Flotilla of Harbour Defense vessels.
          A prisoner had served with this flotilla until late 1942.  The Flotilla was responsible for sweeping magnetic mines in the Elbe.  The following method was adopted:  
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        Four drifters towed three "Suchboote" (Towed magnets).  The tow was so arranged that the four drifters were in line abreast, about twenty-five yards apart.  The three "Suchboote" were also in line abreast, each being towed about thirty or forty yards astern of a point equidistant between two of the drifters.  These "Suchboote" were about 23 feet long with a total depth of about 6'6", with only about 4" freeboard.  On top were three hatches, in each of which were inserted two magnetized blocks of steel about 2'6" cubed.
        These blocks were unshipped once a fortnight for remagnetization.
        The rudder of a "Suchboot" was normally secured in the midships position.
(N.I.D. Note:  Permanent magnets on the surface could only produce a useful sweeping field in extremely shallow waters.)
(vii)    14th M/S Flotilla.
        This was based on Cuxhaven and comprised six vessels, fitted with Otter gear.  They were degaussed.
(viii)    16th M/S Flotilla.
        This flotilla lost three units off Calais in mid-1942.  The remainder then returned to Sambourg for refitting.  (N.I.D. Note:  Possibly the 36th M/S Flotilla was meant.)
(i)    Angers.
        A shelter similar to U-boat bunkers is stated to have been built at Angers for the use of C. in C. U-boats.  This shelter was lavishly equipped with all modern comforts, the only drawback being that the lights went out if the town circuit failed.
        C. in C. U-boats also possessed a similar shelter H.Q. at Kerneval.
(ii)    La Pallice.
        A prisoner said that the lock at La Pallice had become unserviceable and U-boats within the pens were immobile.  The base in general was very badly damaged.  A large number of U-boats based on La Pallice had been obliged to put in temporarily to St. Nazaire as "guest boats".
(iii)    Lorient.
        Prisoners said they believed that cupolas with revolving guns had been fitted on top of the shelters at Lorient to protect them in the event of a British invasion.
        The water at Lorient was supposed to be unfit to drink and caused diarrhea or a form of dysentery known to U-boat men as "Lorientitus."
(iv)    St. Nazaire.
        (a)  Defences.  The Second Lieutenant said that following the British Commando raid on St. Nazaire, the defences had been considerably strengthened.  The harbour was now defended by 11", 8", 5.9" and 4.1" batteries.  In addition there were four groups of torpedo tubes mounted ashore.  Each group had four tubes.  The tubes were mounted in cavities which had been in solid rock and were considered bomb-proof.  Fire was controlled from an armoured turret.  It was believed that "curly" torpedoes were used, which were loaded by special motor.  It was possible to fire a salvo of sixteen torpedoes.
          Along the shore at La Baule sentries were posted every thirty yards.  There was a large number of 2" and 3" anti-tank guns.  This was the front line.  100 yards behind this line on the further side of the beach road was the second line.  About 1-1/2 miles behind the second line  
- 17 -


were mortar batteries in strongly protected emplacements.  It was claimed that these mortar batteries had plotted their field of fire so carefully, and had exercised so often, that they could lob a mortar on to any given square yard of sand.
        7.9" batteries had been placed at Monteir, about 5 miles north-east of St Nazaire.
        (b)  Shelters.  Prisoners said that thirty-two bombs had fallen on the U-boat shelters, but they had not suffered any damage.
        An attempt to blow up the shelters was made in December, 1942, but the explosives intended for the purpose were discovered in time.
        The top of the shelters had been widened to cover the railway lines behind them so that trains might be protected.
        (c)  Air Raids.  Following the recent devastating air raids anti-aircraft batteries round the town had been strengthened by the addition of twin 105 mm. (4.14") guns.  There were about eight to ten of these batteries in all.
        (d)  Quarters at La Baule.  U.607's ship's company were quartered at La Baule when their boat was docked.  They were billeted in hotels and villas which had never been bombed.  They were taken to and from St. Nazaire in motor coaches, the journey lasting half an hour.
        (e)  Shipping in St. Nazaire.  A large amount of merchant shipping was said to be concentrated in St. Nazaire, and rumor had it that this shipping was intended for the invasion of Great Britain.
        Particular ships which were mentioned were:  "EUGENE POTRON", an ex-French minelayer of about 350 tons with one funnel and two masts, which had laid a field of twenty ground mines just off the mole; these mines could be fired electrically from shore.
        Minesweepers:  three or four were stationed at St. Nazaire.
        Sperrbrecher:  a new Sperrbrecher of about 600 tons had arrived.  She had one funnel and two masts.  This Sperrbrecher had a high anti-aircraft platform aft carrying a 20 mm. mounting.  She was fitted forward with a knocker or some similar sweeping device.
        (f)  U-boats.  The 6th and 7th Flotillas are based on St. Nazaire.  U.607 belonged to the 7th Flotilla, which comprised twenty-two U-boats in all.  The 6th Flotilla was thought to be smaller.
       During June, 1943, four U-boats belonging to St. Nazaire failed to return to base.
        (g)  Personalities.  Korvettenkapitän Herbert Sohler, S.O. of the 7th Flotilla distinguished himself during the Allied Commando landing in St. Nazaire by proceeding with a Tommy gun to the shelters and burning Most Secret documents.  Sohler then boarded H.M.S. CAMPBELTOWN and had just left her when she blew up, killing 150 dockyard personnel.  For his exploits Sohler was given the Iron Cross 1st Class.
        The Captain said that he thought that some of the U-boats proceeding to the Far East were to be used to attack Russian shipping off Vladivostok.  There had been difficulty in negotiating with the Japanese for a suitable base of operations, as the Japanese were still reluctant to jeopardise the existing Non-aggression Pact between Russia and Japan.  The Captain thought that these difficulties had been overcome.
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(i)    German Fighter Aircraft in France.
        Prisoners complained of the comparative scarcity of German fighter aircraft in France.  The regular train carrying U-boat men to and from Germany and the french bases had been shot up so often that it had had to be fitted with a special A/A wagon.
(ii)    German Naval Staff.
        An officer made some general observations about German Naval Staff organisation.
        The rank "Admiralstabsoffizier" (Admiral's Staff Officer) is abbreviated as "Asto" 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.  The following explanations were given:
        Asto 1:  Staff Officer (Operations)
        Asto 2:  Liaison with G.A.F. Employment of Naval Air Arm.
        Asto 3:  Liaison with Fleet.
        Asto 4:  Liaison with minesweepers (?).
        The "Bildungsinspektien" (inspectors of training) is directly subordinate to the Admiralty (O.K.M.)
        Personal matters for ratings are handles by the staff administration of the North Sea and Baltic depots.
        Naval brigades were said to be under the command of an Admiral who is responsible to an Army Group.
(iii)    German Admiralty.
        The Second Lieutenant said that Admiral Dönitz had dismissed about two thirds of the staff of the German Admiralty.  While these changes were progressing he had moved the Admiralty from the Tirpitzufer in Berlin to wooden barracks in the Berlin suburb of Zchlendorf.  When the changes were completed the Staff had moved back to the Tirpitzufer.
(iv)    Factories for War Production.
        A factory for U-boats batteries is now in production at Wöllersdorf near Vienna.  It adjoins a large rolling-mill.
        A factory for aircraft engines is in production at Krumau (Austria).
        At Wiener-Naustadt (Austria) munitions factories have been built in woods between the railway and the Neukirchenallee.
(v)    Supplying of U-boats in Neutral Harbours.
        The Second Lieutenant hinted that German freighters in Vigo and Cadiz harbours were still supplying U-boats at night time.  The U-boats spent the daylight hours submerged alongside the freighters (N.I.D. Note:  See C.B. 4051 (36).  There is no confirmation of this statement which is not credited.)
(vi)    Neptune Yard, Rostock.
          This building yard completed its first U-boat early this year.  It was extremely badly built and before work had gone far on the second of the series, workmen had to be brought from Blohm und Voss and Germania, Kiel.  
  (vii)    "Goliath" Radio Transmitting Station.  
          The Second Lieutenant said that a radio station of enormous power had been built near Stettin.  It was known as the Goliath transmitter.  It operated on a 28,500 metre wave band at a strength of 1,000 Kilowatts.  The valves were over thirty-six feet high.  The aerials were an average of 5 inches in diameter and were 600 feet high.  Walls of concrete some yards  
thick/ . . .
- 19 -


thick protected the station from the transmissions.  When working at half strength the station had been picked up by U-boats submerged to 180 ft. operating off the coast of America.
        It was said that Siemens, who had built the station at Hitler's express orders, refused to guarantee its safety at full strength.  The energy at half strength was so stupendous that, when the station was transmitting, lights fused in the district, door bells and telephones started ringing, and electric irons and ovens had become hot.  The station had affected livestock in the vicinity and cows had been made sterile by it
        It was thought that the station would be particularly useful for U-boats operating in the Indian Ocean or Pacific.  When heard in mid-Atlantic the station was said to be deafening.
- 20 -


        Very little information regarding U.607's early history was obtained, as the only survivor who had served in her since commissioning was the Captain, Oberleutnant zur See Jeschonnek.  He was not communicative.
        U.607 was built by Blohm und Voss, Hamburg.  She was believed to have been commissioned on 29th January, 1942.  Her Captain at the time was Kapitänleutnant Ernst Mergerson, who had won the Ritterkreuz on 23rd November, 1941, when in command of U.101.
        U.607 was five months working up in the Baltic and it is believed that the various trials and exercises she underwent were delayed, in the early months of the year, by ice conditions.
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(i)    First Patrol:  24,000 tons sunk.
        U.607 is believed to have left Kiel on her first operational patrol on 9th July, 1942.  She reached the Atlantic and was proceeding south, when the position of a convoy in the North Atlantic was reported by Korvettenkapitän Erich Topp, then commanding U.552.  U.607 closed the position and succeeded in sinking ships totaling 24,000 tons.  She broke off her attack after she had been depth charged.  She returned to St. Nazaire towards the end of August.
(ii)    Second Patrol:  U.607 heavily damaged.
        U.607 left St. Nazaire on approximately 10th October, 1942.  Her area of patrol was in the North Atlantic, but at one time she reached a position about 500 miles south-west of the Azores, when the stern was trimmed down and the ship's company bathed in the sea.
        This patrol was terminated by an attack on a convoy, when possibly some small success was achieved.  A very heavy depth charge attack followed and pattern exploded round the U-boat at 150 feet and again at 400 feet.  A column of water entered the Diesel room with such velocity that instruments it struck were flattened beyond recognition.  The U-boat sank to 600 feet before she could be checked.  All tanks were blown, and in a manner which the ship's company thought miraculous the U-boat was brought to the surface.  It was night time and U.607 escaped detection by surface craft.
        After some hours the U-boat was successfully repaired, but not before Lieutenant (Ing.) Russ, the Engineer Officer, had quarreled with Mengersen and expressed his opinion of him in emphatic and vulgar terms.  This incident occurred in the presence of a number of the ship's company and a Propaganda Company photographer who was a guest on board.  Mengersen rebuked Russ at the time, and intimated that he had not heard the last of the matter.
        The U-boat finally managed to make St. Nazaire towards the middle of November.  Russ was reported, court-martialed and found guilty of insubordination.  He was dismissed from the service and sentenced to eight months' detention in a fortress and four months' imprisonment.
        Repairs to U.607 took some six weeks to complete.
(iii)    Third Patrol:  A 12,000-ton tanker sunk.
        U.607 left St. Nazaire towards the middle of January, 1943.
        On this patrol to the North Atlantic she carried Pi.2 pistols for the first time.  It was claimed that a 12,000 ton tanker was sunk off Newfoundland.  Two torpedoes were fired, one being fitted with a Pi.2 pistol.  Both torpedoes hit and exploded.  It was estimated that the crew of the tanker numbered 49, with 18 naval gunners.  It was thought that, owing to the intense cold, none survived.
        On this patrol U.607 was never attacked by either surface vessels or aircraft.  She returned to St. Nazaire in March.
        Before sailing on the next patrol Kapitänleutnant Mengersen relinquished command to take up a shore appointment at Hel Peninsula.  Oberleutnant zur See Jeschonnek, her previous First Lieutenant assumed command.
(iv)    Fourth Patrol.
        U.607 left St. Nazaire in April and was attacked, when crossing the Bay of Biscay, by a searchlight aircraft.  Prisoners claimed shooting out the searchlight, thereby thwarting the attack.
        U.607 was proceeding towards Greenland when she was ordered to join one of three patrol sweeps named 'Donau I', 'Donau II' and 'Elbe' then operating in the North Atlantic.  It was said that the three sweeps were made
up/ . . .
- 22 -


up of forty-four U-boats in all.  The three sweeps were later welded into one Group known as 'Gruppe Donau', which was employed to attack a convoy which had been reported by a U-boat commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hasenschar.  This attack took place between the 1st and 10th May.
        Extravagant claims were made of 156,000 tons of shipping sunk from this convoy over a period of four days and four nights.  It is not known what part U.607 played in this attack.  It was certainly not considerable and may only have amounted to one ship damaged.  The Second Lieutenant, a horn yarn-spinner, gave a glowing account of the course of events, the reliability of which may be judged from the fact that he was under the impression that the convoy was an eastbound one.  (N.I.D. Note:  The attack referred to is most probably that on O.N.S. 5 (westbound), on 5th May.  Twelve ships were torpedoed in general position 530N 440W.  Eleven of those ships were sunk, totaling 50,624 tons.)
        The Captain said that after firing four torpedoes at a ship in convoy and possibly damaging it, U.607 was hunted by a corvette.  The U-boat had a considerable start and did not dive.  Fire was opened by the corvette at extreme range, but all shells fell wide.  Finally when U.607's port Diesel broke down she submerged.  A number of ineffective depth charge attacks were made, over a period of seven hours, during which time U.607 twice surfaced and was twice forced to submerge again.  U.607 surfaced a third time to find mist covering the sea and she then withdrew on the surface.
        After this escape U.607 shaped course for base.
        On 16th May she encountered and sank "IRISH OAK" registered in Eire.  (N.I.D. Note:  "IRISH OAK", 5,589 tons, was sunk 850 miles West of Ushant on 15th May, 1943.  The sinking was subsequently the subject of questions asked in the Dail.)  The Second Lieutenant excused the sinking by saying that "IRISH OAK" was obviously a "Q" ship.  He alleged that she was sailing at night without lights, zig-zagging, and traveling at fourteen knots, although she appeared capable of barely half that speed.  The name "IRISH OAK" could not be found in the U-boat's register of Allied merchant shipping although it was clearly visible on the sides of the ship, as was the neutral Eire Flag.
        Two torpedoes were fired and both struck the ship, which slowly sank; by the head.  About sixty men were seen taking to the boats.  The Second Lieutenant thought that this was twice the normal complement.  He estimated the ship to be of 2,500 tons.
        After this attack U.607 was in touch with two more convoys, one bound from Gibraltar to England and one from England to Gibraltar, but no attack was made by her.
        U.607 reached St. Nazaire on 29th May.  She was delayed for four hours at the 25 fathom line waiting for her escort.  She had no air protection during the delay, and had she been attacked she could not have dived owing to the danger of mines.
        U.607 spent over a month in dock while her conning tower was modified and her new A/A armament fitted.  The quadruple 20 mm. gun was mounted on 2nd July and was tested during a trial run on the following day.
        Survivors said that shortly before U.607 was due to sail a mild form of dysentery attacked the ship's company.  Jeschonnek was particularly ill.  The effect of this complaint was to lower vitality generally.
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        The complement of U.607 numbered 51.  Of these men 7 were officers, 3 Chief Petty Officers, 12 Leading Hands and 29 Other Ratings.  The unusually large number of Officers is explained by the fact that a supernumerary Engineer Officer for training was carried as well as a Surgeon Lieutenant, the latter because casualties resulting from air attack in the Bay of Biscay were anticipated.
        Four officers including the Captain, and three ratings survived.
(i)    Captain.
        Oberleutnant zur See Wolf JESCHONNEK was 24 years of age on the day his U-boat was sunk.  He is of the 1938 Term.  He had served in U.607 since her commissioning, as a First Lieutenant for three patrols and as Captain for two.  Previously he had served in minesweepers and in "SCHLESIEN".
        He is a half brother of the late General Jeschonnek, of the German Air Force, who was popularly regarded as the fertile source of many of Hitler's "intuitions".
        Although only 23 when given command of U.607, Jeschonnek was regarded as an efficient officer and his popularity with his men was unquestioned.  He was of a superstitious turn of mind and said that he had a premonition of the loss of a favorite cap which he had worn during all his previous engagements and which he regarded as a talisman.  The cap was blown overboard a day before U.607 was sunk.
(ii)    First Lieutenant.
        Leutnant zur See Egon HORSMANN, the First Lieutenant, is 21 years of age.  He had taken part in three patrols of U.607 having originally served as midshipman.  He was due to leave the U-boat after the patrol on which she was sunk, in order to attend a Commanding Officer's course.
        Before joining U.607, HORSMANN had served in minesweepers and in U.9 when that boat was attached to a School Flotilla in the Baltic.  He was not regarded as particularly capable by the rating survivors.  He was quite pleasant to talk to but was extremely Nazi minded.
(iii)    Second Lieutenant.
        Leutnant zur See Friedrich GASSAUER, the Second Lieutenant, is just 22 years of age.  He is a Viennese.  He had taken part in the last two patrols of U.607 and had previously served in U.213 under Oberleutnant zur See von VARENDORFF.  He claimed that at one time he had served on the staff of Admiral MARSHALL.
        His Captain had a poor opinion of him as a seaman and said that the only thing he worried about was the machine guns.
        To speak to, GASSAUER was a pleasant type, but he was given to boasting and embroidery of known facts.  He said, however, that it was his inner conviction that Germany had already lost the war and that the U-boat arm was beaten.
(iv)    Midshipman.
        Oberfähnrich Gerhard TESCKE, the fourth Executive Officer, is 19 years of age.  He was making his first patrol in U.607, but he had previously served in another U-boat.  He was extremely security conscious.
(v)    Engineer Officer.
        Oberleutnant (Ing.) DÖBKEN, the Engineer Officer, did not survive.  He was about 31 years of age and had been promoted from the Lower Deck.  He was said to have been extremely popular and efficient.  He had made three patrols in U.607.
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(vi)/ . . .


(vi)    Probationary Engineer Officer.
        Nothing is known of Leutnant (Ing.) RÖSSLER who was making his first patrol in U.607 as Engineer Officer under training.  He did not survive.
(vii)    Surgeon-Lieutenant.
        Marinestabsarzt Dr. MÜLLER had been appointed to U.607 shortly before she sailed on her last patrol.  His presence was an indication that casualties were expected in the Bay of Biscay among the guns' crews and for this reason he caused uneasiness among the ratings.  It was said that a superstition exists in the German Navy that the presence in small ships of medical officers of the rank of Surgeon-Lieutenant and above presages fatalities among the ship's company.
        (N.I.D. Note:  There is a rank in the German Navy corresponding to Surgeon-Sub-Lieutenant).  Dr. MÜLLER did not survive.
(viii)    General.
        Among the forty-four ratings were two "Flakspezialisten" (See Section V (xi)) and one Ordnance Artificer, all sailing as supernumeraries following the mounting of the new A/A armament.  Only three ratings survived.  One of these had been twice court-martialed and had served two terms of imprisonment; one for six weeks for having contracted gonorrhea after having failed to take proscribed prophylactic precautions and one of three months for theft.  The Captain considered his men a tried and experienced ship's company.
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Nominal Roll of U.607.
(i)   Survivors:
Name Rank English Equivalent
JESCHONNECK, Wolf Oberleutnant zur See Sub-Lieutenant (senior)
HORSMANN, Egon Leutnant zur See Acting Sub-Lieutenant (junior)
GASSAUER, Friedrich              do            do
TESCHKE, Gerhard Oberfähnrich zur See Midshipman (senior)
LANEDZIEWITZ, Karl Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
JANTZEN, Victor Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class
UNTERHOLLENBERG, Günther Matrose I  
Chief & Petty Officers:
(ii)    Casualties:
Name Rank English Equivalent
DÖBKEN Oberleutnant (Ing.) Sub-Lieutenant (E) (Senior)
MÜLLER, Dr. Oberarat Surgeon Lieutenant
RÖSSLER Leutnant (Ing.) Sub-Lieutenant (E) (Junior)
MEYER Obermaschinist Chief Stoker & Chief Engine Room Artificer 1st of 2nd Class.
SCHINDLER              do            do
SCHMIDT Obersteuermann C.P.O. (Navigation)
KOHMANN Bootsmannsmaat Leading Seaman (Seaman's Branch)
MOCK              do            do
FLEUREN              do            do
SCHULTZ Maschinenmaat Leading Stoker & Engine Room Artificers 5th Class
SACHMANN              do            do
WESSLING              do            do
KONRAD              do            do
BRITTING              do            do
GROTH (?)              do            do
KOCH Funkmaat Leading Telegraphist
HALFMANN              do            do
SCHNIDT Mechanikersmaat Leading Seaman
JUSTEN Matrosenobergefreiter Able Seaman
ROTH              do            do
SANDER              do            do
SCHNEIDER              do            do
APPEL Maschinenobergefreiter Stoker, 1st Class
KEMPER              do            do
CIUPKA              do            do
HÜBSCHER              do            do
PETRAT              do            do
WEGNER              do            do
WIDMANN Funkobergefreiter Telegraphist
WORTMANN              do            do
EMILIUS Mechanikerobergefreiter Able Seaman
HÄFELE              do            do
JÄGER Matrosengefreiter            do
HOHWILLER              do            do
JANTZ              do            do
WINTERHALTER              do            do
KALHÖFER Maschinengefreiter Stoker, 1st Class
TRAUTVETTER              do            do
KIRCHHOFF              do            do
?              do            do
LINDNER Matrose I Ordinary Seaman
VOGS              do            do
HEISS Matrose II Stoker, 2nd Class
BROSCHK              do            do
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Officers/ . . .



Chief & Petty Officers:
(iii)    Total Crew:
Chief & Petty Officers:
- 27 -



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