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half of which were destroyed by the Allies.

Out of 39,000 men

who served aboard German U-boats, 27,082 perished. In the
midst of World War II, in January 1943, he was called to replace
Adm. Erich Raeder as commander in chief of the German Navy.
His loyalty and ability soon won him the confidence of Hitler. On
April 20, 1945, shortly before the collapse of the Nazi regime,
Hitler appointed Dönitz head of the northern military and civil
command. Finally - in his last political testament - Hitler named
Dönitz his successor as president of the Reich, minister of war,
and supreme commander of the armed forces. Assuming the
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log reins of government on May 2, 1945, Dönitz retained office for
only a few days. In 1946 he was sentenced to 10 years'
imprisonment by the International Military Tribunal at
Nuremberg. He was released from prison in 1956.

Notes Regarding The F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

August 15, 1939 to January 15, 1945

Without this "composite" collection, researchers have to

struggle through a series of nearly 130 separate reports
to follow the sequence of 'expectations and reports'
about the movement of Germany's WWII U-Boats, a time-
Karl Dönitz consuming exercise which, for many, thankfully, can be
short-cut here by simply using the Edit / Find facility on
Karl Dönitz, (b. Sept. 16, 1891, Grünau in Berlin, Germany - d. the computer toolbar and entering no more than the
Dec. 22, 1980, Aumühle, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany), number of the U-Boat in question.
president of Germany (1945). He entered the German Navy in
1910 and during World War I served as a submarine officer in the The reports here may be found in the archives of The U.S. Naval
Black Sea and the Mediterranean. After the war he continued his Historical Center (NHC), at The Navy Yard, Washington D.C. and
naval career first as commander of a torpedo boat and later of too, in German, in The U.S. National Archives and Records
the cruiser Emden. In the aftermath of Adolf Hitler's accession to Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, a suburb of
power, despite the Versailles Treaty's absolute ban on German Washington D.C..
submarine construction, Dönitz clandestinely supervised the
creation of a new U-boat fleet, over which he was subsequently Not included here, is either the report for the period October
appointed commander (1936). Because of the shortage of 16 to 31, 1943, the original, unfilmed, to be found as item RM
materials and the priority Hitler gave to the Luftwaffe, Germany 87/32, in the custody of the Bundesarchiv-Abt. Militararchiv, or
had only 25 U-boats capable of service in the Atlantic at the the reports from January 16 to April 21, 1945, which are
outbreak of World War II. By the end of the war, however, around understood to be found elsewhere, in German, on 'microreels
1,000 U-boats had been built and placed in service, more than 3900 and 1755-1759, 1995'.
Only the opening report, for August 15 to September 15, a) 10 U-boats to sail 19.8 (Orders are ready and will be
1939 has been 'tidied up' for ease of reading and issued).
introduction, those following being 'text scans' of the b) 4 U-boats of the 2nd U-Flotilla are to sail with the
translated reports and, being 'unedited further', above (Arranged, see 1330).
interrupted by Date, Position, Wind, Weather and Sea c) These 4 boats to be replaced by boats of the 5th U-
State, Illumination, Events, Time, Air Pressure and Flotilla.
Moonlight etc. 'log book page column headings', these d) Further boats are to be made ready quickly and it is
'page layouts' adhered to by the various translators. to be reported when they are ready. Staff officer to
Eckenfoerde to see about U-42.
Anyone who might be tempted to continue the scheme of
highlighting and 'tightening up' of the 'raw text' reports should 2240 "Memel" arrived, having been recalled, with 1 G7a (T.N.
be prepared set aside some 400 hours of work, around some air-driven torpedo) and 15 G7e (T.N. electric torpedo) belonging
three months of their lives, to complete the works initiated here, to 7th U-Flotilla on board to be handed over to boats of the 7th
the product 'cosmetic' rather than of any much extra U-Flotilla.
functionality !
15 August 1939 (Kiel) 2300 The question of giving U-58-59 another torpedo practice
with a target ship and 4 torpedo recovery vessels was
1200 Telephone call from Supreme Command of the Navy considered, but the project was later abandoned as impractical
(Lieut.(s.g.) Fraesdorf) saying that the officers' party for U-boat in view of the general situation.
officers was to be on Saturday 19.8 and as many as possible
were to be present. Were there no orders ? 16 August 1939
1300 Following steps taken : 0230 S.O. 6th U-Flotilla arrived and was informed of duties and
situation in accordance with "emergency exercise North Sea."
1) F.O. U/B informed by telephone. He then left on board U-37 for Wilhelmshaven, with orders for U-
2) Deputy S.O. of 2nd U-Flotilla, Lieut. Franz, informed. 28 / U-29 / U-33 / U-34, to prepare his boats.
U-28 / U-29 / U-33 / U-34 can be ready by Saturday.
3) C.O. of U-26 informed of emergency order for North 1007 Decision by Supreme Command of the Navy: radio
Sea. Detailed orders received later through S.O. service to begin 0800/19/8 German Summer Time.
6th U-Flotilla.
4) 6th U-Flotilla ordered by radio to break off firing 1140 Orders received from F.O. Scouting Forces for case WEISS.
5) U-57 recalled from Pillau, U-47 from Neustadt. U- 1315 Telephone call from Group West, C-in-C Group West wishes
48, with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla on board, recalled and to see F.O. U/B-designate personally.
S.O. 7th U-Flotilla informed of the North Sea
emergency exercise. He is making preparations 1400 F.O. U/B returned from leave. Chief of Staff handed over
immediately. U-45/51 will arrive, tonight. to F.O. U/B.
1700 T/P from Supreme Command of the Navy received :
1500 Arranged with Supreme Command of the Navy for U-boat
radio service to begin at 0000/19/8, so that the boats can put to F.O. U/B West Lieut. Comdr. Ibbeken, with Lieut. Loof
sea as soon as ever possible. (Staff office) and staff of 1st and 2nd U-Flotillas

1530 F.O. U/B arranged to see C-in-C Group West at 1730/18/8. Also F.O. U/B Baltic At the disposal of Commander
Schomburg with staff of F.O. U/B Baltic.

17 August 1939 If case WEISS should develop into a major action, F.O. U/B
would go to Wilhelmshaven with ERWIN WASSNER.
Instructions to 2nd, 6th and 7th U-Flotillas :
1130 F.O. U/B took leave of the C.O.s of the 7th U-Flotilla, who
6th U-Flotilla to sail, with Flotilla S.O., at 0000/19/8. are going into the Atlantic.
7th U-Flotilla to sail at 0000/19/8.
4 boats of 2nd U-Flotilla to follow at first light on 19.8 or 1430 F.O. U/B flew to Wilhelmshaven. Took leave of the C.Os of
later. the 6th U-FLotilla and 4 C.O.s of the 2nd U-Flotilla who are
going into the Atlantic. F.O. U/B gave personal
Station Commands will supply the boats of the 3 flotillas instructions to the S.O. of the 6th U-Flotilla who is going
with 2nd watch-keeping officers. into the Atlantic in U-37. F.O. U/B introduced S.O. of 2nd
U-Flotilla, who is taking over the duties of F.O. U/B West, to
1900 During a telephone conversation with Wilhelmshaven it the Group Command. F.O. U/B ordered U 31/32/35 to be in
came out that there were not enough operational torpedoes Kiel on the afternoon of 21/8 and the C.O.s to come on
ready. This was immediately reported by telephone to Berlin. board ERWIN WASSNER to receive orders. "Saar" to be in
See also F.O. U/B's special report on operational torpedoes, of Kiel at 0700/21/8 to re-adjust mines if necessary.
which there are an insufficient number in spite of F.O. U/B's
urging the matter for nearly 4 years. 19 August 1939

18 August 1939 0000 The following sailed :

0900 S.O. 3rd U-Flotilla informed that F.O. U/B had decided to U 45/46/47/48/52 from Kiel
finish watchkeeping officers' torpedo-firing practice; and U 37/38/39/40/41 from Wilhelmshaven
boats then to enter port on Friday night (18/19/8) to U 28/29/33/34 from Wilhelmshaven.
receive further orders.
0800 S.O. 6th U-Flotilla, in U 37 was put in tactical command.
1000 After consulting with Supreme Command of the Navy the F.O. U/B remains in operational command.
following organization was approved by Naval War 0900 S.O.s of 3rd and 5th U-Flotilla arrived for conference.
Staff(1st Division) : Orders were issued and the 3rd and 5th U-Flotillas
instructed to be in the Rügen and Warnemünde sea areas
F.O. U/B with staff on board ERWIN WASSNER respectively on the evening of 22/8. Depot ships to
remain at sea until Y hour. Flotillas fitting out. F.O. U/B
took leave of S.O.s. He did not take leave of the C.O.s of U 27 evening of 22/8
these flotillas as their duties are not so vital for the U 26 evening of 32/8
present. U 53 evening of 26/8
1030 Chief of Staff phoned the Commander of the U-boat
school. Firing practice to be continued until 26/8. F.O. U/B enquired whether all boats at readiness were to
Recovery vessels to stay. Aim to work 4 of the 7 C.O.s so be sent out or if it would not be better to keep some as
that they are ready for operations by the evening of 26/8. relief's or operational reserve. Supreme Command of the
3 boats to continue practice 28/8-2/9. Supreme Navy decided that all U-boats were to be used. The
Command of the Navy's orders "TREIBRIEMEN" and decision was received in the afternoon, times of sailing
PRISENSCHEIBE" arrived too late and can only be were to be reported.
delivered to the boats which have sailed by courier a/c by
night. 1000 Code word "ELEPHANT" received with additions
"SCHWEDEN 1, 2, 3" for F.O. U/B. This last order is only a
1130 Fleet Command had not yet been informed of the new preparatory order, as cleared up by telephone. C.O.s of
organization of F.O. U/B and was so informed by Hela boats were ordered to supply and will be instructed
telephone. by F.O. U/B personally as to their duties. They will take
over torpedoes at night, will sail at 0400/22/8 and are
1300 F.O. U/B and staff transshipped from "HECHT" to "ERWIN then to take over TM's (T.N.: torpedo-tube mines) and
WASSNER". report.

1500 F.O. U/B West instructed to convey all F.O. U/B's orders on Situation as at 21.8.1939
secret grid charts to the Group Command and also to
inform them that 4 U-boats will arrive on 30/8 at the I.) General
disposal of Group West (U 36, 1, 3 and 4).
1) Fitting out has gone according to plan, except for
20 August 1939 operational torpedoes The excessive number of orders
and code-words have been a disadvantage. Preliminary
0930 S.O. 1st U-Flotilla, returning from journey abroad, received plans were thought out in detail and to cover all
instructions and began fitting out. eventualities, but code-words are liable to be forgotten
Supreme Command of the Navy was requested to convey when it comes to carrying out.This causes worry and
to F.O. U/B any observations of U-boats made by English confusion . Transmission of instructions has also been
a/c. unreliable. For instance, F.O. U/B did not receive the
highly important order "to be at readiness on the evening
of 22/8" until 24 hours too late, and then only verbally. If
21 August 1939 peacetime organization differs from that on mobilization,
the peacetime method of transmitting orders must be
The following will be ready to fit out :
kept until new conditions are properly established.
U 50 evening of 21/8

2) Everything possibly was done to keep the preparations tactical commander and under the operational command
secret (e.g. by informing the S.O.s personally, breaking off of F.O. U/B.
current exercises to give priority to F.O. U/B's exercises
etc.). The mobilization of so many units can never be 4) My plans have all been restricted by lack of boats. The
kept absolutely secret. But, although the enemy can situation is, by the evening of 21/8 :
discover that something is happening, he cannot form any
clear idea. 7 U-boats of the 1st U-Flotilla ready with
Group West
3) The very confident attitude of the crews deserves 4 " 2nd " on their way to The
special mention. In my opinion it is a sign that the broad Atlantic
masses of the people have great faith in the government. 3 " 2nd " " The
4 " 5th " " The
II. Operational Situation 5 " 6th " " The
1) The number of U-boats at present in the Baltic seems 5 " 7th " " The
adequate. The development of the political situation with Atlantic
Russia will make it possible later to release boats of the
3rd and 5th U-Flotillas to reinforce the numbers in the Total 35 U-boats.
North Sea.
During the period up to 30.8.1939 the following will be ready
2) The North Sea patrols planned can start as soon as the and some on their way :
1st U-Flotilla has fitted out. I consider Group West's
complaint that the Northern Sector of the North Sea is 1 U-boat of the 2nd U-Flotilla (U30) sailing
insufficiently defended is justified. I therefore, intend to 0300/22/8 for The Atlantic
hasten the training of 4 of the 7 school boats so that they 1 U-boat of the 2nd U-Flotilla (U 27) sailing evening
can be at the disposal of Group West from 30.8. of 23/8 for The Atlantic.
1 U-boat of the 2nd U-Flotilla (U26) ready by
3) The Atlantic boats are on their way to their positions. I midday 26.8.
am of the opinion that the convoy system will not come 1 U-boat of the 7th U-FLotilla (U53) sailing
into full effect in the first days of the war. Even if the 1200/29/8 for The Atlantic.
government were to order it at once, there would still be 4 U-boats of the U-boat School (36/1/2/3/4) at
many single ships on the sea routes until it had got disposal of Group West from 30.8.
started. The important thing is to catch these ships at
once. A flotilla C.O. has been sent with the boats and it is Total 8 boats.
intended later to send a second S.O. Thus the boats can
always be divided into a N. and S. Group, each under a These are all the U-boats we can count on. (We cannot count on
the following 9 boats: U 2, U 8, U 10 of the U-boat school, U 42,
51 long dockyard periods, U 49, 60, 61 with U-boats trials Group by U 22. Remaining boats of 3rd U-Flotilla are to remain in
and U 11 with Communications Experimental Department). the Rügen area until further orders." F.O. U/B
A radio intelligence report of a cruiser and 8 steamers in
In order to occupy the positions, which are not many, without a the central North Sea points to convoys having been
break with the minimum of boats I would need a further 43 boats formed.
and an additional 43 boats which, as experience shows, would Commander Schomburg, with F.O. U/B Baltic's staff, took
be in dock undergoing overhaul. over Headquarters WALFISCH.
U 26 is expected to be ready to sail by 28.8.
Thus, for a war of some length, 130 U-boats should be
necessary. Even then I would have no reserves, so that I could Situation on 23.8.1939
send out 3 or 4 boats from home against a worthwhile transport
reported by the intelligence service. Also there are not enough Operational Control
boats for the Atlantic and none for remote sea areas. Therefore,
the minimum requirement to be aimed at 300 U-boats. F.O. U/B will exercise operational control as F.O. U/B (Naval War
Staff) and F.O. U/B Baltic. Commander Schomburg is at the
22 August 1939 disposal of F.O. U/B and will take over as F.O. U/B Baltic when F.O.
U/B is in the North Sea.
0700 "ERWIN WASSNER" sailed from Kiel to Swinemünde with
F.O. U/B. Lieut. Commander Ibbeken has taken over the duties of F.O. U/B
Non-agression pact (see also situation review). West. Lieut.(s.g.) Sobe is in charge in Kiel of duties and fitting
U 30 sailed at 0300 (Operations Order Atlantic No. 2), will out of boats which are not yet operational.
operate with U 27 at the N. entrance to the Irish Sea. This
was reported to Supreme Command of the Navy, also : Distribution of Boats
U 27 - ready at 1200/23/8
U 53 - ready at 1200/29/8 The following are on their way to the Atlantic :
U 26 - to be reported later. Boat is starting
working up with her new C.O. (Lieut. (s.g.) Ewerth) on 2nd U-Flotilla : U 28/29/30/33/34
23.8. 6th U-Flotilla : U 37/38/39/40/41
7th U-Flotilla : U 45/46/47/48/52
1500 Hela U-boats reported fitting-out completed.
U 27/26/53 will sail shortly.
1930 "ERWIN WASSNER" entered Swinemuende.
Thus all the boats available for the Atlantic have sailed and they
2230 Instruction by telephone from Group Command: cannot be relieved. If the situation continues as at present, or if
"Operation FRITZ cancelled. Written confirmation follows. war breaks out, the boats will begin to dribble back by about the
middle of September. Naval War Staff planned to recall the
The following radio message was made immediately to boats before their time and thus get a second wave, but I do not
the 3rd U-Flotilla: "Operation FRITZ cancelled. On receipt agree with this, as too much time is lost on the long outward and
of code-word only operation IRMGARD is to be carried out inward-bound passages. These long passages are due to the
order to proceed around the Faroes, on which Naval War Staff The boats will be sent to Wilhelmshaven at the disposal of
has insisted contrary to F.O. U/B's intentions. The S.O. of the 6th F.O. U/B West. F.O. U/B arranged by telephone with F.O.
U-Flotilla is in U-37. Later he can take over tactical command if U/B West (Lieut. Loof) to use the remaining boats for the
necessary if the situation makes it necessary to change the North Sea as follows :
operations order. 3rd U-Flotilla : Operation against English bases, after
North Sea : 1st U-Flotilla. 5th U-Flotilla : to relieve 1st U-Flotilla for operation
Baltic : 3rd U-Flotilla, 5th U-Flotilla and U 31/32/35. U 1/3/4 : operation North of the declared area.
3 boats of the U-boat school: U 5/6/7. S.O. 5th U-Flotilla is going to Kiel to relieve S.O. 7th U-
Flotilla when the later goes to the Atlantic.
Under training at U-boat school :
P.M. Operations order No. 3 Atlantic for U 28 and U 53 drafted.
1. Wave : U 1/5/4/36 U 53 with Lieut.(s.g.) Sobe off the North entrance to the
2. Wave : U 2/8/10 Irish Sea, outer position, U 28 to take over the inner
operations area from U 37.
Undergoing trials : U 60/61/49/42.
Not at war readiness : U 25/51/11. When these boats arrive there will be a flotilla S.O. North
and South and if a new disposition is made they can take
over tactical command. For the present however, boats
are to operate individually.

23 August 1939 2300 U 27 sailed. Reported to Supreme Command of the Navy.

S.O. 7th U-Flotilla has arranged for U 49/60/61/51 to do
A.M. After the non-aggression pact with Russia, some boats are firing practice from 28.8 or 4.9 to 9.9. These boats will
likely to be released from the Baltic. not be operational yet, however as they are still on trials
and under training and U 51 has to undergo alterations
On the orders of Naval War Staff reconnaissance of the lasting 3 months.
Gulf of Finland and off Gotland has been cancelled for
case WEISS. One boat is to remain off the Irmon Straits,
however, and one off Lipau. 24 August 1939
(Naval War Staff Most Secret 1796/39).
0430 Preparation period for case WEISS began, see F.O. U/B
At about the same time the order was given to apply Baltic's War Log.
"Transport exercise LUEBECK" to Danzig Bay only. This
releases: U 12/16/20/24 and 56. If "Transport exercise 1100 F.O. U/B telephoned Lieut.(s.g.) Fraesdorf, Naval War Staff
LUEBECK" is over by Y day for case WEISS (1st Division). F.O. suggested relinquishing the Turkish
U 14 and 18 will also be free. S/M Batiray and speeding up new construction. Naval War
Staff (1st Division) replied that no obvious preparations
were to be made at present, but preliminary steps could therefore, proposed to exchange boats of the 1st and 3rd
be taken towards manning the S/M. Flotillas. F.O. U/B agreed. LOOFF informed that the 3rd U-
Flotilla was not as far out as F.O. U/B had suggested.
1200 F.O. U/B's Chief of Staff telephoned Lieut(s.g.) Fraesdorf.
F.O. U/B wished to find out if S.S. "Ammerland" 25 August 1939
(ex-"August Schulze") could still be sent to Spain with
supplies of arms and ammunition. Naval War Staff (1st 0130 Code-word "Special Command ULLA" received. Re-
Division) replied that "Ammerland" was under repair. transmitted with "emergency" priority at 0140 to Naval
Repairs would be hastened as far as possible. Decision as Communications Officers Wilhelmshaven, List, Borkum,
to her sailing would depend on the situation. F.O. U/B info. F.O. U/B West.
further requested that, when danger zones were declared,
the area at present occupied by U-boats should not be 0400 The following sailed by order of F.O. U/B West : U 13, 15,
reduced. The boundaries of danger zones 200 miles West 17, 21, 23, 12, 16, 20, 24, 56, 58, 59.
of England, as planned in the war game of 1938/39 were Apparently therefore, F.O. U/B West exchanged U 9 and U
not sufficient. Naval War Staff (1st Division)(Fraesdorf) 19 for boats of the 3rd Flotilla.
replied at 1700 that the danger zones had not yet been
fixed and that F.O. U/B's wishes would be taken into 1025 U 9 and U 19 sailed at 1000.
account as far as possible.
1636 Following verbal instructions from Group Command, code-
1553 Atlantic boats informed that England and Poland are word for Y time case WEISS communicated to boats.
mobilizing and that the non-aggression pact had been
signed. This radio message was not passed on in 1800 Instructions by telephone from Supreme Command of the
Supreme Command of the Navy, as, according to Lieut. Navy to use U 26 and 53 with TMB's against English troop
Commander Reinicke, Naval War Staff (1st Division), embarkation ports. Discussion of this question was
Atlantic forces would be informed by Supreme Command postponed until the next day as at
of the Navy and not before 25.8. I do not agree with this.
F.O. U/B must be able to give his boats general 2018 Y order was cancelled. For details see F.O. U/B Baltic's War
information as well as just the dry bones of orders if good Log.
relations are to be maintained between him and his
subordinates. 2155 Provisional orders were given to prepare TMB's for U 26
and U 53.
2100 The boundaries of the G.A.F.'s operations areas in
accordance with Supreme Command of the Navy's Most
Secret 173/39 of 19.8, means canceling the mining
26 August 1939
operations planned for Calais and Dover. F.O. U/B
Use of TMB's in the English Channel.
suggested using boats which become available because of
this in the same way as the 3rd U-Flotilla. It will be
Contrary to 1938 plans, it was not intended to use TMB's in the
necessary for them to re-equip with torpedoes. LOOFF
English Channel now. Last year it was intended to use U-boats
said that the boats should sail tonight and it was
mainly against enemy forces of war because at the time, with the 6th and 7th Flotillas. I regard this as more important than
the few boats available, no success could be expected against mine-lays in the channel. Supreme Command of the Navy has
enemy merchant shipping. The use of TBM's off harbors where agreed to my proposal to use U 26 only with TM's for this reason.
there was strong anti-S/M activity could be considered because,
as things then stood, there would have been a certain element Result : after repairing a leak in a tank and fitting out, U 26 will
of surprise. sail in accordance with operations order Atlantic No. 4. She will
approach North of England (at 14 knots she could reach her
In accordance with Supreme Command of the Navy's waiting position in the West Channel in about 5 days). Operation
instructions, U-boats have now been disposed against enemy : to lay mines off the Spithead Roads, the Needles, Portland,
merchant shipping only. There were too few boats available to Plymouth or in the Bristol Channel. The place of laying will be
permit splitting them up and using some against merchant decided later.
shipping and some against forces of war and troop transports in
the Channel at the same time. The element of surprise will be U 53, with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla, will join the Atlantic boats as
lacking this year. Well-trained anti-S/M forces must be expected planned. Supreme Command of the Navy has accepted F.O.
to be in action already when U-boats arrive at the position where U/B's proposal not to use this boat with TM's.
mines are to be laid.
27 August 1939
Portsmouth, Portland, Plymouth and Falmouth are possible ports
off which mines could be laid. Falmouth is ruled out as it is not 2030 Supreme Command of the Navy, Naval War Staff (3rd
sufficiently important. In the main depths of 20-30 meters Division) requested to confirm that Atlantic U-boats have
(effective at 30 meters against ships of 8000 tons, displacement been informed that peacetime cypher memorands are still
and above) off all harbors are only found immediately off the in force, despite X time.
entrance, though off Portland and the entrances to the Needles
channel there are 20-30 meters outside the 3 mile zone. It is
presumed that mine-laying will be permitted outside this zone.
28 August 1939
At present, although all boats at all available are being used,
Anti-S/M activity is likely to be strong everywhere, especially off
there are not enough operational boats and the time has come
Portland where the A/S school is. Nevertheless it should be
to reconsider the question of new construction. It is intended to
possible to get the mines to the required position. Portland and
request Supreme Command of the Navy to do everything
Portsmouth are within the are reserved to the G.A.F. According
possible to speed up new construction. Only Supreme
to Supreme Command of the Navy, however, this does not
Command of the Navy can deal with purely constructional
matter. This leads one to wonder what point there is making the
delimitation at all. In any case, U-boats cannot operate in an
area where a/c have already laid mines.
1130 Chief of Staff discussed the question of communications
to U-boats with Lieut.(s.g.) Fraesdorf. It was decided
U-boat warfare must at all times be concentrated against
merchant shipping. For this reason it was planned to send out
1) As F.O. U/B (Naval War Staff) is in a different place
the S.O. of the 7th U-Flotilla in U 53, so that later 2 groups could
from Naval War Staff, Berlin will inform the Atlantic boats
be found under the respective tactical commands of the S.O.s of
direct of the political situation and the results of radio commanded a small boat, would have to work up with the
intelligence service. Information which has so far been boat and practice torpedo firing and laying TMs. The
sent to the boats will be forwarded to F.O. U/B in collected principle of putting an officer in command to suit the task
form and further information will be passed to him should not be accepted; the task must rather be suited to
currently. the abilities of the C.O. and boat combined.

2) F.O. U/B may, at his discretion, pass other U 59 This boat cannot be used for the task as her radius of
information to U-boats and inform Naval War Staff at the action is only just adequate for an outward passage of 10
same time. miles and a return passage of 8 miles, but leaves no
margin of reserve for the operations area. In my opinion
3) The transmission of operational orders is the therefore, the following are possible alternatives :
concern of F.O. U/B alone.
1) To use boats already in the Atlantic with torpedoes
A satisfactory solution has thus been reached. It remains to be on troop transport routes in the Channel. Those
seen in what form the results of radio intelligence of English boats are already in the vicinity of the operations
merchant shipping, contained in Supreme Command of the area.
Navy, Chief Radio Intelligence Depts. 2801 and Naval
Communications Officer Kiel's secret 2830 B, will be transmitted 2) To withdraw one of the 2nd U-Flotilla boats,
to the Atlantic boats. The report that English merchant ships are operating in the Baltic (U 31, 32, 35) and use this
not to use the normal routes shows that the wide loose for the Channel operation. The channel operation is
disposition of U-boats was right. more important than the one intended with these
boats off Hela. I consider that 2 boats are sufficient
1700 Telephone conversation Lieut. Fraesdorf with Chief of Staff to close the route off Hela in view of the few Polish
: the question of using another boat with TMB's against forces. U 32 should be the one to be withdrawn, as
English troop embarkation ports is to be reconsidered. The she is not being used to patrol off Hela and her
following possibilities were considered : patrol off the light buoy can be cancelled without
altering the remaining operations orders.
U 53 I consider the job of embarking the S.O. 7th U-
Flotilla as possible tactical commander more important 1745 Captain Fricke informed of my views by telephone. The
than using the boat with TMB's. Also, the boat already proposal to let U 53 sail with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla on 29.8 as
has her operations order, and if this is altered, it would planned was approved. Decision as to detaching one of
give the impression of indecision at high level. the 3 boats U 31, 32, 35 will be made later.

U 36 C.O. and crew have had no TM training. The C.O. has The following was radioed to Atlantic forces :
so far only been C.O. in the U-boat school and has not the
necessary experience for such a difficult task. It would Secret German mobilization
not be a good thing to change the C.O. and put Lieut.(s.g.) Position of English cruiser Ajax
Schütze in command. The present C.O. has worked up Closing of Mediterranean to English merchant shipping
with his boat, and Lieut. Schütze, who has so far only British Admiralty control of English merchant shipping
Use of old and new grid charts. 1530 Supreme Command of the Navy's Most Secret 3812
Wartime cypher material not to come into force etc. received, on the subject of oil and provisions. If the
Amendment to Communications order of 19.8 present state of emergency continues the supply of dry
provisions will be of first importance. It is doubtful if this
Therefore, the important information on the darkening of English can be gotten in Spain. I consider it necessary to send
merchant ships and their avoidance of the normal routes has not these provisions there either by air or by camouflaged
been transmitted. It is intended to wait and see whether Berlin ships.
transmits this information by 29.8, otherwise F.O. U/B will do so.
Supreme Command of the Navy has ordered that oil be
2212 The following further information has been radioed to transferred by funnel and a 45 mm. hose. At the moment
Atlantic forces : situation still uncertain, no hostilities, the boats have 60 mm. hose and adjustment for 90 mm.
continue on passage. As it is necessary to supply with oil in one night as quickly
as possible hose of a larger diameter than 45 mm. must
25 August 1939 be provided.

situation still uncertain, no hostilities, continue on 30 August 1939

1305 The information supplies to U-boats on 29.8 is incomplete
insofar as the important reports on the darkening of ships
26 August 1939 and diversion from the ordinary shipping routes were not
passed on by Supreme Command of the Navy. The boats
possibility of negotiations, instructions to merchant were therefore informed by F.O. U/B in radio message
shipping to put into German or neutral ports. T.O.O. 1305. There were numerous telephone
conversations between F.O. U/B and Naval War Staff about
the use of a further boat in the Channel, the organization
29 August 1939 of supplies of provisions and oil and the question of the
incomplete information sent to U-boats. The question
0900 A II requested Naval War Staff (3rd Division) (Lieut. Comdr.
therefore arises if F.O. U/B (Naval War Staff) should not be
Lucan) to inform boats of the "Areas" mentioned in
located nearer to Naval War Staff. It will be considered
Admiralty Instructions. This was agreed, provided they
further. Atlantic U-boats were informed of the sailing of U
were known in Berlin.
26, 27, 30 and 53 in radio message T.O.O. 1308.
1200 U 26 and U 53 (with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla) sailed
31 August 1939
1350 Lieut.(s.g.) Fraesdorf telephoned Naval War Staff's
decision that no other boat was to be sent to the Channel. A.M. Now that the Polish destroyers have sailed (see F.O. U/B
Atlantic U-boats have received a detailed review of the Baltic's War Log) the duties of the SALTZWEDEL boats in
political situation with Naval War Staff (1st Division's) the Baltic are redundant. It was therefore, decided with
Most Secret 5802. Naval War Staff by telephone and confirmed in writing :

U 35 will be used for minelaying in the Channel. Then 2 of the
1) that F.O. U/B should proceed to Wilhelmshaven as positions planned can be fouled. U 2, 8, 10 are to remain in
F.O. U/B West and F.O. U/B (Naval War Staff) and Neustadt for training engineer officers in particular. This was
2) that U 31, 32, 35 should be allocated to F.O. U/B decided after discussion with the Commander of the U-boat
(Naval War Staff). school. Supreme Command of the Navy approves. U 10 will be
exchanged with one of the small boats U 1, 6 when opportunity
1500 F.O. U/B left for Wilhelmshaven with 2 staff officers. occurs. In Most Secret 172 S.O. only I have set out my views on
the development of the U-boat Arm and submitted them to Fleet
1700 Arrived Wilhelmshaven and took over duties of F.O. U/B Command. It is true that the memorandum is based on the
West. F.O. U/BWest's War Log will be kept separately. assumption that there will not now be a war with England; but if
it should come to such a war the requirements set out here for
1830 Supreme Command of the Navy radioed Atlantic boats as the development of the U-boat Arm would be even more
follows in message T.O.O. 1743. important.

1) Start of hostilities against Poland 0445/1/9. 2 September 1939

2) Attitude of Western powers uncertain.
3) No attacks against English etc. forces, except in self Radio intelligence reports show that there is a rendezvous for
defense or by special order. inward-bound steamers in the Bristol Channel. This seems to
4) Boats to remain in waiting positions for the present. point to there being no protection for merchant shipping as yet
further out to sea. It is not possible to bring the boats up yet, as
1 September 1939 on the orders of Naval War Staff, they may not leave their
waiting positions.
A.M. The Atlantic boats will have to leave their operations area
when their fuel stocks are used up, on approximately the Supreme Command of the Navy abandoned the idea of using the
following dates : recovery vessels at present with the U-boat school as S/M
chasers under Group Baltic, after I had made representations.
2nd U-Flotilla to leave 15.9 home by 24.9 The vessels are urgently needed in Neustadt for training.
6th U-Flotilla " 19.9 " 3.10
7th U-Flotilla " 26.9 " 5.10 3 September 1939 - Outbreak of War with
These dates can only be estimated. It cannot be foreseen how
long it will take to overhaul boats when they get back. It will Naval War Staff made the following radio message to Atlantic
probably be about 3 weeks. There will therefore, be a big gap forces at 1256 : hostilities with England with immediate
from the middle of September. At present U 31, 32, 35 are effect. In order to avoid confusion with the order given on 31.8,
available as reserves. I intend to keep U 31 and 32 back for the radio message T.O.O. 1550 was made from here : "Open
present and to recall U 26 as soon as she has completed her hostilities against England immediately, do not wait to be
minelay, so that there will be at least something, at hand to attacked first." In radio message T.O.O. 1400 Naval War Staff
relieve Atlantic boats. ordered: "U-boats to make war on merchant shipping in

accordance with operations order." This should exclude any 1035 The sinking of the English SS "Athenia" became known
misunderstanding, as the operations order expressly orders war through radio intelligence and broadcasts. There is no
against merchant shipping in accordance with prize law. precise information as to the position of sinking.

1513 U 26 received orders for minelay off Portland, disregarding 1100 C-in-C Navy at headquarters. Short discussion on the
the 3-mile limit. Radio intelligence reports transport situation and on my memorandum on U-boat construction.
traffic from Portland and Weymouth is said to be a base
for east bound steamers. Supreme Command of the Navy The orders so far given were checked again after the
informed the boats of the steamer rendezvous in the sinking of the Athenia. It is inconceivable that they could
Bristol Channel. They have not been ordered to take be misinterpreted. Nevertheless, in order to make
action, as it is not known in what positions they have been absolutely certain, radio message 1655 was made, to call
waiting. boats' attention once more to the war against merchant
1752 Supreme Command of the Navy made the following to F.O. shipping in accordance with prize law: "Operations orders
U/B and Atlantic boats: "France considers herself at war para. VIa remains in force for the war against merchant
with Germany from 1700. Boats are to take no hostile shipping."
action against merchant ships for the present, except in 2353 Radio message from Naval War Staff to all U-boats: "By
self defense." the Fuehrer's orders no hostile action is to be taken for the
present against passenger ships, even if in convoy." There
This order means that, in war against merchant shipping is no definition of the term passenger ship. Nor do I think
according to prize law, French ships and cargoes must be that it could be defined in any way which would be of
released. It will not however be possible to avoid stopping practical assistance to C.O.s.
French ships, because the nationality of a ship cannot be
recognized for certain until she has been examined. 5 September 1939
4 September 1939 Convoy assembly points in the Bristol Channel are still being
transmitted to boats. Radio intelligence does not show any
Atlantic boats are informed of forces reported in their areas as success on the part of U 28, which is operating against these
they arise. But the information is so inaccurate that it will not be rendezvous.
of any practical use.
1700 U 32 sailed in accordance with operations order Atlantic
As soon as the new rendezvous for merchant ships in the Bristol No. 5. I intend to let the boat proceed through the
Channel became known U 26 was ordered, in radio message Channel for a minelaying operation off Portsmouth. It is
0930 to operate against this. I do not intend to make any true that instructions have been issued to English
extensive changes in the dispositions for the present. As long as merchant shipping that the Straits of Dover, outside the
the convoy system is not complete and the war against Downs, can only be passed at own risk. There are also
merchant shipping is to be conducted according to prize law, the various reports of buoys off Warne lightship and East
present disposition is correct. Goodwin lightship, but so far no reports or warnings of
minefields. In these circumstances I think it would be
wrong to exclude the Channel route. U-boats passed
through the Channel even in 1918. Radio intelligence The boats which are out at present will have to return during the
service reports that S.S. "Bosnia" and "Browning" have second half of September, except U 26 and 53. Then only 26, 53
been sunk. - probably by U 48 or U 47. and 31, 32 and 35 will be out. IF there are to be boats in the
Atlantic again by the first half of October, the 6th and 7th
2050 A radio intelligence report mentions mines in the Straits of Flotillas, or at least one of them, must be recalled immediately.
Dover for the first time. Therefore I think it is better for U These could then sail again at the beginning of October; it is
32 to sail around the North of England. U 17 must now be doubtful whether the 2nd Flotilla could put to sea again so soon
near the Downs; it is best to wait for her report before if they were recalled as their boats would probably need a longer
sending U 31 and 35 through the Channel. U 32 was overhaul. I am making an official journey to Berlin on 7.9 to
given orders accordingly. discuss this question and also the basic problem of whether U-
boats are to be used primarily against merchant shipping or
6 September 1939 naval forces.

Naval War Staff made the following radio message T.O.O. 1748: 7 September 1939
"The situation with France is still not clear. No hostile action is to
be taken against French units, including merchant ships, except Withdrawal of Boats from the Atlantic
in self defense. Merchant ships identified as French are not to be
stopped. Avoid incidents with France at all costs." So the French The first thing to be decided is whether the Atlantic boats are to
Merchant ships are to be treated better than the neutrals. operate against merchant shipping or against English Naval
forces. Real success against naval forces can only be expected
There are several radio intelligence reports which point to the if lured out of the ports into the open sea. Our surface forces are
introduction of the convoy system. Assembly ports Milford and so weak that they can hardly effect this. It is conceivable that
Plymouth. No clear picture can be expected after only 3 days at the main body of the English fleet, believed to be in Scapa, could
war. The boats will also not be able to be driven out by air attacks. But air attacks are not policy at the
report much now. I intend however, to let a few boats radio moment.It was therefore decided, in accordance with my
reports in a few day's time. proposal, to continue to use the boats against merchant
Radio intelligence service has picked up numerous U-boat
positions, mainly in Biscay (U47). Many of these are probably With an even distribution there would be about 6-8 boats out at
duplicated. If the war against merchant shipping is to be fought a time.Only chance successes can be achieved with those. I
according to prize law it is unavoidable that the boats' positions consider it better to alternate periods of few boats at sea with
will be revealed. periods of as many as possible and then score one large success
in one place, for instance the destruction of a whole convoy.
There are very many obviously fake reports, which show that
there is a wide-spread U-boat scare. There have been numerous In order to achieve this the ebb and flow of U-boats must be
telephone conversations with Naval War Staff on the subjects of made to correspond as far as possible with the ebb and flow of
U-boats in the Atlantic and the development of the U-boat Arm, merchant shipping. It is doubtful whether reconnaissance will
since C-in-C was here. make this possible later on. At the present moment however,
judging by information available to Supreme Command of the
Navy and the comparatively few successes reported by the radio West third U 37, 38, 39, 41; center third U 40, 45,
intelligence service, merchant shipping traffic is at a low level; 46 and East third U 47, 48, 52.
presumably stocks were brought up during the emergency
period and preparations are now being made for a convoy There is still no news of U 26. There is however no reason to
service. It is to be assumed that traffic will rise again about the worry, as the operation may have been delayed for a variety of
beginning of October. reasons.

It was therefore, proposed to recall the 6th and 7th U-Flotillas 1200 U 31 and 35 sailed according to operations order No. 6
and the proposal was approved by Naval War Staff. The order they are to occupy:
was given in radio message 1902/7/9. The remaining boats will U 31 Area C East of 90 West.
be re-distributed over the main areas : U 35 Area F East of 70 West.

U 30 and U 27 areas U and V off the North entrance to the It is probable, however, that, when they arrive, the boats which
Irish Sea. put to sea first (U 28, 29, 33, 34) will have to start on their return
U 28 Area C passage. New positions will therefore have to be ordered for U
U 29 Area E 26 and 32, and U 53, 27, and 30 which are remaining at sea.
U 33 Area J
U 34 Area F According to reports from U 17, which has returned from a
U 53 Area B mining operation in the Downs, there is no reason to suppose
that the Channel is not passable. U 31 and U 35 have therefore,
Although there has so far been no information of successes off been ordered to proceed through the Channel and to report their
the North entrance to the Irish Sea, I do not want to leave this observations of the situation there as opportunity arises.
area entirely unoccupied.
The results of the conferences on the development of the U-boat
8 September 1939 Arm are as follows : When C-in-C Navy visited Headquarters
West I gave him a short expose of my memorandum and
In order to make use of the return passage for purposes of emphasized the necessity of setting up a U-boat Department. C-
reconnaissance of the sea area Iceland-Shetlands-Norway, the in-C Navy said that large scale U-boat construction was planned
boats have been ordered in radio message 1445 to make the and that he intended to put a head of Department in charge of
following routes : this.

a) Between Iceland and the Faroes : On the 4.9 C-in-C Navy's adjutant rang up and said that C-in-C
North third U 45, center third U 46, South third U had read my memorandum. He did not however, in any
48/52 circumstances wish F.O. U/B to take over this commitment of
b) Between the Faroes and the Shetlands : Supreme Command of the Navy. C-in-C requested my views on
North third U 47/37, center third U 38/41, South the question of putting Rear-Admiral ARNAULD at the head of a
third U 39/40 U-boat Department to be formed. I replied that I would give my
c) Between the Shetlands and Norway : answer next day, as the fitting of such a post would have very
widespread consequences. I decided :
requirements, which the U-boat Department would have to fulfil
It is right that I myself should take over the commitment of as they stood.
developing the U-boat Arm, as head of the Department. It is
wrong in itself for the active service officer, who has directed the I told Admiral Schniewind that I did not think it possible to exert
training of the branch from the Start, who knows the officers and this influence from below and that effective and uniform control
ratings and what they can do and is known by them, to abandon could only be exercised from the top, i.e. from Berlin. Admiral
the control of the Arm branch at the very moment when this Schniewind said that the matter had not yet been decided and I
training is being put to the test. It is also possible that in the would in any case have another chance to state my opinion. On
future in a crisis, or if it is necessary to increase personnel to a the same day I told Captain Netzband when he rang up that I
large extent, the most experienced officer would be required to thought I should be head of the U-boat Department. On 6.9 it
endeavor to maintain morale and the standard of training of the became apparent that I would have to fly to Naval War Staff as
branch at its proper level. soon as possible, to discuss operational questions. When I was in
Berlin on 7.9 I set out my reasons for thinking that I should
On the other hand, it is a fact that the operational activities of become head of the U-boat Department in detail to :
the branch in its present state will soon be practically non-
existent and control of it therefore superfluous unless we 1) The head of Naval War Staff (1st Division), Captain Fricke, in
succeed in building up quickly a numerically strong and effective the presence of Commander Wagner and Lieut.(s.g.) Fraesdorf.
U-boat Arm. Captain Fricke and his officers were at first opposed to my
The task of creating this force must therefore be regarded as the making this appointment, because he considered my presence in
most important for the future of U-boats. It is therefore only the front line necessary, for the same reasons as I myself stated
right that the most experienced officer, who knows what the earlier; but he could not oppose my arguments and in the end
operational requirements are, should be entrusted with this task. agreed with me.
A large-scale U-boat construction program will certainly be
launched by C-in-C Navy personally, but its practical execution, 2) Chief of Staff, Naval War Staff, Rear Admiral Schniewind. He
involving questions and difficulties arising daily in all spheres, agreed to submit my reasons to C-in-C Navy in the evening,
requires initiative in detail from an officer in charge of it and when the latter was expected back from the Fuehrer. I
nothing can be done without a thorough specialist knowledge. requested in any case to have a personal interview with C-in-C
Navy before a decision was reached.
On 5.9 therefore, I explained my views to Chief of Staff Naval
War Staff (Rear Admiral Schniewind) in a long telephone On 8.9 Rear Admiral Schniewind telephoned: C-in-C Navy did
conversation, in the presence of Captain von Friedeburg. not wish me to come to Berlin. C-in-C would give me his reasons
Admiral Schniewind said that he would submit my views to C-in- for his decision that I should remain in my present position in a
C Navy, who was returning from Swinemuende in the afternoon. personal letter. Captain Siemens had been appointed head of
Admiral Schniewind rang me up on the evening of the 5th : C- the U-boat Department.
in-C Navy had said that in his opinion the present F.O. U/B could
not be spared from the front line. Admiral Schniewind also said 10 September 1939
that C-in-C Navy intended that the U-boat Department to be in
practice subordinate to F.O. U/B who would state his In radio message 0604 Naval War Staff gave the following
instructions in regard to French ships : "Enemy convoys may be
attacked North of the latitude of Brest even if they are escorted South of 510 27 mins., so as to exclude what are believed to be
by French or French and English forces. U-boats are not to take the most dangerous places.
action against passenger ships even if under escort."
Future boats on minelaying operations will only carry the most
1120 An extract from intelligence gained by Supreme Command essential secret documents and cypher material. This means
of the Armed Forces from London broadcasts was received that they will have to make directly for the laying position and
via Lieut. Fraesdorf, according to which a German U-boat return immediately when the operation has been carried out.
laying mines had been successfully attacked. On the They will not receive the signals made to the other boats in
same day (8.9) the Paris transmitter had stated that Naval Enigma but only the ones essential for themselves,
attacks on German U-boats were continuing and had been encyphered according to A.F.B. (T.N.: hand code system).
successful in at least one case. It is remarkable that this
information did not reach F.O. U/B until today, with 2 days After the order had been made to U 32, Naval War Staff ordered
delay. that all non-essential secret material held in U 32 was to be
destroyed before the operation. U 32 was given an order
This report must concern U 28, as there are no other boats on accordingly, with details. There was thus no longer any reason
minelaying operations at present. To clear up the situation U 26 to carry out the operation in the Bristol Channel rather than off
was ordered to report her position. Even if this is not answered Portsmouth. However, I refrained from altering the orders again.
there is still no reason to give up all hope. The boat may have
been attacked while laying mines and so damaged that she 2350 English warning to shipping received, via Chief Radio
cannot transmit. In any case I have ordered strictest secrecy for Intelligence Department: "The Shambles are to be passed
the present. to the south." This confirms that U 26 was the boat
attacked. She sailed on 29.8. She was supplied for 6
U 26 had a lot of secret material on board, including a complete weeks, i.e. until about the 10th October. Nothing further
set of cypher material. In F.O. U/B's Most Secret 146 C.O. of can be done therefore until the middle of October.
16.8.39 boats were ordered to land all their superfluous cypher
material. They were not ordered to land their cypher material so 11 September 1939
that the uses of the boats would not be restricted. If this boat
really was lost while minelaying cypher material may have fallen Radio intelligence report of the sinking of S.S. Firby (4683 BRT) in
into enemy hands. This risk is run in all minelaying operations square 1366 AM West of the Faroes. This success should have a
which of necessity have to be carried out in shallow water. very strong effect, as so far U-boats have not appeared in this
area. Radio intelligence reports of convoys are coming in in
U 32 is at present on her way to lay mines off Portsmouth. Even increasing numbers. The rendezvous in the Bristol Channel are
if U 26 is lost I see no reason to cancel this operation. The still being transmitted to the boats. Otherwise there is no clear
possible success is worth the risk. The danger of cypher picture.
material falling into enemy hands must, however, be avoided.
For this reason I requested Naval War Staff's approval to operate In radio message 2230 U 31, which should be West of the
the boat in the Bristol Channel, where there is less danger, Channel on the 12th or 13th, was ordered to proceed to area
rather than off Portsmouth. Naval War Staff agreed and U 32 East off the Bristol Channel, and U 35 and 34 East and West of
was ordered by radio message 1822 to carry out her operation 70 West in area F off the Channel.
she had abandoned the attempt to break through the
Discussed the organization and duties of the U-boat party at Channel. It is assumed that U 31 got through. Details of
Supreme Command of the Navy with Captain Siemens, the return passage of Atlantic boats passed to Group Baltic,
future head of the U-boat department and Commander F.O.I.C. Baltic defenses and F.O. U/B Baltic.
2030 U 26, 34, 35, given freedom of action to attack in the
whole of area F. This sea area is big enough for it.

12 September 1939 Now that the 6th and 7th U-Flotillas have left, the distribution is
as follows :
Atlantic boats on return passage were ordered to report when off
Norderney or Abelö. The boats should not be approaching the U 30, U 27 off the North Channel in areas U and V.
line Shetlands-Iceland. Little heard so far from U 30. In radio U 30 also has permission to attack in area V.
message 0950 she was ordered to make a situation report. U 53: Area B.
U 28, 31, 32 Area C off the Bristol Channel.
2115 U 30 reported in radio message 1451 "weather and U 29 Area B, West of the Channel.
visibility conditions unfavorable. Little traffic. S.S. U 26, 34, 35 Area F, West of the Channel (inside).
"Blairlogie" sunk.". It will not now be possible for this boat U 33 Area J (Biscay).
to come up into the Channel, her fuel stocks are not
sufficient. The other boats of the first series - U 28, 29, Revised list of contraband received in Naval War Staff's secret
35, 34 - will also soon have exhausted theirs. They were 6035. An extract was transmitted to Atlantic boats.
therefore ordered : 2300 "When fuel is used up return
North of the Shetlands. Chance to attack warships West 14 September 1939
of the Orkneys. U 30 to transfer operations area to
position V if possible." Analysis of sinkings known through radio intelligence shows that
2310 Returning boats were given instructions on the approach most of them were in U 29's area Radio message 0930 was
routes to Kiel and Wilhelmshaven. therefore made to U 55: "Extension to operations area seems
promising and is recommended."
13 September 1939
A.M. Conference with Admiral Superintendent of Dockyard on
0007 U 26 reported operation carried out in position BF 1828. the torpedo situation. Dockyard had stated that all G7e
Boat seems to have carried out her operation with issued were adapted for angled shots. U-boats were
determination despite anti-S/M activity. Radio message: accordingly informed on 7.9. Then, on the evening of the
"Well done!" Boat was ordered to operate in are F. 13th, the dockyard informed us by T/P that gyro-angling
gear had been fitted, but the tails had not been adapted.
0835 Radio message to Atlantic boats, informing them of These mistakes must not occur. It remains to be seen
warning to shipping along the line Dungeness - Downs whether this has caused misses. 90 degree angled shots
and mines off St. Catherine's lightship. U 35 reported that were cancelled.

P.M. Radio Intelligence Service reports that the steamers intelligence reports received point to an increase in
Vancouver City, British Influence and Faned Head have convoy traffic. Since 13.9 no more steamer rendezvous
been sunk; tonnage sunk has thus passed the 100,000 have been published in the Bristol Channel. This also
sunk mark. points to the convoy system being perfected.

15 September 1939 Towards evening U 45 entered Kiel. No success, as her position

seems to have been outside the areas frequented by
U 31 reported in radio message 0700: "Convoy in square 1253, shipping.
main course 2400, speed 10 knots." That is off the Bristol
Channel. This is the first clear report of a convoy. The boats in (signed) : Dönitz, Captain B.d.U.
the neighboring areas U 34, 29, 53, should now operate against
the convoy - they may have luck. I have dinned it into the C.O.s F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
again and again that they must not let such chances go by. It is
not possible to do anything from this end.In any case the boats 16 - 30 September 1939
must now be nearly at the end of their fuel. If only there were
more boats at sea now ! Nevertheless I still think it was right to PG30248
recall the boats - without then there would be a complete lack of
U-boats by the beginning of October, and by then there should
be more traffic.

So U 31 got through the Channel and had different experiences Date Position, Wind, Weather
than U 35. This shows that it is possible to pass through the and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Channel, even if not in all circumstances as is shown in the case Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
of U 35. I do not intend to use the Channel as the normal route.

In the course of the day U 46, 47 put into Kiel, U 37 into

Wilhelmshaven. U 47 reports that she has sunk : S.S. Bosnia 16.9
2407 BRT 3200 tons Sulphur; Rio Claro 4086 BRT 4777 tons
mixed cargo; Gartavon 1777 BRT 2900 tons ore. Group Headquarters West
In order to get further information on English trade
The boat was in her operations area for 4 days (3 - 7.9) after the routes, the amount of merchant shipping traffic and the convoy
outbreak of war. A very nice beginning. U 37 and 46 no success system, a collection of questions for investigation has been sent
- bad luck. Further details will have to be gathered from the to the intelligence service.
C.O.'s reports. The disposition of the next series of boats is With Supreme Command of the Navy, Naval War Staff
under constant consideration; they must destroy a convoy. (1st Division)'s Most Secret 6559 control of U-boats under F.O.
U/B Baltic passes to F.O. U/B West. For details see War Log of
2300 The Belgian S.S. Alex von Opstal is said to have been F.O. U/B West.
torpedoed by a U-boat near the Shambles. Her position is U 30 requested leave to call at Reykjavik to land a
within the area fouled by U 26. Numerous radio seriously wounded man; she reports slight damage to her bows,
2 tubes out of action. She has 2 captured Air Force officers on
board. Permission was given in radio message 0145. She will
probably put into Reykjavik during the night 16/17. The Consul The British radio published the sinking of the a/c carrier
is to be informed by Naval War Staff as late as possible, so that Courageous (22,500) tons by a U-boat. A wonderful success and
her movements will not be known too soon. U 26 made contact further confirmation of the fact that the English defense forces
with the convoy reported by U 31 at 1900/15. According to dead are not as effective as they advertise themselves to be.
reckoning it was making 6-8 knots. According to a radio A number of radio intelligence reports received during
intelligence report one boat appears to have attacked. 17.9 U the last week show clearly that the enemy is introducing the
41, 48, 52 entered port. convoy
Successes: U 41 brought in 2 Finnish ships from the North
Sea as prize. No sinkings.
U 48 sank: S.S. Winkleigh 5,055 tons
S.S. Royal Sceptre 4,053 tons - 24 -
S.S. Firby 4,869 tons
14,977 tons

U 52 sank a ship type Appalachee, 8826 tons. "ERWIN

WASSNER" sailed for Kiel. This completed the separation of the
operational and administrative staffs. It remains to be seen how
it will work out. In the evening U 32 reported her operation
carried out:
"As per your order, lettered E Date Position, Wind, Weather
have fouled the British swine his sea." and Sea State, Illumination, Events
(Minelay in the Bristol Channel). The boat has been Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
allocated operations area C. U 31 and U 28 are also there. The
latter will, however, have to return home very soon. There is
nothing against having 3 boats in such a wide sea area. C is one systems in the Mediterranean. Agents' reports point to
of the best positions and must therefore be heavily occupied. English troop transports leaving for France from Channel ports.
U 35 has therefore been ordered to occupy area F and operate
18.9 U 34 reported that she had started her return from there against these troop transports. It is also intended to
passage, the first boat of the 2nd U-Flotilla.This flotilla has attack them simultaneously from the North Sea. (War Log F.O.
orders to remain in the operations area until ammunition and U/B West).
fuel are used up. The equipment has therefore sufficed for 18 The inadequate firing of torpedoes is causing grave
war days in positions. concern. G7a and G7e torpedoes have repeatedly exploded
U 38 and U 40 entered port. after a run of about 250 meters, before reaching the target. In
Successes: U 38 sank Manaar 7,200 tons one case the boat was slightly damaged owing to this (U 27).
Inverliffey 9,445 tons The Torpedo Inspectorate does not know the reason at present.
14, 645 tons Everything is being done to remedy the defect.
U 40 no sinkings.
Towards midday C-in-C Navy arrived at Group ships in it. No report has yet been received from U 30 about her
Headquarters. He enquired into the process of the U-boat war putting into Reykjavik. Possibly the boat is having to proceed at
and raised the question of sending U-boats to the Mediterranean most economical speed, as she had not expected this detour.
to withdraw light Naval forces from the North Sea. In my opinion
it would not be a good thing, with the very few U-boats available
at present, to split them up over too many theatres of war. The
withdrawal of light Naval forces from the one area can also be - 25 -
achieved by transferring the war against merchant shipping to
the areas West of Gibraltar and Portugal. This was already done
with the first disposition and it is intended to continue on the
same lines later.
Then C-in-C Navy spoke of the conduct of the war in
general. He said that the next step he intended to take in the
war at sea against England, before declaring unrestricted danger
zones, was to declare danger zones only against English ships,
not against neutrals. He wished first however, to hear F.O. U/B's Date Position, Wind, Weather
views. I replied that in my opinion warfare limited to certain and Sea State, Illumination, Events
nations would not bring the desired results, because: Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
1) In most cases the U-boat, which has to wait submerged for
a suspicious ship, cannot identify the ship's nationality in time to
attack without warning. 20.9 Radio intelligence reports give the impression that
2) Presumably the enemy would very soon sail his merchant England is now using her air force on a large scale against U-
ships under the protection of neutral markings and flags. boats. The operation is favored by the calm weather conditions.
The results would be: U 28 reported that she was starting her return passage.
a) either many neutrals would be sunk without warning as There are now only 4 boats at stations.This void cannot be
supposed enemies, which is just what we want to avoid concealed from the enemy; this is shown by the fact that far
b) or many enemy ships would get away as supposed neutrals, fewer U-boat warnings and sightings are received. Many of them
which we want to avoid ever more. are still false and cover a wide area, but the total number is less.
There is still no news of U 30. Also none of U 39. The
boat could have been home some days ago, but there are many
19.9 U 26, 27 and 23 reported: possible reasons for delay. It is not intended to order her to
Started on return passage. U 27 and U 33 had been expected make her position, as this cannot help the boats and may make
to leave the operational area since the 15th. They have been their return passage more difficult.
out longer than was expected, 17 days, apart from the time
before the outbreak of war during which they used up provisions 21.9 The long awaited report from U 30 was received.
only. U 26 on the other hand has left much sooner. The reason The boat put into Reykjavik on the 19th and is at present SE of
is probably lack of ammunition. She was only able to take 6 Iceland. It is now essential to get news of U 39. In radio
torpedoes besides the mines. As she made contact with the message 0837 she was ordered for the first time to report her
convoy reported by U 31 she probably fires some torpedoes at position.
Naval War Staff has sent a T/P to F.O. U/B, ordering that - 26 -
all attacks on French ships are to be avoided at all costs. This
means that U-boats cannot operate in the Channel against troop
transports. This operation (U 35 see also F.O. U/B West's War
Log) was arranged because of Naval War Staff's orders that
convoys could be attacked North of the Latitude of Brest even if
the escort consisted of French Forces. It can be taken as certain
that these transports sail at night; and at night the U-boat must
be able to assume that a darkened ship is an enemy ship, even if
in convoy. It is often impossible to establish the nationality of Date Position, Wind, Weather
ships in convoy even by day and when flags are not being and Sea State, Illumination, Events
misused, but at night it is quite out of the question. I therefore Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
informed Naval War Staff that, if this order is to stand, I cannot
let the boats operate in the Channel. At first Naval War Staff
would not make a final decision as to conduct towards France, 23.9 U 39 did not report. It is possible that her radio is
but later Captain Fricke informed me by telephone, that today's out of order, but even at slow speed she should have reached
order was cancelled and that things stood as before, i.e. French home by now. She must be presumed lost. A british broadcast
ships could be sunk without warning if they were proceeding in reports the arrival of captured U-boat men in England.
convoy North of the latitude of Brest. U-boats which have returned say, that in very many
cases ships use their radio when they are ordered to stop, with
22.9 It does not appear necessary or desirable to define the result that in several cases a/c have appeared over the
definite limits of operations areas for the 4 boats remaining in positions reported. In this way ships assist enemy anti-S/M
the sea area SW of England. There is hardly any information activity. I consider it necessary to take action against such ships
available here as to escort of shipping, sea patrol main direction in order to prevent their taking part in anti-S/M operations in this
of traffic etc. in this area. Positions of sinkings show that there is way, and I have asked Naval War Staff for a ruling. The question
much traffic from the south to the Channel and the Irish Sea, but of the treatment of French ships is becoming increasingly urgent
little from the North to the Irish Sea. Boats are to adapt with present developments (troop transports, convoys).
themselves as much as possible to the traffic situation and be
able to get away from local patrol. The South and West limits of 24.9 In Most Secret 8027 Naval War Staff gives the
the operations area have therefore been lifted. In the evening U following ruling: French ships are to be treated in the same way
53 and U 32 reported that they were starting their return as English ships. For passenger ships, orders as hitherto issued
passage. This is much sooner than expected and must be due to remain in force. Merchant ships which use their radio when
their having used up their ammunitions. There are therefore stopped are either to be brought in or sunk. Mines may be laid
only 2 boats left at stations. U 39 was again ordered to report on the French coast. Boats received orders accordingly in radio
her position.The signal was made several times during the night message 1641.
on both the North Sea and Atlantic waves.
25.9 U 33, on return passage in the North Sea, reported
at 2217 an enemy cruiser and 3 destroyers on the Ling Bank,

course 1000, speed 15 knots. Apparently the boat soon lost and Sea State, Illumination, Events
contact. (see also F.O. War Log) Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

26.9 U 31 reports: Have started on return passage

because of lack of fuel. This boat is also returning much sooner U 26 carried out a difficult minelaying operation with
than had been calculated. She was not expected to leave until determination and ability. Except for the Belgian S.S. "Alex van
7.10. Opsal", sank shortly afterwards in the minefield, she did not
Experience so far has shown that such calculations are meet with any success.
very unreliable in the end. It is not possible to judge from here
how much fuel a boat actually uses in the operations area. It U 29 sank:
depends on how often and for how long she has to chase ships.
Engine defects lower the speed and make it necessary to leave the a/c carrier "Courageous" 22,500 tons
earlier. The period a boat can spend in the operations area is the tanker "Regent Tiger" 10,176 tons
finally dependent on her stocks and consumption of ammunition. " "British Influence" 8,431 tons
The condition of boats when they return varies greatly the tug "Neptunia" 900 tons
from case to case. Periods required for repairs differ very much 19,507 tons
and the next operation often depends more on this than on the
state of the crew. For operational control this means that of An outstandingly successful patrol.
necessity if full use is made of the boats, there will be periods
during which a large number of boats are out against the enemy U 34 sank:
and periods when there will be only a few in operations area.
U 30, coming from Reykjavik, gave her position as AN S.S. "Pukkastan" 5,809 tons
3840 and reported one Diesel unserviceable and other damage. S.S. "Kennebec" 5,548 tons
She was picked up by a minesweeper and escorted to route 11,357 tons
U 26, U 29 and U 34 entered port. and also brought in the Estonian S.S. "Hanonia", 2543 tons,
as prize.

Towards midday heavy English naval forces were

- 27 - reported in the central North Sea. Apparently U-boats made no
contact. (see F.O. U/B West's War Log).

27.9 Several heavy units of the English Naval forces

which penetrated to the center of the North Sea have been
damaged by a/c bombs. According to reconnaissance and radio
intelligence reports, they are returning to their bases. U 32 and
U 53, which are believed to be off the Shetlands, were ordered to
wait off Scapa for as long as fuel stocks permit. U 53 reported
Date Position, Wind, Weather that her fuel would not run to this.
F.O. U/B gave details, in the presence of C-in-C Navy and
U 30 entered port. She sank: Major General Keitel only, of the operation of U-boats so far and
S.S. "Blairlogic" 4,425 tons further prospects for U-boat warfare. After explaining individual
S.S. "Fanad Head " 5,274 tons operation problems for the Atlantic and the North Sea, I
9,699 tons. summarized my views as follows:
1) The actual and psychological effect of the U-boat over a
Stopping "Fanad Head" nearly proved fatal for the boat. wide area is still very great and not less than in the World War.
While the prize party was examining the ship, a/c appeared and 2) It is not true that England has technical means which nullify
the C.O. was faced with the problem of either taking unrestricted the U-boat danger. Boat's experience confirm that English anti-
action or losing the prize party. He chose the first alternative S/M activity is not as effective as it claims to be.
and finally achieved all he wanted by skill and daring. 3) Undoubtedly progress has been made in anti-S/M warfare, but
This case shows how very difficult it is for U-boats to it is balanced by considerable improvements in the U-boat:
have to act according to prize law, especially with a/c. They a) The boats proceed more quietly.
make themselves vulnerable and lose their strength, which lies b) Splashless discharge of torpedoes, which does not give the
in being able to surprise and to dive. boat away.
c) The torpedo's track is invisible and its effect much greater
U 33 entered port. She sank: than before.
S.S. "Olive Grove" 4,060 tons 4) Enormous strides have been made in U-boat
S.S. "Arkleside" 1,567 tons communications. It is possible today to operate U-boats over
S.S. "Coldew" 600 tons the widest areas according to plan and to let them operate
6,227 tons. together. It is thus possible to counter a concentration of
merchant ships in convoys with a concentration of U-boats. The
convoy becomes the focal point for all U-boats stationed in the
area. The Biscay exercises from 11-15 May showed that this was
- 28 - a practical proposition.
5) After considering all questions relating to U-boat warfare I am
convinced that it is a means of inflicting decisive damage on
England at her weakest point.
6) U-boat war can only be waged successfully if there are
enough boats. This means at least 300 boats. Therefore a far
larger number of boats must be built, as the current losses have
to be covered.
7) If this number of boats is available. I believe that the U-boat
Date Position, Wind, Weather Arm can achieve decisive success.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. The Führer spent an hour with the U-boat officers at their
club and then left Wilhelmshaven.

28.9 The Fürhrer visited U-boat headquarters.

29.9 U 28 entered port. No merchant ships sunk. One transports or convoys. Heavy single ship traffic off the English
auxiliary cruiser with strong escort attacked, hit and probably coast. Little traffic off the French coast, including Le Harve.
sunk. Impossible to act according to prize law because of patrol
U 28 was SW of the cruiser in the Bristol Channel. The vessels." etc. Valuable due to the present state of affairs in the
C.O. confirmed my suspicion that the assembly points for ships Channel.
U 32 entered port. She carried out her minelaying
operation according to plan and, in addition sank:
S.S. "Kensington Court " 4,863 tons
S.S. "Jern" 875 tons
5,738 tons.
- 29 -

U 53 entered Kiel. She sank:

S.S. "Cheyanne" 8,825 tons
S.S. "Kafiristan" 5,193 tons
14,018 tons.

Nearly all boats are at home now. I shall take advantage

Date Position, Wind, Weather of this opportunity to address the U-boat commanders in
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Wilhelmshaven and afterwards in Kiel, to give them instructions
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. once more and explain the mistakes made before they put to
sea again.

given at first were not correct. They were probably points

of reference. (signed): Dönitz
It is 10 days since U 27 reported that she was starting Captain and Commodore
her return passage at 0700/19/9. She will be ordered to report B.d.U.
her position tonight. If she does not answer is must be assumed
that something happened to her. F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

30.9 U 27 has not reported. A few days ago the English 1 - 15 October 1939
radio again spoke of captured U-boat men. They were interned
in the North of England. A merchant ship captain told of firing PG30249
on a U-boat which was said to have got caught up in a
fisherman's net. There may be some connection.
Radio message from U 35 (English Channel): "One week
in the area Portland, Casquets, Dieppe, Hastings. Very strong air
patrol. S/M's and small surface craft, no large warships, Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events operate along the sea routes in the Atlantic, always 2 at a time.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Occasionally remote cover by heavy units.
d) Boats which were stationed immediately off the coast, off the
English Channel, in the Bristol Channel and adjacent sea areas
were less successful than those in remote sea areas. Apparently
1.10 they are too much hindered by patrol.
Group Command Headquarters West. The following boats e) The best area has been southwest of Ireland.
will be ready for operations during the first half of October: f) There is a great accumulation of traffic off Gibraltar. There is a
U 42 on 2.10 U 45 on 8.10 lot of reliable information on convoys here. The outstanding
37 on 5.10 40 on 16.10 doubtful feature of our own situation is the small number of available
46 on 4.10 25 on 15.10 boats. In view of the enemy's concentration of shipping into
47 on 4.10 34 on 11.10 convoys, I do not think it wise to scatter them individually over a
48 on 4.10 very wide area.

I intend to operate them against merchant shipping in

the Atlantic. They are almost all boats of large radius of action.
I regard the enemy situation as follows:
a) Convoy system has been widely introduced. Ports for - 31 -
incoming convoys are: Weymouth for the channel area, Barry
for the Bristol Channel - Irish Sea. Ports for outward bound
convoys are:
Plymouth for the Channel area
Milford Haven for the Bristol Channel - Irish Sea
Gibraltar is used by convoys bound in all directions and as port
of control for ships bound for northern Europe.
Ramsgate or the Downs are ports of control for east bound
traffic coming from the Channel. Date Position, Wind, Weather
b) The strength of convoys varies between 4 and 20 ships, their and Sea State, Illumination, Events
speed between 7 and 18 knots. Very fast convoys have only Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
been observed in the Mediterranean.
c) Convoy escort:
Close escort by 4-6 destroyers, sometimes also cruisers, a/c Our aim must be to intercept convoys and to concentrate
accompany the convoys off the coast. on sinking them with our few available boats. It is difficult to
Remote protection: find convoys at sea. The boats must be operated in areas where
Strong air activity all around England. there is likely to be traffic, as is the case for instance southwest
Stationary a/c carriers: of England and in the Gibraltar area.
In the Scapa area, west of Iceland, southwest of Iceland, in the The England position has the advantage of a shorter outward
Channel area, in the gibraltar area. Protection in coastal areas passage, but patrol is strong in the coastal area and is made
by patrol vessels and other light forces. French submarines
from many bases. Bad weather must be expected here at this U 31 entered port. She sank:
time of year. S.S. "Hazelside" 4,646 tons.
Gibraltar has the disadvantage of a long outward passage, but She also attacked 2 ships in the convoy she reported at
as the outward route cuts across merchant shipping routes, the time and sank one for certain.
successes may be expected here, also there is a great This boat gives the impression of being particularly
concentration of shipping around Gibraltar. Weather conditions smart and cheerful.
may be expected to be more favorable than in the north. There
is little information on patrol, mostly to the effect that it is
concentrated in the Straits; it can only be sent out from Gibraltar
or Casablanca. - 32 -
I have decided to operate the boats against Gibraltar traffic.
Execution: Success will depend on the boats making a surprise
appearance together. They will be ready on different dates.
They will therefore sail on different days and will occupy an
operations area southwest of Ireland, which sinking figures so far
have shown to be the best area. When all the boats have
arrived there, they will receive orders to proceed on from F.O.
U/B; he will order them to leave sooner or later according to the
situation. Lieut Commander Hartmann will be in U 37 as S.O. of Date Position, Wind, Weather
this Atlantic group and he will, if necessary, take over control in and Sea State, Illumination, Events
convoy operations. If he finds things are not promising off Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
Gibraltar he will be authorized to order a new disposition, rather
further from the enemy bases, along the west coast of Spain and
Portugal. Only north-south bound merchant ships would be In Most Secret 9212 of 30.9 Naval War Staff has
picked up here, of course. ordered that the U-boat war against merchant shipping in the
North Sea and Baltic be stopped.
A further order from Naval War Staff states:
2.10 Naval War Staff has authorized an area around Ships which, in the view of the C.O., are equipped to carry
England in which darkened ships may be sunk without warning. more than 120 passengers, are to be regarded as passenger
This will be a great relief to U-boats. Nevertheless the area is ships. M.D.V. 87 (T.N.: German Naval official publication)
very narrow, so the practical results will probably be few. It has explains this further. The main points to note are the number of
become known in Germany that English merchant ships have boats - 4 or more each side of the ship, length and number of
repeatedly attacked U-boats which had stopped them in promenade decks, bull's eyes.
accordance with prize law. It was announced that if such cases Boats were instructed on these orders.
were repeated German U-boats would have to take steps The term "passenger ship" is a very wide one, and its
accordingly. In reply, the Admiralty announced an instruction to final definition left to the C.O.'s impressions. It must be realized
all English merchant ships to heave to and ram any German U- that in practice this order is open to very wide interpretation,
boats sighted. especially as the submerged boat's powers of observation are
3.10 Several radio intelligence reports indicate that the
Greek S.S. "Diamantis" has been sunk at the western entrance
to the Channel. They are confirmed by a radio message from U
35, reporting that the entire crew of the ship sunk are on board
unharmed. Presumably the C.O. made the signal because he Date Position, Wind, Weather
thought he ought to contradict contrary reports. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
4.10 The following orders on the conduct of the war
against merchant shipping were received from Naval War Staff:
1) The area within which darkened ships may be attacked
without restriction is extended westwards to 150 west. 5.10 U 37 sailed for her operations area.
2) U boats may attack immediately without restriction any
enemy merchant ships which are unmistakably seen to be Late in the evening U 45 sailed from Kiel through the
armed or which Naval War Staff announce as being armed, on Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. The boat was ready sooner than
the basis of unmistakable evidence available to them. Steps are expected. All the boats of this way will sail via the Bight. I
to be taken to save the crew if circumstances permit, this consider the route through the Baltic approaches less safe at
without endangering the U-boat. Passenger ships are still not to present. Experience has confirmed that there are too many
be attacked provided they are not troop transports, even if they opportunities here for enemy S/M's to lie in wait for U-boats. Our
are armed. own defenses have not been able to master this danger. In
Both these orders mean a good step forward for the conduct of order to lessen it U-boats have been ordered to proceed
the war. They are better suited to the nature of a U-boat attack submerged by day when using the Baltic approaches between
and increase chances of success. Äbelö and Skagen. This stretch cannot be covered in one night
surfaced and therefore this route takes a lot of time. Conditions
U 46 and U 48 sailed for their operations area. U 46 had to turn are more favorable in the North Sea. There are 3 routes which
back in the evening because of engine trouble and was ordered are less restricted from a navigational viewpoint. They are far
to put into Wilhelmshaven. U 35 reported that she was starting apart and each can be covered in one night. Defense forces can
on her return passage. The radio message also mentioned that: concentrate on the area off river mouths and is not restricted by
1) Again there had been 2 spontaneous explosions of G7a natural territorial waters.
2) She had to land the crew of the Greek ship on the Irish coast. 6.10 The English S.S. "Lockgoil", 9,462 tons, ran into the
minefield laid by U 32 in the Bristol Channel.
Sinking not certain.

On the orders of Naval War Staff U-boats are in future to

- 33 - report:
1) Cases of ships guilty of incorrect behavior, contrary to
neutrality and international law, when stopped.
2) Cases of armed merchant ships.
3) Incidents with neutral a/c and warships.
4) Own violation of neutral territorial waters.
5) Illegal action on the part of neutrals. Enquiries about members of the crew, who may have been
taken prisoner are to be conducted in such a way that the
enemy cannot discover that the boat has been lost if he does
Statements from witnesses are to be obtained in writing not already know this from other sources.
and signed by them. If possible the witnesses are to be brought
in person. U 15, a North Sea boat, entered port from the Channel
Reports are to be made as soon as possible, so that and brought valuable reconnaissance results. The following is of
they may be exploited for political and propaganda purposes in importance for Atlantic boats:
good time. They are not however, to be made if this entails 1) Channel patrol, including the line Dover-Calais, was only
operational disadvantage for the boat. slight, the weather being bad on an average. Patrol vessels'
listening gear was little effective and inaccurate. Other forms of
7.10 U 46 sailed, her engines having been repaired. location were not observed. There are only a few uncertain
U 47, which should have sailed for the Atlantic on 4.10, reports of echo ranging from U 17 (Downs) and U 14 (Orkneys).
has been given a special operation and will not take part in this 2) Accurate navigational orientation was possible everywhere.
Atlantic patrol. (For special operation see F.O. U/B West's War There were a number of lights showing, if only in restricted
Log). sectors in some areas. There were a number of sea marks.
3) No barrages were observed, but several buoys appeared to be
8.10 The period during which U 39 might have returned, in connection with barrage defenses.
or news have been received of her, has expired. The boat can
no longer be expected to return. The crew are to be regarded as
"missing". U 15's statements agree with U 31's, though the latter
only passed through the Channel and was not stationed there for
observation as U 15. U 35's experiences show that conditions
can be different on occasions. Nevertheless it is clear that, for
the present at least, it is possible to proceed through the
- 34 - channel.
This means a considerable shortening of the approach
route for the Atlantic boats. It remains to be decided whether
the added risk is justified by the success to be expected if U-
boats use the Channel route and can therefore remain longer in
their operations area.

The following order was received from Naval War Staff:

As so far the English have not seized German exports in neutral
Date Position, Wind, Weather ships, enemy exports in neutral ships bound for neutral ports are
and Sea State, Illumination, Events not to be seized by us either.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
9.10 The following are expected to be ready, as the next to change the operations areas frequently and thus avoid the
wave of Atlantic boats: expected concentrated attack.
U 25 on 17.10 U 26 on 20 or 22.10
31 on 19.10 53 on 21.10 Boats of the 2nd U-Flotilla can only be used in the sea
32 on 19.10 area around England. There are several minelaying operations
which have been shown to be worthwhile, and I intend to carry
3 boats with large and 2 with small radius of action. I them out now as follows:
intend to use the large boats in the Mediterranean, 1) Fouling of Loch Ewe. It is to be expected with certainty that
approximately between Gibraltar and Oran. There are so many this place will be in due course used as an anchorage by heavy
reports of convoys there that it should be worthwhile to send English forces, especially when Scapa is attacked by air, which is
them in spite of the long approach route and the consequent not yet permitted.
short period in the operations area. I think there will be very 2) Fouling of English convoy and control ports, first of all Milford
little opportunity for warfare according to prize law, but the Haven, then the Bristol Channel and off Liverpool.
chances of attacking without warning should be many. Also the 3) Fouling of the steamer routes in the Channel.
long narrow sea areas makes a certain amount of cooperation Fouling of Loch Ewe and Milford are of first importance.
possible between boats, even with so few. There is also the The operations in the Channel can be done as well by the small
point that it is policy, especially now with so few boats available, boats and are therefore not to be considered for Atlantic boats.
to worry the enemy in as many and as remote places as The following are reasons for paying more attention to
possible. He is then forces to provide for anti-S/M action minelaying as a whole at the present moment:
everywhere and to maintain patrols. This means a weakening 1) The long nights and the bad weather to be expected at this
time of year reduce the chances of a torpedo-carrying U-boat,
but are just the right conditions for minelaying operations.
2) There is now sufficient information on the routes of English
- 35 - merchant shipping to enable us to pick out the most valuable
3) It is very probable that the enemy has no means of detecting
and sweeping ground mines. This fact must be exploited.

10.10 U 40 sailed for her operations area. She has been

ordered to try and break through the Channel, but to take the
route around the north of England if strong opposition is
Date Position, Wind, Weather encountered. I decided to give this order because, as long as it
and Sea State, Illumination, Events is not definitely known that the Channel is impossible, we cannot
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. let pass the advantage of this much shorter approach route,
which offers many more opportunities of success even on the
way out. So far it is not definitely known that the English
of local defenses. The more forces the enemy is able to Channel is impassable. There are only warnings, which are
use in anti-S/M operations the more necessary it becomes for us countered by the fact that U 31 and U 15 got through almost
unhindered. I would not really have been necessary for U 35 to To 2. S.S. Ammerland is being converted into a supply ship. It
turn back. The C.O. was too much influenced by a few is intended to station her in a suitable bay in Iceland,
observations, as he himself now agrees. My decision was also camouflaged as a ship with engine trouble.
influenced by the fact that the disposition planned off Gibraltar
can only lead to the expected success if there are enough boats
there. U 40 was not ready for operations until much later than 12.10 U 35 entered port. She sank:
the others and the only way to compensate for this delay is to 1) English trawler "Arlita" 325 tons
shorten her outward passage. 2) " " "Lord Minto" 285 tons
3) a freighter from a convoy 9,000 tons
11.10 The question of creating bases comes to mind 4) the Belgian S.S. "Suzen" 2,239 tons
again and again when considering the boat's long approach 5) the Greek S.S. "Diamantis" 4,990 tons
routes to their operations areas during which they are in 16,839 tons
constant danger, but have She also scored a hit on a tanker of 17,000 tons, the sinking
of which was not observed as the boat had to dive.
She also encountered the "Aquitania", darkened in the
- 36 - Channel. She did not attack, as permission to attack darkened
ships did not arrive until 48 hours later.
This has been a particularly successful patrol. The crew
gave a very good impression on return.

13.10 The first sign of the activity of the boats which

have put to sea has been a sudden large number of radio
intelligence reports of sightings of and actions with U-boats in
Date Position, Wind, Weather the Atlantic. U 37 reported the first sinking.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 14.10 Radio intelligence reports of U-boats continue to
increase. They give the impression of a very promising surprise
in the area planned for the operation.
little opportunity of taking action themselves. There are 2 U 40 which sailed on the 10th, has not yet reported on
possibilities: her passage through the Channel. She had verbal orders to do
1) Fixed bases in friendly neutral countries. this. She is not yet through therefore and must have been
2) Floating bases. delayed.
To 1. Supplying to a limited extent has been agreed to in
remote northwest Spanish bays. Several rendezvous with supply 15.10 Radio intelligence reports from the Atlantic have
ships have been fixed. The actual feasibility of the scheme can abated almost entirely. Only S.S. "Stonepool" in contact with a
only be tested in practice. U-boat. U 48 reported her sinkings, 4 ships totaling 29,000 tons,


- 37 -

Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

Date Position, Wind, Weather 16.10 The general impression in the Atlantic is as follows:
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Group Headquarters West Position "GELB" was a very
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. happy choice. Now that a few more reports of sinkings have
been received, the total tonnage sunk in the last 3 days has
risen to nearly 56,000. The enemy then immediately changed
merchant shipping route and sent anti-S/M forces to this area.
and made a short situation report. She reports good weather There is therefore no purpose in remaining long in this position.
(she was even able to reload upper deck torpedoes), while on The boats will be ordered to proceed on to area "SCHWARZ".
information here it had been assumed that weather conditions in During the last few days the British news service has several
the operations area were very bad. It becomes clear how times stated that several German U-boats had been sunk,
valuable such situation reports are for operations control. As the including 2 of the largest and newest type. In spite of the many
weather was believed to be definitely bad, the flotilla S.O. was sinkings in area "GLEB", only U 37 and U 48 had reported. U 42,
advised on the 13th to leave position "GELB" and go to position 45 and 46 were therefore ordered to give their position and
"SCHWARZE" (Ops. order No. 7). situation report. There were no misgivings about this order, as
Towards evening reports were received showing that the boats are leaving their areas and their presence has in any
apparently there has been a large-scale S/M hunt in area "GELB". case become known through their activities. U 46 reported, but
U 42 and U 45 did not. It can therefore only be taken for certain
that U 37, U 46 and U 48 are proceeding on.


(signed) Dönitz 0055 Radio signal from U 46 reporting the sighting of a large
Rear Admiral and B.d.U. cruiser, course north, 14 knots. It could not be gathered
whether the boat was shadowing or trying to regain contact.
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
U 34 sailed for her operations area.
16 - 31 October 1939
0851 U 46 reported a convoy of 20 ships escorted by 12 Date Position, Wind, Weather
destroyers, on a main course northeast. Boat was shadowing, and Sea State, Illumination, Events
lost contact for a while, regained it and shadowed until Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
afternoon. Then English costal radio stations received reports of
the torpedoing of 2 ships. At 2000 U 37 reported: convoy
scattered, one ship sunk. She must therefore have reached the in attacks on such strongly escorted convoys that these
convoy. After the convoy had scattered, contact was lost. In can have the most unpleasant and serious consequences for the
order to regain it, U 37 ordered a reconnaissance line to be boat, because they give it away, quite apart from the approach
formed the following morning which is intended to pick up the made for nothing and which can often not be repeated for many
convoy from the northeast. hours.
U 48 has been ordered to start back as she has no more
18.10 At 0029 U 48 sighted the enemy again. She reported: torpedoes. An enquiry elicited the fact that U 37 and U 46 will
"A straggler sunk. A second straggler steering a northerly only have 30 and 5 tons of fuel respectively when they reach
course in square 6789 BE. All torpedoes used." position "SCHWARZ". U 46 has therefore been allocated an
The boat shadowed this ship. At 0500 U 37 gave the order operations area closer to. (off Lisbon).
to act on U 48's report, thus canceling the order for a U 25 sailed for her operations area.
reconnaissance line. At first light U 48 again sighted the convoy,
which had apparently reassembled meanwhile. At 0630 a 19.10 Still no report from U 40 on her Channel passage.
second U-boat was reported in sight of a ship. Therefore at least This fact, added to radio intelligence reports on the 14th that 4
one more boat had reached the enemy on U 48's shadower's U-boats had been sunk, one of them by French forces, gives rise
report. Towards midday a/c appeared, contact was lost. U 37 to the suspicion that U-40 and U 12 (see F.O. U/B West's War
ordered the boats which had been driven off to go to position Log) have been lost in the Channel.
"SCHWARZ". (For radio review of the attack see appendix). According to radio intelligence reports 2 boats were
Reports received show that 5 ships were sunk for certain, sighted in the Channel west of the Straits of Dover, so it must be
probably 4. But again torpedo failures were reported. 2 assumed that the boats got through the mined Dover-Calais
explosions at the end of the run, 2 surface runners and 2 narrows and were lost west of this. I view the question of the
explosions at the end of the safety range. It is first Channel passage as follows:
1) U 31 passed the Dover-Calais narrows once, U 15 twice,
probably also U 12 and U 40 once each.
2) U 35 did not have to turn back, her doing so does not disprove
- 39 - the possibility of getting through the Channel.
3) Danger from mines must be regarded as the most dangerous
aspect of the Channel passage. In all probability however, there
have not been any victims of mines as yet, possibly U 12 on her
way back.
4) Losses of boats so far have been 2 in the Atlantic or North Sea
(U 27, 30), 2 probably in the Atlantic (U 42, 45), 2 perhaps in the
Channel. These losses do not preclude the Channel passage.

5) The danger of surprise air attack is no greater in the Channel excellent example of what happens almost all the time. Again
than in the open sea area, as boats have to proceed submerged and again plans are reversed because completion dates for the
by day anyhow. boats are postponed. One thing is certain: the M.A.N. engines
6) I am therefore loath at present to give up the enormous have not proved their worth because their casing is too light.
advantage of the short approach route through the Channel. But Presumably things will not improve until all the boats have been
the question will have to come up for constant consideration. fitted with the new casings.

21.10 U 31 and U 53 sailed for their operations areas.

U 46 encountered a fresh convoy of 15 ships, but she U 31 to mine Loch Ewe with TMB in accordance with
was soon driven off by destroyers and lost contact. On the operations Order No. 9 (the operation originally intended for U
orders of Naval War Staff, the area in which unrestricted action 32).
can be taken against darkened ships has been extended to 300 U 53 is to proceed first to an area southwest of Ireland.
west. She is to operate there against merchant shipping until U 26,
which is sailing on 22.10, has had time to carry out her
20.10 There is so much damage to U 32's engines that minelaying operation.
they will have to be exchanged. The boat was to have sailed
within the next few days. Now she will be out of action for 22.10 U 26 sailed for Gibraltar. After minelaying
several weeks. She was just about to load mines. This will have (Operations Order No. 6) it is intended to send her to the
far reaching consequences. western Mediterranean together with U 25 and U 53. As she is
first to carry out a mining operation she may only be issued with
absolutely essential confidential books and cypher material.
(Standing War Order No. 17). The consequent disadvantages
- 40 - and difficulties when working together with other boats have to
be accepted, as the risk of the confidential books and cypher
material falling into enemy hands if the boat is lost in shallow
water is too great. This point has to be taken into account in all
operations in shallow water.

23.10 U 34, which sailed on 17.10, has orders to take up

a position within disposition "SCHWARZ". As events have made
this disposition redundant, there is no point now in sending her
Date Position, Wind, Weather there, not only because she would be there alone, but also
and Sea State, Illumination, Events because her fuel stocks would only permit her to operate there
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. for a short time.
As far as supplies of fuel are concerned, information
received meanwhile from Naval War Staff shows that
U 31 will have to take over her operation and will thus not considerable difficulty has been encountered and supply is by no
be able to sail until 3 days later. The operation originally means assured. THe first experiment in supplying is therefore to
assigned to this boat will have to be postponed. This is an be made with a boat which is in any case stationed near the
supply points agreed and does not depend on supply for her intelligence report suggests that the boat may have been
operation. This could be done with U 25, U 26 or U 53 on their rammed. (For the rest, see F.O. U/B West's War Log).
way out or back (operations area Mediterranean). Fuel has to be Nothing has been heard of U 42 and U 45 since they
ordered 10 days ahead and has been requested for 1 November. sailed. They did not reply to orders to report their positions.
On the subject of U-boat losses: of the Atlantic and Enemy broadcasts and the enemy press indicate that there was
North Sea boats, U 27, U 39 and U 12 are definitely lost, U 42 an anti-S/M hunt on 13th October during which 2 large boats
and U 45 probably, U 40 possibly. The following is known about were sunk. One report mentions S.S. "Stonepool" as having
the boats: U 27 reported on 19.9 that she was leaving her contributed to the destruction of U-boats. On the 13th she had
operations area. There is no information on U 39 since she reported that she was in action with a U-boat.On the 15th she
sailed. One major part of both crews are prisoners of war. This reported another U-boat; 2 destroyer flotillas (or at least part of
means that the boats were probably surprised on the surface them), were sent out from Portland to this position. According to
and attacked with gunfire and possibly also by a/c. It is possible another report, part of the crew of a U-boat, including the C.O.,
that they were so damaged as to be unable to dive, so that the were on board a destroyer, which had picked up survivors from
crews had to abandon the boats in the face of the enemy and S.S. "Bretagne". Yet another report says that a member of the
sink them. The large number of survivors cannot be explained in crew of a steamer, who had fired on a U-boat with his gun,
any other way. If they had been destroyed underwater the observed that later on destroyers came up and sank the U-boat,
losses would have been much greater. U 12 passed the line which was no longer able to dive. (This cannot be S.S.
Dover-Calais and was operating west of this; this is proved Stonepool).
Actions are therefore said to have been fought between
steamers and U-boats. Both steamers got away and in both
cases the U-boat is said to have been destroyed at least one of
- 41 - them on the surface.
There are still no reports from U 40 on her Channel
passage, but a steamer has been torpedoed in the sea area west
of the Channel and a U-boat sighted twice. (Radio intelligence
reports). There cannot be any other boat there except U 40. It
is therefore possible that she got through the Channel after all,
but that her transmitter is out of action and she has not been
able to report. It is therefore by no means certain that she is
Date Position, Wind, Weather Summary:
and Sea State, Illumination, Events a) Maximum number of losses: 6 boats, of which 3 were fairly
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. certainly destroyed above water (U 27, 39 and U 43 or 45), 2
probably underwater (U 12 and U 40. Mine hits possible). 1
cause of loss doubtful.
by a number of sightings and attack reports, which on the b) Minimum number of losses: 3, of which 2 above water (U 27,
whole have proved very accurate apart from the first weeks of 39), 1 underwater (U 12).
war, during which they were not very reliable. A radio

c) Probable losses: 5 boats, of which 3 above water (U 27, 39 3) A surprise encounter with the enemy, especially in poor
and U 42 or U 45), 1 underwater (U 12) and one doubtful (U 42 visibility. (This danger has risen considerably since the world
or U 45). war, because of a/c).
As experience in the world war showed, losses on the surface 4) Occasional carelessness on the part of the boat, especially
are usually due to: after successful operations or when making long passages
1) The risks which the boat runs when waging war in accordance through areas of little shipping.
with prize law. The dangers listed under 3) and 4) can only be dealt with by the
2) The risks which the boat runs in a gun action with an armed crews themselves, but the prize war does involve additional
merchant vessel. One hit may render the boat incapable of dangers and losses, which can only be eliminated if,
diving and therefore the certain prey of destroyers. (It is not 1) The prize war is renounced, i.e. only such ships are attacked
surprising that circumstances are different from those in the as may be attacked without warning, or
world war. At that time steamers were only gradually being 2) we resort to unrestricted warfare. In both cases the U-boats
armed; today all this has apparently been carefully planned and would have to be forbidden to use their guns,
the effect of a) to stop ships or to quell resistance.
b) to sink ships.

Of its nature the U-boat is intended to fight with

torpedoes and not with guns. Her strength is in being able to
make a surprise attack and her protection in deep diving. A full-
scale torpedo attack always promises success; a gun action,
- 42 - which is always full-scale as soon as the boat is within range of
the enemy guns does not by any means promise the same
results. Nevertheless it must not be forgotten that she needs
her guns to stop the ship and break resistance when she is not
from the first in a position to fire a torpedo at the enemy. It
takes a long time to haul ahead and it is not always possible. To
renounce the use of guns altogether would therefore lower the
chances of success considerably.
Present losses are apparently very high. They exceed
Date Position, Wind, Weather supplies of new boats and must therefore lead to paralysis of U-
and Sea State, Illumination, Events boat warfare if no means can be devised of keeping them lower.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. But measures to prevent losses must never be on such a scale
that they prejudice the success of warfare. U-boat warfare will
always mean considerable losses and those have to be taken
this form of defense must therefore be expected to be into account. It is necessary to preserve the correct proportions
greater). between the number of boats operating and the success to be

In this connection the Channel problem had to be re- Patrol in the Channel is strong everywhere. Anti-S/M defenses
examined in the light of information on the present war situation are strongest in the Dover-Calais Straits and northeast of this
and also of world war experiences. It is necessary to distinguish line; boats are better able to attack in the somewhat wider west
between the Channel, sector, where they are better protected by greater depths of
1) as an operations area water. Provided they can attack without warning, this is a good
2) as a route. operations area for U-boats. War against merchant shipping
according to prize law is out of the question here however,
The Channel as Operations Area: owing to the patrols and the proximity of the enemy bases.
A large proportion of enemy merchant shipping sails in
the Channel. The main part of this traffic is destined for the
Thames ports and the east coast, therefore proceeds through The Channel as a Route:
the whole length of the Channel. U-boats find many worthwhile If the Channel is passable at all, the advantages of this
targets here and are well able to attack these ships. Cross- route are many. It means:
channel traffic is undoubtedly as heavy and particularly a) Saving time on the outward passage, i.e. a longer period in
important because it is mainly operations areas.
b) Saving fuel, i.e., raising the range of the boats, or giving them
greater freedom of action.
c) Better prospects of attacking on the outward and return
- 43 - d) Better use of personnel and material by shortening passages
through areas in which the boat is in danger, but has little
chance to attack herself.
The disadvantages are as follows:
a) Greater danger to the boats in the narrower sea area, in
shallow water, from anti-S/M operations, anti-S/M nets and
b) Greater navigational difficulties.
c) Greater strain on the crew on passage.
Date Position, Wind, Weather I have come to the following conclusions:
and Sea State, Illumination, Events 1) The question of passage through the Channel must be kept
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. under constant revision. Decisions will vary from case to case
according to circumstances. In principle the Channel can be
regarded as passable.
2) The enemy must know as little as possible of U-boats passing
troop and war material transport. It is presumably heavier in through the Dover-Calais Straits. Everything which would cause
the east than in the west owing to the shorter routes. This him to lay barrages or increase his patrol must be avoided.
traffic proceeds at night, strongly escorted, and consists of fast Within a fixed zone therefore no direct attacks are to be made.
ships. The chances of attacking it are therefore considerably Mining operations are not affected.
less favorable than in the case of the through-channel traffic.
3) The Channel must on no account be abandoned as an 24.10 U 37 reports: 2 ships sunk today off Gibraltar, one
operations area, but only attacks without warning can be made. Q ship hit. Depth charged for 9 hours. Fuel running out.
4) As long as the through passage is possible, the Channel as Starting return passage.
operations area must be reserved for small boats. Such Presumably the boat went up close to Gibraltar. Her
operations must not exceed 8-10 days, as due to the strong observations of this area are important for U 26 and U 25 and
patrols, a sharper look-out and greater concentration are 53. She has been ordered to report her experiences as soon as
required than in open sea areas and any slackening is more circumstances permit.

25.10 U 48 entered Kiel. She sank:

French tanker "Emile Miquet" 14,115 tons
English S.S. "Herouspool" 5,202 tons
- 44 - English S.S. "Sueaton" 6,903 tons
Unidentified ship from a convoy believed it to be "City of
Mandalay" 3,667 tons
Therefore certainly more than 7,014 tons
29,897 tons and probably 36,911 tons

A very successful patrol, especially as it only lasted 3

weeks. U 48 used all her torpedoes, but reports 5 failures, which
caused her to lose several ships which would otherwise have
Date Position, Wind, Weather certainly been sunk. It is unnecessary to go into the causes and
and Sea State, Illumination, Events results of these failures again. The Torpedo Inspectorate is being
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. kept informed, and the importance stressed: B.d.U. is in close
contact with the Inspectorate.

5) Boats should concentrate on the routes along the U 46 sighted a convoy from her position 60 miles
coasts. Attacks on cross-channel traffic are less likely to be northwest of Lisbon. U 25, which was assumed to be off the
successful and are therefore of secondary importance. southwest corner of Ireland, was ordered to take action.
6) Apart from torpedo operations, mining operations must be Provided contact is maintained, it might be possible for her to
planned to cover such areas in which the operation of boats with reach the convoy, as for the time being the enemy's course is
torpedoes are not promising, i.e. areas of shallow water or restricted by the coast line. This is an experiment to discover if
strong anti-S/M activity. it is any good to have a few boats working together over a large
7) Everything must be done to get information on the Channel area. Contact was lost after 4 hours.
passage. Air reconnaissance must take in the Dover-Calais line
at regular intervals. It may also be necessary sometimes to 26.10 As U 46 did not regain contact, but reported that
send a U-boat there for reconnaissance purposes. she was leaving her operations area because of lack of fuel, it
was no longer possible for U 25 to operate against the convoy.
Meanwhile this boat had come a long way south. She was
allocated a new operations area northwest of Cape Finisterre.
operational readiness will therefore have to be divided into a
mining and an operational group.
I intend to assemble the latter, up to 4 boats, in the
- 45 - area southwest of Ireland. They are then to take up an attacking
disposition south and west of Portugal with the purpose of
intercepting traffic north-bound from Gibraltar. Later a
disposition is planned northwest of Cape Finisterre at about the
time when U 47 should have arrived (Operations Order No. 11).

27.10 In order to lessen our losses and based on the

reflections set out in the War Log on 23.10, I have decided to
issue the following orders:
Date Position, Wind, Weather 1) Boats may not board ships which have been stopped, for
and Sea State, Illumination, Events examination.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 2) Ships are to be sunk by torpedo only, even when they are
only attacked after examination (which can now only consist in
looking through the papers) or after resistance has been quelled
The following boats are expected to be ready for with gunfire.
operations next:
U 33 on 29.10 U 38 on 8.11
43 " 1.11 28 " 8.11
41 " 2.11 29 " 11.11 28.10 U 37 reported a convoy near the coast off
49 " 4.11 47 " 13.11 Finisterre, course northeast. Contact lost after an hour.
35 " 13.11
The French Admiralty announced the sinking of a
German U-boat in the Atlantic. Corpses were said to have been
I consider the following mining operations to be of next salvaged.
1) inside the Bristol Channel, north of the Foreland 29.10 Naval War Staff has ordered that passenger ships
2) off Swansea in enemy convoy be attacked.
3) off Milford Haven.
U 33 sailed for a minelaying operation north of the
Information available suggests that they would be very
successful. But as they mean entering an area which is probably
strongly patrolled, they must be carried out as soon as possible,
before anti-S/M defenses reach their full extent. - 46 -
U-boats of the 2nd U-Flotilla must be considered for this,
because of their range; i.e. U 33, U 28, and U 29. Boats at
This report gives valuable information for the operation
of U 25, U 26 and U 53, which are to pass through the Straits of
Gibraltar into the Mediterranean.
A conference was held between B.d.U. and the General
Staff of the G.A.F. on the problem of getting more information on
Date Position, Wind, Weather the Channel.The G.A.F. agreed to fly an extensive photographic
and Sea State, Illumination, Events reconnaissance of the whole Dover-Calais area. It remains to be
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. seen whether pictures taken of the surface of the sea from such
a height can provide any practical clues as to mines and net
barrages and other details of navigational importance. The only
U 25 and U 34 were ordered to make a situation report. I experiences are of much smaller sea areas. I am of the opinion
must know whether the French Admiralty's claim concerns one of however, that every means of reconnaissance must be used.
these boats. It might of course be U 40, but she could not Even if the results cannot be analyzed accurately from a
answer, as presumably her transmitter is out of order (see navigational standpoint, they will still be of great value.
22.10). After going into the question of keeping losses down
again, I have decided only to order the boats to keep a sufficient 30.10 Situation reports received from U 25 and U 34,
distance in gun actions, and not to go all out. I do not think it thus the French Admiralty's claim can only refer to U 40, whose
necessary or justifiable to restrict the use of guns further, e.g. radio is apparently out of action. It is not at all impossible
a) to order the boats to avoid all gun actions, i.e. to leave the however, that the reports are connected with the loss of U 16 off
enemy as soon as opposition is encountered, or Dover (see F.O. U/B West's War Log). U 25 has only observed
b) to renounce the use of guns altogether. slight neutral single-ship traffic and torpedo boats or patrolling
U 34 sank a steamer from a convoy off the west
Commanding officers must be required not to go all out entrance to the Channel, torpedoed 3 others, but could not
for the enemy, but to keep at a range which makes it impossible observe results owing to anti-S/M activity. She is returning
for the enemy to use his guns effectively, or to break off the because of a crack in the inner compensating tank.
action if they are faced with superior guns.

U 31 reported: "Operation carried out". (Loch Ewe). U

37's report of experiences off Gibraltar received: - 47 -
1) Patrol by Q ships, motor vessels and a/c. Cooperation
between these.
2) Air patrol in the area Cape Spartel, Trafalgar, St. Vincent
Larache. Hunts apparently only with hydrophones, no location.
3) Traffic: ships making 9 knots and over are routed
independently, more than 10 miles south of the usual steamer

Date Position, Wind, Weather must be losing confidence in their torpedoes. In the end their
and Sea State, Illumination, Events fighting spirit will suffer. The torpedo failure problem is at
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. present the most urgent of all the problems of U-boat warfare.

31.10 U 31 entered port. She encountered no patrol off

Loch Ewe. There is however, a net barrage in the bay, in which
the boat was entangled for some time, as she did not see the (signed): Dönitz
flat buoys until too late. There was a hospital ship inside, but Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
nothing else. As it did not seem possible to get inside, the boat F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
laid the mines across the entrance to the bay at the minimum
safety distance. The position of the mines is excellent. Success 1 - 15 November 1939
seems certain, but it is doubtful if we shall hear anything about
it. PG30251

U 25 reported a convoy northwest of Finisterre. This is

the second convoy reported within a few days in this area, fairly
close to the coast. This too was steering a main course to the
north. It is remarkable that all the 4 convoys reported so far Date Position, Wind, Weather
have been north-bound. South-bound traffic apparently keeps and Sea State, Illumination, Events
further to the west. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

The problem of torpedo failures is unfortunately still far

from being solved. U 25 reports 4 failures at one stopped ship,
shots at short range. The Torpedo Inspectorate's instructions
were observed. There is therefore no longer any doubt that the 1.11
Torpedo Inspectorate themselves do not understand the matter.
At present torpedoes cannot be fired with non-contact firing Group Headquarters West
units, as this has led to premature detonation. Their depth Naval War Staff informed me that U 25 could not be
setting has to be 2 meters less than the draught of their target. supplied on the Spanish coast, as Spain had recently made
There depth may not be less than 3 meters, as otherwise there political difficulties. Supply could only be arranged in Farrol in a
may be surface runners in which especially the engines of the case of extreme necessity. I have decided not to send the boat
G7a may be damaged. Exact instructions are given for setting there, in order to have this possibility in hand for really urgent
the safety range and these are observed. Nevertheless at least cases. I am not surprised at this development; I always
30% of the torpedoes are duds. They either do not detonate at regarded this matter as very uncertain.
all or they detonate in the wrong place. There does not seem to
be any sense in issuing new instructions to the boats as they 2.11 U 49's operational readiness will be delayed a few
never lead to the desired results. The Commanding Officers days. U 47 also will not be ready until very late, not before the
middle of November. There is a choice between letting the As long as boats can pass through the North Sea without
boats sail alone at long intervals or keeping the first ones back running too great a risk or losing too much time, a base in the
until they can all operate together. I have decided on the latter north would only be important for attacking timber transports
course, because I would like for once to have several boats out from
and off Gibraltar. So far such an operation has been planned,
but never carried out, as events took a different turn. But the
attack on the convoy by U 37, 46 and 48 opened up possibilities - 49 -
which I want to see used to the full. If this is successful there
will be every justification for holding boats back.

U 26 reported that she had passed 450 north. The other 2

boats of this wave (U 25 and U 53) will be kept in their
operations areas for about another 3 days in order to give U 26
enough time in hand to carry out her operation.

3.11 Naval War Staff requested B.d.U to go into the Date Position, Wind, Weather
question of attacking England's timber imports from north and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Russian ports. These imports are regarded as of great Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
I had in any case planned to operate U 36 against those
timber transports in the area east of North Cape. I think that
chances of success are good in this area, but nevertheless I
cannot decide further until I get information of the situation from the north Russian ports. But if at any time the disadvantage
this operation. of the longer route should outweigh the increasing dangers of a
Naval War Staff also informed me at the same time that passage through the North Sea, the Northern Base would
there was a chance of setting up a "Base North". I think assume very great importance.
everything possible should be done to get this matter cleared It cannot be foreseen how long the timber transports will
up. continue, but it is justifiable to assume that they will either stop
The advantages of a base in the north are: soon or else the political conditions for this base will become
1) The much better position for attacking the north Russia- void.
England convoy routes. The base would also have to have reliable radio
2) The safe approach route, loading well away from England communication with the boats and with home. As a large-scale
through deep water. undertaking cannot be kept secret for long, there would have to
The disadvantages are: be military protection from the first in order to prevent surprise
1) A lengthening of the approach route by about 300 miles. coups by the enemy.
2) Lack of suitable dock and repair facilities and the difficulty of A proposal has been worked out on these lines and sent
supplying material overland. to Naval War Staff.

4.11 18th to 23rd November have been submitted to her recapture, U 34, U 37 and U 46 on their return passage, have
Naval War Staff as target dates for the first supply in the been ordered to take such action as their fuel stocks permit. For
Northern base for U 36. further details see F.O. U/B West's War Log.

U 25 reported that she was returning as the crosspiece

of her forward torpedo hatch had broken. She might not be
capable of diving if depth charged. The Commanding Officer has - 50 -
therefore acted correctly. His position is northwest of Cape

Naval War Staff informed me that 10 German steamers

would be ready to sail from Vigo about the middle of November
and requested that they be given U-boat protection on their way
home in as far as possible. This is a task for which the U-boat is
imperfectly suited. If she is forced to dive, which is always the
case if a/c appear, she cannot maintain the speed of the Date Position, Wind, Weather
steamers. They will have to stop, or else contact will be lost. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
The U-boat is not very effective against destroyers as it is. Also Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
on escort duty, starting from Vigo means that afterwards the
boat or boats cannot be used elsewhere as their fuel stocks will
be exhausted. While the value of the escort is doubtful the
disadvantage for the U-boat war as a whole would be
considerable. I must therefore advise against a close escort. 6.11 It is still not known what bases the British fleet is
Remote protection will be available if the steamers sail at such using at present. The ban on anchoring within certain limits in
times as there are U-boats in the vicinity (position "ROT") in the Firth of Clyde make it likely that it is intended to base in
accordance with operations Plan No. 11. These times will be these ports. Lough Swilly would be a good, well-protected berth.
communicated to Naval War Staff for onward transmission to the According to information available to B.d.U. it is a base used by
steamers. the British fleet. Operations planned here some time ago
however, were vetoed by Naval War Staff on the grounds that it
5.11 U 25 reported a convoy, apparently making for the stretched into Irish territory in parts and that Irish neutrality was
Channel on a northeast course. There were no further not to be violated at any cost.
shadower's reports. After renewed pressure Naval War Staff has promised to
obtain information on the political aspect of this area via our
U 53 was ordered to continue her passage south, as U Ambassador in Ireland. U 43 sailed for her operations area
26 must be by now far enough ahead to carry out her (Operations Plan No. 12).
minelaying operation. The "City of Flint", once taken in prize by
the "Deutschland", has been detained in Bergen. The prize crew 7.11 U 46 grounded in the Little Belt, but got away again
is said to have been interned there and the prize ship herself under her own power after several hours.
released. As the Naval War Staff attaches great importance to
U 41 sailed for her operations area. attacking depth. This confirms the impression that this sea area
is often used by the Home
According to Naval War Staff it is again questionable
whether U 36 can be supplied in the Northern Base in November,
as requested.
- 51 -
U 46 entered Kiel. She sank one steamer of about 5,000
tons. The result is rather meager, but the C.O.'s verbal report
tells quite another story of the patrol. The boat was in convoys
3 times. On one occasion the C.O. fired at a wall of several
overlapping ships - failures. She had a stationary cruiser at
inclination 90 off her bows. Again several failures, which finally
warned the cruiser and she made off. 7 shots were quite
definitely failures and not attributable to errors in drill. In spite
of this, due to the C.O.'s determination, the boat still went on Date Position, Wind, Weather
searching for the enemy and attacking. The boat could have and Sea State, Illumination, Events
sunk 30 or 40,000 tons; she actually sank 5,000. The crew are Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
naturally somewhat depressed. Several patrols like this will turn
keenness into indifference, if all efforts are to no purpose.

8.11 U 28 sailed for her operations area (Operations

Order No. 10). Fleet. Information hitherto has been obtained from U 56's
observation (see F.O. U/B West's War Log), from radio
U 37 entered port. She sank: intelligence and odd agent's reports. All Atlantic boats have
1) S.S. Vistula 1,018 tons Swedish therefore been ordered to alter course so as to pass through this
2) S.S. Asis 4,810 tons Greek area, even if it means delay.
3) S.S. Vermont 5,186 tons French
4) S.S. Yorkshire 10,183 tons English 9.11 U 49 sailed for her operations area in accordance
5) S.S. Menin Ridge 2,474 tons " with Operations Order No. 11. U 36's operational readiness
6) S.S. Ledbury 3,528 tons " postponed for another 8 days.
7) S.S. Tafna 4,413 tons "
8) S.S. Thrasyroulos 3,693 tons Greek 10.11 U 38 will also be delayed for several days.
Total 35,305 tons. Meanwhile U 26 must have decided whether or not she can carry
out her operation off Gibraltar. There is no news from the boat
Very good work. On her way out the boat encountered a and no reports of her being sighted by patrols.
battleship of the Royal Sovereign class and a cruiser of "C" or
"D" class between the Orkneys and the Hebrides. She could not Freight rates and risk premiums in the Mediterranean
attack, as weather conditions did not permit keeping at have been reduced, therefore presumably there is thought to be

less danger from U-boats. The appearance of a U-boat there - 52 -
should cause great alarm. The next few days should show.

11.11 Analysis of information on the whereabouts of the

British battle fleet shows that it is probably distributed over
various places outside the North Sea. The possibilities if mining
these places with TMB's must therefore be considered. The
main difficulties will probably be navigational. It is hardly likely
that all these places are under constant strong patrol, or that
local defenses are very extensive. The first area to be Date Position, Wind, Weather
considered is the Bay of Oban. The battleship Rodney was lying and Sea State, Illumination, Events
there some time ago. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
Information received so far on the effects of the
minefields laid by U-boats shows that not all the ships which ran
into the fields were sunk. We must therefore try to lay the mines
in shallow water and reduce their sensitivity so that they are
only exploded by largish ships.
5) S.S. Bronte 5,317 tons
12.11 U 36 will not be ready for another week and 6) Tanker 6-7,000 tons
operations against the timber transports will get more difficult as Total 26,094 tons
it gets darker, I have therefore decided to send U 38 up there.
This boat was to have operated together with U 41, U 43 and U She also brought in the Norwegian "Snar", 3,176, tons,
49, but her sailing has been delayed so long that only a partial timber, as prize.
cooperation would be possible now. U 36 will then be the
second boat to go north. Chances of success will be 13.11 U 40 declared missing today. There is definite
considerably improved if the boats are disposed in quarterline in news of a member of the crew being prisoner of war. It must
the direction of the traffic, about 100-120 miles apart, as then now be assumed after all that she was lost in the Channel.
there would always be at least one boat on the steamer route by Otherwise she would have reported that she had got through.
day. Meanwhile further information has been received of the other
missing boats, which give a different view of the circumstances
U 34 entered port. She sank: of their loss.
1) S.S. Gustav Adolf 935 tons Swedish contraband Letters from prisoners, whose names have gradually
2) British Sperrbrecher 1,200 tons British been given out over the English wireless, show:
3) S.S. Malabar 7,976 tons British U 27: C.O. and crew all prisoners. The boat was chased by
4) Steamer type Cairnona 4,666 tons " destroyers, and finally could do no more. The Commanding
Officer writes: It was only by a lucky chance that we were able
to ge out of the sinking boat, after we managed to surface her
with our last resources and a lot of luck." She must therefore
have shipped so much water through damage to the pressure
hull or through leaks in the stern-tube stuffing boxes or exhaust
valves, that she could no longer be controlled, or her battery
must have been empty. At all events she had to surface and
surrender in the face of the enemy. The depth of water at this
point was 1500 meters. It was therefore presumably west of the
North Channel.
U 39: C.O. and crew prisoners of war. This boat too was hunted
with D/C's. She is said to have suffered much the same fate as Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 27. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

The original assumption that these boats were surprised

on the surface is therefore incorrect.
Close attention must be paid to the problem of pressure-
tightness. The stern-tubes will therefore be repacked after every
patrol. The exhaust valves have been fitted with new packings. each of 2 ships, but did not observe the results owing to anti-
As there are so few boats available for operations at one S/M activity. As the ships were of medium size, it can be
time it is particularly important that they should be able to assumed that they were so damaged that they could not be
remain a long time at great depths. The enemy is able to use a brought in to a port. They can therefore be assumed sunk.
large proportion of his anti-S/M forces against each boat
detected and thus cover a wide area, out of which the boats 14.11 U 38 and U 29 sailed for their operations areas.
have to escape. The long nights will make it easer for them to Attacks on English timber traffic and minelaying off Milford
get away from the pursuing formations, but the summer will Haven. (Operations Orders No. 10 and 12). Professor Cornelius
mean more trouble. With regard to the loss of U 42, it is now visited B.d.U. He was nominated "Torpedo Dictator" some days
known for certain that the C.O. and about half the crew (at least ago, with wide powers, which give him a great deal of scope to
16) are prisoners of war. She must therefore have faced reorganize and develop torpedoes. His duties are of major
differently than U 27 and U 39. importance for the U-boat Arm. It is to be hoped that he will be
Nothing further is known of U 45. completely successful. His duties cover 3 main fields:
1) to eliminate the faults in the pistols
U 25 entered port. The boat did not have much luck. 2) to ensure that the torpedoes will keep perfect depth
The C.O.'s task was no easy one. There were torpedo failures, 3) to ensure adequate production.
the guns failed at a decisive moment and this boat, parts of
which are still rather antiquated, is not easy to handle. She
scored one hit on While at present the torpedo can in no way be regarded
as a front-line weapon of any use, the TMB has proven a very
effective weapon for U-boats. It has nevertheless been found:
1) that large ships are not sunk for certain at depths of about
- 53 - 30 meters
2) that the mines are fired by smaller ships than intended.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
This has led me to go into the question of the use of
mines again with a specialist. The following are the results of a
conference with Commander Lucht:
1) The TMB can only be expected to be fatal up to about 25
2) The firing of the mines by too small ships can be avoided at 1) TMB's may only be laid at depths not exceeding 25 meters.
all depths by a coarser setting of the mine. New tables will have 2) Even shallower depths should be aimed at. For shallower
to be brought out accordingly. water, the mines must be set according to the type of ship
3) The effect of the mine can probably be increased by against which they are primarily intended to react.
increasing the charge, without any great difficulty.
The following steps must therefore be taken at once:
1) New conversion tables must be brought out for coarser 15.11 U 43 reported from the area southwest of Ireland
settings. that the weather was so bad that she could take no offensive
2) The practical possibilities of increasing the weight of the action. According to metrological observations it is not likely to
charge must be examined. The aim would be to construct a improve in the near future and conditions are much quieter on
mine which would: the Portuguese coast; U 41, 43 and 49 have therefore been
a) fill half the tube ordered to proceed on to position "ROT".
b) fill the whole tube.
U 53 reported a convoy west of Gibraltar. During the last few
days Radio Intelligence Service has provided some very useful
The latter would only be for special, rare undertakings, if reports on convoys, no action could be taken as there were no
water depths would make the others unlikely to be effective or boats in the areas concerned. Today several more reports were
where the mines were intended against the largest ships. received on which the boats may in fact be able to act. Reports
Practical conclusions to be drawn are: of enemy surface forces have also now reached such a degree of
accuracy that they are of practical value, which was only seldom
the case to begin with. It is however, desirable that they be
confined to hard facts, without any inferences from individual
- 54 - radio stations; those inferences make it more difficult to sift the
material. Reports can only be evaluated by a unit which is
adequately informed on the whole situation and can take all
factors into account. It would be much easer for the operational
units to make use of the material if it were sifted by a central
department and passed on by them to units concerned. It would
be necessary of course to work very quickly; comprehensive and
connected situation reports are of less value than a collection of
connected reports and dependent operations.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
A radio message from U 45, intercepted by another boat
on 14th October, has now reached B.d.U. It was not received
"B.d.U. from U 45: 3 large darkened steamers, 15 knots,
sunk. Am chasing a 4th steamer 3366 to 3355 BRT." b) It would be quite possible for U-boats to penetrate into the
This is the last news of this boat. At any rate the enemy wider part of the Firth, as far as the boom. There is a shallow
paid dearly for her loss. position here, exactly on the main route, where mines could be

Radio intelligence reports have provided the following

information on the whereabouts of the British battlefleet: This operation must be carried out as soon as possible.
1) the fast battleships and battlecruisers and several a/c There is a good chance of catching large warships. It will
carriers are not in home waters, but on special operations however, be necessary to use mines of greater explosive effect
(chasing pocket battleships or escorting particularly valuable than the TMB, as these cannot be guaranteed to sink if laid at
convoys from Canada). this depth. Then setting must be sufficiently coarse for them not
2) The major part of the remaining battleships apparently use to be exploded by the many merchant vessels which ply in these
mainly the Firth of Clyde as anchorage. waters. The operation cannot be carried out until the mines
The question of a U-boat action here against the English have been manufactured.
fleet has been considered and the following conclusions: c) If the fleet sails north from the Clyde, it will be bound by
a) U-boats cannot attack the anchorages themselves. The ships navigational considerations. U-boats might operate with success
are laying in a long, fairly narrow strip of water, the only access along their route.The only question is: when will the fleet sail?
to which is closed by a boom. As long as it has nothing to do off the entrance to the North Sea,
this is entirely uncertain. It must therefore be forced to go to
sea at a certain time. This can only be effected by operations by
our own battleships.

- 55 - The operation of a lot of U-boats against the Home Fleet

in the Firth of Clyde therefore only promises to be worthwhile if it
is carried out in cooperation with our own surface forces.
Group Command informs that Naval War Staff have
agreed to operations of battleships beyond the line Shetlands-
Norway, as long as the British Fleet is in the Clyde and that such
an operation is being planned for the next days. It appears
however, that it is impossible to postponed this even for a few
days, which would be necessary to prepare the U-boats and get
Date Position, Wind, Weather them to their positions. If it could only have been postponed for
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
4 days a total of 11 U-boats would have been available. On the U 31 and U 35 on 18 November
date fixed on the other hand only 3-4 boats can be sent. U 48 on 20 "
A similar operation will therefore have to be planned for U 36 " 25 "
a later date. If it is planned long enough in advance, the rest of
the U-boat war will not suffer to any extent.
The date must be chosen to fit in with the sailing times I intend to send U 31 and 35 to the sea area south of
of the U-boats, so that they will only have to be kept back for a Ireland and to allow them considerable freedom of action there.
few days and at the worst if the operation falls through, they can They must be able to approach the coast or move further out to
go on to their operations areas for the war against merchant sea according to weather conditions and patrol. Cooperation will
shipping. only be possible to a limited extent and will probably be confined
to an exchange of individual reports rather than shadowing for
any length of time. At first U 28 and 29 will be in the same

(signed): Donitz U 48 is a boat with wide radius of action. She is

Rear Admiral and B.d.U. therefore to operate west of Spain and Portugal, where U 47 will
also be and possibly U 49.
This area has 2 great advantages:
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log 1) The weather is better here in the winter than it is further
16 - 30 November 1939 2) There is less patrol, especially air patrol. If there is any air
activity at all it must be very slight. The traffic situation is very
PG30252 favorable.

U 53 has apparently lost the convoy which she reported

Date Position, Wind, Weather on the 15th for good. Her last report said that she had been
and Sea State, Illumination, Events driven off by a/c with bombs. It was a small convoy of 7 ships.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. As the boat is now west of Gibraltar and her operations area is
east of Gibraltar, she has presumably started on her return

17.11 C-in-C Home Fleet is in the area north and

northwest of Scotland. U 29 is approximately north of the
16.11 U 47 sailed for her operations area in accordance Shetlands. She has been informed.
with Operations Order No. 11.
Group Headquarters West U 53 reported another convoy off Lisbon, 18 ships in 4
The next boats to be ready for operations will be: columns, 5 destroyers escorting. Speed 7-8 knots, main course
north. It is clearly the same convoy that the Radio Intelligence then lost looking up in lists to see if the ship is armed and once
Service picked up on 16 November and fixed several times. the enemy has passed the boat has to haul ahead again; this
It is valuable to have the radio intelligence report means that she must have a greater speed than the ship, which
confirmed by the U-boat. If reports continue to be as accurate is not usually the case with passenger ships.
and to arrive in such good time they will be of great use in the
conduct of the war. U 41 and U 43 are still very far north. It is 18.11 U 31 and 35 sailed for their operations area in
known from experience that it is too early to order them to accordance with Operations Order No. 13.
operate against this convoy yet; but they are proceeding south
and should be on a level with it in 2 days time. U 53 is U 53 continued to shadow the convoy. If contact is
shadowing and reporting at intervals of several hours maintained it may be possible to bring up U 41 and 43. The last
Order received from Naval War Staff to the effect that 24 hours prove that it can be maintained. U 41 and 43 have
unrestricted action can be taken against passenger ships which been ordered to operate against the convoy.
are seen to be armed. As most passenger ships are already
armed, this will mean a great step forward. U 31 had to enter port again because of engine trouble.

19.11 Contact with the convoy was lost after it altered

course, shortly before first light, just at the critical moment. By
- 57 - afternoon the other boats could have been there. Enemy
destroyers drove U 53 off. Although this was very regrettable,
the C.O.'s achievement in shadowing for 36 hours must be
At 1330 the boat had made contact again however. The
others should have been in the vicinity. It must be taken into
account that they have been in operations areas in the north for
several days in bad weather. Considerable errors in E.P. were to
be expected. U 53 was therefore ordered to make beacon
Date Position, Wind, Weather signals. The danger of her being D/F'd was small; it would have
and Sea State, Illumination, Events been impossible from shore and unlikely from the convoy. At
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 1820 contact was lost again, but only an hour later U 41 sighted
the convoy. It had come off; a second boat had been brought up
to the convoy. Soon U 53 was also there again. The boat's error
in EP was about 6-8 miles; this is not much. Nothing was heard
of U 43, but this does not necessarily mean that she was not
there. She had no cause to report, as the enemy was under
In practice of course, boats will only be able to attack constant observation.
passenger ships which they can recognize as armed. Written
lists of armed ships are seldom of any value, because the C.O. After a long silence U 26 reported from west of Gibraltar.
usually cannot identify the type of ship until very late on, shortly She has not carried out the minelay.
before he reaches a favorable position for firing. Mush time is
U 49 reported a premature detonation with the adapted Later U 43 made a radio message. She was ahead of
pistol. This is so far an isolated case and no judgment can be the convoy, but not yet in sight of it and was waiting for daylight
made. to make an attack.

20.11 U 55 lost the convoy when it altered course. U 41 21.11 U 49 did not report until much later. She was
was still there however, and made beacon signals. It is odd that damaged by D/C's, and her bow torpedo gear unserviceable. As
there is no news of sinkings yet after such a long pursuit. U 55 she has only one stern torpedo left serviceable, she has been
attacked and heard 2 explosions. It must be assumed that U 41 ordered to return. U 41's gyro is temporarily out of action due to
also attacked. No failures have been reported. Probably the D/C's.
boats have not been able to observe results after firing. Perhaps
the enemy is purposely not making any losses known, as has The attack on the convoy must be regarded as ended.
happened before. If he has had losses however, he should by The boats have been given a new operations area between 50
now have strengthened the escort and sent out a/c. The convoy and 480 north, east of 120 west. The disposition originally
is only 200 miles away from the French coast. As it is so near planned cannot be carried out now as U 49 has to return home
the coast it will not be possible to attack and the other boats have only a limited amount of fuel left.

U 53 reported that she was starting on her return

- 58 -
U 31 and U 48 sailed, for the first time with anti-mine
escort through the declared area.

In connection with a large-scale operation by our own

battleships U 35, U 47 and U 33 have been kept back in the area
west of the Orkneys. According to a sighting report, not entirely
reliable, from an a/c, the Home Fleet is supposed to be in Scapa.

Date Position, Wind, Weather 22.11 U 38 lay off Westfjord for a few days. The weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events was very bad and the boat observed no traffic. In accordance
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. with orders she reported that she was proceeding north.

23.11 U 43 made contact with a convoy 60 miles north of

Cape Ortegal. Unfortunately there are no other boats in the
vicinity. U 26 is the nearest, approximately in the latitude of
it for much longer. Boats taking part will have to have new Porto. As she has been in her operational area for a very long
operating areas. Nothing is known so far of U 43 and U 49. time, she presumably has only little fuel remaining. Cooperation
According to a French report, a German U-boat is said to have must be attempted however. Unfortunately U 26 has only AFB
been sunk. Both boats have been ordered to report their on board, and shadower's reports will therefore have to be made
positions and intentions. with this clumsy and slow cypher system.
By evening U 43 was driven off and contact lost. a better position to cut off the fleet east of the Shetlands if this
should become necessary.
24.11 U 33 reported that she had sunk a Q ship. Radio
Intelligence reports received late this afternoon indicate that an 26.11 Bad weather continues. It is very doubtful if light
enemy unit may have been sunk in connection with the forces will still be at sea; they have probably sought shelter off
operation of our surface forces, begun on the 22nd, north of the the coast. It is also possible that they have had to put into
line Shetlands-Norway. Thus the enemy must know that there protected places to refuel, as they have been at sea for some
are German forces in this area. It remains to be seen what his time. The 4 boats were therefore ordered to search the east
reaction will be. As there is no clue as to what he will do, the 4 coasts of the Shetlands and Orkneys especially Lerwik. Another
boats off the Orkneys and Shetlands have been left in their good reason for giving this order was the fact that, in this
present positions. The deterioration in weather conditions will weather at sea, boats will probably not be able to attack, where
probably mean that the U-boat's action will be restricted. as on the leeward coast it might still be possible.

U 33 entered port; she laid mines according to plan and

encountered little patrol. There was no traffic in her operations
- 59 - area off the North Channel, and in the end she attacked fishing
trawlers before she left in order not to come home empty-
handed. The C.O.'s report shows that this was a well-conducted
patrol and it is not the fault of the boat that she had so little

27.11 Air reconnaissance identified several groups of

light and heavy naval forces at midday in the Shetland-Norway
Straits, with varying courses. Contact was lost after 2 hours,
Date Position, Wind, Weather owing to the shadowing a/c's lack of fuel. It is nevertheless plain
and Sea State, Illumination, Events that the enemy intends to take up a cutting-off position here.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Search along the leeward coast apparently led to no success. A
temporary slight improvement in the weather is forecast. I
decided to let the 3 boats off the Shetlands coast reconnoiter to
the east as far as the Norwegian coast.

25.11 There is still no indication as to what steps the 1) Searching the coast did not lead to anything; there is
British C-in-C is taking. Weather conditions preclude air apparently nothing there.
reconnaissance. As it can no longer be assumed however, that 2) The enemy was in the Shetlands-Norway Straits. As the
the British Fleet is in the Clyde, the 2 western boats - U 47 and U situation as a whole has not changed, it can be expected that he
35 - were ordered to move further to the northeast, off the will still be there tomorrow (Our own battleships had not yet
Pentland Firth and Fair Island Passage. Here also they will be in returned).

3) The improvement in the weather forecast should mean that 29.11 Again air reconnaissance identified light naval
the boats will be able to attack. forces and a convoy northeast of these in the same area. The
weather continues very stormy. Apparently the U-boats have not
been able to fire.
Our own battleships have returned from the operation; As it must now be taken that C-in-C Fleet's return cannot
their return passage apparently went unnoticed. remain unknown to the enemy for much longer, there is no point
in the boats remaining in the Shetland-Norway Straits for
28.11 Air reconnaissance again identified enemy forces another day, especially as there are believed to be many
in the Straits. destroyers in the vicinity.

U 47 and 48 will continue on their passage to the North

- 60 -
U 31 and 35 have been ordered to occupy the
operations areas on the east coast of England. Their radius of
action is too small to make it worthwhile for them to go into the
Atlantic after the operations of the last few days. They are to
report their stocks of fuel when leaving.

A radio message received from U 29. She does not

consider that the minelaying operation off Milford can be carried
Date Position, Wind, Weather out in the present circumstances. (She had orders not to carry
and Sea State, Illumination, Events out the operation if undue risks were involved). The boat was
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. allocated an operations area in the Bristol Channel.

U 49 entered port. She only managed to fire one torpedo

during the short time she was in the Atlantic, at an escorted
steamer which probably sunk. The boat suffered considerable
damage from D/C's. There are no further details. The
Soon after U 35 reported a London class cruiser and propaganda organization has exaggerated U 47's hit on a cruiser
then U 47 reported a hit on another cruiser of the same class. to a sinking. From the service man's point of view these
The decision to send the boats into the Straits was inaccuracies and exaggerations are undesirable.
therefore correct.
As there is no indication that the enemy knows that C- Radio message from U 38: No shipping sighted off Lola
in-C Fleet has returned home, it is to be expected that he will Bay. No successes. This boat was sent there on the orders of
remain in his cutting off position again tomorrow. I have decided Naval War Staff, in the belief that there was considerable traffic
to let the U-boats remain in the same area. in the area. Later information received by Naval War Staff
indicated that these hopes were unjustified. Now the boat

herself has confirmed this. In the circumstances it is pointless to 1) To attack military bases (in continuation of the attack on
keep the boat there any longer. She has been ordered to return. Scapa Flow) with the object of driving the enemy out of ports
near the North Sea.
U 31's fuel report received, but not U 35's. The boat Acting on these lines, B.d.U. carried out minelays in the
was again ordered to report. beginning of November in Loch Ewe, off the entrance to
Invergordon, and at the entrance to Rosyth in the Firth of Forth.
U 53 entered port. This is the boat which shadowed the 2) To attack enemy merchant shipping. The following fields were
convoy west of Portugal and Biscay from the 17th to the 19th laid for this purpose:
and the operations orders of which were to penetrate into the 2 in the Bristol Channel
Mediterranean. She sank nothing on this patrol. The C.O.'s 1 off the Shambles (Portland)
report shows that she had many chances to attack but did not 1 off South Goodwin
make use of them. The boat did not show enough fighting spirit. 2 off Orfordness
I have therefore decided to 2 off Lowestoff
1 off Newark Lightship
1 off Inner Dowsing
1 off Flamborough Head
- 61 - 1 off Middlesborough (Hartlepool).

3) The following points are of importance with regard to

the mining war:
a) It is a good thing to lay mines at many suitable places, so
that shipping is disorganized everywhere.
b) Places which are particularly suitable, because of narrow
entrances, should be entirely closed for as long as possible by
Date Position, Wind, Weather several minefields.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events c) Mines should therefore be laid starting at the innermost point
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. and working outwards, so that possible later operations are not
prejudiced, even if this means that the first mines are laid in less
promising positions.
d) Mines must be laid at depths at which their effect is likely to
be fatal. Wartime experience has shown that, despite peacetime
expectations, TMB's do not have this effect at depths greater
relieve the C.O. than 25 meters. The Inspectorate of Mining and Barrage was
therefore requested at the beginning of November to construct a
On 30.11 B.d.U. reported to C-in-C Navy in Berlin on the S/M-laid ground mine with a much heavier charge. They have
results of the mining war and further intentions: worked very energetically at this and at present 2 new mines,
The mining war has 2 aims. type TMC, with a 1000 Kg charge, have already been
manufactured for experimental purposes.
4) The next steps in the mining war are therefore planned as a) Closing the Bristol Channel by adding to the 2 minefields
follows: already laid. The minefields to be laid now by U 26 and U 29 off
A) Military Positions: Milford Haven and Swansen also come within this framework.
a) Closing the Firth of Forth, first with 2 TMB-minefields north b) Laying TMB's off Liverpool.
and south of the one laid by U 21 and afterwards by 3 TMC fields c) Laying TMC's on the south coast, off Falmouth, St. Alban's
east of this, but not Head, St. Catherine's Point, Royal Sovereign and Dungeness.
d) Laying TMB's on the east coast at the north entrance to
Yarmouth Roads off Cockle Lightship (now being laid by U 59), off
Newcastle (now being laid by U 61), and off Dundee.
5) As there are so few boats and torpedo warfare still has to be
waged, this plan will take some time to carry out. Some of the
operations can only be carried out at new moon and they are so
- 62 - difficult that special commanding officers have to be selected, all
of which means time.

C-in-C Navy agreed to the proposals and also instructed

me to go into the question of laying mines off Halifax and Blyth.
I requested to defer the Halifax operation until the weather
improves, as in bad weather the boat's radius of action does not
Date Position, Wind, Weather permit their remaining off Halifax for long. Blyth will be mined
and Sea State, Illumination, Events by one of the small boats.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
(signed): Donitz
Rear Admiral and B.d.U.

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

further east than the longitude of May Island. 1 - 15 December 1939

b) Fouling of the Clyde with TMC. After the Scapa incident the
Clyde became the main anchorage for the heavy ships. Only PG30253
TMC's can be used in the Clyde.
c) Completing the minefield off Invergordon with 2 TMB
minefields, followed by 2 TMC fields outside these.
d) Fouling of Plymouth with TMC's.
e) Fouling of the Needles Channel (Portsmouth) with TMC's. Date Position, Wind, Weather
B) Minelaying against merchant shipping: and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
The area off Westfjord is too large to be covered by one boat,
especially in the long winter months.
There is not much hope of success therefore with a
single boat off the Westfjord. There are no further boats
available in view of requirements in the other theatres of war It
Group Headquarters West is therefore necessary to penetrate into the Westfjord.
Permission to do this has only recently been received from Naval
1.12. War Staff. It is stated that the whole of the fjord need no longer
The second order to U 35 has remained unanswered. As be regarded as territorial waters, as claimed by the Norwegians,
every radio message is made at various times on long and short but that here too Germany will only respect the 3 mile zone.
wave, it is out of the question that the boat did not receive it.
Either her radio is out of order or something has happened to U 46 will be ready for operations within the next few
her. days. She is to operate on the west coast of Portugal. At
present this is the best area for U-boats operating against
2.12. U 47 and 48 have also been ordered to report their merchant shipping, as conditions in the winter are better.
fuel stocks. It is necessary to find out how far south they could
still operate, as weather conditions off the Channel seem very U 30 and U 32 will be ready to sail approximately on
unfavorable. 10th December. I intend to give both boats minelaying
operations. By their radius of action they are limited to the area
3.12. According to reports received they could still around England, where weather conditions are at present
operate south of Finisterre for a few days. No decision can be unfavorable for torpedo operations, while the long nights assist
reached until we see what the weather is like when they arrive minelaying close inshore. U 32 will lay mines off the Clyde with
off the Channel, not before 5.12. In itself it would be better to the large TMC's, which have
have them off the Channel, as they could operate there longer.
U 38, on her way back from Kola Bay, was ordered to
occupy the Westfjord as operations area and to attack the ore - 64 -
exports to England, outside the 3 mile limit. There have been
many reports of this traffic, which is fairly heavy. English ships
take a large part. Apparently the ships do not sail individually,
but assemble off Loedingen and sail together, escorted by
English forces. It is not known whether close escort is provided
or whether the escorting vessels merely remain in the vicinity.
The main difficulties of intercepting this traffic are:
1) the uncertainty as to when the ships sail. The attacking
boat might have to wait a very long time. Date Position, Wind, Weather
2) The uncertainty as to whether the ships sail from or at what and Sea State, Illumination, Events
point they leave territorial waters. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

the same way as at present and accept the inevitable losses. It
is only thus that the small U-boat arm, pitted against far superior
meanwhile been finished (charge 1,000 Kg). U 30 will proceed forces, can hold its own as a part of the war as a whole.
to the Irish Sea, off Liverpool. I think this latter operation should
be very successful because: 5.12. C-in-C Navy paid a short visit to Group
1) There is a great deal of merchant shipping traffic here. Headquarters and to B.d.U.
2) So far no U-boats have appeared in this area.
U 26 entered port. She did not carry out her minelaying
operation off Gibraltar as the weather there was too bad. She
was afterwards in the Mediterranean, as ordered, but apparently
The British radio announced the sinking of a German U- struck a poor time for traffic.
boat the crew of which had landed at a Scottish port. Similar The result of her patrol is one steamer sunk. Very little
reports by the enemy have so far been found to be correct. U 35 for 44 days. The stormy weather is mainly to blame. The C.O.
must be presumed lost. Nothing has been heard of U 28 or 29, cannot be blamed for not carrying out the minelaying operation
which should by now have carried out their operations, and it is because he did not consider it possible in view of local
feared that something may have happened to them too. But it is conditions.
also possible that they are waiting for the new moon to lay their These things can only be judged at the time. But he did
mines. In that case they should report within the next few days. not take long enough to make his observations; he should have
at least made one more attempt in different weather conditions.
4.12. U 43 reported that she was starting her return
passage and added that a southwest gale was raging off the
Irish Sea. - 65 -
U 47 and U 48, which will be arriving there soon, will
hardly be able to do anything in such weather conditions. U 47
was ordered to report if weather made action impossible. In this
case I intend to send the boats south of Finisterre in spite of the
short time they will be able to remain there. Letters from
captured members of her crew indicate that U 40 struck a mine.
This is the first proof of mines in the Channel. Air
reconnaissance of the Dover-Calais Straits has not so far been
carried out. Buoys and lightships have been laid off the English Date Position, Wind, Weather
coast, showing that minefields have been laid, but nothing and Sea State, Illumination, Events
certain is known of their position and type. I must now give up Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
this route into the Atlantic; there must not be losses on passage.
With so few boats, each loss means such a considerable
reduction in strength that it outweighs the disadvantages of a
long and fruitless passage. With regard to the boat's operations
as such, I do not see any other way of conducting them if It was a mistake to send U 25, U 26 and U 53 into the
successes are not to decrease. It will be necessary to carry on in Mediterranean. U 25 had to return before she ever got there, U
53 did not get through and U 26 hardly encountered any Cape Finisterre in good weather, she came upon the convoy
shipping worth mentioning. This patrol shows all the reported by U 53, but could not maneuver into a good attacking
disadvantages of a long outward passage. The boat can only position. She fired a number of failures and misses, reasons for
operate for a few days and the operation is without success if which are being investigated. She still had the old type pistols.
she does not come upon any traffic in those few days. The results of her patrol were only fair, due to these failures, but
nevertheless shows ability and determination.
6.12. B.d.U. requested Naval War Staff to extend the
limits within which darkened ships may be attacked without 8.12. An indication of the presence of U 47 and U 48 off
warning. This is desirable: the Channel and south of Ireland is given in the first reports of
1) in view of U 38's present operation off and in the ships sunk.
Westfjord. It is most probable that the English ships there are
darkened. Nearly all of them are painted grey, to make them U 38 has fired 12 torpedoes and has reported that she is
less visible, and are armed.
2) for U-boat operations in the Mediterranean and off the
Portuguese coast. Returned boats say that they sighted - 66 -
darkened ships there and were never certain what to do. Action
according to prize law is very difficult and dangerous for the boat
especially near Gibraltar.

Naval War Staff would not give their approval, as there

might be German ships off the Norwegian and Spanish coasts.

7.12. U 29 reported that she was returning. The boat Date Position, Wind, Weather
could not carry out her minelaying operation because of anti-S/M and Sea State, Illumination, Events
activity and weather conditions (11 days of gales) and now has Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
to return home as her fuel stocks are exhausted. Thank God our
fears for her safety were without foundation.

U 41 entered port. She sank:

1) Trawler Creswell 275 tons returning.She had new type pistols. It remains to be seen how
2) Tanker Arne Kjode 11,500 tons many of these shots were failures.
3) S.S. Darine 1,350 tons
4) Trawler Les Barges 290 tons 9.12. U 30 sailed for her operations area. Minelaying off
13,415 tons Liverpool.

10.12. There is no news of U 28 and some cause for

On her way out the weather was bad and sometimes concern. If so far she has not been able to lay her mines because
stormy and she did not encounter much shipping. Northwest of of the weather and the moon, she must at least be able to
decide now, with a new moon and calm weather, whether she The fate of U 35 is now known. A newspaper picture
can lay them at all. In any case her fuel stocks should have from Scotland shows the C.O. and some members of the crew.
forced her to return by now. The British radio has given out several names of members of the
boat's crew.
11.12. U 30 reported from the northern North Sea that The boat has been declared missing with effect from 12
her port exhaust valve would not close. The boat was in the December.
dockyard from 9.10 to 5.12, during which time her engine casing
was changed and her diving tanks altered. She sailed on 9.12.
If the exhaust valve cannot be repaired at sea, the boat will be - 67 -
unable to dive and therefore forced to break off her patrol. This
means that the operation will have to be postponed until the
next new moon. After that long dockyard period it is hardly too
much to ask that the exhaust valve should be in working order.
If U 30 has to break off her operation I shall demand a
thorough investigation by the dockyard to determine who is to

U 47 reported that she is starting her return passage. Date Position, Wind, Weather
She too has had several dud electric torpedoes, though the and Sea State, Illumination, Events
nature of the failure is not mentioned in the report. One thing is Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
certain now, however; the steps which the Torpedo Inspectorate
promised themselves would remove the cause of these failures
have not led to the desired results.

U 31 entered port. She was kept back off the Orkneys U 47 reported that she was starting on her return
for a time, in connection with an operation by our own surface passage. She has had 6 torpedo failures. U 48 is now the only
forces, and then operated in the North Sea (See F.O. U/B West's boat left in the Atlantic operations area.
War Log).
13.12. An English S/M successfully attacked some of our
In the evening a report was received from U 28. I had light surface forces in the North Sea. So that as extensive a S/M
begun to think she was lost. She has been on her way home for hunt as possible can be organized, all boats in the North Sea
several days and has carried out her minelaying operation. were ordered to make their positions. All the Atlantic boats
There could have been no better news today! The German U- reported, except U 38. There is some clue to her position
boat Arm has one more boat than we thought. however, because of a sinking report near the west coast of
12.12. U 30 has not been able to repair her exhaust
valve and is returning. 14.12. U 38 reported her position off Utsire. U 30 and U
43 entered port. U 43 sank:
1) steamer unidentified: 6 - 8,000 tons
2) tanker, " : 10 - 12,000 tons
3) S.S. Uskmouth: 2,483 tons
total at least 18,483 tons - 68 -

The Commanding Officer did very well in spite of his

young, inexperienced crew and, considering the circumstances,
was very successful.

The case of U 30 has led me to take up the whole

question of dockyard repairs and to get in touch with the Admiral
Superintendent. Date Position, Wind, Weather
The failure of torpedoes has had a very bad effect on U- and Sea State, Illumination, Events
boat operations. The material weaknesses of the boats are of no Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
less importance and they seem to have come more into
evidence since the engine casings have been changed. Even if
this matter were settled, there still remains the fact that the
dockyard periods are very long by comparison with the number
and duration of patrols and that this state of affairs cannot go
on. 3) The dockyard periods must be shortened by rigid
1) One of the reasons for the long dockyard periods are organization of the work. I will not accept bad organization
defects in the boats which are only coming to light now in the which causes boats to have to remain days longer in the
war and can lead to losses. So for instance, defects in the dockyard. Individual commanding officers have been ordered to
exhaust valves have meant that boats could not operate or had assist the dockyard by departments in carrying out the work.
to return home, because they could not dive to a sufficient 4) On 5.12 I had a conference with the admiral Superintendent
depth. Against my recommendations, boats were not allowed to of the Dockyard to discuss these matters. The following was
dive below 50 meters in peacetime; if they had these defects established:
would have been found out before the war started. After they a) that short dockyard periods of 3-4 weeks after patrols are
can only be put right by structural alterations and long and necessary, apart from changing engines and making other
tedious work. This means more work for the dockyard in alterations.
addition to the extra efforts required in wartime. b) that numbers of trained dockyard personnel must be
2) Long dockyard periods mean that there are many boats in the increased to meet the greater demands. The nucleus of
dockyard at a time, which leads to shortage of skilled labor and workmen to service 8 boats is not considered adequate. Peak
supervisors. Personnel untrained in U-boat work cannot take the requirements cannot be met by withdrawing labor from surface
place of skilled workmen. Either therefore the skilled workers vessels.
are overworked or else the untrained men make mistakes which c) Items of work must be organized by the dockyard quickly
mean an even longer period in the dockyard. and efficiently.
The length of dockyard periods for operational boats must be
reduced at all costs.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
15.12. "Graf Spee" is damaged and has put into Montevideo
after her action in the South Atlantic. Naval War Staff has asked
B.d.U. what support U-boats could give the pocket battleship off
the mouth of the La Plata. I have assured Naval War Staff that I
will do all I can and I am determined to try everything possible, 16.12. The U-boat operation in support of "Graf Spee" has
in spite of the great difficulties which an operation of this kind been cancelled. Apparently political considerations make it
with U-boats involves. necessary to decide the pocket battleship's fate sooner.
2 U-boats (U 44 and U 46) can be got ready in time to
reach the La Plata at the beginning of February. The operation U 29 and U 38 entered port.
depends mainly on the question of supply. It will be necessary U 29 has had an unfortunate patrol. The boat sank
to refuel on the way out, on the way back and in the operations nothing and did not carry out her minelaying operation. The
area. Naval War Staff promises supplies in the Canaries and off C.O. obviously made the mistake of thinking all activity of enemy
the La Plata from "Altmark". This means that the operation can patrol vessels and suspicious craft was directed specifically
be attempted. It means going into the Tropics and there is no against his boat, so he did not achieve anything. He will be
experience of U-boats in these areas. Preparations must be given a similar operation next time in order to overcome this
made accordingly. mistake.
Special attention will have to be paid to victualling U 38 sank:
supplies, clothing and medical matters in view of the changes of 1) S.S. "Thomas Walton" 4,500 tons
climate, high temperatures and strong sun. Torpedo pistols, 2) S.S. "Garonfalia" 4,700 tons
electric torpedo batteries and ammunition are also likely to be 3) S.S. "Bredford" 4,000 tons
effected. The necessary steps are being taken immediately. 13,200 tons

(signed): Dönitz She observed lively neutral single traffic on the

Rear Admiral and B.d.U. Norwegian coast. No convoys or English warships seen. Little
traffic off Kola Bay, medium patrol. Adequate lighting from
aurora borealis.
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
17.12. U 47 entered port.:
16 - 31 December 1939 She sank:
1) Unidentified steamer about 12,000 tons
PG30254 2) tanker (Norway) " 10,000 tons
3) tanker (Holland) " 9,000 tons
about 31,000 tons

She also scored one certain hit on a London class cruiser concentration of about 15 boats can however, be expected in
east of the Shetlands on 28.11. Apparently however, the cruiser January and February.
did not sink. This was a good patrol. There is nothing in
particular to say about it. 20.12. U 48 entered port, she sank:
1) tanker "Gustav Reuter" 6,336 tons
18.12. U 28 entered port. 2) S.S. "Navasota" 8,795 tons
She carried out her minelaying operation off Swansea 3) tanker "San Alberto" 7,397 tons
well. She also sank: 4) S.S. "Germaine" 5,217 tons
1) tanker "Sliedrecht" 5,130 tons 27,745 tons
2) steamer from convoy
presumably "Royston Grange" 5,144 tons
10,274 tons This is the C.O.'s third successful patrol. He has sunk
80,380 tons since the beginning of the war.

U 25 reported a bad leak of oil from one tank. The boat

19.12. U 25 and U 46 sailed. Originally U 46 should have has only made one short patrol since the beginning of the war
put to sea earlier, but her sailing had to be postponed owing to and has been in the dockyard the rest of the time. Now she has
engine trouble. Both boats are going to the sea area off the to break off and return to the dockyard again.
west coast of Portugal.
21.12. U 25 entered port and docked. U 46 is the only
Atlantic boat still at sea.
- 70 -
22.12. Nothing to report.

23.12. The reason for the oil leak in U 25 has not yet been
discovered. All the external fuel tanks will have to be
hydraulically tested, which will take until about December 30.

Damage caused by D/C's in U 43 inspected. Damage to

plating of bow-caps - this could be improved. Damage to one
Date Position, Wind, Weather external fuel tank, aft of the conning tower, to starboard - as far
and Sea State, Illumination, Events as can be gathered in retrospect, D/C exploded about 3 meters
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. away.Skin plating dented, several small holes, a few cracks.
Pressure hull shows no effects of the explosion. Supports of
upper deck containers for torpedoes bent. General impression:
material and construction of this type of boat stood up
remarkably well. This impression is confirmed by the experience
U 48 has reached the North Sea via the Fair Isle Passage, of the commanding officer, who says that the boat was
and thus there are no German U-boats in the Atlantic. A
absolutely pressure-tight at depths far exceeding normal (Deutsche Werft and Stuelken), so as not to overburden the West
maximum diving depths. dockyard any more.
3) Admiral Superintendent gave assurances that he would see
U 30 sailed. to it that the West dockyard got the necessary labor.

24.12. Weather report from U 26 - position west of the

25.12. Nothing to report.
Conference with Admiral Superintendent of the
Dockyard. 26.12. Radio Intelligence Service fixed the position of a
1) It was agreed on 15.12 that U 28 and U 29 could also be convoy on the west coast of Portugal. U 46 informed.
repaired in the West dockyard, as there was no lack of skilled
labor. 27.12. Sailing of U 32 again delayed. Exhaust valve leaky.

28.12. U 32 at last ready towards evening. Sailed in

accordance with Operations Order No. 16.

- 71 - 29.12. U 30 reported an attack on a battleship of the

Repulse class on the 28th northwest of the Herbrides. She fired
4 torpedoes and scored one probable hit. According to Radio
Intelligence, this is "Barham". She could however, still make 12
knots and probably proceeded to the Clyde. Shortly after U 30
reported that she had sunk a patrol vessel by gunfire. She has
only one torpedo left.

30.12. U 25 will not sail for at least another day. There

Date Position, Wind, Weather are still traces of oil.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Enemy news service gave a description of the sinking of
a German U-boat off the west coast of Spain. No date given. If
this is not an old report, it can only refer to U 46, the last direct
news of which was received on the 24th (weather report from
west of Ireland). Several sighting reports of 28th and 29th
2) In actual fact it appears that there is not enough skilled appear to refer to this boat.
labor to deal with the boats already in the dockyard. U 32, 30
have been delayed. Mr. SPERLING (West's dockyard's request for 31.12. U 25 sailed. Weather forecast indicates a very cold
skilled workmen was not conceded by the main dockyard). spell. The Kaiser Wilhelm Canal and the entrances to the Baltic
B.d.U. himself therefore transferred U 28 and U 29 to Hamburg may be expected to freeze up. If this is so, U-boat warfare will
probably be affected.
*25.1 U 54 West of Spain and Portugal. Torpedoes
(signed): Dönitz *31.1 U 51 " " "
Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
*New boats or change of C.O.

1940 General considerations for operation:

1) New boats with new C.O.'s will be used as torpedo carriers to get
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log them used to war conditions. Operations areas chosen dependent on radius
of action and expected weather conditions.
1 - 15 January 1940 2) Long nights to be used for as many nine-laying operations as possible,
but restricted to the main enemy, England. Another point in favor of
PG30255 mining operations for boats with small radius of action is the fact that in
winter weather conditions in the operations areas which they can reach are
often such that they cannot take offensive action. In general, reasons for
mining operations are:
1. the fact that the sooner the operations are carried out the less
Date Position, Wind, Weather opposition may be expected.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events 2. the fact that at the moment the enemy has no defense against ground
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. mines and those are therefore largely effective at present.

For these reasons I intend also to use large boats for this if
necessary. Furthermore, boats fitted with mines, are not a total loss to
torpedo warfare, as they only carry one full load of mines in the bow
Group Headquarters West tubes. Reloading mines does not appear to be expedient and in many cases
1.1 During January the following boats will become ready: is not even possible.
Date Boat Intended Operation Weather conditions make it necessary to look ahead and take steps
* 6.1 U 44 West of Spain and Portugal. Torpedoes to get the U-boats in and out through the river estuaries which are freezing
11.1 U 34 Falmouth. TMC up and through the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal. Ice situation discussed with
15.1 U 31 Loch Ewe. TMC Station North. I consider that all the available means of one waterway
20.1 U 41 West of Spain and Portugal. Torpedoes should be centralized under one authority, which would see that
22.1 U 37 " " " a) the waterway was kept open all the time
22.1 U 48 Not yet decided. b) that tug assistance and escort are available when U-boats have to pass
24.1 U 29 Bristol Channel. TMB through.
*24.1 U 55 West of Spain and Portugal. Torpedoes
25.1 U 28 Portsmouth. TMB
ice-breaking on the Jade. Station Baltic has taken similar steps for the
Baltic independently.
- 73 - Thus everything possible appears to have been done to prevent a
hold-up in U-boat warfare through ice conditions for as long as possible.

3.1 According to dead reckoning U 30 is now in the Irish Sea. She

may be expected to carry out the operation within the next days.

4.1 Nothing to report.

Group Command has requested B.d.U. to name a suitable time for

Date Position, Wind, Weather a combined operation by surface forces and U-boats about the end of
and Sea State, Illumination, Events January.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Reckoning that the boats will need about 7 days for the outward
passage, as far as can be seen at present the 30th would be the earliest
possible date for the first day of the operation.

5.1 U 32 off the Clyde, according to dead reckoning. Nothing to

The matter is being discussed between Chief of Staff B.d.U. and report.
Staff Officer Station North and agreement will be reached.
6.1 U 44 sailed for her operations area in accordance with
U 25 again reports a trace of oil. She will have to turn back. Operations Order No. 18.

Naval War Staff has extended the orders for the conduct of the war
against merchant shipping, as far as Greek ships are concerned. - 74 -

2.1 U 46 reported that she was returning, as one main engine was
out of order.
In her case it has been shown that the enemy's sinking reports are
not very reliable unless they contain definite statements of prisoners taken.

The following agreement has been reached on the ice situation:

Station North will request Supreme Command of the Navy for the
old battleships to give assistance with ice on the Elbe, where conditions Date Position, Wind, Weather
are most difficult especially off Brunsbüttel. F.O.I.C. North Frisia has and Sea State, Illumination, Events
been put in charge of ice-breaking on the Elbe, and Naval dockyard with Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
11.1 U 34 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No. 19. Ice
conditions are gradually becoming more difficult. Boats can no longer
make trial runs in the Jade. These have to be carried out off Heligoland.
Boats are piloted in and out by Sperrbrecher and 2 tugs.
Boats are also protecting their sensitive bow-caps by a wooden
7.1 Nothing to report. shoe which is brought out while proceeding through ice.

8.1 U 32 reports that she cannot carry out her minelaying operation 12.1 Nothing to report.
off the Clyde. She has observed fixed listening stations and encountered
strong patrols. She has not apparently succeeded in penetrating into the 13.1 U 25 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No. 18.
inner firth. Naval War Staff has extended the orders for the conduct of the war in
She also reports traffic observed close inshore south of Ailsa Craig certain areas. U 44, which should at present be southwest of Ireland,
Island, at water depths at which mines could be laid. She suggested
making this alternative position and has been given orders to carry out the
operation there. - 75 -
Until I hear the Commanding Officer's verbal report I shall not be
satisfied that the first operation was really impossible.

9.1 C-in-C Navy visited headquarters. Made a report to him on the

state of the U-boat war and future intentions.

10.1 U 46 entered port. She only sank one 3,000 ton steamer, then
fired several misses and failures and received numerous D/C's.
In spite of the small result, the C.O. cannot be accused of Date Position, Wind, Weather
slackness. He went to it, but his firing skill apparently requires perfecting. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
I have decided to give the boat a period of firing practice before her next Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 30 reported that she had completed her operation off Liverpool.

This is very good work and will certainly lead to success.

U 32 reported that she had carried out her operation in the has been ordered to remain off the western approach to the Channel for
alternative position. She has been allocated an operations area off the east a few days, and then proceed to the west coast of Spain at about the same
coast of England further remaining torpedoes. time as U 25.

14.1 Nothing to report.

17.1 U 30 entered port. She sank a patrol vessel type Agatha on
15.1 Nothing to report. her way out and scored a hit on "Barham". The minelay off Liverpool
went off well and according to plan. It required a lot of dash, thought,
ability and determination. It was carried out in shallow water strongly
patrolled. By the 16th 3 mined areas had been declared off the port.
On the day of his return the Commanding Officer had the
satisfaction of knowing that the whole of Liverpool harbor had been
temporarily closed because of mines.

(signed): Dönitz U 31 sailed for her operations area according to Operations Order
Rear Admiral No. 20, after completing trial runs off Heligoland.

A conference was held in Wilhelmshaven with representatives of

F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log the Torpedo Experimental Command because of renewed unexplained
torpedo failures. The main matter under discussion was the suspicion held
16 - 31 January 1940 by B.d.U. for some time now that MZ could fail to fire, even if shot under.
There have been repeated cases of shots fired at close range with good
PG30256 firing data which have not brought results and the reasons have been
obscure even to the Torpedo Inspectorate (U 470). These cases have
increased particularly recently (U 24, U 15, U 20, U 59, U 60). The
Director of the Torpedo Experimental Command reports that U 20's shots
cannot be explained. Even if the speed had been wrongly estimated, at
Date Position, Wind, Weather least one shot should have hit. The only possible explanation for the
and Sea State, Illumination, Events failure of the 3 torpedoes to fire would be the fact that the size of the ship
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. had been very much over estimated. The Commanding Officer of the boat
denies this possibility. I have reached the following conclusions with
regard to these and similar failures!
All the Torpedo Experimental Command's analyses of shots are
possible for the particular case under consideration and possibly correct in
some cases. But I cannot believe that, with a whole series of failures of
this kind, there are other reasons in every case. I am convinced that there
Group Headquarters West is a connection between all these so-called unexplained shots and there is a
16.1 U 44 reports passage from the sea area west of the Channel common cause for their failure which has not yet been discovered. Up to
that she has sunk 3 steamers, including the Dutch S.S. "Arendskork". She now I have believed that in many cases boats have fired past, due to
has started on her passage south, as her position is known. misinterpretation of the firing data or aiming mistakes. In individual cases
I have sent the boat for further training. But now, with these failures of
shots fired under the most simple conditions by a series of the best-trained The attitude to be adopted to this problem is therefore, other
Commanding Officers and torpedomen, I cannot accept this explanation unknown causes of failures are possible. Otherwise we shall never get
any longer. Some of these C.O.'s have undergone 2 years of training in anywhere.
peacetime and all of them, when reexamined, were found to have good or
very good skill in firing. 18.1 There is still uncertainty about the actual possibilities of
From now on, I shall regard all such shots at closest range, where supplying in Spain and a practical experiment is therefore necessary. U
a detailed examination of the circumstances and the firing data exclude the 44, at present off the west coast of Spain, can be used for this; she can then
possibility of a miss, and which so far have been regarded as unexplained, operate together with boats which are sailing up to 14 days after her.
as failures of the firing unit. It has happened again and again in these Supply has therefore been ordered for 25/26 in Cadiz.
cases that the Torpedo Inspectorate
19.1 Nothing to report.

20.1 Ice is beginning to have a direct effect on plans for operations.

- 77 - Firing and diving training in the Baltic will have to be suspended for the
present. There is a choice between delaying the operation of several boats
with new C.O.'s until the cold spell is over or sending them on to
operations before they have completed the scheduled working up and
firing practice periods. As they are all officers whom I believe already
capable of handling difficult situations, I have decided to send them on to
operations immediately. They will first of all go to operations areas where
comparatively little patrol is to be expected. As soon as possible all boats
will be transferred from the Baltic to the North Sea.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events 21.1 U 34 reported that she had carried out her minelaying
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. operation off Falmouth. She has managed it very quickly.

Further sinkings indicate the presence of U 44 off the northwest

coast of Spain. Several U-boat warnings show that the enemy is taking

has held the view that the boats have missed or made incorrect The Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate telephoned me today.
observations, only because the reason for the possible failure was not Trial shots have been made against T 123, which did not fire, and magnetic
known and could not therefore be made to apply and that afterwards their measurements have been made on torpedoes in store, with the result that
view was turned out to be incorrect. See, for instance, premature the Torpedo Inspectorate considers the possibility of torpedoes not firing is
detonations, detonations half-way through the run, firing under with proven.
impact firing.
The fact that its main weapon, the torpedo, has to a large extent recommended setting the pistol 2 zones lower, in order to lessen its
proved useless in operation has been the greatest difficulty with which the sensitivity. This meant that they would not be certain to fire against
U-boat Arm has had to contend with since the beginning of the war and it merchant ships under 3,000 BRT if shot under and such ships would
has had a most serious effect on results. At least 25% of all shots fired therefore have to be attacked with impact firing. An order was
have been torpedo failures. According to statistics covering all shots up to accordingly given to the U-boats by B.d.U. on 14.9.
6.1., 40.9% of unsuccessful shots were torpedo failures. 3) Failures were not eliminated however. Further premature detonations
1) In August 1939, before the boats left port during the emergency were reported.(U 27 reported that the explosion caused slight damage to
period, a conference held in the Torpedo the boat). Until the cause was discovered, the Torpedo Inspectorate
arranged for the torpedoes to be fitted with an "A" setting of the switch,
which made it possible to cut out electric firing.
4) After the "A" setting of the switch had been fitted, B.d.U. ordered on
2.10 that only impact shots were to be fired. This meant that for the
- 78 - present the danger of premature detonation was eliminated. The step was
taken for the sake of safety of the boats, until such time as the cause of
premature detonation was discovered.
5) At the beginning of October the Torpedo Inspectorate stated that the
cause of premature detonation in the G7e had been traced to a bad cable
lay-out. The cables had now been laid differently and the G7e could once
more be fired under. In the case of the G7a mechanical disturbances were
causing premature detonation and the G7a could therefore still not be fired
under until the question was finally cleared up.
Date Position, Wind, Weather I expressed doubts on these different explanations for premature
and Sea State, Illumination, Events detonations, but as the Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate assured me
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. that the G7e was now safe, I decided to try and I released the G7e for
firing under with "MZ".
6) On 18.10 U 46 reported a premature detonation of a G7e in an attack on
a convoy. It was therefore established beyond question that the pistol was
not safe in the G7e despite the adaptation made. I again ordered impact
firing only also for the G7e, with electric firing cut out (switch setting
Trials Department during which the doubts expressed by B.d.U. with "A").
regard to the proper functioning of the pistol were dismissed as unfounded We were thus back where we were in 1914/18. But I had to make this
by Rear Admiral Wehr, Director of Torpedo Trials Department. difficult decision to abandon the much-vaunted, much-discussed magnetic
2) On 14.9 U 29 reported by radio that 2 torpedoes had fired prematurely firing in order to avoid losing boats, directly or indirectly, through our own
after covering the safety distance. The Torpedo Inspectorate first wished weapons and in the interests of U-boat successes.
to make out that the U-boats had made an error in position of 30-60 miles.
I would not accept this explanation. The Torpedo Inspectorate then
7) On 20.10 the Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate informed me by targets with a draft of less than 5 or 6 meters, e.g. destroyers could not be
telephone that he had discovered that day that the torpedo (G7a and G7e) attacked.
was keeping a depth 2 meters below 8) On 23.10 a conference was held in Wilhelmshaven between B.d.U.,
Director of Torpedo Inspectorate and Director of Torpedo Trials
Department and Torpedo Experimental Command, in which the following
points were confirmed:
a) variations in depth considerably greater than hitherto assumed were to
be expected.
b) that the cause of premature detonation had not yet been established.
- 79 - c) at B.d.U.'s request, it was agreed that at least the explosion at the end of
the run which had also frequently occurred, should be eliminated in the
near future.
It was thus established that the effective functioning of the torpedo was
very limited indeed:
with impact firing, danger of passing under with "MZ" shot, danger of
premature detonation.

Date Position, Wind, Weather 9) On 5.11 a new (adapted) pistol was brought out and it was hoped that,
and Sea State, Illumination, Events by stabilization of the needle, it would be proof against premature
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. detonation. The pistol was designated Pi(A-B). With this pistol use of
magnetic firing was again permitted. Depth was to be set at draft of target
plus 1 meter. All our hopes were now centered on this pistol and further
reports received of failures of the present pistol seemed less important.
10) U 28 and U 49 were the first boats to sail with Pi(A-B), on 8.11 and
9.11 respectively. On 19.11 U 49 reported one G7a premature detonator
that indicated. Numerous reports from boats, stating that the after the safety distance had been covered, one G7e probably failed to fire,
torpedoes had failed to fire with impact firing units despite good firing 2 G7a detonated after covering 2000 meters. This was a bitter
data, also indicated that the torpedoes were running deeper than their disappointment and our best hopes were dashed in one blow. Apparently
setting and therefore passing under the target. I therefore ordered on 20.10 there was no improvement on previous conditions. Further reports
that torpedoes with impact firing were to be set at a maximum depth of 4 followed from other boats of premature detonations and failures to fire.
meters. At the suggestion of the Torpedo Inspectorate, I ordered further 11) Some of the specialists in the Torpedo Inspectorate suggested that the
that torpedoes with impact firing were to be set at 2 meters or less than the pistols should be set 2 zones below the setting shown in the chart in order
draft of the target. But in order to avoid surface breaking and consequent to reduce sensitivity and so avoid premature detonation. The depth setting
cold running the minimum depth setting had to be fixed at 3 meters, and 4 should be the same as the draft of the target and
meters in an Atlantic swell. This meant that torpedoes could not be fires at
examined by the Torpedo Inspectorate. They thought that these must be
due to misses or be regarded as unexplained. I can no longer accept this
explanation. in view of the large number of reports of shots failing to fire
with certain firing data. I consider that in many cases the failure of the
pistol to fire is proven and I made this quite clear in a conference with
- 80 - Torpedo Experimental Command on 19.1 (see War Log of 17.1).
14) Experimental firing at T 123 afterwards showed that in fact several
pistols failed to fire when shot under. The Torpedo Inspectorate now
admits the possibility of failures to fire and issued the following
instructions, to be passed on to the boats, on 21.1:
1. For targets under 4,000 BRT, destroyers and surfaced S/M's, depth
setting 4 meters.
2. The pistol may fail to fire against targets under 1,000 BRT.
3. For all other targets, depth setting draft plus 1 meter, even in bad
Date Position, Wind, Weather weather.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events The results remain to be seen.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

15) In addition to the negative results of trial firing at T 123, recent

magnetic measurements of the body of the torpedo and the battery
compartment have shown that these exercise an irregular, unstable
magnetic effect on the pistol and may cause a strengthening (premature
the torpedo thus brought closer to the ship so that the firing field detonators) or a weakening (firing failures) of the magnetic unit. The
would be effective even at the reduced pistol sensitivity. I was against this torpedoes in store are to be demagnetized. The Torpedo Inspectorate
and the Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate and the remaining specialists doubts if this will be successful. The causes of the failures have therefore
agreed with me. by no means been mastered.
12) Small alterations to the pistol (insulation of the copper cap, smoothing 16) The Commanding Officers' and crews' confidence in the torpedo is
a thrust collar) did not bring any improvement. Every now and then very much shaken. Again and again the boats have tried, in the face of
premature detonations seemed to become fewer for a time and firing under strong enemy activity, to fire their torpedoes under the best possible
was adhered to, because firing with impact firing units would again have conditions and often when they have made a daring attack they have been
meant many failures due to passing under.
13) Report of shots, in which the pistol failed to fire, despite certain firing
data, became more and more numerous. The Torpedo Inspectorate
believed that the pistol could not fail to fire if shot under and refused to
accept any idea that failures could be caused by this section of the pistol. I
had all shots, which the commanding officers believed to be failures to fire
- 81 - lay the mines, although he himself did not think he had been detected. He
did not make another attempt on another day. The operation was a
difficult one - too difficult for this C.O. I shall arrange for another boat to
carry it out.

23.1 U 34 and U 44 each reported a convoy in her operations area.

At the moment there are so few boats in operations area - 2 off the coast of
Portugal and 2 south of Ireland - that it will be a matter of great luck if
these few boats, which are spread over a wide area, succeed in working
Date Position, Wind, Weather together. But the attempt must be made.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. In one case it was possible to achieve cooperation between boats
which were at first 800 miles apart. The danger of the boat making beacon
signals being D/F'd and the enemy taking action accordingly, by evasive
maneuvers and anti-S/M hunts, must be regarded as much less
considerable than was feared before the war. As far as it has been possible
to carry out any investigations, the following has been established:
rewarded with failures and even danger to themselves. At least 300,000 1) Bearing errors, dependent on the distance from the enemy coasts,
tons, which might have been sunk, can be reckoned lost through torpedo average 60-80 miles at a range of 300 miles and often amount to much
failures. I think it is certain, for instance, that U 47 Lieut.(s.g.) Prein's shot more. The best bearing known to B.d.U. was 30 miles out, and that in the
at the London class cruiser was a premature detonator. It is very bitter for immediate vicinity of the west coast of France. The largest error was 325
Commanding Officers and the executive control to find that the U-boat miles at a range of 600 miles.
Arm cannot achieve the success expected of it, in spite of a thorough 2) So far it has not been observed that convoys alter their route when such
peacetime training, because of torpedo failures. warnings are received. It is doubtful whether this would be of any use as
I will continue to do all I can to keep up the fighting spirits of the U- any detours made, unless they were very long, would be as likely to bring
boats in the face of all the setbacks. We must continue to fire torpedoes in the convoy nearer to the U-boat DF'd as away from it.
order to discover the causes of the defects and remove them. But 3) There is some indication that the enemy sends anti-S/M forces into the
commanding officers and crews will only gradually regain full confidence area in which radio D/F bearings have
in the torpedo if lasting technical improvements can be made.

22.1 U 32 entered port.She carried out her minelaying operation

and also sank a steamer of 800-1,000 tons in the North Sea.
The Commanding Officer's explanation of why he thought the - 82 -
minelay could not be carried out in the Clyde is not convincing. He
pressed a long way forward and turned back when he was in the midst of
anti-S/M forces and only a few miles from the position in which he was to
25.1 No news of U 51 and U 55, both on their first patrol west of
the English Channel.

Ice conditions are causing major delays in spite of all measures

taken (see F.O. U/B West's War Log). Kiel boats can no longer be easily
Date Position, Wind, Weather transferred. On some days even old battleships cannot pass the Elbe.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events There are delays and hold-ups a days on which many boats have to be
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. taken in and out. In spite of ice escort, damage still occurs. U 48
damaged her propellers, even though she was being towed, and U 29 her
bow caps. U 53's protective ice shoe on the bows broke and she had to
turn back.

been obtained. A direct attack is likely to be successful in only very rare 26.1 The supply planned for U 44, under cover name "Moro" has
cases, in view of the errors in fixing, but the anti-S/M forces are then in had to be abandoned. The boat has been pursuing a convoy and has used
the vicinity and are able to strike more quickly and surely if reliable details so much fuel that if she makes the detour to the place of supply and then
of the U-boat's position are received (sinkings, sighting reports). meets with difficulties which prevent her taking over supplies, she may not
The use of radio must therefore continue to be reduced to a be able to reach home.
minimum, but radio silence must not become an end in itself. Successes These unforeseen difficulties will continue to cruise until practical
are not likely to be reduced by the use of radio. On the contrary, if it is experiment has shown that the preparations made correspond to the
correctly used, chances are increased, but it also means that anti-S/M requirements. U 25 has been ordered to supply instead of U 44.
activity will increase.
At present it is not possible to make the desired mass attacks on 27.1 Naval War Staff has extended the areas of "A" and "B" zones
merchant shipping, as there are not enough boats available, but and delimited the new zone "C" in the North Sea.
nevertheless the procedure for possible organized attacks must be studied
and tried, so that, if the war should last for some time and when the
numbers of U-boats have been increased to meet operational requirements,
there will be plenty of well-trained tactical leaders and all technical - 83 -
questions of operational control will be cleared up. If in this war the effect
of U-boats has been greater rather than smaller by comparison with the
World War in spite of undoubtedly stronger opposition this must be
ascribed at least in part to a more carefully planned and controlled
disposition made possible by more extensive technical means of control
than were available in the World War.

24.1 Nothing to report.

Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events case the principle has to be relaxed. It is very doubtful whether the
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. operation will have the desired effect at all, i.e. that of drawing away the
patrol vessels and it is possible that it will merely attract more such
vessels. It will hardly come as a surprise, as it is known for certain that 4
German U-boats are believed to be in that area. Nevertheless, after
consulting Naval War Staff, I decided to give the order, so that I shall at
U 31 reported that she had carried out her minelaying operation in least have done everything possible to assist the sailing of the steamers.
the position planned and was starting on her return passage.

28.1 U 34 and U 44 reported that they were starting return passage. (signed): Dönitz
Rear Admiral
29.1 U 55 reported a convoy southwest of Land's End. Later radio
intelligence reports showed that a 5,000 ton steamer had been sunk. The
boat lost contact towards the evening. Enemy radio traffic became very F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
active, with U-boat warnings and orders for anti-S/M forces.
1 - 15 February 1940
30.1 U 51 reported that she was returning owing to a technical
defect in the bow caps. PG30257

The enemy news service announced the sinking of a U-boat.

According to the description of the incident, which sounds genuine, it
must be U 55. The boat is said to have been unable to dive and destroyed
by A/C. Some of the crew were saved. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
31.1 U 48 sailed for a minelaying operation in accordance with Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
Operations Order No. 22.

News was received overland of supply operation under cover

name "Moro". Everything went off according to plan. U 25 has now been
ordered to make a surprise attack on French patrol vessels which have
recently been reported several times off Vigo, so that the German steamers 1.2 U 26 and U 37 sailed for operations in accordance with
in Vigo will be able to sail on 6.2 as planned without difficulty. In itself Operations Orders No. 23 and 21. U 31 reported that she was returning.
this is not a suitable operation for a U-boat as the patrol consists of
trawlers and destroyers, vessels which can act as S/M chasers but present a 2.2 Nothing to report.
difficult target for the U-boat. In the ordinary way efforts must be made to
operate U-boats in areas where there are no anti-S/M vessels, but in this 3.2 U 31 entered Heligoland.
4.2 U 31 left Heligoland for her operations area in accordance with U 34 entered Wilhelmshaven. She carried out her minelaying
Operations Order No. 23. She had to turn back in the evening as her gyro
was out of order.
- 85 -
Ice conditions this winter make it clear that a base for U-boats in
Heligoland is essential. It is therefore particularly gratifying to B.d.U. that
steps were already taken in peacetime so that there are now some facilities,
though limited. The use of Heligoland and the adjacent exercise area at
present are limited by the following conditions:
1) There are only mediocre berths for U-boats in the harbor. The
structure of the harbor makes supply and refueling difficult. There are at
present no facilities for extensive repairs, docking etc. It is difficult to get
spare parts, as ice conditions make communication with the island difficult Date Position, Wind, Weather
and subject to delays. Specialist personnel have to be sent with them from and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Wilhelmshaven. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
2) The sea area around the island is not free of enemy activity. S/M hunts
cannot be carried out in the U-boats training areas. Danger from the air
has to be accepted without it being possible to call on local defense forces.
There are not enough S/M chasers and patrol vessels.

operation off Falmouth well and quickly. She also sank a steamer of
12,000 tons. West of North Channel she sighted 2 battleships and a cruiser
U 31 entered Wilhelmshaven from Heligoland after a passage steering for the North Channel, but she had no torpedoes left and would
lasting 10 hours. She carried out her minelaying operation off Loch Ewe not in any case have reached firing range. Several U-boats have observed
well. Conditions during the whole patrol undoubtedly made it easier for 2 battleships in company in the area west and north of Scotland. It seems
her. She did not encounter any patrol by sea or air the whole time. probable that there is a permanent patrol here by a battle group of heavy
ships, covering the approach to the North Sea from the Atlantic.
5.2 U 34 entered Heligoland.

U 28 and U 33 left Wilhelmshaven for Heligoland to make trial A S/M alarm on 5.2 immediately off Heligoland made it necessary
runs etc., and will proceed from there to their operations areas. to take decisive measures for boats training there. (see F.O. U/B West's
War Log).
6.2 U 50 and U 53 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No.
23. U 50 turned back towards evening owing to a trace of oil due to a U 29 sailed for Heligoland.
burst pipe.
7.2 U 33 left Heligoland in accordance with Operations Order No. 38,266 tons

8.2 U 51 entered port, having completed her first patrol. She had
to return sooner than would have otherwise been necessary owing to a
technical defect which impaired her ability to dive. Her results are - 86 -
therefore small.
Unidentified steamer about 1,600 tons
S.S. "Eika" 1,503 tons

Nevertheless the Commanding Officer showed determination. He

had the right idea. The second steamer which he sank, a Norwegian whose
identity was so unrecognizable that he thought it was an English ship right
up to the end, attempted to ram the U-boat when submerged. The C.O. Date Position, Wind, Weather
then made a quick decision to fire in spite of the fine inclination. It was and Sea State, Illumination, Events
only when the steamer was sinking that he identified her as a neutral and Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
saved 2 members of the drew, who were apparently the only survivors, in
order to discover whether she really was a neutral ship or a camouflaged
enemy. As in a similar case some months ago in which a Danish steamer
tried to ram U 3 (see F.O. U/B West's War Log), this incident proves that
greatest care is necessary even with neutrals. In this case the steamer
received her first punishment. This is the most successful patrol so far, perfectly executed and
rewarded with well-earned success.
9.2 U 44 entered port. She sank:
1) A darkened steamer about 3,000 tons Boats which have recently been in contact with convoys all report
2) Dutch S.S. "Arendskerk" 7,906 tons very broad, not very deep cruising formations with small distances
contraband between ships. The escort was in some cases over 1000 meters ahead. In
3) Darkened steamer about 4,200 tons some cases the escort was close up to the convoy, around and on both
contraband wings, and the wing destroyers made circles around several ships, i.e.
4) Danish S.S. "Canadian Reefer" 1,831 tons passed through the gaps.
5) S.S. "Ecatontracos Draculi" 5,329 tons
darkened 10.2 Operations against "Ark Royal", "Renown" and "Exeter"
6) Steamer in convoy about 6,000 tons On 7.2 a radio intelligence report was received stating that "Ark
7) Armed steamer " 7,000 tons Royal", "Renown" and "Exeter" had left freetown and that "Ark Royal"
8) Steamer without markings " 3,000 tons would be in a certain indicated position about 200 miles northwest of
Madeira at 000/11/2, course 150, speed 22 knots. "Renown" and "Exeter" so definite that hope of the boat's only having been seen need be
would be about 180 miles astern of this, making 16 knots. abandoned.
As these positions are very far away and there is yet no indication
of what port they are making for, I consider that it would be premature for
the boats to take action on this report from the positions they have at - 87 -
present reached. The Chief Radio Intelligence station today expressed the
view that a channel port was probably the port of destination, but this still
does not alter my opinion. In order to be able to act on further details,
more exact details from the Radio Intelligence Service, I decided however,
to keep back the boats in the area south of Ireland off the Channel
approach. U 26, 37 and 48 received orders accordingly, although it is not
certain that these boats have actually reached this position. It is doubtful if
U 26 and U 37 have got so far, and it is not known if U 48 has completed
her minelaying operation. It must also be remembered that the C.O. of U Date Position, Wind, Weather
26 has had little experience and ought not, if possible, to be faced with the and Sea State, Illumination, Events
difficult task of operating against warships on his first patrol. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

11.2 U 29 left Heligoland in accordance with Operations Order No.


After U 25's successful supply operation, cover name "Moro", U

41 has now been ordered to supply in the same way. This boat has been C-in-C Navy visited Headquarters West. B.d.U. briefed him on
west of Vigo for the last few days in order to make use of chances of the situation and future intentions.
attacking enemy patrol vessels and thus make it easier for our own
merchant ships to leave the port. So far no results of her activity are Operation against "Ark Royal" etc.
known. Most of the steamers have sailed however, and the operation can A fresh Radio Intelligence report on Ark Royal gives the A/C
therefore be regarded as completed. carrier's exact position for 0900/12/2 with her escort of 4 destroyers.
According to this, she has altered course. Assuming that she is still
U 48 reported that she had carried out her minelaying operation in making 22 knots, she can be expected to pass the Channel-approach about
the main position and had also sunk the Dutch S.S. "Burgendyk" in the morning of 13.2. There is further confirmation of the suspicion that
accordance with prize law. she is making for the Channel. Although the exact positions of the U-
boats were not known, I decided to operate the boats kept back in this area
12.2 U 54 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No. 25. against her. It was known that U 48 is west of the Channel again and it
could therefore be assumed that U 26 and U 37 will have arrived there by
Radio Intelligence Service has reports of the sinking of a U-boat in now at the latest. On the morning of 12.2 they were allocated operations
the Clyde. If this is correct, it can only be U 33. But the report's are not areas in the Channel approach. Shortly after this order was given U 48
reported a convoy on a westerly course. As she was in contact with the
enemy and possibly about to score a success, I did not think it right to
interfere with her operations. U 37 also made a radio message. She was
in a favorable position for an attack on "Ark Royal". Nothing was known
of U 26's position. During the night however, she also made a radio
message. She was a long way off and could not make sufficient speed
against the heavy sea to reach her position in time. Meanwhile U 48 had Date Position, Wind, Weather
lost the convoy. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
13.2 Operations against "Ark Royal" etc.
On the morning of 13.2 the situation was:
U 37 presumably in position
U 48 also in position, or in the immediate vicinity.
U 26 a long way off, making little headway against the sea.
I gave the following order: 14.2 Reports have been received of several steamers sunk in the
"U 37 and U 48 to make every effort to take up the attacking sea area south of Ireland, including a 12,000 tonner.
position ordered. Only particularly valuable targets are to be attacked until
boats are dismissed from this position. 15.2 "Ark Royal", "Renown" and "Exeter" have arrived at the
U 26 will occupy an attack area......" (an area corresponding to her Channel ports. U 37 therefore required new orders. She was ordered to
present position). This was necessary, because she could no longer reach proceed to the west coast of Spain with U 26 and to act there as tactical
her position and was then in danger of using up her fuel for nothing. leader of the group U 26, U 37, U 50, U 53, U 54 and perhaps later also U
At midday a radio message was received from U 48 which, from 41.
the position given, showed that she had tried to regain contact with the
convoy. She pursued it so far to the west and was then such a long way According to a radio intelligence report a convoy is to be west of
from the Channel approach (340 miles) that she was unlikely to be able to Porto on 17.2 and the nearest boats, U 26, U 37 and U 53 will will first be
get back there inside 2 days (wind E 7). operated against this. U 29 has been kept off the North Channel because
This action by the C.O. of U 48 will have to be thoroughly of the "Nordmark" operation which is to take place within the next days.
investigated when he gets back. It was already doubtful whether he should (see F.O. U/B West's War Log).
have been left with the convoy, but when he had lost contact and received
new orders, he should never have allowed himself to be lured so far west U 53 reported that she had sunk 30,000 tons.
that in the end he could not carry out these orders.
(signed): Dönitz

- 88 - ---------------------------------------

Appendix to B.d.U. Naval War Staff's War Log

MOST SECRET and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Operations against "Ark Royal", "Renown" and "Exeter" Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

1) 2020/7/2 radio intelligence report:

A/C carrier"Ark Royal" will be in square DH 1359, course 150, speed 22
knots at 257/10/2. Battleship "Renown" and heavy cruiser "Exeter" will
be in square DH 4377, course 30, speed 16 knots at 0011/11/2.
2) 1720/9/2 radio intelligence report: 6) 8050/12/2 radio intelligence report:
A/C carrier "Ark Royal" is expected to be in the area of the western French patrol vessels were informed early on 12/2 by Admiral West that
approach to the Channel on 13/2, and heavy cruiser "Exeter" on 14.2. The English A/C carrier "Ark Royal" would be in square 9191 at 0900/12/2
units are expected to proceed to Portsmouth or Davenport. The destroyers GMT.
"Diamond" and "Dainty" are probably with the ships mentioned. 7) 0900/12/2 radio intelligence report:
3) 1100/10/2 T/P from Naval War Staff to B.d.U.: Additional to radio intelligence report 0845: there are English destroyers
Radio Intelligence Service's exact information on the homeward passage with "Ark Royal".
of "Ark Royal", "Renown" and "Exeter" appear promising for a mass 8) 0915/12/2 radio message from U 37:
operation of Atlantic boats at the western approach to the Channel. Enemy destroyer and suspicious ship in sight. Enemy is steering a
4) 1725/10/2 radio message to U 26: westerly course, making high speed, square 1737 BF.
Operations area for U 26 until further orders is: square 3000 BE right half 9) 0920/12/2 radio message to U 26, U 37, U 48:
and square 1000 BF left half. Proceed to channel approach between Start Point and Quessant.
5) 1750/10/2 radio message to U 37 and U 48: 10) 0945/12/2 radio message to U 26, U 37, U 48:
Operations area for U 37 for the present is off the Channel approach east Take up attacking position along the line Lizard Head-Los Sept Isles, U
of 90 west and south of 490 20 mins. north. U 48 will be north of this line. 48 north of 490 40 mins. north, U 26 south of 490 18 mins. north, U 37 in
the center "Ark Royal" is expected to pass eastbound early on 13/2,
"Renown" and "Exeter" early on 14/2.
11) Midday 12/2 received from U 48:
Enemy convoy 490 55 mins. north, 090 36 mins. west, course 2600,
- 89 - speed 9 knots. There followed the following radio messages with T.O.O.
as given:
1307: 490 59 mins. north, 090 56 mins. west, course 2600, speed 8 knots.
1359: 400 58 mins. north, 090 53 mins. wets, course 2650, speed 8 knots.
1501: 490 58 mins. north, 100 06 mins. west, course 2500, speed 8 knots.
1730: 490 56 mins. north, 100 48 mins. west, course 2600, 9 knots.
1755: Contact lost. Last position observed:
490 55 mins. north, 100 54 mins. west.
12) 2132/12/2 radio message to U 26, U 37, U 48:
Date Position, Wind, Weather
"Ark Royal" was in 450 north, 150 west at 0900/12/2, speed so far 22 Position 49 03 N., 14 35 W. wind E7, 65 cbm. remaining, 3 electric
knots. Expected port of destination Portsmouth. torpedoes, 2 air-driven torpedoes ready. S/M chaser croup 4950 N., 11 25
13) 2350/12/2 radio message from U 26: W. No secret grid chart on board.
1) Position 3592 BE, can only make 7 knots owing to weather. 16) 1440/13/2 radio message to U 26, U 48:
2) 3 premature detonators. U 26 to operate north of 400 30 mins. north, U 48 south of the line.
17) 2209/14/2 radio message to U 26 and U 53:
Proceed on to area "ROT". U 53 was in 500 50 mins. north, 140 30 mins.
14) 0819/13/2 radio message to U 26, U 37, U 48: west at 1900.
U 37 and U 48 make every effort to take up attacking position ordered. 18) 0015/15/2 radio message to U 37:
Until boats are dismissed from this position only particularly valuable Move off to operations area in accordance with Operations Order IV, b).
targets are to be attacked. U 26 to occupy square 3000 BE right half and 19) 0550/16/2 radio intelligence report:
square 1000 BE left half as attack area. By 15/2 A/C carrier "Ark Royal" was in Portsmouth and had probably
been there since the evening of 13/2. Battle cruiser )T.N.: sic) "Renown"
and heavy cruiser "Exeter" entered Plymouth at 0800/15/2 GMT.
Destroyer "Here" arrived at Portsmouth towards 1630/15/2 GMT.

- 90 -
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

16 - 29 February 1940


Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events Date Position, Wind, Weather
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

15) 1215/13/2 radio message from U 48:

16.2 It seems more and more likely that U 33 has been lost.
Several radio intelligence reports show that she was in action with an U 25 entered port. She sank:
English minesweeper and then surrendered. Assistance was requested to 1) Armed merchant ship about 5,000 tons
rescue survivors. The English authorities assumed that mines had been 2) Norwegian Enid 1,440 tons
laid. This is not improbable, as these events took place in the early (attempted to escape)
morning hours. The boat would certainly not have chosen this time to 3) Escorted steamer (Pajala?) 6,873 tons
penetrate into the Clyde and she then at latest would have been on her way 4) Norwegian Sonja 2,977 tons
out. If she really did lay the mines, the high price paid will have been (contraband)
worth it. 5) S.S. Armanistan (English) 6,805 tons
6) Steamer in Zone A 5,000 tons
17.2 U 37 reported a convoy in southwest Biscay on a 27,795 tons
southwesterly course. She pursued it for some hours and lost it again
towards evening.
She was also the first boat to supply under "Moro". C.O.'s report
U 53 sighted the convoy reported by the Radio Intelligence on this: Enemy patrol vessels immediately outside territorial waters.
Service and was shadowing. Careful, effective preparations had been made at the place of supply. No
difficulty in supplying without being noticed. No moon essential.
18.2 U 37 came up to the convoy reported by U 53. Apparently 2
ships were sunk. Then U 53 lost contact. Meanwhile the boats had used so
many torpedoes that they had to reload from the upper deck containers. - 92 -
Both tried to do this, independently of one another, off the Spanish coast.
Neither succeeded owing to strong patrol. They started on their return
passage and reported their intention of trying again off the Irish coast. U
37 reported 43,000 tons sunk.

There is no information on U 26. She was operating against the

same convoy and must therefore be in the same sea area. She was ordered
to go to operations area "ROT" and to report.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
Information was received overland that U 41 did not turn up for and Sea State, Illumination, Events
supply "GATA". She may have been delayed a day. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 28 sailed in accordance with Operations Order No........

19.2 U 26 reported. She is returning to her old operations area

south of Ireland, as she is short of fuel.
"Nordmark" operations completed. U 29 has been ordered to
continue on her passage. U 52 is a new boat. She is to make her first patrol alone in areas
which are less strongly patrolled.
20.2 Nothing to report.
U 38 will probably be the first boat ready and first to go to the area
21.2 Nothing to report. west of Portugal. She may later join the attacking group.

22.2 U 50 made contact with a convoy and sank a tanker from the 24.2 U 32 sailed for her operations area, but had to enter port again
group.She was then ordered to return to port since one of her diesels had on the same day because of a trace of oil.
broken down.
U 48 entered port. She carried out her minelaying operation
23.2 Ice conditions still do not permit an estimation of the dates of quickly and well, and also sank:
readiness of the next boats. It is to be expected however, that U 30, U 34, 1. Dutch S.S. Burgerdyk 6,853 tons
U 38 and U 52 will be ready by the end of February and U 43, U 47, U 49, 2. English S.S. Sultan Star 12,306 tons
U 46 and U 51 at about the same time at the beginning of March. A 3. Dutch tanker Den Haag 8,971 tons
special operation had originally been planned for U 38 and U 43, but it has 4. Enemy steamer of about 6,000 tons
been postponed by C-in-C Navy for political reasons. Then it was 34,130 tons
intended to operate these boats in the Mediterranean in the Cape Bon sea
area. This project also had to be abandoned on the orders of C-in-C Navy,
for political reasons. I now intend to form an attacking group with the
boats which will be ready at about the same time, i.e. U 43, U 46, U 47, U
49 and U 51. Its main task will be to intercept a convoy in the area of - 93 -
greatest convoy traffic. If this succeeds I think it will have better results
than would the same amount of single-ship tonnage sunk. It is also
necessary to get experience of controlled U-boat operations in good time,
so that, when more boats are available, there will be a clear idea of the best
way of conducting such operations. The subsidiary task for this group will
be to rake the sea area north and northwest of Scotland for warships which
have often been reported there. (For execution see Operations Order No.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 30 and U 34 cannot join this group as their radius of action is and Sea State, Illumination, Events
too small. They are to operate west of the Channel. This is a good area, Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
but cooperation is difficult as it is so close to the coast. The boats will
have to operate individually in the main. They can therefore sail as soon
as they are ready and need not wait for one another.
5) Steamer in Zone B 6,500 "
6) Steamer 7,000 "
She has now sunk a total of 16 ships, 114,510 tons, in 4 patrols. 7) " 8,000 "
Her sinking figures are the highest at present. She has done excellent 8) Tanker 6,000 "
work, especially as her last patrol was a mining as well as torpedo 45,000 tons
operation. Successes from the minelay are not yet known, but can
certainly be expected, and will have to be added to the figures sunk given
above. An excellent patrol.
With regard to the C.O.'s decision to pursue the convoy instead of The boat observed strong enemy patrols off the Spanish coast,
taking up the "Ark Royal" position, it is a fact that he did not act in which confirms the recent radio intelligence picture. THis will have to be
accordance with orders. taken into consideration for later operations.
But in view of the impression which he had, he only realized late
that he had done wrong. I have therefore omitted to take any further 28.2 U 53 did not report. The order has been repeated.
29,2 No news of U 53. Otherwise nothing to report.
25.2 U 26 reported that she was starting on her return passage.
(signed): Donitz
No news has been received of U 41. She did not turn up for Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
supply "Cata". She should have reported if she had been prevented from
carrying out the supply operation. She cannot yet be presumed lost for
certain, but her loss is likely. F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

26.2 U 32 and U 38 left for their operations areas in accordance 1 - 15 March 1940
with Operations Orders No. 26 and 29.
27.2 U 53 has been ordered to report her position. Since she
reported her intention to reload torpedoes on the Irish coast, nothing has
been heard of her. It is possible that she started on her return passage
without reporting and has now been in the North Sea for some time.
Operations control must know where she is. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
U 37 entered port. She sank: Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
1) Tanker about 6,000 tons
2) Steamer in Zone A " 7,000 "
3) " " B " 4,500 "
4) Patrol vessel " ? "
1.3 Nothing to report. U 29 reported that she had carried out her minelaying operation in
the inner position. Particularly good results are expected from this.
2.3 U 50 entered port. She sank:
1) Steamer without markings in Zone A about 3,500 tons 6.3 U 38 and U 52 will both be kept back in the areas they have
2) Steamer type "Christine Maersk", Zone A " 5,200 tons now reached, so that they can, if necessary, be used in the impending
3) Tanker " 8,300 tons operations.
4) Darkened steamer west of the Herbrides " 5,000 tons
5) " " " west of Finisterre " 4,000 tons 7.3 The operations planned call for an extensive concentration of
6) Tanker from a convoy west of Finisterre " 1,000 tons all available boats. U 38 has therefore been withdrawn to the sea area
36,000 tons north of Scotland. Only U 28 and U 32 will remain in their old operations
areas to carry out their minelaying. U 29 is on return passage.

Excellent work for this boat's first patrol.

- 95 -
Countermeasures are being prepared against an expected English
operation extending into the Bight. U 52, who is to sail today for her
operations area, will be kept back in a waiting position west of the
declared area. For details see F.O. U/B West's War Log.

3.3 In a radio message U 33 reported, among other things, 3

premature detonations. This type of torpedo failure became less frequent
for a while, but increased again after the torpedoes had been
demagnetized. It is notable that premature detonations are far more Date Position, Wind, Weather
numerous with some boats than with others. U 50 had only one during her and Sea State, Illumination, Events
whole patrol out of 12 torpedoes fired, while U 32 had 50% prematures, Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
barely 8 days after leaving port, with a total of 6 torpedoes.

U 52 has been ordered to continue on her passage.

4.3 Enemy news service reports an attack by a U-boat on a convoy

southwest of Spain. If this report is correct, this can only be U 54. There 8.3 Nothing to report.
has been no news of her since she left port.
9.3 Nothing to report.
5.3 B.d.U. attended a conference at Supreme Command of the
Navy, in which further instructions were given for the coming operations.
10.3 U 28 reported that she had carried out her minelaying
operation in the main position in accordance with Operations Order No. 13.3 U 43 and U 44 sailed in accordance with Operations Order
22. North Sea/Atlantic No. 1 (see Appendix 1).

11.3 U 38 and U 52 have been allocated operations areas on the 14.3 Preliminary regulations have been framed for the AA
Norwegian coast. (see Appendix 1 to War Log). protection of all U-boats entering and leaving port and on trials. A
minesweeper or patrol vessel will accompany every U-boat in the area
U 31 did not return from her trial runs in the Schilling Roads. which is particularly dangerous (outside the protection of
Search showed that she had sunk near Black Buoy No. 12, after an attack
by an English A/C. (Details of this accident are set out in Appendix 2 to
War Log). - 96 -
It is particularly regrettable that a boat should have been lost by
enemy action in the immediate vicinity of her own base, inside our own
barrage defenses. Losses of this kind should be avoidable.
This is the second time that an enemy A/C has flown very low
over the Schilling Roads and attacked U-boats.
We must have sufficient AA defenses for the approach route on the
Jade so that at least the enemy is prevented from flying low undisturbed.
B.d.U. has made demands accordingly.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 30, U 34, U 46, U 47, U 49, U 51 sailed for their operations and Sea State, Illumination, Events
areas (see App. 1). Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

12.3 U 32 reported that she had carried out her minelaying

operation. (Operations Order No. 26). This minefield closes the gap left
beside the field laid by U 30 and is therefore likely to produce good
Wilhelmshaven as far as the 30 meter line).
U 29 entered port. She carried out her minelaying operation
(Operations Order No. 22) very well, and in addition sank by torpedo: 15.3 U 41 and U 53 declared missing with effect from 15.3.
1) Darkened steamer about 5,000 tons
2) S.S. "Pacific Reliance" 6,717 tons
3) S.S. "San Florentino" 12,842 tons
24,559 tons (signed): Dönitz
Rear Admiral and B.d.U.

Appendix to B.d.U.'s War Log
Incident U 31 12/13 March 1940
Towards - 97 -
1615 Telephone call from Group Department A4, stating that there
were rumors in Jever that an English A/C had attacked a U-boat in the
Schilling Roads.
It was confirmed with the flotillas that all U-boats which had put
to sea for exercises had returned to port, except U 31. This boat was to
have been back by afternoon and had passed Schilling on her way in at
Telephoned the Adjutant of the fighter squadron in Jever:
1) Request to F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses for vessels. He made 2 S/M Date Position, Wind, Weather
chasers of the 12th S/M Chaser Flotilla. available. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
2) Request to F.O.I.C. coast for vessels (He sent harbor defense boats). Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
3) "Saar", in Heligoland, was ordered to proceed to the scene of distress, to
have her boats ready to search for survivors, to detect the place by means
of echo-ranging gear and have her anchors, emergency air plant,
compartment ventilation and divers ready.
4) U 30, lying in the lock ready to sail, was ordered to search at the scene
of distress and to call with S/T. 1800 8) U 31 asked for her position. No reply. U 30 left.
5) Lieut. Commander Sorbe was ordered to come over immediately from
Kiel and take charge of the salvage operations. He could arrive by 0200. 1830 "Saar" left Heligoland.
2nd Flotilla to arrange for a Chief Engineer who is familiar with this type
of boat and a medical officer to accompany him. Meanwhile the personnel of the steamer had been interrogated
6) Dockyard was requested to get salvage material from Bugsier Shipping (Appendix 1) and a report received from the sergeant from Wangerooge
Company. (See Appendix 1a) . Neither gave a clear idea of what had happened. A
7) Group Command, F.O.I.C. North Sea Defense, F.O.I.C. Coast informed boat which was near by had only heard an explosion (U 21).
by telephone.
1945 Report from No. 12 S/M Chaser Flotilla which had found the
scene of distress. There was an echo and oil rising up. (Appendix 2).
Meanwhile "Ruestringen" entered port. The scene of distress was F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses was requested to give orders to the vessels, to
fixed off Black Buoy No. 12. "Saar", U 30 and F.O.I.C. North Sea watch the scene of distress especially for survivors.
Defenses informed.
2030 U 30 reported a patch of oil and knocking noises (Appendix
fact that he had heard a dull explosion and that a column of water had
F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses informed us that in the course of the crashed over the U-boat, which was at periscope depth. The boat's bows
night at least 4 minesweepers would arrive at the scene of distress to then surfaced and she sank stern first. (See Appendix 1 and 8).
search and primarily to provide Flak defense.
2350 Situation report from "Saar". "Saar", S/M chasers 121, 127,
Dockyard informed us that Messrs. Friese and Sperrling were 117, 113, A, B, C and U 30 were at anchor at the scene of distress.
being sent to the scene of distress immediately at the request of B.d.U. U- Searching operations continued.
boat Acceptance Command (Commander Bräutigam) was also requested
to send a representative.
- 98 -
2150 Radio message made to Saar and U 30 (Appendix 4)
informing them,
1) that salvage vessels "Kraft" and "Wille" would arrive towards 0300
or 0400,
2) that Lieut. Commander Sobe was arriving in charge of salvage
operations, with Messrs. Friese and Sperrling,
3) that a minesweeping flotilla was arriving to guard the position and
provide Flak defense.
U 30 was then to continue on her passage and report. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

2147 Radio message to Saar and U 30: Until Lieut. Commander

Sobe arrives C.O. of "Saar" is in charge of salvage. (Appendix 4a).

S.O. 12th S/M Chaser Flotilla reported that he had formed a close 12/13
screen around the scene of distress, including U 30, and that knocking 0500 "Saar" reported that a boat had arrived with Friese and
noises had been heard (see Appendix 5). There were then at the scene of Sperrling, the Flotilla Engineer of the 2nd U-Flotilla, Lieut.(s.g.) School
distress giving assistance: "Saar", 12th S/M Chaser Flotilla with 9 boats, and a medical officer. U 30 proceeded. At 0230, "Saar" had given the
11th S/M Chaser Flotilla with 2 boats, U 30. A short report was made to signal to leave the U-boat and ordered ship's boats to stand by to pick up.
Supreme Command of the Navy etc., on findings so far and steps taken NOthing happened as a result of this. Later it was stated that there had
(see Appendix 6). probably been a mistake about the knocking noises heard.

2245 "Saar" and U 30 were ordered to inform the sunk boat that 1000 At the request of Captain Bräutigam, Chief Diver Bastian was
vessels were waiting to pick up any persons surfacing (see Appendix 7). sent to the scene of distress with the salvage tug "Hermes" from the Navy
Further interrogation of the mate of the steamer Ruestringen elicited the Dockyard.
radio stated that the English A/C had seen the German U-boat just as she
1125 A situation report was received from Lieut. Commander Sobe, was surfacing.
Officer in Charge of salvage operations (Appendix 9). The diver had
found the boat but had been unable to establish any details during the short 2400 Officer in Charge of salvage operations informed that
time that the water remained calm. No answer was received to knocking Inspector Meier of the Bugsier Company was on his way to "Saar" and
signals. At the same time he requested the services of Salvage Inspector that B.d.U. would come to the scene of distress on 13.3. At the same time
Meier of the Bugsier Company. Meier was informed through Navy a report was received that the diver had fixed a buoy to the conning tower
Dockyard Hamburg and set out as soon as possible. and that the boat had a heavy list to starboard.

On the orders of F.O.I.C. East Frisian Coast, the Captain, mate and
helmsman of the steamer "Ruestringen", which is under his command,
were again interrogated by a Naval lawyer. These persons then made far
more detailed statements than they had to the officer of the coastwise - 99 -
shipping control station. (See Appendix 10). Details were briefly as
The A/C dived at the steamer "Ruestringen" from a 200 meter high
cloud base with her engines shut off, and then, suddenly, at a height of
about 30 meters, made a sharp turn towards the submerged U-boat. The
English A/C dropped bombs on the U-boat, which was proceeding at
periscope depth. After the hit, the boat's bows surfaced for a short time
and she then sank immediately, stern heavy by 450. From "Ruestringen" a
second U-boat was soon sighted steering an approximate course for the Date Position, Wind, Weather
scene of distress. The ship's officers assumed that this boat had seen the and Sea State, Illumination, Events
whole incident and would do everything necessary, and they therefore took Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
no further action and proceeded on their way. For the same reason they
did not report what happened to anyone in Wilhelmshaven, so that finally
the first information was received through Jever.
1830 Officer in Charge of salvage operations made a further
situation report. The boat was lost when the tidal stream turned and was Enquires of the Flotillas elicited the fact that the U-boat observed
only found again later by sounding. No further signs of life were heard. surfacing by "Ruestringen" must have been U 21 which was in the vicinity
at the time. The Commanding Officer's remarks are set out in the attached
The attack in the Shilling Roads was reported in the evening news report (see Appendix 11).
from Daventry, adding that a hit was observed between the conning tower
and the foreship and that the boat had probably sunk. Later the English 1700 The situation was reported by T/P to Supreme Command of
the Navy, Fleet, Group West. (B.d.U. Most Secret 500).
I do not know if any passengers were on deck at the time.
(signed): Ammermann
------------- ---------------------------------------------------
Officer in Charge Coastwise Shipping Control Station Wilhelmshaven Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940
Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940 Interrogation.
Reg. No. Secret 135/40. At 1205 I relieved the helmsman of the steamer "Ruestringen". The
mate drew my attention to the U-boat periscope on our starboard side
To: B.d.U.'s Staff for Lieut. Commander Godt, Songwarden. about 8 meters away. The periscope would have been just astern when an
Attached is the report from the Captain of the steamer "City of A/C bore down upon us from the port side, flying very low,
Ruestringen", and the interrogations of the mate Franz and seaman
- 100 -
(signed): Koehne
for Officer-in-Charge


COPY (about 25 meters), and made a sudden curve towards the U-boat. The 2
Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940. engines were shut off, I had to attend to my course, then I suddenly heard a
Report dull explosion and, on looking astern, I saw a column of water. The mate
I cannot give any information on the incident, as I was below decks sent me below to call the captain, but I did not find him, he had already
first then, having my dinner. gone to the bridge. The A/C had rings under its wings. When the
When I returned to the bridge at about 1220; the mate Franz told me explosion occurred, a second U-boat surfaced quickly to starboard, about 4
what he had seen. meters off, and steered for the first boat. The A/C flew away and
I did not take any action, as there was another U-boat near by and we disappeared in the fog.
were also too far off by the time I got back to the bridge. We were about 2 (signed):
miles below York Buoy, it was fairly misty. We have no radio on board. I Karl Fellensick,
did not take any action in Wangerooge either, as I thought that the other U- Sea
boat would already have reported the incident. man.
At 1045/11 March 1940 the steamer Ruestringen left Wilhelmshaven
--------------------------------------------------- for Wangerooge. After an hour and a half I went from the upper deck to
------------- the 'tween deck and I saw an A/C of a type unfamiliar to me astern on the
horizon about 2-3 km away. I walked along the 'tween deck on the port
COPY side and to the right, about 1 1/2 to 2 km away I saw a ship which I
Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940. believed to be a U-boat sinking away over the stern. About one third of
Interrogation the ship was above water. I watched for some time and saw nothing
On 11 March 1940, towards 1210, I as mate of the steamer further. Later a number of the crew asked me if I had seen that a U-boat
"Ruestringen" on passage to Wangerooge, observed a U-boat periscope had been bombed by an A/C. I did not answer. I asked 2 civilians, who
about 2 miles down-Jade from the York wreck on the starboard side about were with me on the upper deck for nearly 2 1/2 hours, if they had seen
4 points abaft the beam. I suddenly heard a dull explosion and saw a anything. One of them said he thought an A/C had approached very close
column of water rise. An A/C was flying low, about 30 meters, over the to "Ruestringen", then turned away and attacked a U-boat. He claimed to
U-boat, apparently with its engines shut off and made off in the direction have seen for
of Butjadinger Land. It was misty. A second U-boat, which was
submerged nearby to starboard, surfaced and made for the spot. When I
saw the second U-boat was making for the position, I maintained course - 101 -
and speed (course N 15 deg. W speed about 10 knots) and informed the
captain, who took over control of the ship. The A/C was twin-engined. It
had rings as markings. There were no service personnel on deck during
the incident, only an official and a civilian.
(signed): E. Franz
Mate of the steamer "City of
certain that the A/C dropped a bomb which hit the U-boat aft of the
(signed): Koehne conning tower. The U-boat sank. The civilians claimed shortly after to
Sub-Lieut. have seen the periscope of a second U-boat. I asked them if they had
identified the A/C and they said that they had seen the English markings
--------------------------------------------------- quite clearly under the wings. The A/C disappeared in the direction of
------------- Jade Bay. They knew nothing further about the incident. While I was
talking to the civilians the Captain appeared and told us to go below, so
Appendix 1a that I should not be recognized as a service man. The captain said:
"Otherwise we'll get it in the neck too." We obeyed, and the Captain
COPY continued on his course.
Teleprint to: B.d.U. Wilhelmshaven for Admiral Dönitz. Wangerooge
Report of Sergeant Hoffmann of the Wangerooge Fighter Group. Fighter Group.

------------- The following will arrive tonight:
1) Salvage vessels "Wille" and "Kraft" towards 0300 or 0400.
Appendix 2 2) Lieut. Commander Sobe as Officer-in-Charge of salvage operations and
Friese and Sperrling, construction engineers.
SECRET 3) Minesweeping flotillas for Flak defense and searching. U 30 is to
Cyphered Radio Message 11.3.40 proceed on her way and report, as soon as the construction engineers have
F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses. arrived and the scene of loss handed over to Saar. B.d.U.
S.O. S-boats.
Your radio message 1658: Am at scene of distress with an echo-
ranging group. Echo and rising oil, request orders. - 102 -
S.O. 12th S/M Chaser


Appendix 3
COPY Appendix 4a
Emergency. MSG 1717 11.3.2025 COPY
T/P to: B.d.U. West Secret. Radio message to Saar, U 30.
Large patch of oil near scene of distress, knocking noises, no S/T., C.O. Saar will take charge of salvage operations until Lieut.
dark, foggy. Consider therefore that assistance of many vessels, boats, Commander Sobe arrives, about 0400/12/3. B.d.U.
searchlights, also divers and medical officer essential.
U 30. Naval Signal -------------
Station Schillig 1113.
Appendix 5.
--------------------------------------------------- COPY
------------- T/P Emergency MUW 0827 11.3. 2140.

Appendix 4 To: Supreme Command of the Navy

COPY Repeated TM 2: Group Command North
F.O.I.C. E. Frisian Coast
Radio message Secret Emergency F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses
To: "Saar", U 30 Wilhelmshaven Dockyard
Further to my Reg. No. Secret 135/4 of 11.3.1940, 3 further
Most Secret documents are submitted, attached.
U 31 sank in the Schilling Roads off No. 12 buoy on 11 March.
Salvage work begun. Boat found. 2 corpses sighted in the vicinity. (signed): Koehne
Knocking noises in the boat. Discoveries so far: Sub-Lieut.
Last report from boat on passing Shillig at 1150. Members of the for Officer-in-
crew and passengers of the steamer "Ruestringen" saw an English A/C Charge.
drop a bomb on a U-boat at about 1210. Low cloud base, bad visibility.
Boat apparently hit. The steamer continued on her passage without ---------------------------------------------------
investigating. B.d.U. -------------

--------------------------------------------------- COPY
------------- Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940
When questioned, the mate Ewin Franz made the following additional
Appendix 7 statement:
COPY I did not see a bomb dropped. I heard a dull explosion and saw a
column of water crash over the U-boat's stern. The bows of the boat were
Secret To Saar, U 30. above the water and sank.
Inform U 31 that any persons escaping will be picked up for certain.
B.d.U. (signed): E. Franz,

- 103 - ---------------------------------------------------

Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940
When questioned, the seaman Karl Fellensick made the following
I was helmsman at the time in question. I did not see a bomb
Appendix 8 dropped. I heard an explosion and saw a column of water. I did not
COPY observe a hit. I then saw nothing more of the U-boat or the A/C. I had to
Officer-in-Charge Coastwise Shipping Control Station Wilhelmshaven pay attention to my course.
Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940.
Reg. No. secret 135/40. (signed): Karl
To: B.d.U.'s Staff for Lieut. Commander Godt, Songwarden. Fellensick.
S.O. Tactical U-
--------------------------------------------------- Flotilla and Dockyard.
------------- Naval Signal
Station Schillig 1206 U.
Wilhelmshaven, 11 March 1940 ---------------------------------------------------
When questioned the Captain of the steamer "City of Ruestringen" -------------
I neither heard a noise nor an A/C, as I was below deck at the time in Appendix 10
question. COPY
(signed): U. Naval Lawyer Kannengiesser
Ammermann. Naval Inspector of Law Barthel
as Archives official
--------------------------------------------------- Wilhelmshaven, 12 March 1940
------------- There appeared:
1) Ammermann
- 104 - My name is Uke, I am Captain of the steamer "City of Ruestringen".
I am 57 years old, Protestant. I cannot make any statement on the incident
from personal observation, as I was below deck at the time in question. I
did not receive a report until I returned to the bridge at about 1220. The
Mate Franz then told me that an A/C with rings had previously flown over
the steamer, had then turned away and made for 2 U-boats which were
nearby. One of these U-boats was submerged. The A/C had dropped a
bomb on this one. He had also heard an explosion. He also thought that
Appendix 9 the second U-boat had gone to the assistance of the first. For this reason
COPY he did not inform me.
I had seen the surfaced U-boat through the cabin porthole on the
T/P: Emergency. B.d.U. West 1045/12/3 starboard beam while I was having my dinner. It was about 300 meters
away. This would have been shortly after 1200, but I cannot be certain of
Secret. Urgent. the time. I happened to look out to see if it was getting mistier, so I did
Boat found, depth 17 meters. On an even keel with a list to starboard. not pay any attention to the U-boat. I imagined that she was making trial
One diver has been down. No reply to knocking signals. State of runs there. I think she was on approximately the same course as I was, but
watertightness and damage not yet established. Next diving operation I cannot be sure of this either.
1500. It is then intended to lift her with vessels from the Bugsier When I had finished my dinner I returned to the bridge. THere the
company. Both lifting vessels are here. mate told me at once what happened. I asked him why he had not
informed me. He replied that he had sent the helmsman Fellensick to find
me. The latter got to the cabin after I had left it by another way, as it 2) There appeared:
afterwards turned out. The Mate Franz.
Mt Christian name is Erwin, I am 26 years old, Protestant, mate in
- 105 - On 11 March I took over the watch shortly before 1200. We were
steering for No. 13 buoy. Ar 1200 I altered course to N. 150 W. Towards
1205 I saw a periscope on the starboard beam, 2-250 meters away. In my
opinion the U-boat was stationary, I did not see any feather on the
periscope. I continued to observe the U-boat but in between whiles I paid
attention to my course. Then I suddenly heard a dull explosion. I looked
around and made the following observation:
Bearing about 1350, about 1000 meters away there was a U-boat
When I got to the bridge it was about 1220. I looked for the place in down by the stern. Bows and jumping wire could be clearly seen. The
question, but could see nothing because of mist. I did not hear anything bows were about 2 meters above water. I had the impression that the U-
further either. boat was at an angle of 450. Her stern was underwater. The sea around
As the mate had told me that there had been a second U-boat in the the U-boat was foamy and white. I did not see the conning tower, I
vicinity, and 10 minutes had already passed, I took no further action. The thought it was underwater. It was only then that I saw the A/C. It was
sea was also quite calm, so I thought that the second U-boat would manage coming from the east and flying in the direction of our stern. When it was
alone. When I arrived at Wangerooge, I did not make a report, because I over the stern, it turned away and flew towards the U-boat. It was painted
assumed that the U-boat would already have requested assistance. with camouflage. The rings could be seen quite clearly.
I have traced my ship's course in red on the accompanying chart. If I At the same time a second U-boat surfaced bearing about 250 at a
altered my course, this was not because I was afraid we would be bombed distance of 40 - 60 meters. The C.O. entered the conning tower and she
ourselves. I never thought of such a thing. immediately steered for the first boat. I sent the helmsman Fellensick for
When I returned to Wilhelmshaven I did not report anything of my the Captain and took the wheel myself. When the Captain arrived on the
own accord. The question only arose when Sub-Lieut. Koehne asked me bridge the first U-boat had already disappeared. I did not myself see the
if I had seen anything of U-boats. first U-boat sink. The second U-boat
While I was on my way to the bridge, someone said something to me
about A/C and U-boats. I do not know who it was. Some time or other I
also ordered all hands below, as I was afraid we might be attacked from - 106 -
the air. I think this was shortly after the mate reported the incident to me.

(signed): U.

Wilhelmshaven, 12 March 1940

mate sent me to the Captain. When I returned to the bridge, the Captain
was still in sight when the Captain came onto the bridge. It passed us at a was already there. Both men were talking about the incident. The Captain
distance of about 50 -60 meters. The Captain took command, while I sent would not at first believe that a bomb had been dropped, because he had
everybody below, so that we should not be attacked ourselves. heard no explosion. Nothing was said about our heaving to.
As the second U-boat surfaced so suddenly and the C.O. appeared in The column of water was at most 2 ship's lengths astern, a good 100-
the conning tower so quickly even though the boat was not yet completely 200 meters.
surfaced, I assumed that she was going to the assistance of the other U-
boat. I must however, admit that she did not steer immediately for the Then mate Franz and seaman Fellensick were brought together, but
scene of distress. We did not inform this U-boat of the incident, because seaman Fellensick stuck to his statement even when confronted with that
we assumed that she had observed it herself. We did not alter course and of the mate Franz then said:
we proceeded on to Wangerooge. We did not make any report there. It is possible that I made a mistake and that the a/c actually
The incident was also observed by a dockyard official and a civilian approached from the port side and then dropped the bomb.
besides the helmsman and myself. I do not know their names, but they
could be found out. They thought that we should make a signal. I said
that this was not possible because we had no radio on board. I also spoke - 107 -
of the matter with a G.A.F. Sergeant who had been told of the incident by
the civilians.
The second U-boat was a 250 tonner.

Wilhelmshaven, 12 March 1940

3) There appeared:
Seaman Fellensick Appendix 11
My name is Karl, I am 30 years old, Protestant, working in the COPY
steamer "Ruestringen". Songwarden 13 March 1940
I fell in as helmsman at 1205. Shortly afterwards I drew the mate's To: B.d.U. Songwarden.
attention to a periscope, which was passing close to us on the starboard Report
beam. I do not know if the U-boat was on the starboard quarter the mate I was in the Schillig Roads at midday on 11.3 with my boat for
drew my attention to an a/c which was approaching us midships at about practice runs submerged. Towards 1210 I was submerged at periscope
mast height with its engines off. It approached from port. The mate depth off N. Buoy. I saw the steamer "Ruestringen" on my starboard bow,
thought it was English. When I was close up to the ship it turned away inclination 10, distance about 8000-1000 meters. Periscope observation
and made for the periscope, which was now astern. Immediately after that was very difficult, as the periscope was very stiff and the eyepiece was
I heard an explosion. I turned around and saw a column of water astern of constantly blurred by rain. At about 1210 I heard an explosion, which was
our ship. The A/C disappeared immediately in the fog. I myself paid different from the detonation of a D/C or a torpedo familiar to me. It
attention to the course and did not see the effect of the bomb. Immediately sounded rather like a sounding-device exploding on the pressure hull. The
afterwards a second U-boat surfaced on the starboard beam. Then the distance was 4-600 meters, I immediately gave the order to blow and vent
to the conning tower. I proceeded on an inward course on main engines, Appendix 1 to B.d.U's War Log
then changed over to Diesels at high speed and blew. I passed the steamer
"Ruestringen" at a distance off of about 200 meters. When the tanks were 1 - 31 March 1940
blown I reduced to slow speed and then to very slow speed when I saw a
streak of foam about 200 to port 800 meters off. I observed that it was a U- (Weseruebung)
boat periscope flying a red flag. The boat appeared to be on an outward
course at high speed and to be keeping very good depth, as the length of Invasion of Denmark and Norway
the periscope visible remained the same all the time. I turned towards the
periscope and reduced speed, and approached to within about 80 meters of PG30261
the periscope. I also gave the order to man the S/T. The position of the
submerged boat was about 1/2 a mile to a mile off York wreck-marking
buoy, bearing 2400. As I could not see anything unusual and the boat
appeared to be proceeding calmly submerged, I turned away and entered Appendix 1 to B.d.U.'s War Log
port. 1 - 31 March 1940
While I was proceeding submerged my multi-unit hydrophones were
manned and I received constant hydrophone reports of the steamer S.O. Only
"Ruestringen". No hydrophone bearing of a U-boat was reported to me. By hand of officer.
Now that I have heard what happened, I think the boat must have
bottomed with her periscope extended and that the streak of foam must WESERUEBUNG
have been caused by the incoming current. I did not see any oil patches,
or anything else which might have indicated distress. Until I entered port I 4.3 The following order concerning U-boats was received from Naval
thought that the explosion must have been due to the fact that the steamer War Staff in Naval War Staff (1st Division)'s Operations S.O. only 226/40:
"Ruestringen" was working with explosive sounding-devices. I never 1) Further U-boat sailings are to be stopped. U-boats which have
thought of a bomb; visibility being so bad, I did not observe an A/C. already sailed are not to operate off the Norwegian coast.
2) All Naval forces to be ready for operations as quickly as possible. No
(signed): Stiebler special degree of readiness.
Commanding U 21. U-boat Situation when this order was received:
1. In the Atlantic:
Annex I to B.d.U War Log U 28, U 29, U 32 - carrying out minelaying operations on the south and
west coasts of England.
(Invasion of Denmark and Norway) U 38 - West of Ireland, war against merchant shipping.
2. In the North Sea:
U 7 NW of the declared area.
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log U 56 in the Bight. Both boats on their way to their operations areas off
the Norwegian coast.
U 14 in her operations area at the northern approach to the Channel, Preparations for the occupation of Norway and Denmark by the German
war against merchant shipping. Armed Forces.
U 52 central North Sea, on her way out to the Atlantic. On her first A) Intention: Surprise, simultaneous landing of troops in Narvik,
patrol. Trondheim, Bergen, Egersund, Kristiansand and Oslo. Troops to be
3. Ready for operations: (Atlantic boats underlined): transported to the first 4 places by Naval forces, to the last 2 by Naval
5.3: U 21, 24, 58, 59, 34, 43, 46, 47 forces and transports. Air-borne troops to be transported by air (T.N.: SIC)
6.3: U 30 B) Situation:
7.3: U 9, U 51 a) Norway is actually neutral, but her sympathies lie with the enemy
8.3: U 49 powers rather than with Germany. Nevertheless, once a successful
9.3: U 22 surprise landing has been made, no stiff resistance is expected.
13.3: (uncertain) U 31, 44 b) A restricted area has been declared in Scotland northeast of the
Caledonian Canal which appears to have some connection with the
The following measures were taken when the order was received: massing of troops in that area, and English surface forces are beginning to
a) U 7 held back in the position she had reached, until the situation return to Scapa from the west coast. These and other indications make it
becomes clear. appear possible that the enemy is preparing an attack on Norway to
b) U 56, which was at most 12 hours out of Wilhelmshaven, recalled. support Finland. This possibility must be reckoned with until our own
plans have been carried out.
c) When the operation has succeeded, strong reaction from the enemy
is expected. It may be directed against our own newly-captured bases, or
- 111 - towards securing bases of his own. In both cases it is assumed that he will
try to cut off communications by sea between Norway and Germany.
C) Basic Outline of Execution: (insofar as it concerns B.d.U.):
a) Surprise is essential. No incidents violating Norway's territorial
rights, or which could be interpreted as doing so, must occur until the time
of execution. Military measures which could cause premature uneasiness
in Norway are to be avoided.
b) The following steps are to be taken to screen our operation:
c) U 14 left in her operations area. U 52 continuing on her passage. 1) Operations to prevent the enemy obtaining bases which could be
d) The flotillas were ordered to make all boats ready for operations as used for counter-action
quickly as possible, disregarding all previous intentions (discharge of U-
boats to U-boat school, large-scale repairs) and to report completion dates.
e) The boats of the U-boat school received the same order.

5.3 B.d.U. took part in the conferences with Chief of Staff Naval War - 112 -
Staff in Berlin.
Subject of conference:
These are to be expected: In the area of Westfjord - partly because of
the importance of Narvik, partly because the remote situation will give the
enemy the chance to make use of his superior sea power.
In the area of the Shetlands-Norway narrows - in order to control
those narrows and as a starting position for action against German troops.
2) Screening against surprise attacks if the enemy should start a b) Operations by Naval forces against the German-Norway sea route,
similar operation at the same time or shortly beforehand. aimed to cut off the German Naval forces taking part in the landing from
3) Early attack on the enemy's naval forces and transport ships, if he home and to make supply through the North Sea impossible.
should start an action against Norway. Such operations may be expected to take place in the area Shetlands-
4) Extensive screening of our own shipping from enemy surface Norway-western approach to Skagerrak.
5) Screening our own surface forces, once they have entered inshore
waters, against pursuing enemy forces.
c) Advantage to be taken of opportunities of attack which may arise in - 113 -
the course of enemy counter-operations.
D) The operation is to be carried out in 4 days. Preparations are to be
completed by the 10th March. Delays must be expected until the
codeword is given.

6.3 B.d.U.'s Situation review:

B.d.U.'s part in the operation planned is very extensive.
1) It consists chiefly in protecting our own Naval forces and landing Conclusion for our boats:
troops once they have penetrated into Norwegian territorial waters, taking To a. It will not be possible to prevent landings by disposing boats in
the Norwegians by surprise. The geographic structure of the Norwegian deep formation off the possible landing places, because such places and
coast makes it necessary to have a large number of boats for this. Narvik the approaches to them are too numerous and there are not enough boats.
must be considered as particularly endangered as the position and One would only run the risk of being in the wrong place or having too few
importance of this place will make it appear valuable in the eyes of the forces. It is better to have groups of U-boats in the open sea area, within
enemy both from a strategic and an economic point of view, and defense reach of the endangered positions, which can press on and cut off when the
against enemy counter-measures will be most difficult there. direction of the enemy advance is known. The disposition of these groups
2) This operation will be a great challenge to the enemy and our own can be so chosen that they have some prospect of intercepting the
surface forces will be moving beyond the Shetlands-Norway line, so that approaching enemy.
enemy operations in the direction of the Norwegian coast are to be To b. Disposition of attacking groups in areas which the enemy is most
expected, which should offer numerous opportunities of attack. The aim likely to use for his operations.
of such operations maybe: To a and b. Disposition of boats along the approach routes which the
a) Counterlandings by the enemy. enemy is expected to take, as close as possible to his bases.

3) The most likely bases for the enemy to use are:
Scapa-Kirkwall in the first place. Invergorden, Cromarty and Rosyth in
the second.
In the present state of their defenses, only minelaying operations can be 12 Atlantic boats
carried out against these bases. 10 small operational boats
This is possible for all 3. 6 school boats
i.e.: off the wide Firth near Kirkwall inside Moray Firth, at approach to Total 28 U-boats
the Firth of Forth.
It would take so long however, that the boats in question would There are also 3 further boats in view for case "GELB".
probably not be available for the operation proper. In view of the few U 38 has been ordered to return to the sea area north of the Shetlands.
boats available no minelaying can be considered sufficiently important and Here she will be together with U 52. Both these boats can be operated
urgent as to warrant this. from here in time in connection with the operation planned.
4) Preliminary decisions:
I have therefore decided to keep all boats back. In addition, B.d.U.'s C-in-C Group West is in control of the whole operation west of the line
responsibilities require that all boats within reach be made ready, if Ryvingen-Hanstholm. He gives the following instructions in his Most
necessary postponing the less important repairs and trials. Secret S.O. only 531/40 to B.d.U.:
Flotillas have been given orders accordingly. Boats in the Atlantic and 1) To screen the ports occupied against penetration by enemy forces.
on outward passage, U 38 and U 52, have been kept back in the positions 2) To attack and damage forces approaching from enemy ports or
they have reached. U 7 has been ordered to return. operational areas.
U 14 has been left in her operations area, but she is expected to return 3) Before the undertaking starts:
very soon in any case. Boats of the U-boat school have been ordered to a) To lay mines off the convoy and fuel bases in the Orkneys and
proceed to Kiel and fit out. They have only a small radius of action and Shetlands and attack and damage enemy naval forces and convoys in this
nothing much can be expected from the training which their commanding area.
officers have had, but in these circumstances they should nevertheless be b) If possible, and if Supreme Command of the Navy approves, to
able to take part. U 64 and U 65, still on trials, have been ordered to speed ascertain what enemy traffic there is in the area Stadtlandet-North
up their operational readiness with every available means. Everything has Shetlands, and to damage it and enemy naval forces.
thus been done to make use of all boats which are able to proceed. It is
expected that the following will be able to take part in the operation. My view of these 3 requirements is:
A) Points 1 and 2 cover the period after the operation has begun. U-
boats can carry out these tasks within the framework of the whole
- 114 - B) Point 3 covers the period before the operation begins. The
minelaying required has only direct connection with the operation planned
in so far as it is directed against those enemy bases from which
countermeasures may be expected which would endanger the execution of
"Weseruebung" proper, i.e. the surprise landing. These are places at which
enemy landing troops could be embarked or from which part of the supplies if the final date should be postponed. At present there is no
English battle fleet and its accompanying escort forces might be expected guarantee that this will not happen.
to sail. In my opinion the minelaying does not cover the bases of patrol
forces and other usable anchorages, which would only be resorted to 9.3 B.d.U.'s Operations Plan:
possibly later in the operation. 1. Preliminary considerations.
The main aim must be to ensure the success of the landings. The a) The following ports are to be screened:
situation after that will have to be considered as it develops. Minelays in Narvik distance roughly 1000 miles
places which are desirable in themselves and had already been planned (U Trondheim " " 750 "
56 had already sailed with a load of mines, but was ordered back) must be Bergen " " 450 "
abandoned in favor of the main aim. As regards minelaying operations Stavanger " " 400 "
against the main bases, I do not consider these Egeroe " " 300 "

Narvik must be considered particularly important and particularly

- 115 - b) Range and endurance of the different types of boats are limited as
follows by supplies of fuel and provisions:
Boats of the U-boat school:
As far as the western approach to Skagerrak.
southwest Norway
Endurance in operations area 7-8 days.
Type Weddingen:
As far as 620 N (Bergen)
opportune either, in view of the few boats available, for the reasons set Endurance in operations area about 18 days.
out on 6.3 in the War Log Appendix 1 para 3. A boat which lays a few Atlantic boats:
mines and is not available for the main operation has not the same value as Whole Norwegian coast.
a boat equipped with torpedoes for this operation. Endurance off Narvik about 30 days.
The attack on enemy merchant shipping and convoy bases has no This is assuming that there will be no opportunity to supply away from
connection with the operation planned. It would mean splitting up the home. There is of course the chance that they may be able to supply in
forces and would lead to the danger that boats would use up all their several ports after the operation has succeeded, but this cannot yet be
torpedoes and draw anti-S/M forces into an area in which their presence is taken for certain. That would be counting your chickens before they were
undesirable for the operation. hatched. So far the operation has not been carried out, the supply vessels
Reconnaissance of enemy traffic between Stadlandet and the Shetlands have not yet reached their ports of destination unharmed. The number of
would be only partly in the interests of the operation proper. There would torpedoes which they can carry
be a danger that the boats used for this would be out of action for the
actual operation as they would have to turn back when they had used their

- 116 - Norway narrows possible, but they will also be sufficiently far away from
the narrows that they can still operate with some prospect of success
against enemy forces which may approach west of the Shetlands to the
northeast or through the Fair Passage to the southeast.
c) A group of 2 boats will be disposed off Pentland Firth to cover the
eastern approach to Scapa. I do not intend to dispose boats off other
enemy jumping-off bases, as this would mean weakening other groups,
which would have serious consequences. Also, boats off jumping-off
must be considered when determining the distance at which the boats harbors only have a chance to attack in the short time that enemy forces
can be used. The small boats only carry 4 or 5 torpedoes. They might use are entering or leaving. If these movements take place at night at high
them all in a very short time. A long outward passage would be out of all speed prospects of success are small. I think it more profitable to have
proportion to their fighting power. Finally, their cruising speed would not boats in area in which the enemy will have to operate.
permit them to go beyond the latitude of 630 in 4 days. This time is very d) The distance at which the U-boat school boats can operate is very
short even for the large boats to reach Narvik. It cannot be certain that it limited and the low standard of training of the crews has to be taken into
will suffice. If the boats are sent out before the codeword is given, they consideration. 2 of them will
may use up their supplies too soon and not be able to remain in their
positions for long enough after the operation has started. If any boats are
sent out before time It must be the large ones.
2) Operations Plan: - 117 -
I intend to carry out my task as follows:
a) To screen the landing places north of the latitude of 630 by large
boats, south of this by small boats.
To form a concentration off Narvik by disposing 4 boats in deep
formation. To cut off Trondheim with 2 boats in deep formation inside the
To close Bergen with 5 boats, 2 each in deep formation off both the
main approaches, the 5th immediately off the harbor. be in positions off Stavanger, which are likely to be less important
To close Stavanger with 2 boats, of which one will lie immediately off than other inshore positions.1 boat will be west of the northern gap in the
the harbor approach, the the second outside the harbor entrance. The latter minefield planned in the Skagerrak. The remaining 3 boats will form an
will patrol the Haugesund at the same time. attacking group southwest of Norway against enemy forces which may
b) To form two attacking groups. The northern group will consist of 6 penetrate as far as the central North Sea, and will at the same time cover
large boats and will be in waiting positions in the area northeast of the the western approach to the Skagerrak. (the boat's approach passage will
Shetlands, while the southern group, consisting of 3 small boats, will be be short and they may reach their positions as much as 2 days before the
held in readiness east of the Orkneys, along the supposed approach route others. They are to make use of this period to hunt the S/M's which have
of the enemy forces in the Shetlands-Norway area. Both groups will be often been reported south of Norway and so reduce the S/M danger to our
disposed in such a way as to make quick operation in the Shetlands-
own surface forces. They will accordingly be allocated temporary
operations areas which they are to leave when the landings start.
e) The following points must be remembered:
1) Boats must approach unnoticed and remain undetected until the day
of the landings.
2) The entrances must be closed as quickly as possible after our own
forces have passed. patrol the respective approaches unnoticed in order to frustrate possible
3) Encounters between our own surface forces and U-boats must be enemy intentions.4 other large boats are also to put to sea to patrol Bergen
avoided. and Stavanger.
4) The approach of our own surface forces must be screened. They are to attack and report only if enemy warships or troop
f) Our own forces are few by comparison with the enemy's superior sea transports are encountered. U 30, 34, 46, 47, 49, 51 sailed (Narvik and
power and it is necessary to concentrate exclusively on the landing and Trondheim).
consciously abandon any chances of success which are not immediately U 38 and U 52 have been ordered to occupy the areas south of
connected with this main aim; therefore: Utvaer and off the Kors Fjord. In agreement with the Naval War Staff, it
1) No splitting up against subsidiary targets. was then decided that the 2 other boats should sail on 13.3 (because U 31
2) No attacks on merchant ships and convoys. is unexpectedly out of action and U 43 has still to complete some small
3) Radio silence, except for signals which are of importance for this repairs). The 2 positions off Bergen and Skudesnes will be occupied by 2
operation. Narvik boats for the present. They will be relieved by U 43 and U 44.
4) No waste of ammunition for purposes which do not serve to screen Boats have been ordered to observe the 3 mile territorial waters limit.
the operation or weaken operational enemy forces.
g) Details of execution have been set out for the U-boats in Operations
Order "Hartmut". 12.3 Situation unchanged.

10.3 The fitting-out of the boats is complete. Except for 4 U-boat 13.3 U 43 and U 44 sailed to relieve the 2 Narvik boats off Bergen
school boats, which have been delayed by ice, all are in harbor ready for and Skudesnes.
operations. U 38 and U 52 are at sea, close to their future operations areas.
The code-word has not yet been given, for reasons unknown to Russia and Finland have made peace.
B.d.U. The boats are at 12 hours readiness.
14.3 Decyphered messages show that unusually large number of
11.3 In Most Secret 287/40 I Op. Naval War Staff has ordered that the English S/M's are stationed off the western approach to the Skagerrak.
boats intended for Narvik and Trondheim are to sail at once and This may have some connection with imminent English operations.

After the Russian-Finnish peace the situation seems to be even

more obscure. With regard to the coming operation, there is no indication
- 118 - of a possible date and Naval War Staff does not think the word will be

given before the 20th; I have therefore decided to send 8 small boats for a In view of this, Naval War Staff issued instructions that the large
short operation against the English S/M's reported. boats were to be re-disposed as directed by Group West, except for 2 boats
For further details of the operation see F.O. U/B West's War Log. off Narvik and 2 off Trondheim, at least 4 boats are to be off the north
coast of Scotland to make use of the G.A.F.'s results. I think this is very
Preparations have been begun to transfer the U-boat school boats to promising, but only if:
the North Sea. Part of their task lies in attacking enemy S/M's anyhow, so 1) the G.A.F.'s successes really are extensive
that they too can be operated now without deviating from the general plan. 2) they can be pressed home.
For this also see F.O. U/B West's War Log. I therefore suggested to Group West that the large U-boats, with the
exception of U 52, which has not had sufficient experience to be able to
15.3 The situation is still not clear and enemy operations are operate against large warships, be disposed in deep formation west of the
possible in the northern North Sea. It therefore seems wise to hold back Orkneys and that the eastern approach to Pentland Firth be occupied by 2
some of the boats which are proceeding north. All the large boats have small boats from the anti-S/M group already at sea.
been ordered to proceed at 9 knots only. The following points have to be considered with regard to the
a) Either a deep, extensive formation in the direction in which damaged
ships are likely to proceed or in the direction which ships are likely to
- 119 - follow when withdrawing to other bases, less endangered by air attack, or
b) A close formation off the entrances to Pentland Firth.
I prefer the first alternative, because:
1) It is not good to mass boats in waters which are difficult to navigate.
2) The strongest anti-S/M activity is to be expected off Pentland Firth.
3) This anti-S/M activity would cover all, or at least the majority of the
Group Command approved my proposal. The boats were ordered to
16.3 In resent circumstances 2 boats seem insufficient for the Narvik make for positions at maximum speed. U 52 received orders
approach and it is desirable to have more boats in the northern North Sea.
I have therefore decided to send 2 Narvik boats to take up waiting
positions at approximately the latitude of 630. (U 47, U 49). They can be
moved quickly enough from here in any direction. - 120 -

17.3 An apparently successful air attack on Scapa. Where there are at

present 6 battleships and light naval forces. It is possible that:
a) Ships were damaged and will need dockyard repairs.
b) The English battle fleet will leave this anchorage, which is so exposed
to air attack, especially if the air attacks are continued with vigor, as the
G.A.F. intends.
to patrol all approaches to Bergen. She is now the only boat remaining miss possible opportunities in their present area. In view of the part I have
off the central Norwegian coast. to play in the occupation of Norway, I would much rather withdraw them.
Boats in the Orkneys area received permission to attack valuable Then I would have them at hand and the chances of losses occurring
targets, the others convoys only. would be less than in the dangerous area near the English coast. Now that
Scapa has been cleared, boats are not likely to achieve such great
19.3 There have been no further air attacks on Scapa, apparently successes that the losses would be warranted, especially as their freedom
because of the weather. The area in which the large boats are stationed to attack is very limited.
west of the Orkneys is possibly the scene of strong anti-S/M operations
and, as things are, the units in Scapa are not likely to leave because of 21.3 According to Naval War Staff, plans for the next few days
danger from the air; boats have therefore, been given freedom to move appear to be more definite, insofar as English landing operations are not
away up to 80 miles to the northwest if they encounter strong anti-S/M expected in the immediate future and our own operations are not expected
activity. They will then still be near enough to take up their positions to begin for 4 or 5 days. I have therefore decided to send U 52 for the
again if there should be further effective air attacks. present into the area east of the Shetlands in order to give this boat, which
In the early evening U 47 reported 3 battleships putting to sea on has never fired a single torpedo (firing practice abandoned because of ice
northwest and later northerly courses. After a time the boat was driven off in the Baltic), the chance
by destroyers, no other boat made contact. It is clear that the forces
assembled in Scapa are moving. Operation against the 3 battleships does
not promise success, since they were not shadowed and there are not clues
as to where they may now be. The time has come either to regard the - 121 -
situation as changed, in which case the boats must be brought back to the
North Sea, or to anticipate that further forces will leave Scapa, in which
case the positions along the enemy's route should be occupied again. I
decided to send them back to their old positions, especially as they will
there have a chance to regain contact with the enemy battleships if these
should alter course to the southwest.

20.3 A decyphered message shows that 5 English battleships and to wage war against merchant shipping according to the orders issued,
several cruisers, with destroyers, have left Scapa. The reason for their without any restriction as to size of target.
leaving is not given. The northerly course which U 47 reported does not
suggest that they are being transferred to the Clyde, but rather that they are 22.3 The operation of the large boats west of the Orkneys has been a
putting to sea according to plan or are on a special operation. Radio waste of time. They have achieved nothing. The English battleships have
intelligence reports of the last few days indicate the latter. The whole not arrived in the Clyde or at any other base otherwise, according to
situation with regard to the occupation of Norway remains very obscure. previous experience, radio intelligence would have given some indication.
Naval War Staff cannot give any information, except that plans are It must therefore be assumed that they are still at sea. The reasons for
unaltered. I cannot judge at all whether it is necessary to withdraw the which the positions west of the Orkneys were occupied are no longer
boats west of the Orkneys back to the North Sea now already, and thus valid. The boats have been ordered to form a patrol line between Far Oer
and the Shetlands. I intend to rake the sea area west of Shetlands and then point where the majority of the large U-boats are no longer fully fit for
if necessary, to withdraw the boats into the North Sea. From her position operations. With normal dockyard periods the present number of
south of Norway U 2 reported an enemy cruiser with several destroyers on operational U-boats would not be reached again until about May, and
an easterly course. This agrees with a report made by an agent to the meanwhile there would be no merchant shipping sunk worth mentioning.
Attache' in Oslo. The possibility of enemy operations against Norway
cannot yet be excluded and such operations might be directed towards
Bergen where there is at present no U-boat. U 52 has therefore been
ordered to take up her position off Utsire at maximum speed. She is not to - 122 -
attack anything but warships and troop transports. The other boats are at
least 1 1/2 days run away.

23.3 The fears that enemy reports of 22.3 bothered the start of
operations against Norway have not been realized. But the situation which
arose yesterday evening proved one thing quite clearly:
If slow U-boats away from the area in which they are to play their
part in a certain operation, the great risk is run that they will not be there in In addition, every U-boat at sea with her freedom to attack restricted and
time if the enemy takes unexpected steps. What they may achieve in these often in dangerous areas little frequented by valuable targets, raises the
other areas cannot directly affect the course of the main action. Only an risk of losses without successes to counterbalance them.
authority which controls the whole war at sea can judge and decide what
the U-boats can do to give the most valuable support. Cases like this show Naval War Staff have agreed that only one boat shall be left off
that a B.d.U. who is not with Naval War Staff cannot, even from a Group Narvik and Trondheim and the number north of England be reduced to 3.
Command headquarters, have a sufficiently clear picture to enable him to The following will remain in operations areas:
judge these matters. Naval War Staff at present is of the opinion that no U 46 off Narvik
decision or operations on our part can be expected before 1.4, and that U 51 off Trondheim
enemy operations which might cut across these operations are unlikely. U 38, 43, 52 north of England
They consider that it is necessary to leave several boats in the area north of The latter 3 boats will again be restricted to attacking warships, transports
England, to search for chances to attack warships. They will also have and merchant ships over 5,000 tons. U 46 and U 51: warships and
freedom to attack all targets according to standing war orders. There is no transports only.
great danger that they will use all their torpedoes, as there is little traffic in
these areas, but I think it is important to give them a bit more scope in 29.3 U 30, 34, 47, 49 have entered port, but there is no news of U 44.
their choice of targets after waiting and standing off for so long.
30.3 U 44 has not replied to an order to report her position. She
26.3 Naval War Staff now feel in a position to say that should certainly have reached port today from her operations area. She is
"Weseruebung" is not likely to begin for about 10 days. It is necessary to overdue and it is feared she may be lost. The 3 boats operating northwest
bring back as many as possible of the boats which are out and have them of England apparently had no success. Their present operations areas are
ready for "Weseruebung". If this is delayed any longer we shall reach the rather too remote. I have decided to transfer them to the area east of the
Shetlands, as Naval War Staff only requires that they shall be north of
England and has left the details of disposition to B.d.U. They will have
the same chances here of encountering warships and perhaps rather more
prospects of contacting valuable merchant convoys. It is also desirable to
transfer them because, even though there have been no sinkings, their Date Position, Wind, Weather
presence in the old area may have become known after such a long time and Sea State, Illumination, Events
and this may mean that traffic will be re-routed and anti-S/M hunts Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
organized. Naval War Staff attaches great importance at the moment to
successes against warships proceeding to Scapa. The best way of
achieving this is to dispose the boats very close to the approaches, but the
large U-boats are very unsuited to this. This task will therefore be taken
over by 4 small boats, one of which is already in position and the others
due to sail in the near future. (see F.O. U/B West's War Log). 16.3 For operation and orders for the Atlantic boats, except U 28
and U 32, which are still on their way back, see Appendix 1 to B.d.U.'s
31.3 Written confirmation of this order was received in Most Secret War Log.
571/40 I Op. S.O. only.
17.3 Nothing to report.
U 13, 58, 59 sailed for the area immediately off Scapa. U 22 is
already in waiting position east of Pentland Firth. The final disposition 18.3 Nothing to report.
will be 2 boats west and 2 east of Pentland Firth. The positions are
expected to be occupied by April 3rd and 4th. 19.3 Nothing to report.

(signed): Dönitz 20.3 Nothing to report.

Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
21.3 Nothing to report.

Additional: The further course of "Weseruebung" is not the subject of an 22.3 Nothing to report.
appendix, but has been incorporated straight into the War Log.
23.3 U 28 and U 32 entered port. The boats took a particularly
long time on their return passage through the North Sea as they had very
heavy head seas.
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
U 28: Minelaying operation square 3163 BF. She carried it out
16 - 31 March 1940 according to plan on a new moon night. The position of the minefield gap
was fixed by observing shipping traffic. The boat found the Channel coast
darkened, including lights at sea. She encountered little traffic during the
entire patrol, including the Channel. She sank: Date Position, Wind, Weather
1) Darkened steamer about 6,000 tons and Sea State, Illumination, Events
2) Darkened tanker " 6,000 " Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
" 12,000 tons

The commanding officer's way of tackling the operation was good.

U 32: Minelaying operation square AM 9322. Carried out according to 24.3 - 31.3 Nothing to report.
plan during a new moon night. The mines are in an excellent position. So
far no definite successes are known, but this is in itself unimportant and
can be attributed to the fact that the enemy is gradually beginning to
understand the need for more complete radio silence and other security
Once the boat was undoubtedly picked up by echo-ranging gear at
a considerable depth, while bottomed. This fact confirms the view, based
on the experience and observations of other boats, that the enemy has 2 (signed): Donitz
types of echo-ranging gear: one horizontal and one vertical, which give Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
accurate results once the boat has been picked up, but are unreliable if the
boat is at great depth close to the bottom or lying on the bottom. F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
In addition to mines, this boat also had 7 torpedoes, but 5 of these
were failures and 2 misses. 1 - 15 April 1940
Apart from her well-executed minelaying operation, she only sank
the Swedish S.S. "Lagaholm", 2,818 tons, carrying contraband, with PG30262

- 109 -
Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

6. / 4. Put out to take up position: U 50 also U 64 escorting the
Kriegstagebuch B. d. U. auxiliary cruiser "Ship 36". After executing her assignment (escorting the
auxiliary cruiser until breakthrough into the Atlantic) this boat is at the
At sea: disposal of B.d.U.
a) In the area east to southeast of Shetlands: U 38, 43, 52.
b) East of Pentland Firth: U 22 At the moment therefore 2 U-boats are detailed for escort duties
c) Approaching the entrance to Scapa: U 13, 58, 59. with outward bound auxiliary cruisers (U 37, U 64). Their participation in
d) Off Narvik: U 46. Off Trondheim U 51. the Weser operation is, it is true, intended, but does not appear certain. It
e) Possibly also U 44. Position unknown, loss however, is probable. is not possible to foresee the course of the duties assigned to them so
exactly that almost with any reserves of time, they may be further
deployed. Enemy action or adverse weather conditions could easily upset
calculations and cause delay and surprise. In view of the tireless
Intention: concentration demanded by the coming task I have done everything to
To recall U 38, 43 and 52 as soon as U 13, 58, 59 reach the Orkney avoid splitting up.
area. B.d.U. will be informed by telephone of the imminent sending of the
keyword. As the boats U 38, 43 and 52 at sea and fully armed, should be I consider the value of U-boat protection for surface craft
well prepared for the "Weser Exercise" it is high time that they were negligible. I see 2 possibilities in the execution:
recalled. In order to shorten their return route they have already been in 1) Indirect protection: i.e.
the area east of the Shetlands for several days. As long as their engine Occupation of potentially dangerous areas by U-boats. Protection of
equipment is ready for action a supplementation of consumable stores is these areas by U-boat attacks on patrol surface
still possible up to the estimated beginning of the exercise. In this
connection, I have decided to order the return passage of these boats. The
keyword for the "Weser Exercise" will be received in the evening. It is the
9th of April.
3. / 4. Put out to take up position: U 7, 10, 19, 25, 30, 34, 47, 49.
Otherwise no events.

4. / 4. Put out to take up position: U 9, 14, 48, 56, 57, 60, 62.

U 52 put in. No successes as the boat was in a traffic-less area

and was for the most part restricted to action.

5. / 4. Put out to take up position: U 1, 2, 4, 5, 6. Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
promises small success as the penetration route of an auxiliary cruiser
must lead through the most far off and little used areas and these have long
approaches. If only 4 boats were used for this purpose, it would, in the
present situation, mean an absence of 50% of all the large U-boats now in
use against the enemy for the duration of the operations. As not one, but
craft in this area. Warning auxiliary cruisers of enemy forces, which several cruisers are involved, such an operation would considerably
should be observed here. influence U-boat warfare. (sinking figures of large U-boats for February
over 200,000 tons, an amount unlikely to be exceeded by auxiliary
Stipulation: large number of available U-boats. cruisers).
Advantage: ship and U-boat are not dependent on one another they each
operate in the way best suited to them. U 38 and U 43 have put in. While U 43 observed no traffic in her
Disadvantage: operations area west and north of England and was unable to sink
a) The protection of the ships is to take place in certain limited areas, not anything, U 38 had more luck. It sank: 5 steamers one in a convoy, of
during the entire passage. If the ship is not to dispense with protection it altogether 17 to 19,794 tons. Both boats report strong and hindering U-
must pass through pre-arranged area of the U-boat and cannot therefore boat patrol by fishing boats in the Shetland and Orkney area. None of the
presume every U-boat to be encountered to be an enemy boat. three boats recently berthed are in a fit state to put out again in the next
b) Large number of U-boats required. few days.
2) Direct protection by a permanent U-boat escort:
Advantages: U 51 (Trondheim area patrol) has received orders to return to its original
a) Permanent protection by the U-boat. position in West Fjord, while the boats U 30 and 34, which have in the
b) Independence in choice of course, therefore, the possibility of adapting meantime arrived,
the course to the enemy situation without having to dispense with U-boat
c) Need of only one U-boat from time to time. -2-
a) Dependence on maintenance of contact between ship and U-boat
difficult, time-wasting and not always certain.
b) Necessary mutual consideration of the tactical measures appropriate to
the differing peculiarities of surface craft and U-boats in an encounter with
the enemy and during passage - which would cause numerous restrictions
on both sides.

Date Position, Wind, Weather

As we, at present, possess so very few U-boats the last possibility is and Sea State, Illumination, Events
to be given preference under all circumstances. The simultaneous Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
employment of U-boats in operation for merchant shipping warfare
at high speed and to join 1st U-boat Group, while U 37, which would
arrive too late in any case, is to be re-directed to a meeting point with the
auxiliary cruisers. The announcement of English declared areas on the
are to take over the patrol of Trondheim. U-boats at sea have received Norwegian coast makes the appearance of English forces in the coastal
instructions to open the operational orders for the occupation of Norway. waters appear probable. The quickest possible closing of the entrances to
The general political situation is coming to a head. English operations our own landing ports is in this case particularly desirable. Orders to draw
against Norway again appear imminent. This time a landing does not in the end positions is therefore not only for the isolated groups but partly
appear to be indicated by operations against German merchant shipping in for the boats individually distributed. (F.T. No. 3)
territorial waters. According to operational instructions transmitted before
"Weser" day, the U-boats of the 1st U-boat Group off Westfjord are to U 57 reports a heavy cruiser with destroyers on a southeasterly
patrol the fjord, if they are already there in place of delayed U 64 which course east of Pentland Firth. It presumes this to be a French unit.
put out with the auxiliary cruiser. U 25 received orders to take up its
position. U 37 is intended as 4th boat of the group. The boat should leave U 38 has put out.
the auxiliary cruiser in good time, so that it will be able to take up this
position before the 9th. The fjord is to be patrolled for as long as possible. A German transport ship was torpedoed off the south coast of
The intermediate positions (to cut out changes) are only to be occupied Norway.
shortly before the arrival of our destroyers (2000 on 8.4).
9. / 4. Shortly before midnight Norwegian coastal lights were
7. / 4. U 30 and U 34 must have reached their waiting position extinguished. This apparently caused no delay to our surface craft putting
before tomorrow. into the rocky waters. Reports are received according to plan. The U-
boats received orders to take in the end positions up to U 56 (inner
As owing to the early intelligence of the Weser day the boats have position off Bergen) if this has not already been done as the occupation of
already taken up position two days before zero hour in the harbor area, one these positions no longer appears necessary with the appearance of
boat (U 30) is to take over the patrol of the entrance. U 37 reported adequate patrols by other forces. It remains for free disposal in the area
leaving escort duties with ship 16. The boat's position is so far west, that west of Bergen.
prompt occupation of the intended position near Narvik is no longer
possible. (Note: I regret this very much as I considered the presence of
tried and older commanders at this spot, where the greatest number of U- -3-
boats was deployed especially desirable.)

U 52 has put out.

8. / 4. U 13 reports the presence of a heavy cruiser and 2 destroyers

full speed ahead on a northeasterly course east of Pentland Firth. Short
signal received from U 64 according to which contact with the auxiliary
cruiser was lost 24 hours ago. Orders were given to proceed to Westfjord
Date Position, Wind, Weather reports the S.O. Home Fleet is presumed to be in this area, while a group
and Sea State, Illumination, Events of 2 battle cruisers are said to be in the north. The enemy's southerly
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. course - he is aware of German battleships to the north - shows that he has
no intention of operating with the groupdirect.It must be presumed in this
connection, that he will spread out in a cutting off position south of it with
a group of heavy forces. In order to deflect him on the way there, it is
necessary to dispose as many U-boats as possible on his suspected course.
U 7's waiting position is to be transferred to the east. The 3 U-boat
a) Situation: training ships U 2, 5 and 6 are to be moved somewhat to the west, in order
"Scharnhorst" and "Gneisenau" contacted heavy enemy units at protect the flanks of our own sea route to Norway. While, for the time
dawn about 60 sea miles west of Westfjord. No further reports have been being, there are no further U-boat reports, several a/c reports show that the
received today. It is presumed that the battleships have managed to elude enemy is actually moving forward in the area southwest of Norway. Here,
the enemy. he is without question in an area that can no longer be occupied by U-
boats. It also lies within close range of our Air Force. It is impossible to
U 51 reported 5 enemy destroyers on a southwesterly course in move U-boats there quickly enough. At 1815 U 49 approaching from the
Westfjord at 2100. north established contact. The enemy, however, withdrew northwards.

b) Waters of Shetland and Norway 1955 U 49 reported again losing sight of him. Apparently no
The evaluation of the enemy situation of 8.4 makes it appear certain other boats have come up. Meanwhile - against my own judgment, by
that the enemy has strong forces at sea. The enemy contact with our own order of the Group - I have transferred the 4 U-boats disposed around
battleships confirms this conjecture. His heavy forces are far to the north. Scapa, to the east.
In this case, the 5th U-boat Group's task - to intercept the enemy
approaching to the northeast from English bases, pointless. The enemy is The group is of the opinion that the boats at present off Scapa
already to the north in force. Further, with the moving up of the Bergen where there are no more enemy forces, fulfill no useful purpose for the
boats to the area west of Bergen there is a gap which it would be desirable time being, while their presence east of the Shetlands could be of great
to fill. value in the event of the enemy repeating his movements in the next few
For this reason I have decided to transfer the group about 90 sea days. U 10 and U 19 will in any case be
miles in the direction of 1200.

U 37 is relieved of her escort duties, and receives orders to -4-

proceed at high speed to the area northeast of the Shetlands. Together with
U 38 and U 56 it joins the 5th U-boat Group.

A W/T message was received from U 56 at 0920 reporting the

sighting of 2 battleships on a southerly course in grid 8747 (northern east
section of the Straits Shetland/Norway). On account of radio intelligence
3) Sketch of position and movements of U-boats with enemy reports in
Date Position, Wind, Weather Appendix 3. (not attached)
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 4) Collection of most important W/T messages to the U-boats, including
boats disposition at 1000. (in ink: see Appendix 1)

10. / 4. As they have not established contact, the operation was

broken off as being no longer promising, so that the boats could take up
their intended positions before dawn.
moved further to the east. Such measures need more time for execution.
No noteworthy progress can be expected before the close of the coming U 49 was in contact with 2 large cruisers from 0159 to 0229. They
night as in the operational area alone it will be necessary to submerge disappeared from sight at high speed on a southerly course. U 50 and 52
frequently owing to danger from a/c. The withdrawal of the Scapa boats were detailed to attack but did not sight them
means as far as can be seen, that during the operations, they will be
entirely lost to this position. The area in which they were disposed 1) Situation:
provided every possibility of contact with the enemy, as sooner or later he a) English destroyers attempted at dawn in mist weather and snow
must pass through it. flurries to penetrate the Westfjord as far as Narvik. They were detected
with losses to both sides. The U-boats disposed in the Westfjord could
The question as to which area is most important in view of the not, it seems, prevent the penetration. The reason for this will be clear
whole operation depends on an assessment of the war situation as a whole when the boats put in. Without a doubt, their task is very tricky, especially
- a survey I am not in a position to make - in all operations with U-boats, opposed to destroyers which force their way through at high speed using
however, one must not lose sight of the fact that the U-boat is a slow, depth charges, and twice as difficult in misty weather. The operation
unmaneuverable weapon which can only experience more than accidental shows though that one cannot be strong enough for such tasks. In the
success if given time to be effective in the ordered area. In the case of course of the forenoon Naval War Staff ordered the dispatch of two boats
transfer, it is especially to be remembered that they must be ordered in the to Trondheim and 4 to Narvik. This order crossed with a relevant
evening and not in the morning, because in areas threatened by air activity suggestion of mine to the Group. There, the center point of the operation
U-boat practically only makes progress at night. appears to have moved.This would be especially attractive to the English
as an area for counter-attacks as it would be more difficult for us to be
A signal was received at 2145 that heavy enemy ships damaged in reinforced from home. This situation is tricky for our own forces, as
air attacks at 1730 were in grid AN 2338. U 49, 50 and 52 received orders supplies have not arrived - the destroyers are for the most part unready to
to proceed thither and to attack them. sail

U 65 has put out for the operations area.

2) Enemy reports: See Appendix 2 to KTB of 9.4. -5-

11. / 4. Two destroyers of the Narvik Group attempted to put out
of the Westfjord. The attempt failed because they sighted a cruiser and a
destroyer when they were still in the narrow part of the fjord, and were
unable to pass them in the clear night. They returned. On their report of
the enemy, U 51 received orders to attack. The boat, however, did not
apparently find the enemy. It can be seen from the repeated confirmation
of enemy forces in this area that he constantly patrols it, systematically,
perhaps against the U-boats, passing their positions. I must make a picture
Date Position, Wind, Weather of the situation and therefore request a situation report from the boats.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events There is no need to maintain wireless silence in this area. There is no
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. danger of bearings being taken. The confirmation of U-boats here can
only have a discouraging effect on the enemy, which is what we want. U
46 has has no contact with the enemy. U 51 was pursued by destroyers - it
fired 2 misses and 2 self detonators. U 25 reports having torpedoed 2
destroyers last night in her position. The effect of the explosion not
observed. Hydrophone search. Non report from U 64. Summing up the
and their putting out is now questionable owing to the enemy - one situation in the North Sea this afternoon, the Group said that imminent
small boat has been assigned to patrol the Kors Fjord enemy battle fleet operations were not expected. For the time being, the
b) A new distribution of boats in the northern North Sea is necessary as enemy has withdrawn from the area apparently under the impression that
a result of this movement. One has the impression that the English fleet there would be successful air attacks during the momentary favorable
has withdrawn in a northerly and southwesterly direction. The Naval War flying weather. The Group is in favor of a concentration of U-boats
Staff does not believe that a counter-landing on the southwest of Norway around the Shetland area, in order to have reconnaissance independent of
is imminent; in this connection they see no necessity for the enemy to the weather, for the return of our own battleships. This task must not be
operate near German bases from where apparently successful air attacks underrated, it means, however, that the more promising disposition of
were carried out on 9.4. In view of the considerable losses of surface craft small U-boats in the area around Scapa must be finally abandoned.
and the return of units still lying in the landing ports, in the near future,
they (SKL) consider the U-boat's main task to consist not so much in U 48 in the Group proceeding to Narvik established contact with
searching for targets as in the patrol of the recently occupied areas. The heavy cruisers; later also battleships and light forces. The enemy is
new disposition shows here a concentration in the eastern section of the apparently patrolling northwest of Trondheim. Although the other boats
Shetland/Norway Straits. The Narvik boats, to whom the very difficult belonging to the group must be in the vicinity, no other boat managed to
and decisively important task at the moment calls - that of protecting these come up.
ports against every pursuing enemy - have received orders to penetrate still
deeper into the fjord so that all boats are disposed in the narrowest
possible positions, abandoning outer sections which are difficult to patrol. -6-

U 48 reported 2 triple spreads in the evening on a large cruiser, no
hits scored, 4 self detonators. THis report of failure, together with those of
U 51 and U 25 give rise to extreme doubts as to the effectiveness of
magnetic fuse in Zone O. The question of torpedo failure appears to
threaten the success of the entire operation. The following reflections are
given and relevant measures taken.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events On 11 April and during the night of 11/12 the following W/T
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. messages were received:
11.4 T.O.R. 1350:
W/T message T.O.O. 1246........2 destroyers torpedoed on the evening
of April 10th. Effect of explosion not observed. U 25.
11.4 T.O.R. 2340:
W/T message 2115. Triple spread miss on Cumberland, one
Address detonation at end of run. Triple spread on York cruiser in grid 5617 at
Excerpt from 2115. Spread fused prematurely. Depth 7 meters, zone - 4. Position grid
Enquiry into Torpedo Failures 5672. U 48.
M 83 S/42 Most Secret III copy 12.4 T.O.R. 0305:
W/T message 2250. 2 failures, one detonated at safety distance, one
6) The point of view expressed by B.d.U. in his reports and War Diary, after 30 seconds, 100 meters off large destroyer. U 51.
that shortages of torpedoes and warhead pistols were especially prevalent According to the wireless messages of U 48 and U 51 the
during the Norwegian operations and had a decisive effect on the outcome possibility of a premature fuse must be also conjectured in the case of U
makes it necessary to point out that one cannot speak of a particularly 25, as all further information on the sinking of the destroyer is lacking that
noticeable increase of failures during the Norwegian operation in the means that in one day, there were 6 to 8 self detonators out of 12 torpedoes
comparison with previous U-boat results. The mishaps of this period can - a percentage of 50-75%. (There is, of course, the possibility in the case
be attributed to a far greater extent to explained misses - 41.8%. They of U 48 that the premature fusing of the third caused the counter
were considerably influenced by the unique, tricky conditions of U-boat detonation of the other two torpedoes.)
warfare experienced in this operation (high firing range, small fast-moving
targets, heavy protection, short light nights, un-heated torpedoes and
unusual light conditions. -7-

Kr (Archives) is to include this statement in the text of B.d.U.'s War

Diary dealing with the Norwegian operations and is to indicate the
relevant passages in the War Diary.
(signed): Raeder.

Disadvantage: Relinquishing of destroyer warfare and with it, the
boat's duties. Further disadvantage:slighter torpedo effect on large target.
Date Position, Wind, Weather 2) Continuing to use magnetic firing device:
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Advantage: Greater effect with the event of a hit.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Disadvantage: Considerably less likelihood of hit owing to
prematures. (with regard to the facts given now I must presume a 50%
proportion of failures.)
A further disadvantage weighing heavily against it: Considerable
danger to valuable boats, which if lost would be lacking not only for their
protective duties but also for further operations.
These premature fusings mean, especially in the present area of The failures have so far only been in Zone O and north of this,
operations, not only a significant lack of hits, but a considerable danger to while there have been no failures in among the several successes in the last
the boats themselves. This particularly affects the boats defending few weeks in the southerly area.
Westfjord, which, after firing at a destroyer with a premature, are greatly The following points are relevant:
handicapped in the comparatively restricted area during the search for 1) Boats must be able to fulfill their protective duties against every
them. An alteration of the state of affairs is therefore urgently requested. opponent, including destroyers.
Telephone conversations with Torpedo Institute and Professor Cornelius 2) The endangering of the boats through premature detonation is on no
bring me no support in this doubtful situation. The latter advises sticking account justifiable during the present operations, as the chances of success
to methods employed tendency for granted that Norway has any effect on are also jeopardized, and boats lost cannot be replaced by other forces.
the magnetic fuse. Protection of the fjords and bases is, however, an essential task at the
On the latter point B.d.U. expressed his doubts to the Torpedo moment.
Institute in November 1939 (in connection with U 38's operations) and
requested an enquiry and definite ruling. They were unanimously of the
opinion that no magnetic effect existed. The Torpedo Institute suggests -8-
firing torpedo spreads either with acoustic detonation or magnetic
detonators with a time interval of 8 seconds (between each). Both sources
point out that a change over to contact detonators would mean the
discontinuation of attacks on destroyers owing to the probability of
undershooting. On no account especially after the events of today
forenoon (destroyer battle off Narvik) can I abandon anti-destroyer
warfare, as for the most part, without it, U-boats would be unable to carry
out their duties. The following decision must be made:
1) Introduction of contact firing device with switch setting A. Date Position, Wind, Weather
Advantage: Cutting out of self detonators and therefore the greater and Sea State, Illumination, Events
safety of the boats. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

therefore decided to move U 65 also to Narvik where other losses appear
to have taken place.

Our surface craft which have put into the landing ports have
I have come to the following conclusions regarding the boats: received orders to return home as soon as the situation permits. The F.O.
1) In Zone O and to the north of it, keep 3 torpedoes with switch Scouting Forces is already back."Hipper" and the C-in-C Fleet intend to
setting A, and 1 torpedo with magnetic fuse setting, ready for action. pass through the Shetlands/Norway narrows during the coming night.
2) Fire on ships only with setting A. Depth setting depth 2 meters.
3) Always double shot, first torpedo setting A, depth 3 meters, then The disposition of the U-boats southwest of Norway is thereby
torpedo with magnetic setting, depth - draught - 1 meter, time interval if justified. They are available for other duties and are to receive new
possible 8 seconds. waiting positions in the vicinity of the north barrier gap of the Skagerrak
I am aware that this means giving up the considerably greater minefield. There they will lie in wait for the English U-boats proceeding
torpedo effects obtained by magnetic detonation, in order to make the to the Kattegatt. These are apparently in this area in large numbers to
chances of hitting more certain. (Even a large warship is put out of action dislocate German transport traffic to Norway.
for at least the duration of the operation by contact torpedo hit) With the
double shot on destroyers, I hope, in consideration of the tricky situation,
to obtain at least one hit with one torpedo and to thereby considerably -9-
decrease the danger to the U-boats.
We are, then, technically in the same position as in 1910 with the
reservation that the torpedo is less reliable in maintaining depth. The
difficulties and obscurities which arise in the use of the magnetic firing
device are after Professor Gerlach's recent research, at the moment
insurmountable and in no way even nearly clearly outlined.
There is no doubt that the premature detonation of torpedoes has
caused U-boat losses; it will perhaps never be known how many boats we
have lost on this account. Date Position, Wind, Weather
I intend to use contact detonators at least during the current and Sea State, Illumination, Events
operations, or at any rate in the areas momentarily especially endangered Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
in the northerly zones. If premature detonation also occurs in the
southerly areas, a general change over to contact detonators will be
unavoidable if and when a return to magnetic detonators will follow
depends on the results of research and trial shots.

The recent enemy report from U 48 strengthens my belief that the For the time being the disposition must wait, as according to a
central point in the sea operations is moving to the northeast. I have radio intelligence report an English operation is to take place in the area
between 580 N on the Norwegian coast on 12.4 and their deployment is
more necessary there. They are to be disposed off England. U 48 again see another situation. A disposition of U-boats is necessary and promising
established contact with a heavy enemy cruiser in the evening. It was on the strength of this report. 3 boats from the group proceeding to Narvik
again lost after a time, owing to poor visibility. It must be presumed that are to be deflected to the Vaagsfjord.
the positions of the Narvik boats are known to the enemy as a result of the
English attack on Narvik. They are to be moved slightly, and incorporated 2 other boats to protect Andalsnes and Namsos from possible landings
with the new boats (U 38, 47, 48, 49). The latter are to patrol the are to be detailed. Only U 65, proceeding to Narvik is still available. The
Westfjord continuously. second boat will be taken from the Trondheim group which appears
comparatively adequately safeguarded when the first coastal batteries there
12. / 4. U 2 reports return passage owing to damage to are ready for action. There is to be new distribution of positions for the
hydroplane. Narvik boats (which U 48 joins today) and a supplementation of supplies
by one boat, from the supply ship "Jan Wellem" is intended for the coming
U 48 regained contact unfortunately only temporarily, with 2 day.
large cruisers with destroyers on a southerly course, medium speed. The At the same time the boat is to hand over its small arms and
enemy is then, in the area northwest of Trondheim. I do not now consider machine guns to the Harbormaster for the use of the infantry.
a new deployment of the boats proceeding to Narvik, which must be in the
vicinity, advisable. If the enemy is in this area it only is a starting off point U 43 and U 61 have put out for Narvik with munitions.
for operations against the neighboring areas. Narvik appears especially
threatened. The boats are to proceed there with the utmost speed in order The U-boat next available will be detailed to supply troops in
to be in position when the enemy arrives. A message from U 38 indicates Narvik. The following have put out: U 43 with 35 tons of cargo for
a change in the situation, this boat sighted 2 freighters and an escorting Narvik, 15 tons of which consists of 2 cm. ammunition, 13 tons of infantry
destroyer on a northeasterly course. Convoys of ordinary merchant ships ammunition, 7 tons of heavy mortar ammunition.
do not now sail in this area. These units were in all probability transport
ships used in connection with an enemy operation - possibly transport of
material for a landing. U 38 received orders to attack, or if that is not - 10 -
possible, to maintain contact. It is important to know where these
steamers are going.

At the same time the 1st U-boat Group receives permission to

attack all ships (not just warships and troop transport ships as previously)
as it is practically certain that no ordinary merchant shipping now
proceeds through this area.

A reliable radio intelligence report relates to the putting out of an Date Position, Wind, Weather
English cruiser with 2 destroyers from Scapa for Vaagsfjord. This and Sea State, Illumination, Events
confirms the conjecture that the enemy plans counter operation possibly Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
landings north of Narvik after being beaten off in Westfjord. From this I
will be the Trondheim group. U 50 receives orders to proceed to the Folla

The question of relieving the small boats of their duties in order to

U 26 and U 29 will also be available in the next few days. supplement supplies, is becoming increasingly urgent. The boats put out
almost simultaneously. If they remain at sea until supplies are exhausted,
13. / 4. The following deductions may be made from the radio they will also begin the return passage at the same time. There will then
intelligence reports received during the night: be a complete absence of boats in the operations area. The possibility of
1) C-in-C Home Fleet is directing all operations on the northwest coast taking on supplies above all in Bergen is being energetically looked into.
of Norway. He is himself at sea.
2) A fighter Group "A" has been formed, consisting presumably of 3 U 48 and U 52 have been expressly assigned to reconnoiter the
heavy cruisers and destroyers, under S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron. They are areas in the vicinity of their operational sector.
operating off Indre Folder where a landing has already taken place. For one thing I wish to obtain a picture of the situation in the
3) Fighter Group "B" consisting of 1 battleship, i battle cruiser, 1 a/c neighborhood of the ordered positions for another thing to give the boats
carrier, 1 cruiser, and 9 destroyers under S.O. Battle Cruiser Squadron, is an opportunity of finding the enemy themselves, not obliging them to wait
to carry out operations in the Narvik area on the afternoon of 13.4. Two until the enemy comes into their area.
convoys were mentioned in connection with this group,
a) 2 transport vessels and one net layer, which put out of Scapa on 12.4
and - 11 -
b) a convoy proceeding from a west coast port, which was in North
Minch on 12.4.
4) Further operations are planned in the Vaagsfjord area. A part of the
forces intended for this are already at sea; another section intends to reach
Vaagsfjord on the morning of 15.4.
5) Mining operations are to be carried out in the Skudesnes area.
U 1 and U 4 are to be informed of the mining operations, While U-
boats are either disposed or about to be disposed in all other English
operational areas Folla Fjord is still unoccupied.Only the occupation of Date Position, Wind, Weather
Namsen Fjord branching to the south by U 65 now en route is intended. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Another U-boat is to be transferred for the patrol of this fjord, by order of Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
the Naval War Staff.

As no other large boat is at the moment available in open waters

(U 37 can only operate for a short time owing to shortage of lubricating
oil) I shall have to take this boat away from the least vulnerable coastal
protection group. When several coastal batteries are ready for action this
U 38 and U 64 who were requested to report and did not, have the time being, it is impossible to pass through the rocks at night owing to
reported today. danger of mines and tricky navigation.

A report of a new break-through by English forces in the Ofot Trondheim is, therefore, cleared of U-boats. The coastal batteries
Fjord and off Narvik, was received in the afternoon. There were 9 here, however do provide a certain amount of protection. In my opinion it
destroyers and a battleship. The report came from the Naval Signal is far more important to leave a boat in Romsdal Fjord and Folla Fjord
Officer, Narvik, not from the U-boats who apparently were neither able to where there can no longer be any doubt of the enemy's landing intentions.
give warning nor prevent the penetration in spite of the fact that there were The reoccupying of these positions by small boats will not be possible for
at least 3 boats one behind the other in the narrow channel of the fjord. I several days. The enemy operations, however, are imminent.
cannot, as yet, obtain a clear picture of events. One must wait for the
boat's reports and messages, in order to explain the circumstances. One U 52, 30 and 34, have been recalled all the same against my
thing is certain, the boats did what they could.The protective duties judgment. As the number of U-boats in Norway is in no way adequate for
assigned to them were tricky and it seems, too difficult, against a strong, the tasks assigned to them, Naval War Staff is detailing the boats lying in
well-equipped enemy prepared for U-boats and as a result of torpedo readiness for operation "Gelb" for action in Norway.
shortage only combated at a disadvantage.
U 17, 23, 24 are putting out for the present for the northern North
All boats in Westfjord have received orders to proceed to Narvik Sea where they will receive further orders by W/T.
and attack the enemy as a result of the news of the successful break-
through. 14. / 4. U 65 received orders to proceed to the Vaagsfjord west of
the Lofoten Islands. I presume that there is the center point of the English
U 46 reported at 2000 that the enemy battleship had again put out. operations and therefore affirm that the strengthening of the Westfjord
All boats off Narvik are requested to send a situation report. I
must form a picture from closer information of the break-through and
know which of the boats is still there. In Naval War Staff Most Secret - 12 -
4432/40 the order is received to move all large boats up to U-50 to the
north - to carry out supplying of small boats' consumable goods - if
possible in Bergen and then to dispense them in all positions south of

U 30, 34, 52, 65 received orders to proceed at high speed to the

Lofoten Islands.

Supplying in Bergen has, in the meantime, been proved possible. Date Position, Wind, Weather
The 5 boats off, and in the approaches are not to put in until dawn, as for and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
The boats ordered to take on supplies in Bergen, put in during the
day. The supplying appeared to work without a hitch. All boats will put
out again in the evening and will proceed on a northerly course to a pre-
arranged grid, until the final distribution has been decided upon.
The boats are then ordered to take on supplies north of the
W/T messages from U 38 and 47 in the Vaagsfjord were received Shetlands, except for 3 boats which are to remain in the area. Boats
last night. U 38 sighted an English destroyer near Anderes. U 47 reports requiring extensive repairs are to proceed to Wilhelmshaven the rest to
its position and area free of enemy units. It probably transmitted because Bergen.
it thought it was also requested to send a situation report. When in reality
this request was merely directed at the boats in Westfjord. The group U 4 returned to Wilhelmshaven unexpectedly. It was unable to
identification will again be repeated by W/T. report the return passage owing to W/T breakdown. The boat destroyed an
English U-boat in its position.
While I have no fear of the enemy D/F'ing W/T messages in this
area it is possible that the boats might betray their presence if enemy units U 61 is to patrol the Namsen Fjord with U 34.
were in the vicinity. I therefore consider it circumspect to use W/T only in
an emergency on contacting main targets, heavy forces or transport ships. U 1 which should put to sea soon is to be transferred from
The boats are to receive the relevant order. Stavanger to the Lindesnes area as English U-boat chaser, as it is no longer
needed in its former area. If protection of the approaches to Bergen is
Radio Intelligence Service gives the route of an enemy convoy. It momentarily superfluous the same applies to Stavanger. As, according to
passes west of the Lofotens also probably in the Vaagsfjord. While the reports received, the presence of light enemy forces must already be
possibility of a landing in the area of this extensively branching fjord presumed in Vaagsfjord, U-boats are not to attack destroyers in order to
increases, there is still doubt as to which part of the fjord could be used for keep the surprise attack until the arrival of the transport vessels.
Naval War Staff considers Lavangen or Grabangen most likely. I 15. / 4. It would seem from all the messages received in the
have decided to use U 47 for reconnaissance in this area, after U 65 has forenoon that the enemy is consolidating his position in the area between
put in (expected on about 15.4).

Meanwhile fresh directions on U-boat warfare have been received - 13 -

from Naval War Staff. All large boats except U 65, which is to proceed,
are now to operate in the Trondheim, Namsen, Romsdal area. The boats
are to proceed to a grid in the direction of the new disposition for the time
being, and if no further orders are received from Naval War Staff I will
indicate the final positions.
Further, the Naval War Staff orders boats with supplies to no
longer proceed to Narvik, but instead to Trondheim where the introduction
of supplying facilities for U-boats is being attempted.
Date Position, Wind, Weather U 65 was forced therefore to submerge from 0800 to 1400.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events THe position is unfavorable, as U 49 and U 39 in the northerly
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. section of Vaagsfjord, received the important message too late, and are
now unable to proceed promptly to the south by day in order to attack the
transport vessel. Everything depends on reaching the transport by all
I therefore order the boats in Vaagsfjord to pursue to the limits of
the fjord.
Tromsoe and Vaagsfjord including Harstadt, reinforced by the I gave the following order to the Vaagsfjord boat at 2020: Operate
Norwegian sea, land and air forces there. In this connection, the sending according to opportunity and defense situation in Vaagsfjord and
of 4 U-boats to Vaagsfjord was justified. Conditions for attack are Andefjord area. The aforementioned considerations lead to this decision.
extremely tricky there, very short nights, at the moment very calm
weather. The best U-boat commanders are up there. The steamer "Unitas" under the command of Lieut. (Reserve)
Heye has put into Bergen with fuel and lubricating oil for the U-boats.
U 47 (Lieut. Prien) was forced (beneath the surface) for 20 hours THis passage through the North Sea carried out with speed and dash
by steamers and fishing vessels. Fishing craft suitable. deserves recognition. The supply situation of U-boats in Bergen is thereby
U-boat chasers are available in unlimited numbers. Prien was not improved.
able to fire a shot. U 48 (Lieut. Schulze, Herbert) attacked the Warspite in
Westfjord yesterday without success. He reported in the afternoon that his (signed): Dönitz
second attempt to proceed to Narvik had failed, owing to hydrophone and
depth charge activity.
Torpedo misses and failures on 2 destroyers.

U 64 (Lieut. W. Schulz) was lost in Ofot Fjord as a result of a

bombing attack. 8 men were rescued. - 14 -

The boats in Westfjord have received instructions to withdraw to

the western entrance and to search the inlets.

According to messages received there is no possibility of success

- scarcely possibility of survival in Ofot Fjord, owing to very strong
Appendix I to Kriegstagebuch B.d.U. Op. of 9.4. 1940.
U 65 (Lieut. v. Stockhausen) reported at 1400 that a transport ship
escorted by a battleship and destroyers put into the Anden Fjord at 0800. A) Disposition of U-boats at 1000 on 9.4. 1940:
Double shot a transport ship. No successes. 1) U-boat groups At end positions as ordered:
a) U 46; b) U 25; c) U 64 in passage in position early on 10.4; d) U New waiting disposition U 47 48.49. and 50 at 90 sea miles towards
51. 1200; U 52 grid 2310, U 38 grid 2810 AN, U 37 grid 7890 AF.
2) U-boat groups At end position as ordered: 7) 0930 W/T message to U 7:
a) U 30; b) U 34. New waiting position grid 2880. Utmost speed.
3) " " At end position as ordered: 8) 1004 W/T message to 8th U-group:
a) U 9; b) U 14; c) Unoccupied; d) U 60; e) U 62. New waiting positions: U 2 grid 4610; U 5 grid 4650; U 6 grid 4340.
4) " " At end position as ordered: 9) 1127 W/T message to all boats:
a) U 1; b) U 4. Join 5th group. U 37, 38 and 56.
5) " " In waiting position 18 sea miles around central point: 10) 1809 W/T message to U 65:
a) U 47 grid 2258 AN; b) U 48 grid 7959 AF; Proceed to position unobserved.
c) U 52 grid 2310 AN; d) U 50 grid 8787 AF;
e) U 49 grid 2359 AN; f) U 56 grid 8715 AF;
g) U 37 grid 7890 AF; (in position evening of 10.4)
h) U 38 grid 2810 AN.
6) " " In end position as ordered: - 15 -
a) U 13; b) U 57?; c) U 58; d) U 59.
7) " " Southern North Sea. Not yet determined.
8) " " Waiting positions:
a) U 2 grid 4610 AN; b) U 5 grid 4650 AN; c) U 6 grid 4340 AN.
9) " " Waiting positions:
a) U 19 grid 2620 AN ; b) U 7 grid 2880 AN; c) U 10 grid 2710 AN.

11) 2000 W/T message to U 30, 34, 65:

Immediate course Lofoten.
B) Important Wireless Messages: Maximum cruising speed. Confirm.
1) 0654 W/T message to U 38: Danger of mines in Skjörn Fjord for 2nd group.
New waiting position grid 4340 AN. Full speed ahead. 12) 2055 W/T message to U 52:
2) 0450 W/T message to 1st U-boat group: Course Lofoten.
Occupy end positions. One straggler. Maximum cruising speed. Confirm.
3) 0457 W/T message to 2nd U-boat group: 13) 2122 W/T message to U-boats in Westfjord:
Occupy end positions. Report situation as soon as possible. Add weather report.
4) 0558 W/T message to 3rd U-boat group, minus U 56: 14) 0138 W/T message to U 61:
Occupy end positions. Patrol Namsen Fjord, in grid 6497 AF.
5) 0725 W/T message to U 37: Enemy landing possible. Remain unobserved.
Take up waiting position in grid 7890 AF with utmost speed. Passage report near 620 N.
6) 0751 W/T message to all boats:
15) 0012 Most Immediate. W/T message to Narvik U-boats. Enemy U 34 grid 9116 AF; U 30 grid 9112 AF; U 50 grid 6777 AF; U 52 for
destroyer in Narvik Bay near Framnes and Rombaken. Attack. Havet. Concentration in south. Latter to go over to Atlantic system at
2400 on 10th April 1940.
10) 1300 W/T message to all boats:
Prevent pressing on by English in occupied ports. Of decisive
--------------------------------------------------- importance supplies overland insured.
------------- 11) 1908 W/T message to U 65:
Waiting position grid 2290 AN.
Appendix I to KTB B.d.U. Op. of 10.4. 1940. 12) 2126 W/T message to 1st U-boat group:
U 46 to patrol narrows Fornes west of 170, 10 mins. E. Remaining boats
Important Wireless Messages. to withdraw to a position to the east. Possible break-through by heavy
1) 0146 W/T message to U 49, 50, 52: 13) 0150 W/T message to U 51:
If no contact with damaged ship, take up ordered position before Enemy cruisers and destroyers near Tranoex. Attack.
2) 0255 radio signal to U 48, 50, 52:
Z.AQ. 2338.
3) 0947 W/T message to U 50 and 52:
New waiting position grid 5930 AF. Utmost speed. - 16 -
4) 0946 W/T to U 7:
New waiting position patrol Kors Fjord west of 50 08 minutes E.
Utmost speed.
5) 1001 W/T message to U 56:
New waiting position grid 2330 AN. Utmost speed.
6) 1220 W/T message to all U-boats: '
New waiting disposition: U 37 grid 2340; U 19 grid 2390; U 57 grid
2820; U 59 grid 2790; U 13 grid 2890 all AN. U 2, 5, 6 36 sea miles to Appendix I to KTB B.d.U. Op. of 11.4. 1940.
the east.
7) 1143 W/T message to U 38, 47, 48, 49: Important Wireless Messages.
Proceed to Narvik at high speed.
8) 1144 W/T message to all boats: 1) 0955 W/T message to following boats:
All Norwegian warships to be treated as enemy units. New waiting position:
9) 1031 W/T message to all boats: U 58 grid 7810; U 37 grid 7830; U 57 grid 7850; U 59 grid 7870; U
To occupy waiting positions: 13 grid 7890; U 56 grid 7920; U 19 grid 7940; U 10 grid 7980; U 65
grid 7670; all in AF. Cruising speed 10 knots. Large boats full speed
2) 1140 W/T message to 1st U-boat group:
All boats situation and position report.
3) 1511 W/T message to U 38, U 52: Appendix I to KTB B.d.U. Op. of 12.4. 1940.
Attack. Heavy units in grid 5830 AF.
4) 1846 W/T message to U 38, 52: Important Wireless Messages.
Proceed if no contact.
5) 1847 W/T message to U 5, 6, 2: 1) 0118 W/T to U 2, 5, 6:
New waiting disposition: U 2 return passage route 2; U 6 to occupy grid 3196 instead of U 2;
U 2 north of 5748 N east of 0655 as far as barrier gap; U 6 north of 5754 Meeting with Hipper possible forenoon in grid 4600 -4900.
between 0620 and 0644 E; U 5 south of U 6 as far as 5742 N. Look out 2) 1022 W/T message to U 38:
for U-boats. With ref. to W/T 0835. Attack. Otherwise maintain contact and report.
6) 2222 W/T message to Narvik boats: 3) 1516 W/T to U 38, 47, 49:
1) New positions: U 25 east of Nero 1 to 1655 E; U 64 between Nero 1 Acknowledge receipt. Proceed at high speed west of Lofotens to
and 2; U 51 between Nero 2 and 3. Vaagsfjord on 69 degree North. Remain unobserved.
2) U 38, 47, 48, 49 are not to wait for one another, but to enter 4) 1607 W/T message to U 38, 47,49:
Westfjord and wait there in patrol strips of the same depth. Distribution 1) Waiting disposition in Vaagsfjord:
from NW to SE. Subsequently waiting dispositions west of Nero 3: U 38 U 38 northeast of Aakercey Island
north; U 49 south of Line Barey on 600. Nero 3: U 47; Nero 2 U 48. U 47 south of Sandsoey Island.
3) U 38 etc. arrive presumably in 12th April. Ensure surprise arrival. Attack warships, transport vessels and supply
7) 2052 W/T message to U 65: ships only.
Proceed to Narvik. Maximum cruising speed. Go over to Atlantic 2) Situation: Cruiser Southampton left Scapa for Vaagsfjord midday on
system on 12 April at 0600. 12.4 with 2 destroyers, possibly escort for transport ship. Landing attempt
8) 0038 W/T message to all boats: expected there.
Enemy attack expected on Stavanger or Egersund on 12.4. New waiting 5) 1652 W/T message to U 52 and U 65:
disposition. Take up waiting positions as guard against landings. U 52 Romsdal
U 6 grid 3192 - 3193; U 2 grid 3196; U 5 grid 3274 Fjord on about 7 deg. 20 mins. E. U 65 Namsen Fjord on about 11 degs.
08 mins. E.
6) 1914 W/T message to U 5, 6:
New waiting disposition. U 5 north of 5748 east of 0655 to barrier gap;
U 6 north of 5742 between 0620 and 0644 E. Lookout for U-boats.
- 17 - 7) 1853 W/T message to 3rd and 4th U-boat groups and U 7:
Report supply etc. situation.
8) 1902 W/T message to Narvik boats:
U 46 waiting position between Nero 2 and 3. U 48 waiting position
Nero 3. Both boats to search area for enemy forces. U 51 patrol Fornes
narrows west of 17 deg. 10 mins. E.
9) 2237 W/T message to U 1, 4: Take up waiting disposition immediately at western exit Volla Fjord on
English destroyer to lay mines near Skuegsnes. Time unknown. 64 degs. 38 mins. N. Danger of landing, above all near Namsen. U 65 is
10) 0005 T/P message Emergency Group East: in Namsen Fjord.
Secret! Urgent! U 5 north 5748 east 0655 E to 0720 E; U 6 north 5742 3) 1153 W/T message to U 48:
N between 0620 E and 0644 E. Reconnoiter along coast of Tranoey, Brenneset to Helligvaer. Report
11) 0027 W/T to U 51: results, English declared area between:
1) Put into Narvik in daylight. Supply supplement from Jan Wellem. a) 67 deg. 25 mins. N; 1434 E
2) Hand over machine guns and small arms if convenient and required, b) 67 deg. 27 mins. N; 1424 E
also guns to harbor master for Army. c) 67 deg. 29 mins. N; 1407 E
d) 67 deg. 34 mins. N; 1352 E
e) 67 deg. 38 mins. N; 1402 E
f) 67 deg. 27 mins. N; 1439 E
4) 1156 W/T message to U 52:
- 18 - Reconnoiter unobserved as far as Andalsnes and report situation.
5) 1238 W/T message to boats north of Shetlands:
As soon as fuel situation necessitates return passage proceed. Boats not
requiring important repairs refuel in Bergen. Short signal VPL on passing
0230 E. Route for putting in and pilot station will be transmitted. Boats
needing repairs to return to Wilhelmshaven by route II. Short signal NEW
on passing 59 N.
6) 1238 W/T message to Admiral West Coast:
3) Rest if situation allows. Again take up position on April 14th Propose fuel, lubricating oil, provisioning of U-boats in Bergen.
before daylight. Request preparations for delivery, entrance channel, installation of Pilot
7) 1447 W/T message to Narvik U-boats:
Proceed to Narvik. English forces penetration.
--------------------------------------------------- 8) 1730 W/T message to Narvik U-boats:
------------- Enemy battleship and destroyer in Rombaken east of Narvik.
9) 1530 W/T message to Narvik U-boats:
Appendix I to KTB B.d.U. Op. of 13.4. 1940. Further orders: The attack on Narvik to be beaten off by all means.
10) 1315 W/T message to 9th U-boat group:
Important Wireless Messages. New waiting disposition. U 10 square 2830; U 19 square 2720.
11) 1416 W/T message to 6th and 9th U-boat group:
1) 1009 W/T message to U 6: New waiting disposition. U 13 square 2770; U 57 square 2790; U 59
Take up waiting disposition immediately between Nero 1 and 2. square 2620; U 58 square 2710.
2) 1011 W/T message to U 50 12) 1736 W/T message to 5th, 6th and 9th U-boat groups:
Move the positions already ordered 20 miles to 1350. Report requested up to 1900 on 14.4 whether the supplying of 5 more
boats including provisioning is possible in Bergen on 15.4.
4) 1228 W/T message to U 30, 34, 52:
Immediate: U 30, 34 waiting disposition in grid 5690 AF. U 52 return
from Romsdal Fjord as far as Andelsnes.
- 19 - 5) 1101 W/T message to all boats: Vaagsfjord boats - U 38, 47, 49, 65.
Wireless silence except for important enemy reports.
6) 1101 W/T message to U 65:
Proceed to Vaagsfjord via Andenes.
7) 1538 W/T message to 3rd U-boat group and U 7:
As soon as supplying completed, report. Put out for grid 8250 AF.
8) 1823 W/T message to U 30, 34:
To occupy the following positions: U 30 Romsdals Fjord. U 52 also
13) 2205 W/T message to U 49, 50 and 52. At 1730 GAF reported large here. Varstonen as far as Andalsnes. U 34 Namsen Fjord. U 50 is in west
vessel in square 2338 AN. Damaged. Listing. Attack. section of Foller. Boats are to remain unobserved.
14) 2300 Radio message to U 19: 9) 2038 W/T message to U 56:
New waiting disposition is square 2760 AN. Occupy grid 7830.
10) 2037 W/T message to boats in Westfjord:
Report position and situation.
11) 2037 W/T message to boats in Vaagsfjord:
--------------------------------------------------- Enemy landing must be expected in Ratangen and Lavangen. U 47 to
------------- reconnoiter there on 15.4. U 65 occupies position south of Kjoetta.
12) 2126 W/T message to U 1 and U 6 to be passed to U 5:
Appendix I to KTB B.d.U. Op. of 14.4. 1940. U 6 group to operate north of 57 degs. 54 mins. N. U 1 new position
grid 3550 southern half.
Important Wireless Messages. 13) 2142 W/T message to U 50:
Destroyer sighted putting into Namsen Fjord. Landing probable.
1) 0455 W/T message to all boats: Pursue.
Entrance to Bergen is Kors Fjord Leroeyosen Fleslands light Helliver 14) 2213 W/T message to Vaagsfjord boats:
route. Pilots for By-Fjord to be expected near Stangen owing to mine Main task surprise appearance on arrival of transport ships. Before this
barrier. Put in only in daylight. permission to attack destroyers is not given.
2) 0456 W/T message to 3rd U-boat group and U 7:
Put into Bergen and Kors Fjord at dawn. Take on entire supply of food
and provisions. Danger of air attacks. Report likely time of completion
after putting in.
3) 1009 W/T message to Admiral West Coast: - 20 -
2115 - A/c report: At 1145 in grid 4260, 17 to 19 destroyers, course NE,
high speed.
2120 - Radio intelligence report: Admiralty sent first OU W/T at 1850 to
S.O. Battle Cruisers and 1st and 2nd Cruiser Squadron.
2309 - At 2000 in grid 1647 one heavy cruiser, 2 destroyers. 1400
medium speed. - U 57
2320 - Radio intelligence report: French unit in grid 1562 AN at 0730 on
9.4. From Brest through Irish Sea.
15) 2255 W/T message emergency to Vaagsfjord boats: 2330 - Re: message of 2020. Enemy destroyers are 2 French torpedo
Only report troop transport ships and warships. cruisers(?) (translator's query) and possibly Emil Bertie (translator's note:
French cruiser minelayer 5,886 tons "Emile Bertie"?)

------------- ---------------------------------------------------
Enemy Situation on 8.4.1940.
Enemy Situation on 9.4.1940.
0730 - At 0030 in grid 1643 one heavy cruiser, 2 destroyers, northeasterly
course, high speed - U 13
1010 - At 0930 in grid 5855 AF in action with enemy destroyers - B.v.A. - 21 -
1240 - At 1139 cruiser "Galathea" reported a/c in grid 4524 AN.
1525 - Bearing of unknown unit at 1445 north of 64 N between 08 degs.
and 09 degs. E.
1800 - Additional report of a/c reconnaissance:
1) At 1348 in grid 8172; 2 battleships, 1 heavy cruiser, 6 destroyers,
northerly course, high speed.
Addition from Main Observation post:
Leading ship 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron "Birmingham" and destroyer 0225 - Wireless message: Norway has extinguished all lights on
2nd Flotilla. 2nd battleship probably Rodney. Norwegian coast from Lister to Narvik.
2) One cruiser off Narvik. 0416 - Urgent OU W/T message to U-boats on English area broadcast.
3) At 1145 in grid 4260, 18 destroyers northeasterly course. 0420 - From Naval War Staff: Norwegian air forces in state of readiness.
2000 - Radio intelligence report from Oslo: Warships near Hustadvika 0520 - Heavy forces in grid 3440 AF in action with fleet.
Bay north of Bud, one ship battleship(?)
0742 - Radio intelligence report: C-in-C Home Fleet at 000 in grid 8444.
Southerly course, speed 18 knots. - 22 -
0827 - Radio intelligence report: At 0738 one battleship, one destroyer in
grid 2736 presumably C-in-C Home Fleet.
0830 - Radio intelligence report: "Repulse" and "Renown" presumed to be
to the north.
0920 - At 0830 2 battleships in grid 8747 southerly course medium speed.
- U 56.
0922 - At 0800 C-in-C Home Fleet encountered light cruiser squadron
about 60 degs. N, 3 degs. E. Enemy Situation on 10.4.1940.
1025 - At 0955, 3 enemy cruisers, 15 destroyers in grid 2734 90 degs. -
A/c. At 0955, 3 heavy cruisers, 5 light cruisers, course E. 1030 change of 0105 - Radio intelligence report: Glasgow and Southampton damaged.
course to 30 degs. high speed, no destroyers. - A/c. Probably by air attack.
1112 - Corrupt report of 1?5?11? course 400, medium speed. - A/c. 0243 - At 0159 2 large cruisers in grid 2338. - U 49.
1120 - Radio intelligence report: French units possibly in north Scottish 0345 - 0229 enemy out of sight in 1800 high speed. - U 49.
waters - 3 large units. 5 Flotilla leaders and destroyers. 1035 - 0948 1 light cruiser in grid 2765 AN westerly course. - U 19.
1810 - At 1400, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers; 20 destroyers in grid 2811. 1120 - 1105 1 destroyer in grid 2718 course W., very high speed. - A/c.
Northerly course. - A/c. 1153 - 1125 1 destroyer in grid 2352 course west, very high speed. - A/c.
1815 - At 1535 3 battleships in grid 2238, northerly course, medium speed. 1120 one enemy destroyer in grid 2717 course west. - A/c.
- U 49. 1249 - "Warspite" put out of Scapa at 2130 on 9.4 with 6 destroyers of the
1821 - At 1648 battle cruiser, one light cruiser, 2 destroyers in grid 2236. 7th Flotilla. "Furious" is at sea.
Northerly course, medium speed. - U 49. 1810 - Radio intelligence report: Cruiser "Birmingham" reported bombing
1836 - Radio intelligence report: 4th and 6th Destroyer Flotilla near C-in- attack at 1643 in grid 1455.
C Home Fleet. 1848 - "Birmingham" reported U-boat at 1709 in grid 1458.
1955 - At 1805 enemy out of sight, grid 2235. Light cruiser northeasterly 1914 - At 1815, 5 destroyers in fixed position near Bremnes. - U 51.
course, medium speed. - U 49. 1920 - Radio Intelligence report: "Repulse" is presumed to be in Lofoten
2045 - At 2025, 2 destroyers in grid 2353 course 1450, medium speed. - area and 2nd Destroyer Flotilla off Narvik, 8th Destroyer Flotilla off Scapa
A/c. on evening of 9.4.
2050 - At 2035 4 destroyers in grid 2324 course 900, medium speed. - A/c. 2114 - Flying Corps X sighted one battleship, 2 heavy, 2 light cruisers,
2124 - 2100, 5 destroyers, southwesterly course, medium speed. several destroyers at 1650 in grid 2646.
Westfjord. - U 51. 2207 - Intelligence reports: French squadrons with battleships
2145 - At 1730 hit on battleship or heavy cruiser in grid AN 2338 damaged "Strasbourg", "Dunkerque", a/c carrier "Bearn", 2nd Torpedo (boat?)
with list. In grid AN 2417, 1 cruiser and destroyers. - A/c. Flotilla. 1st U-boat Flotilla on 10.4 forenoon in Channel exit North Sea
direction. Time and position unlikely. Presence in North Sea possible.
2210 - Radio Intelligence report: A/c attacks at grid 1832 on northbound
convoy in grid AN, 0156 and at 1834 in grid 1837.
2256 - Radio intelligence report: English units bombed at 1850 in grid "Arethusa", Manchester", "Southampton". French cruiser "Emile Bartin",
2798 AN. flotilla leader "Tartu" and "Maille Breze".
1051 - A/c report: 2 destroyers in grid 2941, course N, medium speed.
1120 - Radio signal 1113 from U 48: 4 heavy cruisers in grid 5863 AF.
1350 - W/T message 1246 from U 25: Nero 2, destroyer hydrophone
--------------------------------------------------- activity. 2 destroyers torpedoed on the evening of 10.4. Effect not
------------- observed.
1515 - Radio signal 1429 from U 48: 3 battleships, 1 heavy cruiser, 1 light
Enemy Situation on 11.4.1940. cruiser, 5 destroyers on changing course, high speed, up and down grid
5830 AF.
0050 - Operations control from 4th Destroyer Flotilla: Turned back with 1935 - Radio intelligence report: S.O. 3rd Destroyer Flotilla confirmed at
"Zenker", "Giese" at 2200 as destroyer(s) near Tranoe, followed by sea on the afternoon of 11.4.
cruiser(s). 1950 - Flying Corps X reported: Sighting report at 1740 in grid 5593 AF,
0115 - Intelligence report: Steamer "Leopard"(?) reported U-boat at 0020 1 a/c carrier, 3 heavy cruisers, 8 light cruisers. Full speed ahead, course
in grid 4164 (south of Oslo Fjord). ENE.
2000 - Daventry: Churchill announced: On Monday "Glowworm sunk
after destroyer action. Damaged on Tuesday in air attack, 2 light cruisers,
battleship "Rodney", destroyer "Gurhka" sunk, "Renown" in action with
- 23 - 2000 - Radio intelligence report: At 1815 "AW" OU W/T to S.O. Battle
Cruisers and Admiralty bearing direction grid 3380.
2018 - Radio intelligence report: At 1700 OU W/T from C-in-C Home
Fleet (?) to S.O. Battle Cruiser Squadron and Admiralty from Trondheim
2036 - Bearings: AC 1950 in AN 6410. AY 1943 in direction west of
2113 - Flying Corps X reported: At 1800 in grid 5567 AF, heavy enemy
group attacked. Consisting of 1 a/c carrier, 3 battle cruisers, 20 light
forces course 210 0.
0135 - Intelligence report: Majority of large cruisers put out from Toulon 2155 - Radio intelligence report: 1707 OU W/T from Admiralty to S.O.
for NOrth Sea. Battle cruisers and unknown unit. 1841 S.O. Battle Cruisers sent OU W/T
0330 - Radio intelligence report: Unreliable bearing on English units at to C-in-C Home Fleet info. Admiralty.
0200 in grid 3390 (SE of Norwegian coast). 2225 - W/T message from Trondheim patrol: 2 English destroyers off
0725 - W/T message 0554 from U 5: Enemy U-boat in grid 3446. Agdenes in action with Hysnes Battery.
1044 - Radio intelligence report: Put into Scapa on 10.4: "Aurora" at
1620. 2000-2100, "Sheffield", "Glasgow", "Birmingham", Galatea",
0915 - Radio signal 0835 from U 38 (see Radio signal 1056): One
destroyer, 2 freighters in 3760 AF northeasterly course.
- 24 - 0945 - Radio intelligence report: W/T message of 9.4 contains report that
"Furious covered by "Warspite" is to put in on 10.4 and that destroyers are
to patrol off Bergen.
1025 - Radio intelligence report: U-boat positions on 12.4 at 0700: Seal
of Skudesnes "Unity" in grid 3945 (south of Habstholm).
1056 - Radio signal 1056 from U 38: Enemy forces consist of 2 destroyers
1 tanker. Have lost contact.
1435 - Radio intelligence report: "Southampton", "Electra", and
2229 - Radio signal 2158 from U 48: One heavy cruiser, out of control "Escapada" are to put out for Vaagsfjord at midday on 12.4.
in grid 5675. 1516 - Radio signal 1431 from U 48: One destroyer in grid 3558 NE
2339 - Radio intelligence report: At 1915 W/T message from Admiral course, medium speed.
Rosyth to light cruiser squadron about planned operation on 12.4 against 1530 - Radio intelligence report: Daventry gives declared mined area in
Norwegian coast between 580 and 590 N (probably in the afternoon.) North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat.
(Translator's note: too abbreviated to be clear) 1650 - Intelligence report: From Intelligence Organization Spain: English
2340 - W/T message from U 48: At 1230 triple spread on "Cumberland" Mediterranean Fleet passed Gibraltar to the west. (Still to be confirmed).
in grid 5917. At 2115 triple spread on "York" cruiser in grid 5672. 1715 - A/c W/T message: At 1430 in grid 3539 2 English U-boats on the
surface. Westerly course.
1730 - Most Immediate 1705: Carrier borne a/c attack on Bergen.
2125 - Radio signal 2010: 2 destroyers in grid 3610 AF northeasterly
--------------------------------------------------- course.

Enemy Situation on 12.4.1940.

- 25 -
0340 - Radio intelligence report: From W/T Rosyth to Light Cruiser
Squadron: Operation of 12th afternoon between 58 degs. and 59 degs.
info. to Adm. C-in-C Home Fleet, Adm. Scapa., Cruiser Glascow.
Transport ships (Polish steamers) Chrobry and Balory with 6 destroyers of
"V" class and the U-boat from Thames put into Scapa.
0650 - C-in-C Home Fleet reported, 11th: Bombing attack on "Furious"
at 2051. Subsequently Group led by C-in-C Home Fleet was in grid 5569
AF at 1800 on 11.4. 2205 - Radio signal 2024 from U 48: 2 destroyers in grid 3610 NE
0705 - Radio intelligence report: Daventry from Stockholm. English course.
troop landings in Oslo Fjord
2235 - Radio intelligence report: A destroyer flotilla is to lay mines near 0615 - Radio intelligence report 0525: 4 ships escorted by 4 units are
Skudesnes. proceeding northwards at 2000 on 12.4 in 3656 AM.
2250 - W/T message 2024 from 4th Destroyer Division: Attack by carrier 0615 - Radio intelligence report 0525: At 1515 on 12.4 netlayer
borne a/c at about 1850. "Protector" put out of Scapa with "Batory" and "Chroby" escorted by 4
2315 - Flying Corps X report: A/c sighted Westfjord in afternoon: "where units ("V" class destroyers?).
it begins to be narrow", 1 large ship with 2 funnels, 1 small ship with 1 0802 - Radio intelligence report: 0745 operation according to radio
funnel, 4 torpedo boats, 3 destroyers further out. intelligence report 0430 is to take place at Narvik on the afternoon of 13.4.
0900 - Radio intelligence report: All given forces are to take part in the
0900 - Radio intelligence report: Presumably C-in-C Home Fleet, 1st
--------------------------------------------------- Cruiser Squadron and destroyers from Forces A. The following were
------------- mentioned with Forces B (see RIP 0430): 1) Convoy "Batory", "Chrobry",
4 destroyers put out of Scapa at 1515 on 12.4. 2) Convoy from west coast
Enemy Situation on 13.4.1940. north of Minch at 1200.

0033 - W/T message from U 37: Suspect of enemy U-boat north of

Shetlands. Noise of torpedo under the boat at 2200. Sunk up to now: 2
armed steamers, an armed tanker of 17,000 tons. - 26 -
0145 - W/T message from U 64: Report of strong destroyer patrol in
0245 - Radio intelligence report: (special): Unidentified convoy is
escorted by "Warspite", "Repulse" and "Furious". 3 destroyers in Scapa
Flow transport ship escort, after carrying out escort duties they are to
return to operations area with "Warspite".
0330 - Radio intelligence report 0300: At 0700 on 12.4 "Aurora" (with a
Flag OFficer on board) reported to "Southampton" that she would arrive at 1045 - W/T message from M.11: In action with U-boat in grid 3946.
Vaagsfjord early on 15th. 1055 - Radio intelligence report: C-in-C Home Fleet to "Penelope" and
0345 - Radio intelligence report 0315: S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron reported destroyers - The following are to take part in Operation 13, one destroyer
landing operations by "Indresia" (Indre Folda) "Isis" has found Namsos of 3rd Flotilla, 6th Destroyer Flotilla and Tribal destroyer, in 3530 AF or to
and Mosjoen suitable for landings. the north at 0800.
0457 - Radio intelligence report: 0430 order from C-in-C Home Fleet of 1116 - Radio signal 0911: Underwater engine noise in 4465 - F.O.I.C.
12.4: S.O. Battle Cruisers on "Repulse", Warspite", Beecoutin Pujabi", Baltic Defenses.
one destroyer of 6th Flotilla "Cossack", one destroyer of Tribal class, 1337 - Radio signal 1154 from U 49: One enemy cruiser, varying course
"Foxhound", "Forester", "Hero", and one destroyer of 3rd Flotilla in grid 3460.
comprise B forces for Operation Atlantic: Attack defenses at - - - - - - -

1358 - Radio intelligence report 1340: Wick radio sent urgent W/T - 27 -
message to Alesund for Admiral Smart in Lillhammer at 1232. At 1240
extremely urgent W/T message for Reid at Grand Hotel Andalsnes.
1420 - Radio signal 1330 from U 49: Enemy out of sight direction 300.
1425 - W/T message 1300: Destroyer action in Ofotfjord, 9 English
destroyers broke through.
1335 - W/T message 1325 from ship 40: Have been torpedoed by U-boat
in grid 4517.
1440 - W/T message 1315: from 4th Destroyer Division: A large unit 1725 - W/T message from Narvik: Enemy warships surround Narvik,
apart from destroyers in destroyer flotilla. attempt landing in Rombaken.
1500 - W/T message 1427 from List: A/c reported 1245, Norwegian time; 1810 - W/T message 1554 - from Narvik: -------English destroyer. F 05
Norwegian minelayer "Froeya" grid 6775. on ground in the harbor.
1512 - Intelligence report: Agent reported: One French squadron with 3rd 1845 - W/T message 1813 from Narvik: Battleship leaves Rombaken.
Light Cruiser Division, 5th and 7th Destroyer Divisions and 3rd torpedo 1925 - W/T message 1707 from U 37: Oil patches and wreckage at
boat Division. 7 U-boats and a/c carrier "Bearn" or "Teste" with 4 contact point.
transport vessels carrying about 10,000 men put out Brest on the night of 2030 - W/T message 1900 from U 34: Minelayer "Freeya" torpedoed
the 11th or 12th for an unknown destination. 3 French transport vessels sitting on the beach.
and 2 destroyers put out of Cherbourg and Dunkirk for England on 11.4. 2232 - W/T message 2200 from M6: Burning oil in grid 9477, 1.0 after
1555 - W/T message 1426 from Naval Signal Officer Narvik: English depth charge. (Note: U-boat presumably sunk).
destroyer Z.O. 3 on fire. 2310 - W/T message 2000 from U 46: Battleship and 6 destroyers put out
1600 - Radio signal 1230 from U 37: 1 light cruiser and destroyer in grid of Ofotfjord--------
7835 AF medium speed northerly course. 2355 - W/T message 2157 from Narvik: Destroyer near Framnes and
1635 - W/T message 1300 from U 37: "Have attacked Glascow Rombaken.
1635 - W/T message 1402 from Group Narvik: In action with English
surface and air forces.
1705 - Radio signal 1529 from U 49: One battleship, one a/c carrier, 2 Radio Intelligence Situation Report 1700:
light cruisers in grid 3510 AF. Enemy no longer visible. Direction 350. C-in-C Home Fleet in command of operations. Re-transmission by
1700 - Flying Corps X reports: Reported by a/c reconnaissance: In grids "Rodney" and destroyers, area west of line Trondheim-Narvik.
8510 and 8520 AF: 6 destroyers, 1 cruiser and torpedo boats (3?), 1 Force B: Op. near Narvik
battleship (?) proceeding to and fro. In command: S.O. Battle Cruiser Squadron. "Repulse", "Warspite",
1720 - W/T message from Narvik: Battleship in Rombaken. "Furious", "Penelope" and 9 destroyers.
Force A: Op. Indre Folda
(landing took place)
In command S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron "York", "Berwick", "Suffolk",
Taking part: "Sheffield", "Glasgow". 0645 - W/T traffic Aalesund to Wick: The Germans are coming (GKR).
0802 - Radio intelligence report (special) 0750: The following U-boats are
in Skagerrak and Kattegat (12) Orzel, Triad, Sterlet, Sealion, Sunfish,
Snapper, Spearfish, Porpoise, Seawolf, Severn, Shark, Clyde.
--------------------------------------------------- 0947 - W/T message 0744 from Naval Signals Officer Narvik: Grounded
------------- English destroyer presumably towed off during the night.
1130 - Intelligence report: Between 0300 and 0400 on 12.4 8 PLM ships
Enemy Situation on 14.4.1940. and 2 destroyers of Simon class carrying 1st Division Marines from
Cherbourg and Calais to presumably Newcastle.
0045 - W/T message 1852 from Narvik: F 03 grounded in harbor. 1230 - Intelligence report:
0045 - W/T message 1709 from Narvik: Destroyer F 75 lacks port 2nd a) 2nd Battalion Irish Fusiliers embarked at Falmouth to reinforce
gun. H 74 also taking part (in ops.). Weygands Army. Transport will be escorted by cruiser squadron.
0335 - W/T message 2120 from U 38: 2 destroyers northeasterly course b) French Reconnaissance Squadron 1B Brest put out from English coast
Andesnes. to the north on 12.4.
0505 - W/T message 0315 from 15th Patrol Flotilla: U-boat on the surface 1345 - Flying Corps X: Reconnaissance results early 14.4. 6 English
sighted in grid 4462 (east of Skagen). destroyers in grid 8292 AF northerly course, high speed at 0510 1 10,000
0530 - W/T message 0325 from 1508: Half submerged U-boat passed ton tanker "Orarkaer" in grid 8328 AF, unknown.
through grid 4464. Center. 1500 - Flying Corps X: English destroyers near Aalesund in Lang Fjord
0530 - W/T message 0318 from 19th Minelaying Flotilla: U-boat in grid and Fanne Fjord on the evening of 13.4.
4437 left upper section. 1230 - W/T message 1943 from Admiral West: Dive bombing attack from
0530 - A/c report: At 2040 east of Molde, Romsdal (or Lang) Fjord 3 0730 to 0800. Army patrols report penetrating craft in Korsfjord (--------
destroyers, course 800 and 1 destroyer at the jetty. 3 destroyers, course not yet explained).
800 in Fanne(?) Fjord. 1425 - Radio intelligence report (special) 1345: C-in-C Mediterranean
Fleet orders ships to get up steam for full speed ahead and half hour
readiness for action.
1600 - Radio intelligence report (special) 1550: C-in-C Home Fleet is in
- 28 - grid 3165 AF at 2330 on 13.4. Course 45 degs., speed 15 knots. Reports
position to S.O. 3rd Destroyer Division S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron info.,
S.O. Battle Cruisers.
1620 - Intelligence report from Intelligence Group Spain 14.4: "Ark
Royal" and "Glorious" were not yet at Gibraltar on the afternoon of 14.4.
1640 - Radio intelligence report (special): Y positions, 2 U-boats in grid
9557. "Unity", "Ursula" and another boat north of Utsire. "Seal" near
Skudesnes (?), "Triton", "Thistle" at Ris afternoon of 14.4. One Trident
0615 - W/T message from Group 506: Evening reconnaissance. In grid boat from Skag.(errak) to Ros.(ythe?).One U-boat left Ros.(ythe) on the
8611 Romsdal Fjord 7 English destroyers, 1 tied to the jetty. afternoon of 13.4.
1750 - Radio intelligence report (special) 1715: Wick to unknown unit 2220 - Radio intelligence report (special) 2140: Presumably "Repulse"
directions to proceed via grid 4964 AF, 3715 AF to prearranged position. and "Enterprise" put into Scapa on 14.4. "Bedouin" and "Eskimo" intend
(added by Intelligence Office: presumably convoy). to arrive at Skiel Fjord at 0400 on 15.4. (lofotens).
2215 - Radio signal 1150 (2150?) from U 38: 1 light cruiser, 1 destroyer
NE course Vanopy Fjord (Vaagsfjord).
2332 - W/T message 2030 from U 48: "Warspite" put out with escort.
Grid 3620 AF.
- 29 -


Enemy Situation on 15.4.1940.

1555 - Radio intelligence report 1725: Unit reported unidentified a/c at 0011 - W/T message 2300 from U 47: Situation in Vaagsfjord: 1 cruiser
1630 in grid AN 7355. at least 6 destroyers. Radar activity by trawler and steamer.
1755 - Radio intelligence report 1710: According to W/T, mine-laying U- 0018 - Radio signal 2330 from U 37: Suspicious vessel in 7942 AF
boat "Porpoise" proceeded to position 4494 AO via AN 7312, AN 5388, southwesterly course, high speed.
AN 3476 and about AN 3565 for operations FD 5. 0018 - Radio signal 2359 from U 37: Enemy no longer visible.
1755 - Radio intelligence report 1730: A/c reported at 1605 that contact 0110 - Radio intelligence report 0025: "Aurora" reported at midday that
with enemy U-boat was lost. Last contacted in AF 8515. Admiral of the Fleet Lord Cheatfield had embarked.
1825 - W/T message 1603 from Naval Signals Officer Narvik: Enemy 0200 - Radio intelligence report 0130: C-in-C Home Fleet at 1516 14.4 to
destroyers off Narvik. Bombing attack by Norwegian planes. S.O. Light Cruiser Squadron info. S.O. 3rd Destroyer Division: "Furious"
1900 - Radio intelligence report (special) 1840: Destroyers "Nubian" and detached to Ivansoe.
"Fortune" put out of Scapa for Westfjord at nearly 2100 with tanker. 0235 - W/T message 1245 from U 51: Continuous destroyer patrol in
(Reported by U 49). Westfjord....
2120 - Flying Corps X reports: 7 English destroyers in grid 6487 AF at
1850. Northeasterly course, medium speed (11-17 knots) 1905 enemy
making for Namsen Fjord.
2140 - Radio intelligence report 2045: - 30 -
1) "Hostile" and "Ivanhoe" ordered by S.O. Battle Cruiser Squadron to
proceed to Narvik at 1955 on 13.4.
2) "Galatea" put out of Scapa at 1415 on 13.4.
2216 - Radio signal 2115 from U 38: 3 destroyers in 1110 AG southerly
course. High speed.
1930 - Radio signal 1900 from U 43: Light cruiser in 8774 upper edge
center. Medium speed. Course 00.
0420 - Radio signal 0328 from U 34: 3 enemy destroyers (near) 2135 - Radio intelligence report (special) 2045: It appears from message
lighthouse Kya (grid 6713) course 2300, medium speed. that the "Southampton" has landed troops near Salangen in 68 degs. 48
0540 - Radio intelligence report (special) 0515: "Curlew" informed of mins. N., 17 degs. 45 mins. E. At the same time a Norwegian Division.
assembly point in possibly grid 3443 AF (or 6446 AF) for 1730 on 15.4 at 2140 - W/T message 1900 from a/c: 2 English destroyers in 6497 AF one
2230 on the 14th by unidentified command. putting out. There is apparently an a/c carrier in grid 6732.
1325 - Radio signal 0829 from U 65: 1 battleship, 1 heavy cruiser, 5
destroyers, 3 troop transport ships putting into Andoey Fjord.
1350 - W/T message 1125 from U 65: With ref. to signal Alpha 105
enemy proceeding at low speed. Double miss on transport vessel, enemy
out of sight in fjord, appears to be making for Topsund. - 31 -
1400 - Radio intelligence report (special) 1345: "Warspite" is to primarily
remain in Narvik area....... "Renown" was mentioned in same W/T
1420 - W/T message 1332 from U 65: Position grid 9743 AB. Proceed.
1425 - W/T message 0610 from U 34: Grid 6486 2 destroyers course
2600, miss. Destroyer patrol with radar and fishing boat protection near
1433 - T/P from Flying Corps X: W/T report 1030 from 1 KG 40 (Bomber 2240 - Radio intelligence report (special) 2205: Destroyer "Imogen"
Squadron): 16 merchant ships, 5 transport ships, 1 cruiser (?) at Harstad. reported to S.O. Battle Cruisers that Norwegian Liaison Officer has
1435 - Radio intelligence report (special) 1340: 3 French U-boats coming arrived in Kirkenes.
from the south, were in the vicinity of Outer-Gabland at 1230 on 14.4.
Passage to the north possible.
1623 - Flying Corps X reported: 1 enemy destroyer in grid 8525 at 1200.
Flying Corps X reported: English destroyer in Namsen Fjord at 1348. F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
1653 - Radio signal 1548 from U 59: 1 light cruiser in 2228 AN, northerly
course, speed 15 knots. 16 - 30 April 1940
1657 - Radio signal 1645 from U 59: Enemy no longer visible. Grid
2234. PG30263
1700 - Radio intelligence report (special): S.O. 18th (?) Cruiser Squadron
to S.O. 6th Destroyer Division, cruiser "Glascow" (info. 2nd Cruiser
Squadron): Transport ship "Chobry" proceeding to Namsos.
1740 - Radio signal 1718 from U 10 or U 19: Heavy cruiser in 7895.
Course 2050. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Reports from U 25 and U 46 confirm my view that things are very
difficult for the boats in the fjords, as they have no means of attacking
destroyers; an "AZ" shot passes under the destroyers, and "MZ" shot
detonates prematurely. The short, light nights and a sea as smooth as glass
add to their difficulties. I am therefore withdrawing the U-boats from the
Namses and Romsdale fjords as well as from the Vaagsfjord to positions
K r i e g t a g e b u c h. off the fjords.

B. d. U. - Op. In reply to her radio message 2100/15/4, received 0948/16/4, U 46

has been ordered to return.
16. - 30.4.
1940 The Trondheim position, which was not occupied yesterday, is
occupied again.
16.4. At 0410 a report was received from U 47 that she had found
the transports at anchor in Bygden (Vaagsfjord). 4 misses! U 65 had U 46 and U 51 are interrupting their return passage and have been
already fired a double shot (most probably at close range therefore) given new positions as they still have torpedoes left.
without success. I am now beginning to suspect that even the use of
impact firing is not preventing torpedo failures. Either the G7e is keeping Group FOELLA has joined the groups mentioned yesterday,
a much greater depth than hitherto known or the pistol does not arm. A between Lofoten and Narvik. U 57 has been ordered to the position off
second report from U 47 confirms this idea: in a second attack on the Scapa and further U-boats are to go there. After Kristiansand was
transports another 4 torpedoes failed to fire. This means a total of 8 occupied, I sent Lieut.(s.g.) Windler, the Flotilla Engineering Officer, with
unsuccessful shots by our best U-boat commander. It is quite clear to me additional personnel, cypher material etc., to fetch U 21. U 21 is now fit
that these failures are responsible for the commanding officer's lack of to proceed and dive and can sail from Kristiansand today. Lieut.(s.g.)
success. ROESING has inspected the Norwegian S/M's and reports that they are
I requested immediate assistance from C-in-C Navy by telephone unfit for use either operationally or in the U-boat school. Further details
and made a corresponding T/P to Supreme Command of the Navy, giving remain to be seen; I have made the organization department responsible
a list of failures during the last few days. I requested the Director of the for finding and requisitioning Scandinavian S/M's. U 13 reported the
Torpedo Inspectorate to come to Wilhelmshaven tomorrow for a sinking of a Tribal class destroyer N. of the Shetlands, so the "MZ" has
discussion. U 47's reports shows that it was right to leave the boats in the worked in this area. This points to Zone setting O being being responsible
Vaagsfjord in spite of the high risks. It was only in the south of the for premature detonators.
Vaagsfjord that they were able to regain contact with the transports. But
now that U 47's attack has failed and will be followed by a corresponding U 26 and U 43 are to be converted for patrol transport when they
anti-S/M activity on the part of the enemy. It is necessary to get the boats get back. U 32, UA, U 101, U 122 are already being adapted for this
out of this witches' cauldron and dispose them at the entrance to the Anden purpose.

- 33 - These conditions are clearly not fulfilled. The reason for the
failures must be either that the torpedo runs considerably deeper and the
targets are undershot or that, for some reason, the pistol does not fire or
does not arm. This suspicion of mine is increased firstly by the fact that
the information which I have received from the responsible authorities on
depth-keeping has varied considerably with time, so that I have the
impression that there is no certainty on this point, and secondly by the fact
that already in October and November odd reports were received from
boats which indicated that shots had hit without an explosion following.
Date Position, Wind, Weather This partly confirmed by information from the Torpedo
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Inspectorate. U 65 and U 48 were fitted out with pistols with 4 bladed
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. propellers. It appears that these pistols are liable not to arm. They too
have been issued to the boats without adequate trial.
The Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate visited me today with
some of his assistants to discuss the failures during the last few days and
the possible causes and remedies.
The results of the conference were:
17.4. It becomes increasingly obvious that the failure of the 1) 10% failures to arm must be expected with 4 bladed pistols. Due to an
torpedoes is the cause of our lack of success. On 15.4: U 48 reported oversight, improvements which had already been recognized as necessary,
misses and failures at destroyers. U 65: one double miss at a transport were not made to these pistols. This is a fresh, quite unjustifiable source
(Vaagsfjord). U 47: 4 misses at transports lying at anchor (Vaagsfjord). U of failures and it remains to be seen who is responsible.
47: 1 G7a failure, 3 electric torpedoes failed to fire (Vaagsfjord), probably 2) The Torpedo Inspectorate does not consider it possible that the pistol
also at transports. fails to arm when switch setting "A" is made.
These reports from the Vaagsfjord and Westfjord boats are 3) According to information given to the Torpedo Inspectorate by the
depressing. The hopes that things would be improved by switching over hydrographer, magnetic influences on the pistol must be expected in the
to "AZ" have proved unfounded. I have placed the most capable fjords. But this influence need only be feared close inshore. It could only
commanding officers at these vital points for the operation. From their be present in the open sea area if there are hitherto undiscovered layers of
reports and from what is known of their personal qualities and abilities, ore below the sea bottom and then only in depths
there can be no doubt that they made determined efforts and tried
everything possible. I can only accept part of the shots as misses. A large
part were undoubtedly failures of torpedo or firing unit.
Results have shown that it was a mistake to go over to "AZ". The
essential conditions were that the torpedo should not keep a depth more
than 1.75 meters below that set and that impact firing should work for - 34 -

18.4. Following Naval War Staff's new instructions 4654, boats are
being distributed as follows:
A) Small boats:
Date Position, Wind, Weather The following will go to the U-boat School as soon as possible:
and Sea State, Illumination, Events U 1 - 7, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20 and 21 - 13 boats
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. The following will remain off Bergen until their supplies are exhausted:
U 14, 17, 23, 24 - 4 boats
Total 17 boats
The following will remain for operations:
U 13, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62.
B) Large boats:
of water up to 100 meters. 1) U 25, 38, 49, 65 will remain in the Lofoten area until they have used
4) The Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate is doubtful of the advisability all their torpedoes.
of using impact firing with switch setting "A" as he does not trust the
torpedo's depth keeping, and he strongly advised a return to "MZ".
5) Experiments with torpedoes with adapted depth-gear have been
satisfactory on the whole so far. Variations in depths were between plus or
minus 0.5 meters. Sufficient experiments have not yet been made,
however, to give a final judgment. - 35 -
As a result of the conference the following instructions were given to
the boats, in agreement with the Torpedo Inspectorate:
a) The G7e probably runs more than 2 meters below the depth set.
b) Boats in zone O are therefore no longer to use switch setting "A", but to
fire with "MZ" except inside narrow fjords. Danger of premature
detonation is greater in these.
c) No fans with time switches are to be fired with "MZ", but multiple shots
according to fire control memorandum or improvised fans with 8 second
intervals. Date Position, Wind, Weather
d) With "MZ", set depth to equal draft, 4 meters against destroyers, 3 or 4 and Sea State, Illumination, Events
meters against S/M's. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
e) With "AZ" set 4 meters, 3 meters in good weather.
These instructions are so complicated that I would never give them to
operational boats except in present circumstances.
U 51 reported a double shot at a Southampton class cruiser, no
2) U 30, 34, 50 will remain in the Trondheim area.
3) U 47, 48 37 are on their way back. Reports from U 52 and U 65 show again under what difficulties
4) U 29 is on her way out. the boats are operating in the fjords: almost no darkness, strong anti-S/M
5) U 46, 51, 52 are being recalled. activity at times, reloading only possible by moving away.
6) U 28 is under repair
Total: 15 boats. It is therefore correct to withdraw the boats in the Namsos fjord to
The following are intended for transport to north Norway: positions further out. U 34 and U 50 have been ordered to waiting
U 26, 32, 43, 101, 122, UA - 6 boats. positions off Folla, near the island of Kya.
These will patrol up and down the NOrwegian coast at the same time.
Of these only U 26 is at sea, about to enter Trondheim. 19.4. All operational and tactical questions are again and again
With these preliminary arrangements there will be: colored by the intolerable state of the torpedo arm. The problem of where
to operate the boats depends not only on the usual conditions, but in every
case the question: "Will the torpedo work?" has to be considered. The
8 small boats torpedo situation today is as follows:
15 large boats On 18.4 U 37 reported on her return that she had 2 prematures
23 U-boats detonators in the area between the Shetlands and Iceland and had then
scored successes with switch setting "A". This is further proof of the fact
left for the main operation by the beginning of May, and the 6 transport that premature detonations do not only occur
boats will only be available to a limited extent.

U 47, which was recalled owing to engine defects, is ready again

and she has been ordered to the area west of the Shetlands-North Minch. - 36 -
U 26 entered Trondheim.

U 13 and U 61 have been ordered to put in to Bergen to refuel.

They are to operate again with U 57, 58, 59 and the first wave of the
remaining small operational boats.

U 37 has returned from patrol. This boat also had premature detonators
in zone O, but nevertheless sank 3 steamers, totaling about 18,600 tons,
and a warship, probably a cruiser, with switch setting "A" or south of zone Date Position, Wind, Weather
O. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

run detonator. U 65 reported a G7e premature detonator after 22 seconds
at the cruiser "Emerald" in square 9741 (approach to Vaagsfjord). In zone
O (north of 62.5 degs. N), of 22 shots fired during the last few days at
least9 have been premature detonators, which in their turn have caused
near the coast: plainly the magnetic influence exercised on the pistol in other torpedoes fired at the same time to explode prematurely or to miss.
zone O are not explained. So far no premature detonators have been These premature detonators have occurred not only close to the shore but
reported from the southern zones, on the other hand there have been 2 to a large extent, also in the open sea area. The use of "AZ" with switch
successes (hit on English S/M by U 3, hit on Tribal class destroyer by U setting "A" is barred for reasons given earlier.
13). At present, therefore, the Navy has no torpedo which can be used
Torpedo Inspectorate informed us by telephone that investigations in the area north of latitude 62.5. I am therefore, withdrawing the boas
had shown that a further 7 boats were issued with the pistol with 4 bladed remaining in this area (off Andalsnes) in order to operate them to better
propeller from which 10% failures to arm are to be expected. The boats effect in a suitable area south of this danger zone. For shots against
are U 38, 43, 50, 52, 57, 61 and 62. We will therefore have to take further destroyers and submarines I have ordered a depth setting of 3 meters,
failures due to non-arming into account without being able to do anything which according to present knowledge and experience is the shallowest
about it. Efforts will be made to exchange the pistols in U 61 when she depth setting which leaves any certainty that the torpedo will not break
puts into Bergen to supply. Arrangements are being made to fly the pistols surface.
to Bergen. I was somewhat reluctant at first to take the Torpedo Inspectorate's
On 19.4 in the morning the Director of the Torpedo Inspectorate advice and order a depth setting of 2 meters in good weather. It is based
telephoned that the results of trial firing showed that the G7e when set at 2 on the fact that, with the 30 test shots mentioned, not one broke the surface
meters, kept a depth of 3.5-4.7 meters, i.e. up to 2.7 meters below set when set at 2 meters, but these test shots were fired from an underwater
depth. tube from a depth of 4 meters and it
My suspicions and the doubts expressed by the Director of the
Torpedo Inspectorate on 17.4 on the torpedo's depth-keeping have thus
proved well-founded. I have therefore decided to let the boats leave the - 37 -
Vaagsfjord and Westfjord, as their operation there can no longer be
justified. Conditions are very difficult for those boats with the short nights
(practically no darkness) and the narrow operations area, making it almost
impossible for them to move away and the constantly recurring premature
detonations mean great danger. But in the light of this fresh information
on the torpedo's depth-keeping it is no longer possible to go over the
switch setting "A" as no targets with a draft of less than 5 or 6 meters
could be torpedoed (the shallowest possible depth setting is 3 meters in
good weather). In effect, therefore, the boats are unarmed. Date Position, Wind, Weather
During the night 19/20/4 U 47 reported 2 torpedoes fired at and Sea State, Illumination, Events
"Warspite" in square 5446 (about latitude of Namsos), which failed to Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
detonate. Range - 900 meters, depth 8 meters, zone minus 4, one end-of-
I am not quite convinced. We have definite information that the
English have fitted many of their merchant ships with D.G. gear for
sometime past. They will attach the greatest importance to the protection
of their most valuable ships and make every effort to achieve it. But for
is questionable whether the torpedo will not break the surface if it is the few cases where a boat manages to fire at a large warship I would like,
fired from a tube at 10 meters depth (depth of discharge tube when boat is as far as lies in my power, to exclude the smallest chance of failure. I
submerged) with a depth setting of 2 meters, and what happens if the boat therefore ordered, at midday on 21.4 a depth setting of 5 meters for shots
is down by the stern, which is not always avoidable when firing? A at battleships. Then, even if the torpedo runs 3 meters deeper, i.e., at 8
surface runner, by day at least, is even more dangerous for the boat than a meters, impact firing may still take effect. At the same time I restricted the
premature detonator. On the other hand everything possible must be tried use of the 2 meter shot to the G7e, as, with the G7a, there is still the
to eliminate under-firing. I therefore, ordered U 30 to fire 2 test shots danger of surface-runners. During the last few days the boats have been
immediately from periscope depth with electric torpedoes, with a depth overwhelmed with a large number of orders on the use of torpedoes, type
setting of 2 meters, one with the boat on an even keel, the other 30 stern of firing unit and depth-setting. Resetting the pistols always means long
heavy, and to report the result, giving the seaway. The result was re-loading jobs, which cannot always be carried out. THe commanding
satisfactory, neither of the torpedoes broke the surface in a head sea 3. I officers are burdened and restricted by the frequent contradictory orders.
therefore gave the following order for depth setting of torpedoes: Radio I was forced to give these orders because of the constant fresh
message 0103/21/4: failures and the conclusions drawn therefrom, but, above all, by the almost
In "MZ" shots, depth to equal draft minus 1 meter, against destroyers, daily new discoveries made by the Torpedo Inspectorate of the defects of
submarines and steamers under 4,000 tons: depth 3 meters, in good their torpedo. It now appears that the Torpedo Inspectorate had no reliable
weather 2 meters. For "AZ": depth 3 meters against all targets, 2 meters information on any aspect of the G7e.
in good weather. I had to do everything possible to prevent further failures when the
causes of failure became known and especially to prevent as far as
possible unjustifiable risk of the boats.
The torpedoes fired by U 47 at "Warspite" on 19.4 which failed to
detonate, are still unexplained. I think it improbable that, with a depth
setting of 8 meters, the torpedoes could have run under the firing field of a - 38 -
battleship, even if they actually kept a depth of 11 or even 12 meters.
If these shots were not misses (which is highly unlikely in view of
the commander's unmistakable report of failure to explode and the short
range of 900 meters and a double shot), then it must be assumed that there
was a degaussing effect.
I consulted Professor Cornelius and Professor Gerlach by
telephone and they consider that it would be extraordinarily difficult to fit
D.G. gear in battleships and that it is therefore very unlikely in such ships
at present. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 0905 To U 26 and U 43: Return after delivering supplies. Report when
2125 To U 52: Freedom of action to operate west of the Shetlands and
Orkneys in accordance with Standing War Orders. Report intentions by
short signal.
2125 U 23 to occupy an operations area east of the Shetlands as far as
It is monstrous that B.d.U. should have to be burdened with 03000 E. Attack according to Standing War Orders.
lengthy discussions and investigations of the causes of torpedo failures and
their remedy. This is the business of the technical inspectorates and
departments. But as long as these authorities are slow to do what is
necessary, I am forced to take action. ---------------------------------------------------
The most urgent requirement now is to improve the depth-keeping --------------
of the torpedo:
1) The influences affecting the "MZ" pistol are not yet fully understood, EXTRACT FROM INVESTIGATION OF TORPEDO FAILURES
a remedy cannot therefore be expected for the present. The situation gets
more confused with each day instead of better. Most Secret M83 s/42 third issue of 9.2.42.
2) The danger of the enemy using D.G. gear is increasing daily. We will
then be reduced to using impact firing only for the present, until another 6) B.d.U.'s view, expressed in his reports and in his War Log, that defects
form of firing is really ready for operational use. in the torpedoes and their pistols were particularly apparent during the
Norway operation and had a decisive effect on the results, must be
amended, insofar as there cannot be said to have been a particularly
The first trial shots with the adapted depth-keeping gear are very noticeable increase in torpedo failures during the Norway operation as
promising; it is to be hoped that we shall find our way out of the maze of compared with the results of U-boat warfare before this time. Lack of
errors along this narrow path. success during this period is rather mainly to be attributed to explained
I find myself forced to withdraw the U-boats from zone O because misses, which amounted
of the torpedoes. As the England/Norway area has still to be guarded, they
will operate west and east of the Orkneys and Shetlands, in the hope of - 39 -
intercepting the traffic to north Norway.

U 3, 5, 6 and 48 entered port.

Orders to the boats for re-grouping:

0930 To vaagsfjord boats and U 25: New waiting position west of the
Shetlands. Move off in the direction of square 1200 AN. Attack
according to Standing War Orders. to 41.8%. They were largely due to the unusually difficult conditions for
U-boat operations during this undertaking (longer ranges, small fast
targets, strong escort, short light nights, unheated torpedoes, unaccustomed U 23 has been given a new position east of the Shetlands. U 57, U
lighting conditions). 58 and U 59 can transfer their operations areas 70 miles in direction 350,
Historical Department will incorporate the above text in B.d.U.'s as in their present positions they are restricted by strong anti-S/M activity
War Log of the Norway operation and will annotate the relevant passages at present.
in the War Log accordingly.
................................ U 13, which has refueled in Bergen, has been ordered to a position
(signed): Raeder. west of Pentland Firth.

--------------------------------------------------- U 38 reported, among other things, that she could not maintain a
-------------- high continuous speed owing to consumption of lubricating oil. It is not
desirable to judge from here what effect technical defects are having on
the boat. The commander will have to decide himself what to do.

Date Position, Wind, Weather U 48 entered port.

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. U 21, which left Kristiansand on 16.4, released from internment,
entered Kiel.

I am withdrawing U 30, 34, 50, which are still north of the

Trondheim Fjord, to the southwest.

20.4 U 34 reported convoys yesterday and today, but had no success 21.4 U 47 has pursued the convoy which she reported yesterday and
with a double shot. has brought up U 65 and U 38.

U 47 managed to shadow a convoy. The boats which previously in U 61 has arrived at Bergen and will take over oil and exchange
the Vaagsfjord and U 25 can operate against this.In the open sea, far off pistols. Different pistols have been sent for her by air. She is then to
the coast, they will probably be able to make their attacks without constant proceed off the Minch.
interference from a/c. Whether or not the torpedoes will detonate remains
to be seen!

This morning alone there have been reports of 12 unsuccessful - 40 -


U 9 reported the sinking of an ex-Polish destroyer. South of zone


U 7 and U 10 entered port.

22.4. U 47, 65 and 38 were still shadowing the convoy reported by

Date Position, Wind, Weather U 47 on 20.4. U 38 attacked unsuccessfully. Contact was lost late
and Sea State, Illumination, Events yesterday evening in spite of bright moonlight. The wind was NNW 6 and
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. there was a swell; from time to time the convoy steered a course N. The
boats therefore had difficulty in following and hauling ahead. It would be
useless to try to regain contact in this weather and it is also very doubtful
if the torpedoes would fire.
This morning at 0230 I therefore gave the order for these boats to
move off to square 1200 AN, if they had lost contact, and to report their
There have been no reports for some days from the following: stocks of torpedoes by short signal.
U 1: last sailing report 6.4 from Nordeney. U 1 is in the inner position
off Stavanger. U 59 reported very light nights. It was hardly possible to operate
U 25: last report 16.4 Ofotfjord. close to the coast.
U 49: " " 13.4 square 3510 AF.
U 50: " " 6.4 leaving Nordeney. 23.4. U 25 reported again. (Her transmitter was out of order). U
29 at last put into Trondheim.

There is a radio intelligence report of 19.4 of the landing of 40 U- There have been so many radio messages that it had to be
boat prisoners-of-war in Scotland and the sinking credited to a trawler. No investigated whether the boats are not being requested to make too many
conclusions can be drawn. reports.

Observations covering the last 5 days show that the convoys from Enemy reports are already limited to battleships, cruisers and troop
England to the Lofoten Islands and Tromsoe sail from off the North Minch transports, and these are essential if a picture is to be formed of the
and proceed via square 7500 AF. U 13, 52, 30, 34, as "western boats", will situation in the operations area and a/c or other boats are to be sent out.
therefore occupy the area around the Shetlands: . The only possibility is to use short signals more. Whether or not these can
U 13 square 1500 AN U 30 square 1300 AN and 7700, 3400 AM be D/F'd must be tested by our own D/F network with the next boats to
U 52 square 3500 and 3600 U 34 square 1100 and 1200 AM. sail.
Because of Y-reports received, all boats were warned of S/M
danger in square 3700 and 3500 AN. U 65 again reported battleships and destroyers. She should arrive
in the area west of the Shetlands tomorrow together with U 25
U 51: was fired on unsuccessfully in square 3751. There is danger
of mines and S/M's off approach route "GRUEN"; this route has been used
for a long time. It is necessary to change to route I. - 41 -

U 46 (Lieut. (s.g.) Sohlen) was operating in the Westfjord and the
Ofotfjord and was chased by destroyers. An attack on Warspite failed,
because the boat hit a rock when about to fire. A double shot at a French
"Albatross" torpedo cruiser, at close range ran under, although the depth
set was 3 meters. In spite of her best efforts this boat achieved no success.
The Commanding Officer, to whom no blame attaches, will have to be
relieved because of nervous exhaustion.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events U 9 probably sank a large or Jervis class destroyer; the ship could
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. no longer be heard in the hydrophones after the shot. The sinking is not
absolutely certain however.

For the rest, there is nothing particular to mention about these

small boats.

and also U 61, coming from Bergen. It will then be necessary to re- Mines are suspected in the Elbe. Arrangements have been made
dispose the "western boats" in this area. Although during the short time with F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses for the next boats to have mine escort.
that boats have been there since the occupation of Norway no successes Losses due to mines in our own waters must be avoided at all costs and it
have been achieved, it must nevertheless be assumed that the main route should be perfectly possible to avoid them.
for English supply lies through this area.
A scattered disposition is best for anti-S/M activity at this time of 24.4. Boats in the operational area, excluding those on their way
year, at least for the larger boats, while the 2 small boats on the western back or on transport trips, are now distributed as follows:
side can approach closer to the coast and the starting points (Scapa and U 14, 17, 24 off the approaches to Bergen
Loch Ewe). U 23, 57, 58, 59 east of the Shetlands and Orkneys
U 13, 61, 25, 30, 34, 65 west of the Shetlands
Relevant boats have been informed of the assembly points at and Orkneys or on their way there.
Sullom Voe and Luna Ness reported by radio intelligence and a/c. They U 49, 50 doubtful. Loss probable.
themselves will have to find out what opportunities these offer.

U 43, 9, 19, 46 entered port. No reports have yet been received from their area west of the
Orkneys etc. U 30 and 34 reported by short signal that there was little
U 43 (Lieut.(s.g.) Ambrosius) took 35 tons ammunition to traffic or patrol.
Trondheim and several times sighted cruisers and destroyers, with out
being able to attack. 25.4. English attacks on Bergen and consequent chances of success for
the boats there are no longer to be expected. These boats

U 56, 60 and 62 returned from patrol. These boats were operating
- 42 - off Bergen and between the Shetlands and Norway, temporarily also in the
area north of Stadtlandet. They had no opportunities to attack, but sighted
numerous enemy forces (destroyers).

The commanders of U 51 (Lieut.(s.g.) Knorr) and U 64

(Lieut.(s.g.) Schulz, W.) reported on their operation in the Westfjord.
In spite of difficult conditions (short light nights, calm sea, no
chance of taking avoiding action) there were possibilities of success which
could have had a decisive effect on operations in the north if the numerous
Date Position, Wind, Weather torpedo failures had not caused every attack to fail.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events U 64 was to have provided outward escort for the auxiliary
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. cruiser ship 36, but she did not find her and afterwards operated off
Narvik. After heavy D/C attacks she put into Narvik for repairs and
changing and was sunk by air attack in the Herjangsfjord on 13.4. The
crew was saved except for 8 ratings.

27.4. Lieut.(s.g.) Prien reported on U 47, which entered Kiel on

are therefore being disposed northeast of the Shetlands where prospects 26.4. He was operating against the transports entering the Vaagsfjord and
are likely to be more favorable, especially as U 59 reported a convoy east was stationed in the southern sector of the fjord, where the transports
of the Shetlands could be expected to unload. He twice attacked cruisers and destroyers
lying at anchor in the Vaagsfjord (Bygden). If the torpedoes had not failed
U 26 entered Wilhelmshaven, having transported ammunition etc. this would have meant a success which would have changed the whole
to Trondheim. She sank a transport. Otherwise the trip was without situation in the Narvik area.
U 38 entered port. She too made unsuccessful attacks on
26.4. U 17 has succeeded in rescuing the crew of an a/c which made "Warspite" in the Vaagsfjord and on a cruiser in the Andfjord. On her way
a forced landing between the Orkneys and the Shetlands. back she made contact with a convoy, which U 47 had shadowed in a
masterly fashion, but was forced to dive before she could attack and depth
U 34 attacked the 20,000 ton "Franconia" north of the Minch. The charged.
ship's course had been obtained by Radio Intelligence Service. No
success. End-of-run detonator. Probably a miss at long range. Naval War Staff issued the following new directions for U-boat
Nevertheless it shows that it is possible to attack in this area. U 34 is operations:
returning as she has used all her torpedoes. 1) Orkneys-Minch area to be occupied constantly.
2) As strong a disposition as possible in the Atlantic.
3) For the present further supplies to Trondheim.
Orkneys-Minch area and west of the Shetlands. These too will have to
return soon without being relieved. They too will need some time after
their return before they can operate again. I have decided to leave them
there until they have exhausted their supplies. It is not yet proven that
there are no opportunities to attack, but every ton of enemy supplies sunk
- 43 - there has a greater value than a ton sunk in the Atlantic.
Later the small boats can operate in the Orkneys-Minch area and
the large ones in the Atlantic.
The requirements can only be met with the few boats if they are
concentrated and used to best effect. The lack of every boat which is
detached for subsidiary operations makes itself felt. It is therefore
regrettable that 5 boats are still engaged on transport. U 32 and UA will
sail for Trondheim today with ammunition and petrol.

Date Position, Wind, Weather 28.4. Nothing to report.

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 29.4. U 101 left for Trondheim with ammunition and petrol. U 29,
which is on her way back from Trondheim and was first to have patrolled
the English supply routes, has been ordered to return directly, so that she
can leave for the Atlantic as soon as possible. It was only intended to use
this boat for one transport trip.

4) if necessary operation for case "GELB". U 17, 23, 61, 30 have started on their return passage.
5) U-boat training.
30.4. U 13, 14 and U 30 started on their return passage. The
following are thus left in the operations area:
On the other hand no further action is required in the Norwegian U 25, U 65 NW and W of the Shetlands.
coast area. U 24, 57, 58, 39 NE and E of the Shetlands and Orkneys.
It is not at present possible to fulfill the 2 main requirements,
occupation of the Orkneys-Minch area and operation in the Atlantic, U 65 reported a convoy; she did not manage to attack, but this is
simultaneously. nevertheless an indication of traffic in this area.
The small boats which are now E and NE of the Shetlands will
have to return within the next few days. The 8 small boats which remain U 13, 17, 34 and 52 entered port.
for operational purposes will need long rests before they can put to sea
again. They have carried out 2 and even 3 patrols with only very short
intervals between them. U 13, 61, 25, 30, 34 and 65 are still in the
be manned after 1.9. Request that transport operations be cancelled. C-in-
- 44 - C Navy decided that 2 U-boats should be withdrawn from transport at
once (U 32 and U 101).
3) Analysis of numbers of U-boats up to 1.1.41, taking into account new
construction and losses. C-in-C Navy's decision for large boats: Atlantic
4) Anti-S/M situation. B.d.U. emphasized that the development of a
counter-measure to Asdic, which had already been stated in peacetime to a
most urgent requirement, was essential to the success of future U-boat
warfare. B.d.U. again requested that the best sonic technicians, chemists
Date Position, Wind, Weather and physicists, be set to evolve a countermeasure. C-in-C issued orders
and Sea State, Illumination, Events accordingly.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 5) B.d.U. reported that his opinion of the Norway operation, even after
the event, was:
a) that the operational and tactical disposition was correct.
b) that anti-S/M activity was very strong, and weather conditions
unfavorable (short nights, smooth sea).
c) that, of course, the slow boats have less chance of success against
U 34 was first off Trondheim, then off the Follafjord and finally fast, escorted warships than against merchant ships, but that nevertheless
west of the Shetlands. She sighted numerous targets off the Follafjord, but the numerous opportunities to attack show that chances of success were
only seldom managed to attack because of strong anti-S/M forces. Certain not unfavorable.
success against a cruiser and a destroyer was frustrated in each case by d) that torpedo failures cheated the boats of certain successes, even after
torpedo failures. She attacked "Franconia" north of the Minch. See 26.4. all doubtful shots and misses had been subtracted.

U 52 penetrated into the Foldafjord as far as Andalsnes without

encountering anything except a torpedo boat, which chased her. For the
rest of the time she was in the area from the Romdalfjord to the Shetlands
and had no opportunities to fire. (signed): Dönitz
Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
The following points were made:
1) Torpedo situation. Most urgent requirement: to master the depth
keeping of the torpedo. To create a sure impact firing unit. The problems
of torpedo failures were already known and C-in-C Navy has ordered most
urgent steps to be taken to solve them. - 45 -
2) Small number of boats makes concentration necessary. Secondary
duties must be abandoned. Training necessary, otherwise the boats cannot
0713 - Radio massage 0458 from Flying Corps X: Early morning
reconnaissance 0445 3 English destroyers square 6494 AF. 0530 square
811 Norwegian destroyer, course SW. Evening reconnaissance 15th: 2
English destroyers square 6492 AF. 1930 Norwegian destroyer square
8298 AF.
Enemy Situation on 16.4.1940. 0813 - Radio signal from U 19: 2 destroyers square 7984 AF, medium
speed, NE course.
0000 - Radio signal 2330 from U 23: Warning. Enemy S/M in square 1215 - Radio intelligence report 1200: English unit reported at 0430
3186, course NE. German U-boat square AF 5634 or 5334.
0035 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0035: C-in-C Home Fleet to Flag 1215 - Radio message 1229 from Flying Corps X: One a/c carrier and one
Officer in Aurora and S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron: Proceed to Kirkenes cruiser in Namsosfjord on 16.4.
(Tromsoe area) in Devonshire and Berwick with one destroyer. 1438 - G.I.S. report: "Ark Royal" left Gibraltar eastbound 0830/16. 0930
0054 - Radio message 2130 from U 14: Double miss at "Enterprise" passed Bearn Straits, course east.
0057 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0015: S.O. 18th Cruiser Squadron
12.4 to Admiralty: after inspection and intelligence, consider a landing in
Tromsoe very. . . . . . . .
0205 - Radio message from U 65: Enemy landing unit left Andfjord, - 46 -
0230 - Radio message 2140 from Narvik: . . . . . . . . destroyer patrol off
Narvik . . . . . . . .
0410 - Corrupt radio message without T.O.O. or signature: Troop landings
with fishing smacks in . . . . . . . . transports at anchor at the southern end
of Bygden, 4 misses.
0418 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0400: Battery Chrobry was with
transport Chrobry on 15.4 . . . . . . . . Cruiser "Glasgow" in control of 1445 - Radio message from G.O.C. Air Forces West: A/c A 208 attacked
operation. English S/M in square 6166, believed sunk.
0418 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0410: Aurora and Southampton due 2620 - Radio intelligence report 1535: Destroyers Jupiter, Punjab received
to arrive in Skelfjord at 2000 on 14.4. orders from Admiralty 1400/16/4 to proceed to Andalsnes at maximum
0627 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0545: Enemy situation sea area speed.
Bergen to Narvik. Namsos areas: Glasgow, Chrobry, destroyers. 1635 - Radio signal from M 8: U-boat warning square 1659 (Oslofjord)
Unidentified port: Botory Westfjord: Warspite, Penelope, Curlew, left center.
destroyers. Vaagsfjord: Southampton, Aurora, destroyers. Fransoe- 1715 - Radio intelligence report 1625: Unidentified a/c reported 1529 air
Kirkenes: Furious, Devonshire, Berwick, presumably C-in-C Home Fleet, attack in square 7891 AF.
S.O. 18th Cruiser Squadron. 1800 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1710: Cruiser York intended to leave
Scapa early on 16.4.
1840 - Radio intelligence report: 1802 AD made a radio message from
square 5510 AF to C-in-C Home Fleet and Admiralty.
1850 - Radio message 1547 from Group 506: According to information
here there is no a/c carrier in Namsosfjord.
1910 - Radio signal 1655 from U 19: Enemy destroyer square 7941, Enemy Situation on 17.4.1940.
course 700, medium speed.
1914 - Radio signal 1845 from U 51: Light cruiser in Westfjord 0000 - Radio message 2210 from U 52: Romsdalfjord reconnoitered, no
Moskenesoe, NE course, medium speed. enemy sightings.
1920 - Radio message 1706 from Narvik: 2 enemy destroyers off Narvik 0100 - Radio message 2244 from U 3: Miss at S/M square 3510 AN.
went close inshore near Skomnes towards midday, towards 1500 evaded 0100 - Radio message 2205 from U 46: Slight patrol only in Westfjord.
German bombers to the west. 0210 - Radio intelligence report (X) of 0055/17/4: Trawler "India Star"
1923 - Telephone call from Group Command: English a/c reported at received orders from S.O. 18th Cruiser squadron at 1847/16/4 to operate in
1845 enemy S/M square 2977. Dropped 2 bombs, no hits. the Namsos area under the orders of cruiser "Glasgow".
1940 - Situation report from Group Command: Flying Corps X reported 0500 - Radio message 2131 from Narvik: 2 British destroyers patrolling
that a/c had sunk an English cruiser 15.4 in square 8134. 16.4 an He-111 off Narvik.
attacked an English S/M, Spearfish class in square 6166. Sinking unlikely. 0505 - Radio message from Group 506: Afternoon reconnaissance: 4
2014 - Radio signal 1945 from U 51: Enemy out of sight, bearing 450. destroyers square 6277, SSW, high speed, 1530/16/4. No enemy forces in
2040 - Radio message 1743 from Group West:Square 3659 AF 3 cruisers Namsos fjord.
and 4 destroyers sighted stationary. Presumably unloading. Radio message 0023 from Group 26 Stavanger: Action report
2050 - Radio message 1701 from Group West: A/c reported 3 troop 1600/16/4: square 3252 AF: 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 4 destroyers, 2
transports in square 3889 AF, one of them with three funnels, about 25,000 transports. Square 3232: 3 cruisers, 2 transport-ships. 1546 Harstad: 2
tons. In the Siorafjord 2 cruisers, 5 destroyers. Passed Vega eastbound at light cruisers, 6 destroyers, 3 transport ships. 1600 Bygden: 2 cruisers, 3
1000. transports. 1530 Narvik harbor: 7 transports. 1700 N. of Stasmer: 2
2112 - Radio signal 2100 from U 30: One light cruiser square 8516 AF, transports, 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers.
course 20 degs., medium speed. 0820 - Intelligence report (X) 0430/17/4: Furious reported to 1st Cruiser
2330 - Radio message 2112 from U 13: One tribal class destroyer sunk. Squadron at 0755/16/4: arrived Tromsoe 0430.
2230 - Radio message 2050 from U 51: . . . . . . . . little patrol in the 0914 - Radio intelligence situation report of 0800/17/4: N. Trondheim: 2
Westfjord. 1 destroyer off Moskensoy. cruisers with destroyers of the 6th and 4th Destroyer Flotilla detached to
the Harofjord 0315/17/4 to take over patrol of the fjord. 8 trawlers
transferred to the Namsos fjord and will arrive there probably 23.4.
Cruiser Penelope seems still to be in the Westfjord with several destroyers.
0956 - Radio message 0800 from U 46: 3 troop transports with destroyer
- 47 - escort in 66 degs., 20 min. N, 11 degs., 40 mins. E, course SW.
1049 - Radio message 0815 from U 34: Constant air patrol. 0600 2
Southampton class cruisers putting to sea, course west. 0700 5 destroyers,
varying courses, disappeared to the NW. Position square 6479.
1051 - Radio message 0913 from Narvik: Destroyer patrol off Narvik to 2120 - Radio message 1916 from Narvik: Situation 1900/17: Patrol by 2
Rombaken fjord. Otherwise situation unchanged. destroyers from 1700. Bombarded 10 cm. battery position. Framnes etc.,
1124 - U 46 1019: Enemy in sight 65 degs. 55 mins. N, 10 degs. E. 2134 - Radio intelligence report (X) 2110: Position of battle cruiser
1140 - U 46 1115: ENemy out of sight 65 degs. 50 mins. N, 10 degs. E. Repulse 1800 in square 2650 AN.
1245 - Radio message from a/c K2/106: 3 English cruisers and destroyers 2239 - Radio intelligence report (X) 2200: Cruiser Suffolk requested tug
course west, high speed. assistance from Scapa at 1540.
2319 - Group Narvik 2115: 1700 - 1710 2 English destroyers bombarded
position in Framesodden etc.,
2333 - Radio message 2237 U 23: MTB's and English S/M's off
Korsfjord. Evaded 2 attacks by S/M.
- 48 -


Enemy Situation on 18.4.1940.

1245 - Radio intelligence report 1040: A/c carrier Glorious is probably 0005 - Radio intelligence report (X) 2355: Tug Buccanneer was ordered
being transferred to the northern area. at 1852 to proceed to square AN 2663 right top to assist Suffolk.
1250 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1225: Cruiser Effingham was in 70 0017 - Radio message U 52 2200: Yesterday night during hunt with D/C's
degs., 02 mins. N, 19 degs., 19 mins. E, course 115 degs., speed 27 knots and hydrophones. . . . . . . . by torpedo boat near Hovdems. . . . . . . .
at 0300/17/4. Operation in Romsdalsfjord doubtful owing to inadequate visibility and
1410 - Radio message from a/c K21/106: The enemy forces reported restricted space.
consist of: 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 3 destroyers. 0035 - Radio message U 7 0002: French destroyers and S/M's patrolling
1655 - Radio message from Group 506 1330: Result of morning off Iselenfjord. Accurate hydrophone hunt. D/C attack etc.,
reconnaissance 0502/17/4: 1 light cruiser, 6 destroyers, square 6484, 0300 - Radio message from Narvik 2202: 1 a/c carrier, 2 cruisers off
2600, medium speed; 2 light cruisers, 5 destroyers square 6477, 2400, Narvik town. 2005 . . . . . . . . landed. 1830 2 English destroyers east of
medium speed. Viga.
1753 - G.I.S.: Report from Belgium:
1) According to English pilots another landing attempt near Namsos is
2) 40 miles south of Scapa there are 60 units with troops for Scapa.
1915 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1755: 4 French ships arrived Harwich - 49 -
PM 17.4 from Cherbourg.

1230 - Radio message U 10 1200: Enemy in sight, 1 light cruiser, course
2200, slow speed.
1242 - Radio intelligence report 1205: Ark Royal left Gibraltar westbound
during the night 16/17/4. Is in radio communication with Channel bases.
Probably on passage home.
Enemy Situation on 16.4.1940. 1303 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1235: Early on 17.4 the following
destroyers left Dover for Scapa: Busilisk, Beagle, Wren, Witch, Antelope,
0335 - Radio message from S.O. 15th M/S Flotilla 0220: S.S. Hamm Wolverine, Vansittard and 2 unidentified. 18th Cruiser Squadron was
torpedo hit square 4220 right center. ordered at midday 15.4 to proceed to Lilles Jona (about 66 degs. N, 13 E,
0425 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0400: Suffolk was in square 1464 at near Indrelet).
2225/17/4, speed 12 knots. This position was given to tugs St. Mellons 1355 - Radio message a/c E 3/406 1217: English cruiser square 2246,
and Buccaneer. course 2300, medium speed. Am shadowing enemy forces.
0830 - Radio message U 19 0810: 4 light cruisers square 7943, course 20 1425 - Radio message from Group Narvik 1215: Enemy reported to have
deg., medium speed. landed in Salagen and Lavangen. So far no results of own reconnaissance
0830 - Radio intelligence (X) situation report 0800: There are cruisers of received.
the 2nd (Glasgow) and 18th Cruiser Squadrons in the area of the
Indrefjord and N and S of this. Battle cruiser "Repulse" was 30 miles SE
of the southern tip of the Shetlands at 1800.
Heavy cruiser "Suffolk" was badly damaged in yesterday's bombing
attack. She was 50 miles E of Fair Island at about 1900. Already at 1540 - 50 -
she had urgently requested tug assistance. At about 2300 Suffolk was off
Fair Island, course 256 degs., speed 12 knots. Tugs Buccaneer and St.
Mellons were sent to her assistance P.M.
0955 - Radio messages from Group "Weiss" 2202, 2132: 2050 army
landed in Dorax. Reported 1535 06 E 5350 2 battleships, 1 cruiser, course
S. 1838. . . . . . . . 1 a/c carrier, 2 cruisers, 9 merchant ships off Narvik
town. 1830 3 English destroyers E of Vigra.
0955 - From Supreme Command of the Navy, Main Radio Intelligence 1540 - Radio message from a/c D2/406 1325: Square 2610 English
Department: According to press reports (via attache) a USA cruiser cruiser, 200 degs., slow speed.
"Trenton" and 2 destroyers have been ordered from Lisbon to Norway to 1540 - Radio message from a/c K6/EL 1400: Cruiser course 230 degs.
protect USA citizens there. 1543 - Radio message from a/c A2/406: square 2189 1 English battle
1000 - Radio message Narvik 0842: Situation 0900/18/4 unchanged. No cruiser, course 230 degs., medium speed.
destroyers off Narvik. 1543 - Radio message from a/c K2/406 1435: 4 cruisers, 5 destroyers in
1204 - Group West 1150: According to a report from an a/c, about 10 line ahead, high speed, course 3100, square 2645.
watching mines were observed off Lindesnes in square 5329 and square 1605 - Radio intelligence report from Naval Communications Officer
3537. Elbe-Weser Radio Station: Daventry 1520: Air Ministry announces
among other things: 1 German U-boat successfully attacked at low height, 0400 - Radio message Trondheim 2348: Unidentified a/c, apparently
1 hit observed. Admiralty announced losses in S/M "Thistle": 5 officers, destroyer, 2210 west of Agdenes inshore, sighted for a short time.
48 ratings.
1815 - Radio intelligence (X) situation report 1700/18/4: Damaged cruiser
Suffolk in Scapa. The following French forces are in north Scottish
waters: Cruiser"Emil Bertie", 2nd Flotilla Leader Division, Battleships
"Dunkerque" and Strassburg" possible. An unidentified ship was - 51 -
torpedoed on 18.4 north of the Shetlands.
1851 - Radio intelligence report Naval Communications Officer Elbe-
Weser Radio Station. 1600: Admiralty announces British losses during
the Norway operations as 4 destroyers, 1 S/M.
1936 - 1 S/M in 59 degs. N, 15 degs. E. No further positions reported.
2000 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1830: French minelayer cruiser "Emil
Bertie" was in 62 degs. N, 02 degs. W at 0900/18/4.
2325 - Radio message U 65 2041: 0330 light cruiser or large destroyer Enemy Situation on 16.4.1940.
entered Andfjorden, 1630 one ship type Emerald left. Practically no
darkness. Have to move off to reload, position thus unoccupied for hours. 0515 - Radio messages Group 506, 2215 - 2316 - 2342:
1) Reconnaissance results 1415/18/4 L2/506 square 8542 one cruiser 270
degs. and 1425 square 8288 left heavy cruiser circling.
2) 1645 2 cruisers, 2 destroyers SW 67 degs. 55 mins. N, 1305 E,
--------------------------------------------------- bombed at 800 meters, result not observed. Heavy flak defense.
------------- 0902 - T/P from Flying Corps X: 0753 in square 06E 7684 left English
light cruiser, course 300 degs., high speed.
Enemy Situation on 19.4.1940. 1257 - Radio message from U 1 1235: 2 light cruisers square 8250, W.
course, medium speed.
0007 - Radio intelligence (X) report 2345: 1213/18/4 S.O. 18th Cruiser 1311 - Radio message from U 40 1204: Enemy in sight, 1 battleship
Squadron transmitted to Admiralty General Wiart's report of landing square 5596 AF, SE course, medium speed.
carried out in. . . . . . . . (remainder unresolved). 1350 - Radio message from U 9 1330: 2 light cruisers, square 8250, W
0139 - Radio intelligence report 0125 Naval Communications Officer course, medium speed.
Elbe-Weser Radio Station: Daventry 0110: 1) British S.S. "Swainby" 1505 - Radio intelligence report 1425: S/M Sealion and others informed at
4,936 tons, torpedoed yesterday off coast of north of Scotland. 38 1830/18/4 that 3 French S/M's had left Harwich.
members of crew today landed in a north Scottish port. 2) 40 U-boat 1807 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1750: Battleship Resolution had left
prisoners-of-war landed at a NW Scottish port this evening. Portsmouth midday 11.4 and arrived in the Clyde P.M. 12.4.
0147 - Radio message Admiral West Coast of Norway 2152: Situation 1939 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1845: Flak cruiser "Cairo" and
report: 1730 Norwegian time S 21, 23 in action with a Norwegian torpedo destroyer "Zulu" left Skelfjord 1600/18/4 to join 18th Cruiser Squadron.
boat in Hardanger fjord. At 1300/18/4 S.O. Destroyers of the Home Fleet ordered destroyer
"Basilisk" to proceed to an area approximately 60 degs. N 0020 W at 0006 - Radio message U 57 1500: York entered Pentland. Yesterday
maximum speed. hydrophone target.
2035 - Radio message from Narvik 1702: Heavy ship landed from boats 0028 - Radio intelligence report (X) 2355: Unidentified French units were
off Bogen. ordered at 1900 to rendezvous in AF 6473 at 2000. Course 310 degs., 22
2035 - Radio message from Narvik 1858: 3 destroyers and 1 heavy ship knots.
approaching Narvik. 0028 - Radio message U 59 2309: Strong destroyer and trawler patrol in
2110 - Radio message from Narvik 1931: Enemy ships left west-bound. operations area, with echo-ranging gear, as far as 2 degs. W. Mostly
Target for bombers from Trondheim. forced to dive deep by day. Sea 4 NE wind 4, position square 1640.
2110 - Radio message from U 51 1656: Double shot at "Southampton" 0150 - Radio message U 47 1553: Square 5446 AF 2 torpedoes at
class cruiser, both probably end-of-run detonators square 8182 AF. Patrol Warspite. Failed to detonate 900 depth 8 zone minus 4. One end-of-run
by 2 cruisers. NW 3, overcast, snow. detonator. Two electric torpedoes left.
2120 - Radio message from Group Narvik 1927: Enemy battleship and 3 0220 - Radio message U 65 2112: Triple fan without success at "Emerald"
destroyers in Ofotfjord, latitude of Bogen. Motor boat traffic between square 9744 AB 2040. Center shot premature detonator. Leaving.
warships and Bogen. Situation: Warships entering and leaving between 3 and 7, 1800 and
2200 - Radio message from Trondheim 1907: 1853 a/c report light cruiser 2200.
at anchor square 8615. 0250 - Radio message U 38 0103: Quadruple fan at type Frobisher, long
2240 - Radio message U 34 1832: 2 battleships, 3 troop transports, 2 light range, detonation after 9 minutes. Hit not observed, as submerged.
cruisers. Enemy zigzagging. Enemy steering southerly course, medium Failure not probable. 1 bow, 4 stern torpedoes remaining.
speed. 0440 - Radio intelligence report (X): France. One high-ranking Flag
2240 - Radio message from Narvik 2103: Enemy warships in Ofotfjord, Officer afloat assembled units subordinate to him at 2135/19/4. 2315 he
latitude of Bogen. Lively boat traffic to Bogen. was ordered to Sullom Voe (Shetlands). The unit mentioned in radio
intelligence report 2355 received the same order at 2345. Additional: the
warships reported by U 34 at 1832 were probably French.
0555 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0540: S.O. of Naval Forces off
Narvik ordered S.O. 1st Cruiser Squadron to join him, in a radio message
- 52 - 2235/19/4.
0600 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0525: S.O. 2nd Cruiser Squadron
reported at 1700/19/4 that cruisers "Galathea" and Arethusa" were leaving
for Rosyth.
0640 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0555: Unidentified unit was at 0215
given a starting point for 0700 in square AF 6473.
0640 - Radio message U 47 0530: Enemy in sight, 1 battleship, 4
destroyers, square 4961, course 20 degs., medium speed.
Enemy Situation on 20.4.1940. 0655 - Radio message U 47 0615: Enemy convoy in sight, consisting of
10 vessels, escorted by destroyers, square 4937, steering northerly course,
medium speed.
0819 - Radio message U 47 0812: Enemy convoy in sight square 4931, 1545 - Radio message U 47 1435: Enemy convoy in sight, square 5457
NE course, am shadowing, am SW of convoy. left center.
0820 - T/P from Flying Corps X: 0507 6 transports in Namsos fjord, 6 1800 - T/P from Flying Corps X 1130: 1035 Andalsnes 1 light cruiser, 1
transports leaving. transport ship.
1800 - Radio message U 34 1448: Double shot "AZ" at cruiser, depth 3
meters, range 7 hectometers, no success. Situation: Warships, transport,
entering and leaving morning and evening. Otherwise constant patrol by
destroyers and a/c. Leaving square 6476.
- 53 - 1800 - Radio message U 30 1520: Leaving west of Anlesund. Patrol by
destroyers and a/c. Hydrophone hunt with D/C's. Fired on by S/M on
17th. . . . . . . .
1805 - T/P from Flying Corps X.I 1145: 1 destroyer in 06 E 5332 1045,
one in 06 E 4327. Course 120 degs., medium speed.
1825 - Radio message Group Narvik 1314: English cruiser bombarding N.
beach of Narvik from direction of Rombaken light.
1830 - Radio message U 47 1753: Enemy convoy in sight square 5453
0851 - Radio message U 47 0838: The convoy reported is escorted by 1 upper half center.
battleship, 1 heavy cruiser, 2 light cruisers, square 4698 left bottom, 8 1923 - Radio message U 47 1911: Enemy convoy in sight, left center,
knots. enemy making 7 knots.
0905 - Radio message U 26 0625: 1 Afridi and 2 Albatross 80 degs.,
square 6479.
0942 - Radio message U 65 0800: 1 battleship, 1 troop transport square
3169 AF, zigzagging, steering 50 degs., medium speed.
1016 - Radio message U 47 1045: 7 torpedo boats square 4696 right top. - 54 -
1145 - Radio message U 38 1110: Enemy in sight, 1 battleship, 1 troop
transport, square 3223 AF, steering NE course, medium speed.
1223 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1210: battle cruiser "Renown"
informed 2300/19/4 by C-in-C Rosyth that lights and boom had been
ordered. Accordingly she intends to enter Rosyth.
1238 - Radio message U 47 1219: Enemy convoy square 5472 left top.
1240 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1210: S/M "Sunfish" intended 19.4 to
put into Harwich. "Ursula" intended to arrive Rosyth 1100/20/4. 2110 - Radio message U 47 2054: Enemy convoy in sight square 5432.
1345 - Radio message U 47 1321: Square 5449 center bottom, 650, 7 2145 - Radio message Group Narvik 1929: Cruiser Penelope and
knots. destroyers off Narvik and Rombaken 1230-1600 cruiser sank a Rombaken
1500 - Radio message Narvik 1321: Cruiser "Penelope"bombarding ferry and damaged the ore railway bridge near Forsnesht, repair possible.
Narvik railway station. Some casualties. Warship off Bogen.
2245 - Radio intelligence report (X) 2210: England: Following W and N Byfjord. Hieltefjord not checked. Danger of S/M's at all
decyphered 1940 from radio message from unidentified English unit 2 approaches. Permanent pilot service around Boern-Stangen etc.
JGQ to Admiral Commanding Orkneys and Shetlands, T.O.O. 1300/20: 1145 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0930: S.S. "Balmaha", joining 21st
Namsos in flames. Forces under my command constantly bombed by and 23rd anti-S/M Flotillas, was on her way to Namsos on 20.4 and was
enemy a/c since 1100. 1 trawler hit and drifted onto the coast, others very re-directed to Skielfjord in late evening. 21st and 32nd (T.N. : sic) anti-
short of ammunition. Request assistance, am taking up position agreed S/M Flotillas were already on passage north and anchored probably at
whenever possible. The same unit reported with T.O.O. 1730/20, 2000 in 6515 N 1335 E (Ranenfjord). S.S. "Black Heath" mentioned in
intercepted 2000: Situation now desperate, request immediate assistance. same connection. This ship still making for Namsos.
Am being bombed constantly.
2319 - Radio message U 47 2226: Enemy convoy in sight square 5277 left
center, course 50 degs., enemy making 7 knots.

- 55 -


Enemy Situation on 21.4.1940.

0128 - Radio message U 47 0058: Enemy convoy in sight square 5272

right center. 1145 - Radio intelligence report Daventry 1000: 2 British steamers,
0412 - Radio message U 47 0328: Enemy convoy in sight square 5258 left "Hondy", 5,000 tons (not registered) and "Uersy", 1,037 tons, sank
top. yesterday off SE coast of England. Cause not mentioned.
0655 - Radio message U 47 0510: Enemy convoy in sight square 5255. 1200 - Radio message U 47 1128: Square 5312 right top enemy convoy in
0810 - Radio message U 47 0605: Square 5261 center top. sight.
0845 - Radio message U 47 0802: Square 5235 main enemy force in 1246 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1215: Unidentified English unit
sight. reported sighting a surfaced U-boat at 0700. She had attacked the U-boat
0845 - Radio message U 65: Send beacon signals every 30 minutes 0900 with D/C's, after the latter had crash-dived, until 0745 and had then lost
out of order, perhaps 0952 between beacon signals report distance and contact in square 3253 AM right top.
bearing of reported enemy forces by radio signal. (T.N.: this is a literal 1325 - Radio message U 30 1315: Enemy convoy in sight square 7815
rendering of the text, including punctuation or lack thereof. It is AF. Enemy steering southerly course, speed 12 knots.
unintelligible to the translator) 1409 - Radio message U 47 1340: Square 2984 enemy convoy in sight.
0910 - Radio message U 47 0856: Enemy convoy square 5239 left top. 1422 - Radio message U 30 1340: Enemy convoy in sight square 7845
0920 - Radio message U 65 0904: Enemy in sight square 5237. course 190 degs., 13 knots.
0925 - Radio message Admiral West Coast 0135: Danger of mines W of 1542 - Radio message Narvik 1412: 1 cruiser, 1 destroyer 4 miles west of
Leroe and between northern tip of Lule Sorta and Faroes. Own minefields Narvik. Request action.
1634 - Radio intelligence reprt (X) 1610: "Furious" informed 0150/21/4
that there was an enemy base in Halmlaoe in 68 degs. N, 1715 E.
1700 - Radio message U 47 1635: Have lost contact square 2950. - 56 -
1800 - Radio message U 38 1634: Position square 5313, Heavy D/C's
when attacking. NNW 5, swell. Am trying to haul ahead.
1843 - Radio message U 65 1800: Enemy convoy in sight, square 2997,
steering NE course, speed 7 knots, am shadowing, an SW of convoy
square 5325.
1920 - Radio message U 65 1901: Square 2991 AF enemy steering
northerly course.
2045 - Radio message U 65 2015: Enemy convoy square 2967 northerly in Boyen Bay or approach of enemy transports etc.
course. 1118 - Flying Corps X 1000: 0835 06 E 6346 1 destroyer and 1 transport
2105 - Radio message Narvik 1833: Evening report: Cruisers and ship course 260 degs., slow speed. 0829 06 E 6326 1 destroyer.
destroyers around Narvik since 1430. Ore railway bridge demolished by 1133 - Radio message U 30 0948: Enemy battleship in sight square 7527.
cruiser. Live boat traffic from warships and trawlers in the direction of Enemy steering SW course, medium speed.
Bogen etc. 1220 - Radio message U 30: Yesterday convoy from square 7870 AF at
2205 - Radio intelligence (X) report 2145: Flotilla leader "Tigre" informed night with 3 ships to square 7523. There today sighted by a/c while
at 1450 that, according to unreliable radio D/F bearing, a U-boat had been attacking "Royal Sovereign" and forced by destroyer to remain
fixed in 6030 N about 0200 W and was ordered to search for U-boats in submerged.
this area. 1525 - T/P from Head of B.d.U. Org.: France: from Army report 18.4
2320 - Radio message U 51 2205: Fired on unsuccessfully in square 3751 P.M. The wreck of the German U-boat which was attacked by Avisos a
by enemy S/M. few days ago and the sinking of which was not certain and not officially
announced by the French Admiralty, was today found by divers at great
depth and identified.
1622 - Supreme Command of the Navy, Main Radio Intelligence Dept.: Y-
--------------------------------------------------- positions 0700/22/4. One unidentified, 1 unidentified Swordfish, Sterlet
------------- and 1 unidentified in area Skagerrak and Kattegat. Sterlet proceeded to
Harwich P.M. 1 unidentified each near the following positions: Square
Enemy Situation on 22.4.1940. 2922 AN, 3122, 3841 AN, 3841 AN, N of Teseel. Area of E Frisian
Islands. Seawolf and Shark square 3547 AN on passage to "Harwich"
0840 - Radio intelligence report 0740 Naval Communication Officer "Triad" in square 3473 AN, 1 unidentified square 4835 AN. Both on
West: 1 S/M in 170 degs. 10 miles off AF 7523. passage to Rosyth. "Ursula" left Blyth 1100 for Tyne. Triton and Trident
0915 - Radio message Group Narvik 0721: Enemy destroyers passing up left Rosyth A.M. for Skagerrak area. Additional: Some of the unidentified
and down all the time, presumably covering enemy unloading S/M's are French.
1730 - Radio message U 62: Square 3748 AN fouled with mines. U 62

1745 - Radio intelligence situation report 1700/22/4: According to a
report from a British a/c a U-boat was bombed at low level in the Bristol Enemy Situation on 16.4.1940.
Channel at 1335.
1931 - T/P from Flying Corps X: 1550 1 battleship, 3 cruisers in square 0118 - Radio message U 57: Large enemy cruiser in sight and 1 destroyer
4349 o6 E. Note: were attacked unsuccessfully by 2 a/c. square 2623, NE course, have lost contact.
1931 - T/P from Flying Corps X: 1500 S/M diving square 05 E 7849, 0902 - Radio intelligence situation report of 0800/23/4/40: 1 English a/c
course NE. attacked a U-boat unsuccessfully at 1800 in square AN 4922 right top.
2036 - Radio intelligence report Reuter 1935: Norwegian S.S. "Bravore", 1030 - Radio message Narvik 0750: Quiet night. English warships are
1,458 tons, sank today off the SE coast of England after an explosion. 4 bombarding railway installations on Rombaken. Shot down 1 English a/c
survivors landed at a SE coast port. yesterday afternoon.
2100 - Flying Corps X Ic: 1605 3 destroyers W of Aalesund 1230 - Radio intelligence report 1210: Battle cruiser "Hood" may be in
1536 1 transport Storfjord the area of the west coast of England.
1635 1 destroyer 06 E 5316 1232 - Enemy situation Group West 1220: S/M's sighted: Square 4157
2105 - Radio message U 26 1930: Square 2373 AN left top drifting mines, AO, 7156 AO, 4955 AN, 3671 AN.
believed German.6,000 ton supply steamer in convoy sunk square 8196. 1315 - Group West T/P 1310 - Small motor sailing vessel slightly damaged
by explosion position Elbe 3, being towed in. Necessary to close Elbe. . . .
1430 - Radio message U 65 1257: Enemy convoy 8114 AF, NE course,
--------------------------------------------------- medium speed.
------------- 1757 - Radio intelligence (X) report 1700: Cruiser "Vindictive" is
probably controlling net-laying operations on the Norwegian coast. 1 a/c
Enemy Situation on 23.4.1940. attack 1 German U-boat at 0745 in square 1142 AN without success. It
continued to shadow and at 1845 another a/c of the same unit was ordered
0035 - Radio message Narvik 2224: English destroyers patrolling in to attack the U-boat.
immediate vicinity around Narvik. No further bombardments. 1959 - Radio message U 26 1643: S/M heard in hydrophones square
1959 - T/P G.O.C. Air Forces Baltic 1910: Submerged S/M square 4129.
2012 - Radio message patrol vessel 810 1915: German S.S. "Sege" struck
a mine in square 8335 right top. Am proceeding to Borkum with survivors
- 57 - and wounded.
2101 - Radio message T 155 1955: S/M warning square 4185. 2 tracks.
2119 - Radio message Narvik 1857: 1 Afridi, 1 Grom, 2 Hardy constantly
off Narvik-Rombaken. P.M. Penelope bombarded ore railway. Division
expects major attack.
2215 - Radio message Stavanger 1943: According to a/c report submerged
S/M 60 degs., 9 mins. 18" N., 5 degs., 9 mins., 30" E.
1020 - Radio message a/c A1/406 1011: The enemy forces reported by
radio consist of 1 light cruiser, 2 destroyers. Enemy zigzagging around a
main course 2300. A/c A1/406.
--------------------------------------------------- 1102 - Radio message a/c A1/406 1057: Cruiser, believed French torpedo
------------- cruiser, very high speed.
1425 - Radio message a/c M 7 BK 1300: Reported enemy forces in sight,
Enemy Situation on 24.4.1940. consisting of one cruiser, 2 destroyers square 4985.
1450 - T/P Flying Corps X: 1 English cruiser at anchor off Andalsnes
Radio message U 65 2254: Enemy in sight: battle cruiser, destroyer 1210 (Flak cruiser)
square 7358, southerly course, medium speed. 1135 one transport ship off Jondal and one off Ulvik in Hardangerfjord.
0443 - Enemy destroyer got away in square 3625. 1458 - Radio message U 30 1446: Am in operations area ordered. Little
0500 - Radio message S.O. 7th Patrol Vessel Flotilla 0420: Action with traffic, action very well possible.
enemy destroyers. 1527 - Radio message U 34 1449: Am in operations area ordered, little
0500 - Radio message S.O. 7th Patrol Vessel Flotilla 0423: Require traffic, action limited owing to weather, medium patrol.
assistance urgently, have been hit. 1722 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1700: 1 a/c carrier expected to leave
Scapa for Namsos area.
2011 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1935: At 1548 the French Admiralty
informed Admiral North and Admiral West that there had been a U-boat in
square BF 2617. At 1800 a flying boat from Landeve-Poulmic base
- 58 - landed in this position, presumably air reconnaissance was flown for the
2013 - Radio message Naval Communications Officer Narvik 1848: The
following took part in today's bombardment: "Warspite", "Queen
Elizabeth", "Enterprise", "Penelope", 7 destroyers including one Pole, 2
armed trawlers.
2227 - Radio intelligence report (X) 2210: A/c carrier "Furious" was
ordered by Admiral Narvik at 1053/24/4 to proceed immediately to Scapa.
0525 - Radio message S.O. 7th Patrol Vessel Flotilla 0453: Was in 1722 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1700: S.S. "Franconia", 10,175 tons,
action with 3 Cossack class enemy destroyers. Guns out of action, is at present on her way to the Clyde, off the north coast of Norway.
wounded on board.
0700 - Radio message S.O. 6th S-boat Flotilla 0500: S-boats report 3
Fantasque square 3625, course SW, high speed.
1005 - Radio message a/c 1/406 0950: Have sight of 2 cruisers in square ---------------------------------------------------
4697, 2700, high speed. -------------

Enemy Situation on 25.4.1940.

1225 - Radio message Narvik 1015: Since about 0900 a Hardy destroyer
0058 - Radio message U 59 0003: Enemy convoy in sight, steering NE has been bombarding positions in the E approach to Narvik. 3 white rings
course. Have lost contact. on her funnel. Polish Bursa No. H 3 1 also there.
0600 - Radio message MT IL 0537: Attacked S/M in square 3892. 1225 - Radio message Narvik 1048: 1030 bombardment by "Enterprise".
Bombs. 1348 - Y-positions: 4 unidentified (French), Trident, 7 unidentified in
Skagerrak-Kattegat area Swordfish square 3603
Sterlet square 3577
Shark square 6161
Seawolf square 6781
- 59 - All on the way to Harwich. 1 unidentified 0700/25/4 to Harwich.
Unidentified left Blyth for Firth of Forth
3 unidentified left Harwich 1530 for the areas: 1 to N of Teseel, 1 to
area E Frisian Islands (W sector), 1 to area E Frisian Islands (center
sector). All S/M's operating in the North Sea area picked up.
1400 - T/P: 1 battleship, 1 heavy cruiser 1100 Harstad. 1 destroyer,
course 3000, off Landfjord 0545.
1718 - Radio intelligence (X) situation report 1700: A/c carrier Glorious
0830 - Radio intelligence report (X) situation report 25.4: "Glorious" is in sea area off the central Norwegian coast.
off the NOrwegian coast. She was in the sea area west of Aalesund 1750 - T/P Flying Corps X 1645: 1540 battle cruiser "Hood" with 2
towards midday. Cruiser "Galatea" has not yet arrived in Rosyth for short destroyers in square AF 7893, course 2750.
overhaul, but was attacked by German a/c at about 1900 N of the 1800 - Radio message Narvik 1545: 2 light cruisers and 2 destroyers have
Shetlands. been bombarding harbor installations since 1000. So far no damage of
0830 - Radio intelligence report (X) 0800: S.O. Andalsnes reported to importance. Request bombers.
Admiralty 0830/24/4: S.O. 2nd Cruiser Squadron in "Galatea", 1830 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1810: A radio message, not
cruiser"Glasgow", destroyer "Ivanhoe", "Impulsive", "Vansittard", "Witch" completely intercepted mentions mines in an area bounded by the
have left. Landing of troops and material completed. following positions:
1145 - Radio message Narvik 0915: Quiet night, close patrolling 5117.30 N 0144 E
destroyers. At present only 3 destroyers off Narvik. 5117.30 N 0210 E
1147 - Radio intelligence report, Daventry 1110: 2 German Naval Officers 5115.30 N 0210 E
were landed as prisoners-of-war in Scottish ports yesterday, including 5115.30 N 0144 E
Captain Oskar Scharf of Alster.
1210 - Radio message Narvik 1210: Successful attack in progress since
0430 against Norwegians (about 150 men) which took up position 2 km E
of Elvenes on 24.4. Destroyers patrolling off Narvik and Rombaken.
- 60 -

0825 - Radio message U 34 0610: 0245 square 3419 AN double shot at
Franconia, no explosion (8 letters corrupt) were not taken off. No
torpedoes. Starting return passage.
0830 - Radio intelligence (X) situation report 0800: S/M Truant, which on
25.4 was on her way to Songnefjord, has broken off and intends to dock
P.M. 25.4.
2135 - Radio message Trondheim 1821: Air recce results: Namsos 1 ? - Radio message N.O.I.C. Trondheim 1050: 2 enemy destroyers, one
heavy cruiser, 1 light cruiser. Andalsnes 1 light cruiser leaving. Bombing each in square 5995 and square 8334, varying courses.
attacks on cruisers without result. 1446 - Radio message Flying Corps Trondheim: 0430 convoy in square
2231 - Radio intelligence report Daventry 2205: Following an 5675 course E 0715 convoy with 1 heavy cruiser, square 7382, course E.
announcement by the French Navy Minister Campinchi in a speech, Paris 1520 - N.O.I.C. Trondheim 1310: 1207 square 5689 convoy course 2000.
reports that a French destroyer recently sank 2 German torpedo boats, 1 ? - Bomber Group 506 1720: 0707 square 8321 4 destroyers 160 degs.,
MTB, and 1 750 ton U-boat in the Skagerrak. The action is said to have very high speed.
taken place within the last 48 hours. 1600 - Radio message Bomber Group 506 0410: 0513 convoy square
2325 - Radio message U 47 2235: Several suspicious fishing vessels 5675 3 destroyers, 3 merchant ships, 800. No shadower.
immediately off western approach to route I. 1832 - Radio intelligence report (X) 1805: F.O.I.C. Andalsnes requested
MTB's on 25.4. They are urgently required for communication between
Molde (and presumably Andalsnes).


Enemy Situation on 26.4.1940. - 61 -

0030 - T/P 2223/24/4 F.O.I.C. North Sea Defenses informs: Mine

explosion near patrol vessel 802 1.3 miles off West Ems southern buoy
bearing 3000, channel still suspected of mines.
0045 - Radio message U 38 2310: Apparently trawler patrol at NW corner
of extended declared area.
0330 - Radio intelligence report 0105-0304: Landsend radio to all: SSS
Franconia Latitude 59.48 N Longitude 5.59 W attacked 0105/26 - 600 M 2010 - Group West: Situation 26.4 evening. Narvik again bombarded
square 3427 AN (T.N.: text partly quoted in English). until 1645. Heavy losses were inflicted by our troops on an enemy
0518 - Radio intelligence report Naval Communications Officer Elbe- infantry regiment which had landed north of Salangen. Bergen is
Weser: English S.S. "Cree" GOGP 4,791 tons to all: SSS at 0315 at supporting the Army operation against Voss. In the sea area north of
Smiths Knoll Buoy S.S. Cree mined - 600 M (T.N.: Text mainly in Trondheim 2 convoys with destroyer escort were sighted by air recce in
English amended). squares 5689 and 7382, both course E. 2 destroyers were sighted in
Frohavet and 2 in Drontheimslela. One cruiser in the Sogne Fjord off 1910 - Radio intelligence report 1800: A troop convoy was reported off
Kirkeboe at midday. No report from ship 26 and 37. Portsmouth at 1630/27/4. The following French troops passed the
2215 - Radio message G.O.C. Air Forces Trondheim: 1750 square 5699 Channel off Dungeness in French ships towards 0200/26/4: 5 battalions of
convoy, 3 destroyers, 3 merchant ships, course 300. 1805 square 5998 Alpine troops, Colonial Infantry Regt. 43, 1 battalion of the regiment, 2 of
right bottom 2 destroyers, square 8332 bottom center 2 destroyers course the Foreign Legion.
SW. 2309 - G.I.S.: 3 Polish S/M's fitted out with fuel and ammunition in
2224 - Radio message N.O.I.C. Trondheim 1825: 1130 square 6732 one Stockholm by night on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. S/M's are
light cruiser. reported to be going to Maelarsen presumably through the canal to
Gothunburg. Note: According to Weyer the S/M's draft is 4.2m.
According to information here lock depths in the Goeta Canal will not take
this draft.

Enemy Situation on 27.4.1940.

- 62 -
0208 - Radio message U 23 2200: Double miss at heavy cruiser square
0718 - Main Radio Intelligence Department 0715: Y-positions: S/M
Swordfish, which was in the sea area N Hanstholm, received orders at
1930/26/4 to return to Blyth. The S/M is to pass the line 5726 N 0550 E to
5543 N 0100 W within 10 miles either side.
0810 - Radio intelligence situation report (X) 0800: Several French units,
which were in the Irish Sea on the evening of 25.4, have arrived in Brest. Enemy Situation on 26.4.1940.
0805 - Radio message Coastal a/c Group 506 0632: 0354 square 8326 2
English destroyers course NE, slow speed. 0520 square 8223 English 0305 - (G.A.F Station) Trondheim 2358:
convoy consisting of 3 destroyers, 4 merchant ships. Course SW. 0600 1) According to sighting report there were 2 a/c carriers, 1 heavy cruiser
course S. and several destroyers 250 km NW of Trondheim at 1400/27/4. Course
1452 - T/P Flying Corps X 1410: Recce results of Recce Group NE, could not be attacked as dive bombers had not arrived.
Stavanger: 0825 square 6743 3 transports with 1 escort ship, slow speed. 2) 2 destroyers cruised off the Trondheim fjord all day 27.4.
Course NE. 3) a/c reported 2100/27/4 1 transport 15,000 tons, 1 cruiser and several
0850 square 5634 8 transports, high speed, course NE. destroyers off the Namsos fjord.
0855 square 5569 2 light cruisers, high speed, course 30 degs. 0405 - Radio message Bomber Group 0105: Situation report 27.4
0915 square 5734 2 cruisers, 350 degs. evening: 2 destroyers square 8326 and 2 5896. Convoy of 3 destroyers, 4
0915 square 5554 2 a/c carriers, 1 heavy cruiser, several destroyers, 30 merchant ships square 8221 SW 1520. 2 destroyers square 5996. 1600
degs. recce for Army towards Stoeven.
0805 - T/P Flying Corps X 0710: 0620 Namsos fjord 2 light cruisers, 2
destroyers, 5 transports.
0828 - Radio intelligence situation report 0800: English S.S. "Scottish
American" (7,000 tons) torpedoed off Cape Wrath during the night - 63 -
1447 - Radio intelligence report: English a/c reports: 1331 U-boat in AN
1673, course 320 degs.
1650 - Radio intelligence report: At 1616 from Wick Radio to all
merchant ships in the Home area - from Admiralty. Reference Admiralty
message AD position of F Cape Wrath 2336/27th April 0329/28 (T.N.:
text in English. Unammended).
1740 - Flying Corps X 1515: 1130 Aarstadt 1 battleship, 2 heavy cruisers, 0815 - Radio intelligence situation report 0800: North Sea: Between
3 destroyers. Square 6963 3 transports, 2 destroyers AD 2260, square 1700 and 1730 several units were attacked by German a/c in the area about
7953 1 destroyer. All plus 16 E. 75 miles NW of Namsos. At 1530/28/4 English S/M's at sea received
1520 - 1335 Molde fjord 1 cruiser, course W. 1315 AN 06 E 5432 one information about transport ships which had sailed early on Sunday. One
carrier, probably the one first reported 0746 in square 6441. hour later there was a similar message, which mentioned Bjoerne Fjord
1620 - 1450 square 9550 (5936 AF) French destroyer, 180 degs., and presumably a S/M stationed there.
medium speed. 0825 - Radio intelligence report 0810: English unit reported 0700/29/4
2215 - Radio message S.O. 1st M/S Flotilla 2109: AO center from the Trondheim area that she was being bombed.
2206: S/M warning, with Asdic, 0928 - Radio intelligence report 2205/28/4 Cleethorpe's broadcast 2025
square 4461 AO center. the following mine warning:
Norway Westfjord and approaches:
A) Mines have been laid in the Westfjord N of a line from Vaeray Island
Light in 67 degs., 39 mins. N, 12 degs., 43 mins. E, bearing 126 degs. to
--------------------------------------------------- mainland.
------------- 1140 - Radio intelligence report 1130: It is reported from Stockholm that
a Swedish 3,000 ton steamer struck a mine in the sound and sank. Name
Enemy Situation on 29.4.1940. and time not mentioned.
1145 - Radio intelligence report 1140: 1045 a/c E269 reported enemy U-
0715 - G.I.S.: Report from Spain: At 1100/28/4 British Admiralty boat in AN 2736, enemy course 340 degs. U-boat dived.
ordered all warships and merchant ships in harbor to be ready to sail 1406 - Radio intelligence (X) report 1340: A/c carrier Glorious intended
within 4 hours. to arrive Scapa 1700/28/4 with 6 destroyers, including "Grenade". Cruiser
0717 - T/P Group West 0630: Following radio message received here: "Arethusa" was off Scapa AM 28.4. She also intended to put into Scapa.
0332/3 Admiral West Coast: According to radio intelligence report enemy 2042 - Radio intelligence (X) report 2020: A partly decyphered radio
S/M in Bjoerne Fjord. message of P.M. 24.4 shows that flak cruiser "Curacao" was damaged in
engine and boiler rooms.
2226 - Radio intelligence report Daventry 2200: British Air Ministry time of year, if they are able to move away from the coast to rest the crews
announces: A sunderland Flying Boat and charge their batteries.
U 13 very probably sank a Tribal class destroyer north of the

F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log UA put into Trondheim after a record patrol. U 44 must be
declared missing and with her one of the best commanding officers,
1 - 15 May 1940 Lieut.(s.g.) MATTHES, who sank 36,000 tons on his first patrol. This
boat was off the Norwegian coast and west of the Shetlands before the
PG30264 Norway operation. There is no clue as to her fate.

3.5. U 24 and U 57 started on their return passage, U 58 entered

U 58's observations confirm the view that operation east of the
Date Position, Wind, Weather Shetlands is possible. U 7 and U 9, training boats, will have to be
and Sea State, Illumination, Events prepared for operations for case "GELB", in spite of my concern for the
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. effect on their training. Other U-boats are not yet able to proceed after the
Norway operation.

Of the transport boats, U 32 and U 101 (both still at sea) will be

withdrawn. These boats have the least petrol carrying capacity. UA, U 26,
U 122 and later U 123 are also intended for transport duties.
1.5. Nothing to report.
4.5. U 59 started on her return passage.
2.5. U 13, 17, 23, 58 entered port and UA put into Trondheim. U
17 and U 23 have nothing special to report off Bergen and near the U 29 and U 30 entered port, U 101 entered Trondheim. U 29 took
Shetlands. Reports from U 13 and U 58 show: material to Bergen and Trondheim, was heavily depth-charged in
East of the Orkneys and Shetlands and east of Pentland Firth very FROHAVET off Trondheim and on her way back made an attack which
infrequent shipping but very strong patrol and numerous destroyers. failed. U 30 was heavily bombarded by "Hipper" and "Eckholdt" in the
Operation during the summer (short nights) promises little success and approach to Trondheim, fortunately without results. She was then to
losses may be incurred. operate off the Romsdal Fjord, but did not succeed in entering the fjord as
West of Pentland Firth rather more shipping, including there was strong anti-S/M activity and she frequently touched ground in
independently-routed, unescorted ships. U 13 succeeded in sinking 2 badly charted waters. West of the
steamers there, including the 7,000 ton tanker "Scottish American". It
would appear possible for small boats to operate in this area even at this

southern Norway, an operation against the supply routes to Narvik doesn't
promise success.
- 65 -
According to radio intelligence reports, 2 steamers, one a 6,000
tonner, have run into the minefield laid by U 9 in the Firth of Moray. This
is further proof of the fact that such minefields, laid with the mines far
apart, are successful in the long run.

"Gneisenau" struck an a/c mine between the Elbe and the Jade. It
is thus necessary for boats to proceed only with mine escort until they
reach the 25 meter line. This will mean delays, with the few forces we
Date Position, Wind, Weather have at present which are suitable as escort against contact mines.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. U 24, 57, 59, 61 were first ordered to Wilhelmshaven instead of to
the Elbe, as it was thought that the mine hit had occurred in the Elbe,
Gneisenau having given a wrong position.

6.5. U 9 sailed for case "GELB", UA and U 101 for Trondheim.

Shetlands the boat found little patrol, but also no shipping. On her way U 25, 24, 57, 59, 61 entered Wilhelmshaven, U 25 unexpectedly.
there she had to abandon the attack on a convoy as, when she hauled She had trouble with her transmitter during the last few days and could not
ahead, the Shetlands were between her and the convoy. report. She made the same observations as the other boats in the
Westfjord, but the Commanding Officer knew how to make clever use of
U 32, about whom considerable concern had been felt, reported her the positive aspects of disposition in the fjords. He is probably responsible
position. A few days ago she reported petrol gas in the boat, which proves for the sinking of a destroyer off Narvik. U 24 had no opportunities to
that there is danger in transporting petrol, even in outer fuel tanks. attack off Bergen and NE of the Shetlands.

5.5. U 25 and U 65, the only boats west of the Shetlands, have been U 61 was operating first off Trondheim (Gripshoelm) and then off
given freedom of action in the whole area. the Minch. Her experiences agree with those of U 13 (see 2.5). Off the
Minch she sighted the "Warspite" at 12,000 meters and later had to start on
U 32 entered Trondheim, U 14 Kiel. Her experience off Bergen her return passage as one diesel was out of action.
and NW of the Shetlands do not differ from those of other boats.
U 57 and U 59 confirm the impression that it is now hardly
UA and U 101 have been ordered to return direct from possible to operate east of the Orkneys and Shetlands. U 57 was heavily
Trondheim.Now that the English have retreated from the whole of depth-charged. She had 2 unmistakable gyro failures and so lost her
chances of success.
operations area, as she has used up most of her supplies. It is therefore
Since 16.1 U 57 has been at sea for 82 days out of 111 (-74%). better not to keep this boat at sea any longer, but to make her ready at time
With this, the limits of the possible have been reached. for operation in the Atlantic, now that it is finally clear that operation west
of the Orkneys is very difficult for large boats.

9.5. U 101 and UA entered Heligoland and in the afternoon both

- 66 - proceeded up the Elbe to Kiel, attached to an escort unit. These boats have
carried supplies to Trondheim. The transport of petrol was unpleasant, but
presented no major difficulties. No attacks were made.

10.5. C-in-C Navy in the plotting room, head of Operations

Department reported to him.

The transport boats are being redistributed: U 25, a boat which is

not very suitable for use in the Atlantic, will be converted for transport. U
Date Position, Wind, Weather 122 will make one transport trip and then be available for use in the
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Atlantic.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
UA, U 26 and U 123 will remain detached for transport, U 123
after she has commissioned. The smaller Type VII boats, which have only
a small carrying capacity for a/c petrol, will thus be released from
transport duties.

there are similar cases with other boats. Many boats will require a long 11.5. Nothing to report.
period of rest after these weeks of utmost strain.
12.5. U 32 requested to enter port along Route II, without giving a
7.5. Narvik requested U-boats as defense against enemy landings. reason. It was assumed that she had encountered strong anti-S/M forces
Naval War Staff refused. A request from Sea Defense Commandant on the W boundary of the declared area and this was later confirmed by
Trondheim to use U 32 as wing protection for Army troops proceeding the Commanding Officer.
north also had to be refused.With the few U-boats available, it is already
difficult to do without the transport boats. It is essential to avoid wasting 13.5. U 43 sailed for Trondheim with supplies for "Theodor Riedel"
boats for other subsidiary tasks, especially if these do not promise any and will later proceed into the Atlantic. U 65 entered port via Heligoland.
success. She was operating in the Vaagsfjord and in the area Faroes-Shetlands-
Minch. She scored no successes.
8.5. U 65 has been recalled. She is alone NW of the ORkneys and
it is no longer possible for her to proceed to another more favorable
- 67 - U 37 sailed for the Atlantic.

Experiments at the Torpedo Trials Department proved that the

"AZ" unit of the pistol is liable to a high percentage of failures: premature
release of the firing pin. Detonation of the priming.
My suspicions of October and November and later that even the
"AZ" does not always work, have thus been proved correct.
The facts are worse than could ever have been suspected. I have
been informed that the correct functioning of the "AZ" was considered to
Date Position, Wind, Weather be proved in peacetime after only two shots and even these were not
and Sea State, Illumination, Events perfect. A method of working such as this can only be regarded as
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. criminal.
The numerous defects of the torpedoes were only suspected bit by
bit by B.d.U. on the basis of practical operational experiences and show
up; premature detonations, failure of the impact firing unit, failure of the
torpedo to fire, faulty depth keeping. In all cases the torpedo technicians
either denied the possibility of a failure or else attributed it now to one
14.5. Recently war logs and verbal reports have shown that the cause, now to another. In all cases a basic defect was actually finally
mainly good hydrophone results obtained have often misled the C.O.'s into discovered.
diving, even in the open sea area, without there being any great enemy The results is staggering. After 20 years' peacetime work one
activity and thus certainly missing some good opportunities to attack. might have expected a torpedo better than the one used in the last war, a
Instructions covering this have therefore been given to the Flotillas for the torpedo, for instance, capable of sinking a battleship with one shot (shot at
boats (B.d.U. Most Secret 834 of 18.5 1940). Contents: Hydrophones Barham 28.12.39).
should only be used as auxiliaries and the commanding officer must It is true that splashless discharge has been developed - but
control their activity. The human eye is always a better means of otherwise there is nothing right with our torpedoes.
obtaining data as a basis for tactical procedure. I do not believe that ever in the history of war men have been sent
against the enemy with such a useless weapon.
15.5. Naval War Staff has now decided that no more petrol is to be
transported to Norway. UA and U 26 will therefore be reconverted to their
normal state and U 25's conversion for petrol transport has been cancelled.
U 122, which is ready to sail at Kiel, will put to sea with the petrol she has
on board, otherwise her sailing would have been delayed for about 6 days.
A part of her remaining cargo of supplies would also have had to have
been unloaded, as the light specific weight of petrol raises buoyancy and
permits the boat to take a greater load.
- 68 -
(signed): Dönitz
Rear Admiral and B.d.U.

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

16 - 31 May 1940

Date Position, Wind, Weather PG30265

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
Many past shots which were taken as misses will now have to be
regarded in a new light on the basis of this fresh information. In many
cases the Commanding Officers have reported that they heard an impact
for certain and no explosion followed. There is also the case of the shot by
U 56 at "Nelson" on 30.10.39 (Churchill on board). It will never be
known how many other shots hit without the torpedo exploding. 16.5. U 122 sailed from Kiel.
Past analysis of failures and hits are more or less valueless now.
I hope now for a pistol of the simplest type, in which the striker 17.5. U 122 reported that she was attacked by an enemy S/M in
will transfer the blow immediately aft and not, as in ours, work from aft Route I. Route I is therefore known to the enemy. Our own U-boats have
forward after a complicated transmission of the striking force. I have been ordered to cruise along a line 5 miles off the center of Route I,
therefore demanded, as set out in a T/P to the Torpedo Inspectorate, that provided they have adequate navigational data.
the English pistol be copied as quickly as possible. A faultless functioning
of this pistol may be expected by reason of its simple construction. We 18.5. U 43 left Trondheim for the Atlantic.
will then abandon magnetic firing which is in any case becoming mythical
with the enemy's increased use of magnetic gear. When depth-keeping and U 37 is NW of Scotland, on her way out into the Atlantic.
impact firing are working properly, we can wait for the development of an
effective non-contact firing unit without any questions. U 122 is north of the line Shetlands-Bergen, on her way to
Trondheim with supplies for the G.A.F.

19.5. The auxiliary warship "KAMERUN" has been commissioned
as U-boat repair ship.

U 122 entered Trondheim. Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
As there are so few Sperrbrechers, it is necessary to organize the Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
outward escort of operational boats and U-boat trial runs very carefully.
Only one of the 2 Sperrbrechers 4 and 9 has magnetic gear, i.e. 4. It must
therefore be accepted that some boats will be escorted by the inadequate
Sperrbrecher 9. F.O.I.C. Northern Defenses has suggested abandoning this
protection for U-boats until there actually has been enemy minelaying
activity in the sea are to be passed, but this cannot be permitted. While 2) It is certain that "MZ" does not function in that sea area, though there
there are so few U-boats it is essential that all means should be used for is still hope that better results may be obtained with this type of firing in
their protection even when absolute safety is not guaranteed. the Atlantic. Experiences with "AZ" have been very bad.
3) The attack on English shipping routes has once more become of first
20.5. U 28 has left Wilhelmshaven for the Atlantic. importance.
4) Finally, this area was not cleared of U-boats without reason and these
21.5. U 101 left Kiel for the Atlantic. reasons have not changed.

U 122 left Trondheim for Wilhelmshaven.

22.5. Naval War Staff asked whether U-boats could now be U 26 sailed for Trondheim with supplies for the G.A.F.
operated off Narvik against enemy supplies. The answer was in the
negative. U 37 reported in radio message 0045:
Reasons: "1) Erik Frisell air driven torpedo spontaneous ignition 75 seconds.
1) In that area it does not get dark any more, the boats would therefore Sunk with gunfire.
have to operate in positions remote from the disembarking places and 2) Dunster Grange electric torpedo, "MZ" safe. No success. Electric
would only score chance successes. torpedo "MZ" premature detonation 19 seconds. Air driven torpedo miss.
Electric torpedo no success at 500 meters. Gun action broken off." In
spite of the worst possible experiences during the Norway operation and in
- 70 - spite of the ever increasing danger of degaussing on the part of the enemy,
I have not so far abandoned magnetic firing, for the following reasons:
1) Impact firing with switch setting "A" led to practically nothing but
failures during October and April, partly because of bad depth-keeping,
partly because of failure of the pistol itself.

2) "MZ" brought many successes in the southern and central North Sea
and in the Atlantic (last February), despite a number of failures to fire and
premature detonators.

Although information received made it appear more and more I have no other choice, unless I withdraw the boats altogether. But I
likely that the enemy was using degaussing, I still hoped to achieve cannot lay the boats up now, of all times, without damaging the whole arm
something in open sea areas, until the "AZ" was satisfactorily improved. to an unpredictable degree. As long as there is the chance of a small
A thorough examination of the pistol showed a number of faults in percentage of success, operations must be continued.
construction, and improvement and adaptation of various parts were Work is already in progress on the adaptation of the impact firing
begun. unit. It is hoped that by inserting an electric contact a large proportion of
Independently of this, I demanded that the English impact pistol the "AZ" failures will be avoided. The boats which are ready to sail will
captured in "Seal" be copied. We were to go over to "AZ" as soon as the therefore be kept back until they have been fitted out with adapted pistols.
pistol was in order for impact firing. The delay of 2-4 days can be accepted if it will mean better results.
Today's report from U 37 alters the situation: of 5 torpedoes, 2
were premature detonators and 2 probably failed to fire. If one or two of 24.5. U 122 entered Heligoland and from there Wilhelmshaven.
the torpedoes were affected by degaussing cannot be decided on present She took supplies to Trondheim and did not have any opportunity to
information. In any case magnetic firing has become almost useless. attack.
Boats at sea have therefore been ordered to go over to "AZ" with switch
setting "A". U 37 reported by short signal that she had transferred her
It is quite clear to me that I must expect a further considerable operations area to square BF SW sector. In order to make cooperation
number of failures due to the known defects of the "AZ", but between the boats possible, U 43 will also be sent to the sea area of
Finisterre; it is not thought necessary to separate the operations areas. The
area west and northwest of Finisterre seems favorable, traffic coming from
- 71 - the Mediterranean and the South Atlantic meets here, danger from the air
is slight as enemy air bases are so far away and therefore only carrier-
borne a/c and long-range reconnaissance planes are to be expected.

25.5. U 26 and U 101, which are west of the Orkneys and Herbrides
on their outward passage, have been ordered to operate in the English
Channel. The development of the situation on land has led to this
decision. If, as is to be expected, the coast of Calais and Boulogne falls
into our hands, cross-channel traffic between England and France, which
Date Position, Wind, Weather so far has to a large extent plied the Dover-Calais Straits, will have to be
and Sea State, Illumination, Events drawn further west. Le Havre and Cherbourg will have more and more
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. valuable traffic. Even the larger boats can operate in this sector of the
Channel, the mining situation is favorable, water depths are adequate and
the sea area is sufficiently wide for them to move away if necessary. 29.5. Nothing to report.

26.5. U 48 left Kiel. 30.5. U 48 reports that she requires dockyard assistance, because of
a leaking access hatch. She has been sent to Trondheim in order to save
U 122 is proceeding to Kiel, as it appears that she can be made time and avoid passage through the dangerous area. Another instance of
ready for operations more quickly there. operational boat delayed for several days because the dockyard repair jobs
have not been done with sufficient care. Such delays cannot be accepted.
27.5. U 28 reported engine damage which has caused considerable Recently they have occurred with U 48, U 28 and U 29. Owing to this a
loss of lubricating oil. This boat has had to be recalled, as otherwise there simultaneous operation of several boats in the reopening of warfare against
is the danger that she may not be able to manage on her remaining merchant shipping in the Atlantic has been frustrated.
lubricating oil. She will go to Trondheim for repairs.
31.5. Nothing to report.
28.5. U 101 has been ordered to penetrate into the Channel and to
make a situation report on the area Cherbourg - Le Havre - Dieppe.

(signed): Dönitz
Rear Admiral and B.d.U.

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

1 - 15 June 1940


Date Position, Wind, Weather Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

effect had already been reported to Naval War Staff earlier in Most Secret
1.VI. U 28 and U 48 put into Trondheim to repair engine and S.O. only 18 of 20.1.40.
structural damage. UA cannot use mines as her torpedo tubes are not adapted for
laying TN's. Ship 33 will nevertheless carry TM's, which can possibly be
2.VI. Nothing to report. used for an operation by another boat off W. African ports when the ship
3.VI. U 48 left Trondheim.
5.VI. U 26 entered port. She had carried supplies to Trondheim.
U 32 left Wilhelmshaven, both for the Atlantic. Mines found at the No attacks.
southwest corner of our own declared area indicate that the minefield
positions found in "Seal" may refer to this area and to routes I and II. The
inward and outward routes are therefore being changed. Boats on their
way out will for the present use route "BLAU" and boats entering, route - 74 -
"GRUEN". It is not impossible that U-boats on their way out have already
been lost in these minefields. (e.g. U 44, U 1, U 50). On the other hand
no inward-bound boats have been lost in the routes.

In accordance with instructions from Naval War Staff, Atlantic

boats have been ordered not to cross the line Cadiz, bearing 2500 - latitude
360 N to the south.

4.VI. U 47 left Kiel for the Atlantic. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Our own boats in the North Sea have received orders to avoid the Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
Skagerrak and the Norwegian coast, in order to prevent confusion with our
own surface forces at sea there.

Conferences with C.O.'s of ship 33 and the U-boat UA on the

subject of supplies of fuel, weapons and provisions which the U-boat is to
take over from the ship in the Atlantic. The U-boat is to attack the 6.VI. U 38 sailed for the Atlantic.
Northern Patrol SE of Iceland on her way out and then make use of all
opportunities to attack on passage to her actual operations area. She is U 45 reported from the sea area Porto-St. Vincent: no anti-S/M
then to operate off the west coast of Africa and be at the rendezvous with activity, no shipping. She is proceeding north to the Finisterre sea area.
ship 33 on 18 July.
Extensive cooperation between ship and U-boat was discussed, but 7.VI. UA and U 51 left Kiel for the Atlantic.
it was thought that it would hinder rather than assist both. Views to this
U 46 reported that she had sunk a passenger ship of about 14,000 U 65: An 11
tons, with 6-8 guns, off the North Channel. It turned out later that this was U 52: square AF 77
the English auxiliary cruiser "Carinthia", 20,277 tons. U 46 also reported U 25: AM 32.
a convoy off the North Channel and, according to radio intelligence, the
S.S. "Eros" was probably also sunk there by a U-boat. Heavier traffic is
therefore now to be expected in this area. In order to investigate this, all
U-boats have been instructed to make observations when passing the
approach to the North Channel.
- 75 -
U 46 has been ordered to operate in square BE 90, U 43 in square
BF 70, west of Finisterre. These areas, according to present experiences,
are much frequented by shipping.

8.VI. The following sailed: U 28 from Trondheim

U 52 from Kiel
U 25, U 30, U 65 from Wilhelmshaven.
All these boats are for the Atlantic.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 48 reported sinking 2 steamers off the North Channel. U 101 and Sea State, Illumination, Events
and U 29 reported that no action was possible off the western approach to Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
the Channel because of constant fog. Both boats were ordered to the
Finisterre area.
According to the general weather situation fog is to be expected in
the Channel for several more days. It had been planned to penetrate into
the Channel again, but this has been cancelled.
As the English are evacuating Narvik, opportunities to attack
9.VI. U 37 put into Wilhelmshaven. She sank over 43,000 tons in warships and transports are to be expected.
26 days, a very satisfactory result after the reopening of operations against
enemy trade routes in the Atlantic. 10.VI. U 65, in the central North Sea on her way out, reported she
requires repairs urgently, owing to a leaky welded seam on a pressure hull
According to instructions received from Naval War Staff, UA, U flange. She has been sent to Bergen; as such repairs can be done there.
51, U 52, U 65 and U 25, on their outward passage, have been ordered to
make for the following operations areas west of the Shetlands at maximum No clear idea can be formed of the situation in northern waters.
cruising speed: Air reconnaissance and radio intelligence do not give the same results.
UA: square AE 99 Naval War Staff believes that the transports from Narvik back to England
U 51: square AM 33 and 34 have already reached home but I think that a considerable proportion of
the transports are still north of the Faroes and Shetlands and I therefore pass unhindered, it must be expected that they will be stopped from time to
think it best to let the boats remain for some time in the Faroes - Shetlands time.
area. This will not mean an appreciable delay in attacking supply lines in
the Atlantic and it will give the always welcome chance to score successes
against warships and troop transports. - 76 -
In the course of the day this view was confirmed by further reports.
A large convoy of 7 steamers, 1 a/c carrier, 1 battleship and several
destroyers is to pass through the area occupied by the U-boats on 11.6.

11.VI. By midday no reports had been received from boats off the
Faroes-Shetlands, and the weather there was becoming bad, visibility poor.
Boats were therefore ordered to continue on their passage in accordance
with operations orders. They will thus rake through the area once more
and most of them will arrive SW of Ireland in time to operate against the Date Position, Wind, Weather
Halifax convoy. Radio Intelligence Service has obtained particularly good and Sea State, Illumination, Events
data on this convoy HX 48, exact details of its return route are known and Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
above all the position of the rendezvous with the inward escort. U 25
sighted the convoy expected from Narvik, but lost it again. Bad visibility
came to the enemy's assistance.

UA is proceeding to Iceland to attack the Northern Patrol. She has

been informed of the last alterations in the instructions to the Northern 12.VI. U 65 entered Bergen.
Patrol (Alvidruhamrar light the new point of reference).
UA's attention has been called to the fact that not all the Northern
The boats in the Finisterre area today sighted 3 convoys. Patrol positions may be occupied. U 38 was apparently seen before she
Unfortunately only one of these was attacked, by U 29, and that carried out her special task.
unsuccessfully. It is regrettable that the other boats in the group did not
manage to attack, the convoys were coming from the south and west at U 46 reported that she successfully attacked a convoy in the
low speed and the remoter boats should have been able to attack. Further Finisterre area.
details will not be known until the boats return. It is once more confirmed
that the area west of Finisterre is a good hunting ground for U-boats. As U According to radio intelligence convoy U-S 3, Queen Mary and 2
37 had already observed in February, the escort passes from the other large passenger ships, with 26,000 Australian and New Zealand
Mediterranean to the Home Fleet and vice versa at this point. troops on board, escorted by Hood, 1 a/c carrier and several cruisers, has
arrived in the Freetown sea area.
U 101 reported that she had stopped S.S. "Washington" by mistake; It must be attacked.
she mistook the ship for a Greek. In spite of warnings to let such ships
1) Valuable ships like this with troops on board cannot be ignored, even
if data for an operation are few and far between.
2) The convoy is a comparatively fast one and particularly well escorted.
It will therefore not be possible to shadow.
3) During the last few days U-boats in the Finisterre area have been
particularly active. It must therefore be assumed that the convoy will
proceed further off the coast than it otherwise would. The convoy's
general course is along 12 degs. W. It seems best to dispose the boats west
of this longitude. Date Position, Wind, Weather
4) The convoy's course is so uncertain that it will be necessary to distribute and Sea State, Illumination, Events
the few boats (only 5 are available) over a large area. It is to be hoped that Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
at least one boat will manage to fire. In the opinion of Naval War Staff the
convoy is making for England and not for France, another circumstance in
favor of disposing the boats away from the coast. According to
information available, a convoy speed of up to 17 knots must be expected.
It could thus be in the latitude of Finisterre by midday 13.6.
with time, and the presumed onward passage from the rendezvous to the
English Channel or the St. George's Channel. In order if possible to give
The boats U 48 (with S.O. 7th U-Flotilla as tactical commander if the boats a chance to attack the day before the rendezvous, in easier
necessary), U 46, U 101, U 43 will be disposed in the area 1330 West to conditions, they have been ordered to take up positions through which the
1845 West and 4530 North to 4200 North. 3 boats in the south. Boat's enemy, coming from the west, should pass at about midday on 16th June.
distance off the presumed enemy course line 50 miles. 2 boats 100 miles As good visibility is likely, it may be expected that an area of about 90
astern of this, in quarterline slightly to the east on the assumption that the miles to the north and 100 miles to the south of the enemy's course will be
convoy will alter course for England at the latitude of Finisterre. THese covered. Behind this screen of 5 boats there is a further boat on the
positions will be reached on the morning of 13.6. enemy's supposed course line, and it is therefore to be expected for certain
that 2 boats will be able to attack on June 16; even if the convoy passes the
Radio Intelligence Service has obtained very detailed information outer boats positions.
on convoy HX 48. It is making for square 6342 BE at 8 to 9 knots, course If no contact is made on June 16, the boats have orders to surround
78 degs. to 81.5 degs., and will be picked up here at 0630/17/6 BST by the the rendezvous in attacking positions at 0630/17/5.
inward escort. All available boats must therefore be operated.
A Group "PRIEN" has been formed, comprising U 47 (in tactical 13.VI. Both groups, "ROESING" and "PRIEN", have been ordered
command if necessary), U 32, U 28, U 25, U 30 and U 51. The operation to keep radio silence, and to attack only valuable targets until the convoys
will be based on: course of approach, enemy's rendezvous arrive.

- 77 -
The question of fuel supplies in NW Spain for group "ROESING"
has been examined once more and the boats informed, so that they can
make arrangements accordingly. - 78 -

U 25 sank the English auxiliary cruiser "Scotstown".

U 122 left Kiel.

U 65 left Bergen after completing repairs.

14.VI. U 122 left Heligoland for the Atlantic.

Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 47 reported a large convoy coming from the west SW of Ireland. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
U 38 is to operate against it. In these circumstances these 2 boats might Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
not be able to reach their attacking positions for 1000/16/6. U 52 was
therefore asked if she could reach the area, she replied no. U 30 on the
other hand replied that she could and was directed to steer for it.

U 101 started on her return passage. She has sunk 41,500 tons.
contact. The boats have therefore been given freedom to operate in
15.VI. U 43 and U 29 reported that their fuel stocks were coming to strips without limits E or W. The direction of their operations will
an end. They are to make use of supply facilities in NW Spain. therefore cross the general convoy and shipping route.

U 30 has been sent to reinforce Group "PRIEN". The number of

boats operating against convoy "HX 48" will thus be 7 ( U 47, U 38, both
of which reached their positions in time in spite of attacking the convoy (signed): Dönitz
reported by U 47 on 14.6, U 28, U 32, U 51, U 25 and U 30).

U 52 is to operate against traffic between the Bristol and English F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
Channels and Atlantic ports, which, according to radio intelligence, is
lively. This is also likely in view of the general military situation in 16 - 30 June 1940
France, probably considerable numbers of British troops are being
withdrawn. PG30267

The disposition of Group "ROESING" against the fast, strongly

escorted convoy from Australia did not succeed. No boat made
Date Position, Wind, Weather 17.6. Group "PRIEN" has made no contact with the Halifax convoy.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events As the convoy might be delayed, the group was to remain in position for
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. today. In the afternoon a further radio intelligence report was received to
the effect that the rendezvous had been transferred further south. A new
disposition is no longer possible, the boats are already too far back. They
have been ordered to operate at the approaches to the English and St.
Georges Channels and the French Atlantic ports.
They will thus be attacking the same targets as U 52.
16.6. Positions of our own boats:
U 29 has requested to refuel in NW Spain. Her supply is planned
In the Atlantic operations area: UA, U 25, U 28, U 29, U 30, U 32, for a later date than U 43.
U 38, U 43, U 46, U 47, U 48, U 51, U 52, U 101.
U 99 left Kiel for the Atlantic.
On the way out: U 122 off the Shetlands. U 65 off the Herbrides.
18.6. U 52 and U 38 sighted valuable targets. U 52 soon lost
Boats have reported the following successes: contact with a troop transport as her speed was too low. U 38 shadowed a
U 46: 53,000 tons. convoy for some hours and later apparently U 25 also sighted it.
U 101: 41,580 tons including the English "Wellington Star" of 11,400
tons. U 101 is starting her return passage she has used all her torpedoes. UA has started on her passage to her actual operations area. She
UA: sank the auxiliary cruiser "Andania", 13,950 tons, belonging to the intended to proceed at a great distance off the coast, which is contrary to
Northern Patrol. her operations order. She has therefore been ordered to approach closer to
the coast and operate along the shipping route.

U 43 has requested supply in NW Spain, it is planned for 18.6.

- 80 -
U 52 is to operate against the traffic from England round Quessant
to the French Atlantic ports, which according to radio intelligence, is
heavy. U 52 is the boat which could not arrive in time to operate against
the HX 48 convoy from Halifax.
The reason for this traffic is the general situation on land:
Occupation of the Channel coast and the Army's rapid advance towards the
Atlantic coast is forcing England to divert her transports to ports in the
Gironde and Loire estuaries and Quiberon Bay. It is probably a matter of
withdrawing British land forces and material. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events There was a further conference with Group West on the mining
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. situation. It would be desirable to clear the minefields in the English
Channel as well as those off the bases which we intend to set up in France.
As with the few forces available, only one of these problems can be
solved, it was thought best first of all to make sure of one suitable fitting-
out place on the Atlantic coast and postpone sweeping in the English
Channel which would be a long drawn out task. Group command will
19.6. U 43 has supplied and has given a different approach route to issue instructions to concentrate all forces on Brest and later possibly on
that given in the Spanish instructions. St. Nazaire. Lieut. Commander BRUMMER-PATZIG and Lieut.(E)(s.g.)
LOOSCHEN from B.d.U. Headquarters are on their way to look for
U 25 was rammed while making a submerged night attack on a suitable fitting-out ports in France. The torpedo train, with 24 torpedoes
convoy. Periscope and bridge damaged. She tried at first to remain in her will remain in Wilhelmshaven until the situation is clearer. Efforts are
operations area, but the damage was so heavy that she had to start her being made to get a mobile radio station for the torpedo train.
return passage.

20.6. U 26 left Wilhelmshaven.

- 81 -
U 99 requested permission to put into a Norwegian base to land a
sick man.

21.6. U 29 supplied according to plan. According to a report from

Spain she may have been seen.

U 48 reported 48,000 tons sunk, she has started on her return

passage, as most of her torpedoes have been used.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 99 was so badly damaged by a/c bombs that she had to return to and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Wilhelmshaven. It is possible that the boat was attacked by an a/c from Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
"SCHARNHORST". The matter cannot be cleared up until U 99 and
"SCHARNHORST" have both entered port.

22.6. U 34 left Wilhelmshaven, U 102 Kiel, both for the Atlantic.

U 32 and U 47 successfully attacked a convoy approaching from 23.6. U 30 requested supply in N Spain. She has been ordered to
the west. carry out "AROZ" during the night 25/26/6. She has so far sunk 2
occupied by U 25. U A has been ordered not to enter the area between 36
U 46 attacked an a/c carrier proceeding on a SW course at high degs. and 30degs. N.E. of 11 degs., the area occupied by the only Italian
speed, escorted by 2 destroyers. This is probably "Illustrious" which, U-boat in the Atlantic. Of the 5 Italian U-boats which left for operation in
according to radio intelligence analysis, is on her way to the West Indies. the Atlantic, only one actually arrived there. There is one in Centa and one
It is doubtful if the attack was successful. in Algeciras, and there is no news here of the other two. This seems to
indicate that nothing much can be expected of our ally's U-boat Arm, at
U 28 reported that weather conditions made action impossible. any rate for the present.

U 43, which is much further south, reported: Action restricted by Naval War Staff informs us that U 29 supplied in Spain without
weather conditions. According to weather data available, the unfavorable incident, but that she may have been seen by fishing vessels or picket
conditions cover the whole area from the latitude of the Faroes to the boats.
latitude of Gibraltar. It is not possible therefore to direct the boats to a
better area. U 30 is therefore to carry out "ARROZ" instead of "BERNARDO",
so that the latter is not compromised by too frequent use. "ARROZ" has
Group "RÖSING" is being dissolved, as torpedoes have mostly become less favorable recently because Italian ships anchored in the
been used and boats have to return. Only U 29 and U 43, which have vicinity. A decision is to be made today.
supplied in Spain, will remain in the operations area and a dividing line
has therefore been ordered for their operation, a line bearing 110 degs. The question of transferring B.d.U. Headquarters to an
from Cape Villano. The great successes of the Army and the G.A.F. in the
west have forced France to ask for an armistice. In a short time the French
Atlantic ports will be able to be used as supply bases for torpedoes and - 82 -
fuel and later for repairs. In order that torpedoes can be supplied as soon
as possible, the torpedo train, which has been made ready in anticipation
and consists of goods wagons with torpedoes, air pumps, torpedo material
and the necessary personnel has left for Paris under the command of the
Torpedo Director of Wilhelmshaven Naval Dockyard, Captain TROTHA.
From Paris it can be sent quickly to any place on the coast.

24.6. U 99 entered Wilhelmshaven. The dockyard will need about 2

1/2 days to repair her. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
U 32 has started on her return passage, having used all her Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
torpedoes. She has sunk 23,000 tons.

U 52 has been ordered to operate along a line at the latitude of

square 41 BF without limit east or west. This area has so far been
The sea area N of 5880 and E of 0300 E has been closed until
Atlantic port has been considered: further notice to our own U-boats, so that the Air Force may carry out a
1) U-boat operations in the Atlantic are of just importance. They require constant anti-S/M hunt.
shortest lines of communication to Naval War Staff and personal contact
with the U-boat commanders. Good telephone lines are desirable to the 27.6. U 99 left Wilhelmshaven for the Atlantic.
Organization Department in Kiel and to Group West.
2) Close cooperation with G.O. commanding air forces Brest would be a U 38 reported the sinking of 35,000 tons. She is returning as she
great advantage. has used all her torpedoes.
3) A U-boat staff officer would have to be attached to Group West to
control arrivals and departures of U-boats. U 34 sighted a battleship with 3 destroyers, course SW, for a short
4) The port can only be considered fully fit for use if U-boats can enter it time, NW of the Herbrides. This is probably "Valiant", coming from the
(mines) and all the necessary means of communication are available to North Sea.
control the U-boats, in cooperation with the G.A.F. and home stations.
5) Before a decision is reached B.d.U. himself will inspect the relevant U 122 has reached the latitude of Finisterre. Her operation area
ports with his Communications Staff Officer will be square CF 30, where U 101 observed large steamers on course of
30 degs. and 120 degs.

U 30 will carry out supply "ARROZ" today. - 33 -

25.6. U 101 entered Heligoland and came on to Kiel under escort.

This boat just penetrated into the Channel and sank 2 steamers there.
Because of strong air patrol, she proceeded off the western approach to the
Channel and finally to the Finisterre sea area.
Total results: 41,500 tons.

All U-boats have been given Naval War Staff's order not to take
any action against French ships which are clearly making for a French Date Position, Wind, Weather
port, but to treat then as enemies if they are darkened or in convoy or and Sea State, Illumination, Events
steering for an enemy port. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

26.6. U 30 has carried out "ARROZ" and is to have an operational

strip at the latitude of square 41 BF without limit E or W.

U 43 and U 29 have been ordered to concentrate on square BE 90.

U 99 reported that she was attacked by a/c with German markings
28.6. U 47 requested refuelling in Spain, reporting at the same time in an area not released for anti-S/M hunts. There is good reason to believe
that she had sunk 33,130 tons for certain and a further 7,000 probably. that it was one of our machines as a report from a Stavanger a/c gives the
Shortly afterwards she reported sinking another 6,500 tons and that she same time and a position about 40 miles away from that given by the U-
would not refuel, but start her return passage with 2 torpedoes left. boat.

U 26 reported one oil cooler out of action, damage cannot be U A requested supply in the Las Palmas Roads, but this has been
repaired with own resources. The boat's speed is thus reduced. As there refused for reasons of security. The boat has sufficient reserves of fuel for
are so few Atlantic boats available U 26 is to continue her patrol even her operations.
under these difficult conditions.
30.6. U 47 reported the sinking of 51,086 tons.
29.6. U 48 entered Kiel, U 25 Wilhelmshaven.
U 43 and U 30 attacked a convoy reported by U 43 herself.
U 48 operated in the Atlantic after short repairs in Trondheim. She According to radio intelligence reports 2 steamers were damaged and
successfully attacked convoys and sank altogether about 42,686 tons. abandoned by the convoy.

U 25 missed a battle cruiser (Renown or Repulse) because the

firing gear failed in the center shot of a triple fan. She afterwards attacked
the convoy which this heavy ship was escorting, but it evaded the attack - 84 -
by making a smoke screen and turning away. U 25 then sank the auxiliary
cruiser "Scotstown" off the North Channel and fired on another large
steamer with very good firing data. The shot had no effect, clearly because
the impact firing unit failed. While making an attack submerged by night
she was rammed and the damage to periscope and conning tower forced
her to return home. Result: 23.000 tons.

U 28 started on her return passage with a result of 11,000 tons, also

U 51 with 32,000 tons for certain and a probable further 6,000. The gaps Date Position, Wind, Weather
thus created will be filled by U 34, U 26 and U 102, new arrivals in the and Sea State, Illumination, Events
operations area. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

Boats' reports and meteorological forecasts indicate that weather

will be bad in the northern half of Biscay for some days and boats have
therefore been advised to operate further south for a time.

U 26 and U 102 also each managed to make contact with a convoy.

2.VII.40. U 52 reported BERNARDO carried out.

(signed): Dönitz U 38 entered Wilhelmshaven.

Rear Admiral and B.d.U.
Zones "A" and "F" are to be bounded to the south along the line square
8176 BE - square 8357 BF - Belle Isle, in order to protect our own prize
ships returning to the occupied Atlantic coast from the Atlantic, our own
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log steamers from Spain and French vessels. B.d.U. returned from tour of
inspection of the Atlantic coast.
1 - 15 July 1940 Every effort must be made to get the Atlantic ports ready for use as soon
as possible and when this is done B.d.U.'s headquarters must be
PG30268 transferred there. I stated my views on this subject in my Most Secret
1049 of 2/7/40 to Supreme Command of the Navy. In my opinion the aim
must be achieved in the following stages.
1) Facilities for supply of fuel, provisions and water.
2) Facilities for short repairs.
Date Position, Wind, Weather 3) Transfer the headquarters as soon as conditions 1 and 2 are fulfilled for
and Sea State, Illumination, Events the majority of Atlantic boats.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. 4) Facilities for complete overhaul of boats.

The steps immediately necessary for 1 are being taken from here,

1.VII.40. Distribution of U-boats: 3.VII.40. U 29 reported the sinking of "Atheland", 8,999 tons. Boat is
In Atlantic operations area: returning because of damage to periscope.
U A, U 26, U 29, U 30, U 34, U 43, U 52, U 102, U 122.
On outward passage: U 47. Lorient will be ready for fitting out U-boats from 6.7. There is mine
escort for boats entering and leaving. Officer-in-Charge of the base is
On return passage: U 28, U 38, U 47, U 51, U 65. Lieut. Commander BRUMMER-PATZIG, Lieut.(E)(s.g.) LOOSCHEN is
Wilhelmshaven dockyard: U 25, U 32, U 37. his assistant.
Kiel dockyard: U 46, U 48, U 101.
4.VII.40. U 52 reported sinking 21,000 tons.
U 65 attacked a convoy; apparently the Dutch S.S. "Amstelland, 8,156
tons, was sunk.
6.VII.40. U 43 again reported little traffic, but there are frequent reports
- 86 - of traffic on the Spanish coast and from Spanish ports.

U 28 entered Wilhelmshaven. The boat had to interrupt her outward

passage and repair engine damage in Trondheim. Like U 47, 26, 51, 32,
38 and 30, she made no contact with the Halifax convoy, the rendezvous
of which with the escort was changed, she operated patrolling E-W off the
N. half of the English Channel and sank 3 steamers totaling 10,860 tons.

U 47 entered Kiel. On her way out she rescued some of our own airmen
Date Position, Wind, Weather from an a/c which had made a forced landing in the Shetlands area.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Before reaching her position for the Halifax convoy she apparently
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. successfully attacked the previous convoy from Canada. After the
disposition against the HX 48 had been dissolved she operated with great
success against convoys and independent ships, patrolling E-W off the
English Channel. During this patrol she sank ten ships, totaling 66,587
tons, it is so far the most successful patrol of this war.

U 30 requested to supply with torpedoes in Lorient. It has been ordered 7.VII.40. U 65 entered Wilhelmshaven.
for 6.7. After repairing a flange in Bergen the boat operated in central Biscay
and sank 5 steamers and tankers, totaling 56,500 tons.
U A has been instructed to avoid the area between 200 N to 360 N east
of 200 W, as 2 Italian U-boats will be operating there from 7.7. U 30 entered Lorient, the first boat to fit out there.

5.VII.40. U 51 entered Kiel. After the operation against the Halifax 8.VII.40. U 34 reported the sinking of the English destroyer "Whirland"
convoy failed owing to the transfer of the rendezvous. She operated and one steamer and one tanker.
patrolling E-W off the English Channel and sank 5 ships totaling 40,311
tons. 9.VII.40. U A has been instructed to operate against the English units

U A reported no traffic and is therefore proceeding on to square DT.

- 87 -
Conference with C. Air Force regarding cooperation in the attack
area from the French Atlantic Coast on English supply traffic in the
Atlantic. (see B.d.U. operation Most Secret 1057C of 6.7.40).

14.VII.40. U 26, U 102 and U 122 have not reported again. U 26 last
made a short signal on 3.7, U 102 made a reconnaissance signal on 30.6
and was at the time near an enemy convoy in square BF 4131, U 122 last
Date Position, Wind, Weather made a weather report at 2300 21.6.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. U 34 reported the sinking of 6 steamers totaling 22,807 tons, she is
proceeding to Lorient to refuel.

15.VII.40. U 43, which has been at sea since 13.5, reported that she still
had 1-3 torpedoes below deck.She was ordered to start on her return
passage, making use of all opportunities to attack.
which are taking action against French forces in Dakar. This boat is at
present off Cape Verde and it is doubtful whether she will reach Freetown, U 52 reported: Use of armament in operations area easily possible.
as she has to be at the rendezvous with ship 33 in the 18th.
(Signed): Donitz
10.VII.40. U 43 reported her results so far as as 35,000 tons. She Rear-Admiral and B.d.U.
encountered strong patrols of a/c and surface vessels with efficient
location sets.

11.VII.40. U 29 entered Wilhelmshaven. This boat first operated off the F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
Channel at the beginning of June and penetrated into the Western approach
to the Channel. She then supplied in NW Spain and continued to wage 16 - 31 July 1940
war on merchant shipping in the sea area NW of Finisterre. Total results:
5 steamers and tankers totaling 29,184 tons. PG30269

12.VII.40. Nothing to report.

13.VII.40. U 99 reported use of armament S. of Ireland restricted by

weather conditions. Little traffic.

U 30 has been ordered to go to Gibraltar and operate against enemy Date Position, Wind, Weather
warships. Radio intelligence and G.I.S. report that there is frequent and Sea State, Illumination, Events
warship activity there. The boat will not be a loss to the war against Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
merchant shipping as she is to proceed via the traffic route between 130
and 150.

U 52 requested limited supplies for her return passage, which is
necessary owing to engine trouble. She has so far sunk 24,700 tons and
16.7. Distribution of the U-boats: reported no traffic in square BE 56 - BF 46.
In the Atlantic operations area: U A in the Cape Verde area, U 26, 30,
34, 52, 99, 102, 122 in the sea area W of Cape Finisterre, Biscay, W 19.7. U 30 reported considerable engine damage: one piston broke,
approach to the English Channel. damaging the crank case and causing large cracks in the engine casing.
On return passage: U 43 W. of Ireland. She will have to break off the Gibraltar operation and return home, she
In Wilhelmshaven dockyard: U 25, 28, 29, 32, 37, 38, 65. will first be sent to Lorient for impromptu repairs. As there are at present
In Kiel dockyard: U 46, 47, 48, 51. so few boats in the Atlantic and meanwhile a Halifax convoy has been
announced, I have decided not to detail another boat for the Gibraltar
U A reported her results so far as 23,600 tons, she must therefore have operation, so that besides U 34 at least U 99 can also be used against the
sunk at least 2 medium-sized steamers in addition to the auxiliary cruiser Halifax convoy.
in the N. patrol. She considers it necessary to return home owing to
damage to her engines.

17.7. Radio intelligence reports, and reports from the G.A.F. indicate that
traffic to England is being re-routed, owing to especially to the activity of
the G.A.F. on the sea routes in the English Channel. One convoy has - 89 -
already put into the North Channel and another is to be expected shortly,
according to radio intelligence. Numerous convoys have also been
observed sailing N. of Scotland to east coast ports. This means that the
North Channel, Minch and Moray Firth areas are more important for the
operation of the next wave of U-boats. At the moment the North Channel
is always occupied by 2 boats, boats appear every now and then in Moray
Firth and off the Minch. Off the Western approach to the Channel there
will be another void during the next few days, as the boats have to leave
their positions and either refuel in Lorient or return home for major Date Position, Wind, Weather
repairs. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
18.7. U 99 reported her successes as 31,300 tons and one prize which
has course instructions for Bordeaux. The boat requested to refuel in
Lorient. She is expected to enter port in company with U 56 on 21.7.

U 34 entered Lorient, she sank 7 steamers, totaling 26,338 tons, and the
destroyer "Whirlwind". She will be ready to put to sea again on 22.7. 20.7. Radio intelligence has once more supplied very good information
on the "HX 58" convoy, mentioned above. It will probably be picked up
by the inward escort on 27.7 in square AL 0316. This convoy's route 24.7. The Italian Navy have offered to use a maximum number of U-
confirms the view that traffic is being re-routed to the North Channel. boats, from a base in France organized by themselves, under German
operational control. In view of impending operations it is considered that
21.7. U 52 entered Lorient. Success: 4 steamers totaling 24,700 tons. the offer should be accepted and put into effect quickly.
Also U 99: Success: 6 steamers totaling 31,300 tons.
25.7. U 99 left Lorient for the North Channel.
Contrary to information issued here as to areas which are free for anti-
S/M hunts, a formation consisting of "Nordmark" and 4 destroyers, with
close air escort, is proceeding from Stavanger to Hanstholm. U 43 is in
the same area on her way home and U 5 on her way out. The position of - 90 -
the new minefields NW of our own mined area forces the U-boats to take
the route along the coast of Norway on their way in and out. There they
are exposed to danger from enemy S/M's and our own a/c in close escort
of formations. C. G.A.F. has been requested to instruct all a/c again
that, in areas which are not declared open for anti-S/M hunts, only such
S/M's may be attacked as are unmistakably identified as enemy.

22.7. U 43 entered Wilhelmshaven. She was at sea for 10 weeks. She

first carried out a transport duty to Trondheim and then operated in Biscay Date Position, Wind, Weather
off the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. She did not score any success until and Sea State, Illumination, Events
she had been at sea for 5 weeks and had carried out supply operation Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
BERNARDO. Altogether she sank 4 steamers and tankers, totaling 38,509
tons. In contrast to other boats she encountered strong anti-S/M activity
and was severely attacked with depth charges for several hours by vessels
with efficient location gear.

23.7. U 58 entered Lorient. Success: 2 steamers totaling 14,000 tons. U 56 left Lorient for the Western approach to the Channel and the St.
George's Channel.
U 61 entered Bergen to refuel for passage home.
According to radio intelligence S.S. "Sarita", 5,824 tons, sank recently
U 34 left Lorient for the North Channel. off the Cape Verde Islands (Statements by survivors landed in Brazil); this
is presumably the result of U A's activities.
The Red Cross telephoned from Berlin that the whole crew of U 26 are
prisoners of war in England. This decides the fate of one of the three The Italian offer has been accepted, with the proviso that Bordeaux may
missing boats. have to be used if the number of our own U-boats increases or if Lorient is
increasingly threatened by air attack.
26.7. Conference with G.O.C. Air Forces on air reconnaissance starting
from Brest. At present there are only 4 DO 18's for reconnaissance from
Brest. The range of these a/c and their small striking power as compared - 91 -
with enemy a/c makes it possible for them to make reconnaissance flights
as far as about square BE 3000 (approx. 150 W) and in a SW direction, but
the area N. of this is not to be covered, owing to the proximity of the
enemy air bases, so as to avoid unnecessary losses. This reconnaissance Date Position, Wind, Weather
will be flown from tomorrow. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
From 29.7 there will be DO 17's 3 DO 26's and later a few HE 115's
available. These types of a/c can be used off the North Channel, there the
most shipping is to be found at present. Unfortunately the only U-boat
available at the moment for operation against this traffic, e.g. the convoy
HX 58, is U 34.
31.7. U 99 was attacked W. of Ireland by a submerged S/M with 2
27.7. U 34 reported 48,000 tons sunk in her operations area W. of the torpedoes.
North Channel off Rockall, 42,000 of them from an outward-bound
convoy. This boat only sailed from Lorient on 23.7 and has achieved a
very great success in a very short time.

U 52 left Lorient at 2100.

(Signed): Donitz
28.7. Nothing to report. Rear-Admiral and B.d.U.

29.7. U 57 and U 58, at present off the northern approach to the Minch F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
and W. of this, have been ordered to proceed to the North Channel if they
do not encounter much traffic in their present operation area. U 56 is also 1 - 15 August 1940
to make for the North Channel from the western approach to the English
Channel and the St. George's Channel via Fastnet Rock. According to PG30270
G.I.S. reports, ships carrying Spanish ore to England make for Fastnet

U 99 reported the sinking of 18,736 tons.

30.7. Nothing to report.

Date Position, Wind, Weather a) The route was several times used by U-boats after the date of issue of
and Sea State, Illumination, Events "Seal's" chart, and was check-swept by F.O. North Sea Defences forces.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. b) 2 sample sweeps were made in the route about a fortnight ago.
c) Except for the Seal document, which does not give any definite
indication of mines, there is no indication at all that the route is fouled.
4) Changes of inward and outward routes, which have always been aimed
at and effected, reduces the risk of these routes becoming known.

1.8.1940. From today the same War Log will be kept for large and small
U-boats, as in future they will be used for the same operations.

Distribution of U-boats: - 93 -
In the Atlantic operations area: U A, U 52, U 56, 57, 58, 59, 99, 102,
On return passage: U 34 off the Shetlands, U 62 route GRUEN.
On outward passage: U 60 route I.
In Kiel:U 46, 47, 48, 51, 61, 101.
In Lorient: U 30.
In Bremen: U 124.
In Wilhelmshaven: U 25, 28, 29, 37, 38, 43, 65.
In Memel: U 32. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
U 25, 37, 38 left Wilhelmshaven, U 46 Kiel. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
They have been ordered to use route I for the following reasons:
1) In the area N. of route BLAU and off the Norwegian Coast English
ships have repeatedly appeared, attacked our forces ("LUCHS", U 62,
transports) and have been attacked by our own patrol forces and a/c. At
least U 1 was definitely torpedoed in this area.
2) The danger in this area is the greater because for some time U-boats Route I must therefore be considered the safer route at the moment.
have entered and left on this route only.
3) In view of these known dangers on the Northerly route, route I appears U 34 reported the sinking of the English S/M "Spearfish" off the
to be the safer. Is has not been used for some time. At the time when a Orkneys.
change was contemplated, a chart captured from "Seal" showed 2 circles
entered in this route, which led F.O. North Sea Defences to suspect that U 57 and U 58 are transferring their operations area from North Minch
there were enemy minefields within these circles. to the North Channel.
Against this however:
U 59 is proceeding to Bergen as she has no serviceable torpedoes left. well as in route I. For the moment however this requirement cannot be
She has sunk one 6,000 ton steamer. met.

U 99, 52, 56 and 58 have been allocated operations areas off the North 4.8.1940. U 46 reported. Her transmitter was out of order and she

2.8.1940. U 99 reported the sinking of independently routed steamers, - 94 -

totaling 24,211 tons, and one freighter and 3 tankers from a convoy
totaling 31,957 tons. It appears (radio intelligence) that 3 of the vessels
reported sunk were only damaged and returned to England. But it may be
that the English a/c making the report confused these with other ships.

From today repair service is in operation at Naval Arsenal Lorient.

3.8.1940. U 34 entered Wilhelmshaven, U 60 Bergen.

Date Position, Wind, Weather
U A is starting on her return passage owing to defects in her motors. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
U 37 and U 38 reported passing through route I, but no such reports
have been received from U 25 and U 46, which sailed later, neither have
they replied to radio messages. A/c sent out to search observed one new
and one older patch of oil in route I and also reported mine-like objects in
the water near the fresh oil patch. The following was then decided in a
discussion with F.O. North Sea Defences. was proceeding to Bergen for repairs and arrived there P.M.
1) 2 patrol boats would immediately search the area around the oil
patches. U 337's bow caps were damaged in a bombing attack and she is
2) 2 minesweepers were detailed to check the mines. proceeding to Lorient immediately.
3) One diving tender from the dockyard, manned by diving personnel from
the flotilla and carrying one U-boat officer, proceeded to the suspected U 57 is proceeding to Lorient to refuel. She has sunk a steamer of 5,000
scene of loss with flak protection. At the same time further a/c were tons.
detailed to search.
U 30 left Lorient, U 60 Bergen.

In view of this experience it seems indicated now only to allow U- U 59 entered Bergen.
boats to proceed through the endangered area in the S. North Sea with
mine escort, as mines have been observed in routes GRUEN and BLAU as
During the search operation for U 25, a S/M chaser struck a mine and 6.8.1940. The area off the North Channel is to be divided into several
sank. She had detected a wreck shortly beforehand with her echo ranging operation areas.
gear. U 25 must be presumed to have been lost in route I. There is one
small hope, in that the boats transmitter was slightly defective. A 7.8.1940. U 57 entered Lorient. Since leaving Kiel and after
dockyard workman repaired it shortly before she sailed, but there is a
chance that it may have failed again.
- 95 -
The probable loss of this boat led me to reconsider my views set out on
1.8 on the subject of outward routes. I am still of the opinion that the
decision to use route 1 was right in the light of information available. One
could have reproached oneself with justice if a boat had been lost on the
N. route through the known dangers there. The mines observed in route I
were recently laid, as the over growth showed they were also outside the
periphery of the Seal circle. The fact that the boats used this route to a
considerable extent after the date of the Seal document, without being
mined or observing any mines and now suddenly, besides U 25, a S/M Date Position, Wind, Weather
chaser and a minesweeper have struck mines, shows that this is a new and Sea State, Illumination, Events
field. It must therefore be assumed that U 25, if she is in fact lost, was the Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
victim of a new, hitherto unknown danger.

5.8.1940. U 99 entered Lorient.

U 52 is starting on her return passage because of d/c damage. She has

sunk a further 3 steamers, totaling 16,875 tons, since leaving Lorient. replenishing with torpedoes at Bergen, this boat has sunk 3 steamers
totaling 16,600 tons, in 2 patrols.
B.d.U.'s requirement of 3.8 for mine escort in the S. Northern Sea is to
be fulfilled in future. Boats are to be escorted through BLAU or GRUEN U 48 left Kiel.
as far as square 3875 AN, and boats returning will be picked up here
whenever possible. A radio intelligence report indicates that listening and/or echo-ranging
gear may have been laid out in Fair Passage. This passage is therefore
Passage between the approach to route BLAU and square 2800 AN closed for U-boats.
must be made by the U-boats unobserved, i.e. surfaced during darkness
only and in bad visibility. Lorient reported that a dock would be ready for U 37 from 12.8

Routes I and II are out of use. 8.8.1940. U 65 left Wilhelmshaven, U 46 and U 59 Bergen. U 46 is
sailing despite a defective short wave transmitter. A signal station is to be
set up on the Isle de Groix so as to ensure that boats which are unable to
transmit can establish visual signal connection as soon as possible with the
coast which they are approaching. - 96 -

9.8.1940. U 51, 100, 101 left Kiel.

U 38 reported that use of armament was restricted by weather.

10.8.1940. U 58 reported that she had a trace of oil. She was ordered to
Lorient. She has sunk one freighter of 8,724 tons.

U 30 reported the sinking of a steamer of 5,800 tons and that operation Date Position, Wind, Weather
was difficult owing to weather. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
U 38 reported the sinking of the English S.S. "Accra" 9,337 tons from a

As "Hipper" is entering through route BLAU with air and surface

escort, movements of U-boats have been ordered so as to prevent an
encounter. 11.8.1940. U 28 left Wilhelmshaven.

The following decisions were reached in a conference with the Rear Reports of Success:
Admiral PARONA, Royal Italian Navy. U 37 Upway Grange 9,130 tons.
1) The base for Italian U-boats will be Bordeaux. U 56 Mohammed Ali El Kebir 7,290 tons.
2) Germany will provide minesweeping forces, a harbor defence flotilla U 30 Llanfair 4,966 tons.
and Flak protection, everything else will be organized by the Italians. (All English totaling 21,386 tons).
3) Experienced U-boat officers will be appointed as liaison officers to both
staffs. U A has arrived on square CF on her way home.
4) Good telephone and teleprinter connections will be ensured.
5) Constant, exhaustive exchange of experiences is to be aimed at. The 12.8.1940 U 37, U 58 put into Lorient.
possibility of an exchange of sea-going officers will be kept in view.
6) The Italian U-boats now operating in the Atlantic will enter Bordeaux 13.8.1940. Group 606 is now tactically subordinate to Group West. The
for the first time when their supplies are exhausted. The base will be ready following reconnaissance is desired:
by about 23.8. 1) In the direction of Fastnet Rock, including establishing the position
of gaps in the English mined area in the Bristol and St. George Channels.
2) As far west as possible.
3) In the Finisterre Sea area. PG30271

U 48, U 38 and U 46 have been ordered to operate against the Halifax

convoy picked up by radio intelligence. It is to be in square AL 0316 on
15 or 16.8.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
14.8.1940. U 56 entered Lorient. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
U A reported engine trouble, but judging from her course, it can't be so
bad and she has therefore been ordered to operate against a rendezvous for
English forces reported by radio intelligence. (1900/16/8 square CF 2811
right lower edge).

From today K.G. 40 (FLIEGERKORPS 40) will fly reconnaissance in 16.8.1940. Distribution of U-boats:
our operations area off the North Channel. In the operations area off the North Channel: U 30, 38, 65, 46, 48, 59,
15.8.1940. U 65 reported that she could not carry out her special On outward passage: U 32, 51, 101, 28 in the North Sea.
operation. She has therefore been ordered to the operations area off the In the Atlantic: U A.
North Channel, which has been divided into 10 part areas for individual In the Baltic: U 31, 34.
boats. In Kiel: U 47, 52, 61, 62.
In Wilhelmshaven: U 29, 43, 124.
U 60 has used up all her torpedoes. She sank 2 steamers totaling about In Lorient: U 37, 56, 58, 99.
12-14,000 tons and is now proceeding to Lorient to supply. On passage to Lorient: U 60.
On passage from Lorient to the North Channel: U 57.

(Signed): Dönitz U 57 reported the sinking of the tanker "Sylvafield", 5,709 tons. Boat is
Rear-Admiral and B.d.U. forced to proceed to Lorient for repairs because of bomb damage.

U 65 has had to break off her patrol and dock in Lorient for repairs.

F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log U 59 was hunted NW of Ireland and sank a freighter of about 4,500
16 - 31 August 1940

The convoy which should have arrived at latest today at the rendezvous
with the inward escort and against which U 48, 38 and 46 were detailed in Date Position, Wind, Weather
13.8 to operate, has been rerouted 50 miles to the north. Boats were and Sea State, Illumination, Events
ordered to pursue it as this could still be successful, and U 48 made Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
contact with another outward bound convoy.

Heavy seas and bad visibility prevent the boats reaching the inward
bound Halifax convoy.

No. 371 Flak Detachment is at present in Lorient as flak defence. I The Fuehrer's orders, containing permission for unrestricted action
consider this defence inadequate for Lorient base, especially with regard to against all vessels in the sea area around England, were passed to the
light flak. The dockyard, the U-boat berths and B.d.U. Headquarters are boats.
not adequately protected against dive bombers. On 24.7 Fliegerkorps IV.
agreed to send another Flak detachment, but this could not be arranged 18.8.1940. U 60 put into Lorient. She sank 2 steamers totaling 12 -
owing to the present air attack on England. The reinforcement is 14,000 tons.
necessary and I have again put in a request for it. It will be necessary
unless and until the G.A.F's successes in England eliminate the threat to U 101 reported little traffic and bad weather in her operation area.
Lorient base.
19.8.1940. U 48 has sunk a Swedish freighter of about 4,000 tons from a
17.8.1940. U A was detailed to operate against the rendezvous for Task convoy and a Belgian S.S. "Ville de Gent", not listed in the register.
Force H and found nothing there. Later, on 20.8, Radio Intelligence
Service discovered that the rendezvous was not reached until 2 days later. U 100 has sunk 6,680 tons. Like U 101 she reports strong air activity in
U A so far has sunk 32,300 tons. her operation area.

U 30 reported the sinking of the freighter "Clan Mac Phee", 6,628 U 28 met with little traffic and bad weather off the Minch and has
tons, and bad weather and bad visibility in her operation area. therefore been ordered to proceed on to the North Channel.

U A now reports her total results as 41,000 tons.

- 98 -
U 65 and U 59 entered Lorient.

20.8.1940. There is good information from radio intelligence on the

movements of the Northern Patrol and I have decided to operate U A again
against these enemy forces.

U-boats are being badly hampered off the North Channel by bad and Sea State, Illumination, Events
visibility and air activity. The disposition is being altered so as to give the Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
boats a better chance of evading enemy surface craft and a/c.

So far they have been disposed in a N-S line, so that as many as

possible would cross the steamer route, the general direction of which is
E-W. Now however, air activity makes it necessary to dispose them in an
E-W line and allocate central points for individual boats. They will then checked the inward route for mines, without result. A/c sent out from
have the chance of moving away from the west. The angle of intersection Brest to search, flew from square BF 14 to Lorient without sighting
between the operational line of U-boats and the steamer route will be less anything.
favorable, but this will have to be accepted for the sake of giving the boats
greater freedom of action. The more valuable of the inward-bound Because of the danger of mines off Lorient, definite orders have again
transports at least approach the North Channel on a SE course and there is been issued to the effect that U-boats may only enter Lorient during the
thus at least a small angle of intersection. time 2 hours before to 2 hours after high tide with escort. The steamer
ROSTOCK, which is to be converted to a Sperrbrecher, has been
U 124, outward-bound astern of minesweeper escort, was attacked by requested as permanent Sperrbrecher for Lorient base. She will have to
enemy a/c without success in route BLAU. The disadvantage of escort take over the escort when weather conditions are so bad that the R-boats
through the North Sea therefore is clearly that the escort attracts a/c. cannot put to sea.

U 51 did not arrive at the rendezvous with the escort off Lorient and 21.8.1940. U 30 reported that she was returning owing to engine trouble.
has not replied to radio signals. The boat's last position reported by radio
was in square BF 14 at 1918/18/8. The minesweeping flotilla stationed at Recent, rare radio intelligence reports indicate that convoys leaving the
Lorient immediately North Channel may proceed S of 580, while inward-bound convoys pass
N. of this line.
Naval War Staff calls attention to this new situation.
This fresh information will be taken into account and the boats will be
- 99 - disposed in the area as far as 590 N. in line with central points for
individual boats.

22.8.1940. U 65 entered Brest.

U 46 reported the sinking of 15,000 tons. She made the report via U
28, as her short wave transmitter is out of action.

23.8.1940. U A is returning because of engine trouble, she did not attack

Date Position, Wind, Weather the Northern Patrol.
U 48 has attacked a convoy.

The possibility of an outward passage through the Baltic has again been
examined, because of danger to the boats sailing through the North Sea 25.8.1940. U 37 further successes: Destroyer of the Viscount class and a
from air attack (U 124) and mines (U 25). A convoy sails daily from Kiel steamer of 7,000 tons. The boat has to proceed to Lorient because of
to the Kattegat to Zealand Rev, from there the steamers proceed depth charge damage.
independently E. of LAESOE northward. Individual escort for U-boats
can only be provided in exceptional cases (verbal information from Group U 48 total successes: 46,170 tons. She is proceeding to Lorient to
North A1). U 47 is to sail with the usual convoy through the Baltic. supply.

Brest Group reported that a large patch of oil was seen in square BF 14 U 28 and U 32 reported a convoy, which was successfully attacked by U
during reconnaissance. As U 51 last reported from this square, the oil 124 during the night (4 steamers totaling 30,000 tons). U 124 is to haul
patch may have some connection with her. out N. of the present disposition of U-boats, as it is suspected that traffic to
England is proceeding even further N. than 590.
The entrance to Lorient is closed. The enemy laid a/c mines there
during last night. 26.8.1940. U 59 left Lorient for the North Channel.

24.8.1940. U 37 reported the sinking of English S.S. "Severnleigh" and U 57 is starting on her return passage as she requires a long period in
"Brookwood" and another steamer of 4,000 tons. the dockyard.

U 37 has sunk the English S.S. "Yewcrest", 2,500 tons.

- 100 - U 101 reports from her operation area: No traffic, no success.

Boats further E have sighted convoys on an E. course and weather and

visibility conditions have been bad during the last few days. No new
disposition has therefore been ordered in view of this report, but it is
planned for tomorrow if the situation has not changed by then.

27.8.1940. U 30 entered Heligoland.

Date Position, Wind, Weather U 47 left Kiel in company with the convoy through the Baltic as far as
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Kristiansand.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

No reports have been received from boats from the operations area for
2 days and there is danger that the enemy has changed his shipping routes
in view of the recent numerous U-boat successes. I have therefore decided
to make a new disposition with the intention of giving the boats greater
freedom of movement and cover a larger area. The boats will be disposed and was also successful there, sinking 3 steamers totaling 17,373 tons.
in a NW - SE line between central Ireland and the Northern approach to
the Minch. U A made a long patrol from the Northern Patrol to the sea area off
Carnawen - Cape Verde Islands - Freetown and sank 7 vessels altogether,
Owing to the great importance of weather reports, Naval War Staff has totaling 41,400 tons, including the English auxiliary cruiser "Adania". She
ordered that in the future one boat is to be in the area between 55 - 600 N supplied from ship 33 SW of the Cape Verde Islands as planned.
and 20 - 250 W. Another boat is to lay weather buoys NW and W of Operation in the tropics did not present any unforeseen difficulties with
Scotland. regard to material or personnel with additional air-conditioning apparatus
even our present types of boats should be fit for use in the tropics. Taken
U 101 made reconnaissance signal of a convoy. as a whole this patrol was not altogether satisfactory. Not all opportunities
to attack were exploited and lack of perseverance can be seen.
28.8.1940. U 30 and U A entered Wilhelmshaven.
Convoy reports from U 28, 56, and 100 confirmed present information
U 30 repaired in Lorient and then started for home, as major repair on the routes followed by inward and outward-bound transports.
work is required. She remained in her operation area off the North
Channel as long as the state of her engines permitted A/c mines were laid for the first time off and in the approach to Lorient.
The mines are apparently fitted with delay mechanisms and special care is

- 101 - 29.8.1940. U 61 left Kiel via the Baltic for Bergen to supply.

U 48 entered Lorient. She had to remain at sea for one day longer until
Lorient approach was free of mines.

U 51 entered Bergen to supply for her return passage.

U 38 reported the sinking of 14,000 tons and is proceeding to Lorient to

Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events At 1200 B.d.U.'s Headquarters were transferred to Paris.
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. I arrived there P.M.

30.8.1940. U 65 left Brest after repairing.

U 37 entered Lorient to repair bomb damage.

1.9.1940. Distribution of U-boats:
U 59 which only left Lorient on 26.8, reported the sinking of 3 vessels In the Atlantic Operations Area: U 28, 32, 38, 46, 56, 60, 65, 101, 124.
totaling 29,000 tons, an excellent result for this short time and this small On outward passage from home: U 61 in the North Sea, U 47 W. of the
boat. Orkneys.
On return passage home: U 57.
Exact details were received from Radio Intelligence Service of the On return passage to Lorient: U 59, 100.
route of Convoy SC 2. U 124, 47 and 65 can operate and will be given In Lorient: U 48, 58, 99, 37.
orders accordingly on 2.9. In the Baltic: U 31.
In Wilhelmshaven: U 29, 30, 43.
31.8.1940. U 57 left Bergen and will return home via route GRUEN. In Kiel: U 52, 62, UA.
In Danzig: U 34.

(Signed): Dönitz U 100 entered Lorient. This boat operated off the North Channel into
Rear Admiral and B.d.U. the sea area of the Rockall Bank and sank 7 vessels totaling about 43,000
tons, 5 of them from a convoy. As nearly all boats so far, U 100 suffered
from bad weather and bad visibility.

F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log Commanding Officer of U 37 made a personal report of his last patrol:
Strong patrol, especially by a/c in the area NW of the Orkneys. 2 bow
1 - 15 September 1940 tubes were damaged by bombs and the boat proceeded to Lorient to repair.
She then scored good successes fairly far west and the Commanding
PG30272 Officer here showed particularly good ability and determination. Total
results: 1 destroyer and 7 steamers totaling about 36,381 tons.
Commanding Officer of U 48 reported personally on his last patrol: No
particular experiences. 7 vessels totaling about 46,170 tons sunk within 10
days off the North Channel.

U 61 entered Bergen to refuel.

Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events U 32 reported the sinking of "Scythia", 19,761 tons, from a strongly
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. escorted convoy. U 56 reported a heavy westerly swell, which prevented
this small boat from shadowing a convoy, let alone getting ahead.

Radio intelligence analysis shows that U-boats in the operations area convoy reports. U 124 is to continue with her scheduled weather reports
have been particularly successful during the last days. Today alone 5 for the present, mines have been detected SW of Pen March at depths
sinkings were reported, including 2 steamers of over 15,000 tons each. below 100 meters. Boats have been warned accordingly. The danger from
mines and S/M's along the approach route to Lorient has increased.
2.9.1940. U 58 left Lorient and sighted an enemy S/M in square BF
6177. U 29 left Wilhelmshaven, U 61 Bergen. 3.9.1940. U 38 and U 59 entered Lorient.

U 124, 65, 47 and 101 are to operate against the SC 2 convoy. U 101 U 38 suffered considerably from air activity and bad weather in her
reported that she still had 6 torpedoes left and more than half of her fuel. operations area off the North Channel and W. of the Herbrides. She sank 3
Contact is to be made before the convoy is picked up by the inward escort. vessels totaling 19-20,000 tons. U 59 attacked 3 vessels from an outward
According to reckoning the convoy should be in square AL 0216 at bound convoy on her way to her operations area and hit one tanker of
midday on 6.9. One U-boat will be stationed at this point and the others in 12,000 tons and 2 freighters of 7,000 and 10,000 tons respectively. Only
quaterline astern of her, so that a certain depth is achieved and a total one freighter (10,000 tons) was observed to sink, but the sinking of the
breadth of 40 miles covered. It can then be expected that, if the convoy other 2 is likely from the Commanding Officer's report.
proceeds according to
U 46 reported a total of 51,507 tons sunk, including probably the
auxiliary cruiser "Dunvegan Castle" (15,007 tons). She is starting on her
- 103 - return passage to Lorient.

U 28 reported on continued bad weather. She sank 2 steamers totaling

27,000 tons and observed traffic in considerable strength approaching the
North Channel from square AM 5382 to 5241.

U 32 is returning to Lorient.

U 57 was rammed towards 0300, when entering the Brunsbüttel lock,

Date Position, Wind, Weather by the Norwegian S.S. "Rona" and sank immediately. 6 men are missing.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events It is not yet established for certain where the fault lay, but apparently it
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. was with the Norwegian, which made a signal of one short and then after
all turned towards the boat. I have requested the relevant authorities to see
that U-boats are not hindered when locking in and out and that all other
traffic is stopped at these times. I received the following impression from
a short stay in Lorient:
1) The accommodation for the flotilla requires improvement, necessary
plan, all boats will be able to attack, and if it deviates from the work is in hand. Conditions for the ratings should be very good in Lorient,
rendezvous, at least one boat. Boats are to keep radio silence except for with the rest hostel in Quiberon.
2) Danger from mines and S/M's is great and will require constant strong
defense forces. 4.9.1940. U 29 will have to put into Bergen, as her attack periscope was
3) Flak defenses must also be regarded as inadequate after the last attacks. sticking. U 124 is, on the orders of Naval War Staff, to continue to act
5 English a/c were able to fly as low as 300 meters over the dockyard and only as weather boat, and there are therefore only 3 boats available for
drop 10 bombs which fell in the immediate vicinity of the U-boats. There operation against the SC 2 convoy. Their disposition:
is a distinct gap in the defenses to the N and NE of Lorient which the U 47 in AL 0216, on the convoy's probable course
English use to fly in. A third heavy flak battery will have to be stationed U 65 in AL 2858 and U 101 in AL 3777.
there. But above all there is a lack of light guns in the dockyard itself
against low-flying a/c. These conditions will have to be improved. 5.9.1940. U 29 entered Bergen to repair attack periscope. As U 99 and U
58 cannot arrive in time to operate against the SC convoy, they have been
ordered to operate off the North Channel in squares 52 and 53. There will
then be 3 boats in this area, U 56, 58, 99 and U 61 is off the Minch. These
boats may encounter sections of SC 2, which can be expected in these
- 104 - areas on 8/9.9.

CinC Navy visited headquarters and I reported to him on the present U-

boat situation and plans for operation Seelöwe. The Grand Admiral gave
orders that he himself would decide the date for breaking off training. I
called attention to the urgent need for increased Flak defenses for Lorient
base. CinC agreed and will give the necessary orders.

6.9.1940. U 60 entered Lorient.

Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events U 65 made contact with convoy SC 2 as planned. Unfortunately
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. weather conditions prevented use of armament for the present; there was a
W. wind force 8 and bad visibility.

7.9.1940. U 47 made contact and lost it again, as did also U 65. In spite
of the bad weather U-boats greatly hampered by a/c.

Taken as a whole, Lorient base is entirely suitable, and extremely 8.9.1940. U 32 entered Lorient.
valuable, but it will hardly be able to take more than 10-15 boats at a time
for repairs. Even this number means accumulation which is a great U 47 and 65 regained contact. U 47 had some success for certain.
disadvantage as long as air attacks can still be expected. It is necessary to
obtain further bases on the Atlantic coast for the new U-boat flotillas. U
99 left Lorient
9.9.1940. U 43 left Wilhelmshaven. The weather buoys were not fully
serviceable when she left and they will be given to the next boat to sail, U U 43 reported that there had been 6 loud explosions a few hundred
103. meters away from the boat in square AN 3812. Group North is going to
have the sea area searched for mines by minesweeping forces. Boats have
U 101 is returning to Lorient owing to engine defects. been instructed to avoid square 3810.

11.9.1940. U 100 left Lorient.

- 105 -
U 29 left Bergen.

U 56 entered Bergen. This boat unsuccessfully attacked a London class

cruiser NW of the Herbrides, although the range was only 12 hectometers.

12.9.1940. U 43 entered Bergen to repair leaks in the air intake and one
torpedo tube.

Date Position, Wind, Weather U 61 started on her return passage; she had no success. 3 of the Italian
and Sea State, Illumination, Events Atlantic U-boats have now arrived in Bordeaux, 9 others are in their
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. operations area or on their way from their home port to Bordeaux. For the
latter I recommend operation against the ore and timber import traffic from
Spain and Portugal to England.

2 S/M chasers have arrived in Lorient and have been detailed by B.d.U.
to carry out A/S operations off Lorient. They have been allocated a hunt
U 99 and U 47 again made contact with the Canada convoy SC 2. 5 area S. of Pen March for the present and this area is closed to U-boats.
steamers totaling 34,300 tons were sunk from this convoy between 7-9.9,
in spite of unfavorable weather conditions. U 124 reported damage to her 13.9.1940. Nothing to report.
bow caps and requires dockyard assistance. She will be relieved as
weather boat, so that weather reports will be made from the areas 550 - 14.9.1940. U 137 left Kiel via the Baltic for direct passage to her
600 N, 200 - 250 W and 550 - 600 N, 70 - 150 W. operations area off the North Channel.

Boats will be redisposed when the SC 2 convoy has passed, the NW-SE The Italians have acted on my suggestion and will operate 3 boats off
lines will be retained. the Spanish and Portuguese coasts.

10.9.1940. U 138 left Kiel for the Atlantic via the Baltic without
refueling in Bergen. - 106 -
have therefore given orders that for the present all boats, including those
from Wilhelmshaven, are to leave via the Baltic. The safety offered by the
escort outweighs the disadvantage of the delay.

(Signed): Dönitz

Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
16 - 30 September 1940


The Commanding Officer of the Italian U-boat "Malaspina",

Commander LEONI, made a verbal report of his patrol. He was ar sea for
38 days and sank 2 ships totaling 27,000 tons. The after hydroplane
jammed when the boat was crash diving away from a destroyer in the
Straits of Gibraltar and this unpleasant emergency was ably handled. After Date Position, Wind, Weather
a night attack he dived too soon and therefore did not observe the result; and Sea State, Illumination, Events
success was doubtful. On the whole there is nothing to criticize in this Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

15.9.1940. U 43 left Bergen after completing repairs.

U 61 entered Lorient, U 56 Kiel.

16.9.1940 Positions of U-boats:
U 59 reported that she was returning.She has apparently had no success. In operations areas: U 47 in the west as weather reporting boat, U 65, U
99, U 48, U 100, U 29, U 58.
U 48 attacked and split up a convoy inward-bound off the North On outward passage: U 43, 138 in the Shetlands area, U 137 on the SW
Channel. coast of Norway, U 60 off Lorient, U 31, 103 off Wilhelmshaven.
On return passage to Lorient: U 28, 59.
It is suspected that the enemy has laid mines in the North Sea between In Lorient: U 32, 37, 38, 46, 61, 101, 124.
570 30' N and 580 N and 4 to 50 E. also in squares 4830, 4840, 4860 and I In Wilhelmshaven: U 123.
In Kiel: UA, U 52, 56, 57, 139.
In Stettin: U 30.
In Danzig: U 34.

U 58 is returning as her fuel stocks are exhausted; no successes.

U 137 has been ordered to Stavanger, at the request of Admiral Norway,

to take part in a special operation against an English S/M in cooperation Date Position, Wind, Weather
with A/S forces. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
17.9.1940. U 137 entered Stavanger, U 28 Lorient (In report see 18.9).

U 65 reported an inward-bound convoy in square AM 1574. Radio

Intelligence Service established that 3 steamers had been sunk, including
the "City of Benares", 11,081 tons, probably by U 47.
engine defects. The Commanding Officer will have to give proof of his
18.9.1940. U 32 left Lorient. efficiency on his next patrol.
U 101 operated off the North Channel in bad weather and visibility
During a visit to Lorient I observed that, following action by CinC conditions and sank 3 vessels totaling 15,576 tons. She was severely
Navy, the flak defenses had been reinforced. This made itself felt during depth-charged once.
last night's attack; the English a/c were prevented from flying low. U 124 attacked an inward-bound convoy on her way out, following
shadower's reports, and sank 4 vessels totaling about 28,000 tons within a
The C.O.'s of U 28, 61, 101 and 124 reported: few hours. She then hauled off to the west as weather boat and
U 28 encountered no traffic or patrol on the Minch sea area, but there encountered further traffic, but scored no successes.
was constant bad visibility, so that her observations cannot be taken as a
basis for further decisions. There must be traffic there. This assumption 19.9.1940. U 123 left Wilhelmshaven via the Baltic for her operations
was confirmed a few days later by other boats. In the operations area off area off the North Channel.
the North Channel this boat then sank 5 vessels, totaling 30,599 tons, in
spite of bad weather and strong air activity. U 29 reported engine damage and is returning to Lorient. Brest Group
U 61, coming from the Baltic, refueled in Bergen and then operated off reported shipping movements through the English mined area in the St.
the North Channel. She scored no successes, owing to bad weather, strong George's Channel. This report contradicts our own observations and a
air activity wrong tactics and avoidable request was therefore made for air reconnaissance A.M. in the area S. of
Ireland. I have the impression that there can be only little traffic from the
Irish Sea around Lands End into the Channel, otherwise the U-boats would
- 108 - have met shipping S. of Ireland on their way to and from Lorient. Only
fishing vessels have, however, been sighted there.
20.9.1940. U 58, 59 Lorient.

U 58 on her way out from Lorient, was surprised by an English S/M

type "Clyde", at night a short distance off (200 meters) and apparently
unsuccessfully attacked with a torpedo. Off the North Channel the boat
was hampered by bad weather and air activity and only once managed to Date Position, Wind, Weather
approach a steamer. This attack was unsuccessful, the torpedo, set at 3 and Sea State, Illumination, Events
meters, ran under the target. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 59 used up an unusually large quantity of fuel owing to continuous

bad weather and was only able to operate for a few days off the North
Channel without success.

U 60 has been ordered to attack along the routes to the E. coast of U 48 was the first boat to sight the convoy and she sank 2 steamers and
England off Pentland Firth. There is constant lively traffic there. took over as shadower. During the day U 99 and U 100 made successful
attacks; U 65 attacked without success. U 103, U 123 left Kiel.
U 137 left Stavanger, as her further retention there for a special
operation cannot be justified. U 59 entered Lorient.

U 47 made contact with an inward-bound convoy. At the same time The Italians accepted, in part only, B.d.U.'s suggestion that their boats
Radio Intelligence Service picked up enemy course instructions for a be left in operations areas not only for a certain period ordered, but until
convoy coming from the west. It was first thought that these convoys their supplies were exhausted. The boats are now to remain three days
were one and the same, because the course at first reported by the boat longer in their operations area.
corresponded approximately to that given by Radio Intelligence. All boats
in the vicinity were therefore ordered to attacking positions on the enemy's 22.9.1940. U 100 was driven off by destroyers which had meanwhile
course which would give them a chance to contact the enemy in daylight. reached the convoy. This inward-bound convoy was attacked altogether
Later reports from U 47 showed clearly, however, that the convoy was by 5 boats, which were originally up to 380 miles away from the first point
making a detour to the SE and the boats received orders to operate against of sighting. 13 ships were sunk. This success is thanks to:
it in accordance with shadowing reports from U 47. 1) early intelligence of the convoy far west when the escort was still
2) correct tactical procedure of boats as shadowers and operating over a
wide area.
- 109 - 3) favorable weather.

U 47 had already fired all her torpedoes beforehand and some of the
other boats had only a few left.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
Actions during the last few days have shown that the principles and Sea State, Illumination, Events
established in peacetime for use of radio in sight of the enemy and the Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
training of U-boats for attacks on convoys were correct.

U 138 reported 4 steamers, totaling 29,000 tons, sunk from another

convoy N. of Ireland. This boat is returning to Lorient.

U 46 left St Nazaire after short repairs in dock. medium and large boats, which have sufficient speed to operate over
long stretches and haul ahead, will be between 190 and 120 W and 2 small
23.9.1940. U 47 reported a total success of 6 steamers totaling 40,250 boats immediately off the North Channel.
tons and one freighter, 4,000 tons, damaged. She is returning to Lorient.
Our own catapult ship "Ostmark" was torpedoed off Belle Isle and
24.9.1940. U 37, 61 left Lorient. minefields have been detected near Pen March. I have therefore given
orders for boats leaving Atlantic ports to make a passage report by short
U 29 shadowed an outward-bound convoy and brought up U 31 and U signal when passing 100 W so as to be certain that they have got through
43. No successes have been reported either by the boats or by Radio the danger area.
Intelligence (U 31 reported a miss only).
25.9.1940. U 38 left Lorient.
During the next few days there will be up to 10 boats operating off the
North Channel and it is suspected that the convoys are now passing S. of U 48, 65, 99, 100 left Lorient.
Rockall Bank. I have therefore decided on a new form of disposition
which will extend further to the west and will be narrower in a N-S All these boats operated from Lorient off the North Channel and some
direction. 2 boats will be far to the west (including one weather boat) very successfully. They all attacked the convoy on 20, 21 and 22.9.
approximately at 230 W; 5-6
Successes: U 48 9 steamers totaling 51,896 tons and the gunboat
- 110 - U 65 2 steamers totaling 12,200 tons, several regrettable misses.
U 99 9 steamers totaling 25,498 tons and 2 steamers of unknown
U 100 3 tankers, 5 steamers totaling 61,300 tons within 3 hours on 22.9.

26.9.1940 U 137 reported 4 steamers attacked from convoy: 2 sunk, 1 and Sea State, Illumination, Events
on fire, 1 probably sunk. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 32 reported 4 steamers sunk totaling 23,735 tons.

U 29 was in contact with a convoy. Wrong squares were given in the

first reports and no other boat succeeded in attacking.
U 29 herself had to break off the pursuit owing to engine defects. 27.9.1940. U 46 has had to start on her return passage because of
jamming of the hydrophones. She reported at the same time 2 freighters
U 47, U 138 entered Lorient. sunk.

U 47 did excellent work off the North Channel and as weather boat W. There was an air attack on Lorient. There was damage to military
of Rockall and as shadower. She sank 6 steamers totaling about 40,250 installations, but several U-boat men and personnel belonging to shore
tons and brought all the other boats up to the convoy. stations were killed or wounded.

U 138, immediately off the North Channel, sank or severely damaged 28.9.1940. Nothing to report.
4 steamers totaling 29,000 tons. U 138 was attacked with a 4-fan by a
submerged S/M , on her way into Lorient. Later both boats were 29.9.1940. U 46 entered St. Nazaire.
unsuccessfully attacked by an a/c. I am therefore forced to ask for fighter
escort for inward-bound boats in the future, so that on the one hand enemy U 137 entered Lorient.
S/M's are forced to dive before our own U-boats arrive and on the other
there is some defense against enemy a/c. This requirement cannot be met U 32 shadowed an outward-bound convoy and attacked.
at the moment, however, as there are not enough a/c. Group Command
will support my request for bases for Naval a/c on the Atlantic coast. 30.9.1940. U 31 and U 38 each reported an outward-bound convoy. U
31 last contact during the night after she had been fired upon by an enemy
S/M which apparently formed part of the escort. U 38 also lost contact
- 111 - without bringing up another boat.

Visit to F.O. Italian Atlantic boats, Rear-Admiral PARONA, in

Apart from a general exchange of views, the main object of the visit was
to discuss the operation of the Italian U-boats shortly to leave Bordeaux.
These, and other boats leaving Bordeaux later, will be controlled from
there while boats sailing from Italian ports are controlled from Rome. The
general impression received was that the Italians were very ready to
Date Position, Wind, Weather cooperate and willing to accept control by B.d.U., especially in view of
our greater experience of war. The Italians, on the other hand, appear to be
sadly lacking in war experience. I therefore consider, the first patrols of will shadow even if this leads them into the German boat's areas.
boats leaving Italy for the Azores, where there should not be much enemy Enemy reports will be made to Bordeaux and transmitted on from there by
A/S activity, as good training. T/P to Paris. They are expected to take an hour. The Italians are equipped
The aim will be later to operate the Italians in the more promising, but with our recognition signals and there are no misgivings therefore on
increasingly strongly defended northern areas. either side about operating German and Italian boats in the same area. The
The first 3 boats will leave Bordeaux on about 5 October. German boats will be given large-scale silhouettes of the Italian U-boats,
They are to operate as follows: as confusion is more likely between Italian and English than between
They will be disposed SW of our own boats off the North Channel in German and English S/M's. Operation in the Freetown sea area is under
approximately the following areas: consideration for the large Italian boats.
a) square AL 18 and AL 01 and W. of this
b) S. of these boats as far as the line square 5451 to 7147
c) AL 55 and AL 58 and W. of this as far as the dividing line between c) (Signed): Dönitz.
and b).

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

The weather boat's area will be reduced accordingly. The Italian U-
boats will attack on making contact with the enemy and 1 - 15 October 1940

- 112 -

Date Position, Wind, Weather

and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

1.10 Positions of U-boats:

In the Atlantic operations area: U 31, 32, 37, 38, 43, 60, 61, 103, 123.
On return passage off Lorient: U 29.
In Lorient: U 28, 47, 48, 58, 59, 65, 99, 100, 101, 124, 137, 138. 2.10 U 59 left Lorient.
In St. Nazaire: U 46.
In Stettin: U 30.
In Kiel: UA, U 52, 56. - 114 -
The following are now detached for training purposes, besides boats
types IIa and b.: U 62, 139, 140, 141, 142, 34.
U 52 and 94 are temporarily at the disposal of the training flotillas.
The following will join the training flotillas on completing their next
repairs: U 30, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 143.
There are therefore at present available for operations:
6 boats type IIc, 4 of which will go home shortly.
10 boats type VII
7 boats type IX Date Position, Wind, Weather
1 special type (UA) and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
U 29 entered Lorient. She had to put into Bergen for a few days for
repairs on her way out. She hardly encountered any traffic in her
operations area and only met with convoys on her way to Lorient. The
poor condition of her engines was a great disadvantage on operations.
Success: 1 steamer (Emyedin), 6,300 tons.
During the last few days no traffic has been observed in the sea area N. U 31 reported that she was starting on her return passage, because of a
of 58, which has hitherto been used by the English for imports. U 29 crack in her diving tank.
sighted a convoy to the south approximately at the latitude of 51,
approaching the North Channel on a NE course. English air U 38 reported the sinking of "Highland Patriot", 14,172 tons. U 32
reconnaissance also reported an English convoy on the same course off the reported further successes and has now sunk a total of 42,644 tons on this
Porcupine Bank. The English thus seem to be scattering their inward- patrol and damaged a steamer with several gun hits.
bound shipping considerably. As the 5 boats at present on operations can
only effectively cover a restricted area, I have decided to draw them closer U 60 reported on entering Bergen that there had been explosions close
together and search to the SW. The G.A.F. should fly reconnaissance N, to the boat off the North Channel, which caused her to report suspected
NE, S, and SE of the operations area but, in spite of my efforts, has not mines by radio. Details correspond more or less to those given by U 43,
sufficient a/c to do this. The boats thus have to carry out reconnaissance, which had a similar experience about a month ago off the SW coast of
which is not properly their task. They will be disposed in attacking Norway. It is unlikely that mines are involved, but the respective areas
positions, distance apart about 60 miles, i.e. double the maximum visual must nevertheless be regarded as possibly mined and boats have been
range. In taking up those positions they will at the same time survey a informed accordingly.
considerable sea area.
3.10 U 103 reported one weather buoy laid, the second was a dud. - 115 -

4.10 U 61 reported starting on her return passage, no success, all

torpedoes still on board.

There is bad weather in the operations area and off Lorient. Boats
which left Lorient had to return to port, as the escort vessels could not hold
their own against the heavy seas outside the harbor entrance.

5.10 U 60 left Bergen via route GRUEN for Kiel. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
U 28, 48, 101, 124 left Lorient. U 28 is going to dock in St. Nazaire, Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
the remaining boats are proceeding to the operations area off the North

U 58 and 59 have been ordered to operate off the North Channel. If bad
weather continues they are to go to Pentland Firth and take up position off
the W. or E. approach according to weather conditions. a position line from AL 3566 to AM 1985. The boats coming from
Lorient, now S of Ireland, have been ordered to the area A 43 to 51. When
U 93 left Kiel via the Baltic and the Kattegatt for the operations area. they arrive there will be 7 boats covering an area of about 280 miles in
deep quarterline.
6.10 U 61 entered Bergen.
7.10 U 61 left Bergen via route GRUEN for Kiel.
U 32 entered Lorient. This boat again successfully operated against
convoys reported by others and sank 7 ships totaling 39,393 tons within 18 8.10 U 31 entered Lorient. She operated NW of Ireland. Success: 1
days, making full use of her torpedoes and guns. steamer of 4300 tons, 1 small sailing vessel. While attacking a convoy she
was herself attacked by an enemy S/M with torpedoes. Damage forced her
Soon after leaving port U 93 reported a break in one of her periscope to return off Lorient she was again attacked by an enemy S/M with 2 fans
wires. She is proceeding on and repairs will be carried out in Bergen. and afterwards U 31 thought she saw the enemy laying mines. This is
unlikely, but a search will be made.
The reconnaissance line in the SW of the operations area has not so far
intercepted a convoy. Reconnaissance must now be carried out to the N. U 60 entered Kiel.
across the inward routes. The boats will turn and cruise through the center
of the operations area on a NE course to U 93 entered Bergen to repair her periscope.

U 138 left Lorient.

9.10 U 93 left Bergen for Atlantic operations area.

The line of U-boats consisting of U 123, 103, 48, 38 and 37 has now
arrived W. of Rockall Bank. Nothing was found on passage northward at
right angles to the inward routes. Today however, U 103 reported an
inward-bound convoy and shadowed until she was driven off with D/C's. Date Position, Wind, Weather
Although I took action, none of the boats was able to keep in contact, very and Sea State, Illumination, Events
bad visibility and heavy seas reduced their speed, made their position Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
uncertain and made it impossible to use their armament. As a last attempt,
the boats have been ordered to form a patrol line ahead of the convoy by
A.M. 10.10.

In accordance with instructions from Naval War Staff, U 65 is to operate

off Freetown base, which has now become important. Freetown is used as U 58 reported the sinking of an English ship type "Clan Mac Arthur",
a base for all convoys in the E. Atlantic and heavily occupied and there is a 10,528 tons.
lot of traffic; defenses are thought to be weak, as so far none of our forces
have appeared in this sea area. A surprise operation should lead to U 48 encountered a convoy in her operations area which is fairly far
considerable actual success in sinking valuable units, in addition to the west, and shadowed and attacked in spite of bad weather (she reported
desired diversionary effect. wind force 9, visibility 1/2 mile). U 48 was ordered to make beacon
signals to bring up other boats. Contact was lost during the night after U
10.10 The convoy reported by U 103 was not found again, owing to fog. 48 had sunk 3 steamers.
The boats have therefore again been redisposed, concentrating around the
Rockall Bank, as inward-bound traffic apparently steers for this point. U 100 left Lorient, U 28 St. Nazaire.

An Italian U-boat S. of Cape St. Vincent reported a convoy bound for 12.10 U 59 reported the sinking of 2 steamers, 1 type "Pacific Ranger",
England. Attempts to shadow failed, because the Italians have not been 6,000 tons, and 1 type "Loch Geil", 9,000 tons.
trained for this type of warfare. They are only prepared for attacks on
warships and bases, and they have neither practiced holding a convoy and According to radio intelligence an Italian (Argo or Tacroli) sank the
bringing up other boats nor is their communications equipment and Yugoslav S.S. "Orav" 5,135 tons S. of Cape St. Vincent. There may have
procedure suited to such an operation. been a second success.

Contact with the convoy was not regained during the day because of bad
- 116 - visibility and heavy seas, even though there must have been 6 boats in the
vicinity. The convoy is now approaching the coastal zone, strongly
patrolled by a/c and surface forces, and no improvement in the weather is
expected in the east. Boats have therefore been ordered to take up their
old positions after dark. 2 boats made a short situation report, which
confirmed the impression I had formed so far: both convoys were only
slightly damaged, although the boat's tactics were correct. The
unfavorable weather was on the enemy's side. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
13.10 U 46 has left St. Nazaire, U 99 Lorient. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 59 started on her return passage to Lorient. She has sunk 2 steamers

totaling 16,300 tons.

14.10 U 47 left Lorient.

U 138 is returning, having used all her torpedoes. She sank 2 tankers
U 58 left Bergen for home. totaling about 20,000 tons and damaged S.S. "Dagnin".

U 59 entered Bergen to refuel for her return passage.

(Signed): DÖNITZ
U 43 started on her return passage to Lorient.

U 93 and U 137 each made contact with a convoy and boats in the F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
vicinity were detailed to operate. U 137 soon lost contact but not until she
had sunk the armed S.S. "Devonshhire", 11,100 tons. 16 - 31 October 1940

15.10 U 65 left Lorient for Freetown. She was attacked with torpedoes PG30275
by an English S/M off Lorient.

U 37 is returning to Lorient because her fuel supplies are exhausted.

U 93 lost contact.

Date Position, Wind, Weather

- 117 - and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 93 is still shadowing the outward-bound convoy.

16.10 Position of U-boats: 18.10 Not until midday was a report received from U 38, according to
In operations area: U 37, 38, 48, 93, 101, 103, 123, 124, Malaspina. which at 0200 the convoy was after all further north than expected. It
On passage to operations area: U 46, 47, 99, 28, 100, 65 (to Freetown), remains to be explained why U 38 did not report earlier and did not
Dandolo, Barlarigo, Otaria. pursue.
On return passage to Lorient: U 137, 138, 43.
On return passage home: U 58, 59.
In Kiel: UA. - 119 -

U 103 is returning, having used all her torpedoes. She has sunk 5
steamers totaling 31,000 GRT.

U 93 is shadowing an outward-bound convoy. For the present only U

38 can operate against it.

17.10 Towards 0300 U 48 made contact with an inward-bound convoy in

square AL 3380 (25 ships, 3 gun boats). Date Position, Wind, Weather
The order was given: Attack the convoy reported by U 48 and Sea State, Illumination, Events
This order could not be carried out by: U 38, 93 because of enemy Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
action elsewhere (U 93's convoy). U 28, 47, which are still too far away.
U 124 which as weather boat, is too far west.
U 46, 99, 100, 101, 123 operated against the convoy.
U 48 attacked but soon lost contact and was forced to dive. No further
reports were received and towards midday Operations Control gave the
order "continue to operate against the convoy reported, general direction There is a danger now that the convoy would skirt the patrol line to the
of advance 1200, 8 knots". Towards 1800 a report was received from U 48 north. At 1500 the boats were ordered to operate in accordance with U
giving the last observed position of the convoy at 0930, which was further 38's last report and were given the position by dead reckoning, at 1400.
N, than hitherto reported, and its course which was also further north and This order was hardly carried out however, because at 1800 U 101 made
could obviously only be steered for a time. contact and brought up the other boats.
This must have confused the boats. They were therefore ordered to
form patrol line by 0800/18 which will be at right angles to the most U 93 lost her convoy, but soon sighted another outward-bound one,
probable direction of advance and should intercept the convoy in the which she shadowed and which U 124 and Malaspina were able to attack.
morning. U 46, 100, 101 and 123 can reach their positions but not U 28 U 93's reports were transmitted to Bordeaux currently.
and 99.

U 43 sighted a submerged enemy S/M on her way into Lorient. This 20.10 The following ships were sunk during the night from U 47's
boat operated W of England after short repairs in Bergen. During a patrol convoy:
lasting five weeks she sank only one medium-sized steamer. The U 38 2 ships 13,000 GRT
Commanding Officer, who had a good peace-time training, is apparently
past his job and will be relieved. His previous patrol was also
- 120 -
19.10 The convoy first reported by U 48 then by U 38 and U 101 was
attacked by U 46, 99, 101 and 123.
The following were sunk according to reports from the boats:
17.10 U 48 3 ships 21,000 tons:
18/19.10 U 46 4 ships 21,000 "
U 99 7 ships 45,000 "
U 100 3 ships 14,000 "
U 101 8 ships 51,000 "
U 123 5 ships 44,000 " Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
30 ships 196,000 tons. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 99, 101, and 123 started on their return passage having used all their

U 47 sighted another inward-bound convoy in the morning in square AL U 46 3 ships 23,000 GRT
0243 and shadowed. U 46 and 100 from the last convoy should be able to U 47 8 ships 50,500 "
operate against it, U 38 and 48 from the north, and U 28 which should U 48 1 ship 7,000 "
have arrived in the operations area meanwhile. U 100 3 ships 19,600 "

U 93 shadowed the outward-bound convoy until evening but no other 17 ships 113,100 GRT
boats managed to attack. She lost contact in about 300 W.
By joint attack during the last 3 days 7 U-boats with 300 men have sunk
U 103 entered Lorient. As a subsidiary operations, she laid weather 47 ships totaling about 310,000 GRT. A colossal success.
buoys and the sunk 6 vessels totaling about 35,986 tons. Conclusions:
1) The operations prove that the principle of which the development of
U 31 left Lorient. U-boat tactics and training has been based since 1935, namely that of
countering concentration in convoys with a concentration of U-boats,
attacks, was right. This concentration has been made possible by the 21.10 Group Command West has been requested to lay barrages to
development of communications since the World War. protect
2) Such operations can only be carried out with Commanding Officers and
crews which are thoroughly trained for them. It follows that there must be
extensive and long training in wide sea areas. This training would not be
possible if we did not have the Baltic Sea free of enemy interference.
3) Such operations can only be carried out if there are enough U-boats in
the operations area. In this war this is so far only been the case from time
to time.
4) The more U-boats there are in operations area the more frequently such
operations will be possible.
5) Also, if there were more boats, the English supply routes would not be - 121 -
left free of U-boats after such attacks because, as today nearly all the boats
have to return because they have used all their torpedoes.
6) Successes such as in these operations can not always be expected. BAd
weather and other circumstances can sometimes ruin every chance.

The main thing however will always be the ability of the C.O.

U 31 reported that she was again fired upon on leaving Lorient.

After the great success in the attacks on the 2 convoys, most of the boats Date Position, Wind, Weather
have no torpedoes left and are proceeding to Lorient (U 47, 99, 100, 103, and Sea State, Illumination, Events
123, 38, 101). Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

U 124, 46 and 28 are the only boats left in the operations area and U 46
has only 2 stern torpedoes left so that it is useless to keep her back any
longer. She will only remain for another 2 days. U 124 will act as weather
boat N of 560 22 N in square AL 23 to 26, U 28 will act as weather boat
off Rockall Bank. The Italian U-boats which have meanwhile arrived in the approach routes to Lorient against S/M attack and minelayers.
the operations area will be sent 100 seamiles further E. They will than be
in the area in which our own boats picked up several convoys and which is 22.10 U 37, 99 entered Lorient.
at present estimated to be promising.
U 37 sank 6 steamers in her operations area off the North Channel,
totaling 31,545 tons.
engine only. She was ordered to go to Kristiansand, which is the nearest
U 99 sank 6 ships during the night 19/20.10, totaling 38,606 tons. Her port (135 miles). Group Command North will provide fighter protection
whole patrol only lasted 9 days. by 2 aircraft and escort by 2 S/M chasers.

23.10 U 47, 100, 123 entered Lorient. B.d.U. reported to the Führer on U-boat operations from 17 - 20
October (attacks on convoys in the Rockall Bank area) and on general
U 47 shadowed the convoy she sighted excellently, so that U 48, 38, 100 questions affecting U-boat warfare.
and 46 reached it, some of them from a long way off. U 47 herself sank 8
ships totaling about 50,500 GRT within a few hours during the night. Her 26.9 U 46 entered Kristiansand. She left again with escort for Kiel via
patrol also only lasted 9 days. U 100 operated against 2 convoys (U 48 the Baltic approaches, having landed a seriously-wounded man who has
and U 47) and sank or severely damaged 5 ships totaling 38,365 tons, now died.
including one independently-routed vessel.
A successful air attack was made A.M. on "Empress of Britain", 42,000
U 123 made her first patrol from home. She first encountered tons. Radio Intelligence and air reconnaissance confirmed
independently-routed ships and sank 3. She then sank 3 more steamers
from the convoy reported by U 48. Total results: 6 ships totaling 40,943
tons. - 122 -

U 32 left Lorient.

24.10 U 38, 101 entered Lorient.

Now that U 31 has arrived in the operations area, U 28 is to operate

north and U 31 south of 570 30' N.

U 48 has arrived in the sea area SW of Norway. Scheer is to pass Date Position, Wind, Weather
through here on about 26.10 and S/M's are suspected in the vicinity. and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Group Command North had therefore ordered an intensive anti-S/M hunt Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
by aircraft and surface forces for today. U 48 has been withdrawn to the
NW and she is only to proceed south by night provided she can be 30
miles south of Scheer's intended route by morning.

25.10 U 93 entered St. Nazaire.

that the ship was on fire and unable to proceed. Radio Intelligence
U 46 reported that she had been hit by a bomb in square 4394. One established that extensive rescue operations had been started. Ship's
man seriously wounded, boat unable to dive and able to proceed with one position was AM 5455 and U-boats were informed. U 32 is nearest.
29.10 U 29 reported by short signals that she could not make contact
27.10 U 28, 31, 32 are to patrol in an E-W direction W of the North with Ship 21 before 2300. It is doubtful whether she will succeed by
Channel, concentrating in the E. The Italian U-boats Finzi, Bagnolini, night.
Barrico which are on their way out, will take up positions W of this,
between 150 and 200 W. They can reach their positions on about the 29th. U 104's date of operational readiness has been postponed by 9 days.
There are 4 further Italian U-boats at about the same latitude W of 200 W.
This disposition means that the German boats have more difficult positions 30.10 Weather and situation reports from boat show that there has been
in the E while the Italian boats are much further away, certainly outside the very bad weather for several days in the sea area W of the North Channel.
range of air reconnaissance by shore based a/c. It will certainly affect the success of U-boat operations. The operations
area for the weather boat U 124 has been extended E. as far as 160 W.
U 31 sighted an outward-bound convoy towards midday in square 6335
AL. U 99 left Lorient for an operations area W of the North Channel.

The Italian F.O. U-boats was informed and ordered the 4 Italian U-boats 31.10 U 29 entered Brest according to plan as escort for Ship 21. She
already in the ops. area once to operate against it. No further reports were will probably leave on November 2nd after refueling.
received, and U 31 was asked if she was still shadowing. She replied not.
The Italian boats nevertheless continued. (Signed): DÖNITZ

Report by C.O. of U 38 his boat sank 5 steamers totaling 36,225 GRT.

Nothing special to note on this patrol. Report by C.O. of U 101: his boat
sank 9 steamers totaling 47,779 tons. 8 of them from a convoy, and also
badly damaged a 3,5oo ton steamer. This were very good patrols in which
the Commanding Officers made determined use of every chance they had F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log
against the convoy.
1 - 15 November 1940
28.10 U 32 reported that she has sunk the "Empress of Britain"
Group Command West requested that a boat be made available as the
escort for Ship 21 returning with damaged engines, which last night
reported her position in square 6441 BE via Italian U-boat. U 29 was the
only boat in the vicinity and was given orders accordingly. A radio
message from U 29 indicates that the rendezvous is not likely to take place
before dawn on 29.10. because the boat has engine trouble and the weather
is apparently very bad. Date Position, Wind, Weather
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
U 124 reported a total of 28,813 tons sunk. She has 1 stern torpedo
left. She is to remain as weather boat until U 99 arrives.

An Italian U-boat made contact with a group of 10 - 20 steamers

1.11. Positions of U-boats at 0800 1 November: without escort in square 3995 AL. The report did not give their courses
In the operations area: and contact was apparently lost again. Our own boats could not therefore
U 28 - AM 29 be directed to operate.
U 31 - AM 43
U 32 - AM 46 2.11. The Italian U-boats reported that the steamers were steering S.E.
U 124 - AL 26 as weather boat. too late. The only value of this report lies in the fact that it indicated that
Italian U-boats: there is traffic in this area.
J 6 - AL 27
J 16 - AL 29
J 25 - AL 52 - 124 -
J 15 - AL 65
J 2 - AL 38
J 10 - AL 03
Outward passage: U 99 - BF 42 to relieve U 124 as weather boat.
J 7 - AL 99
J 5, J7 left the Ginonde
5 Italian U-boats on their way to the Atlantic are still in the
Mediterranean Date Position, Wind, Weather
On return Passage: None of our own boats, the following Italian: and Sea State, Illumination, Events
J 4, 12, 21, 22 in the area N.W. of Spain. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
The following will be ready for operations by the middle of November.
3 November: U 43, 93, 100, 103, Lorient and St. Nazaire.
13 November: U 123 Lorient
Approximately 14 November U 104 Wilhelmshaven.

At the suggestion of B.d.U. the Ops. area for the Italian U-boats have U 28, 31 and 32 were ordered to make a situation report by short signal.
been changed. They will patrol at the latitude of the North Channel in an U 28 reported: no traffic.
E-W direction corresponding approximately to the movements of our own
boats. There will be no dividing line, but our U-boats have orders to U 29 left Brest for the operations area.
concentrate their activity in the E.
3.11. U 47 and U 137 left Lorient for the Operations area. 45" was established by radio intelligence. "Outward" Gibraltar and
outward-bound convoy. The boat was sighted by day 6 miles off
U 31 and U 32 have not yet made situation reports as ordered. One according to a radio intelligence report: she probably did not get close up
Italian U-boat Malespina, on her return passage, has also been asked to to the convoy therefore. Contact was lost at dusk and not regained.
report the situation. I must have an idea of the traffic situation in the area
at present occupied by U-boats. 5.11. Passage report from U 29 from BF 18.

According to an a/c and a radio intelligence report there are at present 2 U 138 left Lorient to operate W. of the North Channel.
convoys in the area W of Ireland. There are no details of course and
speed. The U-boat cannot therefore be directed to operate but the reports The Italian F.O. U-boat Rear Admiral PAPONA, visited B.d.U. to
confirm that there is traffic in this area, as was supposed. discuss:

4.11. U 99 reported sinking:

Laurentic 18,724 tons - 125 -
Patroclus 11,314 "
Casanare 5,376 "
Total 35,414 tons.

Another great success for this boat. Her C.O. has now sunk 217,198
and is the second to pass the 200,000 tons mark. He was awarded the Oak
Leaves to the Knights Cross the same day.

U 31 and U 32 have still not made their situation reports as ordered Date Position, Wind, Weather
another signal has been made to them. I am beginning to be worried about and Sea State, Illumination, Events
these boats. Enemy reports do not give any clue with regard to them. Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.

At 1530 U 99 contact with an inward-bound convoy of 30 ships

including several tankers, in square AL 6918. Escort 6 gunboats. Contact
was lost for a time but was re-established just before dark and maintained
until morning. During the night U 28 reported her position in the vicinity
of the convoy. She must have operated therefore and there is a chance that 1. All questions of cooperation.
she may have attacked. 2. What measure could be taken to make it easier for the Italians to get
accustomed to war conditions in the Atlantic.
J 6 "Malaspina" reported a second convoy in square 8899 AL at 1630. I adopted the following basic attitude.
She gave contradictory details of course in various messages. No clear A. The main object must be to do as much damage as possible to
idea could be formed of the convoy's movements, until its identity "OG England.
B. I intend to achieve this aim as follows:
1. General operational control, allocation of operation areas, and
decisions as to methods of cooperation must remain in my hands. - 126 -
2. Within the framework of this essential unified supreme control the
Italian F.O. U-boats should have as much independence and responsibility
as possible. The Italian U-boats should not only be made to feel that they
are controlled by Italians, but they should also in fact be so controlled.
3. The Italians will have to learn tactical procedure from us.
Experience hitherto and these already permit a final assessment to be made
- show that this is an indispensable condition if they are to be more
successful. They must also, conform to our tactical methods so as to make
cooperation possible. Taking their character into account, I think this can Date Position, Wind, Weather
best be achieved by showing what they lack in such a way that they realize and Sea State, Illumination, Events
it of their own accord and themselves accept our experiences instead of Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
having our ways forced upon them rudely and suddenly.
C. 1. In order to give them the benefit of our experiences the available
Commanding Officers are now being sent out to GDYNIA for a short
course and to take part in tactical training.
2. Italian Commanding Officers have made long trips in our U-boats.
It is also intended to carry out tactical exercises for boats in operated against this convoy.
Bordeaux in southern Biscay, under the direction of the Liaison Officer
(Lieut. Commander ROSING) in an advisory capacity, as this should be U 29 has been detailed to relieve U 124 as weather boat.
the quickest way of giving the C.O.'s the experience which they lack. The
risk to the U-boats from enemy action will have to be accepted. The U 28 operated against U 99's convoy, 3 misses.
danger is only slight in this area and the training even if short can be
expected to give a distinct advantage. Enemy news service announced the sinking of 2 German U-boats,
including the boat which sank the "Empress of Britain" (i.e. U 32). Part of
Radio Intelligence Service reported that the convoy sighted by the crew of the latter is said to have been rescued.
Malaspina had dispersed and was making for a new assembly point P.M.
on the 6th. U 28 was then allocated the whole area W. of the North Channel as ops.
In the afternoon U 99 regained contact with her convoy of the previous
day. She lost it again some hours later and reported all torpedoes used: I suspect that the enemy is again sending out A/S groups. Increased
one tanker. She was ordered to return. precautions are necessary and these precautions must cover the use of
radio. The boats have been given orders accordingly.
It remains to be seen what extent Italian U-boats
W. of the U-boats operations area "Scheer" attacked several steamers, - 127 -
probably a convoy. Apart from their great immediate effect, from my
point of view such actions, especially in the vicinity of the U-boats' ops.
areas should mean:
1. Less anti-S/M activity.
2. Increased prospects of attacking warships.

6.11. U 28 reported that she was returning owing to lack of fuel. She has
apparently only sunk one medium-sized steamer.
Date Position, Wind, Weather
U 65 reported by short signal that she would not be at the rendezvous and Sea State, Illumination, Events
with "Nordmark" before 11 - 14 November. Reception conditions were Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
good in her ops. area.

7.11. U 138 made her passage report on her way out to the operations
area. Otherwise nothing to report.

8.11. U 29 has reached her position for weather reporting. U 124 is damaged warship failed because details of course and speed were not
relieved and will return. obtained from the a/c in time.

9.11. U 43 and U 103 left Lorient for the operations area. U 43 returned 10.11. U 43 left Lorient for the operations areas, but had to turn back
to port the same day because of technical defects. again in the evening because of an oil trace and other defects discovered
while test-diving to great depths. Delays such as this must be expected as
Ops. areas allocated for boats which have sailed or which will now sail. long as no thorough trial runs can be made at the end of a period in the
Disposition W of the North Channel: the small boats (U 137, 138) dockyard.
patrolling E-W immediately off the entrance to the Channel, the large
boats N and S of this, concentrating off 160 W. 11.11. U 65 reported that she had supplied from the supply ship. She
The object of this broad disposition is to establish what routes shipping was probably sighted by civil a/c. Air routes will therefore have to be
is following at the moment, as there has been little information on this taken into consideration when determining the rendezvous. The boat
subject for for some time. It is intended to concentrate all large boats reported nothing of successes or traffic.
when a clear idea has been formed.
B.d.U. Ops. Department moved to Kerneval near Lorient. Control was
Our a/c attacked the "Empress of Japan" W. of Ireland. An attempt to taken over by this establishment at 0900.
operated U-boats against the
12.11. U 104 left Kiel via the Baltic for the operations area.

U 137 and 138 ordered to make situation reports by short signal. From
their reports I hope to get an idea of the main direction of traffic from the
North Channel. Both boats reported their position, but U 138 only: no
Date Position, Wind, Weather
13.11. U 124 entered Lorient. She was mainly stationed in the remote and Sea State, Illumination, Events
weather-reporting area, but nevertheless sank 5 steamers totaling 28,813 Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc.
tons. A very well executed patrol which requires no further comment.

14.11. Weather reports from boats detailed for this show that on the
whole weather conditions have become calmer, W. of the North Channel.
USe of armament at least still seems possible. Although visibility was
reported good, the boats stationed there have not found any traffic, which very wide sea area and each of them can only cover a small section at a
fact they reported in turn by short signal. time. I therefore consider it extremely desireable, if at all possible, to fly
air reconnaissance of the relevant sea areas. This is the most effective
U 123 left Lorient for the operations area. means of supporting U-boat operations. Group Commands North and
West have suitable a/c available. I made a request to both Group
15.11. U 93 and U 100 were ordered to concentrate further E. to 90 W. Commands for:
There can be no doubt that a large part of the enemy traffic makes for the 1. Air reconnaissance in the area NW of Scotland.
North Channel. If no shipping approaches from the W. it must be coming 2. Air reconnaissance of the SW route in the area between 520 30' N and
from the SW or N. The order given to U 93 and U 100 is intended to 540 30' N between 120 W and 180 W.
provide reconnaissance of the northern route.
In accordance with their small experience, 2 Italian U-boats which
sailed recently, will occupy remote ops. area on the SW route. This request is covered by a requirement made by Naval War Staff to
I also decided to let all boats W of 150 (including the Italians) report the Group Commands.
daily by short signal. The risk of their giving away their position can be
regarded as slight, and I have hopes these reports will provide some clue U 28 entered Wilhelmshaven.
as to the best disposition to be made. Only an incomplete picture can of
course be formed, as there are very few boats, to cover a
(Signed): Dönitz.

- 128 -
F.d.U./B.d.U.'S War Log

16 - 30 November 1940

PG30277 Group Command agreed to the air reconnaissance requested and
ordered it to be carried out today. U 47 and 93 reported no traffic, but U
103 sighted an inward-bound convoy in the area SW of Ireland (square
AM 4475). She apparently lost contact. She made no further report after
the first. It was only in the evening that U 103 reported contact lost, use of
armament impossible because of weather. It is unsatisfactory that this
report was received do late. It will have to be seen when the boats return
Date Position, Wind, Weather if it really could not have been made earlier.
and Sea State, Illumination, Events
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. U 137 sighted an outward-bound convoy in square AM 5159 and
shadowed it until evening. She reported inward and outward bound traffic
in a direction 250 from the North Channel. The air reconnaissance
planned could only be carried out in part in the NW, as one a/c crashed.
No enemy units were sighted. It is planned to continue the reconnaissance
for the SW area on 17 November. I requested Group Command West to
16.11. Positions at 0700 16 November. continue on the following days and they agreed.
In the operations area:
U 29 square AL 2650 (weather boat) 17.11. U 52 left Kiel, U 43 Lorient for the operations area.
U 100 3660
U 93 3850 U 104 entered Bergen because of defective gyro-equipment. A slight
U 47 3930 (weather boat) alteration has been made in the disposition of the boats. The majority have
U 103 square AM 4470 been concentrated in the area WSW of the North Channel, where there
U 137 0250 appeared to be more traffic at present than in the north.
U 138 5150
U 104 AN 3110 on outward passage A report was received of a convoy route from the south, then along the
U 123 BF 4430 " " " Irish coast through the St. George's Channel to England. This is the first
U 65 ES 56 " " " definite information that we have had for a long time of a route through
this area.
Also 9 Italian U-boats in the operations area W of the North Channel.
On return passage in route GPUN: U 28. 18.11. - 19.11. U 137 reported that she was returning - 4 steamers
In Kiel: U A, U 46, 48, 52, 94, 95, 140. totaling 23,887 GRT. Soon after U 138 also reported that she was
In Lorient: U 37, 38, 43, 99, 101, 124., returning because of
Ready for operations by end of November: U 37, 43, 52, 94, 95, 99,
101, 140.
- 130 -

were ordered to new ops. areas, concentrating W to SW of the North

U 65 reported:
1) 4 steamers totaling about 21,000 GRT sunk within 2 days
2) Heavy traffic.
Conditions did not seem to warrant large-scale surprise attacks and she
Date Position, Wind, Weather therefore attacked small independently routed targets. One Admiralty U-
and Sea State, Illumination, Events boats warning shows that her presence there has meanwhile become
Time Air Pressure, Moonlight etc. known. As her report sounds so promising, I have decided to let her
supply again from the supply ship, probably on about 28 November.

20.11. U 94, 95 and 140 left Kiel via the Kattegatt for the operations area
W of the North Channel. I intend to send these new inexperienced boats to
areas far to the west, so that they will not be at once confronted with very
a thrust bearing which has run. Both boats will proceed to home ports difficult operations.
via Bergen.
U 93 sighted a destroyer which has probably been brought from the
At 1840 U 137 made contact with an outward-bound convoy in square U.S.A.
AM 5731, consisting partly of very large ships. It was zig-zagging at
about 15 knots. The boat lost sight of the convoy at 2220 and after that 21.11. Nothing to report.
several times reported a receding hydrophone bearing. THis small boat
did not succeed in regaining sight of the fast enemy formation but her 22.11 Weather conditions are very variable in the operations area,
reports brought up U 100 and U 145. She reported 7 steamers and 4 according to the weather reports. Mainly over 6, but at times much less,
destroyers. After U 100 arrived, U 137 continued on her return passage. visibility about 10 miles.
U 100 shadowed the convoy until 0641, then she too lost contact,
apparently owing to rising seas. Mean while U 47 had also reached the U 137 entered Bergen.
convoy. She reported as 0405 3 misses, one tube-runner and one surface
runner. Air reconnaissance was flown at daybreak over the area through
which the convoy was believed to be proceeding, but no results were
obtained because of bad visibility. 4 Italian U-boats which were in very - 131 -
favorable positions and were also ordered to operate, did not report and
apparently did not sight it. In the afternoon it had to be accepted that
contact was lost for good. Boats were ordered to report their positions by
short signal. These showed that U 93 and U 103 had also succeeded in
reaching the convoy. No reports of successes were received. The boats