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Leandros 12-09-13 07:59 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Mar. 071818lst 1944 - North Trinidad - Patrol 24

We just intercepted two tankers with our radar set. Turned out to be Colombian - neutrals. They were proceeding with full nav lights and were not armed. Just as we turned away to continue on our westbound course our RWR detected aircraft coming from the direction of Trinidad. Most probably warned by the tankers. Should have sunk them, anyway. They are not neutrals if they warn the enemy on our whereabouts. However, no radio traffic was intercepted. Maybe a lack in our equipment? Proceeding submerged. The Beaufighters had a good clue on where we dived, obviously radar-equipped, as we received some slight damage on the boat topside. Don't know how much untill we are up again. Soon now.

There is quite a lot of patrol boat activity - MTB's, too. They seemingly have both radar and sonar listening devices.

Getting the hang of the Schnorkel now. The clue is obviously to use it sparingly, not for regular cruise but just for charging batteries and circulating the air when necessary and cruise on the surface in daylight, if possible, for charging with radar switched on. Even if that can reveal our position we should have time to get under and sidestep any oncoming enemies.

Don't see the cost-effectiveness in sending us all the way over here.

Fred



Leandros 12-09-13 02:54 PM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Mar. 120354 lst 1944 - SW EE61 - Patrol 24

What a total waste of time. Had to give up going into the Caribbean as too much air and sea patrols. Were bombed twice while submerged. Mystery....luckily only damage on the topside.

No activity so decided to look in at Bridgetown, Barbados. An ASW trawler was patrolling outside the harbour so torpedoed it to get a clean way in. Another ASW was anchored along the shore. Went in but nothing to see except some fires.

As we turned to leave the other ASW started up and followed us out. Considered this to be an easy match but this ASW was totally untouchable to magnetic torps. Wasted four on him before I was able to line him up for an aft shot with a TI on impact fuze. Hit him straight in the side at 500 meters. Used two torps on the first one, too. Now we are down to only two, one aft and one forward. The Bold 2's worked fine.

Have set course for U-488 - soon halfway now. We still have more than 50 % diesel but I want to top up with torps for the rest of the journey. Hopefully we find something to use the two remaining on. Out of deck gun shells, too. Full load of AA ammo. Weather is very nice.

Hals und Beinbruch!

Fred



Leandros 12-09-13 04:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Apr. 261757 lst 1944 - NE CF86 - Patrol 25

Patrol 25 because one gets a new number after having visited a Milchkuhe for replenishment. Also the usual daft torpedo selection, mainly TIII's and a few TI's on deck. Well, we do have 1 Falke in one of the aft tubes. That's all.

Well, look here, here comes a little convoy....this gives me the creeps. It's going to run us right over and the weather is lousy with heavy snowshowers. Probably a dozen escorts, too, if the sonar operator is to be believed. He's usually right. I'll take this very easy. Not too much maneuvering but use what opportunities offer itself. The crux is to get away with it. Not much to defend oneself with, either.

Well, here we go...

Fred

Leandros 12-10-13 03:35 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Apr. 270235 lst 1944 - NE CF83 - Patrol 25

Wow, we got away with it but not much to show for it. The convoy run us over very nicely but very little to see as visibility was down to 100-200 meters. Had to maneuver once to avoid collision with a tramp steamer. Fired half a dozen torps on sonar guidance and registered two hits. One was heard to go down.

Lay dead still on periscope depth after the convoy had passed completely. One escort was looking for us but never came closer than approx. 700 meters.

We have been on the surface for a few hours now and have reloaded tubes and spare torpedoes. Still have 15 torps left. We have been working ourselves ahead of the convoy again using the escort radar emissions. Hoping for better visibility, if not weather, this is a mess.

Fred


nionios 12-10-13 04:57 AM

Dark ship
 
I don't know if this is the right topic but it does have some relation:I am in September 1939, patrolling off the Norwegian coast (AF87) and I encountered a Norwegian coastal tanker with no lights:hmmm:.From the first time i guessed it was an allied ship (not neutral) and i intended to attack it:up: but I confirmed its flag at a range of 900m :/\\!!.Is it possible for a neutral ship to travel without lights?

Leandros 12-10-13 05:37 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Apr. 290231 lst 1944 - N CF36 - Patrol 25

We lost the convoy. It's mornings like this you want this thing to soon be over.

Planning to proceed to the north-eastern corner of Spain and use the rest of out torpedoes there - if we find any targets. Then a quick dash home.

Fred

Leandros 12-10-13 07:05 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - May 030707 lst 1944 - W BE95 - Patrol 25
The new patrol area paid off. Discovered two large merchants by radar last night and cut them off. Beautiful weather and we are just laying still letting the radar do the work. No air patrols, no ASW patrols, but we have a sharp AA readiness - 8 20 mm barrels...!
Fred



Leandros 12-10-13 11:37 AM

5 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - May 112325 lst 1944 - Lorient Patrol 25

Just entered the U-boat-bunker in Lorient. What a relief! We left Lorient on February 17th, crossed the Atlantic to Barbados via U-488 in the mid-Atlantic. Returned via U-488, too, where we refuelled and replenished (therefore 2 patrols). Outside the north-western corner of Spain we hit on two different convoys. We were able to sink all the escorts of the last one, caught up with it again with our two remaining torps - and ended the day by emptying our deck gun ammo stores again. That took care of a couple of more merchants after dark.

There has been some problems with the torps, particularly four TI's on magnetic which we wasted on an ASW trawler outside Bridgetown. Either the ASW was perfectly degaussed or the torps were duds. There were a couple of others with problems. The sole Falke we brought with us tracked the target but never went off. The boat itself has behaved beautifully. Wonder how long they'll let me keep my very experienced crew....?

A lot of air activity north of Trinidad, otherwise very little untill we approached the outer Biscaya on the return trip - Sunderlands, Mosquitos and rocket-equipped B-24's. When we met those we knew there were some convoys close. Actually a Mossie pushed us under at which our sonar detected a convoy quite close. It had not shown up on our radar.

I have pondered a lot on how to tackle the large convoys with their extensive escort forces. To sink the merchants and not spend all torps on the escorts. It came to me when we were laying "under" that convoy with the extremely miserable weather above. Lined up inside the convoy, in the direction of the convoy's course, one could let off homing torpedoes with a few minutes spacing and a little spread using only the sonar and the manual aiming device. They would certainly hitch up to the several dozens of ships ahead of them.

Beautiful summer in France now, the whole crew is off to a small village in-country. There is a little too much attention by the Bomber Command around the harbour and bunker and much talk about the Allies coming over soon but I am sure they need another year before they dare take the leap. Then we shall certainly have our new super-boats and plenty of homing torps. I built up some goodwill again with this trip. Hopefully we shall get the new RWR and Bold 3 before we leave again. And a lot of homing torps.

Fred



GoldenRivet 12-10-13 03:23 PM

What am I up to in my current Campaign???


I'm currently awaiting roll call and afternoon calisthenics, afterwards i will be scavenging the mess hall for any sort of implement that can be used for excavation and earth moving. The plan is to make a successful escape before Christmas. No place to go really, desert in ever direction as far as we could probably care to think about. Rumors of a river which can be rafted have circulated but i doubt it will lead to any place of consequence. Given my feelings of the futility of going afoot in the Arizona badlands i have volunteered to stay with the group of men who will remain behind and organize some sort of distraction on the night of the escape.

KaptLt. Wintergarten
Camp Papago Park, Arizona
November 1944

Leandros 12-10-13 03:54 PM

Why didn't you fly out in the Cub....?

Fred

nataraj 12-11-13 04:51 AM

4th patrol
 
OLt.z.S. Helmut reporting back from 22 days at sea - my 4th patrol.

First two weeks: lots of time to read and study submarine tactics. From different sources I put together a three pager as a quick reference during action: "Contact, Approach, Attack". Came in quite handy during the next couple of days.

Hunting ? Small fry only. Spent 4 torpedoes and 140 shells on 10 ships (27 k tons total), but had about 75% fuel left, so kept looking for larger ships to hunt. Had an eye opening experience with a not so neutral convoy (see earlier report) that kept me hungry...

Then one night / early morning: a convoy, escorted by 2 warships: one A&B class destroyer and one Auxiliary Cruiser. Seems those Aux.Cruisers don't have any ASW gear: the cruiser never chased us, and when we finally looked him in the eye through the periscope, had nothing better to offer than a few shots from his flak.

We were lucky, too: the Aux.Cruiser did not sink immediately, but I had received the "going down" message so I kind of forgot that the ship was still up there when we surfaced to chase two Large Merchants. Only when the cruiser finally went under I realized he should have been shelling us ...

That morning, between 4am and 6am we sunk 2 warships and 4 Large Merchants - 60k tons - with 10 torpedoes and 46 shells.

(full log here)

Back in Wilhelmshaven, I need to dismiss my First Officer - he's ready for promotion to Oberleutnant z.S. and SH Commander suggests he should get his own command. I concur.

Time for a little R&R while they clean the ship.

Happy Holidays, whatever your faith may or may not be,
OLt.z.S. Helmut

Leandros 12-11-13 06:12 AM

2 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - June 4th 1944 - Lorient - Patrol 26

Just cast off in Lorient. Three weeks off is all they gave us after a three-month patrol. We have been assigned the eastern approaches of the Channel. I have decided to go through the channel, we have been promised minesweeping support by the local coastal commands along the route. With escorts and the schnorkel we should be relatively safe.

Have upgraded to Bold 3 and the newest RWR's. Would have liked to have the improved Alberich and radar - the Tarnmatte, too, but there was not enough time for the modifications. Did get three home-sick torps, though....

Nice weather, expect a pleasant trip.....

Fred



the dark knight 12-12-13 12:10 PM

U-552 December 20th, 1940

Grid AM 34

First patrol with our new U-boat, and it was a great one! We encountered an outbound enemy convoy on the way to our patrol grid, south of Ireland, and sank 3 merchants. 1 whale factory ship, 1 large merchant, and 1 medium cargo. The convoy was escorted by 3 black swans. It also looked like the convoy had been attacked a short while before, 2 merchants were on fire, as well as one of the swans. Once again, the swans came looking for me, but they never found me. We escaped to the north, and north of Ireland we ran across a coastal freighter, which we dispatched with our deck gun. Once in our patrol grid, there was one lonely A&B class destroyer. We closed on him, and put a torpedo into his engine room from 900m. He exploded in a huge fireball. There has been nothing for a week, then we get a radio report of a convoy due south of our location! We can make it if we run at flank speed, but this will leave us running on fumes to get home. I decide it is worth the risk. 10 hours later, at midnight, we come upon the convoy. We get in front, dive and wait. This one is escorted by 1 black swan, and 2 hunt I's. We pick out two targets, an Empire freighter, and a medium cargo. We manage to sink both, and once again, slip away unscathed. The allies are horrible with ASW currently, I wonder how many U-boats they are claiming to kill, but are letting slip away. This will not continue much longer I fear.

We are headed home. No torpedo's left, just deck gun ammo and heavy seas. Hopefully the trip home will be uneventful.

Leandros 12-12-13 01:49 PM

U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - June 081200 1944 - Eastern Channel Approaches - Patrol 26

The departure from Lorient didn't turn out to be as peaceful as we had hoped for. We had just turned out of the inner harbor and manned the AA guns when a flight of B-24's came over. Lot of ack-ack from all corners, us included. One was shot down and at least two left with smoke-emitting engines. We weren't credited any of them.




The trip through the Channel went well. Passing north of the Channel Islands we were forced down by two RN MTB's but nothing happened. At two occasions we were attacked by USN SBD's and Avengers. Our gunners were credited with one Avenger. Our escort, a Type 35 minesweeper, a very handy vessel, did good job , too. It has two 10,5 cm. HA guns and 6 20 mm. automatic cannons. With such company we went most of time surfaced. It left us after passing Dieppe.




All the rumours of an invasion seem to be ballony, too, as we saw no sign of any special activity when passing through the Channel.

On the other hand we have recently been overflown, and attacked, on a couple of occasions by carrier aircraft. This conforms well with radar and sonar signals of an enemy force to the east-south-east. They are on a western course, we are proceeding southwards to intercept them.

Fred

Leandros 12-13-13 08:07 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - June 081500 1944 - Eastern Channel Approaches - Patrol 26

Oh, yes - it was a carrier task force all right - turned out to be USS Bogue itself which had lost her way to the southern part of the North Sea - together with 5 escorts. 50 minutes and they were all down. That is, USS Bogue was still afloat but sinking slowly.

Anybody need a lift...? Picture shows the schnorkel on the U-65 which made it possible to catch up with the carrier as she, for some reason, proceeded steadily on 7 knots. Maybe she suffered from previous battle damage...

After having sunk the 5 escorts with some TI's and the two Falkes I sent a Zaunkønig after USS Bogue from a distance of 2.500 meters. It caught on to her nicely and when hitting slowed her down so we could finish her off with two normal torps.

Fred







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