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nodlew 01-01-10 07:33 AM

Settling to the bottom of the North Atlantic
Put to sea in 1944 in a Type XXI, which I'd never tried before. Trusting to its submerged speed, I drove into a very large, well guarded convoy. Bombed and badly damaged by fighters on my approach, made repairs and ran right past the attacking destroyers and struck. My attack left 5 large merchants sunk or sinking, including one Ceramic Type 15,000 tn vessel--lucky hit by a roaming FatI or II. Damaged again, and again by destroyers, finally dove to 160m to try to break off. Scared to dive deeper due to damaged hull. 160m is not safe in 1944--depth-charged to death while trying to sneak away. Bold apparently completely ineffective.
Lessons learned: even with a XXI, batteries run down quickly at flank speed. Battery upgrades would probably improve the sit.
Enemy depth charge attacks later in the war are far more lethal. Need more depth maybe, like 200m.
Don't attack without acoustic torpedoes loaded to deal with escorts.
Maybe wait a patrol or two and upgrade the boat, even a XXI, before attacking large, well-defended convoys.
Maybe 17Kts submerged, while great, does not render good attack position unnecessary.

Panser 01-01-10 11:05 AM

November 25 1939, U-49 (type VIIB) has just departed Kiel on her third patrol heading towards grid AM13 in the North Atlantic.There's a real chance of meeting some juicy targets on this one, what with all the convoys heading to Liverpool that converge in this region. We had some real success around here on our last outing, meeting a fat convoy guarded only by a solitary Flower Corvette, HMS Asphodel. She was despatched with a single torpedo and the heavy seas did the rest, taking her down in seconds. Such a sight is sobering.The convoy itself consisted mainly of smaller merchants with a couple of large cargos and a tanker in the centre, bravely hiding behind a wall of Americans. A Merchant and the tanker were easy prey but the C3 took three eels before she would even think about sliding under the waves.

Morale is high amongst the men as most of them have earned their U-boat war badges, but more importantly are all proudly wearing the Iron Cross, 2nd Class. This particular trinket was courtesy of our raid on Hartlepool docks in which we denied the English two of their V&W Destroyers (Witherington and Valentine), but intelligence reports that we also sent a shipment of aircraft to the bottom along with a tanker of crude oil.

We're in our second day out of Kiel, heading across the North Sea towards our patrol zone via Scapa Flow, the infamous naval base of our new enemy. I'm considering taking us to the south of this dreaded harbour, then we can take a look inside if conditions and the opportunity present themselves. A daring move and perhaps foolhardy, but this crew have proven their skill and dilligence fighting in shallower waters than these. We encountered a lone C2 cargo ship in AN34 that provided easy pickings. Given the clear sky and calm conditions it was a perfect opportunity for Oberleutnant Kimmelmann to show off his gunnery prowess. Admittedly the lords were a tad disappointed, though I think that owes more to their desire to have a little more room. Providing that we encounter no major delays, we should reach Scapa Flow after nightfall tomorrow.

Terragon 01-01-10 04:40 PM


Sometime in February, 1945. (Btw, first patrol did not make me lose renown, since GWX starts on Jan. 1st, you do not gain or lose renown on your first patrol. Thank goodness.)

Morale is very high. Our radio is alive with all sorts of reports. Calls of distress from both enemy and friendly boats. News from the world. We are ordered to sink enemy merchant shipping, but not British warships. Der Fuhrer, does not wish to embarrass the British from coming to the peace table, according to a Bdu report. Fine with us.

Just arrived at AN52, the grid we patrolled before. In a way, we now consider it our property, our patrol grid. No enemy ships want to come in here. This is our grid. But the sea belongs to no one. No one perhaps, except the dead. And tonight, in the blackest of the night, the sea tosses us around in a monster of a storm. The bow crashes into the waves, and lightning strikes from the sky.

Beginning our twenty-four hour patrol.

GlassTrain 01-01-10 05:13 PM

U-72 (Type VIIC) lost with all hands..... December, 1942 in BE36.

Crash dove to 60m while being chased by one fast destroyer during convoy surface attack. Managed to get to 200 meters and almost shook him by hooking back under. Then, the boat wouldn't keep it's depth unless over 1kt. Blow ballast and tried to reset depth to no avail. Destroyer hears boat and several others from the convoy arrive to join in the destruction. After jukin' and jivin' for forty five minutes, one very well placed spread opens up the rear crew quarters and engine room. Blow ballast! Heavy flooding and boat continues past 230m. Pressure hull rapidly imploding..... 338m and boat finally collapses.... no survivors.

U-72 was the longest lasting career in a long time. :nope:

Usually, I use the dive command, or just set the depth without giving any emergency dive order. The boat always comes to the correct depth and 1/2kt is enough to keep level. After testing with a new boat, it's unable to keep it's depth if a deeper one is commanded after the order to crash dive is given. So, I'm going to reset the crash dive depth to 200m (from 60m) and see if it keeps level then. :yep:

KL-alfman 01-01-10 06:49 PM

February, 15th - 1941
had to retreat for the first time from a convoy-attack.
tried twice to infiltrate the convoy in my well tried and tested advance (letting the leading escort sail by and then proceed at PD and silent running into the convoy between first and second column, when in good position releasing all 5eels and then going to 160m), but with now two side-escorts I had to break the run. was detected by ASDIC and escaped at 160m. I quit any further attacks because I have to think about new tactics ......

any helpful guesses?

Terragon 01-01-10 06:59 PM

Not much you can do with that.

Haven't messed with a convoy yet.. But I've read somewhere about Russian sub tactics about being detected on the outside, then breaking off contact...towards the convoy. Supposedly, in this way, by the time the escorts, even with their superior speed, can come back into position, the sub makes its inside attack and breaks off contact again away from the escorts to safety. This was documented in a fictional book called "Red Storm Rising", by Tom Clancy.

It rewards a nervy sub driver.

Panser 01-02-10 06:55 PM

1530h November 28 1939, U-49, AN16

We're just over 3 and a half hours from making landfall on the south-east of the Orkneys, headed directly towards the southern entrance to Scapa Flow. We've encountered a small merchant vessel en-route, spotted whilst it was still under the horizon by our eagle-eyed watchman,Conrad. He continues to impress me and I'll be keeping him under consideration for promotion at the soonest opportunity. Observation suggested she was steaming SSE, so an intercept was plotted and we closed with the merchant to engage her with the deck gun.

The tommies were clearly asleep as we weren't spotted until we were within 1500m, an easy shot with the gun. Immediately they started taking evasive action, but after a shot straight into the bow the crew soon gave up and concentrated on abandoning ship. A few more rounds fired into her waterline and she quickly began settling in the water. I have no doubt that they got off an SOS and quite likely more, so given our proximity to the mainland I ordered the boat down to 20 metres, still following our intercept bearing for ten minutes so we were last seen to be heading SSW. Our main course was resumed and I kept the boat down for another 4 hours. At least if the Royal Navy go searching for us, we'll be keeping a low profile as they search empty sea in the opposite direction!

The men at least seem glad of a rest, though they are joking that I'll be shooting ships with my pistol before we get rid of any torpedoes. The irony of course is that we might soon be getting rid of more than they expect. Now is the time for caution.

Terragon 01-02-10 07:47 PM

End of February, 1939. U-1.

The mens morale is low. We have zigzagged along AN52 for days, much longer than 24 hours. No contacts. The thunderstorm that we met upon entering 'our' grid area. We've moved slowly, taking our time, changing speeds, searching every inch of our grid. No contacts. Frustrated, I send a status report to Bdu...again. Tersely, they reply to engage targets of opportunity at suspected areas of cargo travel.

I crumple the message in my hands at look at the navigation chart. Lately, all of the action was up near Scapa Flow. Tons of cargo...and tons of enemy warships. I decide to stay near the coast and slowly work my way up North, not directly, but slowly weaving back and forth for a maximum search area. When we get a grid or three closer to Scapa Flow, I will reduce my speed even further and be especially adherent to silent running most of the time. This old dugboat can't dive deep... Not even supposed to drive past 100 meters. So we will rely on being cagey for now.

We surface at the edge AN52, the sun is beginning to rise, the stormy weather is almost completely gone. The wind howls against the U-Boat, but the sun is beginning to rise, the waves are gently rocking out boat. She gurgles forward at 1/3rd speed, handling like a champ, her well oiled machinery not hardly making any noise at all.

We consider it a good omen of things to come.

Jimbuna 01-03-10 10:52 AM

Your storyline is growing on me Kaleun Terragon

GlassTrain 01-03-10 06:58 PM

New boat, U-94.....

After 5 patrols out of St. Nazaire, put in for a transfer to La Spezia. Approved! (went through the null rejection and alt tab out of the game routine on the fourth patrol)

Had all kinds of plans to navigate the Strait, when low and behold... they put my crew and I on a train and shipped U-94 to La Spezia via Fed EX to the new port! :rotfl2:

Not very realistic, but hey! :yeah:

Also, it dawned on me why the boat wouldn't hold it's depth after crash diving and non-combat testing proved it. Crash diving to 210m without a command for silent running showed a loss of compressed air. While silent running, the CE isn't able to get rid of the excess ballast needed to dive so fast. So, if you go silent running before he's able to blow it out you're going down. Simple as that.

KL-alfman 01-04-10 03:06 PM

February 1941
Kapitänleutnant Wilhelm Schatz was promoted to commander of the 5th Flotilla.

therefore my first career played in SH3 (GWX3) came to an end. in 14 war-patrols 541k tons could be sunk, no crew lost.

started now a new career (Leutnant Artur Stein) in a IXB (U-110) and have to say that the fire-power this boat has is enormous!
first patrol 10ships with 122k tons were sank by U-110, but there was a lucky shot responsible for:
at the second convoy-attack I've aimed for a large tanker in the middle but due to former explosions this tanker started to zig-zag and so (with just one eel!) a troup-transport (SS Jill Juliet - Passagierdampfer - 45557BRT) behind this tanker was hit beneth the keel and sank within 5mins!
I haven't seen this ship due to night and heavy rain ..... :D

danurve 01-05-10 10:42 AM

Late Oct. `39. After 4 days patrolling AM19 decided to patrol just S/E - S/S/E of Rockall Banks.
So far it's been the bore patrol :zzz:
13th. day outwater, no sighting, no reports. Burning fuel, down to 70%.
Good weather for surface watch, usually at ahead slow. Considering 6 hour rotation of submerged patrol to conserve fuel oil.

Sailor Steve 01-05-10 02:02 PM


Originally Posted by Terragon (Post 1229444)
End of February, 1939.

:o :06: :hmmm:

Sailor Steve 01-05-10 02:12 PM

Started over in a new career. Juggled the time so I could depart with 13 other boats on August 19, 1939. Irwin Baade, U-29. Had a leisurely sail through the English Channel and out to the Atlantic, Grid BF16. Hung around waiting to see what would happen, and on September 1 we got a message saying that Polish forces had attacked Germany's border and we were at war. Hung out for two more days and got a message saying that Britain, France and the rest of the British Empire had declared war on us!

Got lots of radio messages about ships being sunk, but no trade for us. Then one day we saw a ship in the distance. After a long wait it turned out to be a British Vosper Motor Torpedo Boat. We dove to 30 meters and waited until he was long gone, then surfaced again.

A day or two later we came upon a small British freighter, about 2000 tons. We stopped her and allowed the crew to abandon ship, then sank her with a single torpedo.

That night we sighted a ship in the darkness. When we approached it turned out to be a destroyer! We crash dived to 70 meters, and rode out his attack. A couple of depth charges were pretty close, but not enough to damage us. We stayed submerged until dawn.

The next day we came across another British freighter, unescorted, this one about 4000 tons. We made a submerged attack, fired two torpedoes from about 800 metres' range, and she sank about 15 minutes later.

It is now September 12. We have been at sea for three-and-a-half weeks, the war has been on for two weeks, and we have sunk two ships for about 6000 tons.

Schöneboom 01-06-10 01:27 AM

23 May 1942: Returned to 1. U-Flottille base at Brest after a ridiculously lucky 2nd patrol, almost like the "Happy Days". Located a large, lightly-defended convoy at AM 79 and shadowed it for 3 days and nights, conducting surface attacks at night, and one submerged attack by day. Tons of wabos dropped on us, but no serious damage.

Our final attack was in BF 12, in the Celtic Sea. Ordinarily I would avoid this shallow area, but the conditions were too perfect to resist. 6 merchants sunk, ~45 K tons. Only one aircraft sighted the whole week, and it was Irish.

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