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Texas Red 06-12-23 09:43 PM

Narrative
 
November 16, 1939
Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Pier 7
---------------------------

"We spent thirty days at sea this time around, three more than our last." The weary twenty-seven-year-old looked the interviewer in the eyes.

The interviewer couldn't help but notice the dark bags underneath Norst Nennhaus' piercing blue eyes. Even though Nennhaus was a captain of a U-Boat in the Kriegsmarine- where he was far away from the combat in Poland- the interviewer still saw the same stoic look he had seen in troops returning from the frontlines. Perhaps the officer had seen more this time around, something that ate away at him just a bit more this time. Quickly writing his thoughts down on his notepad, the interviewer returned to the conversation with the captain.

"Mr. Nennhaus, what were those thirty days like for you?" The reporter asked keenly waiting for an answer.

"Son," Norst Nennhaus said as he buried his hands and face deeper into his dark gray peacoat, "out of thirty days, we spent at least fifteen of them fighting our way through North Atlantic gales. The wind, waves, and rain were nothing like you'll experience on land. If it weren't for the fine engineers that put together the submarine, we would've never returned home! However, we weren't worried about the storms at all. We were constantly looking for a British destroyer to appear like a ghost out of the fog."

https://i.postimg.cc/7PVwdCwm/image002.jpg

"When you weren't fighting through the gales, what were you doing?"

Suddenly, Norst became somber. His face turned even darker than it had been before.

"Trying not to die. We didn't care that our food was moldy or that we hadn't had a single pair of clean underwear for twenty days. All we cared about was making sure that we didn't end up as the next boat lost in this war."

"I see the loss of your comrades has affected you heavily, sir." The reporter remarked.

"Well, Gelhaar's and Beduhn's boats were all lost in the past couple of weeks. That's sixty-six young boys right there. All gone. Mr. Beduhn was in my graduating crew. He was a fine fellow gone too soon."

"Surely, you made up for it!" the reporter grinned foolishly and pointed at the Iron Cross pinned right below Norst's left breast pocket.

Norst Nennhaus fell silent as he recalled all he had killed for the glory.
https://i.postimg.cc/661pj29n/SH3-Im...7-3-45-490.jpg

"Mr. Nennhaus, the Admiral told me you sank just shy of 29,500 tons of shipping. That is a lot, no?" The reporter inquired once more, this time with less ignorance.

"Yes, it's a lot. We sank one freighter just outside of Scapa Flow that burnt for hours. We first detected the freighter just at sunset and tracked her for ten kilometers before engaging. I fired two torpedoes at her from less than one thousand meters away. Both torpedoes hit her amidships and a brilliant fireball erupted from her hull. Searchlights immediately came on and I could see an oil slick on the water. A fire burned for hours upon that oil slick as her searchlights combed the sea for us. Once she went down, I surfaced the submarine and saw no survivors. Just burnt-up, bloated corpses. There was only one survivor, but he died on our deck. His face was burned so badly there was no way he could've made it back alive."
https://i.postimg.cc/JtwPqNPM/image009.jpg

"I see, I see..." the reporter said as scribbled the word "GRUESOME" in his notepad. "How would you say the war is going?"

"It's too early to say for certain. Both sides are making gains, but I'm positive that our Fuher will lead the German Fatherland to victory." Norst said, almost robotically.

The reported reached for his briefcase and stuffed the notepad inside. "Forgive me, but I must leave. I'll let you know if I decide to publish your story." The reporter said as he reached out his hand for a handshake.

Norst willingly obliged in the gentlemanly gesture, returning the handshake with a "Goodbye, sir."

Now, he waits for his next voyage to sea.

Kapt Z 06-14-23 05:03 PM

KptLt. Herbert Fruth(KC)
U-52, type VIIB
7th Flotilla
01SEP39-20APR40
6 Patrols
26 merchant ships sunk
2 warships sunk, Hood class battle cruiser, Illustrious class aircraft carrier
Total tonnage-208,796

KptLt. Ewald Lindeholz(KCOL)
U-52, type VIIB
7th Flotilla
01MAY40-30JUN41
7 patrols
36 merchant ships sunk
1 warship sunk, Black Swan class frigate
Total tonnage-205,397

Oblt. Heini Klasen(KC)
U-453, type VIIC
7th Flotilla
01JUL41-currently at sea NOV42
7 patrols
29 merchant ships sunk
Current tonnage-170,339

Tabris 06-16-23 06:58 PM

For the last several weeks, I've been using WB and Evan's excellent 1939 Type XXI mod, plus extensive custom modifications to the "timeline" of the game, to play (and stream on Twitch) an alternate history scenario in which just about everything in the u-boat war happens 1-2 years early. Rather than being a "Total Victory" scenario, the campaign ends in 1945 with the outcome uncertain but with Britain effectively starved out.

This started as a practical hypothetical, "could the Elektroboote have won the Atlantic War, especially if they were using the French bases?" but has since also become a fun excuse to go places in the game that I don't typically visit when doing a more historical career. I try to keep things challenging, largely by not relying too heavily on endgame torpedoes like the LUT and T-X or on the overpowered endgame sonar decoys. With that out of the way,

We are U-3053. Took command in February 1943, first war patrol departed from Kiel in May 1943. We've completed two patrols in the North Atlantic, one in the Caribbean off Curaçao, one off equatorial Africa, and our fifth patrol was a transit from France to Penang. So far things have gone pretty well. We've sunk about nine escorts and immobilized another five (homing torpedoes sometimes blow off the enemy's screws without sinking the ship) and sunk 50,000-70,000 tons of merchant shipping in each patrol. Currently it is late February 1944, we've just passed through the treacherous shallows off Port Moresby and are en route to New Zealand waters. Following this patrol we will be returning to France, and after that, perhaps the Med? It's getting a little late to head there...

Here we are meeting Charlotte Schliemann https://www.subsim.com/radioroom/pic...ictureid=13229

One thing I've learned just recently is that we need to be more proactive about attacking the escorts where we find them. In 1943, I had mostly relied on the XXI's incredible performance to avoid escorts when possible, in order to take more ordinary anti-merchant torpedoes and fewer acoustic homing weapons. During this patrol, in the Timorsee, we carried out the only convoy attack of 1944 thus far. Let me tell you, the escorts were ferocious. Even though we only tangled with 3-4 of them, they hounded us harder than I've ever experienced. Just one sloop kept us under his thumb for about 45 minutes, and when we had enough of getting pinged and successfully sunk the contact with a T-V, the convoy sent two more frigates to avenge him, making it an even more harrowing disengagement. Clearly, if we're to have any hope of racking up 40,000+ ton patrols against convoys in 1944, it'll hinge on attacking the escorts more aggressively. The trouble is, attacking escorts is an inexact science. You don't necessarily want to go in shooting - sometimes you'll sink escorts that didn't really pose a serious threat, plus it alerts the merchants and makes shooting them much harder - but you also definitely don't want to wait until you're already being pinged by two or more at once, since the odds of scoring multiple homing torpedo hits in quick succession without getting murdered by hedgehogs can be pretty slim. The perfect attack involves penetrating the escort screen, shooting the merchants 4-6 times, and then putting homing torpedoes on 1-2 escorts right before going deep, but even this formula may not guarantee success in 1944.

When we find ourselves leaving Brest again, it will be with at least six T-Vs!

U-3053, sporting some thematic local markings stolen from the historical U-1224, being escorted by an IJN subchaser past Surabaya https://www.subsim.com/radioroom/pic...ictureid=13228

Kapt Z 09-01-23 01:20 PM

KptLt. Herbert Fruth(KC)
U-52, type VIIB
7th Flotilla
01SEP39-20APR40
6 Patrols
26 merchant ships sunk
2 warships sunk, Hood class battle cruiser, Illustrious class aircraft carrier
Total tonnage-208,796

KptLt. Ewald Lindeholz(KCOL)
U-52, type VIIB
7th Flotilla
01MAY40-30JUN41
7 patrols
36 merchant ships sunk
1 warship sunk, Black Swan class frigate
Total tonnage-205,397

KptLt. Heini Klasen(KC)
U-453, type VIIC
7th Flotilla
01JUL41-21JAN43
8 patrols
31 merchant ships sunk
Total tonnage-182,411

Oblt. Wilhelm Muller
U-453, type VIIC
7th Flotilla
01FEB43-
At sea 1st patrol


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