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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






Leandros 12-13-13 01:28 PM

U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - June 120600 1944 - Wilhelmshafen - Patrol 26

With only 1 torp left I decided to go to Wilhelmshafen rather than back to Lorient north of the UK or through the Channel. The enemy's ASW capability is so much improved that I consider we need more weapons for pure self-defense on such a long trip.

Problem with diverting to any other than the home-base is that the weapons load they give you is quite straight-forward - mostly TIII's. I like the TI better.

Before we were able to set course for Wilhelmshafen we had two more fruitful encounters. One with two medium-sized tankers steaming together and another with a pack of hungry destroyers. They remained hungry...

After that we had to hide for another task force containing several destroyers together with a couple of larger vessels. According to the sonar operator, cruisers. We only had one torp left at the time.

The shallow sea on the English west coast looks like a graveyard. We cruised over to one of the sunken destroyers for her flag to take home.









Going to the port command now to hear what new desperate assignment the HQ has for us.

Fred



mrbannon 12-13-13 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leandros (Post 2151223)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - June 120600 1944 - Wilhelmshafen - Patrol 26

With only 1 torp left I decided to go to Wilhelmshafen rather than back to Lorient north of the UK or through the Channel. The enemy's ASW capability is so much improved that I consider we need more weapons for pure self-defense on such a long trip.

Problem with diverting to any other than the home-base is that the weapons load they give you is quite straight-forward - mostly TIII's. I like the TI better.

Before we were able to set course for Wilhelmshafen we had two more fruitful encounters. One with two medium-sized tankers steaming together and another with a pack of hungry destroyers. They remained hungry...

After that we had to hide for another task force containing several destroyers together with a couple of larger vessels. According to the sonar operator, cruisers. We only had one torp left at the time.

The shallow sea on the English west coast looks like a graveyard. We cruised over to one of the sunken destroyers for her flag to take home.









Going to the port command now to hear what new desperate assignment the HQ has for us.

Fred



THose are great looking screenshots. What's your MOD setup?

Leandros 12-13-13 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mrbannon (Post 2151227)
THose are great looking screenshots. What's your MOD setup?

Thank you, I have GWX version Gold 3.0.

I run it on 74% realism - I rely on a very good torpedo officer (the computer) and like to get the views. It is, after all, supposed to be entertainment....:up:...I also use the SH3 Commander. Otherwise, not much modding as much of it is already in the version. I am afraid of doubling up. It has happened.

Fred

Leandros 12-13-13 06:40 PM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Jul 302134 1944 - North-West Scapa Flow - Patrol 27
Left Wilhelmshafen evening Jul 25th. Mission: To get back to Lorient safely. We were given the usual torpedo mix in Wilhelshafen, mostly TIII's. One Falke.

Decided to play it safe, followed the Norwegian coast north and cut over to the passage between Færøyene and The Scyllis. I have good experience from that area. Several RN ships ran around but we kept low. As it were we were able to sink three pairs of merchants in the period 28th-30th.

I have now set course westwards to gradually turn south towards Biscaya as we only have 6 torps left. However, at 2040 we received a report on a large convoy north-west of us, heading SSE. I decided to avoid it as we do not have much to defend us with if we are going to make an impact on the convoy as well.

That was all well untill quite recently - a Wildcat carrier fighter flew over. With other words, there is a carrier with that convoy. What shall "Vati" say if we didn't do our best to dispatch of it?

I shall call an officer conference.

Fred



Leandros 12-13-13 08:04 PM

U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Jul 310619 1944 - West Scapa Flow - Patrol 27

We only barely got within the outer escort screen of the convoy, an Isles corvette passed behind us, approx. 600 meter's distance. Just before that I fired a TIII on magnetic against the carrier, it was in the midst of the convoy - distance ca. 3.000 meters. There was an impact sound almost exactly on the second. Some minutes later I fired the last forward torpedo, a TI on impact against an Ore Carrier in the rear of the convoy. Seemingly no luck. The Isles continued on its course. Ideal weather with satisfactory visibility and a rather rough sea. There must have been more than a dozen escorts.

We went in pursuit on distance, hoping that the carrier, a Casablanca type, had been damaged to the extent that it would drag behind the convoy. No luck, though. After several hours I decided to sidestep the convoy, it was obviously going to pass through the sound between The Orkneys and Scotland - Pentland Firth. I hope to get ahead of it to give the carrier the grazing shot. Rather risky as that sound is narrow and not very deep. We shall se how it develops. I do not want to take unnecessary risks......:hmmm:.....

Just an hour ago we detected radar signals from carrier planes, had to make a quick dive, so it is obviously still afloat. We are on the surface again now, going full blast.

Fred



Leandros 12-14-13 09:43 AM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Jul 310941 1944 - western part of Pentland Firth - Patrol 27

We made it - the convoy is now approaching from the west.

Fred

Leandros 12-14-13 01:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Aug 010113 1944 - south-east AM34 - Patrol 27

Oh, boy - finally out in the open! What a nerve-wrecking business. The convoy passed just south of us. We could observe the whole of it as it slowly sailed by. Alas, no carrier! We had decided not to attack if the carrier wasn't there. With a dozen escorts around, having only 4 conventional torps left, all in the aft, and the long way home we found it better to use them om some lone merchants along our return route.

So, we set a westerly course to get out in the Atlantic. There were still some outer screen escorts we had to get by before we were safe, one of them emitted a rather strong sonar signature. We approached it carefully to investigate. Eureka, it was the Casablanca carrier toddling along at 7 knots a few miles behind the convoy. And no escorts to see! It was markedly down by the bow.

We lined it up for our aft torpedoes and gave it one impact and one magnetic. It rolled over fairly quickly. However, we had been a little careless when approaching it, using the schnorkel to cut down on time. This attracted several escorts from the convoy which was quite far ahead.

A Buckley, a J&K and one Fletcher entertained us for a couple of hours. It was a miracle that we got away. I suspect much because of the very heavy seas and the effective Bold 3's. We were finally able to get out of the ring. Even then, an hour later another destroyer passed us by very closely. It dropped one salvo of D/C's and launched hedgehogs before it continued on its way. He wasn't too far off but we lay still so he didn't find us.

Only a few minutes ago we received a message that our base was changed to Trondheim. Wonder why? Anyway, we need to be careful, nothing left but the topside artillery to defend us with.

Fred

Below: The Casablanca getting it.



mrbannon 12-14-13 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leandros (Post 2151587)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Aug 010113 1944 - south-east AM34 - Patrol 27

Oh, boy - finally out in the open! What a nerve-wrecking business. The convoy passed just south of us. We could observe the whole of it as it slowly sailed by. Alas, no carrier! We had decided not to attack if the carrier wasn't there. With a dozen escorts around, having only 4 conventional torps left, all in the aft, and the long way home we found it better to use them om some lone merchants along our return route.

So, we set a westerly course to get out in the Atlantic. There were still some outer screen escorts we had to get by before we were safe, one of them emitted a rather strong sonar signature. We approached it carefully to investigate. Eureka, it was the Casablanca carrier toddling along at 7 knots a few miles behind the convoy. And no escorts to see! It was markedly down by the bow.

We lined it up for our aft torpedoes and gave it one impact and one magnetic. It rolled over fairly quickly. However, we had been a little careless when approaching it, using the schnorkel to cut down on time. This attracted several escorts from the convoy which was quite far ahead.

A Buckley, a J&R and one Fletcher entertained us for a couple of hours. It was a miracle that we got away. I suspect much because of the very heavy seas and the effective Bold 3's. We were finally able to get out of the ring. Even then, an hour later another destroyer passed us by very closely. It dropped one salvo of D/C's and launched hedgehogs before it continued on its way. He wasn't too far off but we lay still so he didn't find us.

Only a few minutes ago we received a message that our base was changed to Trondheim. Wonder why? Anyway, we need to be careful, nothing left but the topside artillery to defend us with.

Fred

Below: The Casablanca getting it.



I can't wait to finish my shakedown cruise so I can get some of this wicked awesome action! (FYI, I would have made a post about my current "patrol", but it's a two-day pre-war patrol of A098, which is pretty much useless.)

Leandros 12-14-13 06:18 PM

2 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Aug 151200 1944 - Trondheim - Patrol 28

Just left Trondheim - mission: To try out the escort killer concept with special torpedo-equipped boats. That is us. The recent enormous U-boat losses due to the increasing number and efficiency of the Allied escort forces has finally awakened our leadership - much helped by me and my officers' insistence to get better support/weapons after our latest hair-rising mission. This combined with the local naval commander in Trondheim being an old classmate of mine, and a recent influx of home-seeking torpedoes in Trondheim, with fewer and fewer boats (and commanders) to utilize them, did result in us getting no less than 9 Type IV, V and XI torpedoes for this mission. Hope these have had a proper production quality control. I was praised by the BdU for having improved my merchant/warship ratio. 6 out of 7 being merchants on the last patrol.

We have been assigned grids AM52 and 53 as our patrol area.

We arrived in Trondheim on Aug. 4th after an uneventful journey from west of the Orkneys. The worsening war situation hastened our departure here. We have been assigned Brest as our new main base.

Fred

Below:

1. Captain's Log Patrol 27
2. Full AA readiness



Leandros 12-14-13 07:07 PM

2 Attachment(s)
U-65 - IXB - Kaleu Hansen - Aug 200549 1944 - east AM51 - Patrol 28

Have just arrived outside the North-Western Approaches. A large convoy was reported coming in from east-north-east. We soon picked up the radar emissions from its escorts. We seem to be positioned in the middle of its track now. I am not particularly happy with the situation. This just isn't good attack weather!

Fred

1. Nice weather!
2. Convoy approaching






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