24 February 2021

UBOOT-Patrol #11

A week ago, we had our 11th Patrol on our voyage to the Scarpa Basin, as you can see it is quite eventful.

Patrol 11

0300 journey continues in darkness of night, full speed ahead on surface.


0700

Radio message from HQ: “urgent assistance needed for fellow German submarine chased by two British Destroyers in grid AE86.”

Seems to be right on the way, so there we go…


0800 Rudder hydraulics cranking up, needs to be repaired


1000 SPOTTING 2 vessels

#4 seems to be destroyer, #5… not merchant vessel

Distance to #4 is 7 NM , UBOOT can be spotted on surface in daylight at 2,5 NM so UBOOT not spotted… 

continue on course keep watch

...order to load rear torpedo tube


Ships likely heading toward the battle grid given in previous radio message...


1400 

new position… #5 identified as smaller corvette with 1 gun battery on rear deck… #4 is destroyer with 2 deck guns fore and aft, and depth charge rack at the rear… 

CAPTAIN DECISION: change course to parallel the ships course, ships going 12 knots so UBOOT on surface running 17 knots will overtake them, and then attack with torpedoes 

 

1400

RADIO MESSAGE - update on political situation

“Since Hitler signed pact with Franco, Germany has gained access to Spanish ports. Hitler plans to occupy Gibraltar with German troops. UK evacuates all British nationals from Gibraltar.”


FOOD CRISIS

3000 eggs are in danger of starting to rot. Whole crew will be feasting on only eggs for one day: eggs for breakfast, eggs for lunch, eggs for supper, eggs for snack.


BORING ROUTINE

Unending cycles of watch duty and condensation water dripping into your bunk, and eating eggs during rest of the time... Stress on the nerves. Seamen fight for nothing.


1930

UBOOT reached attack position in darkness on surface, after careful planning with officers, Captain orders 2 electric torpedoes to fire, one at each ship… torpedo at destroyer produces nothing BUT corvette gets hit… dead in the water, fires erupting and hull damage…


Destroyer makes immediate course change toward UBOOT location… still out of visual spotting range in darkness so they must be operating on estimation of which direction torpedoes must have come from, based on left side of corvette was hit...


Tight angle, but… no pain no gain - Captain orders 1 bubble torpedo from forward tubes to be fired…

Torpedoes shoot forward... FO starts counting seconds on stop watch… at the same time bright searchlights from destroyer pick out UBOOT periscope position and while torpedoes are running, destroyer forward deck gun battery starts firing…


Periscope takes a hit and is destroyed, another close hit bangs on bridge tower and causes short circuit on electrical control panel…


UBOOT is now blind but everyone can clearly hear loud explosion - torpedo has HIT destroyer… hydrophone reports propellor sounds halting… destroyer must be stopping… sound of metal breaking and creaking…



2000

Captain takes UBOOT to surface to observe… in darkness clearly visible that destroyer is in trouble, midship hit on hull with gaping hole taking in water and ship listing to side, fires erupting inside, explosions… corvette further away is already going under…


Engineer crew report on periscope repair: not possible, periscope prismic part with measurement controls is destroyed, we do not have new prism on board.

Partial damage on electrical system causes damage potential to battery functions also, needs to be repaired.

Repairs begin for electrical systems.


Captain orders course on surface toward previously received battle site grid.


2200 

HALSSCHMERZEN 

Captain is frustrated. He is plagued by severe case of “sore throat” symptom common to many young officers; this condition can only be cured by carrying Knight’s Cross around the neck.

CAPTAIN takes 2 STRESS DICE.


2300 

approaching battle site

Hydrophone reports: battle sounds, creaking, sinking, propellor moving further away


2400 

No sounds, sea is quiet, propellors vanished into distance.

UBOOT surfacing at grid AE86

searching flash lights on water… some debris, oil slicks, pieces of wood panneling, some clothing floating on surface… 

no sight of survivors. 


RADIO MESSAGE TO HQ:

Repeated contact attempts with other Uboot… no luck.

Evidence of sinking found on meeting grid.

UBOOT in desperate need of supplies, food other than eggs, tobacco, and spareparts and new prism for periscope.


While waiting for reply, UBOOT continues on previous course

Torpedo crew assisting engineers in repairs.



0100

TORPEDO CORRECTION

Torpedo crew discovered fault in torpedo settings: ventilating torpedoes leaves extra air pressure in torpedo balance chamber which contains guiding controls, causing torpedoes to deviate from set course.

CAPTAIN gives eventually order to adjust torpedo settings, so Current load of torpedoes has +BONUS HIT %ODDS… RADIO MAN sends message to HQ about this finding and made adjustments, so HQ can spread the word among all Uboat crews to do same

CURRENT LOAD: 

3 bubble torps & 1 electric front, 1 bubble rear

3 bubble torps in storage

0300

RADIO MESSAGE FROM HQ:

“no message from friendly Uboat, last heard around 1900 yesterday. Supply ship MILCH KUCH with new periscope and repair parts available at grid AF48 starting 0600 today.”


UBOOT continues forward


0500 weather turns to North Atlantic storm, waves 5 meters high wash over the bridge tower


Engineers would really need cigarette break, suggestion from engineer: “we could start rolling cigarettes from officer’s socks… their aroma is ripe enough”


CREW EVENT - GHOST WRITER

One seaman from NAVIGATOR CREW is good with words and provides service for crew: he writes their love letters for them.

2 crewmen remove activations because they lose their stress of how to properly express their feelings to fiancees…


1000 weather clear, grid AE68

1600 weather turns to heavy rain


1700

CAPTAIN chooses one new card from several options…

Captain chooses to skip Panzerchokolad for now…


1800 RADIOMAN contacts supply ship

gets reply ”we are waiting, no sighting of enemy around here”


1900 storm breaks out again

2000 storm diminishes to heavy rain

2100 weather turns to rain, sea becomes more peaceful

2200 weather clears… NAVIGATOR determines location, UBOOT has drifted somewhat to the side of meeting point but close enough so…


2300 meeting with supply ship



Stay tuned for Patrol 12, as you can see we are now due north of our destination.

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