submarines

Nov

16

November 1941

U-433 sunk by HMS Marigold

All of a sudden there was a terrific sound of propellers to starboard. The devil had been lying in wait quite close to us, with engines stopped. We put our nose down to dive again, and she came directly over us. We could hear her propellers inside the boat – we weren’t very deep and she probably saw our wake. She then dropped depth charges. They were terribly close.

Oct

4

October 1941

U-111 sunk and crew captured

The petty officer manning “U 111’s” machine gun on the bridge had fired fifty rounds at this juncture, and was firing the second clip of ammunition handed to him by Kleinschmidt himself, when the latter, together with Rösing and Fuchs, was killed by a direct hit on the conning tower; the above petty officer was the only man left alive on the bridge out of the eight who had been there.

Sep

10

September 1941

HMCS Moose Jaw sinks U-501

I managed to go alongside the submarine, starboard side to, and called on her to surrender. To my surprise, I saw a man make a magnificent leap from the submarine’s deck into our waist, and the remainder of her crew move to do likewise. Not being prepared to repel boarders at that moment, I sheered off. The submarine altered across my bows and I rammed her, increasing to 185 revolutions to do so, and altering course in order to hit her forward diving rudders, so as to prevent her submerging.

Jul

19

July 1941

Trapped in the sunken HMS Umpire

Even if they had not yet left the submarine, they might already have started flooding the compartment in preparation for an escape, and if the flooding had gone beyond a certain point it would be impossible to get that door open again. I listened, but could hear nothing beyond the monotonous, pitiless sound of pouring water.

Jun

29

June 1941

The interrogation of a U Boat crew

Nevertheless, some officer and Chief Petty Officer prisoners suspected a hidden subtle and organised opposition on the part of the French, which they feared as likely to become dangerous. It was noted by the Germans that in spite of the polite and obliging attitude of the French officials and workmen, something important always went wrong with the German arrangements in which any reliance had been placed on French co-operation.

May

16

May 1941

U.S. Navy attacks U-Boat

The Captain yelled down for even more revolutions and the diesels began to hammer furiously, plunging the bows deeply into each wave; then the alarm bells rang and the watch came tumbling down to land in a heap on the control room grating. Fischer slammed the tower hatch lid shut as the submarine went down at a steep angle. Through the loudspeakers the calm voice of the boatswain, Maureschat, ordered the bow caps closed and stated the trim depth as 180 feet.

May

9

May 1941

Enigma machine captured

Also the coding machine was found here, plugged in and as though it was in actual use when abandoned. The general appearance of this machine being that of a type writer, the telegraphist pressed the keys and finding results peculiar sent it up the hatch. This W/T office seemed far less complicated than our own-sets were more compact and did not seem to have the usual excess of switches, plug holes, knobs, ‘tally’s’ etc on the outside.

Mar

17

March 1941

“Depth charges – captured – Heil Hitler – Kretschmer.”

As the U-Boat did not seem to be sinking fast enough, and it was feared that the British might try to board her, the Engineer Officer again went below to open wide the galley hatch which had previously been only partly opened. He never got out again, and the crew heard him shouting as the U-Boat sank. The Captain said that a W/T message was sent in clear, just before “U 99” sank; but he did not know whether it was transmitted on full strength or not, or whether it had been received at his base. The signal read: “Depth charges – captured – Heil Hitler – Kretschmer.”

Dec

15

December 1940

HMS Thunderbolt sinks Italian submarine

When 130 degrees on the U-Boat’s starboard quarter, periscope range estimated to be 4,000 yards, the disposition of the trawlers was thought to be reminiscent of the start of an A/S exercise. Thunderbolt therefore allowed the enemy a low nominal speed of 6 knots, and altered a few degrees to reach the firing course. Commencing at 0920, six torpedoes were fired at 12 second intervals, an alteration of three degrees to port being made after the third torpedo.

Dec

8

December 1940

Churchill seeks support from Roosevelt

We can endure the shattering of our dwellings, and the slaughter of our civil population by indiscriminate air attacks, and we hope to parry these increasingly as our science develops, and to repay them upon military objectives in Germany as our Air Force more nearly approaches the strength of the enemy.
The decision for 1941 lies upon the seas.