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#4513852 - 04/01/20 08:11 AM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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THX,

it`s like you described it. Should have put my glasses on. :-D

As for the Wolfpack, you most likely will only find a fresh oil-slick of German Diesel... dizzy


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#4513872 - 04/01/20 12:28 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Did you get sunk? That's a tough spot no doubt, AM52. I've just turned in to 1942 and I am spending most days submerged, recharging at night. Crossing the Bay of Biscay submerged too!

I haven't been sunk in this career yet, but getting closer. Had a very close call that I'll describe in the AAR when I get back to it.


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#4513878 - 04/01/20 01:05 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Not yet, Kameraden, not yet…. biggrin

No, it was only a lame joke. Will continue with my attack this evening, so far I spotted two DDs at the flank and one Flower-class in front of the convoy.


Greets

Karsten


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#4513880 - 04/01/20 01:16 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Ah, I see haha. Good luck on your attack. Are you using manual targeting?


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#4513885 - 04/01/20 01:44 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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No, have to get the hang on it first. Also left the external camera on für the eye-candy.


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#4513968 - 04/01/20 06:12 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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OK, viel Glück, Herr Kaleun. Or Oberleutnant zur See maybe at this point eh?

Speaking of Kaleun, it appears Donitz rescinded my promotion. I was promoted to Korvettenkapitän, and one of the screens I posted above addresses me as such. But now I am back to Kapitänleutnant. Just as well, that's what I want to be. But odd that the promotion is no more.

There was that rather regrettable night at the casino on the last leave, but it couldn't be that, could it?

Ritterkreuz holder Kapitänleutnant Otto Popp is perfect smile


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#4514000 - 04/01/20 08:47 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Oberleutnant z. See is right, but im feeling like a Matrose right now, I forgot so many things. banghead

So I continued my approach, looked good, almost got past the leading Flower-class, but then the pinging started. Happily had tried to sneak past her with my scope all time up. Bloody idiot. Crash-dived and the Boot leveled out at 75 m. F*ck. How to get deeper? First bombs raining down. Had to google how to switch the depth gauges. sigh

Ok, let`s assume I`m still in the Ausbildungsflotille. I saved, when I was pretty far out. Fähnrich zur See Karsten S. will be alllowed another attempt tommorrow.

btw. what I think has in Dark Waters changed is the sound. IIRC in my last modded SH4 much of the sound was directly copied from SH3. Now I think these soundfiles have been reworked. Those commands sound more like in a small steel-tube which a Boot really is. And this *bang* when the Boot smashes into a high wave, really good. OTOH, could also be my better sound-system.

`night

Karsten


Last edited by kilosierra; 04/01/20 08:48 PM.

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#4514020 - 04/01/20 10:29 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: kilosierra]  
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Originally Posted by kilosierra
Fähnrich zur See Karsten S. will be alllowed another attempt tommorrow.




lol, Donitz's doghouse too eh?

You've worked it out, but to control depth I just click on the depth gauge. I use a larger dials mod as you can see so it's a little easier to be precise. To reach periscope depth I will hit P if I want a slow submergence, which is useful in reaching a firing position, since you'll be running decks-awash for half the time. It's a best-of-both-world's thing that blends lower visibility with higher speed. If I want to go periscope depth right now I hit C for crash dive, then P when the gauge reads 10m, which levels off just right.

If I've been caught by an aircraft it's just C. But if it's to change depth when already under, or sounds sweeps under time compression, I'll just click on the gauge. Sometimes I do sound sweeps/trim dives under time compression by running at high TC, like 2048 and hitting P and then one second later hitting S to surface. A finger hovering over each key. Repeat every few seconds. It's a good way to increase my search range since you can hear farther than you can see. I've found several convoys this way in this career. But of course the sim gives a bit of a pause when it loads in a convoy or task force, so you know something's close, even if you don't know which direction.

If you click the bar right below each dial, you can change the scale as I'm sure you already know kilo. I imagine you already know everything I just said, but more for the general audience smile


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#4514046 - 04/02/20 12:59 AM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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War Patrol 8, September 11 to November 20, 1941

U-46 left St Nazaire on September 11, 1941 for her eighth war patrol. Once again, we took a full load of electrics. Their performance thus far has been poor, but over the past two patrols we have been subjected to increasingly frequent counterattacks. It seems obvious that the enemy has begun mounting radar in his surface and air patrol craft. So we will shoot these lousy torpedoes in hope they will help us return. No other additions or installations. We've only used the deck gun three times, and I'd remove it if were possible (and if it actually affected dive times and underwater speed in the sim). I don't think we will be using it again, but if we must keep it, so be it and perhaps we will need it in the end.

We were assigned a patrol area in the northwest corner of the BE grid. A good spot and convoy route. However we completed our assignment having fired no torpedoes, only making an approach on a big American freighter. Still under strict rules we let her sail on. Finally, on November 2, almost two months out, we finally found a target worthy of a torpedo. U-46 made a periscope approach in grid BE96, on what proved to be a 3,700-ton passenger freighter, which was sunk by torpedo. Because of the past performance of the G7e, I decided to start firing three torpedoes in each attack, instead of the two fish we've used so far. With fuel beginning to be a concern too, being profligate with the torpedoes was no concern. The crew have been complaining for weeks, and if we can shoot a few fish, they will have more room to stretch out and run their card and dice games. Officially I disapprove. Each end of the boat is constantly vying to have their room shoot next. Tactical considerations must come first, but I am not unaware of their discomfort. I try to get shots from both ends early, so we can get the topside fish downloaded, and then make some room for the boys.

Only one of the three torpedoes detonated, and on a perfectly square impact. The detonators are faulty. We need better torpedoes.

Over the next two weeks, through December 16, we put four more small to medium freighters on the bottom in the BE grid, with a helping hand from the Condors. In all we fired thirteen torpedoes, six for duds, a dud-rate of 46%. Enemy air patrols are heavy in this area, and we narrowly escaped time and again. Word is that a a device capable of detecting radar emissions will soon be issued to the boats of the ubootwaffe. None too soon. We have adjusted accordingly, changing the way we patrol and attack. Firing more torpedoes means fewer attacks with a limited load, and therefore less damage we can potentially do to the enemy. The fact they are unreliable compounds this. Our patrol routine has changed as well, submerged during daylight when within 500 km of an enemy coast. Transit of the Bay of Biscay is likewise done submerged. Despite this we were still attacked by aircraft while surfaced at dawn or dusk, or while attempting to intercept a ship and a few times well outside 500 km.



I said I would limit torpedo impact screens, but come on! Haha, when the torpedoes work as designed they are effective. This a 3,500-ton mast-stack-mast steamer sunk on November 15 in grid BE96

[Linked Image]



During this long patrol we made contact with three large convoys sailing north along the coast of Portugal. In each case the weather was dead calm. Unable to find a clear opening on any of these formations, U-46 conducted no attacks and cleared off. The max range of the G7e is 5000m, but shots from that range are ambitious at best, even against a convoy plodding along presenting overlapping targets. Part of the calculus is the fact that the escorts have excellent sonar conditions in which to attempt to locate our boat. So unless the setup is clearly favorable, I will wait for worse weather and more certain shots.

U-46 tied up at St Nazaire on November 20, 1941 after nine weeks at sea, having sunk five modest ships for 20,000 tons. Captain's log attached below (dated Nov 16) The screenshot shows all five successes in the same spot, along with our route back to St Nazaire, in the deep water, but hugging the coast of Spain, to keep as far away from Britain as we can.



War Patrol 9, December 23, 1941 to February 7, 1942

U-46 left St Nazaire for her ninth war patrol on December 23, 1941, and celebrated Christmas by crash diving our way across Biscay Bay. Air patrols are getting heavier. Ordnance is being dropped on most sightings, whether depth charges or bombs I cannot say. A radar detector is essential if we are to survive and I hope it is issued soon. These attacks are close-run things, with U-46 just getting under before the missiles explode. The difficult thing is that the more we are forced to stay submerged, the less area we can cover and it takes much longer to get there. The longer we stay submerged, the longer the recharge takes, compromising the distance the boat can travel during the security of night. End -arounds and interceptions are more dangerous, making contacts more of a matter of chance than they already were. And by forcing us farther from land, targets are more difficult to find as they can be anywhere in the vast open Atlantic.

The assigned patrol grid was AM52, very close to Britain, and the chokepoint U-46 patrolled repeatedly in her first four or five patrols. It's a high-traffic corridor, but saturated with air patrols. We approached from well out in the mid-Atlantic, then turned back east to our grid. Being very cautious, we submerged before daylight broke and surfaced well after dark. The long submergence means long recharge times, limiting our mobility during the night. We developed no surface contacts and once completed, set course west back in to the open Atlantic, then south again to BE grid, where we could enlist the Condors to help spot targets and get us on their trail.

On January 17, the scouts spotted a convoy coming north from Gibraltar or perhaps Freetown. With the weather more to my liking, overcast with heavy swells, U-46 ran an intercept on this formation, making contact near dawn the following morning. The weather allowed us to slip inside the convoy from ahead to port, slinking silently past a leading Flower-class corvette, with the most brief of water-lapping exposures helping me kept situational awareness . A big tanker and a small passenger-freighter were selected and two fish fired at each. No longer hanging around to watch our handiwork, U-46 went deep as soon as the last torpedo left the tube. All four torpedoes hit, one dud. Silent-running under the convoy, we eluded the escorts who I don't think ever caught on. We were never short-scale pinged anyway. While we were deep, both ships hit with the first salvo went down. After passing to the other side, we surfaced and reloaded and chased the convoy to the north, now on the starboard flank.

A corvette appeared to catch our scent as she turned around ahead, so we dove and fired three bow torpedoes, striking a medium freighter of 5,800 tons, which blew up and later sank, about four hours after the first two ships went down. Lucky too, because two of the fish were duds. Again we went deep and this time hauling off for good, losing the searching escorts at 160 meters. With three fish forward and all three still astern, we stayed in the BE grid looking for more targets. After a couple weeks of no sightings, we headed south to the CG grid off the coast Portugal. On the morning of January 27, the watch was caught asleep as we came under air attack at close range. I immediately dived the boat and ordered 30 degrees left rudder. As the boat passed through 24 meters the bombs or DCs went off and close. U-46 was rocked and took serious damage aft. Torpedo room and engine room crew were wounded, and the torpedo tube, bulkheads, diesel and electric engines were damaged among other things. Even the TDC was damaged!

I leveled off at 40 meters as the boat was flooding aft. The crew were called to battle stations and our two repair specialists were split between each compartment. Soon the crew was pumping out the engine room, but the stern torpedo room continued to flood. I was very concerned about this and debated surfacing before it was too late. But the aircraft was likely still up there. And frankly I didn't know if we were deep enough to avoid a second attack, but I didn't want to go too deep, so that if we needed to blow ballast we would be sure to pop up. U-46 crept away and eventually the flooding was stopped and near dark we surfaced in to an empty sea. Some items and the torpedo room flooding did not get completely fixed. I saved and loaded the save and the crew quickly finished all repairs. Two of my crew have the specialty of 'Sani', or medic and these were sent to help the wounded crew. Within a couple of days all were treated and back in action. We had survived, but only just.



This the damage screen several minutes after being hit. The blue in the top of the two aft rooms shows flooding level. I said early in the AAR that starting in 1939 would allow the crew to round in to shape just as we would need it. This day it paid off and everything was fixed and all crewmen returned to full health.

[Linked Image]



We had been running toward home when I didn't know yet if the flooding could be fixed, so we kept on, now with three bow and all three stern torpedoes left. Staying submerged during the day, we made little progress when on February 2 we detected merchant screws by hydrophone in grid CG12. We ran an end-around on a 6,500-ton freighter flying an American flag and still with the big Stars and Stripes painted on the hull. But the restrictions were now off. Stinking Amerikaner would not be let go this time. Submerged and not in ideal position, we raced for the intercept, clocking the freighter at 8 knots. From a range of 800 meters the last three bow electrics were fired, with one hit near the aft mast and the other two missed, certainly astern. I had the speed wrong no doubt and the ship was likely making 10 or 11 knots. When possible, it's smart to make more than one speed plot to cover error, but here I did not. It's possible the ship had increased speed, but more likely I had simply gotten it wrong. Luckily the short range meant the torpedo aimed at the forward mast struck below the after mast and was enough to slow the ship to four knots. We could keep up with this submerged, so U-46 shadowed the ship at close range, taking brief exposures so that the deck gun on the fantail did not spot our feather. After a few hours it was clear the ship wasn't sinking, and we had used up a lot of battery, so I conned the boat to fire a stern torpedo, which struck below the bridge and the American freighter went down. It took four torpedoes to sink her. Overall, we had fewer duds on patrol 9, but still too high.



The fine American cargo ship, heavily loaded. It took four fish, but the final one split her in two. Note deck gun on raised platform on the fantail.

[Linked Image]



With two stern torpedoes remaining, and still a little gun-shy after almost being sunk a few days before, we set course for St Nazaire and tied up on February 7, 1942 after six weeks at sea, having sunk four ships for 25,000 tons, three from a convoy. Captain's log attached below. The captain's log screenshot shows a scout plane in action. The dot to the east of U-46 is the scout plane, and it has revealed three contacts on the map for us. The two large squares are north-bound convoys, and the small square a lone merchant of some type. The northern convoy would be too far to catch before it reached shallow water, but the southern one is within reach. With only two aft torpedoes though I elected to avoid and head back to base.

Attached Files Amerikaner.jpgDamage.jpgIMeanComeOn.jpgP8CL.jpgP9CL.jpg
Last edited by DBond; 04/04/20 12:48 PM.

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#4514078 - 04/02/20 10:06 AM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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As for duds, I watched an interesting video on YT about the US Mark 14 torp:



I watched many of his videos, pretty interesting stuff and good presented.


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#4514100 - 04/02/20 12:17 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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I think the negligence on the part of the Bureau of Ordnance was criminal. Both sides had their torpedo faults, but the Germans believed what the skippers were telling them, even if that didn't help them discover the causes. In the US, the concerns of the skippers were brushed aside with a "we can do no wrong" attitude and blame put on the skippers, when the torpedoes were clearly poorly designed. The fact that BuOrd refused to run any tests to check, despite mounting evidence is negligent. How many boats and crew were lost that could have been saved if the torpedoes worked as designed. How much sooner would Japan have been brought to her knees if US boats were shooting good torpedoes right from the start? I think Admirals English and Christie should share the blame and it wasn't until Lockwood replaced English that any real progress was made. Talking about it makes me want to sail a US boat after U-46 sees her final warshot, whenever that may be. It would be good to check out FotRS.

As to the sim, I've played OM before, and I know how good the T III is, so all we can do is try to stay alive until those arrive. The combination of the T III and the Metox will be massive improvements in both our striking power and survivability. At least in the sim, depth keeping is reliable, it's only the detonators that are faulty. So far in this career I'd guess we've had around a 30% dud-rate with the G7a and 40% with the G7e.

In the mean time I've worked out a way to reduce air attacks that I will talk about in the next AAR entry.

Last edited by DBond; 04/02/20 11:04 PM.

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#4514432 - 04/03/20 06:01 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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War Patrol 10, February 25 to June 15, 1942


U-46 set sail on her tenth war patrol from La Spezia, Italy on February 25, 1942, still with no Metox, and still with a full loads of T II electrics. The close call we had on patrol 9 made me consider fleeing the danger redeploying to another a vital war front. With the majority of the Mediterranean Sea coast controlled by the Axis, enemy patrols are less dense, and perhaps it will help us survive a little longer. This career is dead-is-dead, so maybe a change to the 29th Flotilla out of La Spezia will keep it going for a while. Over the years, with SH3 and SH4 I've spent a lot of time in the Med. It's true it's less perilous in 1942, but it won't last. It's also a fine place to patrol due to the heavy traffic which is restricted by the relative narrowness of the sea west to east. There are chokepoints near Gibraltar, south of Sardinia, around Malta, and near the Aegean Sea. The enemy hold the eastern end and Alexandria, with a base on Malta and of course Gibraltar. We also have access to two scout squadrons that can cover the area around Italy and Greece, and the Condors we used in the Atlantic can be called south to cover the CH grid east of Gibraltar strait, which is where I expect to find task forces and convoys. The narrow waters make developing contacts that much easier. Past experience with Silent Hunter has proven the Med to be a warship shooting gallery. But ya gotta hit 'em.

The radio reports we were receiving during the last few patrols in the CG grid showed numerous task force positions as they departed and approached Gibraltar, with speeds reported between 15 and 30 knots. Ships making 20 knots and more are almost certainly big warships. The combination of the prospect of less enemy pressure, and shots at enemy warships, made me take the transfer. In SH4 the transfer happens with a warp. We are not required to sail to La Spezia, and we do not get a new boat. U-46 is teleported to Italy. In SH3 I seem to recall you could end a patrol at any base. But SH4 does not allow this. So unfortunately we didn't get a chance to run the strait as we deployed in to the Med. Historically, around 62 boats, all type VII, were deployed to the Med. None left.

SH4 also fails to shift the player's assigned patrol objective, so it was that U-46 left La Spezia with the patrol grid of BF24 near Ireland. I decided to ignore those orders and instead map out our new territory. Find out where the traffic was, where the air patrols were. Gain some intel for future patrols. In the end this was done, having covered the entire length of the Med in an arduous patrol lasting nearly four months. First, the area around Valetta on Malta, where we chased a task force report to no avail, then all the way east near Cyprus and Alexandria, and then all the way back to the west off the coast of Algeria. U-46 topped off the tanks twice, once putting in to Messina on Sicily, and once in Salamis, Greece. We sank two 5000-ton freighters west of Cypus, the first on April 19, and the second on May 6. The captain's log shows long & lat instead of grid for some reason. Encouragingly, all four torpedoes exploded, three on the first ship, and a single stern shot on the second. We were mostly free from air attack during this time, although the waters within 300km of Alexandria were covered, and we escaped narrowly a few times as we headed back to the west.

Patrolling in the waters between Algiers and the Balearic Islands in early June, we were again working in concert with the Condors deployed in southern France. The scouts spotted two task forces east of Gibraltar. The first eluded us. Their high speed makes interception difficult. Our top surfaced speed of 17 knots is not fast enough to run these formations down, so interception is a function of position and luck. Fog makes it even more difficult, with visual range at around 4000 meters in light fog, and 400 meters in heavy fog. The hydrophones can detect screws at around 20 km. Visibility is around 15 km on clear days. As a result U-46 ran routine sound sweeps, every 30 minutes or so. Weather was dead clam with a light fog when the second scout found a task force steaming to the northeast at 21 knots. It was to our west, so I plotted an interception and took off at 15 knots in hopes we could make contact.

The following morning just before sunrise we found the task force by hydrophone, still west of us but an little to the north and hauling ass. We surfaced for a flank speed dash and then pulled the plug after a few minutes to listen again. The bearings were quickly shifting to the east and we continued to close submerged at our highest speed. The light fog restricted our visual range. Soon I could see a destroyer with a fairly broad angle. We kept on ahead to try and close the base course. After a few minutes I could make out a second ship, identified as Illustrious or one of her three sister ships, one of which U-46 had already sunk on March 29, 1941 in CG81 off the coast of Portugal. Behind the carrier sailed a cruiser. Sound bearings and sightings showed six destroyer escorts, one leading and one astern, with two on either flank. A formidable array, and the still sea gave me no comfort either.



The carrier and one of the starboard flank escorts when the torpedoes were fired. This shot shows the calm sea. It's also a really cool image.

[Linked Image]



With the task force making 21 knots, the situation developed quickly. With no chance of getting inside the screen, we fired four bow electrics at a range of 2500 meters at the carrier, whose angle was too broad really at firing, which would cause the gyros to spin the fish to the right thirty degrees, meaning any impacts would occur approaching from astern, reducing the angle and chance of detonating. Not an ideal shot. To compound matters, two minutes after the fourth fish left the tube the near flank escort started pinging. Alerted, the carrier began turning away, which would foul our already poor shot. The slow speed of the torpedoes makes it even less probable we would hit her. Carriers are not too nimble though. I prepared to go deep and waited to see if we got her. After a run of nearly five minutes one torpedo hit for a dud. A second hit on the carrier's bow. The other two missed.



One torpedo hits for a dud and another explodes on the carrier's bow.. The escorts are already on to us and I shouldn't be hanging around to take shots like this

[Linked Image]



We could not hang around to watch any longer, and went deep. The escorts converged and gave U-46 a thorough pasting. Rocked by close explosions, we escaped with moderate damage to the forward compartments which was eventually repaired. The escorts hunted us for three hours, dropping dozens of depth charges. We managed to give them the slip at 170 meters and eventually surfaced in to an empty sea to secure the recharge and exchange the air. The carrier did not go down and the task force escaped. This was another close call. I should not have waited at periscope depth to see if we hit the carrier. Should have gone deep straight away, especially in the calm sonar conditions.

Low on fuel, U-46 set course for La Spezia. Amazingly, two nights later, June 4, we ran in to the same task force as it now headed back to the west in grid CH82. The weather had changed, now overcast and with rolling seas. The task force had the same composition, six destroyers with a fleet carrier and a cruiser in the center. With better conditions and position, I was able to conn U-46 for a much better shot and track. The last four bow torpedoes were again fired at this carrier, this time from port from a range of 1400 meters. I was confident with this setup. I thought we had a high chance of getting hits. As soon as the last fish left the tube we went deep. Lesson learned. But we were detected and the echo-ranging began seconds after firing. How did they find us so quickly? It makes we wonder if they detect the sound of the torpedoes as they pass ahead? Perhaps we broached as we dove in the heavy seas. Maybe they simply heard our screws and machinery? Again we were given rough treatment by the escorts. Having gotten a little deeper by heading down immediately, we avoided the worst of it. Minor damage was done up front, and repaired.

After the time for impact had come and gone I knew we had missed the carrier. The early detection surely caused her to turn away and possibly comb the tracks. Already deep, I couldn't see what happened. Eight shots at her and yet she survived. Victorious, probably.

A minute later as U-46 passed through 150m we heard a torpedo impact. We had hit something. The carrier after all? We continued to dive deeper and listening to the depth charges close by when a message popped the ship went down. I checked the captain's log and the torpedo had hit a destroyer, most probably a far-flank escort after it had missed the carrier. Gotta love this sim smile

After evading the escorts and surfacing low on fuel, U-46 headed for the barn, with two torpedoes left aft. U-46 tied up at La Spezia on June 15, 1942 after one hundred and twenty days at sea, having sunk three ships for about 13,000 tons, including an unlucky destroyer. Captains log attached below.




Attached Files CarrierBowHit.jpgillustrious.jpgP10CL.jpg
Last edited by DBond; 04/04/20 05:54 PM.

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#4514611 - 04/04/20 03:31 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Reading Blair, I saw an interesting event that involved Englebert Endrass, who I talked about earlier in this thread and who served as U-46's most successful skipper during the war, earning Oak Leaves to his Ritterkreuz. When U-46 became a school boat, Endrass was given command of a Type VIIC, U-567, taking command in October of 1941. In December of 1941, U-567 was involved in an attack on the convoy HG 76 (Homeward bound from Gilbraltar). This action took place near the Azores.

Aware that submarines were about, the convoy or escort commander ordered a few of the escorts to sail some distance away from the convoy and stage a mock battle, firing off star shells and guns, to fool the uboats and draw them off. Some of the merchant ship panicked though, and began firing off their own star shells and very lights, allowing the gathering uboats to find and attack the convoy.

U-567 torpedoed one ship, the 3,300-ton Norwegian steamer Annavore which went down. Also vectored by the convoy's panic, U-751 torpedoed and sank the British carrier Audacity , an 11,000-ton escort or 'jeep' carrier converted from a merchant ship which was providing air cover for the convoy, with 73 men lost.

The escorts counterattacked, including the destroyer HMS Deptford, which was involved in the mock battle. Gaining a firm sonar contact, Deptford carried out a persistent attack, which sank U-567 with all hands. Returning to the convoy, exhausted and unalert, Deptford collided with another escort, the sloop HMS Stork, her bow riding up on to the ship and crashing through the compartment where four of the survivors of U-574 were being held after that boat was sunk by ramming and depth charges two days earlier, December 19, forcing the boat to surface and scuttle. Sixteen crew survived the loss of U-574. The bow of Deptford killed two of the survivors of U-574 in the collision with Stork.

One of the survivors of Audacity fished out of the water was Eric Brown, who flew 487 types of aircraft, more than anyone else in history. He was also the most-decorated pilot in the history of the Royal Navy. His first two aerial victories had occurred during Audacity's short service, when he flew his Martlet off the carrier and shot down two Condors shadowing the convoy.

Brown holds the world record for the most aircraft carrier deck take-offs and landings performed (2,407 and 2,271 respectively) and achieved several "firsts" in naval aviation, including the first landings on an aircraft carrier of a twin-engined aircraft, an aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage, a jet aircraft, and a rotary-wing aircraft.

He flew almost every category of Royal Navy and RAF aircraft: glider, fighter, bomber, airliner, amphibian, flying boat and helicopter. During World War II, he flew many types of captured German, Italian, and Japanese aircraft, including new jet and rocket aircraft. He was a pioneer of jet technology into the postwar era. (From wikipedia)

Last edited by DBond; 04/04/20 03:48 PM.

Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4514707 - 04/05/20 02:46 AM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Originally Posted by DBond

Brown holds the world record for the most aircraft carrier deck take-offs and landings performed (2,407 and 2,271 respectively)


You have to admit, you generally do not want to see that large a gap between take-offs and landings . . .

#4514753 - 04/05/20 02:20 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Haha, yeah, that's true in most cases and certainly if you're operational. But of course here we have to consider he was a test and evaluation pilot as well as flying operations. So the numbers are probably even more askew, how many of those take offs ended at a land base? And how many carrier landings had taken off from one? I reckon this bloke was a special case.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4514765 - 04/05/20 03:17 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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War Patrol 11, July 16 to August 1, 1942


U-46 set sail from La Spezia on her eleventh war patrol on July 16, 1942 after a refit of one month. The rumored Metox was still not issued to the boats, but the T III G7e had been delivered. This new model is thought to have fixed the faults we had experienced on our torpedoes since the outset of the war. We will see.

Our assigned patrol area was in the CH grid off the coast of Algeria, near the spot where we had attacked and missed the carrier on the previous patrol. Distances are compressed in the Med. And just two days after leaving La Spezia we arrived on station in calm and clear conditions. The Condors in France were enlisted once more and soon we had been put on to a task force steaming to the northeast at 21 knots. While attempting to find it one bright afternoon, the watch spotted a ship coming up astern. When an enemy ship is spotted the game pops up a dialog asking you what your orders are, like dive, or maintain. When it's allied though, this message does not pop. When it did not appear here, I knew that it was friendly. So I spun the scope around to identify it if I could. At 15 km though it was difficult and I could not see the flag. It appeared to be a small mast-aft freighter of about 2000 tons. While engaged in this, the watch spotted another ship approaching from the opposition direction

I spun the UZO on to the bearing and saw it was a destroyer, probably one of the escorts for the task force we were hunting. I plotted the speed and clocked it as 21 knots, and we were way out in left field, no real chance to get in, especially considering the flat sea. And I have to assume they'll have radar. I ran in anyway to see what we could make of the opportunity. Tracking the task force, which had a fleet carrier in it, was hard, as they seems to be zigging. But soon it dawned on me they were engaging that coastal freighter we were looking at minutes before. Soon, the friendly ship was smoking and on fire. The enemy ships were about 13 km away and U-46 was on the surface and the task force had a zero angle. U-46 submerged, but it was already too late. I suspect we had been picked up on radar, and as we went deep the destroyers converged and once again gave U-46 the business. We sprung some leaks and took moderate damage, but once again slipped away, and the veteran crew repaired everything and we remained on station to complete the assignment.

Two days later we found another task force, this one at least six destroyers with two light cruisers in the center. There may been eight destroyers. The two cruisers were identified as Dido-class, a modern, but light light cruiser of around 6,000 tons. Three bow torpedoes were fired at the second cruiser in line from the max range of 5000 meters. The task force was clipping along at 21 knots, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. All three missed however, whether ahead or astern I can't say. The task force never became aware it had been fired on and never broke stride, going over the hill in to a fine sunset.


The lead elements of the light cruiser task force sail on unaware they had just been fired on

[Linked Image]




We remained on station for a couple more days and received a radio report of a 'warship' to our east, heading past our patrol area toward Gibraltar. Warship reports indicate a single vessel, not a task force. What could it be? I plotted an intercept and set off at flank speed to see if we could intercept. On the night of July 22, U-46 made contact with the ship, which was plotted at 21 knots and amazingly, was a fleet carrier sailing alone. Again, we made the sighting out of position, and the carrier's high speed left little time to correct it. Since it was night, we remained surfaced and ran in at flank speed. The chief was giving it all she had and the speed ticked up to 18 knots at times. The best we could manage was a shot of 3500 meters before the carrier would be past. All four bow tubes were fired along her length and we turned 90 degrees to run along her course in case we hit her. Then we'd be in better position to follow up should it become necessary. After a run of over five minutes one torpedo struck the carrier at the stern. The other three missed. The first T III to hit worked as designed, and small secondary explosion shot flames up above the torpedo's water spout. The carrier turned away and we chased, and soon she showed a starboard list and down severely by the stern. The carrier was still making eight knots along her base course despite the heavy list. U-46 ran ahead while keeping a distance of 6000 meters, and then turned back in submerged to attack again as the carrier zigged past. From a range of 600 meters two more electrics were fired, both hit and detonated, and the carrier blew up and went down by the stern.


I took a number of images of the carrier attack, but they are quite dark. On some monitors they may be very hard to see. I'll put up one shot though, this of the carrier listing as seen though the binoculars as U-46 made the end -around to attack a second time

[Linked Image]




Unescorted fleet carriers is a new one for me, but there it was, so we took a shot. Fortunately one torpedo hit and slowed her enough to keep up and get in on her again. Not sure why three fish missed, I assume astern and it was the first torpedo fired at the bow that hit the stern, indicating my speed calculation was probably too slow. But that's all speculation for the wardroom. Having fired nine torpedoes at the cruiser and the carrier, all from the bow compartment, U-46 set course for La Spezia, and tied up on August 1, after just two weeks at sea, having sunk one carrier for 23,000 tons. Captain's log attached below, and in the background an image of the red-lighted conning tower, with just two green lights left on bow tubes. If I were really the skipper of U-46 I'd spend countless hours in here. But in the sim, it's a spot you never really visit.

Attached Files TFSunset.jpgCarrierList.jpgP11CL.jpg
Last edited by DBond; 04/06/20 03:18 PM.

Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4514866 - 04/05/20 10:17 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Great action DBond, well done. I bet many people are following your adventures, keep the good work.
So I reinstalled SH3 with the GWX Gold mod and I'm back to the sea! biggrin

#4514955 - 04/06/20 02:44 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Thanks a lot trindade, I appreciate the comment. The hunting off the coast of your country is some of the finest in the sim smile That's cool you've returned to sub simming. Good hunting. Which boat do you command? I haven't played SH3 in way too long.


With Korvettenkapitän Otto Popp's career nearing 1943, it's a good time to take stock of what's unfolded thus far, and some comments about our Type VIIB. The first point is that I am thrilled to have survived to this point. We've had too many close calls. We've taken depth charge damage from a number of escorts, and also at least that many aircraft. Time and again we've gotten under just as the attack came, but so far none of these attacks was quite enough to sink us. As noted in the AAR, we need the Metox, which when we get it will be referred to simply as the Cross. Being able to detect the enemy's radar signals will flip the score, and give us invaluable warning of approaching radar-equipped aircraft and surface ships. Not only that, it also serves to help find targets, particularly task forces and convoys, especially in heavy weather. It reveals a bearing and that is a huge help in developing an interception or avoiding one. Range is shown in the sim as 13km, shorter than hydrophone by about 7km. But that allows the time we need to take action.

As mentioned in the OP, I decided to take a Type VIIB because of the reported bug that causes issues when a boat receives some sort of conning tower upgrade, usually in the form of additional space or platforms for mounting AA guns. The Type VIIB does not receive these upgrades in OM for whatever reason, so I reasoned would be immune to this particular bug, allowing me to sail though a career without running in to a dead end. As you may have noticed, I don't man the AA guns and they have not been fired at all in this career. If there are aircraft in sight I dive, and no mistake. We face a lot of dangers but aircraft are at the top of the list. As a result I do not miss any of these possible upgrades as I wouldn't be using them anyway.

At no point have we been offered any new boat type, like in most shades of Silent Hunter. A type VIIC is an improved version, but in some ways slightly inferior, such as speed, which is already on the slow side. One pertinent consequence is the fact that without the control room expansion of the VIIC, I get offered no hydrophone upgrades. We began the war with the standard Gruppenhorchgerat, with a range of around 20 km. This is good enough, but we are locked out of upgrades. Our version is not rotatable, meaning it should be less effective ahead and behind, but that does not seem to translate to the sim.

In addition, I believe that we will not be offered a schnorchel when the time comes, should we make it that far.


Since the outset of war, things have gone well for U-46. We have sunk about 450,000 tons of enemy shipping, including two fleet carriers, a cruiser and two destroyers. The arrival of the T III electric torpedo is excellent, and it is good to have reliable torpedoes after three years of shooting defective ones. The Metox is crucial though, and without it it is only a matter of time before an aircraft gets the drop for good. My shooting was very good, with only about six misses though all of our time in the Atlantic. This is down to positioning, and if you look at any torpedo impact screenshot you see the range is set between 500 and 1000 meters. By conning the boat to the best position, firing the fish becomes academic and then just a matter of dud-rate. Most of my misses I attribute to error in speed calculation. Through our time in the Atlantic, we only missed one ship entirely, and that was the destroyer during the convoy attack on June 29, 1940 in grid BF 41. That torpedo missed the destroyer, but went on to strike a passenger freighter that went down. Since arriving in the med however our percentage has gone way down, with shots at high-speed task forces from long range having low probability of success and our hit rate has gone down sharply.

As we move in to 1943 we face an increasingly lethal enemy. The Torch landings in November of 1942 will begin to switch control of the Med over to the Allies, and we should see an ever-increasing enemy presence in the form of air patrols and hunter-killer groups. Convoy escorts are sure to be radar-equipped. I am not sure if DF'ing is a thing in Silent Hunter, but I don't use the radio in case it is! I don't send status reports to Donitz just in case. Sometimes I will use the contact report to alert headquarters to a convoy contact for a bit of roleplay, but with no other subs in the game it's just for flavor. No need to send beacons and bring your kameraden in. Too bad really, friendly and enemy subs in the game would add so much. Imagine taking hours setting up a shot only to have it blow up in your scope. That actually happened to me in the U-47 career, but it was the Luftwaffe who did it, in the waters between Malta and Sicily.

At this point I have two clear goals. Survive the war and sink a battleship. We have yet to see any battleships in this career, discounting the battlecruisers. It's not very likely we make it to the end, I know that. The one thing that we have over our historical counterparts I believe is that our radar detectors detect all radar. There's no worry of losing our detection ability on the advent of centrimetric radar for example. At least I believe this is how it works. As long as we heed the Cross' warning, we should be able to avoid surprise attacks, and it will be depth charges that pose the most lethal threat.


Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4514975 - 04/06/20 05:03 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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War Patrol 12, September 7 to November 5, 1942

U-46 set sail from La Spezia on her twelfth war patrol on September 7, again with a full load of the wonderful new TIII G7e electric torpedo. We finally have a reliable weapon after three years of shooting defective ones. In addition, U-46 received the long-awaited FuMB1 "Metox" radar detector. With good torpedoes and a means of detecting enemy threats while surfaced in all weather, we have significantly improved both our striking ability and our ability to survive. The enemy will not stand still of course, but these two improvements give me more confidence. The Cross gives a bearing to the radar signal, allowing us to home in, or conn to avoid, as the situation calls for. There is no way to tell if the threat is airborne or surface, but the correct reaction is to dive, and if there are no hydrophone bearings after submerging we know it was an aircraft. If there are, it's a radar-equipped warship and we can choose how to develop the encounter from here. Range is around 13km.

Two days after leaving La Spezia U-46 arrived on station again off the coast of Algeria. We chased Condor-spotted position reports without success and after completing the objective, set sail east past Malta, putting in to port in Salamis, Greece to top off the tanks. After refueling, U-46 sailed southeast to patrol the waters between Cyprus and Crete. There were now scouts based on Crete, extending the area we could call for recon. Over the next few weeks we made contact with four identical freighters of around 5,500 tons, sinking them all with torpedoes. Every T III that hit detonated. That's more like it. The Cross gave us warning several times of prowling aircraft, but we dove immediately and were not attacked. After two more weeks of no contact, U-46 set course back to La Spezia, intending to have a look in to the harbor at Valetta as we passed. Approaching Malta a vicious storm kicked up, and with almost zero visibility the look in to Valetta was canceled and course set back to base.

U-46 tied up at La Spezia on November 5, 1942, after nearly two months at sea, having sunk four medium identical freighters for around 22,000 tons. Captain's log NOT attached below as I forgot to snap it. The patrol was a notable success as it proved the value of both the new torpedoes and the Cross. Sorry for no screenshots, but all attacks were standard submerged normal-course periscope attacks and we've seen plenty of those thus far. In many ways this was a patrol back in time. The recon we had done of the entire Med on our first patrol here showed that the area between Cyprus and Crete was mostly devoid of enemy air patrols. It was like 1940 all over again, U-46 free to run on the surface and sink ships without much risk. The Med Air Gap, let's call it. For the first patrol in two years, nothing was fired at us smile



War Patrol 13, December 8 to December 16, 1942

U-46 set sail from La Spezia on her thirteenth war patrol once again bound for the CH grid off Algeria. Soon after arriving on station, the Condors found an enemy convoy south of us, tightly hugging the Barbary coast and looked like they were making for the port at Bone. I plotted the intercept, making contact on of December 13, a calm, moonlit night. Finding the port-side screen completely out of position, we got in from the port quarter submerged. With such conditions, I was able to get good looks through the scope, and picked out a number of big, valuable ships as targets. The finely-honed crew of U-46 can reload a bow tube in eight minutes, and the stern room takes longer, around 13, due to fewer personnel in that compartment. With more confidence in the T III, I felt we could start shooting less in each salvo, relying on each torpedo that hit to explode.

We set up on a 5,000-ton Hog Island freighter in the nearest column ahead, and a big tanker sailing in the next farthest column as targets, shooting one fish at each, as the torpedoes were on their way, these two targets were starting to overlap, so there was a high chance of hits. It worked perfectly and each ship was hit, the Hog-Island steamer aflame stem to stern and sinking while the tanker turned away and eventually came to a stop some 4000m away and a 180 angle. We would save her for later if she did not go down. Next target was a big 10,000-ton freighter, which had swung out to the north to evade the submarine attack. We had to turn through nearly 120 degrees to get a shot off, which hit and set her on fire, but she kept going to the north we lost track. This ship did not go down. Two torpedoes would have done the trick.


Two for two. The Hog-Island freighter burns in the foreground, while the burning tanker turns away in the distance. Two torpedoes were fired. The tanker would be chased down at the end of the attack.

[Linked Image]

Another ship of the same 10,000-ton freighter type then took the final bow torpedo, sinking several minutes later, just minutes after the Hog Island freighter hit with the first torpedo went down. Over the next half-hour as the crew toiled to reload the tubes, three big tankers went down, including the one hit and stopped with the second torpedo. She had gotten under way again at around three knots so we had to chase her down. The final remaining internal torpedo sent the tanker to the bottom and U-46 cleared off to the north, having fired all 12 of our internal torpedoes over the course of two hours, sinking five good ships. With only the two topside fish left, U-46 ran for the barn, and tied up at La Spezia on December 16, after just eight days at sea, having sunk five ships for 40,000 tons. Captain's log attached below. The background shows the scene of the convoy attack, just 18km off the coast, northwest of Bone. We did have one dud during this attack, but that is the first one in three patrols with the T III. They have been excellent. In all, eight ships were hit in this attack, but three managed to escape. One torpedo is not always enough, but sometimes it is.


One of the big tankers, and judging by the blast, fully loaded with gasoline. Range here is just 450 meters. Point blank.

[Linked Image]

Attached Files TwoForTwo.jpgP13CL.jpgLoadedTanker.jpg
Last edited by DBond; 04/06/20 05:19 PM.

Animals flee this hell, the hardest stones cannot bear it for long. Only men endure
#4515041 - 04/06/20 11:08 PM Re: The War Patrols of U-46 [Re: DBond]  
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Absolutely great AARs! I really enjoyed reading it so far...hope for more to come!


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