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#4558062 - 02/28/21 03:04 PM U-802 - second patrol  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,050
33lima Offline
Member
33lima  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,050
Belfast, NI
U-802, 10.U-Flottille, Lorient, 4th May 1942.

My first patrol as Kommandant of a big Type IX-C boat was an ignominious washout. Excess fuel consumption meant we got as far as Freetown on the west African coast before giving up on reaching our assigned patrol area off Capetown. BdU really ought to have laid on a milchkuh or a supply ship!

[Linked Image]

Freetown was dead, and while the weather was fine initially...

[Linked Image]

...but further north, heavy seas defeated two separate torpedo attacks on solitary steamers west of Gibraltar, to which area I diverted in hope of better pickings - any pickings!

[Linked Image]

That was in late January 1942. For whatever reason, our next patrol isn't until over four months later, so the crew have had a good break. Our patrol area this time is Marine-quadrat EJ98, which is near the Cape Verde Islands, a colony of neutral Portugal.

We leave our berth at Lorient just after 03:30. We get a good send-off, band and flower-chucking nurses included, despite the early hour.

[Linked Image]

SH3 does a good job of conveying the port's impressive complexes of U-boat bunkers.

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The skies are lightening to the north-west as Lorient slips astern.

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I plot a diagonal north-east to south-west course across the Bay of Biscay down to the north-western corner of Spain. I decide to risk air attack by travelling on the surface during daylight. This decision lasts until about the middle of the first day, when the bridge watch spot an approaching aircraft. ALAAARM!

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It's a Sunderland, no less.

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Has he spotted us? I'm not taking chances, and let the boat go deep, though not diverting from my course.

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I reduce revolutions when we level off. Sunderlands have enough endurance to loiter and I could be down here draining the batteries and using up the air supply for some time.

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It's still daylight when I return to periscope depth and check the horizon and above with the sky periscope. There's nothing to be seen, so I decide to give daylight surface travel another go, if only for long enough to recharge the batteries.

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Despite Biscay being notorious for bad weather, conditions in the northern part at least are fine and clear and we press on at halbe farht voraus, which I will reduce once we're clear of the bay.

[Linked Image]

That's if we get that far. The air attack so early on tends to confirm that the Tommies are now actively hunting U-boats transiting to and from the French bases!

...to be continued!

Attached Files sh3 2021-02-27 18-29-34-99.jpgsh3 2021-02-27 18-44-16-27.jpgsh3 2021-02-27 19-02-32-34.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 11-43-50-89.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 11-55-08-97.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 11-59-55-94.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-04-49-37.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-04-59-24.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-05-56-21.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-06-57-44.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-10-38-54.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-11-35-94.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/28/21 04:43 PM.
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#4558101 - 02/28/21 06:49 PM Re: U-802 - second patrol [Re: 33lima]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,050
33lima Offline
Member
33lima  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,050
Belfast, NI
It's not long before another Sunderland appears - and this time, it looks like he's got me dead to rights!

[Linked Image]

ALAARM! We dive for the cellar, lashed by gunfire from the big flying boat.

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I change course once below. For some reason, no bombs are dropped on the first pass. Nevertheless, some damage has been done to the casing in the area of the deck gun. I'll have to be back on the surface before I can have that repaired.

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In the meantime, I'm happy to stay down, glad that when the bombs come, they are some way off. I resume course after a few minutes then wait a couple of hours before coming back up to periscope depth again.

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All is clear so I decide to proceed again on the surface...

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...just long enough to recharge the batteries.

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Then down we go again, more gently this time. I don't plan on coming up again...

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...until it's getting dark.

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Then down again for daylight. The weather takes a turn for the worse as we get closer to the Spanish coast, so I come back up to recharge the batteries. The bridge watch are obviously expecting conditions to get worse still, as they're all in oilskins and sou'westers.

[Linked Image]

By mid-afternoon, we're well prepared for another spell underwater...

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...but with darkness approaching, I decide to chance remaining on the surface for a little longer. This goes as hoped for...until about half-past eight, when the lookouts spot another aircraft approaching from astern.

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It's another b***dy Sunderland!

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He must have been as surprised by the encounter was we were - for the second time, we receive only bullets,no bombs, on the first pass. The tail gunner joins in the fun as we crash dive away.

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Once again, the newly-repaired foredeck area has been hit again! The good news is that the pressure hull has not been penetrated.

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I make another mistake by ordering the boat levelled just below periscope depth. The result is that we narrowly miss a salvo of the bombs the Sunderland has now manage to dump on us.

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The Devil looks after his own, they say and we're obviously in his good books today, for no further damage ensures. However, I'm now determined that in future, I will make a greater effort stay below the surface, when transiting Biscay during daylight.

...to be continued!

Attached Files sh3 2021-02-28 12-13-24-25.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-13-38-01.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-14-05-15.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-18-01-25.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-22-08-03.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-22-19-16.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-24-24-76.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-27-51-66.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-32-07-83.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-33-07-96.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-33-23-71.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-33-36-54.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-33-43-73.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-34-02-65.jpgsh3 2021-02-28 12-35-08-61.jpg
Last edited by 33lima; 02/28/21 06:56 PM.

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