With all of the excitement around Silent Hunter IV, I thought I'd try and get through Silent Hunter III. As of yet, I've only now entered 1944. The funny thing is, I'm more successfull, even now that it is supposed to be more difficult. I guess if there's one thing I can point to, it's that I'm not taking chances. Every time I've lost a sub in the past, it's been because I wanted to get off one more shot, or that I wanted to get to the surface for just another peek. Now, I take my shots, and slink away, no shame.
My last patrol was my 10th patrol on U-555, a type VII-C out of Toulon (La Spezia was captured in '43). It started off quick when our base was bombed by American B-24s just after leaving the pen.
We weren't the target however, but our fleet was roughed up.
On our way to our Patrol Sector along the southern coast of Sicily, we ran into a large cargo steamer (this mod can be found on Serge's website). Through the periscope, we spotted Sunderlands patrolling above, so we decided to fire one torpedo, then pull down the periscope and continue on our course submerged.
The torpedo hit just aft of center and the ship began to list, but much to our surprise, it not only stayed afloat, but kept moving forward; all the while listing nearly 45 degrees!
After that, we were the talk of the town and the four Sunderlands started dropping DCs all over the place. After two of them collided and crashed into the sea, they gave up chase and returned home.
That doesn't mean we were safe, as the Italians joined the hunt later on, forcing us under the surface yet again.
Things really got interesting for us on the way home though, as we ran into a convoy headed east. We always run along the convoy routes when they lead to and from our patrol sector. We began to dive, then bobbed back up to the surface one more time to send a contact report to BdU, before going to periscope depth a few hundred yards off the port bow of the lead escort.
We watched the lead ship and shut down our engines. Apparently they had not seen or heard us.
When the convoy got close enough, we took aim at two priority targets. The first one was a T2 Tanker, rear center. The second one was a Troop Transport just ahead of it. This way, we figured the torpedoes would reach the targets at nearly the same time, instead of firing at the closest first. We fired two at each, then dove to 25 meters and 2/3 speed into the convoy.
The troop transport was hit just seconds before the tanker, and both ships erupted into fireballs after their first torpedo strike.
The Destroyers began pinging for us along the perimeter of the convoy, but we had already moved into the center of it, just beneath the traffic above.
In our gutsiest move, we rose to periscope depth and fired on a C2 Cargo ship, with 13 British Spitfire fighter planes tied down on deck.
Our lone aft torpedo found the mark and broke the C2 in half, sending it to the bottom quickly.
At this point, I didn't even bother waiting to see what would happen next. I ordered that we return on course, opposite of the convoy, and dive to a depth around 130 meters at 2/3 speed. If the Destroyer pings got louder, I would release a few decoys, and change direction, but that didn't happen. They kept patrolling the perimeter while we snuck away to the west, along the southern coast of Corsica.
When we got home, we were toasted. I think it was my best patrol yet.
I guess the moral of the story is don't run into an engagement with blinders on. If the enemy has the upper hand, there's no shame in running. Don't be suicidal. Make your move at the best opportune moment, then sneak away quietly and deeply.
When it comes to aircraft, I go to flank speed when I see them, then change course as soon as my coning tower clears the surface. They ususally DC my initial course, leaving me unscathed.