Just another snippet from this latest patrol, still working on penning it all down like the last one.
"Captain to the Bridge, large merchant on sonar bearing 060, sir."
"Very well sonar." A few minutes later we can see the masts crawling over the horizon. Two tall masts barely peeking at us from 5 miles away. Its early afternoon and there are no clouds to speak of giving an unlimited visibility.
"Helm come right to course 120." Two minutes later and we were working the motion analysis. Contact was slowly drawing aft. Good for a stern set-up, perfect.
"Helm come left to course 080, lets see if we can get a range off of her before we see the hull."
No noticeable change in bearings, she is way out there. That makes her a big girl.
"Helm make your course 150, XO, I plan to drive off her course to set up a stern shot, let's clear the aft torpedo room for some more berthing.
Ten minutes later she final comes over the horizon, best estimate of range 12 thousand yards. "Plots, Looks like she is a large tanker, moving slow. We will drive to the south and let her close to 5 thousand yards before diving to PD. Clear the decks. Helm, come right to course south."
Some fifteen minutes later she drives her lumbering mass into the 5000 yard range and we slip undetected below the waves.
'All ahead one third, XO what is your best range to her closest point of approach?
"Inside 1 thousand yards sir."
"Very well XO. Helm to the Engine room, make turns for 2 knots."
A few minutes later, the range has closed to just over a mile and the outer doors are opened.
" Up Scope, range, mark."
"One-Five Hundred yards."
"Bearing, mark, down Scope."
"How's that stack up, XO?
"Six Knots, course 270, range matches, ready to shoot sir."
'Understood,XO, stand by for final bearing and shoot. Up Scope. Bearing mark, range One Thousand yards."
"Torpedo away, sonar reports unit running."
Torpedo away, Sonar holds both units."
Thirty seconds later, 'Up Scope."
WHAM! BOOM! BOOM!
"First shot hit just below the forward mast, must have caught the oil on board, secondary explosions have blown her nose off."
"Second shot hit just aft of the second, she's goin down quick boys."
Within fifteen seconds, all that could be seen was burning floatsam and a few life boats. Its doubtful that there would be many survivors, the attack was so sudden, unexpected and violent that most of the crew would be trapped below decks or killed in the secondary explosions." God have mercy on their souls, their bodies have been returned to the sea.
Actual range at TOF 700 yards, worked her in from just over the horizon with only two course maneuvers and an all stop bell at TOF. Probably one of my best set-ups in a while with awe-inspiring results.