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Ernst_Rohr
08-01-2006, 01:19 PM
Well, after being away for a while, I decided to fire up SHIII again. Lots of new mods and changes while I was away!

I decided to try Grey Wolves 1.1 along with SH Commander (great mod!) along with a couple of small tweak mods. Looking forward to seeing/using milch cows!

Since its been a while, I am running 91% difficulty, with weapons officer help and event views on, while I struggle with re-learning how to shoot! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

After spending a bit of time in the training missions relearning torps, I decided I was hitting often enough to try a campaign game again.

So here is my first patrol with U-51, Wilhelm Rohr commanding.....

From the diary of Leutnant zur See Wilhelm Rohr, Commander U-51;

Sept 1, 1939;
Finally, after two months of preparation and training U-51 is ready for sea duty. Things in Wilhelmshaven have been incredibly busy and filling all my crew postions has been frustrating. The entire crew is very green, many of the men are fresh from training. Several of the men have been seconded from the surface fleet, but at least they have some naval experience. Even my officers are young, my XO reminds me of my younger brother Ernst.

Fathers last letter says that Ernst is not going to follow the family tradition and is instead trying to join the Luftwaffe. I am sure that must have been an unpleasant scene, knowing fathers temper. Poor mama! Still, at least it isnt the army, father would have never forgiven him for that.

Things have been quite rushed here. Before, we would have had more time to train the crew before putting to sea. Rumor around the base here is that the BDU thinks things could heat up with England and France soon. I hope the rumors are wrong, but with the announcement today of war with Poland, who knows.

We have received orders to patrol grid AM-32, off the Irish coast, if things go badly and we wind up at war with England, U-51 will be in very unfriendly waters. I hope the rumors are wrong, I would like more time to break in my crew.

Sept 2, 1939;
Left harbor late yesterday afternoon. Great deal of friendly naval traffic spotted on our way out to sea. Large numbers of Luftwaffe planes spotted as well. Once past Heigoland, no traffic spotted. Weather was good, seas calm. U-51 is making 10 knots at 1/3rd speed.

Sept 3, 1939;
Radio traffic has been constant all day. England and France have declared war on Germany. Orders have been streaming in almost hourly, although a lot of it is repeated traffic, reminding us of our rules of engagement. The crew is quite anxious about the news, privately, so am I. I am concerned my crew is too green, but we will do our duty.

13:15
As we get closer to the Scottish coast, the weather has been deteriorating rapidly. Seas are heavy and the sky is quite overcast. Many of the newer men are looking quite green. The boat is rolling heavily in the sea. If the seas get any worse, I will order us down for a bit.

18:30
Seas are still heavy, visibility is poor as darkness sets in. The watch crew spot a fishing trawler, but seas are too heavy to man the deck gun, and such a small ship would be a waste of a torpedo. We let it continue on.

17:40
A merchant is spotted! The crew responds to general quarters quickly and efficently, but the contact is revealed to be a neutral ship.

Rest of the evening is uneventaful, we increase speed to standard to run the gap between Scapa Flow and the Orkney's and the northern islands. A potentially dangerous route, but it will get us to our patrol area sooner.

Sept 4, 1939;
06:38
Seas are heavy, visibility is poor. Skies are heavily overcast and ran squalls are frequent. Despite this, the watch crew spots a coastal merchant! We plot an intercept course and run ahead of the merchant. She is English! The crew goes to general quarters quickly and we come about smartly despite the heavy seas. The merchant is only making about 3-4 knots in the heavy swells, and we easily outdistance her.

07:15
We have reached a position ahead of the merchant and submerged.

07:38
The XO and I have laid in a plot and start tracking the target. She has not changed course, and is still making 4 knots.

07:43
First torpedo is fired and the damnable thing passes right under the target without detonating!

A second topedo is fired in quick succession. This fish we set for an impact detonation. It works perfectly! A large explosion is observed directly at the center of the ship, a perfect shot! The target heels over as if kicked by a giant, and the crew gives out a cheer! After several minutes of observation, the ship doesnt appear to be taking on much water, and while she slows, she is still underway. A third shot is plotted.

A stupid error! In all the excitement, the crew gets sloppy. The outer door on tube 3 isnt opened, and the delay causes the solution to be off by a few degrees when the shot finally leaves the tube. A precious torpedo wasted needlessly!

I let the XO yell at the torpedo crew briefly, then call him back to plot a final shot. Tube 4 is readied and this time we are perfectly aligned. The torpedo is launched and the shot stikes perfectly! However, there is no explosion! A dud! I grind my teethin frustration, but there is no helping it. I can only wait while the torpedo crew reloads the tubes.

Almost 20 minutes pass while the torpedo crew curse and stuggle with the reloading. Even at periscope depth, the heavy seas are making the ship roll slightly, making things even harder for them. Despite the conditions, they manage to reload tube 1 in a decent time and we prep the (hopefully) final shot for our target.

Our wounded prey is running, and has been zig zaging, trying to ruin our shot. However, she is slowed quite a bit by the damage she has taken. We close in and prep tube 1 for a magnetic detonation, since the angle is so bad. The torpedo is launched and this time the magnetic pistol works! The torpedo explodes almost directly under the targets engine room, and she heels over again, and fire is quickly observed on her rear deck.

We observe her for a while, and it becomes clear that she is mortally wounded as her crew is observed taking to her lifeboats. I order the periscope lowered, and we return to our original heading, slinking away from our first kill.

The crew is excited by the sinking, but we have used up five torpedoes on a fairly small merchant. Not a good return! The fact that two of the shots failed to detonate does not help my mood at all, if this is a common occurance, our patrols will see a lot of wasted shots.

Sept 5, 1939;
We have reached our patrol grid. Seas are still heavy. Rain is almost constant. Visibility is next to nil. The constant heavy seas are making things hard on the crew, so we start "submerge and listen" drills. This gives the crew some relief, and the hydrophone operators some time to practice their skills.

No contacts all day.

Sept 6th, 1939;
Weather is still terrible. Several of the crew look seasick from the constant rolling, so we spend the day repeating yesterdays "submerge and listen" drills to give the crew some respite. No contacts.

Sept 7th, 1939;
Weather still miserable. After discussion, the XO and I decide we will try heading in twoards the Scottish coast and start a sweep there for targets.

14:12
A British destoyer is spotted at long range! We dive immediately, but it apparently hasnt seen us. It continues away from our position at high speed. We have no chance at intercepting it. Secretly I am relived, I dont want to take on a warship with my green crew.

15:47
A ship is spotted on the horizon, and I order an intercept. As we close on the target, the miserable weather closes in and rain screens it from view. I order the boat to periscope depth, and we try to track it via the hydrophones. We get frustratingly close, but it manages to elude us.

17:40
A hydrophone contact! We spend an hour chasing it, but once again we lose the target. While I say nothing, I can see that our hydrophone operator feels poorly about losing two targets in the space of hours.

20:12
Another hydrophone contact, this time we manage to catch up to it. The contact is identified as a small British tanker, but we have to close dangerously close to identify it due to poor weather, heavy seas and driving rain.

After falling back a safe distance, we setup for a solution, and the tanker decides to change course, taking us out of an ideal solution. The seas are very heavy, so surfacing isnt really a solution. After discussion, the XO and I decided to try a magnetic shot and hope for the best, as we stare at the stern of the tanker.

22:19
The first shot is out, but once again, the magnetic detonator betrays us. The torpedo sails beneath the tanker at an ideal depth, and fails to detonate.

Prepared for this possibility, a second torpedo is standing by. After a quick update of the solultion, the second torpedo is launched. This time the magentic detonator works, and there is a statisfying explosion. Almost immediately after the torpedo detonates, there is a spectacular secondary explosion, followed by another. Everyone on board can here the blasts, as the ocean booms like a giant drum! The flaming wreckage sinks like a stone. Clearly, there were no survivors from that vessel, and I murmur a brief prayer for the unfortunate crew.

Once again, torpedos are being spent wastefully due to the poor reliability of the magnetic detonators. It is incredibly frustrating, but nothing can be done about it right now.

Sept 8th, 1939
We have only been out a week now, but we are low on torpedoes, and all of this chasing targets through high seas has our diesel reserves down to 50%. I decided to work our way back down the way we came, running the gap north of Scapa Flow again and continuing down the coast of Scotland looking for targets of opportunity as we head back towards base.

Weather again is poor. Visibility is slightly improved, but skies remain overcast and seas heavy. No contacts.

Sept 9, 1939
06:40
The trip back through the gap went uneventfully, and we turn south and starte heading down the coast. Seas are quieter here, but the swells are still large. A British warship is spotted, but its moving at high speed and we give it wide berth.

13:10
A tramp steamer is spotted. An almost perfect solution is setup, as the steamer is cruising across our bow at an almost perfect 90 degree angle. Two torps are setup for impact. Since our torpedoes have been averaging only a 50% detonation rate so far, I decided to fire both at once. Predictably, this time both fish work properly and slam into the steamer, striking her just at her first hold and almost directly under her stack. Within just a few minutes, she has developed a distinct list, and her crew abandons her. Another solid kill.

We continue our southward trend.

Sept 10, 1939
08:44
The weather has cleared up somewhat, seas are quieter, but still showing large swells. Visibility is much better.

A medium cargo ship spotted! Unfortunately, we only have one forward torpedo left. Seas have been far to heavy to even think about pulling the reserve torpedo from topside, so we are left with one tube to the front, and one to the stern . The ship is making good steam NNW, so we submerge and move to a more advantageous position.

09:53
We are set up and watching our target creep into firing position. The long distance we spotted it at, plus the slow speed and straight line course have given us and easy and (hopefully) accurate firing solution. Since we have had such poor luck with the magnetics, we decided to go for an impact shot.

The shot is right on target, striking her just forward of the amidships. She slows, but continues steaming. We quickly begin a hard turn to bring the stern tube up for a shot!

The stern tube is launched, but our solution is rushed and the torpedo misses cleaning, falling short of the targets stern. We begin to follow the target but within 20 minutes, just as the aft tube reloads, the hydrophone operator calls out that he has warship contacts moving in fast! The cargo ship obviously radioed for help and British warships were nearby. Bad luck!

The hydrophone operator reports two contacts, closing fast. I order a crashdive and we break east for the deeper water of the North Sea. One of the ships comes in pinging, but it remains a fair distance away. Just to be sure I order us about to present a stern profile to her as we continue to slip away.

11:21
Things have quieted down, and contact has been lost with the patrolling warships. I order the boat to periscope depth, and after confirming that nothing is on the horizon, we surface the boat. Seas are still heavy, and since the bulk of our torpedos are spent, I order the navigator to make course to Wilhemshaven.

The remainder of the patrol passes uneventfully and we come into port with no issue.

Patrol analysis;
Torpedo reliability is poor! We wasted a couple of torpedoes as well due to poor shooting on my part.
Overall tonnage sunk was small, we had a chance at a larger ship, but lack of torpedos (and poor shooting) saved it.

Green crew needs more time in the boat. Also, only one certified mechanic in the engine compartment is causing us to waste a lot of diesel. My engineer put in herculean effort, but he is only one man. A second rated mechanic is badly needed. Torpedo crew performed well despite rough seas. Hydrophone operators definately need some more practice! We lost contacts that we should have been able to catch. Not a bad initial patrol, but nothing stellar either.

Targets sunk;
One Coastal Merchant (looks like I mis-identified this one!)
One Small Tanker
One Tramp Steamer

Targets damaged;
One Medium Cargo ship

Ernst_Rohr
08-01-2006, 01:19 PM
Well, after being away for a while, I decided to fire up SHIII again. Lots of new mods and changes while I was away!

I decided to try Grey Wolves 1.1 along with SH Commander (great mod!) along with a couple of small tweak mods. Looking forward to seeing/using milch cows!

Since its been a while, I am running 91% difficulty, with weapons officer help and event views on, while I struggle with re-learning how to shoot! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

After spending a bit of time in the training missions relearning torps, I decided I was hitting often enough to try a campaign game again.

So here is my first patrol with U-51, Wilhelm Rohr commanding.....

From the diary of Leutnant zur See Wilhelm Rohr, Commander U-51;

Sept 1, 1939;
Finally, after two months of preparation and training U-51 is ready for sea duty. Things in Wilhelmshaven have been incredibly busy and filling all my crew postions has been frustrating. The entire crew is very green, many of the men are fresh from training. Several of the men have been seconded from the surface fleet, but at least they have some naval experience. Even my officers are young, my XO reminds me of my younger brother Ernst.

Fathers last letter says that Ernst is not going to follow the family tradition and is instead trying to join the Luftwaffe. I am sure that must have been an unpleasant scene, knowing fathers temper. Poor mama! Still, at least it isnt the army, father would have never forgiven him for that.

Things have been quite rushed here. Before, we would have had more time to train the crew before putting to sea. Rumor around the base here is that the BDU thinks things could heat up with England and France soon. I hope the rumors are wrong, but with the announcement today of war with Poland, who knows.

We have received orders to patrol grid AM-32, off the Irish coast, if things go badly and we wind up at war with England, U-51 will be in very unfriendly waters. I hope the rumors are wrong, I would like more time to break in my crew.

Sept 2, 1939;
Left harbor late yesterday afternoon. Great deal of friendly naval traffic spotted on our way out to sea. Large numbers of Luftwaffe planes spotted as well. Once past Heigoland, no traffic spotted. Weather was good, seas calm. U-51 is making 10 knots at 1/3rd speed.

Sept 3, 1939;
Radio traffic has been constant all day. England and France have declared war on Germany. Orders have been streaming in almost hourly, although a lot of it is repeated traffic, reminding us of our rules of engagement. The crew is quite anxious about the news, privately, so am I. I am concerned my crew is too green, but we will do our duty.

13:15
As we get closer to the Scottish coast, the weather has been deteriorating rapidly. Seas are heavy and the sky is quite overcast. Many of the newer men are looking quite green. The boat is rolling heavily in the sea. If the seas get any worse, I will order us down for a bit.

18:30
Seas are still heavy, visibility is poor as darkness sets in. The watch crew spot a fishing trawler, but seas are too heavy to man the deck gun, and such a small ship would be a waste of a torpedo. We let it continue on.

17:40
A merchant is spotted! The crew responds to general quarters quickly and efficently, but the contact is revealed to be a neutral ship.

Rest of the evening is uneventaful, we increase speed to standard to run the gap between Scapa Flow and the Orkney's and the northern islands. A potentially dangerous route, but it will get us to our patrol area sooner.

Sept 4, 1939;
06:38
Seas are heavy, visibility is poor. Skies are heavily overcast and ran squalls are frequent. Despite this, the watch crew spots a coastal merchant! We plot an intercept course and run ahead of the merchant. She is English! The crew goes to general quarters quickly and we come about smartly despite the heavy seas. The merchant is only making about 3-4 knots in the heavy swells, and we easily outdistance her.

07:15
We have reached a position ahead of the merchant and submerged.

07:38
The XO and I have laid in a plot and start tracking the target. She has not changed course, and is still making 4 knots.

07:43
First torpedo is fired and the damnable thing passes right under the target without detonating!

A second topedo is fired in quick succession. This fish we set for an impact detonation. It works perfectly! A large explosion is observed directly at the center of the ship, a perfect shot! The target heels over as if kicked by a giant, and the crew gives out a cheer! After several minutes of observation, the ship doesnt appear to be taking on much water, and while she slows, she is still underway. A third shot is plotted.

A stupid error! In all the excitement, the crew gets sloppy. The outer door on tube 3 isnt opened, and the delay causes the solution to be off by a few degrees when the shot finally leaves the tube. A precious torpedo wasted needlessly!

I let the XO yell at the torpedo crew briefly, then call him back to plot a final shot. Tube 4 is readied and this time we are perfectly aligned. The torpedo is launched and the shot stikes perfectly! However, there is no explosion! A dud! I grind my teethin frustration, but there is no helping it. I can only wait while the torpedo crew reloads the tubes.

Almost 20 minutes pass while the torpedo crew curse and stuggle with the reloading. Even at periscope depth, the heavy seas are making the ship roll slightly, making things even harder for them. Despite the conditions, they manage to reload tube 1 in a decent time and we prep the (hopefully) final shot for our target.

Our wounded prey is running, and has been zig zaging, trying to ruin our shot. However, she is slowed quite a bit by the damage she has taken. We close in and prep tube 1 for a magnetic detonation, since the angle is so bad. The torpedo is launched and this time the magnetic pistol works! The torpedo explodes almost directly under the targets engine room, and she heels over again, and fire is quickly observed on her rear deck.

We observe her for a while, and it becomes clear that she is mortally wounded as her crew is observed taking to her lifeboats. I order the periscope lowered, and we return to our original heading, slinking away from our first kill.

The crew is excited by the sinking, but we have used up five torpedoes on a fairly small merchant. Not a good return! The fact that two of the shots failed to detonate does not help my mood at all, if this is a common occurance, our patrols will see a lot of wasted shots.

Sept 5, 1939;
We have reached our patrol grid. Seas are still heavy. Rain is almost constant. Visibility is next to nil. The constant heavy seas are making things hard on the crew, so we start "submerge and listen" drills. This gives the crew some relief, and the hydrophone operators some time to practice their skills.

No contacts all day.

Sept 6th, 1939;
Weather is still terrible. Several of the crew look seasick from the constant rolling, so we spend the day repeating yesterdays "submerge and listen" drills to give the crew some respite. No contacts.

Sept 7th, 1939;
Weather still miserable. After discussion, the XO and I decide we will try heading in twoards the Scottish coast and start a sweep there for targets.

14:12
A British destoyer is spotted at long range! We dive immediately, but it apparently hasnt seen us. It continues away from our position at high speed. We have no chance at intercepting it. Secretly I am relived, I dont want to take on a warship with my green crew.

15:47
A ship is spotted on the horizon, and I order an intercept. As we close on the target, the miserable weather closes in and rain screens it from view. I order the boat to periscope depth, and we try to track it via the hydrophones. We get frustratingly close, but it manages to elude us.

17:40
A hydrophone contact! We spend an hour chasing it, but once again we lose the target. While I say nothing, I can see that our hydrophone operator feels poorly about losing two targets in the space of hours.

20:12
Another hydrophone contact, this time we manage to catch up to it. The contact is identified as a small British tanker, but we have to close dangerously close to identify it due to poor weather, heavy seas and driving rain.

After falling back a safe distance, we setup for a solution, and the tanker decides to change course, taking us out of an ideal solution. The seas are very heavy, so surfacing isnt really a solution. After discussion, the XO and I decided to try a magnetic shot and hope for the best, as we stare at the stern of the tanker.

22:19
The first shot is out, but once again, the magnetic detonator betrays us. The torpedo sails beneath the tanker at an ideal depth, and fails to detonate.

Prepared for this possibility, a second torpedo is standing by. After a quick update of the solultion, the second torpedo is launched. This time the magentic detonator works, and there is a statisfying explosion. Almost immediately after the torpedo detonates, there is a spectacular secondary explosion, followed by another. Everyone on board can here the blasts, as the ocean booms like a giant drum! The flaming wreckage sinks like a stone. Clearly, there were no survivors from that vessel, and I murmur a brief prayer for the unfortunate crew.

Once again, torpedos are being spent wastefully due to the poor reliability of the magnetic detonators. It is incredibly frustrating, but nothing can be done about it right now.

Sept 8th, 1939
We have only been out a week now, but we are low on torpedoes, and all of this chasing targets through high seas has our diesel reserves down to 50%. I decided to work our way back down the way we came, running the gap north of Scapa Flow again and continuing down the coast of Scotland looking for targets of opportunity as we head back towards base.

Weather again is poor. Visibility is slightly improved, but skies remain overcast and seas heavy. No contacts.

Sept 9, 1939
06:40
The trip back through the gap went uneventfully, and we turn south and starte heading down the coast. Seas are quieter here, but the swells are still large. A British warship is spotted, but its moving at high speed and we give it wide berth.

13:10
A tramp steamer is spotted. An almost perfect solution is setup, as the steamer is cruising across our bow at an almost perfect 90 degree angle. Two torps are setup for impact. Since our torpedoes have been averaging only a 50% detonation rate so far, I decided to fire both at once. Predictably, this time both fish work properly and slam into the steamer, striking her just at her first hold and almost directly under her stack. Within just a few minutes, she has developed a distinct list, and her crew abandons her. Another solid kill.

We continue our southward trend.

Sept 10, 1939
08:44
The weather has cleared up somewhat, seas are quieter, but still showing large swells. Visibility is much better.

A medium cargo ship spotted! Unfortunately, we only have one forward torpedo left. Seas have been far to heavy to even think about pulling the reserve torpedo from topside, so we are left with one tube to the front, and one to the stern . The ship is making good steam NNW, so we submerge and move to a more advantageous position.

09:53
We are set up and watching our target creep into firing position. The long distance we spotted it at, plus the slow speed and straight line course have given us and easy and (hopefully) accurate firing solution. Since we have had such poor luck with the magnetics, we decided to go for an impact shot.

The shot is right on target, striking her just forward of the amidships. She slows, but continues steaming. We quickly begin a hard turn to bring the stern tube up for a shot!

The stern tube is launched, but our solution is rushed and the torpedo misses cleaning, falling short of the targets stern. We begin to follow the target but within 20 minutes, just as the aft tube reloads, the hydrophone operator calls out that he has warship contacts moving in fast! The cargo ship obviously radioed for help and British warships were nearby. Bad luck!

The hydrophone operator reports two contacts, closing fast. I order a crashdive and we break east for the deeper water of the North Sea. One of the ships comes in pinging, but it remains a fair distance away. Just to be sure I order us about to present a stern profile to her as we continue to slip away.

11:21
Things have quieted down, and contact has been lost with the patrolling warships. I order the boat to periscope depth, and after confirming that nothing is on the horizon, we surface the boat. Seas are still heavy, and since the bulk of our torpedos are spent, I order the navigator to make course to Wilhemshaven.

The remainder of the patrol passes uneventfully and we come into port with no issue.

Patrol analysis;
Torpedo reliability is poor! We wasted a couple of torpedoes as well due to poor shooting on my part.
Overall tonnage sunk was small, we had a chance at a larger ship, but lack of torpedos (and poor shooting) saved it.

Green crew needs more time in the boat. Also, only one certified mechanic in the engine compartment is causing us to waste a lot of diesel. My engineer put in herculean effort, but he is only one man. A second rated mechanic is badly needed. Torpedo crew performed well despite rough seas. Hydrophone operators definately need some more practice! We lost contacts that we should have been able to catch. Not a bad initial patrol, but nothing stellar either.

Targets sunk;
One Coastal Merchant (looks like I mis-identified this one!)
One Small Tanker
One Tramp Steamer

Targets damaged;
One Medium Cargo ship