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View Full Version : Murmansk Convoy Attack: U-361, a VII-C/41



paulhager
01-19-2006, 04:55 PM
As I mentioned in the Murmansk #10 thread, I decided to return to another career I€d left about a month ago: the U-361, a VII-C/41. It is also based in Bergen and has the most up-to-date equipment. I was interested in comparing a IX and a VII under similar battle conditions. This is the account of the U-361's patrol.

Departure from Bergen was November, 1943. Loadout was 3 Wrens in the stern+external, 2 Wrens, 2 FaT€s, and the rest T-III€s in the bow+external. Action took place over the period 9 November to 10 November.
http://tinypic.com/m8iq8z.jpg

I received a BdU contact report as I was approaching my self-designated patrol zone.
http://tinypic.com/m8isfo.jpg

I got inside the screen and had a shot on a T2, which I damaged.
http://tinypic.com/m8itd3.jpg

I also took a shot on the lead escort with a Wren. Meanwhile, a flank escort fired off a starshell that was nowhere close to my location.
http://tinypic.com/m8ivlf.jpg

As is sometimes the case with homing torps, the Wren went off on its own, switching its target from the lead J-Type DD to a flank escort €" another J-Type DD. Result: scratch one DD.
http://tinypic.com/m8ix61.jpg

I easily eluded the escorts and took out the cripple. I surfaced, sent a report to BdU, and resumed the hunt.
http://tinypic.com/m8jhtz.jpg
http://tinypic.com/m8ji92.jpg

I had plenty of fuel so I made a flank speed run to overhaul the convoy and make a second attack. I timed things so the attack would be made after moonset.
http://tinypic.com/m8jiwn.jpg

I prosecuted my attack from the same side the J-Type DD had been on and was able to get excellent position. I fired a FaT at the trailing T3 and a spread of two T-III€s at the leading T3. While those torpedoes were running, I again targeted the lead escort and fired a Wren about 10 degrees in front of it, then turned 60 degrees toward the rear of the convoy and dove at 1/3 to 150, releasing a decoy at 50 before going slow ahead. For once, all my torpedoes directed at merchants hit and both T3€s were sunk.
http://tinypic.com/m8jm11.jpg
http://tinypic.com/m8jm9y.jpg

The Wren finally found the lead J-Type and consigned it to the depths. Again, there was no problem eluding the escorts. I think the VII-C/41 is quicker than the IX-C when it comes to maneuvering. I frequently came close to being caught by escorts when running the IX-C patrols. There was never any problem in this patrol getting away cleanly.
http://tinypic.com/m8jok3.jpg

As I made another flank run to reacquire, I received a BdU update on the convoy€s location.
http://tinypic.com/m8jpf6.jpg

I actually made my final attack on the convoy around local noon, with the sun above the horizon. I targeted two C3€s with a T-III each. I set things up so there was a decent chance of hitting something in an adjacent column should I miss. In the event, both torpedoes hit but only one caused any damage. I took it out with my remaining FaT a little after noon local time. Here€s the killshot, showing the C3 silhouetted by the sun.
http://tinypic.com/m8jrdd.jpg

It wasn€t a bad patrol €" not much worse than my IX-C patrols.
http://tinypic.com/m8jt01.jpg

I decided the dock at Narvik so as to start the next patrol close to my hunting grounds, whenever I decide the resume the campaign. On the last leg of my trip, I encountered a ship on radar coming toward me. I wondered if it might prove to be the elusive €œfriendly taskforce€ I saw twice when I was testing/learning about the possibilities of a €œNorthern Campaign.€ I finally got a visual at something like 2,000 meters. It was small€¦ and enemy. Winds were 7 m/s so I couldn€t blast it with my Mk 42€s €" accordingly, I decided to target it with one of my remaining fire-and-forget Wrens. When the torpedo detonated the target literally disintegrated €" unfortunately I didn€t get a screenshot because I hit the wrong key.

The rest of the trip to Narvik was uneventful and I docked just before sundown €" in other words, early afternoon.
http://tinypic.com/m8jyue.jpg

WilhelmSchulz.
01-19-2006, 05:04 PM
Not bad. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

paulhager
01-19-2006, 05:21 PM
Originally posted by WilhelmSchulz.:
Not bad. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I really like the VII-C/41. Two of the three Type VII's in the Almeier story were C/41's and I grew pretty fond of them.

It does seem that the C/41 handles better and is more responsive that the IX. Turns in the IX seemed to take forever in comparison. That can make a big difference when trying to change course and/or present one's stern to the escorts.

On the other hand, the IX does have a LOT of torpedoes. I seemed to be much more accurate with the VII-C/41. Maybe I exercise more care when I know I have fewer torpedoes. Some sort of reverse risk homeostasis phenomenon, no doubt ... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

WilhelmSchulz.
01-19-2006, 05:28 PM
Some sort of reverse risk homeostasis phenomenon, no doubt ...
Homeostasis? WTF??? How dose that have anything to do with using fish?

paulhager
01-19-2006, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by WilhelmSchulz.:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Some sort of reverse risk homeostasis phenomenon, no doubt ...
Homeostasis? WTF??? How dose that have anything to do with using fish? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Risk homeostatis is an interesting behavioral phenomenon that has been repeatedly demonstrated.

The word "homeostasis" literally means to "stay at home" or remain in the same place. It is a feature of dynamic systems that exhibit negative feedback. The classic example of homeostasis is the operation of a thermostat. As temperature rises above a setpoint on the thermostat, the air conditioning turns on. As the temperature returns to the setpoint, the air conditioner turns off. Homeostasis is a feature of biological systems, economic systems, social and political systems, and so on.

Now, as to risk homeostatis ... in essence it is behavior in which people tend to maintain a particular level of risk with which they are comfortable. It manifests itself as people behaving more recklessly if they are provided with more safety. For example, there is pretty good evidence that as people are compelled to wear seat belts, very little benefit is observed. People will drive more recklessly if they know they are more likely to survive a crash. Another good example is the failure of anti-lock brakes to save lives. On paper, they should. Some research done in Germany several years back with taxicab drivers showed that when drivers knew they had ABS, they tended to drive faster, bumper chase more, and make more sudden lane changes than without ABS.

There are plenty of other examples of risk homeostasis - I've studied and written about it from the public policy standpoint. Attempts to impose "safe behavior" by legislatures and bureaucrats are often much less successful than expected (or even worsen things) and risk homeostasis is the culprit.

All of the foregoing is to explain that I may be more wasteful of torpedoes in a Type IX because I can afford to be. A Type VII forces me to change my behavior and be more careful in taking shots. That was the sense in which I used "risk homeostasis".

WilhelmSchulz.
01-19-2006, 06:10 PM
*brain sisling and sparking* http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
I under stood that because I read the type of **** you write. But I think some of the others might be a bit confused.

Trydan
01-20-2006, 06:46 AM
Thanks for the explanation about "homeostasis". My question though, is what do you mean by "Wren".

paulhager
01-20-2006, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by Trydan:
Thanks for the explanation about "homeostasis". My question though, is what do you mean by "Wren".

The Zaunk¶nig translates to "Wren" - that was what I called it in the Altmeier stories. Besides, it's a lot easier to type "Wren" than "Zaunk¶nig". I also think the English version is somewhat ironic: "Nice little birdy ... BOOM!"

Trydan
01-20-2006, 08:32 AM
Of course. All's clear now. Thanks for that.

WilhelmSchulz.
01-20-2006, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by paulhager:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Trydan:
Thanks for the explanation about "homeostasis". My question though, is what do you mean by "Wren".

The Zaunk¶nig translates to "Wren" - that was what I called it in the Altmeier stories. Besides, it's a lot easier to type "Wren" than "Zaunk¶nig". I also think the English version is somewhat ironic: "Nice little birdy ... BOOM!" </div></BLOCKQUOTE>lol yea like Falke, Im pritty shure it translates int falcon. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif