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SeaSheppard
03-24-2006, 06:23 AM
Not to be melancholic but I was reading Andrew William's "Battle of the Atlantic" and I was struck by a story told by the author of a U-Boat captain who, after sinking a transport in winter noticed a life boat with a mother and child. He spoke of not being able to take them on board. Being a new father I was just thinking of how horrible it must have been to be in an open boat in winter on the ocean knowing that you and your kid will not make it. Just something to think about...

Celeon999
03-24-2006, 06:30 AM
Teddy Suhren had a similar situation after the u-boat he was 1st officer on torpedoed an african ship under british flag on the first war day.

In an lifeboat were to african women with an baby who begged the u-boat crew to take the baby aboard.

Luckily the situation could be solved with an uncoded radio message that was recieved by an british destroyer that was relativily close.

casey68
03-24-2006, 06:55 AM
I'm sure every one knows the reasons why bdu banned the rescuing of survivors, ie the laconia incident.not only was the u-boat that was toing survivors bombed but the life boats aswell. ther is an artical in the bbc's web site on ww2 written by survivors of this incident and about their treatment after being captured by vichi french forces.

The_Silent_O
03-24-2006, 07:20 AM
I don't think any nation would get away with "unrestricted submarine warfare" today...Besides the UN, the world's press and public opinion would shriek.

...But back then...it was another story. Heck, look at the strategic bombing campaign over Europe. Hope they had enough lifeboats and provisions.

Josef_Schwejk
03-24-2006, 07:44 AM
Everyone finds that the Action from the commander of the German Boat in the U-571 movie was evil because he shot the prisoniers.

In fact, it was the only human choice, because in that weather they would be all died slowly and painfully.Ar die on thirst.

It was Human that he shot them.It was a lone Tanker.

If it was in a Convoy, than they had a chance to be found, but a lone bunch of survivers in the middle of the Norht Atlantic..................

If someone in a small boat comes along your sub, and you can't take them abord, kill them.It's less painfully.EVEN if most of you will now think i am Inhuman, THINK about it.It's the only Human choice.

The_Silent_O
03-24-2006, 08:03 AM
Originally posted by Josef_Schwejk:
Everyone finds that the Action from the commander of the German Boat in the U-571 movie was evil because he shot the prisoniers.

In fact, it was the only human choice, because in that weather they would be all died slowly and painfully.Ar die on thirst.

It was Human that he shot them.It was a lone Tanker.

If it was in a Convoy, than they had a chance to be found, but a lone bunch of survivers in the middle of the Norht Atlantic..................

If someone in a small boat comes along your sub, and you can't take them abord, kill them.It's less painfully.EVEN if most of you will now think i am Inhuman, THINK about it.It's the only Human choice.

That's a little steep...You can still broadcast an open channel SOS and position. Many U-boat commanders did this anyway...and chance gave away their position.

Large and even small convoys had trailing ships specifically designated as rescue ships in the event that a ship went down in a convoy. This was also the ship that had the HF/DF (high frequency / directional finder) mounted so that if a u-boat did send off a message they could trianglate it's position.

Clay Blair saw HF/DF or "huff duff" as an overlooked true killer of many U-boats.

Foehammer-1
03-24-2006, 10:12 AM
The bastards used the boat's signals to blow up the boat that tried to rescue survivors?? After all, its the ship itself the boats are after, not the people on board.

dbuff
03-24-2006, 11:33 AM
I have two living uncles that were in the merchant marine in WWII and my late granddaddy was on the USS MacKenzie which provided convoy protection in the Atlantic.
link - http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ships/DD/DD-614_MacKenzie.html
Honestly - I really dont want them know that I play as a Uboat Commander - even though its a "game".
THEN I have a grandfather who was POW after his B-17 was shot down. German camp was very cruel to him. I wouldnt want him to know that I play as a German pilot in IL2.

I agree - i not mean to be melancholy either.
People like to play out war games - I dont think my grandparents and the like got too worked up when they played cowboys and indians.
Anyway - its still good to know we have a softer, not pacifist, side to us.

pike1964
03-24-2006, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by Foehammer-1:
The bastards used the boat's signals to blow up the boat that tried to rescue survivors?? After all, its the ship itself the boats are after, not the people on board.

U-Boats sent a message to BdU as soon as a convoy was sighted. This was part of the Wolfpack tacticks. HF/DF picked up the transmission so corvettes or destroyers could be sent into the direction of the transmission. Triangulation, as The_Silent_O mentions, only woks well if at least two out of three recievers are on a fixed point. HF/DF only pointed out the direction (bearing to bow) of the U-Boat sending a signal.

U-Boat commanders sometimes tried to help survivors to survive, not rescue (except for the Laconia incident). There's simply no space in an U-Boot to accomodate non-crew. AFIK alle these actions were for the benefit of survivors from lone ships.
Help might consist of water, food, blankets and medication. Or any random combination of the mentioned. Bearings to the nearest port have been given as well.

Check out the 'Articles' section of http://www.uboat.net/

Ich halte Josef_Schwejk kein braber Soldat. Not a good soldier. Shooting defenceless people in the water is just not done, it's a crime of war. The 'humane' factor is irelevant.

Psychfilm
03-24-2006, 12:33 PM
There are a number of reports of U-Boat captains and crew acting quite honorably, sometimes at great personal risk to themselves.

Prien in U-47 9/3/39 the Bosnia Also on 9/6/39 the Rio Claro.
Schultz in U-48 9/5/39 The Royale Sceptre

Schultz on the Royale Sceptre sinking stopped another ship the S.S. Browning and after the crew of the Browning abandoned ship he went to the life boats and instructed them to reboard and pick up the crew of the Sceptre. To me that is going above and beyond.

All wars are horrible and horrible things happen in war. I'm not saying it's right or wrong it's war. I would never take up arms against another person but playing Silent Hunter allows us all I think to catch a small glimpse of what it must have been like. I in no way think that a game will ever fully replicate the horrors of war, maybe if it could we would have no more wars. But alas the people who make the choice to go to war are seldom the same people who fight it.

HW3
03-24-2006, 12:34 PM
There is only one instance of a U-boat shooting up survivors of a sinking in WWII. The captain said it was done to leave no trace of the sinking so his u-boat could make a clean get away. Donitz was not happy with him, and I believe the captain was tried and convicted for it after the war.

Goose_Green
03-24-2006, 03:25 PM
Also mentioned in Clay Blair's book are the numerous times U Boat commanders would point the survivors of torpedoed ships to the nearest land and they would also give them what privisions they could spare. Although this was far more common an occurance earlier in the war. But deep down I think all seamen whatever the nationality knew the real enemy was the sea itself.

DarkOmen13
03-25-2006, 04:06 PM
I happened to find info on the u boatmen who shot the survivors HW3 mentioned.
Their excuse was that they were dispersing debris in the water and hit the survivors by accident as they did'nt see them or something.
All those responsible were tried, convicted and shot.

Ah, there it is, my book says it was U852. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

D.

hueywolf123
03-26-2006, 08:03 PM
Please, lets not forget the British Q-ships during WWI. There is a story of one who came to the rescue of a US freighter (then neutral) the u-boat surrendered and the commander of the Q ship ordered the boats crew into the water. Instead of then sinking the boat, he and the crew of the Q-ship opened up on the crew of the u-boat. Some surviving crew escaped to the American ship, where the British crew forced a boarding, chased the survivors and executed them on the deck, regardless of the howls of protest by the American crew.
After this, the Kaiser ordered that U-boats no longer had to give notice of attack.
The whole story was reported by the American crew upon their arrival home. The british now started inventing horror stories to swing US sentiment back against Germany. This was almost done for them when the Lusitania was sunk, but until then, Sympathy was swinging toward Germany

Milner62
03-26-2006, 08:48 PM
Ive read accounts where U-boats were trying to help survivors and in return they ended up getting fired upon, i cant remember if it was a rescue vessle that was called up or if it was the survivors that open fired.

blue_76
03-26-2006, 10:27 PM
sinking ships is one thing.. but seeing survivors at sea screaming for help is another. it must've been very difficult knowing that you could help those men, but were ordered not to.. as 'das boot' illustrates clearly. today, in war we have weapons that destroy targets many miles away and we never get to see the damage being done. but once you do get to see close, it changes you forever. you realize, war is the real enemy. that, in my opinion is the true human aspect of war. the enemy you kill is just as innocent as you are.