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View Full Version : U-803's SECOND Caribbean patrol. SCREENIES!!!



Foehammer-1
08-22-2006, 05:36 PM
U-803€s Caribbean patrol

After the previous less-than-successful patrol, my First Officer got serious flu, and most of the people that ever went on watch were sick, as well, with basic colds. The sonar operator did not have the time to remove his headphones during the depth charge attack, bursting both eardrums. He was replaced with a new one, straight out of the Academy. As the sick recovered, the boat was re-painted, its hull hammered into original shape, thus removing damage from the bombs and depth charges that defaced the stern. In the meantime, the dock workers also patched up the holes on both sides of the observation tower€s railing, which were made by a single armor-piercing round from a destroyer that found us during the last patrol. After hull repairs were done, the workers took out the KDB hydrophone which was damaged with depth charges, and installed a new one. This hydrophone is set on the very bottom of the boat; it will hopefully hold itself together in an event of a depth charge attack. The base commander called me to his office. He exclaimed that because my boat was one of the most successful ones in the 2nd flotilla, we could pick up a couple pattern-running and homing torpedoes. However, I politely rejected the offer, since we were destined to grid ED51, right in the middle of the Caribbean. Since there were not supposed to be many convoys or escorts, we would most likely waste the expensive torpedoes on tankers. Little did I know€¦
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As we set off the mooring lines, nightfall came promptly. I was hoping the night would make visual detection by planes more difficult, even if they have radars. The seas were calm and visibility almost unlimited. A perfect weather to spot planes in. And a perfect setting to BE spotted in, as well. Sure enough, those planes came. Maybe they were the buddies of the squadron my flak gunners brought down on the last patrol a month ago. They started dropping bombs, damaging the hull slightly.
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Another wave closed in right behind, but these guys were a lot more sloppy with their bombs, all of which missed.
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All three planes went down eventually, but not before sprinkling our boat with a steel rain of bullets. The gunners prayed for themselves, and I prayed for the bullet shields to not fail. After the attack, we counted about 27 bullet marks on all three guns, and the gunners did not even get scratched.
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This was not it, however. Two hours later, another plane came. This one probably had a very skilled crew, since after sustaining damage, the pilot managed to drop bombs right beside our boat, causing slight buckles in the hull. The plane obviously did not get away, since the gunners shook off the water they have just been sprayed with and aimed true.
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The sunrise was one of the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. If I were a poet, I would probably create a poem right there, for the sky, the sun, the sea and the boat seemed to be inter-related and could not survive without one another.
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As night approached, the poetic feelings left my head and I started thinking about the war again. Just in time, the radar operator called out a radar contact, not too far away. It turned out to be a lone C3. I ordered the deck gun on deck (where else). While they were taking off the plug and stoppers from the gun, I used the UZO to carefully measure the range. After I told it to the gunners, I sat back and enjoyed the show. The lead gunner took 4 shots to snipe off the bow turret off the merchant, and then we held fire. As the boat closed in to a point blank range, several AP, followed by HE shots finished the job.
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Just as we were going to leave the BE grids, a convoy sighting was broadcast to all U-boats in the area. So much for not bringing any pattern-runners or homers. We cranked up the engines and headed for an intercept.
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It was not that simple, though. We got intercepted ourselves by a group of planes. There were one B24 and two Short Sunderlands. The B24 chose not to carpet bomb from 3km away, which was a huge mistake, for my gunners were quite experienced by now, and ammo was plentiful. They knew quite well what hit them
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The Sunderlands proved to be a bit more durable; at least they managed to survive long enough to drop their bombs, which shook us up quite vigorously. The second plane blew up like a misfiring firework and lit up the night sky. The dolphins underneath have probably never seen anything like it before. After everything was quiet, the crew cleaned up the mess inside the boat, which appeared out of nowhere due to bombing, and we continued on towards the convoy.
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We met the convoy head-on, and then maneuvered into a good attack position. The dark, moonless night concealed the periscope, with which I looked for best targets. The poet in my woke up again, and I hummed a song. The words randomly came into my mind:

Running silent, running deep, we are your final prayer;
Warriors in secret sleep, a merchantman€s nightmare.
Silent death lays waiting for all of you below;
Running silent, running deep, sink into your final sleep.
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The front escort did not hear us, and the ones on the sides were too far away. I picked the juiciest targets, a column of T3€s. Little did I know that this convoy probably consisted of either:
a)unsinkable ships, Titanic- style or
b)empty ships. But why would they come out of Gibraltar and then head to England empty??
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/15.jpg

It took 3 torpedoes to disable 3 tankers, then two more to sink one, two more for another, and four more to sink the last one. What a waste of ammo. By the time I was done sinking them, the convoy was long-gone, and the escorts gave up on me as well. I also sank a Liberty Cargo.
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By this time, I was becoming restless, so I started jumping slightly€¦ I ended up with a black eye after hitting the periscope viewfinder with it. Unable to see, I called my watch crew and issued new orders. They were to put on gas masks, stick the hoses out of the water, and observe the surroundings. They would then use the voice pipe to tell me what€s going on around the boat.
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After the tankers finally sank, I decided to disengage, for it would be huge waste of ammo to try and sink the unsinkable ships. We continued on towards the Caribbean. On the way there, we intercepted two tankers heading towards Europe. These ones took two torpedoes each to sink, which is strange, since most tankers blow up in a number of ways from just one torpedo. These ones slowly filled up with water and sank.
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As we continued on, the sun started to feel hotter and hotter. It heated the steel boat so much that even during nighttime the crew was suffering from heat stroke. Maybe that is why they failed to miss a Coastal merchant that was firing its guns madly. After they scored a direct hit, the watch crew awakened and informed me. A bit too late. I decided to pull away, and then shoot them with our own gun from a respectable range. After their gun went silent, we closed in for the kill.
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The next morning, we were very close to the Azores. The officers and I decided to have a little sightseeing tour, since our last visit here in the old boat was rudely interrupted by Catalina planes. We slowly cruised along the islands and then decided to make a stop. The crew went swimming near a nearly tropical beach for the first time, and a couple people traded some tin pots to the natives for a load of fresh bananas and oranges. What a way to raise crew morale, no?
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The next nigh, we spotted a C3 in the distance. Without even bothering to dive, we fired off one torpedo, which hit them right in the engine room. The ship slowly flooded and disappeared out of sight.
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During daytime, we spotted a lone T2, which was doing around 12 knots. One torpedo was sure not enough, it only succeeded in lowering the tanker€s speed, but I looked at our dwindling ammo supply and decided to give it its coup de grace with the deck gun. Since the tanker had its two guns pointed at our periscope, we closed in underwater and blew ballast right beside it, so it could not train its guns on our boat.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/22.jpg
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After shooting off the turrets, I personally manned the machine gun and took off its machinegun nests. The tracer rounds ignited the ammo and the machine gun disappeared in an explosion, while the gunner went flying (you can probably see his legs along the mast)
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/24.jpg

Once again, a couple HE and AP shots finished the job, and the tanker slooooowly sank.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/25.jpg

In the evening, we stumbled upon two more tankers. Since they both had guns, approaching on the surface with our own gun drawn would be suicide. 4 more torpedoes- two more ships sent to Davy Jones€ locker. They took a long while to sink.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/26.jpg

As we entered the Caribbean, a couple planes attacked us again, this time they were American schweinen. All of them were eventually set alight by our AA guns, but the ammo was slowly starting to run out now.
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One particular P37 dropped its bombs just before exploding. The burning wreck scattered cinders along the boat. One of them went under the gunman€s shirt, causing him minor burns. The gunner decided to bite the bullet and stand there, as more fighter-bombers were approaching.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/29.jpg

The pilot of the last plane in the wave decided to be a hero, probably. After noticing that both his engines were on fire, he steered his burning plane right into the middle of our boat. As I fell to the floor of the watch tower, the injured gunner, seeing death coming straight at us, fired off last desperate shots. They blew up the plane€s fuel tank. The explosion pushed the wounded plane upwards, causing it to just miss the boat. If we survive this patrol, this gunner will get a medal, along with the wound badge.
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As we completed our patrol, we still had fuel left. We decided to cruise up and down the sea and see what we can find. After spotting a pair of small merchants, we turned away in search of bigger prey. This small tanker felt what it is like to be the prey of U-803. This, by the way, was the only tanker that was nice enough to explode from one torpedo.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/31.jpg

We decided to sail into Curacao and see what€s anchored there. It took 4 torpedoes, but we sank a T2 by a pier (how deep are those peers going down?? The depth under keel showed ad 500+ meters!!). 4 torpedoes were not enough, so we had to repeat the come in close / surface, deck gun maneuver. This expended our last shells.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/32.jpg

We then fired one torpedo at a small tanker, setting it ablaze. Our last two fishes in the stern tubes found a target in a form of a small merchant. I could not even dream of sinking the T2 in the background with those 2 fishes.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/33.jpg

On the way home, we celebrated New Year. Once again, I hid treats in the engine room. These were left-over bananas which I hid before the crew finished them all (Heinrich Krupp was beaten up, suspected of stealing them). I also hid some cookies and chocolate there. This was our New Year treat. Six days later, we returned to Lorient. As we headed in, we attached a pendant with 114,300 to the periscope and raised it as high as it would go. This is the highest tonnage the 2nd Flotilla has ever seen from one boat. We were the heroes for the day.
http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a176/Foehammer88/34.jpg

Thank you all for reading, I enjoyed writing it, and I hope you enjoyed it too. Please write your comments, positive or negative.

Just in case you missed it...First Atlantic patrol (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/2521097374)

U-803's Close Call (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/2431051974?r=2431051974#2431051974)

tuddley3
08-22-2006, 05:43 PM
I'm impressed. Seen some aircraft I haven't yet encountered. Great action shots BTW. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/metal.gif

Shahed_Kazi
08-22-2006, 08:38 PM
EXCELLENT POST man ! Great screens ! Hey can the VIIB make it to Curacao ? You got me tempeted to go down there now http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Marriott90
08-22-2006, 11:34 PM
great post. Keep these posting stuff like this, i love reading them

Foehammer-1
08-23-2006, 05:19 AM
Thanks guys http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Glad to hear the some ppl like them. As for VIIb, don't even bother if you have limited fuel turned on. Just to make a point, look at the screen with my route and compare that to ana verage VIIb patrol... Maybe if you use the Milk Cow... but I will not guarantee anything.

Shahed_Kazi
08-23-2006, 06:34 AM
When do I get the sub which can make it there?
My crew aches for some rum and Latina's!

skimbo
08-23-2006, 06:51 AM
Great read again foehammer!

Keep up the good work.

Skimbo

tankerdestroyer
08-23-2006, 08:13 AM
I noticed you got over 100k congrats. Were you using GW or NYGM?

Foehammer-1
08-23-2006, 10:53 AM
I am not using either GW or NYGM, and I just uninstalled commander. I do use the Milk Cows tho, but its kinda useless now, since 1944 just started and there are no cows left at sea. Kazi, you gotta transfer to 2nd flotilla (notice that's where I am right now), and buy at least a IXb boat. That one can operate around the US coast. Get the milk cow mod and you will be able to cruise into the Caribbean and come back later

Shahed_Kazi
08-23-2006, 11:40 AM
Ok cool. Will transfer on RTB. Thanks !

Eoweth
08-23-2006, 03:47 PM
Thank you so much for these reports Foehammer! I just got Silent Hunter III after months of waiting, and it's really amazing to see some of the things I have in store for me.

Your work is greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

Shahed_Kazi
08-23-2006, 09:09 PM
What he said !

Also I transferred and got a brand new IXC. THANKS for the tip !

Foehammer-1
08-24-2006, 04:33 PM
Just trying to help my feelw kaleuns here http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif thanks for the replies, glad that some people like the stories. Another one "might" come out this week, but don't get too excited. I'm a bit busy lately, and I just got bounced by two Somers destroyers off Canadian coast, near Halifax. So far I spent 1.5 hours real time trying to get away without much luck. If I manage to survive and finish the patrol by tomorrow, you might see the story on Friday night.