View Full Version : Patrol 5, Ludwig Erhardt: 01/03/44 02/03/44

12-21-2011, 07:56 PM
As I write this, Im actually preparing to depart on Patrol 7 the 2nd in a Type XVIII. Rather than delete them, I thought Id post these screen shots, with light comments, from Patrol 5 the last in a Type IX.

This first series was actually from about halfway through the patrol. I had just satisfied a reach objective south of Australia and was heading to a position in the central Indian Ocean when a medium convoy was detected. The following four screen shots show the initial visual contact at 0537 on 17 January and terminal attack phase from 0707 to 0711.





The next screen shot was taken after I had refueled/refitted ten days later. I just liked the image.


The next seven shots are from a stalk and attack on a US CV task force. I had gotten a report of a fast moving TF. With the help of search aircraft, I established the TF course and plotted an intercept path. I concluded my target was a CV TF because enemy aircraft were coming from its probable location. I dived a couple of times to avoid them but, as my ability to intercept was contingent on averaging at least 17 knots, the third time an enemy aircraft appeared, I chose to fight it out on the surface. I was able to position the sub with its stern to the attack, which put the 37 mm directly in line. The attacker was hit and burst into flame. As it flew away, there was a second explosion and a parachute appeared. This was at 1615, 01/28/44.


I made it to my intercept point and went to decks awash to attempt a visual contact and HQ report. It was successful and I obtained an objective to attack the TF. (Note: I have a crewman with the enhanced watch capability. This has thus far allowed me to spot allied ships before Ive been spotted.) I submerged and took up position about 3,000 meters off the track. Here is the CV approaching.


For the attack I fired two electrics, magnetic pistol, and two pattern runners also magnetic pistol. In addition, I set the pattern runners on high speed. Given the German TDC problems, this was a tricky shot. I offset the high speed torps by five degrees.

The actual attack worked reasonably well considering the complexity. The first electric hit well astern the second missed. The pattern runners were later than Id planned, which meant the CV was beginning to turn away. Torpedo #1 crossed just in front of the bow - #2 struck under the bow.

By this point the sub was crossing the thermal and dispensing decoys. I had fired two Wren homing torps at two different escorts (there were four). One of the Wrens found its target, a Clemson, and sank it. The other missed. The three remaining DDs closed in on the subs position but were effectively spoofed by the decoy, which they depth charged mercilessly.

All the while the CV was steaming away at slow speed.

Around 15 minutes after the attack, an explosion erupted from the CVs hanger deck. I got the check mark for a sunken ship.



Although I had avoided attack from the DDs, they were quite persistent. Thirty minutes later they were milling around at a range of about 1,500 meters when they began firing at something. The DDs were under attack!

The Sun was beginning to set when the final attack took place. The next two screen shots show a bomber diving on one of the DDs. Notice the two bombs being released as the bomber takes a hit.



I got this shot shortly after both hit. The explosion caused the DD to rock back and forth. Note the list.


The air attack diverted the DDs sufficiently to allow the sub to escape.

My nearest Auxiliary Cruiser unit had been knocked out of action and was showing a red X. As I headed through what had been its patrol zone attempting to intercept an enemy convoy, radar detected a stationary ship. Perhaps, it was a stricken enemy ship I could dispatch.

No, it was the Auxiliary Cruiser, sitting dead in the water.


Several hours later I attacked an unescorted convoy of 6 ships, sinking 3. I withdrew, intending to reload torpedoes and attack later that evening.

A flight of aircraft appeared and buzzed the enemy ships. They turned out to be Zeros.


They continued on, flying over the sub.


Several other Japanese planes also investigated but none attacked the enemy ships. Being thus conditioned, I was slow to react when another aircraft arrived. This one turned out to belong to the enemy.

It was too late to dive and I was unable to get into a good defensive position. My crack gunners still gave a good account of themselves and caught the enemy plane with a burst of 37 mm.


Undeterred, it prosecuted the attack and released two bombs which bracketed the sub amidships. I knew it was going to be bad but at least I hadnt seen the ball of fire indicating a serious hit.


Damage was heavy the hull effectiveness was reduced 11%. Most of the crew was injured or in shock.


Fortunately, I was able activate my skilled mechanic who effected repairs. I ordered an immediate return to base.

Upon docking, my captain was promoted and I was given a Type XVIII.


12-21-2011, 08:26 PM
Great patrol, really good SS's, you seem to have an eye for taking these, don't know why you don't enter the contest.......

BTW, how close can you get to Pearl, ever attack it

12-22-2011, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by MWolfe1963:
Great patrol, really good SS's, you seem to have an eye for taking these, don't know why you don't enter the contest.......

BTW, how close can you get to Pearl, ever attack it

I have entered, though if I have really good screen shots I generally like to put them in a narrative context.

Never tried to approach Pearl. If I did it would have to be in the Type IX. The Type XVIII doesn't have the range.