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Psychfilm
03-15-2006, 11:01 AM
~ A lone U-Boat Captain fighting a battle of wits in the Atlantic€¦completely unarmed

Taken from the personal War Diary (Kriegstagebuch) of Captain J. Smitlack.

Shore Leave (18 December 1940 €" 12 January 1941)

On the 18th of December a storm rolled into Brest with hurricane force winds. U-1 was safely within the pen at that point much to my relief.

€œI guess there€s only one thing to do,€ Sockmo intoned in his thick Scottish accent as he got the fresh bed of tobacco seated in his pipe lit. €œLet€s Drink!€ The crew cheered and followed the smoking sock into the nearest bar, The Port Hole. The chief and I followed reluctantly behind the mob.

The storm lasted for two whole days; Sockmo€s drinking binge on the other hand lasted for 23 days. Most of it was a blur of taunts and angry bar brawls, usually initiated by the sock hurling insults at the largest sailor in the bar and then hiding behind me. Sockmo for some reason could hold his liquor. That isn€t exactly true it seemed to go right through him, but he did not seem affected by it in the least. It did however turn him into a mean little cuss. Sockmo gave the crew and myself several wedgies while calling us all gopher licking lily-white sissy men. He drank the crew of our boat and every other boat in the bar under the table several times.

Christmas passed with little fan fare I think everyone was too far in their cups to notice though I€m not certain of that because I was too far into my cups. Sometime around New Years Herr Donitz stopped by to have a drink with his victorious U-boat crews. Sockmo seized hold of him and dragged him into the ladies restroom. The Commander in Chief of all U-boat crews emerged a short time later dressed in drag, complete with heavy makeup, with Sockmo following behind a smug look on his face calling Donitz a little girl. Donitz left the Port Hole a short time later but not before announcing that he was going to take the month of January off for personal reasons. Sockmo started a vicious rumor around the bar that Donitz was going to come back a woman€¦ an ugly woman at that. The evil sock then turned back to the bar and ordered another round.

In the end the drinking binge proved too much for the sock that had grown to be my first officer and he was put into the hospital to dry out. His nurse told me that she had never seen one sock, civilian or military, drink so much. I raised an eyebrow while the Chief shook his head.

€œWell Ma€am, he€s a U-Boat sock€¦they€re usually stronger then most.€ I said. The nurse smiled and inhaled wrinkling her nose like a cute little bunny.

€œYou€re pretty strong yourself Captain,€ she said before giving me a final look up and down and retreating. I smiled over at the Chief.

€œShe wants me,€ The Chief shook his head in awe of his Captain€s luck with the ladies and wandered off, probably to the boat, muttering under his breath something about his Captain showering once a month whether he was on patrol or not and whether he needed it or not. Yes there is nothing finer then to be a U-boat man. I pushed into Sockmo€s hospital room.

He was propped up in bed sipping a stein of ale while leafing through the January issue of Maniacal Sociopath Bent on Conquest of the World Monthly. His single brass button eye twinkled in the low light as it scanned the pages like€¦ well like a maniacal sociopath bent on the conquest of the world. I cleared my throat.

€œHow€s drying out working for you?€ He looked up and regarded me for a moment before taking another sip from the stein.

€œThey could dry me out by throwing me over the radiator for an hour. But noooo I€ve got to sit in a hospital bed drinking and waiting for my daily sponge bath. To top it all off I have the worst case of cotton mouth.€ His eyebrow raised and lowered several times. €œGet me out of here Smitty. I€ll let you command the boat if you like.€ I stared as he lit his pipe blowing several smoke rings around his head.

€œI€m the Captain of the boat Sockmo, you€re the first officer.€ I said adding, €œA good first officer,€ In the haze of smoke his button eye grew cold. An awful smile came to his mouth.

€œYou believe whatever you want to believe Smitty.€ He said and then added under his breath, €œYou wee girl,€ he returned his gaze to the magazine.

€œYou€re going to miss the next patrol.€ I said. Sockmo with the speed of a viper grabbed the bedpan he had been sitting on and threw it at me. The pan hit me in the head with a loud gong before it emptied its contents down the front of my uniform, a mixture of ale, cotton and wool lint. I brushed the front of my uniform with a hand while holding my head with the other.

€œWe€re going to be going to BE63, we€ll be coming in from the west arriving sometime on the 16th traveling on the surface at 1/3 ahead.€ I said feeling the ale soak down to my skin as Sockmo threw lit matches at me.

€œWhat brand of beef jerky will you be carrying on board?€ Sockmo asked sitting up straighter in bed.

€œI can€t tell you that it€s classified.€ I said. Sockmo stopped throwing matches. He set his pipe down on the nightstand and turned back to me his eye burning holes into my own.

€œListen and listen good Sonny Jim. I€m going to tell you something I€ve never told anyone before. A warning that may just save your life so listen close. I€ve been in the navy since I was inspected by number 23 and I€m about to tell you probably the most important piece of advice you will ever hear€¦€ I leaned closer as Sockmo moved closer.

€œBeware the wee bunny€s bottom.€ He intoned ominously.

€œBeware the wee bunny€s bottom? What does that mean?€ I asked laughing nervously as I stepped back to get away from that single eye.

€œYou€ll know when you€re out there. You€re patrol takes you far from it but it will call out to you. It has led many a sailor to his death.€ He said leaning back exhausted.

€œOkay, well thanks Sockmo, you take care now and we€ll see you when we get back€¦€

€œThis isn€t a joke! The wee bunnies bottom has sharp fangs and claws.€ He contorted into almost a half pretzel and began making sounds like a wounded bird. Then he flew into an outburst an intense outburst. €œIt will kill you and your crew! I warned you! I warned you! My conscious is clear I warned you! Beware the wee bunny€s bottom! It will swallow you whole! Yeet! Yeet! YEET!€ At this point the nurse pushed into the room with a large sedative and injected it into Sockmo. I pushed out into the hall and ran toward the exit. I could still hear his awful voice screaming after me€¦

€œBeware! Beware! Beware! The wee bunny€s bottom will kill you all!€ I pushed outside and collapsed against the side of the hospital letting out a low moan. A light snow had fallen during my visit and the steam from my breath came out in a stuttered uneven cloud. Was Sockmo insane? Was I? A blast from a single foghorn sounded out in the water. It cleared my thoughts. I€m sure I was just being paranoid. I€m probably the most well adjusted boat Captain the Kriegsmarine has. Perfectly capable of taking U-1, the most awesome killing machine ever set in the water, and her crew of misfits once more into the breach. I walked with a spring in my step as I left the hospital. Everything would be fine and Sockmo would dry out and be back on duty by the next patrol. I shook my right arm several times, for some reason it had gone numb, and headed down to the dock where U-1 sat waiting.

13 January 1941 (Sailing day)

It was still dark out when I arrived at the pier breathing in the salt tinged air I had never felt more alive. It was strange however I had only been gone a month, most of that time on the floor of a bar, but it felt much longer. Perhaps I was getting old. No, I was still young and doing that which I was born to do command a U-boat. I climbed aboard and said to the sailor I ran across.

€œIsn€t it great to be alive?€

€œSure it is rummy,€ was his reply as he waved his hand in front of his face.

In the main control room wrapped in pink wrapping paper was a large box. A tag on it read, to the Captain who is more of a Captain and less of a man; try not to sit on your brain too much€¦ hugs and kisses, Sockmo. I unwrap the box and find a brand new deck chair inside. That loveable little scamp, I make a note to wash him with extra fabric softener when we get back.

The crew was still on the docks making out with a number of our groupies. I climbed into the conning tower and made a general announcement.

€œSay farewell to the bad breath boys of Brest, we never brush.€ The groupies pushed the crewmembers away and then it was the groupie€s turn to throw up for once. The crew slipped up the gangplank and came aboard.

For this trip I decided to load the boat a bit differently. U-1, a type IIA, had three bow torpedo tubes and the capacity to hold two torpedoes in reserve. Normally I would load two of the three bow tubes with G7a€s the steam torpedoes. The other tube, as well as the two reserves, would be G7e€s the steam torpedoes. For this trip out I would carry the same load but in the front three tubes I would load the electric eels and the two reserve torps would be steam. I wanted to give the eggheads in R&D another chance to prove their electric torpedoes. It was a good concept because the electric torps could not be seen by the ships as they closed in; but who really cared that they could not see a torpedo that was going to miss completely by either prematurely detonating or slipping under their ship only to detonate behind it.

At 06:20 I gave the order to cast off the mooring lines and head out at slow ahead. The sound of the diesels drowned out the crowd on the pier as we pushed forward. The seagulls showed up circling the boat like the blood thirst sharks they were. I crouched low in the conning tower and had the crew man the flak gun.

€œYou won€t get me Sir Fowl,€ I muttered under my breath. The crew opened up on the disease carrying vermin while our groupies on the dock dove for cover. I have never been prouder of my flak crew. They nailed four of the fowl fowls. The rest headed off in the direction of England. I nodded over to the Chief and told him to note it in the log.

06:26 U-1 fended off attack by low flying British€¦fowl. Successfully shot down four, U-1€s damage none.

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We left Brest far astern and headed out across the northern half of the Bay of Biscay heading for BE63. The sun rose behind us and even though it brought no warmth our spirits soared. The wake trail of white on the green sea spread out behind the boat and the water was calm. It was a beautiful day. The Chief climbed up into the tower and joined me. We stood in silence for several moments just feeling the wind and sunshine wash over us. Eventually he smiled over at me.

€œNo socks this patrol,€ he said rubbing his hands together in glee. €œNo socks, from now on I€m only going to wear flip flops on me feet and a thong under my coveralls.€ He chuckled with relish.

€œToo much information Chief, but thanks for sharing.€ I stated before raising my binoculars to my eyes and scanning the distant horizon. U-1 motored on, her diesels singing their own sweet melody.

Dusk comes and with the ocean still calm, which seems odd for winter, I stand on deck looking out at the water as I prepare to turn in. I realize another odd thing; with no sock first officer on board the boat is not as tense for some reason. I wonder if it is because we do not have a first officer or because the sock first officer is not on board. The men, well everyone except the Chief, are all wearing socks. I think about this for several minutes before giving up and I€m about to turn in when I hear a faint sound calling on the wind. It sounds at first as if the wind is calling €œWhat€s up doc?€ and then faintly I hear what sounds like singing. Here comes Peter cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, with a hip pity hop hop hip pity hop. After several moments it is gone leaving only the sound of the diesels and the waves slapping lightly at the bow. I try to shake it off and turn in but I can€t help but wonder, long after I have climbed into my bunk, if I just imagined it or if it was actually there.

14 January 1941

I€m up early the next morning after not getting a full nights rest. I could just not stand to lie in my bunk anymore. The sky is starting to lighten as I climb into the tower. With nothing on the horizon I order the boat to dive. The crew moves like a well-oiled machine€¦ with in a not€¦ so well€¦ oiled machine. I order the Chief to oil the boat better as well as ordering the boat down to 125 meters. The Chief asks me if that is advisable the boat is only rated to 90 meters. He knows and I know that the boat can go much deeper. Still he gives me a concerned look. I tell him to relax; after all I saw it in a movie once. The Helmsman calls out the depth every 10 meters. We pass 90.

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We level at 125 meters. The boat creaks and groans like a rusty screen door but she holds solid. We stay at the depth for roughly five minutes just to prove that she can take it before I order her to periscope depth.

There is an audible sigh of relief from the crew as we pass above 90 meters. At 20 meters below periscope depth I do have a quick hydrophone sweep which turns up nothing. At periscope depth I raise the scope and do several revolutions around the horizon, nothing. I give the order to surface as we continue on our way.

15 January 1941

10:49 I sleep in figuring what the hay nothing seems to be going on anyways; the same old drill and ocean, ocean and more of the same ocean. A quick check topside confirms what I already suspected€¦ocean as far as the eye can see.

14:56 U-1 passes over a single merchant route. I take us down for a listen and hear nothing. I go to take a leak and grab something to eat and when I get back we still hear nothing. I consider laying possum for a while to see if anything passes our way but then dismiss the thought. We have our orders and I reluctantly press on passing over the route and onward, ever onward, towards BE63. I€m starting to see a pattern in things, clear weather and nothing as far as the eye can see. I wonder how long either will last as I turn in.

16 January 1941
More of the same I€m afraid. More clear weather and plenty of ocean. I begin to fear that this patrol may turn out to be a bust.

17:57 U-1 reaches BE63 and we set up our patrol pattern. I am not very enthusiastic about our chances after several days of nothing.

17 January 1941

02:43 I am roused from my bunk by the call, €œShip Spotted 318 long range,€ Through the UZO I see a faint outline of a ship on the horizon. I order flank speed ahead and begin plotting the ships movement.

03:15 We draw close enough in the darkness for an identification. She is a coastal merchant; about two hundred and sixty miles from the nearest coast. I order us down to periscope depth and begin to plot the coastal merchant€s demise.

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04:01 After forty-five minutes of trying to maneuver into position we lose sight of the ship. She must have spotted us in the darkness. I curse our luck and order slow ahead. The hydrophone operator states that he has nothing. I tell him that he has his health. We maneuver aimlessly trying to reacquire our prey but with no luck.

06:52 I do another hydrophone check and when it once again turns up with nothing I order us to the surface.

12:42 The watch calls out €œShip Spotted 275 long range.€ Up in the tower I confirm that she is a British C2, probably heading to Liverpool or somewhere else along the western coast of England. The Chief asks if we should dive the boat. I tell him no way. I€m not going to let this one get away from us. I order flank ahead and the distance between U-1 and the C2 starts to close rapidly.

A distant explosion fills the air and a cloud of smoke lifts from the fantail of the C2. €œDid something onboard the cargo ship blow up?€ I ask as a shell comes screaming across the water, skips twice, and flies up taking my hat off as it continues on its merry way before crashing into the water behind us. €œWhat was that?€

€œThey€re firing on us!€ the Chief shouts.

€œReally?€ I respond bringing the ship into view with my binoculars.

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€œBut they€re a cargo ship€¦ can they do that?€ In answer another shell comes skipping in glancing off the bow of U-1.

€œApparently,€ The Chief says shaking his head.

€œThat€s not fair! What a bunch of Jerks! Dive the boat!€ I stand defiantly in the tower and moon the C2 as another shell comes skipping in the heat burning the hairs off my backside as it flies past. €œI€m not going to be able to sit down for a week€ I lament as I pull my deck chair down behind me sealing the hatch. I hear the faint sound of the British Captain laughing at us over the bullhorn.

We dive and try to keep up with the cargo ship and maneuver into position for a shot but she is just too fast for us and I am just too paranoid to surface. An armed merchant vessel, those Brits are pretty crafty what will they think of next? The C2 leaves us in her wake. We stay down the rest of the day.

17:57 With our patrol of BE63 complete and, not counting our run in with the armed C2, completely uneventful we surface the boat. I order us back to Brest. U-1 turns east and we head back in the direction of Brest with a full load of torpedoes.

18 January 1941

00:23 I ease my smooth bottom into my deckchair, letting out only a slight hiss as the canvas rubs ever so gently, with the faint scent of burnt hair still hanging in the air I pull up to the chart table. I begin coloring on the chart with my crayons, you know the usual stuff trees and what not when I notice the strangest thing.

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I notice a pattern that I had never seen before on the chart. I trace out the pattern with my crayon much to my own shock and horror it seems.

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Oh my God! That is what Sockmo meant. It all falls into place. The bunny€s bottom is North of the Irish Sea just North East of the North Channel to be exact. I am pondering what could possibly be there when I hear a faint sound carrying through the hatch above. I climb up top and make out a faint coo like the cry of a dove but it is saying something. I strain my ears ignoring everything around me including the night watch crew. I make out what sounds like €œA rabbits foot is lucky€¦but the bunny€s bottom is your destiny Herr Smitlack,€

I stumble back from the deck and barely keep from tumbling down the hatch. After several long moments of drawing in shaky breaths I manage to climb down to the chart table. I stare at the bunny that I have traced out there. I plot a course for St. George€s Channel and the Irish Sea. My destiny awaits me.

U-1 plows through the day and into the night. The Chief asks me where we are going and why. I ignore him and the rest of the crew taking the chart and retreating to my bunk where I pull the curtain. When I am not sleeping, I am pouring over the chart and the bunny truly a man obsessed.

19 January 1941

The sea is glassy, the sun a single searing spot of white in the light blue sky above us. Unloving providing no heat only light. There is something different about today. I don€t know what it is but I can feel it, taste it and smell it in the air. It is hope I think.

11:16 The watch spots a ship on the horizon. By the time I reach the UZO they have already identified it as a small merchant ship heading directly for us.

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I order us down to periscope depth and set up our attack. The ship bears down on us. I flood tube one and prepare to fire.

11:34 The merchant reaches 400 yards from us when I let the first electric eel swim. I drop the periscope and wait. The time for impact comes and goes. A half-minute passes when an explosion is heard through the hull of the boat. I raise the periscope and see the small merchant still sailing a geyser of water beyond it from where the torpedo detonated. I curse the electric torpedoes and do a quick calculation firing a snap shot at the small merchant.

11:38 The second torp detonates under the merchant cracking her in half like a dry twig. She quickly fills with water and slips beneath the surface.

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We surface and while I give most of the crew those not resting manhandle the remaining torpedoes into their tubes.

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Once U-1 has reloaded we press on toward the channel and the Irish Sea beyond it.

18:15 The watch spots a ship through the growing darkness at long range. I am about to submerge when something stops me. I cannot say what but I know that it would be a mistake. I order flank speed but keep the boat on the surface. We draw nearer to the ship and at first I cannot believe it.

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A target that is truly worthy of U-1 and her crew, she is a T3 Tanker. I prepare to fire a salvo being extra careful with my calculations as the distance closes. If she spots us she can easily outrun us but something compels me to stay on the surface.

19:06 We close to within 1500 meters and I open the tubes firing my three shot salvo.

Anxious moments pass on board U-1. The two steam torps slam into the side of the T3 just below the water line of the bow sending up geysers of water. The electric continues on or is perhaps a dud I cannot tell which, but no matter. The damage is done the T3 will never reach England. The T3 on fire continues to plow forward bow heavy she heads for her watery grave.

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U-1 closes the distance in time to watch the stern slide beneath the water. A cheer goes up from the crew of my boat.

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I order us on to the Irish Sea but the Chief stops me away from the men. He insists that we head back to Brest the rearm and refuel. I am about to tell him what he can go do with himself when I notice a glint in his left eye that reminds me of Sockmo and I hear my first officer€s warning in my head.

€œBeware the wee bunny€s bottom you yellow snow eating non-bathing baboon.€ I finally agree to his wishes and order the boat back to Brest.

22 January 1941

U-1 pulls up to the dock at Brest after sundown.

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The groupies are there in record numbers as always. After we have eased the boat into the pen. I head off to find Sockmo and to find out more about the wee bunny€s bottom.

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Thanks for reading the continuing adventures of Captain J. Smitlack. The idea for the wee bunny€s bottom came actually from a private message I received from legodragonxp. Dragon noticed the bunny like pattern between Ireland and the UK and pointed it out to me. So I dedicate this story to legodragonxp. Thanks for the idea. To all the rest thanks again for reading and keep hunting.

Psychfilm
03-15-2006, 11:01 AM
~ A lone U-Boat Captain fighting a battle of wits in the Atlantic€¦completely unarmed

Taken from the personal War Diary (Kriegstagebuch) of Captain J. Smitlack.

Shore Leave (18 December 1940 €" 12 January 1941)

On the 18th of December a storm rolled into Brest with hurricane force winds. U-1 was safely within the pen at that point much to my relief.

€œI guess there€s only one thing to do,€ Sockmo intoned in his thick Scottish accent as he got the fresh bed of tobacco seated in his pipe lit. €œLet€s Drink!€ The crew cheered and followed the smoking sock into the nearest bar, The Port Hole. The chief and I followed reluctantly behind the mob.

The storm lasted for two whole days; Sockmo€s drinking binge on the other hand lasted for 23 days. Most of it was a blur of taunts and angry bar brawls, usually initiated by the sock hurling insults at the largest sailor in the bar and then hiding behind me. Sockmo for some reason could hold his liquor. That isn€t exactly true it seemed to go right through him, but he did not seem affected by it in the least. It did however turn him into a mean little cuss. Sockmo gave the crew and myself several wedgies while calling us all gopher licking lily-white sissy men. He drank the crew of our boat and every other boat in the bar under the table several times.

Christmas passed with little fan fare I think everyone was too far in their cups to notice though I€m not certain of that because I was too far into my cups. Sometime around New Years Herr Donitz stopped by to have a drink with his victorious U-boat crews. Sockmo seized hold of him and dragged him into the ladies restroom. The Commander in Chief of all U-boat crews emerged a short time later dressed in drag, complete with heavy makeup, with Sockmo following behind a smug look on his face calling Donitz a little girl. Donitz left the Port Hole a short time later but not before announcing that he was going to take the month of January off for personal reasons. Sockmo started a vicious rumor around the bar that Donitz was going to come back a woman€¦ an ugly woman at that. The evil sock then turned back to the bar and ordered another round.

In the end the drinking binge proved too much for the sock that had grown to be my first officer and he was put into the hospital to dry out. His nurse told me that she had never seen one sock, civilian or military, drink so much. I raised an eyebrow while the Chief shook his head.

€œWell Ma€am, he€s a U-Boat sock€¦they€re usually stronger then most.€ I said. The nurse smiled and inhaled wrinkling her nose like a cute little bunny.

€œYou€re pretty strong yourself Captain,€ she said before giving me a final look up and down and retreating. I smiled over at the Chief.

€œShe wants me,€ The Chief shook his head in awe of his Captain€s luck with the ladies and wandered off, probably to the boat, muttering under his breath something about his Captain showering once a month whether he was on patrol or not and whether he needed it or not. Yes there is nothing finer then to be a U-boat man. I pushed into Sockmo€s hospital room.

He was propped up in bed sipping a stein of ale while leafing through the January issue of Maniacal Sociopath Bent on Conquest of the World Monthly. His single brass button eye twinkled in the low light as it scanned the pages like€¦ well like a maniacal sociopath bent on the conquest of the world. I cleared my throat.

€œHow€s drying out working for you?€ He looked up and regarded me for a moment before taking another sip from the stein.

€œThey could dry me out by throwing me over the radiator for an hour. But noooo I€ve got to sit in a hospital bed drinking and waiting for my daily sponge bath. To top it all off I have the worst case of cotton mouth.€ His eyebrow raised and lowered several times. €œGet me out of here Smitty. I€ll let you command the boat if you like.€ I stared as he lit his pipe blowing several smoke rings around his head.

€œI€m the Captain of the boat Sockmo, you€re the first officer.€ I said adding, €œA good first officer,€ In the haze of smoke his button eye grew cold. An awful smile came to his mouth.

€œYou believe whatever you want to believe Smitty.€ He said and then added under his breath, €œYou wee girl,€ he returned his gaze to the magazine.

€œYou€re going to miss the next patrol.€ I said. Sockmo with the speed of a viper grabbed the bedpan he had been sitting on and threw it at me. The pan hit me in the head with a loud gong before it emptied its contents down the front of my uniform, a mixture of ale, cotton and wool lint. I brushed the front of my uniform with a hand while holding my head with the other.

€œWe€re going to be going to BE63, we€ll be coming in from the west arriving sometime on the 16th traveling on the surface at 1/3 ahead.€ I said feeling the ale soak down to my skin as Sockmo threw lit matches at me.

€œWhat brand of beef jerky will you be carrying on board?€ Sockmo asked sitting up straighter in bed.

€œI can€t tell you that it€s classified.€ I said. Sockmo stopped throwing matches. He set his pipe down on the nightstand and turned back to me his eye burning holes into my own.

€œListen and listen good Sonny Jim. I€m going to tell you something I€ve never told anyone before. A warning that may just save your life so listen close. I€ve been in the navy since I was inspected by number 23 and I€m about to tell you probably the most important piece of advice you will ever hear€¦€ I leaned closer as Sockmo moved closer.

€œBeware the wee bunny€s bottom.€ He intoned ominously.

€œBeware the wee bunny€s bottom? What does that mean?€ I asked laughing nervously as I stepped back to get away from that single eye.

€œYou€ll know when you€re out there. You€re patrol takes you far from it but it will call out to you. It has led many a sailor to his death.€ He said leaning back exhausted.

€œOkay, well thanks Sockmo, you take care now and we€ll see you when we get back€¦€

€œThis isn€t a joke! The wee bunnies bottom has sharp fangs and claws.€ He contorted into almost a half pretzel and began making sounds like a wounded bird. Then he flew into an outburst an intense outburst. €œIt will kill you and your crew! I warned you! I warned you! My conscious is clear I warned you! Beware the wee bunny€s bottom! It will swallow you whole! Yeet! Yeet! YEET!€ At this point the nurse pushed into the room with a large sedative and injected it into Sockmo. I pushed out into the hall and ran toward the exit. I could still hear his awful voice screaming after me€¦

€œBeware! Beware! Beware! The wee bunny€s bottom will kill you all!€ I pushed outside and collapsed against the side of the hospital letting out a low moan. A light snow had fallen during my visit and the steam from my breath came out in a stuttered uneven cloud. Was Sockmo insane? Was I? A blast from a single foghorn sounded out in the water. It cleared my thoughts. I€m sure I was just being paranoid. I€m probably the most well adjusted boat Captain the Kriegsmarine has. Perfectly capable of taking U-1, the most awesome killing machine ever set in the water, and her crew of misfits once more into the breach. I walked with a spring in my step as I left the hospital. Everything would be fine and Sockmo would dry out and be back on duty by the next patrol. I shook my right arm several times, for some reason it had gone numb, and headed down to the dock where U-1 sat waiting.

13 January 1941 (Sailing day)

It was still dark out when I arrived at the pier breathing in the salt tinged air I had never felt more alive. It was strange however I had only been gone a month, most of that time on the floor of a bar, but it felt much longer. Perhaps I was getting old. No, I was still young and doing that which I was born to do command a U-boat. I climbed aboard and said to the sailor I ran across.

€œIsn€t it great to be alive?€

€œSure it is rummy,€ was his reply as he waved his hand in front of his face.

In the main control room wrapped in pink wrapping paper was a large box. A tag on it read, to the Captain who is more of a Captain and less of a man; try not to sit on your brain too much€¦ hugs and kisses, Sockmo. I unwrap the box and find a brand new deck chair inside. That loveable little scamp, I make a note to wash him with extra fabric softener when we get back.

The crew was still on the docks making out with a number of our groupies. I climbed into the conning tower and made a general announcement.

€œSay farewell to the bad breath boys of Brest, we never brush.€ The groupies pushed the crewmembers away and then it was the groupie€s turn to throw up for once. The crew slipped up the gangplank and came aboard.

For this trip I decided to load the boat a bit differently. U-1, a type IIA, had three bow torpedo tubes and the capacity to hold two torpedoes in reserve. Normally I would load two of the three bow tubes with G7a€s the steam torpedoes. The other tube, as well as the two reserves, would be G7e€s the steam torpedoes. For this trip out I would carry the same load but in the front three tubes I would load the electric eels and the two reserve torps would be steam. I wanted to give the eggheads in R&D another chance to prove their electric torpedoes. It was a good concept because the electric torps could not be seen by the ships as they closed in; but who really cared that they could not see a torpedo that was going to miss completely by either prematurely detonating or slipping under their ship only to detonate behind it.

At 06:20 I gave the order to cast off the mooring lines and head out at slow ahead. The sound of the diesels drowned out the crowd on the pier as we pushed forward. The seagulls showed up circling the boat like the blood thirst sharks they were. I crouched low in the conning tower and had the crew man the flak gun.

€œYou won€t get me Sir Fowl,€ I muttered under my breath. The crew opened up on the disease carrying vermin while our groupies on the dock dove for cover. I have never been prouder of my flak crew. They nailed four of the fowl fowls. The rest headed off in the direction of England. I nodded over to the Chief and told him to note it in the log.

06:26 U-1 fended off attack by low flying British€¦fowl. Successfully shot down four, U-1€s damage none.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/4Leavingport.jpg

We left Brest far astern and headed out across the northern half of the Bay of Biscay heading for BE63. The sun rose behind us and even though it brought no warmth our spirits soared. The wake trail of white on the green sea spread out behind the boat and the water was calm. It was a beautiful day. The Chief climbed up into the tower and joined me. We stood in silence for several moments just feeling the wind and sunshine wash over us. Eventually he smiled over at me.

€œNo socks this patrol,€ he said rubbing his hands together in glee. €œNo socks, from now on I€m only going to wear flip flops on me feet and a thong under my coveralls.€ He chuckled with relish.

€œToo much information Chief, but thanks for sharing.€ I stated before raising my binoculars to my eyes and scanning the distant horizon. U-1 motored on, her diesels singing their own sweet melody.

Dusk comes and with the ocean still calm, which seems odd for winter, I stand on deck looking out at the water as I prepare to turn in. I realize another odd thing; with no sock first officer on board the boat is not as tense for some reason. I wonder if it is because we do not have a first officer or because the sock first officer is not on board. The men, well everyone except the Chief, are all wearing socks. I think about this for several minutes before giving up and I€m about to turn in when I hear a faint sound calling on the wind. It sounds at first as if the wind is calling €œWhat€s up doc?€ and then faintly I hear what sounds like singing. Here comes Peter cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, with a hip pity hop hop hip pity hop. After several moments it is gone leaving only the sound of the diesels and the waves slapping lightly at the bow. I try to shake it off and turn in but I can€t help but wonder, long after I have climbed into my bunk, if I just imagined it or if it was actually there.

14 January 1941

I€m up early the next morning after not getting a full nights rest. I could just not stand to lie in my bunk anymore. The sky is starting to lighten as I climb into the tower. With nothing on the horizon I order the boat to dive. The crew moves like a well-oiled machine€¦ with in a not€¦ so well€¦ oiled machine. I order the Chief to oil the boat better as well as ordering the boat down to 125 meters. The Chief asks me if that is advisable the boat is only rated to 90 meters. He knows and I know that the boat can go much deeper. Still he gives me a concerned look. I tell him to relax; after all I saw it in a movie once. The Helmsman calls out the depth every 10 meters. We pass 90.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/7Depthtest.jpg

We level at 125 meters. The boat creaks and groans like a rusty screen door but she holds solid. We stay at the depth for roughly five minutes just to prove that she can take it before I order her to periscope depth.

There is an audible sigh of relief from the crew as we pass above 90 meters. At 20 meters below periscope depth I do have a quick hydrophone sweep which turns up nothing. At periscope depth I raise the scope and do several revolutions around the horizon, nothing. I give the order to surface as we continue on our way.

15 January 1941

10:49 I sleep in figuring what the hay nothing seems to be going on anyways; the same old drill and ocean, ocean and more of the same ocean. A quick check topside confirms what I already suspected€¦ocean as far as the eye can see.

14:56 U-1 passes over a single merchant route. I take us down for a listen and hear nothing. I go to take a leak and grab something to eat and when I get back we still hear nothing. I consider laying possum for a while to see if anything passes our way but then dismiss the thought. We have our orders and I reluctantly press on passing over the route and onward, ever onward, towards BE63. I€m starting to see a pattern in things, clear weather and nothing as far as the eye can see. I wonder how long either will last as I turn in.

16 January 1941
More of the same I€m afraid. More clear weather and plenty of ocean. I begin to fear that this patrol may turn out to be a bust.

17:57 U-1 reaches BE63 and we set up our patrol pattern. I am not very enthusiastic about our chances after several days of nothing.

17 January 1941

02:43 I am roused from my bunk by the call, €œShip Spotted 318 long range,€ Through the UZO I see a faint outline of a ship on the horizon. I order flank speed ahead and begin plotting the ships movement.

03:15 We draw close enough in the darkness for an identification. She is a coastal merchant; about two hundred and sixty miles from the nearest coast. I order us down to periscope depth and begin to plot the coastal merchant€s demise.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/9Coastalgotaway.jpg

04:01 After forty-five minutes of trying to maneuver into position we lose sight of the ship. She must have spotted us in the darkness. I curse our luck and order slow ahead. The hydrophone operator states that he has nothing. I tell him that he has his health. We maneuver aimlessly trying to reacquire our prey but with no luck.

06:52 I do another hydrophone check and when it once again turns up with nothing I order us to the surface.

12:42 The watch calls out €œShip Spotted 275 long range.€ Up in the tower I confirm that she is a British C2, probably heading to Liverpool or somewhere else along the western coast of England. The Chief asks if we should dive the boat. I tell him no way. I€m not going to let this one get away from us. I order flank ahead and the distance between U-1 and the C2 starts to close rapidly.

A distant explosion fills the air and a cloud of smoke lifts from the fantail of the C2. €œDid something onboard the cargo ship blow up?€ I ask as a shell comes screaming across the water, skips twice, and flies up taking my hat off as it continues on its merry way before crashing into the water behind us. €œWhat was that?€

€œThey€re firing on us!€ the Chief shouts.

€œReally?€ I respond bringing the ship into view with my binoculars.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/C2Firesback.jpg

€œBut they€re a cargo ship€¦ can they do that?€ In answer another shell comes skipping in glancing off the bow of U-1.

€œApparently,€ The Chief says shaking his head.

€œThat€s not fair! What a bunch of Jerks! Dive the boat!€ I stand defiantly in the tower and moon the C2 as another shell comes skipping in the heat burning the hairs off my backside as it flies past. €œI€m not going to be able to sit down for a week€ I lament as I pull my deck chair down behind me sealing the hatch. I hear the faint sound of the British Captain laughing at us over the bullhorn.

We dive and try to keep up with the cargo ship and maneuver into position for a shot but she is just too fast for us and I am just too paranoid to surface. An armed merchant vessel, those Brits are pretty crafty what will they think of next? The C2 leaves us in her wake. We stay down the rest of the day.

17:57 With our patrol of BE63 complete and, not counting our run in with the armed C2, completely uneventful we surface the boat. I order us back to Brest. U-1 turns east and we head back in the direction of Brest with a full load of torpedoes.

18 January 1941

00:23 I ease my smooth bottom into my deckchair, letting out only a slight hiss as the canvas rubs ever so gently, with the faint scent of burnt hair still hanging in the air I pull up to the chart table. I begin coloring on the chart with my crayons, you know the usual stuff trees and what not when I notice the strangest thing.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/TreePic.jpg

I notice a pattern that I had never seen before on the chart. I trace out the pattern with my crayon much to my own shock and horror it seems.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/Bunnypic.jpg

Oh my God! That is what Sockmo meant. It all falls into place. The bunny€s bottom is North of the Irish Sea just North East of the North Channel to be exact. I am pondering what could possibly be there when I hear a faint sound carrying through the hatch above. I climb up top and make out a faint coo like the cry of a dove but it is saying something. I strain my ears ignoring everything around me including the night watch crew. I make out what sounds like €œA rabbits foot is lucky€¦but the bunny€s bottom is your destiny Herr Smitlack,€

I stumble back from the deck and barely keep from tumbling down the hatch. After several long moments of drawing in shaky breaths I manage to climb down to the chart table. I stare at the bunny that I have traced out there. I plot a course for St. George€s Channel and the Irish Sea. My destiny awaits me.

U-1 plows through the day and into the night. The Chief asks me where we are going and why. I ignore him and the rest of the crew taking the chart and retreating to my bunk where I pull the curtain. When I am not sleeping, I am pouring over the chart and the bunny truly a man obsessed.

19 January 1941

The sea is glassy, the sun a single searing spot of white in the light blue sky above us. Unloving providing no heat only light. There is something different about today. I don€t know what it is but I can feel it, taste it and smell it in the air. It is hope I think.

11:16 The watch spots a ship on the horizon. By the time I reach the UZO they have already identified it as a small merchant ship heading directly for us.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/11Merch.jpg

I order us down to periscope depth and set up our attack. The ship bears down on us. I flood tube one and prepare to fire.

11:34 The merchant reaches 400 yards from us when I let the first electric eel swim. I drop the periscope and wait. The time for impact comes and goes. A half-minute passes when an explosion is heard through the hull of the boat. I raise the periscope and see the small merchant still sailing a geyser of water beyond it from where the torpedo detonated. I curse the electric torpedoes and do a quick calculation firing a snap shot at the small merchant.

11:38 The second torp detonates under the merchant cracking her in half like a dry twig. She quickly fills with water and slips beneath the surface.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/14merchhit.jpg

We surface and while I give most of the crew those not resting manhandle the remaining torpedoes into their tubes.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/15Merchgoing.jpg

Once U-1 has reloaded we press on toward the channel and the Irish Sea beyond it.

18:15 The watch spots a ship through the growing darkness at long range. I am about to submerge when something stops me. I cannot say what but I know that it would be a mistake. I order flank speed but keep the boat on the surface. We draw nearer to the ship and at first I cannot believe it.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/20T3water.jpg

A target that is truly worthy of U-1 and her crew, she is a T3 Tanker. I prepare to fire a salvo being extra careful with my calculations as the distance closes. If she spots us she can easily outrun us but something compels me to stay on the surface.

19:06 We close to within 1500 meters and I open the tubes firing my three shot salvo.

Anxious moments pass on board U-1. The two steam torps slam into the side of the T3 just below the water line of the bow sending up geysers of water. The electric continues on or is perhaps a dud I cannot tell which, but no matter. The damage is done the T3 will never reach England. The T3 on fire continues to plow forward bow heavy she heads for her watery grave.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/22T3onfire.jpg

U-1 closes the distance in time to watch the stern slide beneath the water. A cheer goes up from the crew of my boat.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/25T3going.jpg

I order us on to the Irish Sea but the Chief stops me away from the men. He insists that we head back to Brest the rearm and refuel. I am about to tell him what he can go do with himself when I notice a glint in his left eye that reminds me of Sockmo and I hear my first officer€s warning in my head.

€œBeware the wee bunny€s bottom you yellow snow eating non-bathing baboon.€ I finally agree to his wishes and order the boat back to Brest.

22 January 1941

U-1 pulls up to the dock at Brest after sundown.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a87/Psychfilm/Patrol%2015/31U1returns.jpg

The groupies are there in record numbers as always. After we have eased the boat into the pen. I head off to find Sockmo and to find out more about the wee bunny€s bottom.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Thanks for reading the continuing adventures of Captain J. Smitlack. The idea for the wee bunny€s bottom came actually from a private message I received from legodragonxp. Dragon noticed the bunny like pattern between Ireland and the UK and pointed it out to me. So I dedicate this story to legodragonxp. Thanks for the idea. To all the rest thanks again for reading and keep hunting.

Stuntcow
03-15-2006, 11:38 AM
AWLSOME.....Still laughing. Welcome back and thanks for the stories. To the crew of U-1, Many thanks and a round on me. To sockmo, a double shot of fabric softner....

Celeon999
03-15-2006, 01:00 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool


http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Finally new Noob patrol stories.

As always excellent stuff http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Mittelwaechter
03-15-2006, 01:21 PM
@ Psychfilm

would you mind to make the links to your patrol logs sticky?

In here (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/3081090733) maybe?

I recently had the pleasure to "uncover" some of your patrol logs, but they are spread over the board.
I do appreciate your niveau and your style plus the pain in my belly from laughing...

Keep 'em coming please.

edit: actual pic url inserted

WilhelmSchulz.
03-15-2006, 01:29 PM
YEET! YEET YEET!!!!!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/inlove.gif
Welocme back! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

The_Silent_O
03-15-2006, 01:57 PM
Ahhh...Pyschfilm...you can still "spin a yarn" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif (get it! yarn...sock).

Going into the holy shrine of noob patrols 1-15! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

The_Silent_O
03-15-2006, 02:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by The_Silent_O:
Ahhh...Pyschfilm...you can still "spin a yarn" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif (get it! yarn...sock).

Going into the holy shrine of noob patrols 1-15! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

One of the best lines...
Socko: "To top it all off I have the worst case of cotton mouth"

Psychfilm
03-15-2006, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the responses gang. It took a little longer to write this one. I must be out of practice or something. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif I have posted the links on the Patrol Log thread. Page 2 I think.

CLICK HERE (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/3081090733/p/2)

I will still post the patrols in the general forum, cause that's what I've always done and I resist change, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif but I will continue to update the links. Keep hunting.

Mittelwaechter
03-16-2006, 06:53 AM
Every morning I do some swimming around my U-Boat to stay in healthy condition and to check for mussels and small crabs for my favorite sea food soup.
Guess what I had to find (http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/2933/yeet1zb.jpg)?
The greenhorn-nigh****ch reported something about a midnight-inspection.

Celeon999
03-16-2006, 07:00 AM
I dont trust my socks anymore http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/shady.gif

The_Silent_O
03-16-2006, 07:23 AM
I've burned all of my socks in a great pyre! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif (on the other hand, my coworkers are now breathing fresh air http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif)

But now I have blisters... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/touche.gif

I'm now forced to wear sheer stockings instead http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Hey somewhat OT here...but in Pyschfilms bottom signature of U-1's conning tower, I just noticed that brass nautical bell as in "...For whom the bell tolls" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Wouldn't this bell also "clang, clang" underwater, thus giving away it's position... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Could this be a failure of german engineering??? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1072.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/354.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Celeon999
03-16-2006, 08:20 AM
Damn !

I knew that we would forget something ! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

All this focus on "how to make our u-boats quieter" and someone forgets to remove that dang bell http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif


Really , ive asked this myself some time ago.

I dont know if they removed it when diving or maybe put something in it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

I never ringed a bell underwater but im pretty sure the sound it produces is very quiet because it cant vibrate in water.

Psychfilm
03-16-2006, 09:34 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

This is truly the best forum in the world. Just a collection of truly fantastic people playing a truly fantastic game. This thread currently has 199 views. One more and I get the toaster and the lifetime subscription to the jelly of the month club. MMMMM Boisen Berry. Just wanted to let you know that the lovable crew of scamps from U-1 ran patrol 16 last night and I am hard at work logging it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/typing.gif It might take a bit though, it was a long patrol. Thanks for all the great responses. Keep Hunting.

Foehammer-1
03-16-2006, 10:14 AM
Hey there! Awesome post! By the way, why don't you upgrade the boat? you said you needed some new hardware for your computer to be able to

save the game.. So did you do that yet? I figure the longer patrols with Type VII's will be waaay better http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

The_Silent_O
03-16-2006, 10:57 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Celeon999:
I never ringed a bell underwater but im pretty sure the sound it produces is very quiet because it cant vibrate in water. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would make the same volume of noise and could be heard farther away...see below...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">How does sound travel through water?
Water is an ideal medium for the transmission of sound. The speed of sound in water is 5 times faster than it is in air. Sound travels 334 meters per second (m/s) in air and approximately 1500m/s in water. This speed can be altered depending on the salinity, temperature and depth of the water. Early marine scientists were not aware of this property of water and originally the ocean was considered a vast and silent realm. However, when the first hydrophone was dropped in the water, they realized the level of ambient noise underwater was incredible. As water is such an efficient transmitter of sound, many marine animals have adapted to use sound as a tool.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://oceanlink.island.net/oinfo/acoustics/acoustics.html

...I'm pretty sure it would make a lot of noise, unless they masked it or locked it in place.

Quick...one of the modders needs to fix this! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif

...gee, I never realized how ugly my feet and toes were, until I burned all my socks... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif

Psychfilm
03-17-2006, 12:27 PM
Happy St. Patty's day everyone. I am just putting the finishing touches on Patrol 16. I should be able to post it in about two hours I think. Keep hunting. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/typing.gif

Celeon999
03-17-2006, 12:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I am just putting the finishing touches on Patrol 16. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The_Silent_O
03-17-2006, 12:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Psychfilm:
Happy St. Patty's day everyone. I am just putting the finishing touches on Patrol 16. I should be able to post it in about two hours I think. Keep hunting. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/typing.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Might it have to do with "Green Socks"????

Or perhaps a patrol around the Emerald Isle???

Stuntcow
03-17-2006, 12:35 PM
Happy St. Patty's day to you as well. Cant wait for the next patrol....You ever get the book deal for these, I want a autographied copy......Can I pre-order one now???? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif