General Discussions  
This is the place to discuss general issues related to the U-boat war or the war at sea in WWII. 

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1 year ago
BHenderson
Maciek has given you very good answers. I'd add that in real life, it's hard to be exactly sure where you are. If you draw a lead-acid battery down below about 50% of charge, you'll drastically reduce its life. Also, "full charge" depends on the state of teh chemicals in the battery, temperature and other factors. Also, as Maciek points out, it's necessary to drop the charging amps
Forum: Technology and Operations
1 year ago
BHenderson
Do you want the "long answer" to this question?
Forum: Technology and Operations
1 year ago
BHenderson
Oh, yeah, I agree with previous posters. I can't see any practical way that you'd have a "normal" Uboat used as an icebreaker or capable of surfacing through the ice. They were built to be strong but light, the pressure hulls were like "monocoque" structures. If you could build something like an ice breaking prow or a curved hump up to a "smoothed out" conning tow
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Look at the "Patrol Pages" for "Monsun Boots" assigned to the 12th Flottilla in Bordeaux France but often sent back and forth on shuttle missions to the UBoot bases in Penang and Batavia; some boats were based in those East Asia bases and operated in and out of them, rather than returning to France. (Note: There were also a few missions from northern German or Norwegian base
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Lots of "tonnage pennants"!
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Larry, almost all boats (certainly Typ VII and later) had acetylene bottles (tied in with emergency oxygen) for gas welding and electrical modifications (usually rotary inverters for AC) for arc welding. They did *a lot* of repairs while at sea.
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
I have also noted that L-W's KTB's are quite "telegraphic" in places and it's hard to get many specifics about the real-life encounter but K-L Hirsacker's KTB from U-572 makes it very clear that U-572 was the boot that U-96 encountered during their chance meeting ("we have only 12 U-boots in the whole North Atlantic and here we are almost colliding with another one in a storm".
Forum: Movies and Films
1 year ago
BHenderson
The attack on U-171 (possible) noted by Dr. Niestle was reported by the aircraft in a position approx. 100 miles SW of New Orleans and 100 miles W of the mouth of the Mississippi on 1 August, 1942 (the day after the Robert E Lee was sunk). U-171 was reported sinking ships near the Texas coast both before and after this date, but she never reported any position east of the mouth of the Mississipp
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
One may never say never on this kind of thing, but U-166 carefully reported her successes and positions in the last weeks before she was sunk. She sank a very small motor boat (gunfire and/or hand grenades) on July 1942 just northwest of Cuba, then reported a position south of Cuba for the next few days. Then she reported a direct course from west of Cuba into the Gulf and direct to the mouth
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
U-66 returned to Lorient after its 6th patrol on 29th of September, 1942. U-66 was sunk on its 10th patrol about 20 months later, so there would have been ample opportunity for any photographs or moving pictures to have been handed ashore (as part of its war voyage logs or to Intelligence, etc.) I have no idea if any such exist, but there's reason to suspect that they may. B Henderson
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Oh, yes, now I see the water line. The reflection of the ceiling looks like a floor. Still, a good and clear photo with many details showing.
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Can't help with numbers but is this typical of what a "dry pen" in one of the large U-boat bunkers would have looked like? I've seen photos of U-boats sitting in the water (I assume a wet pen or a flooded dry pen) but I've never seen what appears to be a boat or boats in a dry dock situation. Thank you, B Henderson NC USA
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Many - and continued - thanks for all your work doing this research and your clear and understandable writing of the facts that you find. Best wishes, B Henderson, NC USA
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
14. U-232
U-232 was commissioned 28 Nov 1942 by Kptlt. Ernst Ziehm and sunk (all hands) by a Liberator aircraft of 2nd Sqdn Anti-Submarine USAAF/Q on 8 July, 1943. 2nd Squadron was the first US Army Air Force anti-submarine squadron to be deployed to Europe, reaching RAF St.Ivel by mid-January, 1943, for training with "Coastal Command". By early, March, 1943, redeployed to French Morocco wh
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
ObStrm Radermacher was portrayed as "Navigator Kirschbaum" in Das Boot. It was not unusual for Chief Petty Officer mechanicker mates to be promoted to Engineering officers, and not unusual for ObStrm (who would also be classified as "Chiefs" in American and British ratings) to be commissioned as commanding officers. In fact, leaving an ObStrm rank, going to Officer's school,
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
I have no specific information on these men but I know that some badges were awarded based up on number of days at sea; since "Monsun" voyages would have likely been at sea for longer periods, perhaps they qualified on "number of days" where others might qualify on "number of voyages"?
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Ed, is this photo available anywhere? If we could see it, someone might be able to recognize an officer, pick out a cap badge, etc.
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
Do you think of the "Seehund" submarine (2-man), built in 1944 and '45?
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
I noticed in the "Events on This Day" page that U-269 was located during the search for HMS Affray, a British submarine that was lost when its schnorkel broke off during ordinary maneuvers in 1951. Schnorkels and their operation seem to have been quite hazardous.
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
(Sorry, typo - above should read "It is ..."
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
I is reported/described on the Diamantis page. I also think that it should be listed as perhaps "General Notes on this Boat" on the U-35 page.
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
I have very little experience in relation to Ken's wide knowledge, but I would say that if the boat was being run on diesels in very heavy seas with the air intake valves open and the heave seas "swamped" the air intakes with sea water (from large waves), then the intake manifolds (and associated superchargers, etc.) would fill with sea water and probably "hydrolock" the pisto
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
That's a fair point - I did not mear to detract from the efforts of those who work to establish the position, detail the condition, and - in some cases (like U-166) - confirm the sinking. Any such work is very valuable.
Forum: General Discussions
1 year ago
BHenderson
U-550 was sunk in a known position a few thousand yards/meters from where she herself torpedoed the "Pan Pennsylvania". About a dozen survivors were rescued and placed in POW canps. Would divers (or explorers with side-scan sonar or ROVs) going to U-550 correctly be called "finding U-550" or "going back to where everyone knew U-550 was"? I would be entirely
Forum: General Discussions
2 years ago
BHenderson
Extraordinary claims call for extraordinary proof. It *could* be but I know how I'd place a bet.
Forum: General Discussions
2 years ago
BHenderson
THX, Rainer!
Forum: General Discussions
2 years ago
BHenderson
Hello, Thomas. This is an interesting question. Apparently there were a number of boats operating in the general area of USS Guadalcanal at the time of U-68's sinking. The Allied Intelligence report on the sinking of U-68 does not seem to indicate any unusual questioning of the survivor (see ), although it must be noted the large groups of survivors seemed more likely to "band toge
Forum: General Discussions
2 years ago
BHenderson
That particular story did not seem to be detailed about progress - has all the silver that's practical to recover been brought up from "Gairsoppa", or is the operation still in progress?
Forum: General Discussions
2 years ago
BHenderson
Just my opinion ... training and experience of U-Boot captains was part of the mix of May, 1943 but it's really the bigger picture. There was a perfect storm working against the U-boots. May, 1943 was a year after the real effect of Operation Paukenschlag were apparent to the American naval authorities and the month marked a sea change in both the American and British (with associated Common
Forum: General Discussions
2 years ago
BHenderson
U-864 meets all the criteria that the OP described except for the "sunk in the Red Sea" (or Middle East) part. Richard, are you looking for a boat that's in the Red Sea or somewhere else in the Middle East?
Forum: General Discussions
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