Convoy battles

OB-318

Liverpool - Outward (North America) (North Atlantic)

7 May 1941 - 10 May 1941

The Convoy38 ships
First sightingOn 7 May 1941 by U-94
Escortsuntil 7 may : the 7th Escort Group, consisting of the destroyers Westcott ( Cdr Bockett-Pugh ), Newmarket, and Campbelltown, the corvettes Primrose, Marigold, Nasturtium, Dianthus and Auricula, the sloop Rochester and the a/s trawler Angle.

The 3th Escort Group, consisting of the destroyers Bulldog ( Cdr Baker-Creswell), Amazon and Broadway, the armed merchant cruiser Ranpura ( temporarily attached to the EG), the corvettes Aubretia, Hollycock and Nigella and the a/s trawlers Daneman and St-Appollo, is scheduled to relieve the 7th EG in Mid-Atlantic.


U-boats

U-94 (Kptlt Kuppisch) *, U-110 (Kptlt Lemp) *, U-201 (Oblt Schnee) *, U-556 (Kptlt Wohlfarth) *

* U-boats that fired torpedo or used the deck gun


The battle

When the sighting message of the U-95 on the more western, homeward convoy SC-29 is heard, the British admiralty orders a course change which make the convoy head right to the position of U-94. Contact is made in the evening of the 7th, when 3 ships leave the convoy for Reykjavik, and the destroyers of the 3th EG arrive and relieve those of the 7th EG, who are short on fuel. The rest of the 7th EG intends to remain another day before going to escort convoy HX-123.

U-94 makes an attack from the rear of the convoy and sinks 2 ships. In the light of the exploding and burning ships, the Rochester notices the periscope of the U-94. Bulldog and Amazon plaster the boat with in total 89 depth charges until morning, but U-94 can escape damaged.

In the morning of the 8th, the corvettes and trawler of the 3th reinforce the convoy and the remaining units of the 7th leave. In the evening U-110 gets in touch and brings up U-201. The two U-boats meet each other in the morning of the 9th and discuss tactics : U-110 will attack from the front of the convoy and U-201 will follow half an hour later.

The U-110 is captured
In the night U-110 fires three torpedoes and sinks 2 ships. The Aubretia counterattacks with 2 series of depth charges and U-110 is forced to surface in front of the destroyers Bulldog and Broadway. Broadway does not ram the U-boat but manages to get a boarding party on the U-boat and capture very important material. The captured material seems so vital that the admiralty considers it's better the Germans think the U-boat has been sunk in action and it orders the U-boat already being taken in tow to Iceland to be scuttled in order to better protect the secret.

As agreed with U-110, U-201 attacks later and sinks one and damages one. Amazon, Nigella and St-Appolo counterattack for 5 hours and expend some 100 depth charges. U-201 escapes damaged but is able to continue her patrol.

U-556 also attacks in the night and damages one. The convoy is dispersed in the morning. U-556 continues the chase and sinks another 2 ships.

Article compiled by Tom Linclau

Ships hit from convoy OB-318


Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat.
7 May 1941U-94Herbert Kuppisch Ixion10,263br
7 May 1941U-94Herbert Kuppisch Eastern Star5,658nw
9 May 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Bengore Head2,609br
9 May 1941U-110Fritz-Julius Lemp Esmond4,976br
9 May 1941U-201Adalbert Schnee Gregalia5,802br
9 May 1941U-201Adalbert Schnee Empire Cloud (d.)5,969br
10 May 1941U-556Herbert Wohlfarth Aelybryn (d.)4,986br
10 May 1941U-556Herbert Wohlfarth Empire Caribou4,861br
10 May 1941U-556Herbert Wohlfarth Gand5,086be
23 May 1941U-38Heinrich Liebe Berhala6,622nl
27 May 1941U-107Günter Hessler Colonial5,108br
 61,940

9 ships sunk (50,985 tons) and 2 ships damaged (10,955 tons).

Legend
We have a picture of this vessel.
(d.) means the ship was damaged.

Locations of ships hit from OB-318.

sunk ship. damaged ship. sunk U-boat. attack on U-boat.

Approximate convoy routes are shown in a red line. You may have to zoom out to see all data.
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74 convoys on route OB were hit by U-boats in the war. Read more about them.


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