Technology and Operations  
This forum is for discussing technological & operational matters pertaining to U-boats. 
RE: Navigation
Posted by: Robert Eno ()
Date: August 18, 2000 11:38AM

Hello Andrew,

Although I am not an authority on U-Boats, navigation is one of my specialties and navigation of U-boats is of interest to me. U-boats were navigated like any other naval vessel at the time: a combination of dead reckoning - through the use of magnetic and gyro-compasses and charts - coupled with, weather depending, position fixes by astro-navigation (sextant, chronometer and tables).

From what I have read, it was more often than not - at least in the North Atlantic - impossible to obtain an astro fix with the sextant due to bad weather. Often times the boat would be cruising for days on end, strictly on dead reckoning. The latter is, in the simplest of terms, an accounting of one's position based on speed and track (the direction of the boat). Some of the U-boat Obersteurerman (navigators) were exceptional navigators and were able to keep a pretty accurate account of their boat's position through dead reckoning and also taking into account, the effect of tides, currents and wind. This is no mean feat, beleive me. I've read all of the theory on these methods and it is quite straightforward. Doing it a sea is an altogether different matter!

I could expand on this more if you want me to, but that, in a nutshell is how it was accomplished.

Robert Eno

Options: ReplyQuote

Subject Written By Posted
Navigation Andrew Hetherington 08/18/2000 08:09AM
RE: Navigation Robert Eno 08/18/2000 11:38AM
RE: Navigation Jay Baker 08/19/2000 02:55PM
RE: Navigation Rbbert Eno 08/19/2000 03:20PM
RE: Navigation and the Wolf Pack tactic Andrew Hetherington 08/21/2000 10:12AM
RE: Navigation and the Wolf Pack tactic Robert Eno 08/21/2000 05:29PM
RE: Navigation and the Wolf Pack tactic Steve Borgianini 09/05/2000 01:22AM
RE: Navigation and the Wolf Pack tactic Robert Eno 09/05/2000 11:42PM

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