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KORMORAN – SCHIFF 41 – RAIDER G WAR DIARY – LOG KRIEGSTAGEBUCH Translated by Barbara Winter. This translation is offered for guidance only. If it is necessary to prove a specific point, microfilm of the original KTB is available in the National Library, Canberra as part of the Australian Joint Copying project. PTE.006.0001

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Page 1: KORMORAN – SCHIFF 41 – RAIDER G WAR DIARY – LOG ... · PDF fileKORMORAN – SCHIFF 41 – RAIDER G WAR DIARY – LOG KRIEGSTAGEBUCH Translated by Barbara Winter. This translation




Translated by Barbara Winter.

This translation is offered for guidance only. If it is necessary

to prove a specific point, microfilm of the original KTB is available in the National Library, Canberra

as part of the Australian Joint Copying project.


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NOTES: This translation is offered as a service to researchers who do not understand German. I am neither a naval engineer nor an expert on optical precision instruments. If anyone wishes to make deductions from an item that seems odd, a copy of the relevant section of the KTB should be obtained and the translation checked. A small amount of technical material has not been translated, but is included in German. A few comments on content and translation and background material are indicated by enclosure in [*]. # followed by two letters and two figures indicates a grid reference on a secret naval chart. Rendezvous points and some ship names are enclosed in quotation marks. The Kormoran typewriters did not have italics and bold fonts. I have used italics for ships’ names to make them clearer, and bold to draw attention to salient points regarding wireless messages sent, use of aircraft and LS-boat, and significant comments by Detmers, especially in relation to his operations in November 1941. Speed designations: K.F. = Kleine Fahrt = lowest speed. L.F. = Langsame Fahrt = slow speed. H.F. = Halbe Fahrt = half speed. [Possible also Höchste Fahrt – top speed] G.F. = Grosse Fahrt = high speed. A.F. = Alle Fahrt = full speed. A.K. = Äusserste Kraft = extreme speed. Also used are ‘Marschfahrt’ (cruising speed) and ‘Suchfahrt’ (search speed). The latter seems to be confined to usage by Kormoran. [As the scrawl of Dr List in a diary was barely legible, one translator rendered ‘Marschfahrt’ as ‘Manilfahrt’, giving rise to the claim that Kormoran was headed for the Philippine Islands.] Other abbreviations: DeTe Dezimeterwellentelegraphie-Gerät = a precursor of radar. E.K.K. trials. Erprobungskommando für Kriegsschiffneubauten = Testing Department for new warships. F. d. Luft Führer der Luft = Air Commander (air-sea liaison). K.M.W. Kriegsmarine-Werft = Naval dockyard. LS-Boot Leichtes Schnellboat = light E-boat. N.V.K. trials Nachrichtenmittel-Versuchskommando = Signals Trials Department. NWa Amtsgruppe Technisches Nachrichtenwesen = Intelligence, Technical Section. Ob.d.M. Oberbefehlshaber der Marine = Supreme Commander of the Navy. OKM Oberkommando der Marine = Supreme Command, Navy. Pak Panzerabwehrkanone = anti-tank gun. (3.7 cm) Skl Seekriegsleitung = Naval Operations Command (also SKL) Sm Seemeilen = nautical miles (also ‘knots’). T.E.K. Torpedoerprobungskommando = torpedo trials. T.Fl. Torpedo boat flotilla.


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KTB (KRIEGSTAGEBUCH): SCHIFF 41. Date and Report of position, Events, time, wind, weather, state of sea, light conditions, visibility, moonlight, etc. 9.10 1200 Deutsche Werft[*shipyard] Ship commissioned. Finkenwärder 2200- Bubendey-Ufer Moved to Bubendey-Ufer. 2300 Taking on oil. 10.10 0800 Bubendey-Ufer, Hamburg Cast off for trip to Kiel. 2220 K.M.W. Kiel. Made fast. [*Kriegsmarine-Werft = naval dockyard] Equipment wharf. 11.10 K.M.W. Kiel Taking on live ammunition, torpedoes, main provisions and equipment, artillery and torpedo practice ammunition, remaining equipment, oil. 12.10 K.M.W. Kiel Equipment. E.K.K. harbour trials. [* Erprobungskommando für Kriegsschiffneubauten = Testing Department for new warships.] 0820 K.M.W. Kiel Fire in Electrical plant II. Main starboard cable from E-plant II not battleworthy, repairs can be made during the

trip and trials, also the provision of measures to prevent a repetition. Decision: carry out programme as planned.

13.-14.10 K.M.W. Kiel. Equipment. Harbour tests. Equipment Wharf 15.10 0800 Kiel Cast off to swing compass. 1230 Kiel, Buoy A 12. Made fast. Equipment, E.K.K. harbour trials,

testing wireless equipment. 2200- Kiel, Buoy A 12. Air raid alarm, 22.45. Bomb hit 10 m 0215 behind poop.

No damage. 16.10 0630 Kiel, Buoy A 12. One aircraft taken aboard. Equipment.

E.K.K. harbour trials, wireless put in order. The trial of the bow protective equipment [* mines], planned for 17.10, will be put off until Gotenhafen on account of the danger of mines in the western Baltic.

[*Gotenhafen = Gdansk; no political conclusions to are intended from this usage.]


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17.10 0630 Kiel, Buoy A 12. Second aircraft taken aboard. E.K.K. harbour trials. Trial of state of readiness of wireless installations. Equipment ended except for equipment according to SKL U I c 1951.40 Secret Order of 26.7.40. Postponed owing to lack of time. [*Contents of this order are unknown; possibly concerns radar.]

18.10 0700 Kiel, Buoy A 12. Ready for sea. Boat hoisting equipment failed. Captain's boat

fell into the water. Boat slightly damaged. No human injuries. Boat handed over to shipyard. Boat hoisting equipment is unserviceable for this ship.

0758 Kiel, Buoy A 12. Cast off. Proceeded to Gjedser with mine-sweeping escort. Fuel consumption test on the way to Gotenhafen. 2058 Main engine 3 dropped out owing to failure of charger blower. [Aufladegebläse] 19.10 A.M. Off Hela. Calibration of gunnery for distance. 1530 Gotenhafen, Basin V. Made fast. 20.10 1130 Gotenhafen, Basin V. Rolling trial. [*Schlingversuch?] Otherwise rest. 21.10 0800 Gotenhafen, Basin V. Put to sea for turning circle trials based on Kahlberg, followed by mile trials. Calibration of torpedo tubes for distance. 2000 Neufahrwasser, Buoy. Anchored. Landfall buoy [*Ansteuerungstonne] 22.10 0800 Neufahrwasse, Buoy. Ready for sea. Engine tests, mile trials, steering test. Calibration of torpedo tubes for distance. 1755 Main engine I dropped out through failure of a piston. 1845 Off Neufahrwasser. Anchored. 23.10 0800 Off Neufahrwasser. Ready for sea. Test of bow protection. Cutting mines off Pillau. 1740 Off Gotenhafen. Anchored. 24.10 Off Gotenhafen. Ready for sea. Camouflage exercises. 1815 55°46'N; 19°01'E. Deep anchoring trials in 85 metres of water with 150 m chain.


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25.10 0810 55°46'N; 19°01'E. Anchor raised without problems, followed by camouflage exercises. 1735 Gotenhafen, Basin V Made fast. 26.10 Gotenhafen, Basin V Taking on mines. 27.10 Gotenhafen, Basin V Taking on mines. 28.10 Gotenhafen, Basin V Ready for sea. Trial of DeTe-apparatus, instruction in Divisions; cruising and action stations. 1820 Off Gotenhafen Anchored. [* DeTe = Dezimeterwellentelegraphie-Gerät, a precursor of radar.] 29.10 0935 Off Gotenhafen Anchor raised. Test of radar with steamer Freiburg 1736 Off Gotenhafen Anchored. 30.10 0930 Off Gotenhafen Ready for sea. Sea trial taking on oil from supply ship Dithmarschen. 1615 Gotenhafen, Basin V Made fast. 31.10 Gotenhafen, Basin V Taking on light speed boat. [*LS.3 = light E-boat] While careening for painting of the waterline it was discovered that in Division VII a plate below the waterline is leaking without external cause. Welded with ship's equipment. 1.11 0825 Gotenhafen, Basin V Put to sea for torpedo trials. 1300 Off Zoppot Anchored. Boat exercises, evening action training. [*T.E.K. = Torpedoerprobungskommando = torpedo trials.] 2.11 0800 Off Zoppot Ready for sea. Torpedo trials. 1415 Gotenhafen, Basin V Made fast. Torpedo section is ready for action. 3.11 Gotenhafen, Basin V LS-boat adjusted and taken aboard. 4.11. Gotenhafen,Basin V Gunnery practice not possible on account of bad weather, therefore training in harbour.


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5.11 0800 Gotenhafen, Basin V Cast off for target practice. [*Abkommschiessen] 1815 to 1841 Searchlight practice. 2003 Off Gotenhafen Anchored. 6.11 0832 Off Gotenhafen Anchor raised. 1000 to Anti-aircraft practice, then manoeuvre ‘Buoy overboard’. 1140 - 1250 54°34'N; 19°09'E. Deep anchoring trial with starboard anchor in 75 m water with 100 m chain. 1408 54°34'N; 19°09'E. Anchor raised without problems, followed by gunnery practice and an approach run with 15 cm practice charge. 1730 to1900 Gunnery practice. Two night approach runs. 1932 Off Pillau Anchored. 7.11 1215 Off Pillau Anchor raised. 1355 to Gunnery practice [*Kaliberschiessen] 1645 Four daylight approach runs (1 approach with practice charges, 3 with live ammunition). 1800 to Night gunnery practice; one run with practice charges 1920 with searchlight illumination, one with live ammunition and star shell illumination. 2123 Off Gotenhafen Anchored. 8.11 1234 Off Gotenhafen Anchor raised. N.V.K. trials. [Signals Trials Department.] [*N.V.K. = Nachrichtenmittel-Versuchskommando] 1651 to One aircraft set out. Sent to Pillau for repair of a wing bolt. 1655 (There are no spare bolts on board.) 1906 Off Gotenhafen Anchored. 9.11 (***) Off Gotenhafen Anchor raised. N.V.K. trials and training exercises. 1347 Off Gotenhafen Anchored. N.V.K. trials ended. Radar is operational, however owing to sensitivity to weather influences is not usable in this form. 1715 Off Gotenhafen Anchor raised. 1800 to Night action exercise. 2043 Man overboard. Able Seaman Erich Dembnicki N 2307/38 S 2048 Site of accident: fell through the open starboard torpedo hatch while the above 54°51.1'N; water tube was being swung. Two night rescue buoys were 19°39.1'E . thrown; turned ship. Cutter and motorboat lowered. Swell Wind: WSW, 2-3 from NW. Search supported by searchlight. Ship itself. 2053 Sea: 2-3 searched Search unsuccessful.


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2305 Both boats hoisted. While setting in the cutter, the davit rope broke. Equipment for hoisting boats is not usable in this form. Gunnery exercise abandoned. Return to Danzig Bay. 10.11 0222 Off Hela Anchored. 0900 Anchor raised. 0940 LS-boat set out for practice run, was soon incapable of moving, because of water in the oil; fished out again by the ship. Thereupon action practice. 1145 to Engine trials at full speed (A.F. = 18 kn) 1245 1358 Gotenhafen, Basin V Made fast. 11.11 Gotenhafen, Basin V Beginning of remaining work and taking on remaining

equipment. Conference with building supervisor of the Deutsche Werft, Gotenhafen, and representatives of the conversion shipyard. Discussion with representative of the Oberkommando Marine [*Supreme Command, navy] concerning the remainder of the work and further intentions.

Apart from making good the damage from the gunnery, the following major work is to be done: 1.) Improvement of the hydraulics on the guns. (Work far too slowly.) 2.) Alteration of the gear for setting out boats and equipping with a handy life boat. 3.) Supply of blackout adequate for a warship. 4.) Change of the radar apparatus. 5.) Provision of the most important spare parts for the electric motors. 6.) Removal of the warning gun in the bow. The following solutions were found: to 1.): the cross-section of the conduits on the camouflage flaps of the 15 cm guns is to be increased. An improvement of the hydraulics on the anti-aircraft guns will be given up owing to lack of time. to 2.): the previous gear for setting out the boats will remain. Special fittings with hemp tackle

will be built in. The material for this will be supplied by Hapag ships in harbour. The requested 7 m cutter cannot be obtained. Kiel arsenal agrees to the provision of a 5 m fishing steam cutter. This replaces the barely seaworthy and superfluous captain's boat, which will be handed over. The davits will accordingly be moved closer together.

to 3.) Deutsche Werft Gotenhafen will build in the rubber caulking material which is missing on the external doors and deadlights, and replace and complete the inappropriate sash locks and cotter pins. [*Vorreiber und Vorstecker] In addition, lamps will be shifted, key switches and automatic bulkhead switches will be built in at least in the most important places.

to 4.) Since OKM (NWa) reports that no front-ready radar set is available, nor could one in a short time be fitted to retract, D.W. will build a protective box of plate metal around the set.

[*NWa =Amtsgruppe Technisches Nachrichtenwesen = Intelligence, Technical Section]


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to 5.) The delivery difficulties for the extensive requirements of a diesel-electric ship are indeed heightened by serious transport problems. However, insufficient initiative in the responsible authorities must be determined. The problem is now solved by sending engineers, petty officers and divisional NCOs to Wilhelmshaven, Kiel and Berlin to bring the replacement parts by truck or as personal luggage.

to 6.) Although the ship has not yet experienced any heavy sea, it has become clear that the hatches of the warning gun in the forecastle entail a serious danger for the entire fore-ship. The gun is therefore to be taken out, the hatches welded shut. A detailed report on these points concerning rebuilding will be submitted separately.

12.11 Remaining work. On 11th and 12th, the Commandant of Ship 21 [*Ruckteschell of Widder] reported about his experiences. The exchange of opinions with him was at this point of time very useful, as I could still undertake alterations and assess suggestions. 13.11 Remaining work. 14.11 Remaining work. 15.11 to 17.11 Remaining work; completion of provisioning. 18.11 Remaining work; taking on ammunition (additional 150 high explosive shells, nose fuse) 19.11 Remaining work; oiling. 20.11 1120 to Inspection and farewell by Ob.d.M. 1350 [*Oberbefehlshaber der Marine = Admiral Raeder] 21.11 to 23.11 Remaining work. Building-in two modified 3.7 cm anti-tank guns, 800

rounds for them. Commandant's official visit to Operations and Gruppe Nord. Besides the general information I was particularly concerned with the views of both staffs concerning the possibility of a break-through via the English Channel and over the ice conditions in the Denmark Strait. Despite the unfavorable ice conditions reported by the fishing trawler Sachsen, I decided to make the breakout through the Denmark Strait. If this should become impossible on account of a further advance of the ice, then I would try to break through the Faroe Island Narrows during poor visibility. The date for going out through the Skagerrak was set for 7.12. On 14.12 it would be full moon. Gruppe Nord would have preferred that I passed through the Denmark Straits before full moon, but had no escorts available earlier. As far as I was concerned, the full moon was satisfactory on account of the uncertain ice conditions.

24.11 Remaining work.


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25.11 2030 to Remaining work. Training exercises. 2130 Night action practice at the pier. Test of the blackout provisions. 26.11 Remaining work. Training exercises. Exchange of star shells 3.6 for star shells 4.3. (Experience from gunnery division.) 27.11 Remaining work. Training exercises. 3,000 rounds for 3.7 anti-tank guns taken on. Provided by the army, since the 800 rounds provided by the navy were not sufficient for the proposed purpose. 28.11 0900 Readiness for sea postponed for an hour on account of engine trouble.

Action and Cruising Stations exercises carried out. I intend to test the operating range tables of the E.K.K. again by a longer trial at normal settings (2 motors for the propulsion network, 1 for the ship's network), since the results lie considerably below those expected. Moreover, the installations changed during alterations must be tested and the crew introduced to the various tactics of an auxiliary cruiser.

1200 Off Hela, For the first time the ship and crew meet heavy weather. The ship rolls Wind WSW 6-7 extraordinarily badly for her size, perhaps the short steep sea does Sea 6 not suit her. The crew comes through very well. 1258 to Gunnery practice with 3.7 cm anti-tank gun. 1315 . 2000 to Night action exercise. 2100 29.11 1000 Off Hela Fuel trials ended. No significant deviation from the E.K.K. values. Cruising Stations exercise [*Rollendienst]; boat manoeuvres. 1133 Off Hela Anchored. 1300 Off Hela Anchor raised. 1330 to Oiling attempt over the poop (without partner). Attempt is cumbersome 1530 and time-consuming on account of the poor space conditions on the poop deck, otherwise runs quite satisfactorily. 1636 Gotenhafen, Basin V Made fast. 30.11 Gotenhafen, Basin V Remaining work, remaining equipment. 1.12 Gotenhafen, Basin V Remaining work, remaining equipment. Taking on as ordered additional 400 rounds 10.5 cm and 3,000 rounds 2 cm ammunition for U-boats.


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2.12 Gotenhafen, Basin V Remaining work completed. Considering the scarcity of

available materials, Deutsche Werft Gotenhafen has done good work. The ship is ready for sea, apart from the missing aircraft and the box of gauges for the electrical department. According to the experiences of the HSK, the aircraft are adapted and ready at Holtenau and will be brought over as soon as the weather is good enough for flying. The gauges ordered months ago cannot be done without. The ship which has up till now been painted light grey will be repainted dark grey-blue on the hull, without diagonal stripes, so that, with its wooden cannon it looks like a blockade breaker. The ship now draws 8.8 metres at the stern, 7.8 m at the bow.

3.12 Gotenhafen, Basin V The aircraft arrive in Putzig in the morning. Further inquiries disclose that the box of gauges is in Hamburg. That is no use to me, because on

the morning of 4.12 I am supposed to be picked up by the escort of the B.S.O. off Adlergrund. The E.K.K., whose co-operation during the whole time was exemplary, places its own box of gauges at our disposal. By midday it is on board. We can manage without all the other pieces of equipment which are still missing. [B.S.O. = Befehlshaber der Sicherung der Ostsee; Baltic Security Commander]

1405 Gotenhafen, Basin V For the last time: ‘Cast off’. 1545 to Danzig Bay Both aircraft taken aboard. 1627 My good old Schoemann makes a farewell circuit around us. [*Destroyer Hermann Schoemann, Detmers' previous command] 1645 Westward trip begun. 4.12 0658 Point Green 03 Anchored. Escort delayed. 0958 Point Green 03 Anchored raised. Escorted by Blockade breaker VI, proceeded to WSW 2-3, overcast, Point Red 15. Carried on despite the darkness in order to reach hazy, poor visibility. day's target. 2247 Point Red 15 Anchored. 5.12 0811 Great Belt Anchor raised. Proceeded in company with Blockade breaker XII SW-W 5, freshening, . to NW 6-7, overcast, hazy, fair visibility. 1822 Seelandsreb. Dropped anchor in allotted position. Point Red 27 Anchor holds badly, as ground drops away in the direction of the wind 1956 Anchor raised, as ship is drifting. 2013 Anchored with 2 anchors. [*Seelandsreb.: probably off Sjælands Odde, a promontory on the NW edge of the island of Zealand.]


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6.12 Kattegatt. 06.10 NNW 6-7, dropping Ship swings, anchors threaten to break loose; one anchor raised. to SE-S 1; cloudy; dropping visibility. 0720 Anchor raised. Proceeded in company with Blockade breaker XII. 1549 Frederikshaven roads Anchored. 7.12 Skagerrak 0600 NNE 5-7, later Anchor up. Proceed with Blockade breaker XII. 1 T.Fl. with 3 boats 0610 turning and dropping, joined. [*T.Fl. = Torpedo boat flotilla] 0830 medium visibility. Blockade passed. Blockade breaker XII discharged. Proceeded at 17 knots with 1 Torpedo Flotilla at submarine protection over Black 23 and 26

through the outer break in the mine blockade at Kristian Sound. Submarine and aircraft cover by units of Fighter Command East and F. d. Luft are on hand. [Führer der Luft = air-sea liaison]

1715 Air cover withdrawn. 2043 North by west 7-8, Torpedo boats cannot maintain speed against the sea. heavy sea, good Discharged on account of storm warning.

visibility. Since Kormoran also loses speed in the heavy sea, passing the narrows between the Shetlands and Norway during darkness is no longer possible. On account of the heavy sea, speed reduced to 15 knots, later to 12 knots. My misgivings about the mines are reinforced by the report that in the torpedo room 2 torpedoes have torn themselves loose and slid across the room. Hence decision to put into Stavanger.

2347 Over to course 49°. 8.12 Off Hvidingsö Waiting for S.B. 3 short signals unsuccessful. On account of submarine danger, S.B. now requested by wireless through naval commandant

Stavanger; thereupon S.B. shown for a time. Shortly before turning into entrance, Hvidingsö lights turned off. Ship gets free of the first skerries with difficulty and in the heavy sea remains on the spot until the lights come on again. [*S.B. = Strassenbeleuchtung? Leading lights.]

0800 Off Karm Sound Arrived. No pilot available. Ship waits here until dawn, in order to find then a favorable anchorage. 1121 Dusaviki Bight Anchored. Arrival reported to Operations and Gruppe Nord by teletype. Request the naval commandant to allot a remoter anchorage. 1612 Dusaviki Bight Up anchor with a pilot from the naval commandant. 1753 Tostenskjär Bight Anchored. More favorable anchorage. Total distance from Gotenhafen: 933 nautical miles. 2100 Teletype received from Gruppe Nord for night trip to Hjeltefjord and

continuation from there on 9.12 in the evening. This order does not correspond with the result of the discussions at Gruppe on 23.11. Since there was sufficient time, I replied to Gruppe: ‘After yesterday's experience, I cannot take responsibility for a night trip through the skerries without a pilot. Pilot undesirable because of camouflage. If trip through skerries absolutely essential, request permission to move by day. As already reported in person at Gruppe, I consider the route outside the skerries more favorable, as ship of this type and size is


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conspicuous here. Presence of illegal Norwegian wireless transmitter confirmed by naval commander Stavanger.’

9.12 0300 Tostenskjär Bight New order arrived, which corresponds completely with my intentions,

although Gruppe considers it less favorable. After the experiences during the night of 8.12, the submarine danger off Utsire is not very great on a bright night with a heavy sea. If a submarine has seen me entering port, it must assume that I would proceed northward through the skerries. It can hardly expect that I would leave Stavanger again on the evening of the 9th. The 9.12 is used to refasten the torpedoes, which have suffered no significant damage, to repair minor sea damage, and to paint out the last light grey stripes on the hull, as I can hardly count on being able to do any external painting in the present weather conditions in the north. A short discussion with the commandant of Fighter Wing 706 [*Gr. = Gruppe] over the enemy air situation in recent times. The fighter squadron flies submarine patrol from 1600 hours until dark.

1609 South by west 5-6 Up anchor, in order to stand off Karm Sound by nightfall. in gusts 7-8, There the ship comes into a heavy rain squall, in which put to sea at medium visibility. full speed.. The squall is so thick that we cannot see Hvidinsö. Thus

we put to sea unseen. During the night the wind drops, it becomes very light, the ship rolls heavily in the south-west swell.

10.12 0700 SSE 3-4, swell Passed Stadlandet, to course 36°, in order to give enemy air from SW, medium reconnaissance the impression of a voyage to Narvik. visibility later good visibility. 1200 63°36'N; 5⋅50'E. Clocks put back one hour. Day's run: 359 nautical miles. [* n.m.] Total run: 1292 n.m. No enemy air reconnaissance discerned. 1700 Course 307°; course passes about 200 n.m. north of Iceland. It is

proposed to camouflage the ship the next day. In the evening twilight preparations made: wooden cannon, gaff and naval signal gear dismantled.

[*Depending on which authority you consult, the old British nautical mile was 1853.184 metres; a German nm was 1852.25 metres; the US and International mile is 1852 metres.] 11.12 NNE 2-3, west swell, overcast, medium visibility. 1000 Course 358°, as at this time one must take into consideration the

arrival of enemy air reconnaissance. Ship is painted; superstructure and masts brown, super-structure amidships and boats with external hull colour dark blue-grey, smokestack black with red ring. I have decided not to use any of the prescribed camouflage models, because they do not suit this area and are too conspicuous. The present colouring is inconspicuous and a good protective colouring. In an emergency we are Viacheslav Molotof 7500 gross tonnage, registered Leningrad, signal letters UPDA.


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1200 68°3.5'N; 0°21'W. Clocks put back one hour. Day's run: 390 n.m. Total run: 1682 n.m. 1344 At 68°30'N Course 270°. The midday consultation with the meteorologist on board

[*Dr Wagner] indicates that a depression can soon be expected near Denmark Strait. In order to be able to take advantage of this bad weather front, I want to reach the starting point for the break-through as soon as possible.

12.12 In the forenoon the wind changes to SE and freshens. Swell from NE.

Nothing can be seen of the approach of the depression expected from the SW, so it is presumably small. Thus I continue on 270°, in order to press on to the edge of the ice, if the depression leaves us in the lurch.

1200 68°29'N; 16°10'W. To the break-through course of 245°. There was no reason for SSE 3; swell from NE; this, except that I felt that it was correct. overcast; good visibility. Day's run: 348 n.m. In the course of the afternoon, the development of the weather, Total run: 2030 n.m. contrary to the prediction of Gruppe Nord, seems to confirm the

correctness of the decision. A weather front with medium to poor visibility is passing through. At 2000 hours, the clouds suddenly part. It is full moon, bright as day. Under these conditions, I must postpone the break-through.

2002 Course 270°, in order at least to test the edge of the ice as reported by Sachsen. High swell from SW comes up and crashes against the old swell from the north. The great ship rolls and pitches like a destroyer 34, but the changes undertaken in Stavanger to the lashing cables on the torpedoes prove themselves. Towards 2200 hours, a typical bad weather front comes in from the south-west. As I am already in the latitude of Straumnes, I want to go through on this. The wind suddenly turns.

2200 NE 5-6 later 8, sea Course 245°. With little change of course, we keep south 6-7, long high swell of the edge which announces itself through trails of mushy ice. from NE and SW, hazy,snow showers. 13.12 0400 NE 5-6, later shifting Course 230°. 0448 E to SE and dropping, Break-through unseen succeeded. overcast, local rain, Ship rolls heavily in the confused swell. otherwise good From 17.5 knots to 14 knots. visibility. I want to keep on as much speed as possible, in order to get further away from Iceland. 1200 65°18'N; 31°46'W Clocks put back one hour. Crew have given the ship the Day's run: 421 n.m. name ‘Rollmoran’. Total run: 2451 n.m. 1700 After pump broken down. Repaired on board. 2135 Wireless message (W/T) from Gruppe Nord received, notifying of favorable night for break-through. Unfortunately 24 hours too late. 2348 At 37° longitude West Course 180°. Till now I have remained so far north because I take enemy air reconnaissance along the line Reykjavik-Cape Farvel into consideration.


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14.12 0920 W 5-6, later SW 8, Reduced to 12 knots. Ship makes heavy going of it. Sea 7, heavy NE and SSW swell, overcast, fair to good visibility. 1010 Reduced to 9 knots, in order not to endanger the flaps of the guns and torpedoes. 1200 62°0'N; 36°50'W Speed according to log 5.5 knots. Day's run: 331 n.m. Total run: 2782 n.m. 15.12 0800 SSW 5-6 freshening to Hove to. With revolutions for 7-9 knots, the ship lies quite well 10; Sea 8-9; heavy at 2-3 Dez [*Dez = 10 º, hence 20-30º= 10 deg] to the sea. The swell from W and SW. sudden heavy occasional electricity usage of the propeller engines causes concern. A little water is coming through the mine doors. Course 230°-270° according to the sea. 1200 58°29'N; 37°43'W Day's run: 139 n.m. Total run: 2921 n.m. 16.12 WSW-W 7-9 in gusts 10. Ship hove to. heavy swell from W Ship takes on hardly any water, has a very pleasant movement and WSW, cloudy, and steers excellently even with very little way on. Despite good visibility. these good sea qualities, she rolls so heavily even in a slight

sea that use of the weaponry, especially of the two guns in the hatches, very quickly becomes impossible. Since the merchant navy officers, on the basis of their experiences with ships of this type, consider the movement to be too quick, and the ship too stiff, I decide to alter the trim. As far as possible, the oil is pumped out of the double bottom into the elevated storage.

1200 57°39'N; 40°7'W The storm is gradually abating. Day's run: 93 n.m. Total run: 3014 n.m. 1500 W/T that Operations is taking over command. Position report

therefore not necessary. At the same time an order to be at Point Red on 6.1. to provision U-boat. Prohibition of attacks on merchant ships north of 40°N repeated. Passing of route to Canada to be reported by short signal.

1632 SW 4-5; Sea 4. Course 170°, 12 knots. Cross swell. 1735 Course 150°, in order to steer towards the narrowest part of the North Atlantic convoy route. 2114 W/T received concerning the U-boat rendezvous time schedules.


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17.12 0815 WSW-W 6-7 dropping To 17.5 knots. North Atlantic route reached; lookout to 2; Sea 3; SW swell, on forward crosstrees manned. clear to cloudy, good visibility. 1200 53°41'N; 37°01'W Day's run: 278 n.m. Total run: 3292 n.m. 1353 Smoke cloud at 210° true. Turned to east (121°) 1442 Back to course 150°. Smoke cloud out of sight. According to my bearings and the

reports from Operations, I am passing between convoys HX 94 and HX 95. The ship is still rolling heavily. With the change of trim we seem to be on the right track. Actually that ought to have been discovered in Hamburg mathematically. Because of the importance of this question for the battle-worthiness of the auxiliary cruiser, it should be useful to entrust this task to an experienced loading officer of the Naval Office when an auxiliary cruiser is being rebuilt and equipped.

18.12 0000 S 3; light NW swell; Course 180°. cloudy, good visibility. 0724 Steamer in sight at 200°. Evasive action to eastward. 0748 Returned to course 180°. Steamer is a large tanker in ballast.

which is apparently on the track AS 6 towards the west. Pity that we are not allowed to do anything here yet.

0837 Tanker out of sight. 1012 Passed North Atlantic route; to 14.5 knots. 1200 47°44'N; 34°26'W. Day's run: 384 n.m. Total run: 3676 n.m. 19.12 0000 NNW 3-4 freshening to 5; Course 190°. Sea 4; confused swell from NW and SE. 1200 42°14'N; 35°16'W. Day's run: 351 n.m. Total run: 4007 n.m. 2240 Passed to south of latitude 40°N. (0040 GMT) Reached first operational area. I intend at first to rove around the route between West Indies and Azores. 2337 Sent Short Signal to Operations: My (0137

GMT) position is # CD 63. Sent to Norddeich [*Wireless station] that at present they can be heard at strength 5 without interference.

20.12 0040 N-NW 4-5; rain W/T from Operations: Position required urgently on account squalls; NW swell; of U-boat provisioning.


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cloudy; good visibility. 1200 36°24'N; 36°48'W War watch discontinued. Auxiliary cruiser watch. i.e.: Day's run: 339 n.m Day: 1 officer, 1 petty officer on forward crosstrees; 2 Total run: 4346 n.m. lookouts on the gunnery director posts; 2 normal sea lookouts. Night: reduced war watch; bridge lookout strengthened by 1 petty officer; radar brought out. 1744 Course 239°. (Route AI 5). To 9.5 knots, most economical speed. 2015 W/T that the new short signal book is released for our use in urgent cases. 2259 Since the short signal of yesterday (0059 GMT) night has not been confirmed and Operations urgently needs position, short signal for Operations sent to Kiel: "My position is # DF 23." 21.12 0216 N 4-5 later NE 2-3; Kiel confirms, that short signal received strength 5. (0416 Sea 2; light NW GMT) swell, clear to cloudy, very good visibility. 1100 Course 130°. 1200 33°44'N; 39°36'W. I should like to save even more oil. Since the engines are not Day's run: 242 n.m. at full capacity, the boilers for steam production drop out. Total run: 4588 n.m. Steam production per boiler at full capacity about half the performance of an auxiliary boiler. [*Kormoran did have boilers: for production of fresh water, not propulsion.] 1555 Engines to full capacity, boilers in full use. 1 auxiliary boiler shut down. Ship makes 13 knots. 22.12 0241 E 1, later SW 1-2; On course 234° turned towards the light NW swell; second Aruba route (AK 1). variable cloud, very good visibility. 1200 30°36'N; 38°38'W. Day's run: 299 n.m. Total run: 4887 n.m. 1320 First birth notice received. Now we know that our families have been notified. 1646 W/T from Operations: (1846 GMT) 1.) No U-boat provisioning. 2.) Area 10°-30°N and 20°-30°W, 5-20.1.41 reserved for an Italian submarine. 3.) Until further notice, remain in current operational area.

As I suspected, I now have the U-boat equipment on board for a long time as ballast, for the torpedoes and gunnery ammunition do not fit my weapons. In addition, one of the decks for prisoners is unusable on this account. Since the AK 1 route has not brought anything, I will cut diagonally across both routes, hence

1753 Course 270°. The change of trim has brought a slight improvement, the ship rolls less. As further oil is used, the trim must become more favorable.


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23.12 SW 4, later NW 1; Sea 3; WSW swell; variable visibility. 1200 30°00'N; 42°23'W. Day's run: 205 n.m. Total run: 5093 n.m. 24.12 WSW 1-2 freshening to Since the individual routes do not bring anything, I intend overcast;SW 6-7; to search through the crucial point of the English course chart rain showers, variable (23°N, 25°N, 43°W, 32°W), therefore visibility. 0853 Course 170°. 1200 29°41'N; 45°44'W. In the warmth which here already corresponds to a European Day's run: 214 n.m. summer, it is already clear that the ventilation in the crew Total run: 5297 n.m. quarters is insufficient. This is particularly bad in the petty

officers' sleeping quarters in Section VI. The walls of this room are hot, as forward the boiler room shaft cuts through it, and the drying and ironing rooms are situated on the port side. This situation is improved with materials on board by diverting a ventilation channel and making alterations in the insulation. The ventilation of the bread storage must also be altered. After a few days' storage, the fresh bread is completely mouldy. In addition a bread storage space is being built on the upper deck.

1800 to Christmas celebrations; opened by the Commandant with an 2200 address over the loud-speakers. 2039 W/T. Christmas greetings from Ob.d.M. [*Admiral Raeder] received and conveyed over the loud-speakers. 25.12 0800 SW 2-3, later NW 4, The new switching system has brought a considerable saving Sea 3; clear to cloudy; in oil. New trial: 1 motor at full power for the propulsion very good visibility. network, 1 motor for the ship's network, 1 auxiliary boiler shut down. Ship makes about 10 knots. 1200 26°19'N; 44°59'W. Day's run: 204 n.m. Total run: 5501 n.m. 1220 Course 135°. 1222 Receipt of KR [*?] from Hipper. 2100 Course 95°. 26.12 0115 NW 2-3, later turning W/T. Political [*international] situation report received south. Sea 0-1; light from Operations. swell; overcast; rain; variable visibility. 0117 W/T. over new division of operational areas. For the present, we

stay here, in order to learn the patience which is so necessary for an auxiliary cruiser, for after the first 7 days in the operational area it is clear that at least not much traffic runs here.

0925 S.O.S. Report from Baden received.


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1200 24°33'N; 40°40'W. Day's run: 275 n.m. Total run: 5776 n.m. 27.12 S 3, light NW swell, moderate showers, otherwise very good visibility. 1200 24°14'N; 36°30'W. Day's run: 229 n.m. Total run: 6005 n.m. 1835 W/T received with statement by Dutch seaman, that La Plata

ships travel 400 n.m. west of the Azores to 10 n.m. west of Fernando Noronha. The man has no idea; apart from us, nobody is travelling here.

2219 Hipper has returned safely to Brest. 28.12 0848 S-SE easing, long NW Course 148.5°. Also in this area nothing sighted. swell, very good visibility. 1200 23°32'N; 32°27'W. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 6243 n.m. 1930 W/T Bombardment of Nauru by Ship 45. [*Komet] 29.12 SE 2-3, long NW swell, clear, light haze, good visibility. 1200 20°28'N; 30°20'W. Day's run: 219 n.m. Total run: 6462 n.m. 1404 to 14.50 Stopped. I intend to use the good weather for the first aerial

reconnaissance. With the rolling of the ship, however, the aircraft cannot be controlled; the elevator is damaged on the backstay. Attempt abandoned.

The new switching of the engines has proved itself and has been given the designation ‘Search speed’ [*Suchfahrt] Fuel usage 15-16 tons per day. 15 minute readiness for Full Speed. (17 knots) With this switching we have a sea endurance of about 7 months. I have come to the conclusion that the Central North Atlantic is hardly travelled. Traffic probably goes on one of the two convoy routes and through the Panama Zone. One can count on a few irresponsibles who will take a short cut from the Cape Verde Islands. Thus the decision to press southwards and to search the protruding corner of the Panama Zone inasfar as it lies in the North Atlantic.

[*Panama Zone: The area in which the USA had said that it would consider an attack upon shipping as an attack on the USA itself. For political reasons, German commanders at this time were instructed to respect this area, although not all of them did.] 1555 Course 190°. 30.12 0919 NE Trade 3-4, W/T over operations by Hipper. dying NW swell, haze, visibility 4-6 n.m.


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1035 to 10.56 Stopped to repair the starboard revolutions counter. Proceeded on the system ‘Search speed’ with only one engine. Attempt succeeded. 1200 16°51'N; 30°44'W. I intend to start the aircraft in good weather. On the advice of the Day's run: 222 n.m. . meteorologist, it is ordered to fly reconnaissance only within Total run: 6684 n.m. sight of the ship, on account of the Trade Wind haze. . 1435 Stopped to set out aircraft. New procedure on setting out: 2

backstays taken down, 1 derrick crosswise, 1 derrick fastened rather towards the lee. Both shackled together as [*Wipp= swing?]. Procedure stands the test, aircraft cannot swing so much. There is more stability in the whole harness, since the [*Geeren?] do not need to be manned.

1505 Aircraft set out on water. 1512 Aircraft started. Wind across swell. On account of the length of the swell, no misgivings. Bombs not carried in order to

make procedure easier. Start and landing go smoothly, good flying performance. 1631 Stopped to take aircraft aboard. 1643 Aircraft alongside. Ship against the swell, aircraft in lee. Ship is

making about 3 knots ahead, in order to facilitate the control of the aircraft, which is difficult to control in a cross wind. The second approach succeeds. Aircraft is picked up quickly, but the winch does not pull (old complaint, our electric winches are very unreliable). It might have been possible to hold the aircraft parallel to the ship by increasing power. However it turned crosswise, went under by the starboard float, then the starboard wing and turned over in the lifting gear so that it was hanging on its longitudinal axis with the floats uppermost. The observer, Lieutenant Ahl, fell into the water and was brought on board immediately with a fender pole. The pilot remained in his seat and switched off the motor. By energetic heaving the plane was lifted out of the water and returned to its normal position. The rest of the manoeuvre of bringing it aboard went smoothly.

[*Three times in this report Detmers here refers to the aircraft as ‘Maschine’, which caused confusion in the translation of his secret report on the encounter with Sydney; when he wrote ‘Maschine stoppt’, he was referring to the aircraft, not to Sydney's engines, which he would have referred to in the plural ‘Maschinen’.] 1648 Aircraft brought aboard. Motor boat set out immediately aircraft overturned. 1719 Both buoys picked up. Both brought board. Damage to the aircraft:

outer section of starboard wing and aileron, starboard float, elevator and side rudder, vertical tail fin and casing of the bonnet. The damage can be repaired on board. Crew not injured.

Lesson learnt: If the wind is coming from a different direction from the swell when the plane is set out, damage must always be taken into consideration. The primitive gear permits the use of the plane only in rare cases. Ship must be absolutely stopped, since the controllability of the aircraft is improved only to a slight degree by slow speed, on the other hand the personnel are endangered.

1729 Course 190°.


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31.12 Trade wind, occasionally freshening to NNE 7, overcast, light rain, moderate visibility. 1200 13°06'N; 31°19'W. Our swimming pool, opened on the 29.12, is invaluable. I am Day's run: 227 n.m. pleased that I prevailed in Hamburg against all opposition. Total run: 6911 n.m. Making a pool from a sail would have been a miserable substitute. 1800 to 2200 New Year's Eve celebration. 2014 W/T New Year greetings from Obd.M [*Raeder] received.

Unfortunately we did not have the good fortune to obtain our first success in the old year; we look forward to the new one with greater hope.

Conduct and morale of the crew are good. 1.1.41 NE Trade, occasionally freshening to 7. Sea 3-5; clear but hazy. 1200 9°19'N; 32°05'W. Day's run: 232 n.m. Total run: 7143. 1454 Course 70°. I am standing now 25 n.m. off the Panama Zone

and intend to pass through the area between it and the operational area of the Italian submarine in order to determine whether the traffic leaves the American zone here.

2.1 NE Trade 4, Sea 2-4; 1015 clear to cloudy, Course 90°. According to the last position report of the Italian hazy. submarine, it could by 3.1 already be in the southern corner of its operational area, so I shall not go into it but run along the southern edge. 1200 9°56'N; 29°39'W. Day's run: 189 n.m. Total run: 7332 n.m. 3.1. NE Trade 4 easing to 1, clear, Sea 3-1; fine; heavy haze, visibility 4 n.m. 0430 W/T Notification received re British Admiralty instructions

concerning deception and zigzag courses in darkness. 1200 10°05'N; 25°51'W. Day's run: 229 n.m. Total run: 7561 n.m. 1510 W/T Operations estimation of the Nauru undertaking results

in adherence to previous operational order. Considering the absolute emptiness of the operational area, however, such an undertaking would be very tempting.

1800 Course 211°, turned towards the peacetime route between Brazil and the Canal. [*Panama]


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4.1. NE Trade 2-3, Sea 0-2, increasingly overcast, visibility 6 n.m. 1200 7°12'N; 26°15'W. Day's run: 240 n.m. Total run: 7801 n.m. 1800 Course 100°. Panama Zone reached again. Pushing further eastward. 5.1. 0325 N-NE 2-3; Sea 1-2; W/T. received concerning mining of Hobart. light haze, good 0600 visibility. Course 295°. Turned around in order to pass through the operational area again; after that I shall investigate the New York to Cape Town route. 1200 6°08'N; 25°29'W. Day's run: 240 n.m. Total run: 8041 n.m. 2105 Light sighted to port; approached closer. 2150 Recognised as American steamer (brightly illuminated neutrality

marking and flag). Pity that it is taboo according to our operational orders. However, morale has lifted as we have at last seen a ship.

2306 Course 305°; ship almost out of sight. 2340 Light sighted to starboard. 6.1. 0014 NNE 2-3; Sea 1-2; Ship recognised by brightly illuminated national emblem as clear to cloudy, Spanish, thus ‘untouchable’. Two hunts in one night, albeit good visibility. without success! The whole crew is beaming. We had been in our operational area 14 days without sighting a ship. We have become very undemanding now. 0025 Returned to course 305°. 0921 Steamer in sight on starboard bow. I take up course 50°, course to Cape Verde Islands. 1035 American ship of the Shepard Line, Boston, passed. I do not set

any flag, as I even want him to have doubts and report me as a ‘mysterious ship’ [*sic; in English]. The goal of the unseen entry into the operational area has not been achieved, as there was nobody there who could be surprised. Now my presence must become known, so that at least a moderate threat to enemy shipping is achieved.

1117 Returned to course 305°. 1200 8°19'N; 27°54'W. Day's run: 216 n.m. Total run: 8257 n.m. 1209 Course 280°. 1435 Steamer sighted on the bow; turned on collision course. Ship has no neutrality emblems and sets the Greek flag very late. 1514 Guns decamouflaged. Stop signal set. Ship carries out orders, does not wireless, clears lifeboats. 1541 Examination party under Sub- Lieutenant Diebitsch away.


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Ship Antonis, 3729 gross, Greek, home port Oinoussei (Chios), shipping firm Lemos & Pateras, with 4800 tons coal in English charter from Cardiff to Rosario, armed with 3 machine guns of English origin. Order: Crew to come over in own boats, sink ship. Taken from aboard beforehand: charts and documents, 3 machine guns with 1000 rounds, 7 living sheep and fresh provisions, ship's bell and flag. Since the crew fled headlong from the ship, the examination party also brings over some of their personal possessions.

1808 Explosive charges activated. (1 24 kg explosive scuttling charges and 3 explosive charges.) 1810 Examination party pulls away from ship. 1819 Detonation amidships with boiler explosion following. 1837 8°17'N; 28°32'W. Ship sinks by the stern post almost without listing. 28 man crew and a stowaway are taken aboard, namely: 15

Greeks, 5 Argentineans, 2 Hungarians, 2 Portuguese, 2 Spaniards, 1 Chilean. [*adds up to only 27.]

1915 Course 90° in order to search through this area again. 7.1. 0600 NE Trade 2-3; Sea 2; Course 280°, course towards the New York to Cape Town route. cloudy, very good visibility. 1200 8°31'N; 27°41'W. The radar, which I have never really trusted, is reported out Day's run: 203 n.m. of order. An attempt is made to repair it. Total run: 8460 n.m. 1804 Ship in sight to port; sets lights and illuminates

neutrality emblem, American. Since it was just sundown, also set lights and proceeded.

2000 Course 313°. 2300 Course 295°, in order to test the southern side of the route. Evaluation of the steamer Antonis.

Charts, log book, etc, no significant result. Ship travelled in convoy as far as Sao Vincente (Cape Verde Islands), put 3 stowaways ashore and bunkered there. From there course directions, given by English consul, lay further westward and were not obeyed. Wireless operator makes voluntary statement without the knowledge of the captain. Maintains that vessels travelling alone also go mainly on the convoy route north and south. Cross the Panama Zone by the shortest way. Crew conscripted in England, do not want to return to Europe, in order to have to make another voyage. Completely propagandised. Very astonished that we take them aboard and treat them decently. The evaluation confirms my previously acquired opinion that in the open Atlantic there is still traffic, to be sure, but almost exclusively American and Spanish, which we are not allowed to attack. The available enemy traffic takes place essentially on convoy routes and in the Panama Zone.

8.1 0400 NE Trade 3; Sea 2-3; Course 330° cloudy to overcast; unlimited visibility. 1200 10°26'N; 30°52'W. Course 315°. Day's run: 232 n.m. Total run: 8692 n.m.


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9.1 0600 ENE 3-5; Sea 2-3; Course 45°. Panamanian ship has reported (*Obs. observation?) light NNW swell; somewhat north of the route. cloudy; light showers, good visibility. 1145 Course 270°; back to the route. 1200 13°02'N; 32°21'W. Day's run: 229 n.m. Total run: 8921 n.m. 1745 The plane damaged on 30.12 is operational again. 1820 Course 315°. 10.1 NE Trade 4-5; Sea 3 to 4; cross swell; unlimited visibility. 1200 15°05'N; 35°44'W. Day's run: 244 n.m. Total run: 9165 n.m. 2342 Light 30º to starboard; turned towards, increase to ‘full speed’. Ship heading about 110°. 11.1 Stiff Trade from ENE Ship is making at least 15 knots and is brightly lit. to Force 7; Sea 4-5; Ship is American passenger vessel; turned away, to course 315°. 0105 swell from NE; cloudy to overcast; light 0600 showers; unlimited To course 50°; I intend to cross the route mentioned by the visibility. Dutch seaman, 400 n.m. west of the Azores-Fernando Noronha

route in wide sweeps, in order to be really certain whether there is any significant traffic in the open Atlantic.

1200 17°38'N; 36°52'W. Day's run: 221 n.m. Total run: 9396 n.m. 12.1 0730 ENE later NE 3; Sea 4-2; Course 320°. medium NW swell; cloudy to clear; unlimited visibility. 1200 20°05'N; 35°08'W. Day's run: 215 n.m. Total run: 9601 n.m.


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13.1 NE 3, later ENE 1-2; Sea 2-1; medium length NW swell; clear; good visibility. 1200 23°01'N; 37°59'W. Day's run: 237 n.m. Total run: 9838 n.m. 1540 Course 45°. 14.1 SW-SSW 3; Sea 1-2; swell from NW and E; overcast; good visibility. 1200 25°45'N; 35°55'W. Day's run: 227 n.m. Total run: 10065 n.m. 15.1 SSW-SSE 3; Sea 2-3; swell Ship rolls heavily at times. from NE and W; overcast; 0825 hazy at times. Course 70°. Crossing the route given by the Dutch seaman has brought no success. 1200 28°13'N; 32°44'W. Day's run: 228 n.m. . Since a push towards the west does not promise much success, Total run: 10293 n.m. on account of the deep lows passing through constantly at this

time of the year, I intend now to search the area west of the convoy route between the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands.

The W/T 97 etc. to All, is now fully decoded except for Numbers 5 and 6, which were not received here. The Operations point of view regarding my current operational area set out in Number 10 contradicts my experiences. Since the question is of fundamental significance, short signal to Operations:

2257 (0057 GMT) ‘Have sunk so far 1 vessel. Predominantly neutral shipping in sea area, consider further implementation of task futile, since enemy merchant shipping almost exclusively in convoy.’ Short signal was sent on the Atlantic long distance traffic wave length, Norddeich and Kiel were being heard at strength 5 at the time of sending. The expressions possible in the short signal book are very restricted. I

hope, that the Operations understands correctly that Convoy = Convoy route and Neutral shipping = shipping which may not be attacked.

16.1 SE by E 2-3, turning left; Sea 1-2; cross 0258 swell from NE and W; Short signal repeated on shortwave service to Norddeich, since (0458) overcast; good visibility. receipt not confirmed. 0732 Receipt of signal confirmed.

Since I expect a return inquiry from the Operations in the course of the day, I shall not approach the convoy route again, in order to be able to wireless at any time, hence

0930 Course 215°.


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1200 29°05'N; 29°34'W. Day's run: 230 n.m. Total run: 10523 n.m. 1230 Course 225°. 1722 Course 245°. 17.1 0100 ENE 4; slight sea; Course 135°. 0715 long WNW swell; W/T from Operations received, which shows that I have been overcast; rain squalls. understood, but that I am not believed. I purposely did not report

that I got my only ship in the Freetown area, because then they could come to the conclusion that I was an impatient novice who had just gone briefly through my area once and said nothing was happening here. The reference in W/T 66 and 67 to All with the report from U-65 about the fast southern traffic on the southern convoy route, which supports my view, is useless. I do not know the incontestable evidence of Operations, but I must reject the sighting reports of the prize vessels as evidence to the contrary, since prizes are supposed to avoid all other vessels and can only seldom determine the nationality of the ships. I myself maintained that there were neutrals travelling here, but I am not allowed to attack them. I have fulfilled my duty as a forward post in this area by reporting my dissenting opinion; now only questions asked will be answered.

1000 Course 100°. 1200 26°57'N; 30°03'W. Day's run: 221 n.m. Total run: 10744 n.m. 2155 W/T from Operations received regarding handing over U-boat supplies to "Nordmark". 18.1 0200 Course 270°. 0257 (0457 GMT) W/T re position and area searched so far (40°N, 5°N, 27°W, 46°W) sent and understood. 1200 26°34'N; 29°32'W. Day's run: 223 n.m. Total run: 10967 n.m. 1730 26°34'N; 30°30'W. Smoke cloud in sight, 282° true. 1745 ENE 4; Sea 3-4; swell Engines set for ‘Full speed’. from WNW and NE; (17.5 knots). 1748 cloudy; unusually good Opponent is against the light horizon. I choose course and visibility. speed so that he remains in the light and I can approach in the fast increasing darkness. 1817 Vessel turns away. My supposition that he would follow orders

and begin his twilight zigzag course is confirmed. At the same time, this makes it clear that he is ‘enemy’. Besides, he is travelling blacked-out.

1821 Full speed ahead, so that the opponent does not escape me in the approaching darkness. He is identified as a medium tanker in ballast. 1829 ‘Alarm’. 1841 Decamouflage. No range finding, estimation in this light very uncertain.


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1918 ‘Searchlight on’. The searchlight does reach far enough, to be sure, but cannot stay on the target the way the ship is rolling, therefore star shells fired. Range measured at 60 hectometers. [*hm = 100 metres], thus underestimated.

1919 Artillery opens fire. Third salvo hits target. 1920 5 enclosures: Opponent wirelesses: RRR British Union shelled. 26°24'N, 30°58'W. 1 sketch of battle 1924 1 gunnery report Cease fire, since opponent does not open fire and sends morse signal 3 torpedo reports [*by lamp], so that I assume that he wants to surrender, therefore 1925 Turn towards him on course 340°. 1929 Opponent opens fire with his stern gun. Open fire again at

34 hm. Opponent fires only four rounds, then his poop deck is ablaze. Approach closer. Speed reduced.

1944 Cease fire. Opponent abandons ship. 1948 The fire on the poop deck collapses more and more into itself. Since empty tankers sink with difficulty, I intend to blow it up. 1955 Boat for the examination party just lowered to water when

continuous explosions begin on opponent's poop deck. It would no longer be responsible to board the tanker.

2006 Boat brought aboard again. Take up position to fire torpedo. 2034 First torpedo fired. Self detonation at end of safety distance. Second torpedo fired. Hit at level of foremast. Morse signal from lifeboats: SOS boats are sinking. 2042 - 28 survivors rescued, among them the captain. All English. 2121 2156 Open fire again with two guns, as the tanker will not sink. Although every shot hits, no success, therefore: 2212 Third torpedo. Hit amidships. Ships turns slowly on the starboard side and sinks quite slowly. 2230 26°29'N; 31°07'W. British Union sunk. 2234 Course 290°. High speed: 15 knots. 2243 Course 270°. During the shooting, the radar set became totally unserviceable and cannot be repaired aboard this time. 19.1 0430 NE later NW 1-2; Operations received call for help from British Union and calm sea; light swell presumed correctly that we had something to do with it. from WNW and E; cloudy; very good visibility. 0600 Course 260°. 0900 Reduced to ‘search speed’ (9.5 kn) 0930 Course 270°. W/T re success of Ship 33 in Antarctic received. W/T from Nordmark rendezvous 3.2 in ‘Lübeck’. [*Coded RV point] That is too early for me. W/T from Operations: resume delayed progress RV with

Nordmark 1. to 10.2; route and product of wireless intelligence service [*B-Dienst] Report position and intention.


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W/T from Operations: Ship 41 not to go to Antarctic, no transfer of personnel for Ship 33's prizes; one whale catcher at disposal if desired. Evaluation British Union: Tanker British Union, 6987 gross, British Tanker Co. Ltd, London; in ballast from Gibraltar to

Trinidad/Aruba. Presence of auxiliary cruiser in area not known, hence travelled direct route, slow ship (10 kn). Auxiliary cruiser not seen until fire opened, then thought to be a U-boat. 28 men saved, 17 men including First and Second officer lost. [*Some of these were picked up by HMS Arawa.] Behaviour of the British in the water was good, calm, objective, comradely. Therefore it was possible to save all persons sighted. Boats were leaking on account of gunfire, floated only on their air tanks and could only with difficulty be kept on an even keel. Many men scantily clad, as a boat kept ready with possessions fell when being lowered. They brought their monkey with them. As long as he does not introduce any disease, they may keep him. While picking up the first lifeboat, cries for help were heard in the lee; night rescue buoy thrown, later 2 men picked up there; third lifeboat not seen. The completely exhausted wireless operator was the last to be rescued, when a man from my crew jumped in after him. In the trouser pocket of the wireless operator the following torn secret papers were found:

1.) Two British Admiralty instructions already known to us. 2.) Several wireless messages, partly decoded, produced only a few new groups for Bigramm Table 7. Text could not be determined, as there is no Merchant Navy Code on board. The fact of the capture of British Union does not alter my opinion that there is hardly any enemy shipping in the open Atlantic. The consumption of ammunition was unfortunately very high, 3 torpedoes, 61x15-cm shells, 36x15-cm star shells. However it was a baptism of fire for the crew. The opponent's shots lay short, one of them wide.


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20.1 0015 WNW 3; calm sea; low W/T Ship 10 wants to pass the line Bahia-Freetown NNW swell; variable at the next full moon. cloud; clear visibility. 0234 Light sighted 80º to port. Turned to approach it. 0304 Ship recognised as brightly lit neutral, therefore turned away.

To course 270 º. 0835 Course 180º. I must gradually go south in order to

meet Nordmark on time. 1200 25º32'N; 38º02'W. Day's run: 237 n.m. Total run: 11464 n.m. 1700 Course 140º, direction Cape Verde Islands. Until today the

U-boat square has been at the disposal of the Italian. According to the reports of successes, he was stationed mostly east of the Cape Verde Islands, therefore I should like to search through the western half of the square, particularly the region south-west of the reference point Pogo.

21.1 0317 W 1 from 0400h ESE 1 Short Signal to Operations (0517 GMT): Shifting operational

calm sea; light swell area to # EJ, ES. Intend to pass Bahia-Freetown expect to be from N and E; variable at rendezvous about 29 January. 7.2. By oversight date 29.1 cloud, good visibility not given

1200 22º42'N; 35º49'W. Day's run: 235 n.m. Total run: 11699 n.m. 2030 W/T from Operations: Confirmation of short signal,

operational boundaries for us and Ship 10. Until 31.1 remain north of Equator or pass in Neutrality Zone; 1.-5.2. forbidden to attack 10ºN – 10ºS. Herewith everything is clear; I still have a few days in which to carry out my intentions. The proposed correction to the short signal is made unnecessary.

22.1 E 2, calm sea; low NNE swell; heavy cloud; very clear air. 1200 19º42'N; 33º13'W. Day's run: 231 n.m. Total run: 11930 n.m. 23.1 0416 NE Trade, slight sea; W/T received re rendezvous, route and appearance of variable cloud; good Tannenfels. 0813 visibility. W/T received about the whereabouts of the material for

the Italian submarine. It is good that I do not have to bother about this query, as I do not want to use the wireless at present.

16º44'N; 30º41'W. W/T received, that Scheer has sunk or captured 132,000 tons Day's run: 229 n.m. gross; our 10,700 tons are quite miserable compared with that. Total run: 12159 n.m.


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24.1 NE by N 3-4; slight sea; ENE swell; heavy cloud; good visibility. 1200 13º43'N; 28º23'W. According to the reported position of the ships allotted as our Day's run: 225 n.m. disguises, there would not be any advantage in changing Total run: 12384 n.m. camouflage here. Ship again inspected

thoroughly from outside. Camouflage looks good; we shall remain Molotof for the present.

25.1 NE 2-3, slight sea; slight 0900 northerly swell; very Course 290º. We have arrived in the new operational area; variable cloud; slight the searching begins.

haze. 1200 11º15'N 26º30'W. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 12622 n.m. 26.1 NE-ENE 6-7; medium to Course 290º. fairly heavy sea; long NNW swell; mostly overcast, damp, 0800 hazy air; medium visibility. Course 135º. 1200 11º45'N; 29º18'W. Day's run: 228 n.m. Total run: 12850 n.m. 27.1 NE Trade 4; slight sea; 1000 moderate N swell; variable Course 90º. cloud; light haze; moderate visibility. 1200 9º12'N; 26º47'W. Ship sometimes rolls heavily in the northerly swell. Day's run: 218 n.m. Total run: 13068 n.m. 1641 W/T from Operations: Rendezvous

with Nordmark at ‘Lübeck’ on 7.2. confirmed. Supply of the Prize crew for Ship 33 by Ship 41 is being considered.

1643 Course 110º. 28.1 NE Trade 3; calm sea; N swell; light clouds; haze; moderate visibility. 1200 8º14'N; 23º16'W. 1800 Day's run: 219 n.m. Course 310º, in order to cross the Trinidad-Freetown route again. Total run: 13287 n.m.


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29.1 NE 2-3; calm sea; N swell; 0800 fine trade wind weather; Course 250º. light haze; moderate W/T from Operations about political situation complete. visibility. These W/T are the ones we want most. 1200 8º52'N; 24º26'W. Day's run: 249 n.m. Total run: 13536 n.m. 1316 Vessel appears quite suddenly and large out of the haze,

distance 152 hm [*15.2 km], and turns away at about 70º true. Vessel seems to be a large refrigerator ship and is making at least 15 knots. Since I cannot do very much at this distance, I play the innocent and maintain course and speed.

1320 The trick succeeds, the vessel keeps turning slowly and obviously intends to return to its old course behind our stern. Thus he is running into the range of the guns at a decreasing distance. Thus I can keep on waiting.

1329 Decamouflaged, stop signal, shot across the bow. Course 195º at Full speed. 1330 Since nothing happens, fire opened. The third

salvo is on target, distance about 90 hm. Opponent signals QQ and position, is jammed by us. 1332 Opponent turns away to about 220º true. 1334 Opponent has stopped and ceased transmitting. 1335 Cease fire. Signal: ‘Leave the ship.’ 1340 Another salvo fired, as the opponent appears to

man the gun, then they take to the boats. 1350 Examination party clear. 1400 Boat with examination and scuttling party away. The vessel was

abandoned head over heels; a mentally disturbed man was left on board; he helps the examination party aboard. The ship is Afric Star, 11900 gross, a refrigerator ship of the Blue Star Line, with 5709 tons of meat and 634 tons of butter from Buenos Aires to England via Sao Vincente. Since the complicated construction of the specialised ship would cause a prize crew extraordinary difficulty, and besides it has been hit badly and is on fire, I decide to sink it. The preparation of the charges takes a lot of time, as the ship has hardly any large compartments, and all bulkheads have been closed hydraulically. Meanwhile the crew (72 men) and four passengers (2 men, 2 women) are taken aboard. They are all English.

1518 Explosives activated. 1529 Two detonations. Ship takes on a list to port and is sinking. 1532 Motor boat taken aboard. Examination party is

back aboard and has brought the mentally disturbed Englishman with them.

1556 The ship is no longer sinking. It is floating on its many small compartments. 3.7 cm anti tank gun given permission to open fire.

1600 - No. 2 gun individual fire. Every shot hits, but the ship does not sink 1604 . 1606 Torpedo fired, hit in front of mizzen mast. Vessel sinks slowly by the stern. 1618 8º44'N; 24º38'W. Afric Star sunk. 1619 Course 225º. Full speed, in order to get away.

Although Afric Star's call for help has not been understood by Freetown, a vessel in the vicinity has repeated it. Lively wireless traffic in the whole area.


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1825 Blacked-out vessel sighted ahead. By the tall

smoke-stack, it could be from the Blue Funnel Line. 1828 Decamouflaged. The opponent obviously does not see us. 1831 Permission to open fire to star shells and guns. In the hazy

air the opening distance was over-estimated; later firing was well on target. Despite many hits the vessel keeps transmitting.

1840 Cease fire. Opponent has stopped and no longer transmits. 1851 Crew takes to the boats; suddenly the vessel transmits a

message in numbers. Permission to fire given to main guns and 2 cm guns, until opponent ceases to transmit. The superstructure of the ship is completely shot to pieces. The wireless traffic is even livelier than with Afric Star. Thanks to the Merchant Navy Code and complete Bigram Table 7 captured on Afric Star, we understand that the loss of Eurylochus is being reported to the Air Ministry in London. The wireless traffic has become so lively that I decide to sacrifice a torpedo. The crew is given a little more time to leave the ship, then

1911 Torpedo fired. Hit amidships at the level of the engine room. Vessel sinks slowly over the stern. 1939 8º19'N; 25º01'W. Eurylochus sunk. Four Englishmen and 39 Chinese are taken aboard from 2 boats totally shot to pieces. [* Thanks to the captured code books it was known that a message from Eurylochus was addressed to the Air Ministry.] 2012 Course 270º. Full speed. 2022 Course 320º, towards the open sea.

I do not have much time left and intend to cross once more the route 200 n.m. west of the Cape Verde Islands, as reported by Operations; and then to head for Nordmark directly through the Neutrality Zone.

2217 Reduced to 14.5 knots. 30.1 NE 2-3; slight sea; 0600 northerly swell; Course 225º. overcast; by day some 0820 cloud; slight haze. Proceeded at ‘search speed’. moderate visibility. 1200 9º09'N; 27º27'W. Day's run: 257 n.m. Total run: 13793 n.m. 1317 W/T from Operations: R-message

from Eurylochus. Skl guesses correctly, that we are responsible. 1922 W/T from Operations warning about torpedo boats on merchant vessels. 20.15 Course 174º, 16 knots. I shall have to travel at

higher speed for a few days, in order to be at the rendezvous on time. Evaluation of Afric Star: Statements by prisoners confirm that the captain fell for our trick and considered us

harmless. Thus our disguise must be good. The outstanding point about this is probably the fact that we have no superstructure behind which one could suspect a gun. [*This is significant in relation to the encounter with Sydney.] The captured charts show nothing of importance; the charts on which there are entries will be sent to Operations. A copy of the


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division of ocean areas will be kept aboard. Very advantageous for us is the capture of the Merchant Navy Code with Bigram Table. The table will be sent on to Operations. Despite heavy hits, there were no injuries on ‘Afric Star’ except for the captain, who has burns to the face. On the bridge there was shrapnel protection similar to ours. In addition, the upper deck was cleared when the firing began. Armament corresponded to the list. The captain claimed that he did not use it because he had passengers aboard. The vessel was also equipped with a bow gun and a smoke shell thrower at the stern.

Battle sketch, artillery and torpedo reports are enclosed. Evaluation of Eurylochus: Eurylochus, 5723 gross, A. Holt and Co. Line, Liverpool, with aircraft on the way to Takoradi

on the Gold Coast. Number of aircraft not determined. A Chinese who has served on the Donau speaks some German. He maintains there were 24. The Second Officer, the only officer rescued, speaks of 6 heavy bombers, which were to be assembled in Takoradi and flown to the front to be used against the Italians. He maintains also, that 4 shots were fired from the poop gun. We did not notice this. Eurylochus was standing so far from land, because they wanted to avoid the U-boats off Freetown, and thereby they ran straight into our arms. Not rescued are 18 Englishmen and 20 Chinese. [*More than half of these were picked up by Monte Teide.] Among those taken aboard 3 were seriously and 2 slightly wounded. One of the Chinese died, despite an operation undertaken straight away during the night. Firing with the help of star shells is for us the only possibility owing to our poor gunsights. Unfortunately, our stock of star shells is so meagre, that we are now forced to an alternative procedure. The illumination with our searchlight alone is not sufficient. Never-theless, I switched it on from time to time, since the opponent, who is not equipped with a range finder, then underestimates the range considerably. Thus Eurylochus, like British Union, fired too short, according to several observations by the gunnery officer. When he noticed it, it was too late. Battle sketch, gunnery and torpedo reports enclosed.

31.1 Light variable winds; 0800 NE-ESE 1-5; slight sea; Course 170º. SE swell; overcast; rain showers; poor visibility. 1200 4º22'N; 28º06'W. Day's run: 316 n.m. Total run: 14109 n.m. 1.2 SE Trade 2; slight sea; 0030 cloudy; clear by day; W/T from Operations: heavy operational traffic [*W/T] . moderate visibility through Freetown. Might we be responsible for it? That would be right. In any case, I shall go south unseen if possible. 07.30 Course 135º. 1200 1º12'N; 26º33'W. [* Should this be 1º 12' South?] Day's run: 359 n.m. Total run: 14468 n.m. 1822 W/T from Operations: Hand over

prisoners to Nordmark for transfer to Portland; take on oil from Nordmark. Great joy, for both were our most fervent wishes.


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2.2 SE 4-5, moderate sea and SE swell; heavy cloud; moderate visibility. 1200 5º36'S; 22º36'W. Day's run: 353 n.m. Total run: 14820 n.m. 1235 Course 157º. [End of this section of War Diary, at page 44.] 3.2 SE 4-5; moderate sea; slight swell; clear; 1000 good visibility. Course 166º. 1200 10º07'S; 18º44'W. Day's run: 362 n.m. Total run: 15182 n.m. 1530 Clocks set forward one hour. Ship's time is now 1 hour behind GMT. 2327 (0057 GMT) Short signal to Operations:

Position #FL 96; up till now accounted for 28,000 tons gross. 0137 Signal repeated three times, as not acknowledged as

understood, and in this isolated area of the ocean I have no misgivings about a repetition.

4.2 SE 4; moderate sea; fine Trade wind weather; good visibility. 0515 Short signal acknowledged by Operations. 1200 15º44'S; 17º28'W. Day's run: 345 n.m. Total run: 15527 n.m. 1400 Reduced to ‘Search speed’. At this

speed shall be at ‘Lübeck’ at 07.00 on 7.2. 1423 Course 163º. 2300 Ship 16 has accounted for 111,000 tons gross. 5.2. ESE 2-3; slight sea Caught up on Crossing-the-Line ceremony. and swell; unusually Although the Line was crossed at 04.00 on the morning of clear fine weather. 1.2, we have more time and quiet here. 1200 19º28'S; 16º28'W. Day's run: 231 n.m. Total run: 15758 n.m. 1301 W/T from Operations: Nordmark to be at ‘Lübeck’

from 6.2. Ship 33 to report on suitability of whale chaser for mine-laying operations. After handing over

equipment to Nordmark, Ship 41 to report whether whale chaser is desired. If not, proceed. Operation on the Cape to Freetown route and mining South Africa by magnetic mines permitted. Congratulations from Operations on previous success.


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1410 W/T from Operations re division of operational areas in the

Indian Ocean. We get the north-east quadrant.

6.2. SSE 1-2; calm sea; slight SSW swell; clear; very good visibility. 1200 23º17'S; 15º16'W. W/T 91-95 to All received. Ship 16 wishes to meet us Day's run: 239 n.m. with regard to experiences in Indian Ocean. Total run: 15997 n.m. 7.2. SE-ESE 3; afternoon 0133 freshening to 5; W/T Ship 33 considers Whale chasers suitable for mine moderate sea and SE laying. swell; fine clear weather. 0503 Two ships in sight ahead on the port bow, apparently Nordmark and a prize ship. 0515 Course 157º. 0520 Exchange of recognition signals. It

is Nordmark and the prize Duquesa. At the suggestion of Nordmark, towing gear set up first.

0727 Towing cables made fast. First Officer of Nordmark on board. 0738 - 0746 Oil hose connected. 0758 Oiling commenced. 0800 - 1730 U-boat equipment handed over. Discussion with the First Officer

of Nordmark discloses that Nordmark can take on the torpedoes of one set of U-boat equipment only. Since in the experience of Nordmark the rest of the equipment is extensive and Nordmark has little room, I keep one complete set of U-boat equipment on board. Unfortunately, one of the holds for prisoners thus is unusable.

1115 W/T from Operations re departure of Coburg. Even old tankers are valuable for the homeland.

1200 25º46'S; 14º00'W Day's run: 169 n.m. Total run: 16166 n.m. 2235 Oiling completed. 1338 tons have been taken on; the ship is filled up. 2352 Oil hose cast off; towing cables remain, since the transfer of

material is made significantly easier thereby. The ship being towed is always at the correct distance, pulls out to the weather side and thus creates a lee for the workboats.

8.2 ESE 4-5; moderate sea; 0800 - easterly swell; cloudy; Handed over 10 G7e and 5 G7a torpedoes to Nordmark. 1630 evening overcast; rain Transfer by rubber boats proves itself splendidly. Since showers; otherwise good Nordmark is to carry out the U-boat provisioning, and her own visibility. rubber boats are no longer seaworthy, she receives one from us. 1143 W/T from Operations: Ship 41 to


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take one whale catcher for mining duties, transfer at ‘Andalusia’. I find this W/T incomprehensible. I was not supposed to express an opinion regarding the whale catcher until after the rendezvous with Nordmark. Besides, according to W/T of 5.2. I am supposed to use the magnetic mines in South Africa. Whatever is going on now?

1200 25º38'S; 14º23'W. Day's run: 27 n.m. Total run: 16193 n.m. 1400 - Commanders' conference on Nordmark. 1630 Result: 1) Ship 10 has understood where I made my catch,

thus knows, that the most rewarding area in the North Atlantic is south of the Cape Verde Islands.

2) War Diaries of Scheer and Nordmark are given to me to peruse. 3) I shall make the report on transfer of supplies at the same time as rejecting the whale catcher. If Operations continues to insist, I shall be at ‘Ursula’ on 18.2 to take over the whale catcher.

4) On 9.2, using Nordmark's excellent boats, I shall take from Duquesa as much meat and eggs as I can accommodate. Unfortunately, when I sank Antonis, I did not know about Duquesa's lack of coal. With that coal she could have been sent home.

1729 Tow cast off. During the night, remained in the vicinity of Duquesa. 9.2 E 3; slight sea; moderate SE swell; fine clear 0800 - weather. Taking on provisions from Duquesa. 1700 Taken over: 600 cases of eggs at 360 each.100 quarters of beef. 1200 25º41'S; 14º56'W. Day's run: 27 n.m. Total run: 16241 n.m. 1300 170 prisoners transferred to Nordmark. 4 Chinese kept on

board as laundrymen. Handed over the 2 captured machine guns with 1000 rounds for the transport leader of the whale chaser flotilla. (Lt Cmdr Kraft)

1600 Course 90º, 16.5 kn. Rendezvous with Nordmark completed. The cooperation was exemplary.

1900 Course 65º. In order not to compromise the ‘Andalusia’ area, I do not want to wireless until tomorrow night. I intend to operate on the Freetown to Cape Town route, although there is little prospect here, according to the experiences of Scheer and Ship 10. A thrust into the La Plata to Cape route would have even less purpose, because at present one great low pressure after another passes through and Kormoran fully loaded has again become the ‘Rollmoran’ and thus with a heavy sea is not fully battle-worthy.

10.2 E by N 2-3; slight sea; 0600 easterly swell; light After the dates recorded here for taking over whale chasers were clouds; very good confirmed on Nordmark, I have decided to reject the whale visibility. chaser. 1200 24º12' S; 10º55' W. Day's run: 245 n.m. According to Annex b of the Operational Order and the cover Total run: 16486 n.m. of the magnetic mine regulations, use of the

these mines is forbidden in water depths greater than 20 metres. That means that

they must be taken to within at least 1 nautical mile of the South African coast, to 700


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metres at harbour entrances. In my opinion, that can be done only with the LS-boat. For the whale chaser, only the mining of the northern exit from Table Bay would come into question at all, which however is travelled little if at all. Against that there is the serious disadvantage of being tied to the boat, whose slow speed and short sea endurance time would be reduced even further by the bad weather to be expected at the Cape.

11.2 NE by E 3; slight sea; cross swell S and E: 0057 cloudy; very good visibility 0357 GMT . Short signal to Operations: Provisioning completed.

Handed over equipment for one U-boat; do not want whale chaser; changing operational area to South West Africa.

0912 Operations confirms short signal. 1015 1200 22º34'S; 07º13'W. Day's run: 226 n.m. Total run: 16712 n.m. 1500 Clocks put forward one hour. Ship's time is now GMT. 1600 Court martial aboard against Leading Seaman

Kleinhammes and Ordinary Seaman Hellberg on account of breaking into the canteen.

12.2 E 2-3; calm sea; slight 0930 E and S swell; clear; Course 90º. If Operations does not cancel the order re the whale very good visibility. chaser, I shall have to turn round

tomorrow, in order to be at ‘Ursula’ by 18.2. 1200 21º11'S; 03º26'W. Day's run: 230 n.m. Total run: 16942 n.m. 1910 W/T: Hipper has sunk 13 vessels. 2300 W/T from Operations: Agree with Ship 41's

intentions and rejection of whale chaser. Suggest rendezvous with Ship 16. If no mine-laying against South Africa planned, Operations counts on rendezvous at ‘Mohn’ [*Poppy] at end of February. Thus it is clear that I do not need to be at ‘Ursula’ on 18th and the order of 5 February (W/T Ship 41, 38-39) is valid again. I intend to carry out the mine-laying off Walvis Bay with the LS-boat and to lay 4 mines off the entrance channel. Apart from that, the mining action in South Africa is a question of the weather.

13.2 SE by E 3-5; moderate Ship rolls in SE swell. sea; SE swell; variable cloud; isolated showers. otherwise very good visibility 1200 21º03'S; 00º30'E. [*The first mention of East longitude.] Day's run: 220 n.m.


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Total run: 17162 n.m. 2010 W/T Ship 41 and Ship 16

awarded each 2 Iron Crosses First Class and 50 Iron Crosses Second Class.


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14.2 SE 5-6; fairly heavy Ship rolls and takes on spray. The Trade, which is fairly strong SE -SE swell; heavy at this time of the year anyway, is much increased by the deep clouds; sometimes fair low pressure passing through to the south, and the high off visibility. South Africa.

The meteorologist and the prize officer from the Africa Line confirm my opinion that in the present weather conditions there will be very heavy weather in the cold current off the coast. Since that makes the use of the LS-boat impossible, I must give up the action in Walvis Bay. Thus:

1000 Course 220º. Since the exterior paint is flaking off in the bad weather, I intend to cross the Freetown

to Cape Town route again, seek out the calm area in the Atlantic high, and paint there, before I go to the Cape area. The proven Molotof paintwork will be retained.

1200 21º12'S; 3º46'E. Day's run: 208 n.m. Total run: 17370 n.m. 15.2 SE by E 5-7; fairly heavy 0015 sea; SE swell; overcast; W/T regarding WS6. [?] good visibility. 0031 W/T: English have noticed

departure of 4 ships from Chisimaio. Task Force Toni named for the first time.

0830 W/T that Scheer is extending action in the south-west Indian Ocean. Breaking off the Walvis Bay action has proven to be right. A Spanish vessel asks urgently for allocation of a harbour, as it has got into heavy weather 200 n.m. west of Walvis Bay.

1200 23º51'S; 1º00'E. Day's run: 221 n.m. Total run: 17591 n.m. 1230 Two high speed runs made.

Crossing the Freetown to Cape Town route was again

unsuccessful. 1225 W/T Material captured by Ship 45

brings nothing new except that the English intend to equip lifeboats with portable transmitters.

1920 W/T from Operations: Because of the extension of Scheer's operation, we are to operate at first from the Cape to south of Madagascar.

16.2 SE 2-3; slight sea; E 0315 swell; cloudy; fine W/T from Operations: Rendezvous of Ship 10 (must mean clear weather. Ship 41) with Ship 33 desired in March to give

experiences mining Australia. Tomorrow I shall be 550 n.m. from ‘Ursula’, where Ship 33 is to arrive tomorrow. If I go there now, it means a loss of 5 days for me. That is not much, especially as I have a little time owing to Scheer's intentions.


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However, I shall leave it out, as the mining action Australia lies in the unforeseeable future for me, and because the weather conditions on the La Plata to Cape Town route and at the Cape at present will turn favorable on account the combination of a strong Pampero wind, stationary Low and the strong development of the Atlantic High.

1025 To ‘search speed’. 1030 Presentation of Iron Crosses. 1200 28º19'S; 03º27'W. Day's run: 360 n.m. Total run: 17951 n.m. 1800 Twice at high speed (15.5 knots) 1905 To ‘search speed’ on

account of bearing damage in main engine IV. (see Engine room log) 17.2 0730 Stopped to paint outboard. At this opportunity, all engines

inspected again. The three previous cases of damage to engines II and IV occurred in bearings which were cast with whitemetal 10. All bearings with whitemetal 80 are faultless. There is a strong suspicion that whitemetal 10 is not adequate for bearings. Engines I and III have only whitemetal 80, II and IV only whitemetal 10. Our supply of whitemetal 80 is not sufficient to provide for even the most necessary, i.e. the upper bearings of engines II and IV. Some bearing surfaces must already be cast with whitemetal 10. Supply of whitemetal 80 is urgently necessary.


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18.2 SE-NE 1-2; calm sea; 0437 slight E swell; clear. By short signal requested supply of 700 kg of whitemetal. unusually transparent Unfortunately WM 80 and WM 10 are not separated in the air. list. Therefore a supplementary wireless message will be

necessary, which I shall send tomorrow night. 0605 At ‘search speed’ to course 120º to test La Plata to Cape Town route. 0847 Received confirmation of short signal. 1200 28º39'S; 06º38'W. 1405 Day's run: 64 n.m. LS-boat set out for trial run. Total run: 18219 n.m. Despite only moderate swell, propeller damaged in setting out. Experience: For us, the boat, like the aircraft, is a very

questionable weapon which can be used only occasionally. [*Someone in Germany scribbled in the margin: ‘That is why Operations suggested the whale chaser.’]

19.2 At night, no wind; by 0133 day variable wind from W/T from, Operations: Method of supply of 700 kg of WM 80 NW to NE 1-2; very and WM 10 will be investigated by Operations. Query whether variable cloud; rain supply is vital. Scheer is to report whether it is possible to showers, corresponding supply us with some. visibility. 0258 Additional W/T to Operations : Whitemetal WM 80. Not

acknowledged. 1200 30º26'S; 02º51'W. 1623 Day's run: 229 n.m. W/T from Operations: Answer indicating month as soon as Total run: 18448 n.m. possible if whitemetal is not necessary at once, in order to include it smoothly in the overall operational plan. Since the supplementary W/T was not confirmed but Operations and Scheer must learn that I need WM 80, not WM 10, I send to Operations: 1918 W/T to Operations: WM 80 urgent. Thus the requested short

signal is unnecessary. Norddeich reports signal understood. 20.2 Weak, inconstant wind 0230 from SE-NNW; calm sea; Confirmation of receipt of W/T. 1110 moderate SSW swell; Course 80º. I want to make way toward the east, since I must very clear weather. take into consideration the possibility that I must meet Scheer in the Indian Ocean. Unfortunately the work on the engines at

present allows only ‘search speed’ for any length of time. 1200 32º38'S; 01º15'E. Day's run: 244 n.m. Total run: 18692 n.m. 2200 Engine II ready for test run. In Engine IV one of the newly-

cast bearings is damaged again. 2243 W/T from Operations: Supply of WM 80 will be carried out

by U-boat or from South America.


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2319 W/T from Operations: Ship 41 to stay in the South Atlantic for the present, rendezvous with Ship 33; second half of March provisioning of U-boat in Freetown area, taking on supplies at the same time. Apparently Scheer cannot help us. Pity; otherwise she could have obtained her radar crystal from us. The order means that our real task is postponed for an extra month, since it will hardly be possible to do anything in the allotted operational area. Nevertheless, the decision is correct, for when such a crippling problem occurs on this ship, which is really on its maiden voyage, everything must be done to solve it, before I go into the north-eastern Indian Ocean, out of the way of supplies.

21.2 S 1-2; calm sea; Ship rolls heavily at times. The very long swell is gradually moderate SW swell; increasing in height. The movements of the ship greatly midday SE Trade setting impede the work on the bearings of the engines. in at Force 3; variable cloud; good visibility. Therefore I decide to return north to the Atlantic High. Since

there is no report from Ship 33 re transfer of supplies, I assume it is still at ‘Ursula’. I shall suggest a rendezvous. On the way there I shall cross the Freetown to Cape Town route again. Therefore

0900 Course 10º. 1200 31º23'S; 5º29'E. Day's run: 241 n.m. Total run: 18933 n.m. In the evening, trial run with Engine IV; a bearing with WM 10 is broken again. 2121 W/T from Operations that Ship 33, which has been under way

for 2 days, has unfortunately gone far south and is now round about Tristan da Cunha.

22.2 SE Trade 3; slight sea; 0110 cross SW and E swell;W/T from Operations, that Ship 33 is on the way to the cloudy; good visibility Kerguelens with Alstertor. In view of the work on the

engines, I cannot go so far south towards her. 0358 By short signal I suggest # GG 45 as rendezvous. 0400 Course 294º, towards RV. 0555 W/T that English Canadian Cruiser has travelled

disguised as American. In the morning successful tests with Engine IV; work on

Engine II begins. 1158 Confirmation of short signal received. 1200 28º23'S; 3º55'E. Day's run: 245 n.m. Total run: 19178 n.m. 1510 W/T: point notified is ordered as rendezvous with 33; to

report if he cannot reach it by 1600 on 24.2. Operations assumes that the mines warning at Dassen Island has to do with us. Unfortunately that is not the case. I presume it has to do with drifters from Ship 16's minelaying, which have been carried there by the current. On 20.2 at 16.25 Slankop radio reported drifting mines at 240º, 11.5 n.m. from Dassen Island.


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2218 W/T from Operations: 33 cannot reach the rendezvous by 24.2; Operations however considers meeting would be valuable; we are to report a more southerly RV, if the condition of the ship allows it. According to my reckoning, 33 would lose about 6 days. I would gladly go to meet him. However, I must remain in a calm area, since the ship must have relative calm for the casting, transport and building-in of the bearings. To the south there is too much swell.

Two specialist groups have been working for a week, 6 hours on, 6 hours off. In 7 days, 14 large bearings have been cast, turned, fitted and built in. And new damage keeps arising.

According to his messages, 33 is obviously of the same opinion as I, that the rendezvous would be better postponed. If Operations insists on it, despite the 700 n.m. between us, then I conclude that it is considering sending me possibly straight to Australia in April. Then a meeting of the two ships would cost a lot of time.

23.2 E 1-2; calm sea; cross ENE and SSW swell; cloudy; isolated rain showers; otherwise good visibility. 1200 27º06'S; 0º09'W. Day's run: 240 n.m. Total run: 19418 n.m. 24.2 SE 2; calm sea; SSW 0000 swell; cloudy; very Course 321.5º. 0022 good visibility. Light sighted at 326º, so probably neutral. Since I am near the

rendezvous, where I want to stop and remain undisturbed, I take evasive action. 0038 Course 300º. 0045 Distance 210 hm. Vessel by the typical illumination amidships

and on the bridge identified as American. According to estimation it is on course 125º on the Fernando Noronha to Cape Town route.

0120 Course 321.5º. 0125 Course 329.5º. 0146 Vessel out of sight. 0336 Stopped at rendezvous. 1155 Smoke cloud in sight at 165º. The vessel is estimated at being on the

same route in the opposite direction. 1200 25º59'S; 2º45'W. There seems to be traffic here. Both estimates have confirmed Day's run: 169 n.m. the previous wireless watch, namely that the endpoint of this Total run: 19587 n.m. route is not Cape Town, but a

point 250 n.m. south of Cape Town. I shall search this route closely later.

Since the current has been carrying me westward, [*a few words illegible] 1231 Course 94º. 1330 Stopped.


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25.2 E-SE 2-3; slight to 0600 moderate sea; very At ‘search speed’ on course 81º to rendezvous point. variable cloud; rain 0720 at night. By day very W/T from Operations: Change of operational areas. Our Op. good visibility. area in Indian Ocean remains free. 0830 Stopped. 1200 25º56'S; 2º32'W. Day's run: 39 n.m. Total run: 19626 n.m. 1545 Smoke cloud in sight at 171º. 1550 Masthead above horizon, soon the ship shows its silhouette; it is 33. 1608 Course 117º to show silhouette. 1620 Exchange of recognition signals completed. 1633 Stopped by Ship 33. I go aboard immediately, in order to use the time

before dark. Commanders' conference until 18.30. During the night we want to head south at slow speed and to continue the conference tomorrow.

1934 Course 180º, within sight of 33. 26.2 Fresh SE 5-6; moderate 0633 to heavy sea; SSW swell; Course 195º. 0640 heavy cloud; good Course 200º. 0643 visibility. Stopped. 0700 - Commander's conference on 33 concerning operational area Australia and exchange 1000 of ideas on tactics and experiences of all types. Since 33 has magnetic mines only

for northern latitudes and I have them only for southern latitudes, we keep a further meeting in the Indian Ocean in mind in order perhaps to exchange magnetic mines. Otherwise a discussion between two auxiliary cruiser commanders is always valuable. Moreover, they can help each other with problems with materials, which are always present. For example, we obtain from 33 another 210 kg of whitemetal.

Overnight engine II has failed again, owing to a servicing error, which is due to the over-tiredness of the work group. Duration of repairs estimated at 4 days. To relieve them a third work group is employed.

1010 - 1040 Parting from Pinguin (33). 1042 Course 345º; ‘search speed’. 1200 27º10'S; 2º47'W. Day's run: 107 n.m. Total run: 19733 n.m. 1443 Course 329º, towards the route F. Noronha to Cape Town. 2220 W/T from Operations concerning 4 Italian submarines from

East Africa. Message regarding supplies will follow. It is to be hoped we do not get caught up in this. However nice it might be to help our Italian comrades, I should really like to get into my real operational area some time, namely the Indian Ocean.


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27.2 ESE-NE by E 4-6; moderate Although 200 tons of oil have already been pumped sea; cross ESE and SSW into upper tanks, the ship still rolls heavily. swell; heavy cloud;very good visibility. 1200 23º49'S; 5º02'W. Day's run: 230 n.m. Total run: 19963 n.m. 28.2 E 2-4; slight sea; ESE In order to notify Operations that meeting with 33 is over swell; cloudy; very and that the mine warning at Dassen Island was not good visibility. caused by us: 0118? (0457 ?? GMT) Short signal to Operations: ‘Changing my operational area to Central Atlantic. Mine-laying not yet carried out.’ 0623 Confirmation of short signal received. 0915 Course 270º. 1039 - Ship set across the swell for an eye operation With 1130 unprecedented irresponsibility, Petty Officer Ulbricht was taking apart a 22 cm

cartridge, which exploded. He was injured by shrapnel pieces. His right eye is in danger. 1200 20º51'S; 7º16'W. Day's run: 242 n.m. Total run: 20205 n.m. 1.3 E 2; calm sea; slight E swell; clear; very good visibility. 1200 20º47'S; 11º39'W. Day's run: 251 n.m. Total run: 20456 n.m. 2213 W/T that Alstertor will arrive at ‘Karin’ on 10 or 11.3. I assume that she will travel through the Neutrality Zone and not cross my operational area. 2.3 E 2-3; calm sea; slight 0000 E swell; fine Trade wind Course 70º. 0023 weather; very good W/T over operational areas of U-boats, Fleet and Ship 10. visibility. At present, two ‘Ermland’s are travelling around here, and

that is very impractical. The new division of areas allots Ship 10 essentially west of 25ºW. That enlarges my area to the southern border of the U-boat area (5ºN) past the former border of the Bahia to Freetown route. This new corner is very tempting; nevertheless I shall remain here for the present, as my patience is not yet exhausted, and because it is possible that I shall want to transfer Petty Officer Ulbricht to Scheer if complications occur.

0946 - Stopped to calibrate forward range-finder. For reasons which 1220 could not be determined, the searchlight screening lenses had fallen in front of the

eye-pieces and could not be moved. In this condition the apparatus was unusable and had to be opened. The assembly plate which contained the hand wheel and the turning-lever [*Umschlaghebel] was removed. As a result of the peculiar construction of the assembly, the coupling of the turning lever, on the one hand, and the coupling between


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(*Dreikeilpaar?), scale drum and manual measuring wheel on the other hand also became inoperative [*kamen dabei die Kupplung des Umschlaghebels einerseits und die Kupplung zwischen Drehkeilpaar, Skalentrommel und Messhandrad andererseits zusätzlich ausser Eingriff.] The apparatus was now completely out of adjustment and had to be re-adjusted by tedious trial and error, first with a home-made tuning plate and then by comparative measurements with the second apparatus in a boat which was set out. The original problem could have been fixed in a very short time. Since the method tried here first led to even greater damage was the result of insufficient training of the gunnery technicians in handling range-finding equipment (according to description and operating instructions for the range-finder, it is strictly forbidden even for gunnery technicians to open the apparatus) and also of the fact that no plan is on board, which would have made it even approximately possible to recognise the internal construction of the apparatus.

For all ships that are going to be away from home for a long time the provision of such plans and the instruction of at least the gunnery technician by Zeiss is indispensible.

1200 20º17'S; 12º17'W. Day's run: 205 n.m. Total run: 20661 n.m. 1700 W/T re provisioning U-boats. U-105 and U-124 have 350 kg

WM 80 each for us. From 15.3 I must take provisioning into consideration. Kormoran is to be used as much as possible before Nordmark, so that we can go south again as soon as possible. For this purpose Operations wants to know our stock of U-boat torpedoes. I shall take advantage of the additional projected supply from Nordmark in order to get rid of the rest of the U-boat equipment. I shall not take on oil, in order not to make my ship too stiff.

2356 W/T to Operations: Still have 13 torpedoes on board. [*Meaning torpedoes for U-boats] 3.3 SE Trade 3-4, slight sea; 0214 E swell; fine, very Receipt of short signal acknowledged. clear weather. 0822 Course 270º. 1200 19º11'S; 09º48'W. Day's run: 214 n.m. Total run: 20875 n.m. 1834 W/T with assessment of political situation by Operations.

Although we are excellently informed by German, English and American media here (the relatively objective Tuckerton press), the appearance of these political reports is always greeted with enthusiasm. It is four long weeks since our last vessel, so little traffic is there is the area. I must however mention that the crew is in splendid form. Our cinema, the swimming pool and our animals contribute particularly stimulatingly to carefully organised leisure time. The men like to occupy themselves with the dogs, the pigs, and particularly with ‘Tommy’, the little monkey which the British Union Crew gave us when they left the ship.

4.3 SE Trade 3-4; slight sea; 0112 confused SW-ESE swell; W/T received with new directions for all vessels heavy cloud; evening rain returning home. shower; good visibility. 1200 19º14'S; 14º07'W.


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Day's run: 245 n.m. Total run: 21120 n.m. 2000 Course 70º. 5.3 ESE 3-5; moderate sea; cross SW-ESE swell; variable cloud; good visibility. 1200 18º26'N; 13º13'W. Day's run: 218 n.m. Total run: 21338 n.m. 1600 Course 280º. 1930 Course 270º. I am concerned about Alsterufer, which must pass our latitude

in the next few days, for if we see a blacked-out ship at night, then we shoot. In order to give Operations the chance of guiding her away from us,

2317 Short signal sent: ‘Shifting my operational area to # FD, FL.’ 6.3 ESE 2-3; slight sea; 0215 confused ESE-SSW swell; Receipt of signal acknowledged. heavy cloud; good Cruising in this area was fruitless. visibility. Now I must go northwards, in

order to be available for provisioning U-boat from 15.3, therefore

0925 Course 330º. 1200 17º36'S; 16º02'W. Clocks put back one hour. Ship's time is now for Zone 15ºW. Day's run: 261 n.m. . Total run: 21599 n.m. From this morning all four engines are in order again.

Unfortunately the joy did not last long, for in the evening a bearing broke down in Engine II again. The inspection of the crew's health concluded today showed an average weight loss of from 1 to 2 kg, caused by the unaccustomed heat. Physical condition otherwise excellent.

7.3 E 3-4; slight to 0230 moderate sea; cross W/T concerning U-boat provisioning from 16.3 at Point Red. ESE swell; very variable Transfer DeTe-crystal to Scheer, relief and provisioning cloud; good visibility. by Nordmark. Inspection of Engine II showed a newly cast bearing was completely shattered. The

immediate cause could not be determined. It is quite possible that it is a case of a casting fault, on the other hand the ‘search speed’ that is so favourable for us could be the cause by overloading the engine. Doubtless it is better to run the engines with newly cast bearings with less load for a fair time at first. Therefore I shall begin proceeding immediately with a speed at which engines work the propulsion system. I shall have to accept the disadvantages of greater oil use, greater heat in the ship, particularly at night when cruising blacked out, and the greater generation of sparks, in order to attain some sort of stability in the engine and to strengthen the personnel’s trust in their equipment. Even though I do not believe that the 10-12% overload is the cause of our difficulties with the bearings - in my opinion an engine should be able to achieve that; those engines


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furnished with WM 80 have managed it up to now - I shall not return to ‘search speed’ until the construction firm Krupp confirm my opinion. I shall request the viewpoint of the firm by wireless. The Chief Engineer of Scheer will be informed of my problems.

1200 14º15'S; 18º17'W. (see Engine Room log) Day's run: 242 n.m. Total run: 21841 n.m. 8.3 E 4-5; fairly heavy sea; 0100 - ENE swell; clear; good Fuel trial run with the new speed setting of about 11 knots visibility. (72 revolutions) with the oil from Nordmark (Miri oil). Use

per day: about 20 tons. 1200 10º23'S; 20º42'W. Day's run: 270 n.m. Total run: 22111 n.m. 9.3. E 4-6; moderate to fairly 0000 heavy sea; E swell; very Course 0º. I am now about 22ºW, cloudy; morning shower; fair visibility. 120 n.m. east of the Neutrality Zone. 0200 - Fuel trial run with our old oil. The result is virtually the same. 1400 (see Engine Room log.) 1200 6º26'S; 21º57'W. Day's run: 259 n.m. Total run: 22370 n.m. In the area which I am entering now, it is my opinion that

there will be quite lively traffic, because the vessels bound for Freetown must leave the Neutrality Zone here. However, in just this spot one can count on special patrols. The decision to press on into this presumed wasps' nest and to cruise there on searching courses at this phase of the moon - 3 days before full moon - needs an explanation. Firstly, the ‘Natal Strait’ is not a strait at all, but an enormous area, into which the auxiliary cruiser can disappear like a pin into a waste paper basket. Secondly, the time is now very favorable, as the Fleet and U-boats have shifted their patrols northwards, and thirdly I could not choose the phase of the moon in this case; it is not so dangerous, as long as I stay in the area of variable winds, where there are always extensive rain squalls available, if one has to withdraw from a superior opponent. There I intend not to go further than 2ºN at present.

10.3 ESE-S 2-3; slight sea; ESE swell; overcast; isolated rain; poor to moderate visibility. 1200 2º06'S; 22º07'W. Day's run: 260 n.m. Total run: 22630 n.m. At midday the Chief Engineer reports to me about the attempts which have been initiated to find the cause of our

bearing breakdowns. (Compare Report in Engine Room log.) It seems obvious that the bearing housings are too weak in construction. (If this is the reason for the breakdowns, we can unfortunately do nothing to change it. The doubts which I expressed to the Commander-in-Chief and at Operations have unfortunately proven correct, namely that a new type of engine, which had not yet made a voyage, should not have been chosen as an auxiliary cruiser. But we are one, and can only try, through constant grinding down, to bring the bearings to rest on the


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greatest surface possible. The only question is whether they will give us time to do this, or whether they will split apart before then. However, since we have learnt aboard the auxiliary cruiser to write the word ‘Patience’ in capital letters, we expect to succeed.

[* Concerning Detmers' misgivings about an untried ship, Montgomery wrote in his book, p.76 of Cassell edition, that there was 'no record of his ever having made such an observation'; however, this is the place where there is proof that he did; in a report that would be read by Raeder, he writes that he had told Raeder he was wrong. A marginal note made in Germany said that it had been felt it was worth taking the risk to get a ship capable of 18 knots, which, in fact, Kormoran was never capable of making.] 11.3 Variable winds, Force 2-3; calm sea; cross SE 0900 and N swell; cloudy; Course 90º. isolated heavy showers; very variable visibility. 1200 1º37'N; 21º39'W. Day's run: 255 n.m. In the evening, check of Engine II shows two more Total run: 22885 n.m. bearings broken. Since my top speed is still 16.5 knots, I shall carry out my enterprise. 1910 W/T Order to transfer home waters cypher material from U-124 to Scheer. 1920 W/T re departure of Italian submarines. To arrive at rendezvous in South

Atlantic 16.4. We hope to be already in the Indian Ocean by then. 12.3 S-ESE 1-4 variable; calm sea; cross N and SE 0110 swell; heavy clouds; W/T that Scheer will arrive at ‘Red’ on 16.3. evening rain shower. 0800 Course 240º. 1200 1º42'N; 18º42'W. Day's run: 244 n.m. Total run: 23129 n.m. In the evening for the first time damage to two pedestal bearings [*Bocklager] in Engine II was discovered. Thus this engine will be out of order for days. It is obvious that we have a new fundamental fault here. 1925 W/T that we are to be at ‘Red’ by 15.3. Thus I must cut short my cruise here. 2300 Course 300º, in the direction of the rendezvous. I shall keep to

the slow speed at present. In order to be sure that I am able to run at a higher speed, I order an inspection of Engine IV, our second source of worry.

2330 - Resumed ‘search speed’, Engine IV 2400 shut down; bearings inspected. Engine is in order. Back to cruising speed with 3 engines.


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13.3 Variable winds 1-3; calm 0000 sea; long low N swell; W/T from Nordmark, that she will be at ‘Red’ about 20.3. cloudy; moderate visibility. 0319 Light in sight 270º true. Measurement shows that the vessel

is on the route New York to Cape Town, course about 130º, speed 13-15 kn. 0341 - Turned behind the vessel, because it is showing a lot of light 0400 but not the typical American illumination of the hull side. 0420 The distance is still 150 hm. I should like to have a closer look

at it, but with my narrow superiority in speed that would cost me 4-6 hours at full speed, and it would probably be wasted effort. In consideration of the present condition of my engines, I must give it up.

0423 Course 300º, 10.5 knots. 0431 Lights out of sight. 1000 Course 302º, 15 knots, in order to be at the rendezvous punctually. 1200 1º16'N; 22º48'W. Day's run: 257 n.m. Total run: 23386 n.m. 1546 W/T that U-124 will also arrive at ‘Red’ on 15.3. U-105 and

U-106 are to be provisioned about 25.3. I had hoped that U-105, which has whitemetal for me, would come earlier. The days from 20.3 (Arrival of Nordmark) are wasted time for me.

1800 Entry into Neutrality Zone. The thrust unfortunately again brought nothing. Although for 14 days we have had had shark fins, self-caught and fixed according to tradition on the mizzen mast, all our luck at present is bad. The rest of the month is lost on account of the U-boat provisioning. Then we shall have cruised two months and more than 10,000 n.m. without result!

14.3 NE Trade 4; slight to moderate sea; long N swell; slightly cloudy; good visibility. 1200 5º08'N; 28º05'W. Day's run: 375 n.m. Total run: 23761 n.m. 15.30 To 10.5 knots. The evening inspection revealed the first cracks in the

pedestal bearing of Engine IV. Tomorrow the U-boat provisioning begins. It is to be hoped my engines get a bit of rest then, so that we can repair our equipment thoroughly.

[End of section]


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15.3 NE 4-5; moderate to Ship rolls heavily at times. fairly rough sea; long fairly high N swell; very cloudy; moderate 0630 Stopped to take morning reckoning. 0748 Course 100º to RV ‘Point Red’. 0851 U-124 in sight 25º true. 0854 Course 45E. 0912 7º01'N; 30º59'W. Stopped on easterly heading. Transfer of torpedoes not

possible on account of state of sea and swell at Point Red. Decision to go 200 n.m. southwards, in order to find better weather. U-124 ordered to prepare copies of home waters cypher material for Scheer.

0936 Course 180º, 11.5 kn. U-boat in company. 1200 6º29'N; 30º55'W. Day's run: 262 n.m. Total run: 24023 n.m. 1337 Since I am supposed to meet Scheer on16.3, short signal to

Operations: Weather unfavorable at rendezvous. Rendezvous unsuitable. New rendezvous # ER 89.

Short signal not confirmed. 1637 Shortsignal repeated and again not confirmed. 1737 GMT It is possible that Scheer is on the same wave length and has

heard the signal. Therefore I cannot go back, but must get the signal through. 1836 Short signal sent for third time. 1956 GMT Norddeich has understood. 16.3 NE 4-5; fairly heavy sea; 0015 long fairly high N swell; Confirmation of receipt of signal. Rendezvous at 3ºN, 31ºW variable cloud; light haze; for Scheer and U-boat provisioning ordered. At home the first medium visibility. signal not heard, second garbled, third received at strength 4. 0650 3º00'N; 31º03'W. Stopped at rendezvous. 0748 Smoke cloud in sight at 45º true. 0818 Exchange of recognition signals. It is Scheer, running before

the wind, hence the heavy, tall column of smoke. 0915 Mutual greeting and three cheers. 0950 - Commanders' conference on Scheer. 1300 Transfer of D.T. crystal and cypher material from U-boat. In

addition it takes on our whole radar set. Petty Officer Ulbricht (eye injury) handed over to Scheer. 350 kg of whitemetal taken from U-124. Chief Engineer of Scheer informed of our problems.

1200 2º57'N; 31º05'W. Day's run: 212 n.m. Total run: 24235 n.m. 1335 Course 235º. 12 kn, since transfer of torpedoes not possible here. 1400 W/T that "Portland" has arrived with our prisoners. 1500 Course 225º.


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17.3 NNE 3-4, dropping; slight sea; cross N-SE swell; cloudy; heavy rain; bad visibility. 0710 0º32'N; 33º37'W. Stopped. U-124 makes preparations to take on torpedoes. It

turns out that the transfer of torpedoes is not possible on account of the cross swell. Since the cross swell is a typical phenomenon of the variable winds in which we are now situated, I decide to go further north into the border area between Trade Winds and belt of variable winds.

0930 I shall go directly north, since I hope by that means to get into 1200 1º04'N; 33º39'W. the calm region between two Highs passing through to the Day's run: 240 n.m. north. Sea and swell have settled down to the point where Total run: 24475 n.m I should like to make an attempt. 1210 1º04'N; 33º39'W. Stopped at 330º. 1320 - Transfer of one torpedo. Torpedo from board 13.44, on board 1644 U-124: 14.17. Torpedo damaged on the tail fin. Rubber boat damaged while

second torpedo being lowered, therefore transfer of torpedoes postponed. A sick diesel petty officer taken over from U-boat.

1655 1º04'N; 33º41'W. Course 0º, 10.5 knots. At this speed we shall reach the northern border of the variable winds early tomorrow.


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18.3 NE 3-5; slight to moderate sea; N swell; cloudy; slight haze; moderate visibility. 0907 3º54'N; 33º58'W. Stopped. Transfer of torpedoes not possible. Since U-124 still

has 12 torpedoes, it will forgo the torpedoes. 0930 - Equipment transferred. 1125 While the gear for taking on torpedoes is being dismantled on

the U-boat, it becomes visibly calmer. 1145 Commander of U-124 on board. He receives two leather gymnasium mats to

pad the taking-over position. Then we shall try it again. I send a torpedo Petty Officer to the U-boat with special tools to repair the damaged torpedo.

1200 3º51'N; 34º03' W. Day's run: 170 n.m. Total run: 24645 n.m. 1338 -1735 Transfer of torpedoes. Time of transfer of one torpedo

(from ship until stowed in U-boat): about 33 minutes. Five torpedoes transferred without damage, the sixth (damaged) is also in order again.

1813 - Off-duty U-boat crew on board to bathe, etc. As a replacement -1942 for the sick diesel petty officer I sent Chief Petty Officer Ackermann to the U-boat. Since the U-boat has not yet refuelled at sea, this is to be done

tomorrow in daylight. So that the boat does not lose any time, I shall go overnight in the direction of its operational area.

2000 30º48'N; 34º07'W. Course 75º, 11 knots. 19.3 NE by N 4-5; moderate sea; NE swell, good visibility. 0805 4º22'N; 32º19'W. Stopped. Preparations to send over oil and water. 0834 Towing connection made, oil hose sent over. Although Arsenal

and Commander of U-boats assured us before we left that our connections fitted, of course they do not fit this boat. A new intermediate piece must be manufactured.

0940 Drinking water hose made fast. Transfer of water begun. 1104 Transfer of water ended. 1147 Oil transfer begun. 1200 4º23'N; 32º21'W. Day's run: 120 n.m. Total run: 24765 n.m. 1219 Pumping begun; hose bursts. 1233 - 1420 Repair to hose. 1430 Towing and hose connections restored. Beginning of oil transfer. 1835 Transfer of oil completed. 1505 - 1848 Off-duty U-boat crew aboard. 1910 Towing hawser and hose brought aboard. U-boat is fully

equipped. Supply finished.


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1936 4º26'N; 32º35'W. Course 30º, speed 10 knots. In preparation for the next supply, I want to find out the weather conditions at ‘Point Red’. I can leave the present rendezvous, as Nordmark arrives tomorrow.

Experiences from the U-boat provisioning 1.) Rubber boats: proved themselves excellently. The traffic from ship to U-boat was carried

out with them and seems to be possible in practically any weather condition. High carrying capacity and seaworthiness. In the tropics they were rolled up on the upper deck and stored protected from the sun. From time to time they were blown up and the seams treated with the special paint. Otherwise no special care necessary. The damage to one boat occurred because the torpedo while being lowered into the boat being tossed around by the state of the sea was caught by the [tank] filler neck [*Fullstutzen] of the stern transverse beading [*Querwulst] and tore open this beading.. It is suggested that the filler neck be secured with a smooth, unscrewable cover.

2.) Towing and oil supply gear: practical, manageable. The hoses are not sufficiently durable in the tropics. Many reserve lengths necessary. Standardisation of the connections is an age-old requirement. It should be possible to manage with only two different connecting pieces for all ship types in the navy. The U-boat was not equipped with the gear set out in the list for oiling at sea.

3.) Protection of the torpedoes: Head, tail fins including motor chamber and the middle of the torpedo were wrapped in bed mattresses. The greatest danger occurred when the torpedo was raised from over the beading) of the rubber boat. With the primitive equipment, it always hits the hull of the U-boat. This spot was protected with our leather gymnasium mats. This stood the test very well. Provision of such mats for all supply ships would be useful.

4.) Transfer of lubrication oil and distillate in canisters and wicker bottles very advantageous. Both could be emptied out immediately on the U-boat and returned immediately.

We could fulfil all the requirements of the boat except for fresh fruit. The brief hours spent with comrades on the auxiliary cruiser were regarded by the U-boat men as a special relaxation.

20.3 NE 4-5; moderate sea; N swell; light clouds; fine Weather at ‘Point Red’ is not suitable for U-boat provisioning Trade wind weather; good visibility. therefore 0815 6º15'N; 31º30'W. Course 172º to new supply point. 0845 6º08'N; 31º31'W. W/T (Ship 41, No. 10-12) presented to me, giving me in the

mean time permission to operate towards the south. Since I am close to my previous operational area, which brought good success, I decide, instead of going south, to go there, particularly as this rewarding area is free, for Ship 10 is north of it and has orders not to cross south of 11ºN during the U-boat provisioning. Therefore I go to 0º, 10 knots.

As a safeguard I shall report my intention this evening. 1200 6º35'N; 31º29'W. Day's run: 174 n.m. Total run: 24939 n.m. 1918 As I am just about to report my intention by short signal, a W/T

is received, that Ship 10 is moving into # ER 20 and #ES 10, thus into my operational area. Thus this area, which is very important in my opinion, is occupied. I shall have to


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look for some occupation in the south. At the same time W/T received, that U-105 and U-106 will probably top up in Las Palmas, so I have more time. I intend to operate south of the U-boat area.

[*It was Spain, not Eire, that was providing U-boat support.] 2005 Course 122º, speed 14.5 knots, along the border of the Neutrality Zone. 21.3 NE 4-5; moderate sea; NE swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 0801 6º35'N; 29º04'W Tanker in sight to the south at 130º true. Take evasive action,

as I am still in the Neutrality Zone. 1200 6º05'N; 28º25'W. Day's run: 318 n.m. Total run: 25257 n.m. 22.3 NE by N; slight sea; NE swell; light clouds; very good visibility. 0921 Vessel in sight at 120º true. 0934 Vessel is a tanker. Alarm. Course 60º. 0935 Raised to full speed. Since we are just passing the border of

the Neutrality Zone, I can take him on. 0937 Ship sends RR report: 3º31'N; 23º40'W. (thus 20 n.m. outside

the Neutrality Zone) ‘suspicious vessel agnita/GTGP’. [*Given in English; Agnita should have sent QQQQ. So many vessels confused the signals that Operations and the auxiliary cruisers were not sure which was which, and later Sydney would not have been surprised that Kormoran sent QQQQ instead of RRRR.] 0939 W/T successfully jammed. 0939 Distance 115 hm. Decamouflaged. Signal (code flags): Stop immediately.

At the same time, morse signal with lamp: No wireless or be shelled. [*Given in English] 1008 Both orders obeyed immediately. 1027 Rudder failure. (See Engine Room log). Starboard motor boat to water, examination party away. Ship is motor tanker Agnita, 3561 gross, Anglo-Saxon Oil Co., in ballast

from Freetown to Carapito-Venezuela. Since the tanker is small, in poor condition, and very badly rebuilt with built-in special tanks, I decide to sink it.

1106 Crew (13 English, 25 Chinese) taken aboard. 1145 Scuttling charges activated, 3 scuttling charges, 4 explosive charges 1153 First detonation. 1154 Second detonation. Ship cants to starboard and sinks slowly by the stern;

1 Scuttling charge can still be seen on the port side; dud.


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1200 3º30'N; 23º48'W. 1204 Day's run: 322 n.m. Boat taken aboard. Since the ship, like all empty tankers, Total run: 25579 n.m. will not sink, 1234 - nine rounds of 15 cm at the waterline. 1314 Ship is on fire, all tanks ruptured, but still sinks very slowly. 1319 Smokestack is under water. Course 122º, 14.5 kn. 1329 Ship hangs vertically by the stem post and sinks very slowly. 1800 To cruising speed 10.5 kn. Since all is quiet, our jamming

must have been successful. 23.3 N-NNE 2-3; calm sea; confused swell NW-SSE; variable cloud; very good visibility. Examination of the booty from Agnita shows that in spring 1940 the ship was hit by a bomb. The captain was commended on his courageous, careful conduct. That probably explains the noticeably heavy armament for such a small ship: one 12 cm poop cannon and two 7.6 anti-aircraft guns. The captain thanks me repeatedly for not having fired at him. A very nice chart of Freetown with the mine-free channels and mine-fields was found. U-105 and U-106 shall each get a copy of it. According to a statement by the captain, the Freetown tankers follow constantly changing routes. According to his chart, however, he had already travelled on this route once before. 1200 0º56'N; 20º55'W. Despite the small size of the ship, we are particularly happy Day's run: 225 n.m. about this success; the spell which hung over us for 7 weeks Total run: 25804 n.m. seems to be broken at last. 1422 W/T that we are to be in #ER 89 from 28.3 to provision U-boats. 2000 Course 1º. 24.3 N-NE by N 2; calm sea, weak NNW swell; very variable cloud; good visibility. 0800 Course 270º, in order to return to the vicinity of the Neutrality Zone. 1200 2º07'N; 20º41'W. Day's run: 282 n.m. Total run: 26086 n.m. 25.3 N by W-E 2-4; slight to moderate sea; moderate N swell, variable cloud; isolated heavy rain, good to bad visibility. 0400 Course 20º. 0651 2º35'N; 23º48'W. Vessel in sight at 40º true. Alarm; to course 330º. Since he is still very distant, about 200 hm,

I maintain the slow speed, in order not to startle him. It is to be hoped the old trick works, for with the present condition of my engines I cannot keep up a long chase with full speed.

0727 The trick succeeds. Now he is about 100 hm away. We believe it to be a medium tanker. Hard a-starboard; Engines full speed ahead.


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0729 Decamouflage; stop signal hoisted. I turn continually, so that my full battery is ready to fire. The tanker now shows its stern.

0736 At about 90 hm, two warning shots across the bow. Opponent wirelesses and is jammed.

0740 Guns given permission to fire. The second salvo lies a few metres from the target. Opponent stops wirelessing, stops, takes to the boats. Thus cease fire.

0758 2º38'N; 23º43'W. Stopped beside opponent. 0806 Port motor-boat set out; examination party away. The tanker is Canadolite, 11309 gross; Imperial Oil Shipping Co,; home port

Montreal; motor ship; built by Krupp, Germania, Kiel. In ballast from Freetown to Venezuela. I intend to send the ship as prize to Bordeaux. Thus I must get hold of the crew, who are trying to flee in their lifeboats. One of the boats is already a fair way off. My second motor boat tows it back to the tanker. That means the loss of a lot of time.

0820 Prize officer: Sub-lieutenant (Special) von Bloh. Cox: Strasser Engine P.O. Michaelis Bosun: Mailahn Leading seaman: Seehagen Engine P.O. Kayserling Leading seaman: Kleinhammes Leading seaman: Vastring Able seaman: Tietjen Leading Telegraphist: Fels Able seaman: Wirtz Leading stoker: Guhr Ordinary seaman: Hellberg Leading stoker: Schax Ordinary seaman Polzin

The tanker crew (44 men) makes a peaceable impression, although it consists of English and Canadians. In any case, I shall take on board the captain, chief engineer, wireless operator and the leading gunner, who is from the R.N., and strengthen the prize crew by 2 men, who had been sentenced to imprisonment by the court-martial on board and who shall have this opportunity to rehabilitate themselves.

According to the statement of the chief engineer, the tanker has only 150 tons of oil. At a daily usage of 10 tons, that is not enough. The prize therefore is ordered first to take on 150-200 tons of oil from Nordmark, then to proceed to 38º West, and then make for the Gironde on the route ordered for returning ships.

1015 RR-message from Britannia received. The suspicion that Ship 10 is at work successfully, is confirmed.

1040 Prize discharged. Our jamming apparently worked well again, as all remains quiet.

1100 Course 150º, 14.5 knots. 1135 Prize out of sight. 1200 2º15'N; 23º34'W. Day's run: 261 n.m. Total run: 26347 n.m. 1415 Returned to cruising speed, 10.5 kn. 2300 Course 287º towards the rendezvous with Nordmark. In looking

over the orders given to the prize, it is discovered that it has been forgotten to give her the Air-sea recognition signals. Since I must in any case be in position for the U-boat provisioning on 28th, and in addition my short signal that the prize should report to Nordmark did not get through, I am breaking off the operation and hope to catch the prize still with Nordmark.


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26.3 ESE-NE 3-4; slight sea; 0310 N swell; very variable Receipt of short signal confirms that Prize I has been sent off cloud, mostly overcast; and Nordmark is to go immediately to# ER 89 and wait there. moderate visibility at times. What is meant: wait for the prize. 0600 To 14.5 knots. 1114 Course 290º. 1200 1º11'N; 25º37'W. Day's run: 319 n.m. Total run: 26666 n.m. 1557 - Vessel in sight 40º true. (Vessel was on about 210º.) Avoided, since in the Neutrality Zone. 1613 Course 290º. 2012 W/T from Operations which shows that we have not been

understood. Admiralty thinks that Britannia is our prize, and that we want to take on oil from Nordmark. Now I am glad that I am already on the way to Nordmark, in case Canadolite should have difficulties there.

27.3 NNE-E 2-4; moderate sea; N swell; overcast; isolated heavy rain; corresponding visibility. 0805 Smoke cloud in sight at 166º true. 0837 Nordmark recognised by the short stump masts, broad conspicuous crosstrees and permanent built-in masthead lookouts. 0848 Exchange of recognition signals. 1020 Course 0º. 1030 3º00'N; 31º02'W. Stopped at the rendezvous. Nordmark has not seen our prize. 1200 3º00'N; 31º02'W. According to a new statement by the chief engineer of Canadolite Day's run: 341 n.m. (German- Canadian) the prize has enough fuel to reach Bordeaux. Total run: 27000 n.m. She has also a reserve of oil for the auxiliary boiler, which can

also be used for the main engines. Thus I presume that the prize officer, after a thorough inspection of the fuel supply, set out immediately on the way home.

1631 First Officer of Nordmark on board for a discussion regarding U-boat provisioning. Nordmark has five G7a torpedoes stored on deck, which cannot be cleared until the other torpedoes have been handed over. Since no boat is expected tomorrow, I shall take on these 5 torpedoes and the two electric torpedoes. Then Nordmark will have 12 and I shall have 14 torpedoes, electrical and contact ones in approximately equal quantities. At the same time, the whole of the provisions will be transferred to Nordmark, since our experience is that the U-boats do not need much of this and the equipment, which is intended for the boats, is already on Nordmark. So that U-105 will also be able to receive all these things, Nordmark is to remain at the rendezvous. She can make up her leeway with her 1.7 knots. I cannot make such a slow speed. I shall drift overnight and head for the rendezvous again in the morning.

1742 W/T that Ill will be at 10ºS, east of ‘Krebs’ [*Crab] on 31.3, and Rudolf Albrecht at 5ºN 35ºW by 5.4 at the latest. After supplying U-boats, we are to go south and report crossing 10ºS.

1833 W/T making known Babitonga with 800 kg of whitemetal, and Dresden.


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28.3 NE by E 3-4; slight sea; N swell; very variable cloud; slight haze; moderate to poor visibility. 0750 Course 83º, 15 kn. 0835 Course 70º. 1000 Course 90º. We cannot take our morning readings and are 1037 Course 0º. looking for Nordmark. 1128 Course 180º. 1200 3º13'N; 31º00'W. Day's run: 102 n.m. Total run: 27109 n.m. 1240 Nordmark in sight at 160º. 1246 Course 160º. 1255 Exchange of recognition signals. 1316 Course 180º. 1328 Stopped beside Nordmark. 1406 - Taking torpedoes from, sending equipment to Nordmark. - 1741 1814 Course 35º to rendezvous. 1930 Course 70º against the current. 2200 Stopped. 29.3 Wind very inconstant in direction and strength, NE-SE 2-5; slight to moderate sea; cross swell from N and SE; hazy; bad visibility. 0710 No morning readings; estimated. 0723 On 250º at 10 knots to rendezvous. 0723 (?) Stopped. Waiting for Nordmark and U-boats. 0825 Course 90º, 10 knots. 0917 Stopped. 1020 Course 290º, 10 knots. 1035 Stopped. 1125 Course 270º, 14.5 knots. 1145 U-boat in sight at 345º. 1155 Exchange of recognition signals with U-105. 1200 3º07'N; 31º00'W. Day's run: 75 n.m. Total run: 27184 n.m. 1205 Stopped. 1216 Vessel in sight at 230º true; evasive action. 1230 Course 275º, 9 knots; lost sight in a rain squall. 1240 Stopped to allow U-boat to close up. 1329 Course 180º, 9 knots, to look for Nordmark. 1414 Nordmark in sight at 160º true. 1428 Exchange of recognition signals. 1448 Stopped. In good signal contact with Nordmark.


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U-106 was with Nordmark and is now chasing a vessel. 1610 Beginning of transfer of oil and drinking water to U-105. Since

transfer of torpedoes is not possible in this weather, U-105 receives oil and water first. 1645 Oil hose broken. 1851 Hose connection restored. 2115 85 cubic metres sent over. The boat will receive the rest later, as it

would otherwise lie too deep for taking on torpedoes. Drifted overnight with U-105 in tow. 30.3 Wind varying between N and E, 0-4; calm sea; confused N and SE swell; very variable cloud; isolated rain; moderate visibility. 0650 3º13'N; 31º30'W. Oil and water hoses disconnected. 0757 Towing line cast off. 0816 Course 356º, 11 knots. I presume that I shall find calmer sea

in the north, and above all less cross swell. 0825 U-boat in sight; it is U-106 looking for Nordmark. 0834 Stopped. U-106 warned about attacks in the Neutrality Zone,

in consideration of the great number of our own ships which travel here. After being provided with an accurate position, sent to Nordmark. Is to take the message that Nordmark may leave the rendezvous to transfer torpedoes, but must return there afterwards.

0840 Course 359º, 9 knots. 0959 Course 326º. 1007 Course 356º. 1130 Stopped, as transfer of torpedoes will be attempted here. 1200 3º37'N; 31º32'W. Day's run: 50 n.m. Total run: 27234 n.m. 1227 11 torpedoes sent over. While taking on the 12th torpedo, the

receiving gear on the U-boat collapsed. The torpedo lay diagonally across the stern. It was put back into the rubber boat successfully.

2110 Torpedo on board again. As it has externally only a few minor faults, it is to be tested thoroughly overnight.

2125 Boats brought aboard. Work interrupted owing to darkness. Drift overnight. Tomorrow morning the gear for taking on torpedoes is to be repaired, and at the same time welding to be done on the boat.

W/T in the evening, setting the boundary between our operational area and Ship 16 at 20ºS. Dresden left Santos on 18.3 and is going 600 n.m. west to ‘Meise’.

31.3 ENE-E 2-3; calm sea; 0848 slight N swell; over- Towing line with welding cable sent over to U-boat. cast; rain showers; 0849 - moderate visibility. Transfer of provisions and equipment. 1200 An oil cooler is welded.


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1200 3º40'N; 32º02'W. Day's run: 25 n.m. Total run: 27259 n.m. 1326 - Towing connections cast loose. 1423 Transfer of 12th and 13th torpedoes. The damaged torpedo is

in order again. The U-boat needs the afternoon to dismantle the gear for taking on materials and for stowing equipment. Oil therefore will be supplied on 1.4. Overnight I intend to head towards the rendezvous with Nordmark.

1614 Boats taken aboard. 1625 Course 0º, 15 kn. To run engines clean. 1724 Course 180º, 15 kn. 1744 Stopped. 1823 3º40'N; 32º07'W. Course 180º, 10 knots, to rendezvous. 2025 Speed 9 knots. 2325 Course 90º, 9 knots. 1.4. ENE 3-4; slight sea; confused NNE - SE swell; cloudy; moderate visibility. 0730 2º29'N; 30º59'W. Stopped at rendezvous. Nordmark is not in place. It is found

from a later W/T that she did not follow orders and has already gone to the rendezvous with Ill. Thus U-105 will not receive several engine spare parts, U-106 will have one torpedo less, and my prisoners must now be transferred to the much smaller Rudolf Albrecht.

0829 Towing connection made. Oil transfer begun. 0938 Hose broke. 1155 Oil transfer resumed. 1200 3º01'N; 30º58'W. Day's run: 102 n.m. Total run: 27361 n.m. 1353 Oil transfer completed. From 08.55 to 18.20, off duty watches of the U-boat crew

alternately on board to bathe, visit cinema, etc. 1820 U-boat crew left ship. 1850 Towing connection becomes tangled during casting off, and

when the U-boat tries to pull itself clear by going astern it breaks. Port hydroplane of U-105 out of order on account of oil hose and towing hawser.

1937 2º53'N; 31º04'W. 2000 Boats taken aboard. On account of the darkness, clearing the

hydroplane is postponed until dawn. Since the U-boat cannot dive, I shall keep it in sight during the night.

2.4 NE 3-4; slight sea; 0858 SE swell; variable Port supply boat and rubber boat set out; First Officer, cloud; good Chief Petty Officer with group of technical personnel visibility. sent on board the U-boat to give help. 0926 Hydroplane cleared of hawser and hose. Boat is clear to dive

and fully equipped. U-boat discharged with the order to report that provisioning has been carried out. In addition it is to report by W/T the sending off of the prize Canadolite, its


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time of arrival and the missing air-sea recognition signal. Both U-boats received a copy of the captured Freetown chart. U-105 was

informed of the reported La Plata ship. The boats seem to me rather meagrely informed, so that U-105 did not even know about the Italian submarine Finzi beginning operations. There were no significant lessons learnt regarding U-boat provisions. The supply point was comparatively favorable for this time of the year. It was a disadvantage that it is in the vicinity of the variable winds so that it is often not possible to obtain either morning or evening readings, which makes it difficult to meet up. A point 100 n.m. further south would perhaps be more favorable.

1030 Boats taken aboard; technical group aboard. 1035 2º51'N; 31º10'W. Course 300º, 14 kn, to the rendezvous with Rudolf Albrecht

at 5ºN; 35ºW. 1200 2º57'N; 31º25'W. Day's run: 39 n.m. Total run: 27400 n.m. 1941 3º51'N; 33º11'W. 2020 Course 303º, 10 kn. 3.4 NE by E 2-5; slight to moderate sea; NE swell; 0749 cloudy; light haze; Course 234º, 10 knots. moderate visibility. 0825 5º00'N; 35º00'W. Stopped; at 8-minute readiness. 1200 4º55'N; 35º12'W. Day's run: 267 n.m. Total run: 27667 n.m. 1350 - Course 64º, 9 knots. 1600 Made up leeway back towards rendezvous. 1610 Smoke cloud in sight 353º true. 1715 Exchange of signals with Rudolf Albrecht, which receives

directions for the night. Drift during the night, in order to return to the rendezvous at 08.00, then to take on oil and provisions. I count on Nordmark arriving by tomorrow.

4.4 NE 3-5; slight to moderate 0410 sea; NE swell; heavy cloud; Confirmation of W/T from U-105 re Canadolite. light haze; moderate 0506 visibility. Course 65º, 9 knots. 0725 5º06'N; 34º56'W. Stopped. 0739 Port supply boat and rubber boat set out. Rubber boat connections

and tools taken to ‘R.A.’ 1 signalman and 9-man work party sent to give assistance. 0912 ‘R.A.’ hawser buoy recovered. 0941 Towing hawser made fast. 0949 Oil hoses sent across. 1014 Oil hoses made fast. 1030 Beginning of transfer of oil and provisions.


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Provisions taken on: 3000 kg potatoes 300 kg onions 50 bunches of bananas 550 kg oranges 400 kg fresh vegetables Tobacconist's wares 1200 5º03'N; 35º05'W It must be specially mentioned that the crew and especially Day's run: 59 n.m. the captain of Rudolf Albrecht gave up everything for the Total run: 27726 n.m auxiliary cruiser. We found here a cooperation which came

from the heart. Thus we received illustrated magazines (a most desired item on an auxiliary cruiser) which had been collected for a long time;

apart from the bad Teneriffe cigarettes also the best English; a live pig and a Teneriffe dog. Our small gift in exchange, 2 crates of beer, really had to be pressed upon these men, who had not drunk German beer for 2 years. Thus I was glad to be able to help this good vessel with a few pieces from our stock of booty, which it needed urgently. It received a good lifeboat from Afric Star, as well as a chronometer and a sextant.

1820 Oiling ended. 1913 Boats taken aboard. 2000 Oil hose and towing hawser brought aboard. 5.4 NE 3-4; slight sea; NE 0316 swell; cloudy; good W/T received re the sinking of Voltaire by Ship 10.

visibility. [*Voltaire was a British Armed Merchant Cruiser.] 0600 Course 78º, 9 knots, to rendezvous with Nordmark. 0740 Nordmark in sight at 100º true. 0745 Exchange of recognition signals. 0803 5º05'N; 35º14'W. Stopped. Rubber boats set out. Handing over one torpedo and the rest of the U-boat equipment to Nordmark. 1155 Handing over 42 prisoners. Exchange of personnel: Sick

Control Room Mate from U-124 to Nordmark. In exchange for the diesel petty officer given to U-124, one engine room petty officer from the U-boat reserves on Nordmark. Since Nordmark is very short of personnel, I give up one torpedoman (to care for the U-boat torpedoes.)

[*Other documents show that there was a lively row about this exchange, and Detmers had to pull rank on the obstructive captain of Nordmark.] 1200 5º00'N; 35º20'W. Day's run: 48 n.m. Total run: 27774 n.m. 1350 Supply completed. Course 90º, 14.5 kn. 1845 W/T that our mail handed over to Scheer has been received by Operations. 6.4 N by E-NE 2-3; slight sea; NE swell; very variable cloud; slight haze; moderate visibility. 1200 4º29'N; 30º15'W. Day's run: 305 n.m. 1631 Total run: 28079 n.m. W/T received, that U-105 and U-106 are to go to Nordmark at #ER 89. After the experiences with U-106, I prefer to avoid both, despite the Neutrality Zone. 1800 Course 120º.


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7.4 N-SO varying 1-3; slight sea; N swell; overcast; isolated heavy rain, corresponding visibility. 1200 2º12'N; 25º17'W. Day's run: 328 n.m. Total run: 28407 n.m. 1516 W/T received about award of 3 further Iron

Crosses First Class and 50 Second Class. These will be saved up for the Führer's birthday.

2130 1º03'N; 23º18'W. Course 355º, 11 knots. I am now in the operational area again and would like to search again the place where I caught Agnita and Canadolite.

8.4 Northerly 1-2; calm sea; 0736 confused swell N-SE; heavy W/T that Babitonga has not left; From 11.4 Dresden will be clouds; good visibility. 600 n.m. east of ‘Point Meise’. We are to suggest a rendezvous

with Ship 16. 1038 Order for Ship 10 to return home received. 1200 3º43'N; 23º28'W. Day's run: 299 n.m. Total run: 28706 n.m. 1230 Unfortunately there was no tanker there, so 1548 Course 177º, 11 knots. 1548 W/T which informs of Egerland with supplies and mail for us.


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9.4 SE 2-4; calm to slight sea; 0110 long SE swell; heavy clouds; W/T that Ship 16 cannot be at the rendezvous until 16.4; good visibility. so I have a bit more time. Smoke cloud in sight 327º true,

hence almost dead astern. 0550 Alarm. The ship appears to be making a fairly high speed; Enclosures very little can be determined yet of its silhouette, so I must Battle sketch take into account that it might be an auxiliary cruiser. Gunnery report Therefore I shall at first turn to starboard, in order to get out Torpedo report of the weather position; besides there is a thick rain cloud

which provides the right background for me, and allows me to disappear quickly if necessary.

0601 Course 195º, to Full Speed = 17 knots. 0610 Now the vessel can be recognised, an ordinary freighter in ballast.

Nationality markings not recognisable, so probably enemy. Now I must not startle him. Since he certainly saw my turn to starboard, I shall continue to simulate an Englishman on a zigzag course; in addition I slowly reduce speed, so that he comes closer.

0621 Course 165º, 12 n.m. 0624 Course 156º; distance now 125 hm. 0632 Course 125º. 0639 Course 105º; 9 knots. 0649 Course 85º. Distance is 108 hm. The light mark on the side of the

vessel is certainly not a neutrality emblem. Gun on the poop! Thus English, despite the American construction type. Decision: take him on.

0651 To speed 14 knots. 0654 Decamouflage; signal: Stop immediately; with signal lamp: No

wireless or be shelled. [*In English] 0657 Opponent sets flag; cannot be distinguished. 0659 To course 330º. Warning shot across the bow. At first nothing

happens, then he turns away, I turn after him. 0704 Course 30º; permission given to open fire; vessel gives RR-signal; jammed. 0707 Opponent stops and is no longer transmitting. Cease fire. 0709 Opponent gets under way again. Permission to open fire; several

hits. Ship burns amidships. 0712 Opponent stops; just as I am going to cease fire, he wirelesses

again. Now he is in a fairly bad state. 0718 Opponent's crew takes to the boats; cease fire. 0728 0º32'N; 23º27'W. Ship stops beside opponent; motor boat set out; 0734 Examination and scuttling party away. 0755 Life boats alongside. 46 prisoners taken aboard. Several slightly

wounded, 3 seriously wounded. (Captain, chief engineer, second officer). There are 5 dead on the vessel. It is Craftsman, 8022 gross, from Liverpool, Harrison Line, on the way from Rosyth to Cape Town. Ship has 1500 tons ballast and a big submarine net for Cape Town. Since the vessel is already burning fiercely amidships, it will be scuttled.

0834 Scuttling charges activated. 0841 First detonation. 0848 Third detonation; fourth charge (‘Wasserbombe’) torn loose by the other detonations.

Ship sinks to the loading mark and floats on the many small and large buoys of the blockade net. I must sacrifice a torpedo and will combine this with a trial of my underwater tube.


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[* ‘Wasserbombe" is usually a depth charge; however, it seems wrong here, and no evidence has been found that Kormoran carried depth charges.] 0924 Torpedo away; hit at the stern edge of the midships superstructure. Both stern holds are

blown open. The buoys float out, the ship sinks slowly over the stern post on an even keel. In taking the motor boat aboard, while it was in a hoisted position, the stern

rope slipped, the bow rope held. No personnel injured, some material damage, including one box of scuttling material lost. The boat was saved, the forward davit is out of alignment. The equipment is altered so that this cannot happen again.

0930 0º32'N; 23º37'W. Craftsman sunk. Course 105º, 15 n.m. 1200 0º28'N; 22º54'W. Day's run: 232 n.m. Total run: 28938 n.m. 2300 Course 220º. 10.4 SE 3-5; slight to moderate 0700 sea; SE swell; cloudy; Course 151º; 11 knots. 0915 cloudy; good visibility. Course 146º, 11 knots. 1114 W/T received re promotion of Commandant. 1200 2º27'S; 21º18'W. Day's run: 333 n.m. Total run: 29271 n.m. 2000 3º43'S; 20º42'W. Course 335º; turned around in order to see if there is another

ship on the same route as Craftsman. 2253 GMT Amagansett Radio calls Canadolite. That is confirmation that our

jamming on 25.3 was successful, and that everything is well so far with our prize. 11.4 SE 3-4; slight sea; SE swell; very variable cloud; rain showers; moderate visibility. 1200 1 02'S; 22 07'W. Day's run: 266 n.m. Total run: 29537 n.m. 2000 Course 173º, 11 kn. Cruising back has not brought us anything.

Now I will run south along the border of the Neutrality Zone and later cross the Craftsman route.

12.4 SE 3-4; slight sea; SE swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 0600 1º25'S; 22º39'W. Smoke cloud in sight, at 140º; thus 30º to port. 0606 Enclosures: Course 225º, in order to get between the Neutrality Zone

and the vessel. Battles sketches and 0612 gunnery report. Course 200º. I want to get closer in order to see what sort of

a ship it is. 0623 Course 230º. Caution! Very slender masts, conspicuous smoke stack. 0627 Course 180º. Modern ship, definitely freighter.


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0630 Course 170º 0643 Course 160º 0646 Engines: Full speed = 17 knots. 0655 Course 150º; opponent bearing 108º; range 215 hm. 0657 Course 90º. He is meant to see the marked change of course. I am

steering a good distance behind his stern, so that he will think that I am taking evasive action, for at this distance I must not make him suspicious.

0702 Course 95º; I turn quite slowly after him, for the range must become less. 0715 Course 100º. A game of patience begins, which takes nerve. 0739 Opponent turns away to starboard, but he does not wireless. 0740 Alarm! Range is now about 150 hm. 0742 Course 110º; maintain tactics. Don't alarm him. 0747 Engine III out of

action. (See Engine Room log.); Dropped to 15 knots. 0757 Course 115º; range 131 hm. 0804 Range is increasing (137 hm). The affair is getting dramatic. But as long

as he does not wireless, he is uncertain of his situation. I must get to within 100 hm in order to have a reasonable chance to hold him effectively with my guns. I count on human weakness; the captain will want to return to his former course. So keep calm; it is only a trial of patience. He must come to me.

0813 Course 120º. 0820 Course 125º 0825 Course 130º 0830 Course 135º. Range 151 hm. 0844 He turns to former course. We've won! Range is constant, then

decreases. My position is slightly astern of beam on. 0845 Course 140º, range 130 hm. 0907 Course 145º, range 118 hm. 0914 Course 150º, range 114 hm. It would be possible now. However, I want

to go a little further ahead until I am quite in the sun. Then he will not notice the attack immediately.

0931 Course 155º; range 110 hm. He has now become quite trusting. He simply does not believe an auxiliary cruiser could travel beside him so patiently for hours without doing anything.

0953 Now it is enough. Range 100 hm. Decamouflage. 0954 Course 210º towards the opponent. 0955 First warning shot across bow. Stop signal set. 0956 Course 220º. 0957 Second warning shot across bow. Opponent turns away to

starboard. Does not stop. 0958 Permission to open fire. (Range 96 hm.) 1001 Opponent wirelesses SOS and Position. 1002 Opponent ceases transmitting. Cease fire. 1004 Opponent lowers boats to water. 1023 1º54'S; 22º12'W. Stop alongside opponent. Examination party away. Vessel is

Nicolaos D.L., home port Piräus, 5486 gross, property of shipping line C.N.D. Lykiardopulo, Piräus, with building timber (Oregon pine) from Vancouver to Durban.

1045 Lifeboat from Greek ship alongside. 38 men of all nationalities taken aboard.


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The vessel is new and the cargo not unimportant. However, it took a direct hit on the bridge, so that this as well as the rudder, is out of order. Therefore I decide to sink it.

1147 Scuttling charges activated. 1156 First and second detonations. 1156 Third detonation. Ship sinks very slowly. 1200 1º54'S; 22º12'W. Day's run: 261 n.m. Total run: 29798 n.m. 1218 Boat taken aboard. Despite the lashings of the deck cargo being undone, the ship does not sink. It is not

worth a torpedo. In time it must sink, since the [*Wasserbomben?] in the engine room and boiler room did a good job. Therefore I decide to use the guns to set fire to the deck cargo and then leave the ship to its fate. Firing with the 2 cm guns and anti-tank gun. Timber will not catch fire. 4 shots from the 15 cm guns in the external hull wall of No. 2 Hold, waterline and deck cargo. The deck cargo forward and amidships are on fire, the stern is under water. The stern deck cargo floats free. That must be enough.

1255 Course 180º, speed 10.5 knots. 11.01 GMT: SOS call from Nicolaos D.L. began; jammed immediately. Our

wireless jams under the adopted Brazilian call sign PUAC; Question to another Brazilian vessel (call sign PUAK), whether he wants to report without fee to PPA Olinda Radio and PPA Amaralina Radio. After Nicolaos stopped transmitting, enquiry from American President Garfield KDTC to PUAC (adopted call sign of own wireless), whether he had heard the SOS of Nicolaos D.L.. Sent in additon: 1057 GMT ‘N.’ heard here, when it sent brief SOS. Position 20 00 S 22 21 W, no further details over ‘N’.

1134 GMT query from Ascension Radio to All, whether SOS heard from N. Position: 20 00 S, 22 21 W.

12.03 GMT Ascension Radio to Sierra Leone Radio: SOS report with same position. Apparently in his excitement the wireless operator of Nicolaos in fact sent 20ºS instead of 02ºS. Since this position was sent only as an SOS, not as QQ or RR, and Nordmark and the U-boats are 330 n.m. from the reported position, I shall not wireless. Thus the situation remains more unclear for the opponent, than if they took bearings on a fictitious transmission of mine.

13.4 SE Trade 3-4; slight sea; SE swell; clear; very good visibility. 1200 6º04'S; 22º26'W. Day's run: 250 n.m. Total run: 30048 n.m. 1516 W/T. that Canadolite reached the Gironde this morning. That was

our nicest Easter egg. 1400 (?) 6º26'S; 22º25'W. Course 130º; speed 11 knots. 14.4 SE by E 4-5; moderate sea; SE swell; cloudy; rain showers; otherwise good visibility. 1200 8º58'S; 19º27'W. Day's run: 255 n.m. Total run: 30303 n.m.


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1750 Fire in the (*Pumpenstr.-Hellegat) [*pump storeroom] through explosion in a soldering lamp. (Compare Fire report) 1757 Fire extinguished. No human or material damage. 15.4 Strong SE Trade 5-6; fairly heavy sea; SE swell; cloudy; rain showers; very good visibility. 1200 11º41'S; 16º24'W. Day's run: 243 n.m. Total run: 30546 n.m. [*From here, the log is no longer the original; it is apparently a copy made in Tokyo from the duplicate sent with Kulmerland. Original lost with Spreewald.] 16.4 Strong Trade 6; fairly heavy 0120 sea; SE swell; mostly cloudy; W/T. that the long desired release of the Neutrality isolated rain showers; Zone cannot happen yet good visibility. . 0400 Course 148º; 10 knots. 1200 14º39'S; 13º40'W. Day's run: 247 n.m. Total run: 30795 n.m. 1535 Receipt of situation report (Capitulation of Yugoslavia, effect of the speedy victory

on England's position in the Near East, Neutrality Pact between Japan and USSR) Today Ship 16 should reach ‘Andalusia’. I have previously delayed suggesting a rendezvous,

in order to fit in as smoothly as possible with the intentions of Ship 16. Thus I simply reported my position on 13.4 according to orders that I had passed 10ºS, at the same time reporting success with 56 000 tons gross (to be precise 56717 gross). I estimate the provisioning of Ship 16 from Alsterufer will take 4 days. Since I am supposed to take a few things from Alsterufer, I steer towards the same rendezvous.

2037 Short signal: Ship 41 will be at # GE 93 on 19.4. (Rendezvous Alsterufer - Ship 16) 17.4 SE by E 4-5; moderate sea; moderate SE swell; very variable cloud, rain showers; otherwise good visibility. 0630 Smoke cloud at 265º true. 0657 17º24'S; 12º01'W. Vessel has yellow superstructure, apparently English. Distance

278 hm. Course 160º, speed 14 knots. Since the vessel is on a converging course, I keep going according the procedure that has been successful so far.

0750 The Englishman, a fine ship of at least 8000 tons, approached to 225 hm, then turned hard away. Therefore I drop to ‘slow speed’, in order not to get too far ahead. The opponent disappears temporarily in rain showers, turns on to his old course and is again at 215 hm.

0950 Then he turns away hard again and escapes into a long rain squall. 1010 - Mastheads are in sight again briefly. 1026 then the vessel is out of sight. With such cautious behaviour by the

opponent, not much can be done by day, for the chase of a ship which could do 14 knots would have taken many hours. During that time the opponent would transmit constantly, and the area


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which is already under suspicion because of the Q-call from Tai Yin and the false SOS from Nicolaos would be even more disturbed. I have to make the difficult decision to leave the fine vessel, for with the speed being made a night attack would have to take place in the immediate vicinity of ‘Andalusia’. With the present concentration of our own ships and U-boats there, it would be irresponsible to attract to the area the opponent's warships, whose presence in the area I must consider very likely, especially as an aircraft made contact with Nordmark as early as 14.4.

1024 Course 150º, 10 knots. 1200 18º18'S; 11º55'W. Day's run: 239 n.m. Total run: 31032 n.m. 1300 The port engine suddenly shows a particularly heavy demand on

current. Bumping noises are heard in the port after ship. Shaft and propeller themselves are working quite smoothly.

1500 Installation thoroughly inspected. Course 181º, speed raised to 14 knots. Use of current in port engine rises.

The vibration becomes stronger in the whole ship. No fault is found with the installation. I must do without an external inspection on account to the state of the sea.

1655 To opposite course, to see whether the conditions change if the port propeller is in the lee of wind and swell. Raised current usage, knocking noises and ship vibration remain the same.

1710 Returned to former course. 70 revolutions a minute give the least increase in current use and vibration. Therefore I shall keep going during the night at this speed and attempt a dive tomorrow. We are confronted with a riddle. An object in the propeller cannot cause such a rise in current usage, especially as the movements of propeller and shaft are quite even. Damage to the (*Sternbuchse) [*after shaft? after bearings?] would have to cause a rise of temperature at such a rise in energy usage, but none can be determined. After careful consideration of all the irregularities occurring and their possible causes, I decide to let the propellers run down to a stop from both ahead and astern. This trial is not expected to endanger the installation. The (*Zeiten werden gestoppt] [*times will be measured?] at the same time, temperature and electrical values observed, installation listened to.

2256 Stop, allow to run down. Despite the increased use of electricity, the port propeller does not come to a stop significantly earlier.

2302 Both engines slow astern. 2305 Stop, allow to run down. 2306 Both engines high speed ahead. When engines start, noises are still

there. Suddenly they disappear, the electricity usage on both engines is normal again. 2315 High speed = 14 knots. The installation is in order again; the riddle

remains unsolved for the present, until later sea and swell make diving possible without danger. [* As they had had a similar problem with electricity consumption of the propeller engine, but without the noise and vibration, on 15 December, a few days after leaving Stavanger, the steel hawser causing the trouble, found later, might have been picked up there. There is a possibility that was caused by Norwegian sabotage.]


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18.4 E 4-5; moderate sea; 0017 southerly swell; mostly W/T: take on replacements for overcast; rain showers; Canadolite prize crew from Alsterufer. moderate visibility. 0418 W/T: before leaving South Atlantic, report position; also whether 1200 22º56'S; 11º58'W. Dresden used as auxiliary and whether it is intended to mine Day's run: 287 n.m. South Africa. Prisoners to be transferred to Nordmark. Total run: 31319 n.m. 1300 Speed 15 knots. 19.4 ESE 3-4; slight sea; ESE 0011 swell; cloudy; good W/T: Canadolite had no problems with prisoners; all visibility. W/T received; fuel reserve for 3 days; prize crew awarded Iron Cross Second Class. Contrary to my expectations, the Prize Officer apparently did not receive the Iron Cross First Class. 0210 Prize crew reported the interception of Agnita and Canadolite. 0637 Course 199º. 0709 Two vessels in sight at 297º true. 0724 Course 270º. 0737 Exchange of recognition signals with Ship 16, which has

Alsterufer in tow. 0745 Stopped near Ship 16. 0916 - Commandant leaves ship for consultation aboard Ship 16. 1200 27º30'S; 12º31'W. Day's run: 310 n.m. Total run: 31629 n.m. 1300 - Transfer of empty cartridges; taking on ammunition and provisions from Alsterufer. Ships disperse during the night; due to meet the next morning at 27º48'S, 12º10'W. 1837 Course 110º, 15 knots. 1930 Speed 11 knots. 2215 Stopped; 8 minute readiness. 20.4 ESE 2-3; calm sea; slight easterly swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 0535 27º43'S; 11º58'W. 0630 Course 244º, 11.5 knots, to rendezvous. 0726 Ship 16 and Alsterufer in sight at 264º true. 0746 Stopped. 0800 Nordmark in sight at 270º true. 0840 - Attempts to take on provisions and ammunition from Alsterufer 1040 at the same time fail, for the spoiling meat must be taken on by Ship 16 as soon as

possible. Therefore I stand aside and go eastwards to the border of visibility. 1050 Course 100º, speed 11 knots. 1130 Commandant's assembly for the Führer's birthday; then distribution

of Iron Crosses.


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1200 27º44'S; 12º02'W. Day's run: 77 n.m. Total run: 31706 n.m. 1217 Stopped. 1902 Course 90º, speed 11 knots, to make up leeway. 21.4 ESE 1-2; calm sea; SW swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 0520 Exchange of recognition signals with Ship 16. 0540 Exchange of recognition signals with Nordmark. 0615 Course 180º, speed 9 knots to join group. 0723 Stopped. 0755 Towing link with Nordmark established. Provisioning from Nordmark is

urgent, as she must go to ‘Perla’. [*Italian submarine] 0827 Oil hose made fast. 0925 Oiling commenced. At the same time, equipment taken aboard from Alsterufer. 1152 Oiling from Nordmark completed. 357 cubic metres taken on. 1200 27º37'S; 12º05'W. In view of the bad weather expected at the Cape, I forgo the last Day's run: 35 n.m. 500 tons, for reasons of trim. With the present stocks, we have Total run: 31741 n.m. a sea endurance of seven months. 1257 Oil hose cast off. In the afternoon, taking on equipment and

material from Nordmark. 3 seriously injured men (captain, chief engineer and second officer of Craftsman) and 1 steward as attendant sent to Nordmark on account of better medical attention there. The other prisoners are to go to Alsterufer, because Nordmark has no room until she has given the equipment to Ship 16.

1615 Towing connection with Nordmark cast off. 1733 1 torpedo taken on from Alsterufer. 1800 Boats brought aboard. 1805 Course 90º, speed 11 knots. Haul off to the east for the night. 2000 Stopped. 8-minute readiness. 22.4 W 0-1; calm sea; long 0031 SW swell; light clouds; W/T over the state of enemy ship traffic in the Indian very good visibility. Ocean. We are to proceed around to the south of Ship 16 and report whether a rendezvous with Alstertor is intended. 0530 Exchange of recognition signals with Ship 16. 0630 Course 269º, speed 11 knots, to rendezvous. 0815 Stopped. Ammunition and equipment taken from Alsterufer. Commandants' conference on

Ship 16. After comprehensive exchange of opinions, agreed that I shall haul off to the north-east, wait there 2 days to paint the hull, then proceed on my way.

1200 27º36'S; 12º20'W. Day's run: 65 n.m. Total run: 31806 n.m. 1525 Replenishment of equipment completed. Taken on in total: 195 rounds 15cm shells with windshields (*Haubengranate). 25 rounds 15cm star shells. (The rest of the ammunition did not fit my guns.) 210 hand grenades 7 pistols with 800 rounds


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1 complete explosive set? (*stell) 28 explosive cartridges 48 explosive primers 1 set tide tables 5 prize cyphers 2500 kg potatoes about 5,000 kg other provisions 180 topees 40 swim trunks 1618 77 prisoners transferred to Alsterufer. 1702 Boats taken aboard. 1730 Course 90º, speed 11 knts. 2000 Course 350º. 23.4 W 1-2; calm sea; long During the night, W/T received, Neutrality Zone to be SW swell; fine, very recognised from 20ºN only to a distance of 330 n.m. clear weather. At last! Thus the chances of success in the Freetown area

increase by at least 100% and we have to leave! I do not grudge Ship 16 the opportunity, but I am convinced that, on account of our experience over months in the area we could make better use of it.

0000 Course 90º, speed 11 knots. 0700 26º44'S; 10º14'W. Stopped. Hull painted. The painting must be done, because the

paint has suffered so much that the camouflage of the weapons is endangered. I have decided to paint the hull black now, in order to travel as Japanese in the Indian Ocean. Thus the grey of the midships superstructure must be dropped, for more than two colours on a ship are conspicuous.

1200 26º43'S; 10º17'W. Superstructure amidships and boats Day's run: 164 n.m. become brown, the red ring on the smoke Total run: 31970 n.m. stack more yellow, and then we travel as Straat Malakka

from Rio to Batavia. 24.4 WNW 3-4; slight sea; I drift during the day, so that the paint dries without blemish. SW swell; variable Repair work. The starboard boat davit and the starboard clouds; very good motorboat are repaired. visibility. 1200 26º29'S; 10º10'W. Day's run: 22 n.m. Total run: 31992 n.m. 1900 Course 80º, 11 knots, in order to go to the Noronha to Cape route. 25.4 W 3; slight sea; slight SW swell; cloudy; fine clear 0913 weather. Receipt of political situation report after end of Balkan campaign.

We are glad, as always, that we are so well informed and that our thoughts and reflections coincide so well with those at home.

1200 25º46'S' 6º30'W. Speed 15 knots. Day's run: 202 n.m. Total run: 32194 n.m. 1400 Clocks brought forward to GMT. W/T: Operations recommends Ship 16 to operate in South Atlantic on Cape to


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Freetown route. I can do nothing about it. I told Ship 16 where he should go. He will soon see for himself.

26.4 NW 2-4; slight sea; SW swell; heavy clouds; good visibility. 1000 Course 170º; 11 knots. 1111 W/T re Elbe. Well done! 1200 25º16'S; 0º55'W. Day's run: 329 n.m. Total run: 32523 n.m. 1500 W/T over introduction of DGZ from 28.4.000 hours. (GMT + 2 hours) [*DGZ = Deutsche Gesetzliche Zeit = German Official Time] 1848 Light in sight at 270º true. Avoided, as obviously neutral. 1900 Course 90º, 14.5 knots. 2146 W/T Babitonga has at last left with our whitemetal. Ship 10

has reached France. Egerland has put to sea. 27.4 NNW 4-5; afternoon SW 5; moderate sea; mostly cloudy; 0054 rain squalls; moderate W/T Instruction on conduct towards American ships. visibility. 1200 26º24'S; 3º49'E. Day's run: 318 n.m. Total run: 32841 n.m. 1900 Course 160º, 14.5 knots. 28.4 SW 3-5; slight sea; high, The swell slowly builds up to a height and steepness, long, steep SW swell; heavy that gives the ship a very violent motion. I am worried clouds, rain showers; good about my mines, so I go to: visibility. 0330 Course 180º. 0340 Course 190º. 0613 W/T: Ship 36 reports position and intentions. 0958 Course 180º. According to the meteorologist's opinion, 1200 30º05'S; 6º09'E. we are entering a gap between two lows. I intend to go south as Day's run: 311 n.m. far as possible in front of the second low, so that in the bad Total run: 33152 n.m. weather area I can run before the westerly swell which the

low brings. Now I am glad that I refrained from taking on the last 500 tons of oil. 29.4 SW by W 3-4; afternoon from NW, rising quickly 0235 to 8; very rough sea; W/T Alstertor to go immediately to ‘Veilchen’ to Ship 33. long high SW swell; Rendezvous with us later. mostly overcast; moderate visibility. Ship rolls very violently at times, but course and speed can

be maintained without fear of damage.


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0622 W/T: Allocation of new operational area requested by Ship 36. 0800 Course 180º, in order to move eastwards faster. 0845 W/T: Ship 16 reports Dresden discharged. 1200 35º05'S; 6º56'E. Day's run: 316 n.m. Total run: 33468 n.m. 1300 Course 140º; swell is very heavy again. 1400 Clocks put forward one hour; Zone time is now 15º E. 1615 Course 180º. 2315 Course 160º. 30.4 NW 7-9, turning through 0109 W to SW, dropping to Force Course 180º; the expected westerly swell is 4. Very rough, high sea; approaching. 0353 high, steep W swell; mostly Course 110º. Now it is there. overcast; rain squalls; For me, as a destroyer man, it is wonderful how moderate visibility. well the ship lies in front of the house-high swell. 1200 38º57'S; 10º10'E. Day's run: 328 n.m. Total run: 33796 n.m. 1404 Course 100º. 1710 - Stopped on account of engine damage. 1723 (See engine room log) Even with very little way on, the ship

can hold course well. 1.5 SW 3-5; moderate sea; SW swell; fine weather (clear); very good visibility. 1200 40º02'S; 17º29'E. Day's run: 337 n.m. Total run: 34133 n.m. 1842 W/T: Ship 10 is in Hamburg. Total success: 96,000 tons gross. 2.5 NW 3-6; fairly heavy sea; increasing W swell; overcast; very squally; rain; fair to 0706 poor visibility. Course 80º. 1200 40º37'S; 25º19'E. Day's run: 365 n.m. Total run: 34498 n.m. 1400 Clocks put forward one hour: Zone time 30ºE 1836 W/T: The good R.Albrecht has reached the Gironde safely.


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3.5 SW 4-6; moderate sea; Ship rolls violently at times. 0822 fairly high W swell; Course 60º, 14.5 knots. We have now rounded the Cape. mostly overcast; fair I intend to head south of Madagascar to the Australian route visibility. and to cross this in long sweeps, as according to orders I am

to pass to the south of Ship 36. So that everyone concerned is clear about this, I send:

2317 GMT Short signal: ‘Position 3.5. in 38ºS, 35ºE; going to # KS.’ 1200 39º23'S; 32º27'E. Thus Operations knows at the same time that I do not intend to Day's run: 337 n.m. mine South Africa, as I could carry this out only with the LS-boat, Total run: 34835 n.m. it is of course not possible at this season (southern autumn).


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4.5 SSW veering through E-NNW 0635 3-4; slight sea; slight W W/T: Operations has received our signal mutilated and swell; very variable clouds; misunderstood it. The wireless station attributed it to moderate visibility. Ship 45 and corrupted the longitude. I hope that when

it is presented to 1/Skl in this form it will be recognised as nonsense and investigated.

0800 Speed 11 knots. 0845 Course 40º. 1200 36º16'S; 38º37'E. Day's run: 349 n.m. Total run: 35184 n.m. 1400 W/T: Operations on investigation has understood the signal correctly. 5.5 NW by N, dropping in Since it is still pleasantly cool here, our 5 pigs will be killed evening, from SE 0-1; tomorrow; their stalls have become too small. It is to be slight sea; overcast; hoped we get piglets again, as fresh meat is a good addition good visibility. to the nourishment. Feeding pigs is a very important question 1200 33º17'S; 41º41'E. for all auxiliary cruisers. On 33 and 16 it was also carried on

with great pride. 6.5 SE by E, freshening, Since according to seamen's folklore killing pigs brings bad Force 8-9; short, very weather, it sets in overnight accordingly. The ship rolls heavy sea; SE swell; violently mostly overcast; very 0210 squally; moderate W/T: Ship 36 has not yet sunk anything. visibility. Traffic seems thus to be following the coastlines completely.

Ship 36 is going to # KS for repairs, precisely in my reported path. 0310 W/T from Ship 16, that it is going to the eastern South Atlantic, thus

not to Freetown. Babitonga has arrived. 0800 Course 80º, speed 11 knots. 1200 30º25'S; 45º07'E. Day’s run: 267 n.m. Total run: 35685 n.m. 1643 W/T: The U-boat which we provisioned has sunk another

30,000 tons gross. We are pleased with this news and feel we have some share in it. 2132 W/T: Restrictions on attack in # KS; proceed via # KJ. Report

if meeting with Ship 36 is desired. There is no necessity for it. 7.5 ESE 8-9; very squally; 0105 dropping in evening 3-4; Course 100º; ship making only 9 kn. 0145 very heavy sea and SE Course 110º. 0212 swell; overcast; Course 120º. 0745 moderate visibility. Course 110º. 0818 Course 120º. 1200 30º40'S; 49º05'E.


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Day's run: 215 n.m. Total run: 35900 n.m. 1720 Course 110º. 1732 Course 100º. 2022 Course 120º. 2129 W/T: A raider allegedly discovered south of Socotra. 8.5 SE 3; slight sea; fairly 0935 high SSE swell; very Course 60º, speed 10.5 knots. 0949 cloudy; good visibility. Course 0º. 1200 31º49'S; 52º38'E. Day's run: 225 n.m. Total run: 36125 n.m. 1400 Clocks put forward one hour; zone time 60º East 2313 Course 100º. 2320 Course 120º. 9.5 ENE 3-4; slight sea; long Ship rolls heavily at times. fairly high SE swell; cloudy; 0817 good visibility. Course 90º. 0827 Course 30º, speed 14 knots. 1200 29º55'S; 54º28'E. In the course of the day, a report received on the political Day's run: 258 n.m. situation regarding Iraq, Russia and our attitude to the USA. Total run: 36383 n.m. The American afternoon press reports the sinking of an auxiliary

cruiser in the Indian Ocean by Cornwall. By the description it can only be Ship 33. I withhold the news at first until it is confirmed.

1405 Course 80º. 1654 Course 90º. 10.5 NE 4-5; moderate sea; long, 0740 flat SSE swell; cloudy; W/T: Reuter report over sinking of an auxiliary cruiser. good visibility. Ship 33 to report position by 12.5 at the latest. Ship 41

to go to Alstertor at ‘Veilchen’. Operations counts on arrival there about 12.5. 0743 Alstertor is to wait at ‘Veilchen’; arrival of a prize and

of 33's whale chaser (Adjutant) expected. 1140 Course 39º, 14 knots. Course towards ‘Veilchen’. I

cannot make it by 12.5; I am too far south for that. 1200 29º19'S; 60º17'E. Day's run: 326 n.m. Total run: 36709 n.m. 2113 W/T about suspicious whale chaser. No wonder that this

vessel is conspicuous in Indian Ocean. If it comes to ‘Veilchen’, I shall sink it immediately. My signal, that I cannot arrive until 14th, does not get through.


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11.5 NNE 3-4; slight sea; 0252 cloudy; very good Ship 36 wants a better operational area and is giving up the visibility. sortie towards the Seychelles. Operations is of the opinion (Noon position?) that the time for such a sortie would be favorable just now, as

the opponent would feel secure because of the destruction of the auxiliary cruiser. I am of a different opinion. With the present bitter fighting for the eastern Mediterranean, the appearance of an auxiliary cruiser, equipped with mines as well, as Reuters reported, directly on the main supply route, the Persian Gulf, must force the opponent to heightened security. He must take into consideration that other auxiliary cruisers are there, or will be. I would not go into that area at present. I express my opinion, because I see in Operations' suggestion regarding the method of the employment of an auxiliary cruiser necessary here a view fundamentally different from mine. I am of the opinion that through the activity of auxiliary cruisers the entire enemy traffic, insofar as it is not travelling in heavily escorted convoys, is crowded together in the few routes Sabang-Colombo-Mozambique, Colombo-Aden and in the Persian Gulf.

These can be very well protected with the comparatively plentiful naval units in the Indian Ocean. The central point of the protection must lie in the southern part of the area north-west of the line Mauritius-Colombo. According to the operational order, the auxiliary cruiser is to be employed as a commerce raider on individual ships running in the open sea, is to avoid as far as possible the opponent's naval units, [*This comment is significant in view of suggestions that Kormoran deliberately waylaid Sydney.] and by keeping its modest fighting power as long as possible (by changing its operational area frequently) to force the opponent to detours and to the formation of convoys. Detours of considerable proportions are no longer to be considered here, so there remains only the forcing of convoy formation and direct damage to the opponent. In such a small area, with the naturally determined routes through the Maldive channels, which in addition in the present battle for the eastern Mediterranean is the opponent's main supply route, this task can be carried out fully only by a battle-worthy ship, a Scheer. In the framework of our operational order, for an auxiliary cruiser only brief sorties from the vastness of the ocean in constantly changing directions come into the question. The effect will not be very great, but it will nevertheless cost tonnage and be a nuisance. If one wants to achieve more, then the order to use all available means must be given, and all available auxiliary cruisers engaged at once. The action of 33 and 36 in this area by division of operational strips is in my opinion a self-contradiction if the previous operational order is maintained. Perhaps the not entirely clear Point 2 in the interpretation of the short signal by 36 (W/T to all, 46 to 50, 10.5) is to be understood in this way. The auxiliary cruiser engaged here must have freedom of movement; the whole area west of 80ºE and north of 40ºS must be at its sole disposal. On my side, east of 80º E, the open sea room is bigger, to be sure, yet I believe that the continual employment of an auxiliary cruiser on the western coast of Australia is at present not worthwhile. In my opinion, two auxiliary cruisers can operate in the Indian Ocean better and with the same success as four. The thrust by 36 towards the Seychelles is in my opinion false, because the presence of 33 south of Socotra has become known, and seen from the vastness of the ocean it lies in the same direction. In my opinion, a thrust towards the route Chagos Archipelago-Maldives or south of Madagascar would be more appropriate.


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12.5 Light N wind, slowly turning 0020 to SW, Force 1-2; slight Ship 45 asks for whale chaser Adjutant sea and SE swell; clear; very good visibility. 1200 20º45'S; 68º12'E. Day's run: 338 n.m. Total run: 37379 n.m. 1400 Clocks set forward one hour. Zone time 75ºE. 1816 Since at this speed I would not reach ‘Veilchen’ until after dark, reduced

speed to 11 knots, then I shall be there early on 14.5. That will be sufficient, as Alstertor according to W/T 1233/11 is to report on 15.5 whether the whale chaser had arrived, so must wait until then in any case. Besides, it will wait in order to get oil from us.

2147 Rudolf Albrecht had no difficulties, but Operations is of the opinion that he was not instructed adequately about the approach to Biscay. That is an error. Although he was sent on his way by Nordmark, he received detailed instruction from us beforehand, and the course was drawn in. The reproach is thus not justified.

13.5 SE Trade 3-4; slight sea; 0200 E swell; mostly overcast; Coburg and Ketty caught by Canberra and Leander. rain showers; moderate In the course of the day, changed camouflage to Sakito Maru. visibility. 1200 17º34'S; 70º53'E. Day's run: 257 n.m. Total run: 37636 n.m. 1600 Commandant's parade. Loss of Pinguin announced. 1730 Speed 14.5 knots. 2205 W/T from Operations: Whale chaser is to be sent to Ship 45. 14.5 SE Trade 4-5; moderate sea and swell; cloudy; rain showers; moderate visibility. 0600 14º27'S; 73º02'E. 0700 Course 326º. 0800 Alstertor in sight, at 7º. 0807 Whale chaser Adjutant in sight at 330º. 0825 Exchange of recognition signals with Alstertor. 0853 13º54'S; 73º07'E. Stopped; port boat lowered. 0905 Supercargo of Alstertor, Reserve Lt Koch on board for conference. 0946 Commander of Adjutant, Sub Lt Hemmer, on board. Conference results: 1). Adjutant was sent to ‘Veilchen’ on 28.4 by 33. Up till then, 33 had sunk Empirelite,

6800 gross, on 24.4 at about 2ºN, 65ºE; and Clan Buchanan, 7800 gross, on 28.4, and thus a total of 132,888 tons gross sunk or captured. Operations' suspicion that the R-report Tamerlane came from 33 is confirmed, because this was the last camouflage name of 33. When Alstertor arrived at ‘Veilchen’ on 12.5, Adjutant was already there. He needs only oil and water. Provisioning could not take place on account of the weather, because Alstertor has no gear for sending over oil and it was not possible to go alongside. He shall be disposed of first. Sub Lt Hemmer is given a


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rendezvous with Ship 45 (# KU 63). He needs about five days to get there. 2). Alstertor needs about 200 tons fuel oil, 1 ton machine oil, and a few bits and pieces. It

has nothing more for us. 3). If 33 sent away a prize even on 8.5, this would have to be here by midday, 17.5, even at

8 knots. Since Alstertor cannot help her, I shall remain at ‘Veilchen’ until the evening of 17.5. Alstertor will be dismissed after the equipping and a day later will report to Operations that Adjutant and Alstertor are on their way. As far as possible, I do not want to wireless in my new operational area yet.

1115 Towing connection with whale chaser established. 1200 13º49'S; 73º03'E. Day's run: 279 n.m. Total run: 37915 n.m. 1221 Oil hose fast. 1234 Oiling commenced. 1407 Oiling completed. 1420 Oil hose cast off. 1432 Oil hose hauled in. 1555 Water hose fast. 1830 Watering completed. 1900 Adjutant discharged. Slow speed, course 144º, in order to haul off 15 n.m.; Alstertor drifts during the night. 2156 14º00'S; 73º15'E. Stopped. 15.5 SSE 4-5; moderate sea; high Ship rolls heavily at times. long SSW swell; overcast; rain squalls; impaired visibility. 0610 Course 230º, speed 9 knots. 0730 Alstertor in sight, at 310º. 0742 Course 310º. On account of the heavy swell, I abandon the oiling of Alstertor temporarily. I do not want

to damage my only set of oiling gear, which has already deteriorated in the heat, on Alstertor, which is not specially equipped for oiling at sea. Alstertor remains at the rendezvous. I go southward to check the weather.

0828 Course 180º, 7 knots. 1200 14º12'S; 72º55'E. Day's run: 82 n.m. 1234 Total run: 37977 n.m. Course 0º, 8 knots. The weather to the south is no better. 1622 Course 179º, 5 knots, in order to stand off southward for the night. The swell is dropping slowly. 16.5 SE by S 4-5; moderate sea; Ship sometimes pitches and rolls heavily in the swell.

long, fairly high SSW swell; cloudy; moderate visibility. 0230 Course 10º, speed 8 knots. 0632 Course 16º, speed 14.5 knots, to rendezvous. 0724 Alstertor in sight at 330º. Course 325º.


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0753 14º06'S; 72º55'E. Stopped beside Alstertor. 0945 Towing connection with Alstertor established. 1005 Our towing hawser tackle broke.

Alstertor ordered to haul in the towing hawser; in the process it is lost.

1200 14º07'S; 72º55'E. Day's run: 164 n.m. Total run: 38161 n.m. 1320 Two further unsuccessful attempts to take Alstertor in tow, and

at that across wind and swell, because the empty Alstertor is difficult to hold against the sea. After I have lost a towing hawser, and three sets of working lines have gone over to Alstertor, I have had enough for today. Tomorrow I shall send my own personnel over.

Alstertor stays at the rendezvous; we haul off south. 1544 Course 180º, speed 7 knots. 1753 Course 160º. 1807 - To High Speed to run the engines clean. 1842 Speed 7 knots. 17.5 SE by S 4-5; moderate sea; 0030 confused swell SE and SSW; Course 352º, 9 knots. cloudy; rain showers; Towards rendezvous. moderate visibility. 0600 14º19'S; 73º03'E. To 11 knots. 0751 Alstertor in sight at 358º. 0755 Stopped. Both ships set to the swell and wind so that

both come 40º from the port quarter. 0808 Port motor boat set out. One petty officer and 10 men sent to Alstertor to establish towing connection. 0827 Towing hawser set [?] (*gesteckt) across wind and sea. 0848 Towing connection established. 0934 Oil hose fast. Since the empty Alstertor drifts faster than we do,

she lies in the lee after we have established the tow. The front end of the oil hose must normally be dragged along [*zum Fischen]. In order to avoid dragging on my last valuable set of towing gear, which is always unpleasant with a motor vessel, we fixed the front end of the oil hose to the beginning of the towing hawser. The procedure was successful.

0940 Ready to pump. 0945 Oiling commenced. Despite the

fairly fresh Trade Wind and the continuing swell, both ships lie comparatively calm.

1200 13º54'S; 72º52'E. Day's run: 135 n.m. Total run: 38296 n.m. 1332 Oiling completed. 1346 Oil hose cast off. 1405 Towing connection cast off. 1450 13º53'S; 72º51'E. Alstertor dismissed. Since I must wait for a possible prize of 33, I have lost no time

by provisioning Alstertor. However, I must report that using an auxiliary cruiser for provisioning tasks of this sort is basically wrong, as long as any other possibility is available. Alstertor was


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only 4 days on her way home when she received the order to return to ‘Veilchen’. She took only 200 tons of oil from me. The amount makes no difference to us, but the wear and tear on the equipment and the work lines does, and they are absolutely essential for our further tasks and could be of critical importance for the sea endurance of the auxiliary cruiser. The provisioning could have been carried out more appropriately by one of the specially equipped supply ships available at ‘Andalusia’ or ‘Point Red’.

I am of the opinion that in this respect a fundamental change of position is essential. At the present stage of the war, where traffic in the open ocean outside the Central Atlantic has practically ceased and the auxiliary cruiser must operate against the few heavily protected routes, it needs a lot of time for these operations. Therefore we should be given as few special tasks as possible. I should like to mention only as an example the state in February/March, which I observed as a non-participant only through the wireless messages and did not understand. For a time all four auxiliary cruisers in the Indian Ocean were occupied with their own provisioning, guiding prize ships, auxiliary ships and ships returning home, pumping oil from one ship to another, and travelling to and from a rendezvous or supply point. At almost the same time, Ship 10 managed the traffic in the Central Atlantic. Hardly any ship had time for operations. In my opinion, apart from their own provisioning, all these tasks could have been carried out just as well by Nordmark and Alstertor, as well as a prize at ‘Siberia’.

[* In view of Detmers' resentment of the damage to gear and the loss of operational time cause by provisioning German vessels, his reaction if he had been ordered to attend to the needs of a Japanese submarine would have been, to say the least, interesting.] In any case, I am glad that I now have an unlimited operational period ahead of me for the first time. 1453 Course 0º, 14 knots, in order to go

to the Sabang to Mauritius route, where 16 and 33 had such good results six months ago.

1600 To cruising speed 11 knots. 18.5 Variable winds N-SE 1-2; calm sea; light SE swell; 0600 fine; very good visibility. Course 90º, 11 knots. Cruising along the route begins. I do not

want to go any further westward, as I do not know what 36 is doing. 1200 11º01'S; 73º39'E. Day's run: 236 n.m. Total run: 38532 n.m. 1420 W/T: Information about the Hess case, which remains

incomprehensible to us, and about the new direction of France. 2200 Course 0º.

Running the engines clean every evening with 1 hour at High Speed is proving very successful. At night we travel almost without sparks.

19.5 ESE 3-4; slight sea; light 0250 SE swell; cloudy; isolated Operations has received W/T: Whale catcher detached 14.5 to rain showers; good # KU 63, Alstertor 17.5 for home. Signed Ship 41. I also cannot visibility. understand why Alstertor sent this as W/T and not as short signal. 0600 Course 90º. 1200 9º42'S; 76º36'E. Day's run: 256 n.m. Total run: 38788 n.m.


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1710 Nordmark picked up in Biscay by destroyers. Thus our last prisoners and our mail have arrived home.


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2210 Ship 36 has sighted a heavy cruiser at # LL 26. It is to be hoped he gets clear! Now he may go to the Atlantic. [*Detmers had Alstertor send a signal on his behalf as he did not want to reveal his position.] 20.5 SE by E 3-4; slight sea; Since the route has not brought anything, I am moderate swell; fine; very going to the Benarty route. good visibility. [*Sunk by Atlantis, 10 September 1940.] 0900 Reached allotted operational area. (Crossed 80ºE) Assessment of situation: On entering my operational area, I see the situation as follows: In this area, auxiliary cruisers

had their last successes 6 months ago. Recently the area has intentionally been left alone, so that we can take the area by surprise. There is hardly any information on the shipping. It is presumed that traffic through Sunda Strait has ceased and that the Australian traffic mainly goes via Banda Sea and Singapore, or eastwards over the Pacific. Accordingly, in the operational area traffic would be running only on the Sabang-Colombo route and in the Gulf of Bengal. It is possible, however, that the large amount of supplies needed at present in the eastern Mediterranean have brought about a shortening of the traffic routes, so that the Australia-Colombo route is being travelled again. On the other hand, it is possible that the African traffic still runs directly to Sabang through the narrows between the Maledives and the Chagos Archipelago. All this traffic would come together in the triangle Chagos-Colombo-Sabang. I regard order to lay mines in the Bay of Bengal as a supplementary task. Since it has become known that there is a mine-sweeping flotilla in Rangoon, it must be taken into consideration that there will be mine sweepers in all larger harbours. Here there are no minable important thoroughfares and navigational points far from bases. However, mining the entries to harbours is so little effective, that the total risking of the auxiliary cruiser is not worthwhile, only of prizes. Besides, in the months of May and June the weather is very unfavourable for such undertakings.

[* Detmers possibly decided to mine Carnarvon rather than Fremantle because Carnarvon was not important enough for minesweepers to be based there; or less he intended to try to capture a vessel to use as a mine-layer.] Decision: The mine-laying will be postponed for a while. By cruising through the Chagos-

Colombo-Sabang triangle, I will determine whether there is still traffic in the open ocean. At the same time, the wireless intelligence service on board will be put to determining the traffic in the Bay of Bengal and the Sabang-Colombo route, and its protection by sea and air forces. During the coming full-moon period I shall thus operate in the open ocean. Then in the following new moon period I intend first to press on to the Sabang-Colombo route, then in the area west of the Maldives.

1035 - Running at various speeds to adjust to regulator on main engine I. 1105 1200 9º47'S; 80º35'E. Day's run: 236 n.m. Total run: 39024 n.m. 1237 Stopped; Engine repairs. (See engine room log) 1526 - Trial run with port propeller alone (2 engines). 1538 A top speed of 11 knots was reached. 1540 Repairs completed. Course 90º, 11 knots. 1700 9º47'S; 80º56'E. Stopped. Engine repairs. (See engine room log) 1922 Engine repairs completed. 1935 Course 90º, 11 knots.


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21.5 SE Trade 3-4; slight sea; 0915 very good visibility. Course 50º. 1200 9º39'S; 83º20'E. The British press brings the news today that since the morning Day's run: 176 n.m. of 20.5 German parachute and glider troops have been landing Total run: 39200 n.m. in Crete. Despite all the shouts of victory, it does not seem to go

very well for the English. Our lads will manage it! 1400 Clocks put forward one hour: Zone time 90ºE. 1600 Course 105º, ship held on a calm

course during an appendix operation on A.B. Albers. 1747 Course 50º. 1940 W/T from 45, that he is changing his operational area to the

east coast of Australia. Thus we shall be for the foreseeable future the only German warship in the Indian Ocean. Now I have the freedom of movement that I wanted. (cf under 11.5, page 108 of war diary.)

22.5 SE 3-4; slight sea; SE swell; evening torrential rain squalls; bad visibility. 1000 Course 30º in order to cut the routes

between Australia, Cocos Islands, Sunda Strait to Colombo. 1200 7º13'S; 86º23'E. Day's run: 240 n.m. Total run: 39440 n.m. 2243 In the evening, violent tropical rain sets in, which

seriously impairs visibility. Reduced to low speed on account of heavy rain squalls.

2310 Turned around, course 210º, 9 knots. In this weather it is no use to cruise the routes, we can see nothing. Several times speed reduced and lights set on account of total loss of visibility.

23.5 SE 3, slight sea; SE swell; 0513 overcast; isolated rain; It is clearing up, therefore turned around again on moderate visibility. Course 30º; 11 knots. 1200 5º07'S; 87º41'E. Day's run: 249 n.m. Total run: 39689 n.m. 24.5 SE by S to S 2, jumping 0830 to NW by N, veering slowly W/T Ship 45 on account of presumed switch of to SW 4-5; slight sea; Australian shipping, moved to the New Zealand - cross swell S and NW; Panama route, is to be off Cape Horn about 20.7, overcast; violent rain then return home. Thus I am finally alone in the squalls; bad visibility. Indian Ocean. 1200 1º18'S; 89º53'E. Day's run: 264 n.m.


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Total run: 39953 n.m. 25.5 SW monsoon 3-4; slight sea; 0239 cross NW - SW swell; over- W/T: Relief of Egerland about mid June, by Gedynia, cast; rain showers; good which is expected to put to sea about 25.5. Egerland visibility. Can thus hardly be expected at ‘Siberia’ before mid July. 0041 Course 270º, 11 knots, in order to cut the Chagos-Sabang 1200 0º51'N; 89º35'E. route diagonally. Day's run: 232 n.m. Total run: 40185 n.m. 1810 W/T: Hood sunk by

Bismarck. Shaking off the shadowing ships unfortunately not possible.

[*Gedynia should be Gedania.] 26.5 0600 14º27'S; 73º02'E. 0700 Course 326º. 0800 Alstertor in sight, at 7º. 0807 Whale chaser Adjutant in sight at 330º. Alstertor will be dismissed after the equipping and a day later will report to Operations that Adjutant and Alstertor are on their way. As far as possible, I do not want to wireless in my new operational area yet.


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26.5 WSW 4; moderate sea; W swell; 0305 heavy cloud; rain showers; Receipt of situation report over new agreement with France moderate visibility. and warning to USA. From today new routine introduced, 1200 0º53'N; 86º06'E. which sets the midday break at 10.30-14.30. Day's run: 208 n.m. Total run: For several days, the temperature has not dropped below 30º

even at night. On account of the very high humidity in the air, the heat is particularly unpleasant. Sleeping in quarters is a torment. The seamen's division therefore sleep at battle stations, the 3rd and 4th divisions by turns on the promenade deck. Despite these measures, there are many cases of heat-produced illness (ringworm and prickly heat). Nevertheless, and although we have not had a vessel for more than 6 weeks, crew morale is high.

2000 Course 90º, four hours on opposing course in order to cut the routes by day. 2400 Course 270º. 27.5 WSW 4; moderate sea; long, quick, fairly high NW swell; W/T: Babitonga is bringing our WM to Egerland. cloudy; good visibility. 1200 0º49'N; 83º45'E. Day's run: 235 n.m. Total run: 40620 n.m. 1920 W/T over Bismarck s last battle. Now we must believe it,

unfortunately. However sad we are about the loss, we are proud of the ship and our comrades. 28.5 SW 4-5; moderate sea; 0150 cross swell SW and NW; W/T: Krupp attribute our bearing faults to unsuitable material cloudy, good visibility. and workshop errors, principally however to excessive speed

with one motor. Replacement bearings are coming with Rio Grande via Egerland.

A final judgment about the faults and their causes cannot be made yet. The additional changes of combination which I ordered in view of our present knowledge (Enclosure to engine room log of 15.6.41) produce new factors which need investigation, namely the inadequate bedding of the shaft in Engine II; possibly under-measurement of the crank drive [?*Kurbeltreibstangenkörper] and use of inferior material for the bearing housing. When I reported the ship ready for action, after almost 2 months of trouble-free running-in, this happened trusting that during the long rebuilding period the responsible authorities would have done everything to make the ship as trouble-free as possible. However, it was clear to everybody what risk it entailed to employ as an auxiliary cruiser on a mission of at least a year, far from any shipyard, a new motor type that had not yet made a trip. If this self-evident truth has not been passed on to all authorities, the ones concerned should be called to account. According to the discoveries made to date, I consider an explanation of the following matters essential:

1). Why did the production firm use the inferior bearing metal WM 10 for engines II and IV? 2). Was this fact known to the technical division of Navy Office, Hamburg? If so, why did they

not inform the commander? It cannot be seen from the plans. 3). Excessive speed in the sense of the operating instructions has not taken place, since the

values laid down have not been exceeded. If therefore the ‘search speed’ is supposed to be responsible for the damage, then the operating instructions given the commandant were insufficient. If there was a danger in going to full performance, which is normally avoided by a


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merchant ship, then for the auxiliary cruiser, for which that may come into question at any time, new operating instructions must be worked out. Why was this not done?

I do not need to stress that the continual work necessary on the bearings for an indefinite time is a workload and psychological burden on engine room personnel, which is of particular importance in the hot climate. However it must be mentioned in this connection that thanks to the ability and willing work of the Chief Engineer and his personnel it has been possible basically to carry out the tasks of the auxiliary cruiser so far. The commandant's hope for a final removal of the faults is doubtful. I only hope that our whitemetal never runs out.

1200 0º50'N; 80º22'E. Day's run: 223 n.m. 1811 Total run: 40851 n.m. W/T: Babitonga and Egerland are to meet in # ER. Departure

of Gedynia and Rio Grande delayed by enemy position. 29.5 WSW 3-4; slight sea; 0000 cross NW-SSW swell; Course 0º, 14 knots. 0600 overcast; violent rain Turned towards route One-and-a-half Degree squalls; moderate to Channel to Sabang, course 90º,11 knots. bad visibility. 1115 Course 70º. 1200 2º24'N; 79º53'E. Day's run: 284 n.m. Total run: 41135 n.m. 30.5 WSW 4-5; moderate sea; 0400 confused swell NW-SW; Course 90º. mostly overcast; rain showers; 1110 moderate visibility. Course 125º. 1200 3º15'N; 84º24'E. Day's run: 286 n.m. Total run: 41421 n.m. 1800 Course 240º. 2331 W/T: Gedynia put to sea 29.5. Relief of Egerland about 12.6 stands. 31.5 SW by W 4-5; moderate 0304 sea; SSW swell; cloudy; W/T over Bismarck's final battle and attitude to rain showers; good Roosevelt's speech. visibility. 1015 Commandant's parade. Memorial for Bismarck. Brought home

to the crew the conceptual connection between Skagerrak and this event. [*Battle of Jutland]

1100 Course 130º, 11 knots. (Route Colombo to Cocos Islands) 1200 1º16'N; 83º24'E. Day's run: 252 n.m. Total run: 41673 n.m.


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1.6 SW by W 3; slight sea; 0700 fine; very good Course 50º, 11 knots visibility. (Sabang-Mauritius route) 1200 0º23'S; 87º09'E. Day's run: 203 n.m. Total run: 41956 n.m. 1654 Course 30º. 1726 Course 331º, in order to ventilate ship. 1802 Course 30º. 1800 W/T: Whole Indian Ocean at disposal of Ship 41. I regard this

as a formal confirmation of an existing fact. If Operations wanted me to be in a different area, it would have told me so clearly. I have considered whether the conquest of Crete has changed the situation in the Indian Ocean and if therefore my previous intentions should be changed. Doubtless the English traffic through the Mediterranean will be very impeded by this. The brilliant accom-plishment of our troops in the battle for Crete must have made it clear to the English that they must fear the worst in the eastern Mediterranean. Despite the high losses to his fleet, he will continue to employ this as his strongest weapon, and also in other ways try to reinforce his position there. The north-west Indian Ocean remains therefore the important supply route, now as then. For me it does not change anything, except that possibly a certain weakness of the defence forces may occur as a result of making good losses in the Mediterranean. My previous plan therefore remains as it was.

2.6 SW 3; slight sea; cloudy; 0600 good visibility. Course 90º. 0835 Course 230º. 1200 1º48'N; 89º12'E. Day's run: 259 n.m. Total run: 42215 n.m. 1315 W/T: Prinz Eugen has been met by destroyers, so he at

least has escaped the English. 3.6 SW 2-3; slight sea; slight 0745 sea; light SSW swell; Course 240º. light clouds; very good visibility. 0849 - Anti-aircraft practice against balloons. 0957 1000 Course 240º. 1200 0º47'S; 86º20'E. Day's run: 249 n.m. Total run: 42464 n.m. 1454 Stopped for trial flight of aircraft. 1514 Aircraft to water. Course 240º. Ship is kept capable of steering. 1621 Aircraft landed. 1623 Course 220º. 1632 Stopped. 1635 Aircraft taken aboard.


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Trial flight passed without a hitch. In the short sea a float was bent and must be replaced. Reconnaissance to the limit of visibility remained without success.

4.6 SSW 2-3; calm sea; weak 0735 S swell; fine; very W/T: Alstertor has passed the Cape. good visibility. 0741 Stopped to work outboard. The quality of the ship's bottom paint was

obviously bad. Although we have lain stopped hardly at all during the whole time, the ship is so encrusted that we have lost a full knot of speed. The long green growth at the waterline is scraped off, paint touched up. At the same time, repairs to the rudder motor. (Cf engine room log.)

1200 2º24'S; 83º48'E. Day's run: 214 n.m. Total run: 42678 n.m. 1518 W/T: Alstertor is to report if she needs to replenish fuel

from Egerland. Now suddenly it is possible! but first I had to risk my valuable oiling gear with the vessel. (Cf log, page 114)

1758 Course 240º, 11 knots. 2352 To 9 knots. 5.6 SE Trade 2-3; slight sea; 0747 slight S swell; fine; very Course 210º, 11 knots. good visibility. 1200 4º05'S; 81º33'E. Day's run: 171 n.m. total run: 42849 n.m. 1415 Stopped. Engine repair. (See engine room log). Ship's name

and smoke stack marking changed. Ship is now called ‘Kinka Maru’, JYUL, Tokyo. I chose this name, because the Kokusai Kisen Kaisha travels in Indian waters with ship types similar to ours. The Nippon Yusen Kaisha, according to the wireless intelligence service on board, travels here only with older ship types, coal burners.

2005 Course 210º. Test of engine repairs at slow speed. 2100 Stopped. Engine repairs. (See engine room log). 2230 Engine in order. Course 210º, 9 knots. 6.6 SE 2-3; afternoon quickly 0800 to Force 6, freshening; Course 270º. 0920 fairly heavy sea; SE swell; Course 300º, 11 knots. rain; evening heavy storm squalls; mostly bad visibility. 1200 5º29'S; 79º53'E. Day's run: 159 n.m. 1425 Total run: 43008 n.m. Course 330º. After the Mauritius-Sabang route has again brought nothing, I will now sweep through the area between the Chagos and Maldives. 2239 Course 300º, 9 knots, because of heavy storm squalls. 2317 Course 330º.


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7.6 SE 3-4; towards midday 0914 changing to SW 2-4; Course 60º. 0930 slight sea; violent To 11 knots. 1025 rain squalls; overcast; On account of heavy rain squall, to 7 knots. bad visibility, clearing 1046 clearing towards evening. Speed 11 knots. 1200 2º25'S; 78º22'E. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 43246 n.m. 8.6 SW 1-2, calm sea, confused 0800 swell NW and S; cloudy; good Course 270º . visibility. 1200 10º 05'S; 80º 52'E. Day's run: 221 n.m. Total run: 43467 n.m. 1610 W/T: Egerland sunk. Since Rio Grande has not yet put to sea

with the new bearings, it is to be hoped she also gets replacements for the most important supplies lost with Egerland, e.g. the condenser coils. The whitemetal must still be on Babitonga.

[*The lack of replacements for the condenser coils meant that Kormoran did not have assurance of a continuation of adequate water supply.] 9.6 SE 1-2; calm sea; S swell; 0930 cloudy; very good Course 73º. visibility. 1200 0º53'S; 79º26'E. Day's run: 256 n.m. Total run: 43723 n.m. 10.6 SE 1-2; calm sea; S swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 1200 0º25'S; 79º43'E. Day's run: 265 n.m. 1443 Total run: 43988 n.m. Stopped for aerial reconnaissance. 1452 Aircraft to water. 1548 Aircraft started. 1616 Aircraft returned from first fan search. 1717 Aircraft returned from second fan search. 1730 Aircraft landed. 1746 Aircraft out of the water. 1749 Aircraft aboard. Reconnaissance was without result. 1754 Course 245º, 11 knots.

Instead of the extremely heavy and clumsy hatch cover, we now have a double canvas cover of special construction over the aircraft hold. This arrangement has acquitted itself well, because it saves a lot of time.

2041 W/T over the collapse of the Iraq uprising, battle for Syria,


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American policy. 11.6 NW-SW inconstant 3-5; 0314 slight to moderate sea; W/T: Esso probably sunk as well. Rio Grande not to depart. W swell; overcast; Replacement for Egerland with supplies is to reach the severe storm squalls; Indian Ocean by September, if possible. Until then we shall moderate to bad manage with everything. I assume that the second request visibility. for supplies will be taken into consideration at the same time. 0858 Course 3º; 11 knots. 1200 1º05'S; 76º47'E. Day's run: 225 n.m. Total run: 44213 n.m. 12.6 W 4-5; moderate sea; 0800 S swell; overcast; Course 80º. 1128 moderate visibility. Course 100º. 1200 2º30'N; 77º55'E. Day's run: 266 n.m. Total run: 44479 n.m. 2000 Course 60º; 11 knots. 2008 At 120º true, light in sight. 2010 Course 100º; towards vessel, in order to determine nationality. Heavy rain squall. 2033 High speed, 14.5 knots. 2126 Full speed. Pass behind stern of

vessel at 42 hm. Vessel steers course 15º towards Dondra Head. American.

2132 Course 60º; 9 knots. 2140 Course 100º. 2218 Vessel out of sight. 2225 Course 60º. 2340 Course 50º, 11 knots. 13.6 W 4-5; moderate sea; WNW 0800 swell; variable cloud; Course 90º. 0904 light haze; moderate Course 60; range-finding exercise with balloons. visibility. 1000 Course 90º. 1200 3º15'N; 8º50'E. Day's run: 261 n.m. Total run: 44740 n.m. 1614 Stopped for work on engine. (See engine room log) 1620 Half speed [*H.F. = Halbe Fahrt] as a trial. Switching for high speed (*?) with 4 motors determined. 1700 High speed [*G.F = Grosse Fahrt] 15 knots. 1713 Top speed attained measured at 17 knots. 1735 Full speed


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1800 To speed 11 knots. 2000 Course 270º; I should like to return to the area where we saw

the American. Where Americans travel, others mostly also travel. 14.6 WSW 5-6; fairly heavy 0753 sea; NW swell; overcast; W/T: Gonzenheim, Gedynia and Brehme have also been rain squall; moderate lost. On account of uncertainty in the Atlantic, no prizes visibility. are to be sent home at present. 1200 3º26'N; 80º55'E. Day's run: 244 n.m. Total run: 44984 n.m. 1250 Course 250º. 15.6 SSW 3-4; moderate sea; 0600 S swell; cloudy; very Course 80º. good visibility. 0655 2º22'N; 78º17'E .Vessel in sight at 55º true; (steering about 200º). It is a

medium passenger-cargo vessel of the British India Co. At first I go to 0659 High speed (*Grosse Fahrt) and give the 0701 Alarm. From further observation it is clear to me that it is not an

auxiliary cruiser. I believe him to be a mail steamer and decide to take him on, if I can get within range unobtrusively.

0706 To speed 11 knots, according to the old procedure. 0710 The vessel turns away to starboard, in order to cross our stern, so that

it almost runs into our guns, like Afric Star in its time. At this moment, the bow smoke generator begins to smoke through a valve failure. Thereupon the vessel turns hard away. Since we are only 200 n.m. from Colombo, I must give up the chase. I keep on course and leave him to guess what sort of strange vessel we are.

0740 Alarm ended. Course 80º. 0839 Vessel out of sight. Everything is quiet. The vessel does not wireless.

Perhaps he takes us for a crazy colleague who in his excitement threw a smoke bomb. So that such bad luck does not happen again, I shall not raise the pressure in the air leads to the bow smoke generator again when there is an alarm. Apart from that, I shall try to make contact with the vessel again in the twilight, therefore to

1030 Course 211º, 14 knots. 1200 2º09'N; 78º38'E. Day's run: 259 n.m. Total run: 45243 n.m. 1900 Unfortunately we have not found him again.

To course 14º, 11 knots, in order to patrol its route.


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16.6 S 4; slight sea; S 0330 swell; cloudy; very Course 80 (One-and-a-half Degree Channel to Sabang route.) good visibility. 1200 2º36'N; 79º27'E. Day's run: 287 n.m. Total run: 45530 n.m. [#From here, typed on a different machine.] 17.6 S 2-3; calm sea; weak 0218 S swell; cloudy; fine; W/T over Evasive Route B for prizes. 0800 good visibility. Course 70º. 1200 3º40'N; 83º38'E. Day's run: 259 n.m. Total run: 45 789 n.m. 18.6 SW and W by S 3; calm; 0135? S swell; fine; extremely W/T: Situation report from Operations about commerce good visibility. war abroad, which is in agreement with my view.

Opponents' direction finding apparently further well developed. It must be assumed that he is familiar with our supply system.

0800 Course 50º towards the Colombo-Sabang route, which I want to investigate between 87º and 90º East.

1200 5º16'N; 87º46'E. The extraordinarily good visibility compels us to use the mast Day's run: 268 n.m. lookout, which we have made lighter on board and have Total run: 46057 n.m. altered so that it can be taken down in minutes. In general I prefer the firm crosstrees. 2000 Course 142º; 9 knots.

Although we are shortly before the new moon, the nights are still very bright. That makes the disguise as Japanese very uncongenial.

19.6 WSW 4; moderate sea; S 0600 swell; heavy clouds; Course 313º; 12 knots. good visibility. 1200 5º44'N; 89º09'E. Course 303º. Day's run: 239 n.m. Total run: 46296 n.m. 2000 Course 207º, 9 knots. 20.6 W 4-5; moderate sea; S 0600 swell; heavy clouds; Course 50º, 11 knots. light haze; moderate visibility. 1200 5º55'N; 88º20'E. Day's run: 230 n.m. Total run: 46526 n.m.


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1449 W/T over new regulation of military, disciplinary and judicial subordination under Station O.

[*Ost? Could mean ‘East’, or ‘Baltic Sea’.] 2000 Course 283º, 9 knots. 21.6 WSW 6-7; heavy sea; fairly 0805 high SW swell; overcast; W/T about Russian situation. hazy; fairly poor visibility. Communist remains Communist. 0600 Course 337º; 10 knots. 1200 8º03'N; 88º10'E. No traffic found on the Colombo- Day's run: 234 n.m. Sabang route. Now I intend to push forward into the Total run: 46760 n.m. Bay of Bengal, to determine the western edge of the

rainy area, and if I meet no traffic there, which is quite possible according to the wireless intelligence service on board, to lay mines in the region of Mahapalipur, the main navigational point outside Madras.

1911 W/T: Babitonga has been intercepted. Thus our supply of whitemetal is postponed into the distant future.

W/T: Situation report: Closure of German consulates in USA; treaty of friendship with Turkey; Syrian battles.

22.6 SW and WNW 5-6; fairly Course 335º; 11 knots. [# No time given.] heavy sea; SW swell; overcast; hazy; rain. In the morning we hear of the invasion of Russia. Despite the

W/T of yesterday, this development surprises us. For us out here it is an uplifting feeling that our leadership feels strong enough to undertake this necessary clearing up at present.

1200 11º44'N; 86º28'E. Course 332º. Day's run: 243 n.m. Speed sometimes reduced on account of heavy rain squalls. Total run: 47003 n.m. 1815 Course 280º. 2000 Apparently reached the western edge of the rainy area; to course 3º. 23.6 SW 6; heavy sea and 0110 swell from SW. W/T: Alstertor attacked by sea planes. 0600 Course 225º. 1200 12º 57'N; 84º40'E. Day's run: 219 n.m. Total run: 47222 n.m. 1800 Course 100º. 2200 Course 250º.


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24.6 WSW 6-7; heavy sea 0800 from SW. Course 290º. I decide to lay mines. 1100 To 14 knots. I should be in dropping position at 22.00 hours. 1200 12º07'N; 82º31'E. Day's run: 215 n.m. Total run: 47437 n.m. 1318 Course 280º, 11 knots. 1323 Smoke cloud in sight to starboard at 9º true. 1335 Masts and smoke stack become visible. Turned away to course 250º. 1337 Alarm. The vessel looks very suspicious. Type approximately Madura

class of the British India Co. Particularly noticeable is the thick forward crosstree; looks like a command post. Since I do not like the look of him

1314 [*Should be 1340.] turned away to course 180º at High Speed. The vessel immediately turns also, raises speed and follows in line to port. The range quickly becomes shorter (208 hm).

1342 To All Possible Speed. It is clear to me now that it is an auxiliary cruiser. I do not want to accept battle if possible, for that is not my task. In addition, I am at present directly on the weather side. The opponent keeps himself skilfully in the more favorable gunnery position. Now the range is stationary, so he is slower than we are, and that is good, for he must not come close enough to see my Japanese paint job. Then he will know exactly whom he has in front of him. As it is, he can still take me for a vessel which is to be sure very cautious, but which is following Admiralty instructions exactly.

1350 On course 170º, taking the opponent directly astern, in order to see if he follows. He does follow, but the range is slowly increasing. We are now at revolutions for full speed. Since that is enough, I continue this way to spare the engines.

1356 Course 150º; the opponent follows and comes across into line astarboard. 1400 Course 170º. Now he realises that he cannot overtake us. He turns away

on a westerly course in the direction of Madras, thus on the course on which he saw us coming. 1413 Course 130º, 15 knots. 1418 Alarm ended. 1430 High Speed [*G.F], 13.5 knots. Vessel out of sight from the crosstrees

lookout. Up till now, he has not wirelessed. I continue on, further away, in order to wait to see what happens.

1600 To speed 11 knots. Since the auxiliary cruiser is heading in the direction of our former track, I must assume that he will wait for us off Madras, in order to determine who we are. It is to be counted upon that the local patrols will be alerted. Therefore in my opinion the risk which the mine-laying undertaking would mean is not reasonable in proportion to the foreseeable success. Shifting the operation to Calcutta does not come into the question, because right now one of the usual typhoons is raging. Therefore I shall give up the mine-laying temporarily.

1917 Course 100º. 2212 W/T: As well as Alstertor, Babitonga and Lothringen have

been lost. Alstertor had nothing important of ours on board.


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25.6 Stormy, SW; heavy sea; 0700 horizon slightly Course 283º, in order to push forward to the western edge of obscured. the rainy area. 1020 Course 130º. Our wireless intelligence service aboard has picked

up two undecyphered wireless messages to all British warships, which could have come from the auxiliary cruiser. I decide to return to the Colombo-Sabang route.

1200 10º55'N; 84º52'E. Day's run: 246 n.m. Total run: 47683 n.m. 1518 W/T: Ship 16 has intercepted 140,000 gross tonnage. 26.6 SW 6-7; heavy sea. 0230 W/T: New instructions for ships returning home, which

in principle are to avoid the previous routes. 0224 Pale light in sight to starboard at 240º true. Immediately

afterwards, silhouette recognised. 0227 Watch Officer turns away to port, but keeps the silhouette

in sight, according to orders. 0259 Shot across the bow. Vessel does not stop.

0300 1 Gunnery report Guns given permission to open fire at 30 hm. 0310 Although the propeller is still turning, fire ceased, as the vessel is burning fiercely and the crew is leaving the ship. Vessel did not wireless. First I go past the stern in order to determine its name. Nothing can be recognised. For the rest, the guns have done a thorough job. The ship is lost. Steered towards a night rescue buoy, which at that very moment is extinguished. Approximate area searched systematically, suddenly cries for help heard and a completely swamped lifeboat caught in the searchlight. Boat can be held [*by searchlight] only with difficulty in the heavy, choppy sea.

0415 Auxiliary cruiser taken alongside boat. 9 survivors rescued, being 7 Yugoslavs, including the third engineer, 1 Indian and 1 Singalese. Ship is Yugoslav "VELEBIT", 4153 tons gross, of the Jugoslavenska Oceanska Plodvidba d.d.; registered at Split; going from Bombay to Moulmein in ballast to fetch rice. Ship was built in England in 1911; crew 34 men. The rescued men have not seen any other survivors. When challenged the ship was occupied with engine repairs. When the shooting started, everyone fled from the engine room. Engine was not switched off, because bridge and engine room were hit immediately. Second officer was on watch and could not read Morse. Despite the many hits, the ship sinks slowly. It is not worth any more ammunition, because it is burning out totally and, if it does not sink, it must soon strand on the coral reefs of the Andamans. Therefore allowed to drift.

0429 Alarm ended. Course 130º, 14 knots. 0539 Burning wreck out of sight. 0547 To 11 knots. 1200 8º30'N; 87º47'E. Day's run: 241 n.m. Total run: 47924 n.m. 1528 Smoke column in sight to port, somewhat astern of abeam. 1530 To slow speed, in order to let the vessel come clear of the horizon. 1538 Vessel at 20º true, range 205 hm; bow left. 1539 Turned to course 115º.


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1542 Bearings change quickly; opponent's course reckoned at about 250º, thus route Ten Degree Channel to Colombo. Nothing is possible this way. I must get on to the opposite course. However, he must not see the turn, otherwise he will become suspicious too soon, especially with my Japanese paintwork. The distance increases slowly. Ahead is a rain squall behind which I will turn. 1607 Course 320º, 11 knots. 1612 After passing through the squall, vessel in sight again at 210 hm. 1615 To speed 14.5 knots. 1630 170 hm. Range decreases quickly. Vessel has apparently noticed

nothing. I go to 11 knots, so that the bearing does not change too quickly. 1634 Alarm. Distance 128 hm. Vessel maintains its course. I pass

across its bow in order to get to the lee side. 1721 Decamouflage. Hard aport. 1722 Flag signal: Stop immediately. 1728 Vessel transmits QQ which is successfully jammed. 1 Gunnery report Guns given permission to open fire.

First salvo: 1 hit in wireless room; third salvo 2 hits in foreship. Cease fire. 1740 Stopped. Examination and scuttling party away. Vessel sinks

slowly. Upon a flag signal, crew leaves the ship. All 48 men (43 English, 3 Dutch, 1 Dane, 1 Norwegian) taken aboard uninjured. The ship is the ‘MAREEBA’, 3472 tons gross, of the Australasian United Steam Navig. Co, home port Melbourne. On the way from Batavia to Colombo with 5000 tons of raw sugar. Had instructions to go through the Ten Degree Channel.

1750 Alarm ended. 1814 Scuttling party leaves ‘MAREEBA’. 1819 Scuttling charges detonate; ship sinks quickly. 1822 8º15'N; 88º06'E. ‘MAREEBA’ sunk. 1841 Course 130º, 14 knots. 2000 To 11 knots. 27.6 SW by W 5-6; light 0645 clouds; SW swell. Admiralty (British) instruction, to repeat emergency messages

on short-wave, if a coastal wireless station does not acknowledge them within five minutes. Since there have been no Q or R messages in the Indian Ocean since the last appearance of Ship 33, that most likely has to do with ‘MAREEBA’.

1200 6º10'N; 90º44'E. Day's run: 246 n.m. Total run: 48170 n.m. 1800 Reached Colombo-Sabang route; course 332º, 11 knots. Evaluation: ‘MAREEBA’: In peacetime the ship was used in the Australian coastal trade. Probably used in

Indian trade on account of shortage of shipping space. First trip: Course: From Freemantle [sic] course 300º until 60 n.m. from land, north along the coast until 19ºS 111ºE, then course towards Sunda Strait; from there to Singapore, Straits of Malacca - Penang - Andaman Sea through the Ten Degree Channel to a reference point at 81ºE 5º30' N to Colombo. Noticeably large crew. Supposition that in the case of the younger seamen they are volunteers for the Royal Navy suggests itself, since on one of them a reply from HMS Tamar to a letter of application was found. Vessel had no radio on board. They still knew nothing about our war with Russia. Before we turned around, ‘MAREEBA’ had not seen us at all. Our disguise as ‘KINKA MARU’ seemed totally genuine. [*Mareeba crew said that] German raiders had last been reported in the Indian Ocean six weeks ago. [*i.e. Pinguin]


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28.6 SW by W 5-6; cloudy; 0230 isolated showers; W/T: Situation in Atlantic necessitates postponing return of 36 SSW swell. and 45. Supply ships cannot be counted on in the immediate future.

That forces me as well to be particularly careful with my engines. The thorough inspection of the electrical portion of the installation, postponed until now, must now be regarded as urgent. Therefore I decide to break off the operation at midday and to haul off south.

0600 Course 275º. 0950 W/T over operations in Russia and first goals. Unification

of Europe on anti-Bolshevik basis to be expected as result of Russian campaign. In America, braking effect probable.

1200 7º16'N; 89º36'E. Day's run: 233 n.m. Total run: 48403 n.m.


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29.6 SW by W 4-5; moderate sea; SSW swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 1200 4º20'N; 87º10'E. Course 190º. Day's run: 225 n.m. Total run: 48628 n.m. 30.6 SW 3-4; slight sea; S swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 1200 0º05'N; 86º21'E. Day's run: 260 n.m. 2125 Total run: 48888 n.m. Admiral Colombo transmits to all British merchant ships in the Indian Ocean, that on 26.6 at 11.30 GMT a ship heard an

incomplete Q report with the longitude 88º16'E. That was ‘MAREEBA’. The presence of an auxiliary cruiser in the eastern Indian Ocean is thus known.

1.7 Variable winds; midday SE Trade 2-3; calm sea; SSO swell; cloudy; fine; very good visibility. 1200 4º03'S; 85º24'E. Day's run: 255 n.m. Total run: 49143 n.m. 1800 To cruising speed = 8 knots. 2.7 SE Trade 4; slight sea; 0600 very cloudy; good Stopped. Work on engine overhaul begun. visibility. (Electrical department; bearings of engine II.) 1200 6º45'S; 84º39'E. Day's run: 173 n.m. Total run: 49316 n.m. 3.7 SW 3-4; slight sea; In the morning, engine room hand Hofmann, S swell; overcast; Hans, N 4180/39 T, brought unconscious to the rain; bad visibility. sickbay. H. had been working on an aircraft float with an electric drill and received an electric shock from it.

Despite immediate medical attention, he died about 10.00 o'clock. 1200 6º46'S; 84º30'E. Day's run: 9 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 49325 n.m. 1430 Course 240º, 8 knots. 1453 Stopped. 1500 6º48'S; 84º26'E. Engine room hand Hofmann buried.


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1502 Course 190º, 8 knots. 1700 Stopped. Engine overhaul continued. 2313 W/T that 45 has laid mines off Wellington. 4.7 ESE 2-3, calm sea; SE In the morning, outboard work on waterline. swell; overcast; iso- Ventilator motor on main generator III out of action. lated rain; moderate Probable connection with the switch W 15. visibility. 1200 6º55'S; 84º19'E. Day's run: 26 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 49351 n.m. 5.7 SE 3-4; slight sea and 0750 swell; cloudy; good Colombo calls on ‘MAREEBA’ to report position. visibility. 1200 6º47'S; 83º57'E. Day's run: 24 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 49357 n.m. 1630 W/T: Political situation. Russian campaign successful.

Braking effect on America; waiting attitude of Japan. 6.7 SE by S 4-5; moderate sea; 0250 overcast; violent rain W/T: Commander in Chief of Navy [*Raeder] squalls; bad visibility. awards the crew 5 more Iron Crosses First Class and

100 Second Class for successful conduct of cruiser warfare. 1200 6º43'S; 83º41'E. Day's run: 17 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 49392 n.m. The engine overhaul is a period of recuperation for us all. In rain squalls the temperature here drops to 26º-27º. Besides

it is much more bearable here, because the humidity is not nearly as high as in the Bay of Bengal.

7.7 SE by E 3-5; slight sea; 0830 - SE swell; overcast; good Turned ship for cleaning work at the waterline. 0855 visibility. 1200 6º35'S; 83º20'E. The cause of the fatal accident to engine room hand Day's run: 22 n.m. Hofmann is now fully explained. Charges of negligent Total run: 49414 n.m. homicide are laid against three seamen. 8.7 SE by S 3; calm sea; 0223 long flat S swell; W/T: 16 considers change of its operational area necessary. variable cloud; rain In the morning, recamouflaged. Japanese nationality showers; mostly markings and lettering removed, superstructure painted moderate visibility. brown, smoke stack black. We are travelling now in case

of emergency as ‘STRAAT MALAKKA’.


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Reason: Cruising here as Japanese is inexpedient, because: a) the Japanese have only ships of an old type operating. b) in the night, which is comparatively bright here even at new moon, the amount of white shows up at a great distance. c) a blacked-out Japanese is very suspicious. d) in a daylight attack, maintaining the integrity of the camouflage entails keeping firmly to course and speed, a fact which makes the evasion of enemy warships impossible, or

which can compel unmasking already at a great distance. I have therefore come to the conclusion that the best camouflage is in any case to be as inconspicuous as possible, i.e. a ship on which one can see no armament or suspicious superstructure, and which is so painted that it could well be friendly. Representing any particular ship is not at all necessary. The times of a Wolf or Seeadler are over. The opponent is on the watch and stops everything. However, if one is stopped at all, there is only one way out: battle.

1200 6º09'S; 82º37'E. Day's run: 15 n.m. Total run: 49429 n.m. 1230 Course 180º, 11 knots. I have been in practically the same

place for 7 days now, so I consider it right to change the ship's position 100 n.m. further south. In the afternoon court martial. Flying NCO Dzudzek - O 1578/34 - sentenced to 14 days

imprisonment, because he negligently cause a man's death. The other accused are acquitted. 2200 7º51'S; 83º11'E. 9.7 SE by E 3-4; slight sea; 0200 S swell; overcast; iso- W/T: 1). 16 is passing through Indian Ocean south of 25ºS; lated heavy rain; bad reports crossing 120ºE to eastward; should be east of New visibility. Zealand by the end of August.

2). Provisioning by a special supply ship (thus probably from the Orient) intended, meant for us at the same time.

3). Advance to the Manila to Los Angeles route planned for us, as soon as we are relieved here. I have little faith in this relief. If it is already inadvisable to break out and in through the North Atlantic, the situation there will only get worse during the course of the war, for the battle for the Atlantic will become more and more bitter. I believe rather that the auxiliary cruisers which are not going home now will have to remain out until they are fully used up. Therefore I prepare myself to attain the greatest possible sea life through the greatest economy in all areas, preventive measures and sparing of the engines.

1000 Commandant's parade to award Iron Crosses. 1200 7º47'S; 83º11'E. Day's run: 106 n.m. Total run: 49535 n.m. 10.7 SE by E to E by S 3-4; moderate sea; S swell; overcast; isolated rain' bad visibility. 1200 7º41'S; 83º06'E. Day's run: 8 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 49543 n.m.


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1542 Admiral Colombo gives merchant ships within a distance of 100 n.m. from Sandhead lightship permission to transmit for the purpose of taking bearings in bad visibility.

11.7 ESE 4-5. moderate sea; SE swell; overcast; rain 0301 squalls; moderate W/T over development of enemy radar. visibility. Thus the times of blockade-breaking will soon be over. 1200 7º44'S; 82º16'E. Day's run: 50 n.m. Total run: 49593 n.m. Moving in 48 hours. 12.7 ESE 6; very heavy sea; 0838 ESE swell; overcast; W/T: Situation report over enemy merchant shipping. squally with rain; Pacific is becoming more and more important. bad visibility. 0816 Course 270º, 8 knots, on account of bad weather. 0753 To 10 knots; engine repairs completed. Course towards Chagos. 0845 Course 58º. The Switch W 15, which has already been

repaired once, is out of order again for reasons which have not yet been determined. Since the ventilator motors of the main generators are threatened by this, cf Failure on 4.7, it must be repaired before I go to my operational area again.

1200 7º34'S; 81º04'E. Day's run: 105 n.m. Total run: 49698 n.m. 1515 To 8 knots. 2347 W/T over enemy wireless intelligence. The good direction

finding on the shortwave wireless compels extreme limitation of wireless transmissions. 13.7 SE 5-7; very heavy sea, 0000 dropping towards midday; Course 90º. rising again in the evening; overcast; heavy rain; bad visibility. 1200 6º47'S; 83º48'E. Day's run: 176 n.m. Total run: 49874 n.m. 1519 Stopped. 2315 Course 90º, 8 knots, on account of weather conditions. 14.7 SE 2-4, inconstant in direction and strength; 0907 slight sea; SE swell; Stopped. overcast; rain showers; moderate visibility.


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1200 6º41'S; 85º40'E. Day's run: 116 n.m. Total run: 49990 n.m. 2212 W/T over conduct towards enemy aircraft. 15.7 SE by S 3-4; slight sea; 0640 heavy cloud; good W/T: Situation report on occupation of Iceland by USA. visibility. Germany continues policy of not allowing itself to be provoked,

until the effect of the defeat of Russia is recognisable. Accordingly, stringent restrictions on U-boats.

0715 W/T: Supply ship should be ready to leave Japan on 20.8. Notify urgent requirements by 2.8 at the latest. Supply of special goods requested is envisaged for late summer from home. I assume that the latter refers to our bearings and condenser coils. We are trying, by utmost economy with water, to extend the life of our condenser coils. [*This has a bearing on claims that Kormoran would have been willing to supply water to a Japanese submarine.] Apart from that, there are no other urgent requirements yet; from December, a whole lot will suddenly be urgently necessary, especially in the electrical department, things which cannot be replaced by means available on board. Since I cannot wireless such a long list, and the Operations will of its own accord consider that for the time which will have exceeded a year I shall need a proportionate part of a year's equipment, I shall wait to see what the supply ship brings and not wireless yet.

1200 6º21'S; 85º55'E. Day's run: 25 n.m. Total run: 50015 n.m. 16.7 SE by S 4; moderate sea; Today the repairs will be completed. Unfortunately, I have lost overcast; rain showers; part of the valuable new moon period through them. I intend moderate visibility. to go again into the Bay of Bengal via Chagos, in order to get 1200 5º45'S; 85º53'E. rid of some of my mines. I have come to this conclusion, which Day's run: 36 n.m. contradicts the basis principle of changing the operational area, Total run: 50051 n.m. through the following considerations: 1) The opponent reacts very slowly to disruption of his trade routes. (See U-boats off Freetown.) 2) The loss of two ships in the previously secure Bay of Bengal is doubtless very unpleasant.

Yet the loss of the little ‘VELEBIT’ and ‘MAREEBA’ will certainly not cause the opponent to take special protective measures.

3) The opponent will expect that the auxiliary cruiser will not return so soon to the mouse trap of the Bay of Bengal, but will turn to the more profitable western part of the Indian Ocean. It is there that he will provide protective forces, which have become free through the pause for breath in the Mediterranean. 4) The increasing tension in the Far East will probably make operations in the Bay completely impossible later.

1930 Engines in working order again. 17.7 SSE 5, fairly heavy sea; 0600 SE swell; cloudy; very Course 290º, 11 knots.


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good visibility. 0645 W/T: 20-25 USA ships with war material cross the

Atlantic and Pacific every month to the Red Sea. USA service to South Africa reduced to 3 ships a month, only meagre service now from Netherlands Indies to Lourenzo Marques.

1200 5º01'S; 84º42'E. For the auxiliary cruiser in the Indian Ocean, times are Day's run: 88 n.m. getting worse and worse. We put to sea at least six months Total run: 50139 n.m. too late. In the area where we have been cruising fruitlessly for

6 months, our predecessors got their best ships then. 1810 W/T: Situation: Capitulation of Syria principally a military matter.

England's aim, securing the eastern Mediterranean, achieved by this. Military alliance England-Chungking. Beginning of a new front in the east against the Axis powers. Russian campaign is proceeding favorably. Employment of matériel, tanks and aircraft by opponent surprisingly large.

18.7 SSE 4; moderate sea and 0750 swell; very cloudy; good W/T over unsafe areas [*Warngebiete] Vladivostok, Olga Bight,

visibility. Gulf of Tartar, Petropavlovsk, Manila-Subig [sic] Bay and Philippines.

1200 3º23'S; 80º27'E. Day's run: 272 n.m Total run: 50411 n.m. 1930 W/T: Supplementary evaluation of English Admiralty report of

14.5. According to that, they are calling us ‘Dora’ or ‘46’, which is supposed to have put to sea at the beginning of January and to have sunk Eurylochus. On 7.5, 33 also sank ‘BRITISH EMPEROR’, thus altogether sank or captured 136 551 gross tonnage.

19.7 SSE 3; slight sea; SE swell; cloudy; fine; very good visibility. 1200 1º43'S; 76º21'E. Course 35º (Route Chagos-Colombo) Day's run: 265 n.m. Today it was discovered that the tobacco in weld-sealed tins Total run: 50676 n.m. (Brinkmann-Stolz) is completely ruined. Only a few cases, on

which the welding was damaged, are still usable. There seems to be a packing error. Loss: about 8000 Reichsmark.

20.7 WSW 3, slight sea; S swell; 0600 overcast; rain showers; Course 320º. mostly bad visibility. 1200 1º54ºN; 77º35'E. Day's run: 276 n.m. Course 70º. Total run: 50952 n.m. Once again, a main bearing [*Grundlager] on Engine II is damaged. The bad

alignment [*Ausrichtung] of the shaft on this engine seems to be confirmed. If that is the cause of the problem, we must reckon with a possible fracture of the shaft and the complete loss of the engine. Then the total propulsion capability would depend on Engine II as the last ship's network engine. I therefore decide to put Engine II out of operation except in case of Alarm and as a reserve for Engine III. At the same time, an attempt will be made to find a way of adapting


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Engine I as ship's supply network engine using materials on board. Not until that has succeeded can I take the risk of using Engine II again and thus taking the load from Engine III. (For details see Engine Room log, especially the report of 31.7.)

2110 W/T: 5.7. Hermes and Enterprise in and out of Colombo. Recently heavy ships and aircraft carriers have been going to Colombo more frequently again.

21.7 SW monsoon 4; moderate sea; confused swell SW and W; heavy In the course of the day, I decide to give up the cloud; moderate visibility. sortie into the Bay of Bengal. Reasons:

1) The entry of heavy ships into Colombo shows that the English at present feel secure in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf and is strengthening defences in the northern Indian Ocean. 2) On the basis of the dumping of Matsuoka and the structure of the Cabinet the future development in the Far East is uncertain. English troop transports to Singapore and Rangoon are reported. 3) According to the diary of the captain, ‘MAREEBA’ exchanged signals with an English cruiser at 06.00 on the day we caught her, that is, west of the Ten Degree Channel. The patrols in the Gulf of Bengal are probably stronger than I previously assumed. If I must now reckon with reinforced appearances of enemy warships in this area on account of the development of the situation, the main condition for an immediate repetition of the thrust into this area lapses. I consider it better to await further developments. I intend to go south and investigate the waters south of Sumatra and Java. ‘MAREEBA’ travelled there and recently a ‘Blue Funnel Liner’ [*in English] was to take on a pilot off Siberoet Strait. Beside, I have not yet been in this part of my actual operational area.

1200 3º20'N; 81º30'E. Day's run: 244 n.m. Total run: 51196 n.m. 22.7 SW monsoon; moderate sea; cross swell SSE and SW; cloudy; good visibility. 1200 3º07'N; 85º35'E. Day's run: 244 n.m. total run: 51440 n.m. 23.7 SW by W 3-4; slight sea' S and SE swell; cloudy; fine; very good visibility. 1200 2º58'N; 90º03'E. Day's run: 264 n.m. Total run: 51709 n.m. 1808 W/T: Old short signal book (three-figure) withdrawn. 24.7 SW by W 4-6' moderate sea; 0210 SE and S swell; overcast; W/T: Ship 16 crosses 120ºE towards east on 10.8. rain showers; good to 0700 moderate visibility. Course 130º towards Siberoet Strait.


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1200 2º44'N; 93º59'E. Day's run: 259 n.m. Total run: 51968 n.m. 2130 W/T: Situation: Japan's attitude after change of Cabinet is

uncertain. Operations is not expecting active procedures against Anglo-Saxon positions in Far East. America carries out policy of intimidation, but want to avoid Japanese measures of desperation. Japanese court and commerce want a policy of peaceful settlement.

The tone of the Domei Press, which has become very cautious, seems to confirm this opinion. However the tension remains in the Far East at present, because nobody trusts the other.

25.7 In the morning, variable light 0600 winds, then after rain squall Course 180º. 1000 steady SE Trade 3-4; slight Course 130º. 1130 sea; mostly cloudy; good Course 180º. No success off Siberoet Strait. Next goal: visibility. routes Western Australia to Sunda and Lombok straits. 1200 0º09'S; 96º36'E. Day's run: 241 n.m. Total run: 52209 n.m. 2120 W/T: English ships gathering in Persian Gulf. Action against Iran expected. 2320 W/T: Supply service code WFS 1936 withdrawn. 26.7 Stiff SE Trade 6; fairly heavy sea and swell from SE; cloudy; good visibility. 1200 4º07'S; 96º37'E. 1230 Day's run: 238 n.m. Course 143º. Total run: 52447 n.m. 2212 W/T: Situation: 1) Stubborn resistance on eastern front; bad weather. Evaluation of situation however favorable. 2) Roosevelt is reaching for Azores, Cape Verde Islands, Dakar, possibly also Northern Ireland,

Northern Scotland, Faroes. 27.7 ESE 5-7; heavy sea and swell The bad weather is very unusual for this time of year. from SE; cloudy; good However, there are no signs of an approaching visibility. hurricane. It is pleasantly cool. At night the 1200 7º16'S; 98º46'E. temperature sinks to +25º [*C]. Day's run: 228 n.m. Total run: 52675 n.m. 1400 Clocks put forward one hour. Ship's time: Zone time 105ºE. 1840 Course 146º. As a result of heavy sea, we are making only 8 knots. 28.7 SE by E 6-7; heavy sea; cross 0126 swell S and SE; cloudy; rain W/T: New cypher ‘Himalaya’ for supply ships. showers; good visibility. Take a copy at rendezvous. 1200 9º58'S; 100º36'E.


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Day's run: 195 n.m. Total run: 52870 n.m. 29.7 SE by E 6-7' im gusts 8; heavy Ship makes heavy going. sea; SE swell; cloudy; very squally; moderate visibility. 1200 12º37'S; 102º40'E. Day's run: 200 n.m. Total run: 53070 n.m. 30.7 ESE 6; fairly heavy sea; SE swell; cloudy; squally weather; good visibility. 1200 15º29'S; 104º34'E. Reached new operational area. Day's run: 216 n.m. Course 90º. Total run: 53286 n.m. 31.7 ESE 4; moderate sea; long, 0930 fairly high S swell; very A way has now been found to rebuild Engine I as cloudy; good visibility. ship's network engine. I have ordered preparatory work to begin. (cf Engine Room War Diary, Enclosure V, 31.7.41)

I draw particular attention to the accident reports under 31.7 in the Engine Room War Diary, because this form of earthing is a constant danger to personnel. It cannot be altered here on board. It will be attempted to avoid further accidents through instruction and supervision. [#Concerns also death of Hofmann.]

1809 W/T: 45 would like to operate west of North America. 1.8 ESE 3-4; slight sea; SW 0320 swell; cloudy; very good In the positions reported by an agent, a convoy in the visibility. central Indian Ocean is mentioned for the first time;

it is apparently going from Australia to the Persian Gulf. 0733 Course 90º 1200 14º06'S; 112º22'E. Our flour is full of meal worms and weevils. From today the Day's run: 243 n.m. supply will be sieved working day and night. We hope to Total run: 53749 n.m. be finished with it in 10 days. For the coarse meal there is no

hope; it is lost. Otherwise our provisions have kept excellently in the nine months. The plentiful provision with refrigeration rooms has proved itself very well. Hapag's recommendation of taking fresh potatoes in crate of 30 kg was a very good tip. The potatoes were faultless until the end. Now, unfortunately, they are all gone, likewise the Duquesa eggs.

Nevertheless, the food is still good and plentiful. Cook and baker are extremely important people for the auxiliary cruiser. Both of ours deserve unbounded recognition.

Without preempting a later report of experiences, I should like to mention already that the ice chests made on board from old zinc packing have been very useful in the men's decks for storing leftovers and extra food. Ships in the tropics should be equipped with something similar.


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2.8 ESE 4; moderate sea; SW swell; 0400 cloudy; very good visibility. Course 250º 1200 14º39'S; 114º02'E. Day's run: 270 n.m. Total run: 54019 n.m. 3.8 SE by E 4; moderate sea; SSW 0153 swell; cloudy; very good W/T: West coast of North America refused as visibility. operational area for 45, because not worth while. 45 is to

return home in October. 1200 16º06'S; 109º51'E. Day's run: 257 n.m. Total run: 543276 n.m. 4.8 SE 5-6. evening 3; moderate 0658 sea; long swell; cloudy; W/T over dispositions of US fleet shows them very good visibility. pleasingly tied down by Japan. 1200 16º38'S; 110º57'E. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 54514 n.m. 5.8 SE 1-2; calm sea; short SSW 0742 swell; cloudy; fine; very Course 130º. 0755 good visibility. Stopped to see whether it was possible to use the

aircraft. Given up on account of unfavorable swell. 0822 Course 225º, 11 knots. 1200 17º02'S; 114º00'E. Day's run: 253 n.m. Total run: 54767 n.m. 6.8 S 2-3, variable; calm sea; 0600 SSW swell; very good Course 325º. visibility. 0705 W/T: Colombo reports a raider on 3.8. at an unknown longitude

but presumably northern latitude. So they still seem to be taking us into consideration. 1200 18º22'S; 111º10'E. Day's run: 232 n.m. Total run: 54999 n.m. 7.8 SE by E 2' calm sea; SSW 0800 swell; fine; extraordinarily On account of unfavorable swell, not possible good visibility. to use aircraft.


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1200 18º49'S; 114º10'E. Day's run: 239 n.m. Total run: 55238 n.m. 2000 To slow speed, 8 knots, in order to save oil. 8.8 SE by S; slight sea; long, In the East the great battle of Smolensk has been

fairly high SW swell; fine; won again. One great blow follows another. We very good visibility. live only from news service to news service. 1200 21º24'S; 111º19'E. In the mean time, we travel thousands of miles, see Day's run: 223 n.m. nothing but water and often feel that we are Total run: 55461 n.m. superfluous. We do divisional and NCO training courses as in deepest peace, organise skat [*card game]

competitions, handcraft exhibitions, small calibre and pistol shooting, and we wait for the ship. Despite this, morale of the crew is good. Our young, active seamen give us the most pleasure. They have learnt everything quickly, are eager to learn more, get on well together and are always in good spirits. The older men often give rise to friction, the young merchant seamen are vain about their meagre knowledge and do not get along well. A second time, I would take only active and as far as possible young personnel.


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9.8 SE 4; slight sea; SSW swell; 0700 cloudy; fine; very good Course 45º. 0837 visibility. Engine I out of action through a crack in exhaust pipe. As Engine II is to stay in reserve, proceed at slow speed with starboard propeller, port propeller stopped. Speed about 6 knots. 1200 22º49'S; 109º41'E. Day's run: 176 n.m. 1320 Total run: 55637 n.m. Engine I working again. 1325 With both engines to 8 knots. 1630 - 1700 Engine I out of action to change fuel valve. 10.8 SE 4-5; evenings 0-5; moderate sea; fairly high SSW swell; fine; very good visibility. 1200 20º27'S; 112º03'E. No particular incidents. Day's run: 194 n.m. Total run: 55831 n.m. 11.8 ENE 4-6; fairly rough sea; 0800 SSW swell; fine; very good Course 240º. visibility. A thorough investigation has shown that the present speed of 8 knots with two engines is not favorable to the engines. The ignition compression values are too high. Since this speed is sufficient for cruising in the operational area and I want to save oil, though not at the cost of the engines, an attempt will be made to reach this goal by travelling with one motor and one shaft at a favorable revolution count. 0930 Port engine stopped. Fuel measurement trial run. 1200 18º47'S; 113º27'E. Day's run: 194 n.m. Total run: 56024 n.m. 12.8 ENE 4-5; moderate sea; Cruising with one shaft has proven itself. We are SSW swell; fine; very making about 7-8 knots and using about11-12 tons of good visibility. oil per day (cf Engine room log). Engines are alternated 1200 20º22'S; 110º41'E. after the evening running clean[*at high speed to remove Day's run: 183 n.m. soot build-up], so that the propulsion engines rest Total run: 56208 n.m. alternately. 1235 Course 200º. 2310 W/T: According to news from Panama radio and Washington,

one must beware of drifting mines on the Brazilian coast. I think they are the round buoys from the submarine net of our Craftsman. They looked deceptively like mines.

13.8 E 2; calm sea; long SW 0226 swell; fine; very good W/T Situation: Japan's attitude unchanged. visibility.


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Heavy fighting in the east. Goal not so much to make advances as to smash the Soviet armies. Still 65-75 divisions to be reckoned with. 40 divisions in disposition not fully battle-worthy. Signs of attrition.

0800 Course 150º. 0900 Course 90º. 1200 23º05'S; 110º14'E. Day's run: 204 n.m. During the evening twilight, there suddenly appears Total run: 56412 n.m. before us out of the light haze in the east, at about 1720 a vessel in sight at 117º true. That is very unfavorable. Since

we are on the light horizon, he must have seen us first. The distance is about 200 hm. If I now turn away, there is a danger of losing him in the gathering darkness. If I keep going,

perhaps I can catch him in the last of the light. [*Büchsenlicht] At least he will not be lost to sight. So I keep going. At 140 hm, the vessel turns to port, towards me, and continues on to 240º. That is noteworthy. Why does he leave the dark horizon and go towards the open sea? Since he is now moving in front of the lighter horizon, I make a slow dogleg turn [*auf der Hundekurve] to follow him.

1819 Vessel sends Q-message but without position; instead it sends bearing signals. 1820 Decamouflage. The opponent is about 100 hm distant. I

should like to open fire now, but unfortunately the gun optics put paid to my plans. The leading gunners can see nothing. Every 5 to 10 minutes, the vessel gives its name ‘GKKI’ and bearings signals. He takes no notice of the request from Singapore to repeat his Q-message, but keeps up the previous procedure. I conclude from this that either he has just seen an enemy warship, or that he is travelling in front of a convoy to act as a decoy. Thus I must take into consideration that an enemy warship could appear here shortly. Therefore I decide to take him at high speed.

1835 To Full Speed = 16 knots, Course 270º, towards the opponent. 1856 The distance has not become visibly less. The opponent, a modern motor vessel of

6000 tons, seems to be quite fast. The night is cloudless and quite bright. In 3 hours the moon will rise. Even with the present light conditions, I should not be able to escape an enemy cruiser. Therefore I give up the chase.

[*This is particularly relevant in regard to claims that Detmers laid a trap to catch Sydney.] 1909 Course 280º to run to the west. 2040 To high speed = 15 knots, course 250º. 2130 To see a vessel at last after 7 weeks, and then to be obliged to let it go, is very bitter. 14.8 E 1-2; sea almost flat; fairly 0110 high, long SW swell; fine; Course 180º, cruising speed with one shaft (8 knots). very good visibility. Roosevelt and Churchill have met in the Atlantic. If the

drawing up of the 8 Points was the only result, that would not be very much. The future will tell.

1200 24º55'S; 110º04'E. Day's run: 227 n.m. Total run: 56639 n.m. 1707 Course 30º. 2125 W/T: MUNSTERLAND not ready until

25.8. KULMERLAND not yet reported. Whole Indian Ocean at disposal of Ship 41.


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15.8 S 3; calm sea; long SW swell; 0912 fine; very good visibility. W/T: over Pacific shipping lines. After I have been cruising here fruitlessly for 14 days, I will now cross the routes

between Lombok and Sunda straits in broad sweeps and then return to the west coast of Sumatra. Then I shall be in the Chagos Archipelago just in time to have the whole of the new moon period in September at my disposal for the north-western area.

1200 23º33'S; 111º25'E. I have considered the question of mining Carnarvon and Day's run: 184 n.m. Geraldton. It would be quite possible at both places. On Total run: 56823 n.m. account of the sparse traffic in them even in peace-time,

however, my mines are still too valuable for that. [*Three months later, the situation had changed.] 16.8 SE 4-5; moderate sea; SW 0320 swell; cloudy; good Stopped on account of engine fault. (see Engine room 0326 War Diary). 0800 Course 340º. 0945 - 0949 Stopped to replace lubricating oil filter. 1200 20º32'S; 112º42'E. Day's run: 209 n.m. Total run: 57032 n.m. 17.8 SE 3-4; slight sea; SW 0880 swell; fine; very Course 30º. 1052 good visibility. Course 40º. 1200 17º45'S; 112º05'E. Day's run: 196 n.m. 2014 Total run: 57228 n.m. W/T: Largest Australian troop contingent since the

beginning of the war has reached Singapore. 18.8 ESE 22; calm sew; SSW 0754 swell; cloudy; very Course 330º. 0835 good visibility. W/T: Directions to Dutch navy on conduct towards 1200 15º04'S; 113º36'E. Dutch aircraft. Day's run: 202 n.m. Total run: 57430 n.m. 1425 Course 90º. 1730 Course 45º. 1915 W/T: Evaluation of the Eight Points, Churchill-Roosevelt.

Churchill has not achieved his aim of inciting the USA to active participation. 19.8 SE by E 4, slight sea; SW swell; cloudy; good visibility. 0600 Course 270º. 1050 With two engines on half speed [*H.F.} = 11 knots for change from Lombok

to Sunda Strait, and to test Engine I, where a cylinder housing was repaired.


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1200 13º34'S; 114º20'E. Day's run: 204 n.m. Total run: 57634 n.m. 1000 Cruising speed with one shaft (8 kn). 20.8 SE 5-6, fairly rough sea; SW swell, very cloudy; rain showers; moderate visibility. 1200 13º27'S; 111º00'E. Day's run: 195 n.m. Total run: 57829 n.m. 1837 and W/T: Ship 45 has sunk 2 vessels (14056 tons) 2230 and captured Kota Nopan (7322 gross). 21.8 ESE 5-6; fairly heavy sea; 0001 SW swell; heavy clouds; W/T about rendezvous points ‘Romulus’ and ‘Remus’. good visibility. 0815 To cruising speed (11 knots) with both engines. 1200 13º50'S; 107º51'E. I want to gain space again. I intend to pass between Day's run: 195 n.m. Christmas Island and Sunda Strait and proceed Total run: 58024 n.m. northward. 1647 W/T: 45 caught the ships at latitude 5º, longitude 90º,

thus in the vicinity of the Galapagos Islands. 1830 W/T: Supply service has only 4000 tons of oil left,

which is urgently needed for the rubber ships. Therefore captured tankers with oil or petrol to be sent to a supply point, or any suitable oil from prizes to be given to supply ships. If it continues like this here, we shall be able to deliver little.

2000 Course 10º, toward Java. 2131 W/T: transmission of position reports from agent in

Valparaiso discontinued, because no reliance on them. 22.8 SE 4; slight sea; S swell; heavy clouds; good visibility. 1200 12º03'S; 107º06'E. Day's run: 245 n.m. Total run: 58269 n.m. 1425 Course 20º. 23.8 ESE 4-5; moderate sea; S 0011 swell; heavy clouds; W/T about Pacific flight paths. 0755 good visibility. Course 245º. 1200 9º03'S; 107º14'E. Day's run: 242 n.m. Total run: 58511 n.m. 17.55 W/T about changes in W/T traffic with prizes.


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24.8 E 4; moderate sea; S swell; overcast; good visibility. 0524 W/T: Ship 36 arrived Gironde on 23.8 0600 Course 300º. 0745 Course 325º. 1200 9º35'S; 103º21'E. Day's run: 268 n.m. Total run: 58779 n.m. 19.00 Overnight cruising speed with one engine in order

to be off Enggano in the evening twilight. 25.8 NE 3. variable; overcast; 0731 morning heavy rain; W/T: Situation report over negotiations with France. At variable visibility. present no tangible result. The long-expected joint

operation of England and Russia in Iran has begun. The Shah is reported to intend to resist. 0800 Course 15º; both engines half speed = 11 knots. 0820 W/T: Division of English armed forces brings for the first time

heavy aircraft sorties on the Singapore-Colombo route. 1200 6º27'S; 101º30'E. Day's run: 231 n.m. 1600 Total run: 59010 n.m. Report from mast lookout: Direction 45º strange formation, not

a cloud, not a smoke plume.’ It is the peak of Boea Boea on the island of Enggano; since 10.12, when we saw the mountains of Stadlandet for the last time, the first land we have seen for 258 days. It comes in sight at about 40 n.m. I have not had the crew told, but in a moment they are on deck staring at this little speck of land, which lies in front of us like a South Sea fairy story in wonderful illumination. I run up to 35 n.m. from it then turn away.

1707 Away to course 260º. At 1740 the island of Enggano is out of sight. For us the festive hour is over, which

can only be understood by somebody who has seen nothing but water for 258 days. It meant a lot to us; that is why it is mentioned here.

26.8 NNE 2-3; calm sea; SSW swell; 0800 overcast; good visibility. Course 0º. 1200 4º26'S; 99º16'E. Day's run: 245 n.m. Total run: 59255 n.m. 1900 Course 300º, cruising speed with one shaft (8 knots). 27.8 NNW 3; slight sea; SW 0600 swell; rain showers; Both engines half speed = 11 knots. fair to good visibility. 0800 Course 350º, toward Siberoet. 1200 1º58'S; 97º49'E. Day's run: 204 n.m. Total run: 59459 n.m. 1900 Course 300º.


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28.8 NW by N to WSW 6-7; later 0715 3 with corresponding W/T: Münsterland put to sea 25.8, will be at ‘Romulus’ sea; SW swell; at times about 20.9; Kulmerland will be ready end of August. bad visibility. 0913 Course 320º. 1200 0º23'N; 95º33'E. According to press reports, resistance ceased in Iran. Day's run: 218 n.m. With that the decision for me is clear; in the next new Total run: 59677 n.m. moon period, I shall not go to the Bay of Bengal, but

proceed with the thrust between Seychelles and Maldives. 2010 W/T: Knight’s Cross for commandant of 36. Unfortunately the

final tonnage of 36 was not reported. That has always been very welcome previously. The news service also did not report a clear figure.

29.8 W 3-4; slight sea; weak SW swell; heavy clouds; good visibility. 1200 3º25'N; 93º14'E. Day's run: 229 n.m. Total run: 59906 n.m. 1300 Clocks set back one hour. Ship’s time is now zone time 90ºE. 1500 Course 270º. After the thrust into the south-east of my

operational area has brought nothing, I am now heading for the Chagos Archipelago. 30.8 WSW 5-6; very squally (8); 0706 fairly heavy sea; WSW swell; W/T: ‘BARHAM’ coming from the Mediterranean. overcast; rain showers; enters the Indian Ocean for the first time. moderate visibility. 1200 3º49'N; 89º49'E. Day's run: 221 n.m. Total run: 60127 n.m. 31.8 Stiff SW monsoon 6-7; heavy sea and swell; overcast; violent rain squalls; variable visibility. 1200 3º38'N; 86º13'E. Day's run: 215 n.m. Total run: 60342 n.m. 1243 Course 275º. 1716 W/T that U-boats temporarily will be operating

between 30º and 40º West. 1.9 SW monsoon 6-7, evening dropping and clearing up; heavy sea; long SW swell; at times heavy rain squalls; variable, at night very good visibility.


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1145 Suddenly out of the haze a vessel in sight at 264º true. 1150 Course 265º, in order to make out type. Vessel drifts towards left. 1155 To high speed [*Grosse Fahrt]. Distance about 200 hm. 1200 3º50'N; 82º42'E. Day's run: 219 n.m. Modern vessel, ‘WAIRANGI’ type(10800 gross); wearing Total run: 60561 n.m. flag at gaff. That could mean an auxiliary cruiser. I turn to

300º and full speed, in order to keep my good gunnery position, in case it is an auxiliary cruiser. Opponent keeps to its course (by bearings, 130º, 13 knots).

1211 Passing distance 152 hm. Unfortunately, that is too far for my guns. If I should now force a fight by turning toward him, it would take place at the border of my range. Success would be very uncertain. On the other hand, the opponent would try to call up the air force from Ceylon, from which we are only 150 n.m. distant. Therefore I decide to follow him and to take him at night or on the next day. It would be a dereliction of duty for an auxiliary cruiser not even to ask our name, even with our innocent appearance and the nearness of Colombo. I assume that he is a transport in the service of the British Admiralty.

To speed 13.5 knots and course 270º, in order to let the opponent pass out of sight. 1247 After passing through a heavy rain squall, turned to 140º. 1504 Opponent comes in sight again on the bow (10º to port). I keep station so that the

mastheads and the upper edge of the smoke stack can be seen from the raised mast lookout. I dare not go closer, for the ‘WAIRANGI’ class can make 17 knots and with my overgrown bottom I can now make only 16 knots.

1523 Opponent out of sight in a rain squall. To 14 knots. 1532 Opponent in sight again.' 1555 Opponent out of sight in a rain squall again. After passing through, the vessel does not

come into sight again. If he has seen us, he has probably escaped at top speed in the squall; if so then I have lost him completely. However, if he has only used the squall to carry out orders and shift his course sideways for the night, there is little use looking for him during the night. I decide to continue during the night at 14 knots on his course, in order to be in front of him in the morning. Then I shall look for him to port, in the direction of the squall. Nothing more was seen when darkness set in.

2.9 Variable wind from SSW to ESE 0600 3-4; slight sea; S swell; Course 90º in order to search for vessel. Unfortunately, cloudy; very good visibility. the aircraft cannot start. Without a catapult, it is a

seldom-usable occasional weapon. A helicopter or a very slow machine would be better for us than the Arado, excellent though it is in itself.

0900 Course 270º. 1000 Course 300º, 10.5 knots. 1115 Course 290º. 1200 1º54'N; 96º39'E. Day's run: 349 n.m. Total run: 60910 n.m. 1530 Course 270º. The search was unsuccessful.


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3.9 S to NW 2, variable; calm 1148 sea; S swell; fine; W/T over preparation of new auxiliary cruiser. very good visibility. According to this, we should be relieved by Ship 10 1200 1º54'N; 86º39'E. about the end of December. We should request vital Day's run: 239 n.m. special equipment which is available only at home. Total run: 61149 n.m. Report on situation, sea endurance, successes and

desired operational area to be conveyed via Kulmerland. Re relief: I consider the move of leaving me here until now to be correct, despite the meagre successes to date. I am of the opinion that traffic in the Indian Ocean is running north of the line Sabang-Ten Degree Channel-Ceylon and through the Mozambique Channel, and an auxiliary cruiser can attack there only by risking its existence, i.e. outside the conditions laid down in the operational order, as the experience of Ship 33 shows. The task of the auxiliary cruiser in the Indian Ocean at present is police work, in that by his presence he prevents the use of shorter routes. The task is personally thankless, because the stopping of ships can be expected only in short sorties (New moon periods) against the southern limit of the traffic, or against an occasional fast lone ship. If however it should be required to keep the auxiliary cruiser safe here, then months could pass before the opponent notices it, because weeks now pass between the individual incidents through which the auxiliary cruiser makes itself noticed. [*In intending to lay mines off Carnarvon in November, it is probable that Detmers was not very optimistic about success, but intended to make his presence known before leaving the area, and thus to cause unrest and waste of resources looking for him.] Re supplies from home: The bearing damage has been reported, and the condenser coils ordered. I must assume that the supplies with ‘KULMERLAND’ do not contain all the provisions for a full six months. In many areas we shall have to manage as best we can. We shall however have an overview of what we urgently need only after taking on supplies from ‘KULMERLAND’. Therefore I want to carry this out as soon as possible (first rendezvous) and give ‘KULMERLAND’ our requests. Apart from that, I count on the firms Siemens and Krupp Germania having been consulted on the question of supplies for the new engine system. The year's necessities decided in consultation with them has to date been shown to have been correct.

2000 Course 235º. 4.9 SSW 2-3; calm sea; S swell; light clouds; very good visibility. 1200 0º33'N; 79º09'E. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 61387 n.m. 2005 Course 160º. 5.9 SE by S 3; calm sea; SSE swell; heavy clouds; rain showers; moderate to good visibility. 1200 2º41'S; 78º53'E. Day's run: 239 n.m. 1300 Total run: 61626 n.m. Clocks put back one hour to zone time 75º East. 1735 W/T. Situation report, no significant change in the situation through occupation of Iran.


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6.9 SE Trade 4-5; moderate sea; 0526 SSE swell; overcast; W/T: ‘KULMERLAND’ route; she will be at ‘Marius’

from 12.10, wait there 10 days, then go to ‘Sulla’. Will begin return trip if Ship 41 has not arrived by 1 December. [*If it was as uncertain as this to set up a meeting between two German ships, what chance would there have been of arranging a rendezvous on a definite date between a German ship and a Japanese submarine?] Will be in position daily from 16.60 MOZ [*Mittlere Ortszeit = Mean local time] As reserve is provided with ‘Balbo’ and ‘Nero’.

0925 Course 140º. 1200 6º26'S; 80º10'E. Day's run: 240 n.m. Total run: 61866 n.m. 1315 W/T: Situation of rendezvous points Marius and Sulla. 1900 Starboard engine stopped, cruising with one shaft. Beginning of engine

alterations. I want to use the full moon days to replace the copper rails in the braking resistors [?] [*Bremswiderständen] with iron rails, as they are needed for the planned adaptation of Engine I as ship's network through lengthening the high tension cables.

7.9 SE Trade 6; heavy sea and 1120 SE swell; cloudy; rain W/T over distribution of English fleet shows that showers; moderate after the settlement of the Iran affair there are for visibility. the Indian Ocean alone 1 battle ship, 1 aircraft carrier 1200 8º45'S; 81º54'E. and 16 cruisers, which are all available for the area Day's run: 173 n.m. Mozambique Channel, Seychelles, Ceylon. Total run: 62039 n.m. 1858 to Braking trial with the iron rail built in on the starboard 2000 side. Braked from 7.8 and 15 knots. Result: flawless. 2012 Course 140º, cruising speed on one engine. 8.9 SE Trade 3-4; slight sea; light SE swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 1200 12º31'S; 83º01'E. No incidents. Day's run: 134 n.m. Total run: 62173 n.m. 9.9 SE 3-4; slight sea; SE swell; cloudy; isolated rain; moderate visibility. 1200 12º29'S; 84º40'E. Day's run: 153 n.m. Total run: 62326 n.m. Course 280º.


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10.9 SE 5-6; fairly heavy sea; 0800 SE swell; cloudy; good Braking trials for H.F and A.F. to visibility. Iron rails are now built in on both sides. 0843 Result flawless. Work completed.

Both engines to half speed = 11 knots. I intend to press forward between Chagos and de Malha Bank to the line between the Seychelles and Eight Degree Channel.

[*H.F. = Halbe Fahrt = half speed. A.F. = Alle Fahrt = full speed.] 1200 13º04'S; 83º16'E. Day's run: 179 n.m. Total run: 62505 n.m. 1700 Course 290º. 1823 W/T over progress on eastern front. We are pleased to learn

that our paint colour scheme is so exactly right according to our news. 11.9 SE 5-6; fairly heavy sea; strong S swell; cloudy; 1108 good visibility. Course 280º. 1200 11º52'S; 79º06'E. Day's run: 255 n.m. Total run: 62760 n.m. 1800 Course 0º. 12.9 SE 4; moderate sea; 0800 S swell; cloudy; Course 270º, in order to cut the Mauritius-Sabang good visibility. route diagonally. 1200 9º23'S; 77º01'E. Day's run: 250 n.m. 1218 Total run: 63101 n.m. W/T: Wireless abbreviations of camouflage ships.

Does the Operations know anything about ‘STRAAT MALAKKA’ and her sister ship? Where are they travelling now? [*Straat Soenda]

13.9 SE by S 3-4; slight sea; SE swell; heavy clouds; good visibility. 1200 9º22'S; 78º50'E. No incidents. Day's run: 248 n.m. Total run: 63258 n.m. 14.9 SE by E 4; moderate sea; S swell; cloudy; very good visibility. 1200 9º23'S; 68º32'E. Course 330º. 1300 Day's run: 256 n.m. Clocks put back one hour to zone time 60º East. Total run: 63514 n.m.


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15.9 SSE-E 2-4; calm sea; SE swell; 0952 overcast; isolated rain; W/T: Report of Frankfurt's trip. Very interesting, moderate visibility. particularly for our prize officers. 1200 5º50'S; 66º05'E. No incidents. Day's run: 259 n.m. Total run: 63773 n.m. 16.9 S 3; slight sea; S and 0505 SE swell; cloudy; good W/T: Evaluation of Roosevelt's speech. Must take visibility. into account possible attacks by American warships.

Operations is preparing new instructions. In this area I should like to have aircraft reconnaissance. Unfortunately the short cross swell makes the start impossible. As good as the Arado is in itself, without a catapult it remains a shell. Landing and taking aboard would certainly be possible today.

1135 W/T: Supply service wireless transmission no longer possible. On no account send prisoners to Japan. If prisoners must be released, give them as far as possible to neutrals. Stopping even American ships for this purpose is permitted. [*Messages sent by raiders in Pacific and Indian oceans had been repeated to Germany through Japan, which now withdrew this facility.]

1200 2º09'S; 62º06'E. Day's run: 243 n.m. Total run: 64016 n.m. 1500 W/T: New reference points for prize ships and ships returning home. 17.9 S 2; evening SW monsoon 2-3; 0345 calm sea; SE swell; cloudy; W/T: that according to Japanese report transports very good visibility. from the East via South Africa are gathered into

convoys in Trincomali or Colombo. From Ceylon, individual ships to north and east with security patrols.

1200 0º46'N; 63º23'E. Day's run: 242 n.m. Total run: 64258 n.m. 1630 Course 90º to ventilate ship. It has become very humid again. 1730 Course 330º. 18.9 SW monsoon 1-2; calm sea; 0500 SE swell; fine; very good Course 90º. We have reached the Eight Degree Channel visibility. -Seychelles route and are now at the latitude where Ship 33 1200 2º56'S; 62º38'E. last operated, only a little further east. Our thoughts today Day's run: 249 n.m. are very much with the ship with whom we had such a Total run: 64507 n.m. good understanding. 1810 Course 240º. During the night, steered courses 240º and

210º in order to avoid cloud banks.


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19.9 SW-SE 0-1; SE swell; cloudy; 0500 good visibility. Course 140º. 0824 Stopped on course 160º. 0829 Aircraft to water. Start for reconnaissance flight to the limit of visibility. 0840 Course 140º, 11 knots. 1100 Aircraft landed, ship stopped. 1102 Aircraft aboard. Aircraft flew at a distance of 35 n.m. from the ship

and has seen nothing. Thus an area with a diameter of 80-90 n.m. was surveyed. 1200 0º55'N; 63º04'E. Day's run: 248 n.m. Total run: 64755 n.m. 1755 Course 230º toward the light evening sky. 1829 Course 140º.


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20.9 SE-NNW 0-2; calm sea; SE 0000 swell; cloudy; good Course 35º. 0213 visibility. W/T: Opponent can take bearing on ultra-shortwave [*UKW] from

land, therefore on UKW as a matter of principle wireless silence. 0900 Aircraft set out for reconnaissance as on previous day. W/T in aircraft is out

of order, UK taken out. For this form of reconnaissance I can do without both. 0915 Course 35º, 11 knots. 1125 Stopped to retrieve aircraft. 1133 Course 35º, 11 knots. Aircraft reconnaissance again without result. 1200 0º59'N; 65º12'E. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 64933 n.m. 1805 Course 300º towards light evening sky. 1850 Course 35º. 21.9 NNW 3; slight sea; S swell; 0500 heavy clouds; isolated Course 160º. I intend now to cross in front of the Kardiva rain, otherwise good and One and a Half Degree Channel visibility. 1200 2º14'N; 66º58'E. Day's run: 240 n.m. Not possible to start aircraft. Total run: 65482 n.m. 1226 Course 215º. 2300 Course 320º. 23.9 NW 2-3; slight sea; SSE 0310 swell; overcast; good W/T: Evaluation of War Dairy of 16. Results of U-boats very

Average visibility. useful for us as a comparison. Opinion of Operations is that operational prospects in the South Atlantic are at present better than

in the Indian Ocean corresponds with our experiences. Operations knows the difficulties which have arisen through the measures taken by the enemy. Apart from improvements mentioned, I consider equipping with a radar set important.

1200 1º34'S; 65º40'E. Day's run: 242 n.m. Total run: 65724 n.m. 2010 W/T: Auxiliary cruiser medal awarded for the first time to

Ship 36. Great joy for us! 2228 Light in sight ahead to port, at 293º true. 2239 Light is very bright and seems almost white with a very pale green shimmer. 2243 Course 320º, high speed [*G.F.] The light is now definitely green. Only when

the ship's hull can be seen as a shadow does the ship's light also appear dimly. The vessel is heading east.

2307 Course 50º, half speed [*H.F.] Distance 37 hm. Decamouflage. Signal to vessel with Varta lamp: ‘What ship?’ Answer: ‘Greek ship Stamatios G. Embiricos.’


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With Varta lamp: ‘Stop.’ Thereupon illuminated with searchlight. Vessel stops only on third command ‘Stop or fire.’ He does not wireless and receives the signal: ‘I send a boat.’

[*Exchange of signals in English.] Now he reports that he is on the way from Mombasa to Colombo.

2333 Supply boat set out. Prize and examination party away. It is the Greek vessel Stamatios G. Embiricos from Andros, 3941 gross tonnage, in ballast from Mombasa to Colombo, for orders. Unfortunately, this new ship, built in 1936, was converted to coal firing 4 years ago and has coal on board for only 23 days (500 tons). Therefore it is not usable as a mine-layer or prison ship. It will be sunk.

24.9 NW 1-2; weak SE and SW 0053 swell; cloudy; good 1 explosion; shortly afterwards the2nd, 3rd and 4th. visibility. One lifeboat with the captain and 5 men alongside; the 0100 second boat with 23 men has disappeared in the darkness. 0109 Supply boat taken aboard. 0110 0º01'S; 64º30'E. Vessel sunk. to 0200 Searching in vain for second lifeboat. 0205 Course 180º, 14 knots. 0300 Course 90º. 0500 Cruising speed 11 knots. 0800 Course 280º towards the location of sinking. I should like

to catch the second cutter: 1200 0º20'S; 65º30'E. 1) I should like to operate here for a few more days, and Day's run: 262 n.m. don't want it to cause me trouble with other ships. Total run: 65985 n.m. 2) The opponent can make good use of the specialists in it (First Officer, Wireless operator, Chief engineer). 3) I will not give the First Officer the satisfaction of getting away from me. 1211 Aircraft to water. Task: reconnaissance to limit of visibility.

Secondary task: If cutter is sighted, fire white signal light. 1221 Course 280º, 11 knots. 1252 Aircraft has found cutter at 255º true. (Its first success) 1258 Turned towards. 1305 Cutter in sight from crosstrees. 1408 Stopped. Cutter taken alongside. 24 men taken aboard.

Again there is a stowaway among them. Thus the whole crew is aboard, consisting of: 16 Greeks, 3 Egyptians, 2 Norwegians, 2 Swedes, 1 Latvian, 1 Yugoslav, 2 Filipinos, 1 Portuguese, 1 Brazilian and 1 Madagascan.

[* Stowaway = ‘blinder Passagier’. This has been translated erroneously as a ‘blind passenger’.] 1428 Course 280º, 11 knots. 1456 Stopped to take aboard aircraft, which has sighted nothing. 1505 Course 320º, 11 knots. Stamatios G. E.: From the interrogation of the captain and other members of the crew, some

of whom speak good German, it is shown that the ship left New York on 29.6 with a cargo of automobiles. A large part of the Greek crew was discharged there. Therefore the ship left 8 days late. On 26.8 it was in Mombasa, unloaded there and waited for a cargo. Put to sea 16.9 empty, to Colombo for orders. Instructions to go directly via One and a Half Degree Channel. The captain asked about German raiders. Answer: there were none in this area. Captain always travelled with lights set. Often called to account for this by English warships. Took that into the bargain, was afraid that by travelling blacked out he would be fired on without warning. Ship


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was not armed. Until our examination party came aboard, he took us for English, therefore did not wireless. Code and cypher material has fallen into our hands complete. Unfortunately it was not equipped with the new procedures.

25.9 W 0-1; calm sea; SSE swell; 0400 overcast, cloudy; good Course 90º. 0944 visibility. Aircraft set out for reconnaissance to limit of visibility. 0952 Course 90º; 11 knots. 1200 1º03'S; 65º31'E. Day's run: 244 n.m. Total run: 66230 n.m. 1230 Stopped to take aircraft aboard. Reconnaissance without result. That was the 4th use of the plane in this area, and the 7th

during the whole trip. With a catapult it could have been at least 40, for the difficulty remains the start. Here all 4 starts could take place with the swell, the movement of the sea was slight. Sea state 3 and the swell which is always present in the ocean, and which seldom runs exactly with or against the wind, cause such heavy demands before the Arado reaches its take-off speed that the start is practically impossible, although the machine in itself is sturdily built. In the same or even worse weather, the landing help given by the ship is sufficient for the short landing distance, as long as the swell is not too short, when as it is known it runs under the ship and cannot be hindered by it. The help at the start on the other hand is as good as useless, for the so-called ‘duckpond’ is too small. Setting out and taking on the aircraft is not very pleasant, as the place for transferring it is too far aft, but we have learnt now how to do it. We take it on board at 2-3 knots by the ship and with aircraft motor running until the machine is clear of the water. The stronger the wind, the lower the desirable speed by the ship. Doubtless the small, convenient Arado is suitable for auxiliary cruisers, but it needs a catapult. If this cannot be supplied to the auxiliary cruiser, then a sturdy, slow aircraft with the lowest possible start and landing speeds would be more practicable. The advantages of the aircraft for the auxiliary cruiser, in my opinion, are in the extended field of vision, less in the direct employment in action. It is a good feeling for the commandant to know that a vessel is not slipping past him just below the horizon. In addition, an improved capability for aircraft reconnaissance would make it easier to push forward into areas which are more heavily patrolled.

1247 Course 90º, 11 knots. 1422 A wireless message to Norwegian Thelma (motor tanker, 8297 1 enclosure. gross) picked up. At 12.37 a W/T using the new procedure was

transmitted by the same sender to the same ship, so that it is assumed that both W/T have the same content. Copies are enclosed.

1730 Course 270º towards the light evening sky. 1800 Norwegian Thelma has the above-mentioned W/T repeated

and bearings are taken on her at 43º true, thus near Minikoi. 1830 Course 90º. 1950 Thelma transmits to Colombo that she intends to go directly to

Cape Town. Bearing again 43º true. I should like to operate against this tanker, but I must give it up for the following reasons: 1) I can reach her on the evening of 27th at the earliest, i.e. 8 days after new moon. Then the nights are already as bright as day.


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2) The weather is getting worse; it does not look as though use of the aircraft will be possible in the next few days.

If she passes south of the Seychelles or keeps well clear of them to the north, then by the 27th she will already be hundreds of miles north or south of the direct route. In these circumstances, I think it is wrong to take upon myself the risk of another advance towards the Eight Degree Channel to Seychelles route. Ship 33 was caught in the same area at the same phase of moon. In addition it is known that troop transports are running at present, going either to Iran or the Orient. I decide therefore not yet to run south as I had intended, but to stay in this area until the morning of the 29th, in order to catch Thelma if she goes south of the Seychelles directly towards Madagaskar. [* Change of typewriter here.]

26.9 SW-NW 2-3; calm sea; SE 0319 and S swell; cloudy; rain Fire alarm on account of strong burning smell amidships. squalls, otherwise good Seat of fire is hard to find. Finally the motor in the pharmacy visibility. refrigerator is found to be the culprit. It is completely fused. 0345 Fire alarm over. 0600 Course 240º. 1200 0º36'N; 67º26'E. Not possible to start aircraft. Day's run: 238 n.m. Total run: 66468 N.M. 1630 W/T: [British] Admiralty instructions for traffic in the central Atlantic. 2319 W/T: change of wave length for Norddeich. [*German naval wireless station.] 27.9 NW-SSW 1-3; calm sea; SE 0000 and SW swell; overcast; Course 110º. occasional rain; moderate visibility. 1200 1º03'S; 67º51'E. Day's run: 251 n.m. 1730 Total run: 66719 n.m. Course 240º. 28.9 SSE 2-3; calm sea; short 0600 SSE swell; cloudy; rain Course 280º. showers; moderate visibility. 1200 2º10'S; 66º15'E. Day's run: 229 n.m. My weather forecast with regard to the prospects of Total run: 66948 n.m. starting the aircraft has unfortunately been confirmed. 1820 W/T that 45 will be off Cape Horn on 11.10. 29.9 SSE 2-3; calm sea; SSE 0400 swell; overcast; rain Course 140º. I give up waiting for Thelma. I choose my showers; moderate route so that I shall cut the positions reported by the agent visibility. on 25 and 28.7. It is possible that traffic is running there.


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1200 2º38'S; 64º32'E. Day's run: 234 n.m. Total run: 67182 n.m. 30.9 SSE 5; moderate sea; SE 0300 swell; overcast; rain Course 180º. 0937 showers; moderate W/T: 1) Spreewald putting to sea about 20.10, equipped visibility. for 300 prisoners, goes to ‘Balbo’ to meet Kulmerland. 1200 5º49'S; 66º06'E. 2) Report if there are no prisoners to transfer to Kulmerland. Day's run: 226 n.m. Total run: 67408 n.m. 3) Hand over escort party and War Diary. Report to Attaché in Tokyo on occurrences, requirements, copy of War Diary. [*German naval attaché Rear Admiral Paul Wenneker. The copy given to Kulmerland to be sent home by Spreewald was lost when that ship was sunk. The copy sent to Wenneker was re-copied and sent to Germany with a blockade runner.] 1.10 SE 4-5; moderate sea; SE swell; cloudy; isolated rain; 0840 moderate visibility. Course 145º. 1200 9º14'S; 66º40'E. Day's run: 215 n.m. Total tun: 67623 n.m. 1731 Stopped because of engine trouble. (Governor failure, see Engine room War Diary). Ship laid across wind on account of heavy spark emissions. 1738 Engine in order again; to 11 knots. 1745 Course 150º. 2.10 ESE 5; moderate sea; ESE 0800 swell; cloudy; moderate Course 100º. visibility. 1200 12º03'S; 68º19'E. Day's run: 211 n.m. Total run: 67834 n.m. 2317 Sent short signal (Consent of Cox Will, A.B. Weissflog

to marriage by proxy.) Norddeich acknowledges. 3.10 SE 4; moderate sea; SE 0633 swell; cloudy; good Confirmation that signal of 2.10 received. visibility. 0800 Course 110º. 1200 12º39'S; 71º37'E. Day's run: 200 n.m. Total run: 68034 n.m. 1630 High speed (G.F.) = 12 knots, on account of loss of time

through weather conditions.


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2000 Führer's speech at opening of WHW [*Winter-Hilfs-Werk = Winter relief work]. Very good reception. Apparently the jamming station was not paying attention.

4.10 SE 5-6; fairly heavy sea; SE swell; cloudy; good visibility. 1200 14º06'S; 76º04'E. Day's run: 274 n.m. Total run: 68308 n.m. 1700 Half speed [*H.F.] = 11 knots. 5.10 ESE 6; heavy sea; cloudy; 0000 showers; SE swell; Course 135º. 0640 moderate visibility. W/T. Situation report. Operations on the eastern front continue to proceed favorably. Alteration in USA neutrality regulations expected. 1200 15º59'S; 79º03'E. Day's run: 214 n.m. Total run: 68522 n.m. 6.10 E by S 4-5; moderate sea; moderate SE swell; overcast; showers; moderate visibility. 1200 18º29'S; 81º31'E. No incidents. Day's run: 206 n.m. Total run: 68728 n.m. 7.10 E-SE by E 3-4; moderate sea; weak ESE swell; overcast; moderate to good visibility. 1200 21º14'S; 84º10'E. No incidents. Day's run: 225 n.m. Clocks put forward one hour to zone 90º East time. Total run: 68953 n.m. 8.10 SE 3-4; slight sea; SE swell, dropping; cloudy; good visibility. 1200 23º48'S; 86º58'E. No incidents. Day's run: 219 n.m. Total run: 69172 n.m. 9.10 SE 3; slight sea; SSW 0800 swell; cloudy; good Course 0º. I am looking for an area of calm sea in order visibility. to recondition the waterline thoroughly before taking on 1200 25º19'S; 89º26'E. oil. Since I have already struck the heavy swell of the


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Day's run: 225 n.m. westerlies, I shall go north again, where the weather was Total run: 69397 n.m. better. At the same time I shall determine in what direction I

need to go with Kulmerland, if necessary, in order to carry out the transfer of supplies. I do not lose any time, even if Kulmerland arrives punctually on 12.10. If she comes later, I shall have used the time well.

1930 Colombo asks Stamatios to report her position. She was supposed to be in Colombo on 29.9. She is being called for the first time after 10 days.

10.10 E 3-4; slight sea; long SW swell; cloudy; good Inspection of the first training course visibility. for non-commissioned officers. Result is quite good. Further

training courses are planned. 1200 21º22'S; 89º10'E. Day's run: 237 n.m. Total run: 69634 n.m. 1805 Colombo calls Stamatios again. 2230 Course 180º, because here there is already a SE swell again. I shall

go back three hours, then I shall have found the most favorable place for the present. 11.10 ESE 3-4; sea 3-4; SE swell; 0200 weak SSW swell; cloudy; Stopped; ship careened to starboard. Waterline good visibility. scraped and painted on port side. Bearing work on Engine IV. 1200 19º43'S; 88º54'E. Day's run: 159 n.m. Total run: 69793 n.m. 2000 Ship turned on opposing course. 12.10 ESE 3-4; moderate sea; Waterline on starboard side scraped. Painting long SSW swell, short SE pointless on account of the confused swell. swell; cloudy; good visibility. 1200 19º34'S; 88º37'E. Day's run: 22 n.m. Total run: 69815 n.m. 1130 [?] Course 145º, 11 knots, to rendezvous. 13.10 ESE 4; moderate sea; SW and SE swell; overcast; moderate visibility. 1200 22º39'S; 90º56'E. Day's run: 226 n.m. Total run: 70041 n.m. 1700 Course 150º. 14.10 SE 3; slight sea; long flat


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SW swell; cloudy; good visibility. 1200 25º49'S; 93º05'E. Day's run: 224 n.m. Total run: 70265 n.m. 1812 W/T: Situation report over Spain and Sweden. 15.10 SW 3; slight sea; SW swell; 0712 overcast; showers; W/T: 1) Report arrival of Kulmerland at ‘Balbo’. moderate visibility. 2) Spreewald out on 22.10 at earliest; 28 days to Balbo. 1200 29º03'S; 95º23'E 3) Date out to ‘Ku’ direct. Day's run: 229 n.m. 4) ‘Ku’ is to bring along dates on which Spreewald will be at Total run: 70494 n.m. certain points. Kulmerland needs about 21 days from here.

The duration of the transfer of supplies cannot be estimated. 16.10 W 3; slight sea; SSW swell; 0230 overcast; showers; moderate Course 180º. 0518 to bad visibility. W/T over new regulations for short wave service. 1002 Smoke plume at 165º true. Vessel is Kulmerland. 1030 Exchange of signals. Course 155º. 1041 Stopped. Motor boat out. 1109 Captain Pschunder on board for discussion. Kulmerland was seen on

15.10 by a ship that looked like a merchant ship, had a stern gun, set a gaff flag, approached to 5 n.m. but did nothing and went off on 150º true.

1200 32º20'S; 97º05'E. Enemy auxiliary cruiser is possible. Day's run: 221 n.m. Since he did not do anything, I think it was a merchant ship Total run: 70715 n.m. travelling the route reported by the agent, and travelling a day

ahead of me. For safety I shall go overnight about 300 n.m. northwards. During the supply operation, I shall stay between the agent's route and the line Fremantle to Colombo. Further notification of the agent's locations seems to me desirable on account of this occurrence.

The prisoner (able seaman) Carl Gunderson, 52 years old, from Fremantle (Mareeba crew) died as a result of a circulatory disturbance.

Captain Pschunder leaves ship; 1 signalman sent to ‘Ku’. 1222 Course 0º, 12 knots. In formation with ‘Ku’. 1559 31º40'S; 97º10'E. Deceased prisoner buried. Participants: Commandant; 6 officers; 8 men

with rifles; one division; Mareeba crew. Captain of the Mareeba was impressed with the solemn ceremony and thanked us on behalf of the crew.

17.10 NW 3; calm sea; long flat SW 0800 swell; overcast; showers; Course 320º. 1125 good visibility. Stopped. The remaining starboard waterline painted. 1200 27º41'S; 96º54'E. Day's run: 299 n.m. Total run: 71014 n.m. 1300 First Officer to Kulmerland to discuss transfer of supplies. Drifted through the night.


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18.10 SW-SE 1-3; calm sea; long 0526 SW swell; heavy clouds; W/T over submarines in south region. 0715 moderate visibility. Both motor boats and 2 rubber boats set out. 0737 Tow with Kulmerland established. 0818 [?] 0845 Oil hose made fast to ‘Ku’. 0858 Beginning of oil transfer, at the same time taking

on provisions and equipment. Both ships are let drift, in order not to put unnecessary demands on the last towing and oiling gear. By occasional use of the engine, the hose is kept clear quite well. Procedure proves itself well.

1200 27º27'S; 97º23'E. Day's run: 30 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 71044 n.m. 1730 Boats taken aboard. Oiling continued overnight. At our end,

we are ready to slip; ‘Ku’ is ready to haul in gear. In case of alarm, she hauls in gear and positions herself in the enemy lee. Rendezvous is agreed upon.

19.10 SE 2; calm sea; SW swell; 0554 overcast; isolated showers; Boats set out. 0600 moderate visibility. Provisioning continued. Kulmerland's large lifeboat is almost a small lighter. It is very useful. 0648 W/T over dispositions of enemy forces. No major changes in our area. 1200 27º02'S; 97º44'S. Day's run: 31 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 71075 n.m. 1730 Boats taken aboard. Oiling continued. 2035 Oil hose torn. Through the inattention of the supervising

officer on the poop deck, it was caught in the port propeller and was torn. 20.10 E 1-2; calm sea; SSW swell; 0530 overcast; showers; moderate Boats set out. 0550 visibility. End of hose recovered. 0643 Hose connection re-established. 0656 Oiling resumed. 1200 26º59'S; 97º51'E. Day's run: 14 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 71089 n.m. 1417 to Diving work on port propeller. 1532 Ends of hose cut away. Propeller itself is undamaged. In front of the

shaft housing is an old piece of steel hawser which cannot be removed. That is our culprit from the South Atlantic. (cf War Diary, page 96, under engine fault of 17.4) How it got there in mid Atlantic will no doubt remain a mystery forever. The protective sheath is missing.

1740 Boats taken aboard. 1757 Supply of gas oil completed. 1920 Supply of diesel oil commenced. 2400 Supply of diesel oil completed. Taken on: 2765 tons gas oil


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565 tons diesel oil = 3328 tons fuel oil Plus remaining supply: 1130 tons 4450 tons The fuel will be sufficient for 223 days, i.e. until 1 June 1942, at 20 tons daily usage.

The necessary reserve can be achieved through economies. Kulmerland still has 1100 tons of fuel (gas and diesel oil in usable proportions) on board.

She needs: Marius - Balbo = 5564 n.m. at 11 knots 21 days Balbo - Kobe = 6093 n.m. at 11 knots 23 days. 11657 n.m. 44 days. Daily usage 20 tons = 880 tons plus 200 tons reserve = 1080 tons. 21.10 ENE 2-3; calm sea; SW swell; 0550 overcast; isolated rain; Boats set out. 0732 moderate visibility. W/T: Ship 16 will be off Cape Horn 31.10. Due home mid December. 0900 Oil hose brought aboard. 1200 26º52'S; 98º10'E. Day's run: 24 n.m. Total run: 71113 n.m. 1230 Tow cast off. ‘Ku’ dismissed until 07.00 on 22.10

(27ºS; 95ºE) I shall use the pause in the provisioning to get rid of my empty containers, which ‘Ku’ cannot use. and at the same time to change position.

1300 Boats taken aboard. 1315 Course 90º, 13 knots. 1500 Stopped. Empty containers thrown overboard. 1558 Course 265º, 9 knots. 1624 Course 267º, 13 knots to rendezvous. 22.10 SSE-E 1-3; calm sea; high 0518 SW swell; cloudy; very Kulmerland in sight ahead. 0642 good visibility. Exchange of recognition signals. With the state of the swell, provisioning is impossible. Intend to go north. 0755 Course 0º, 10 knots in company with ‘Ku’. 1200 26º19'S; 94º53'E. Stopped. Butcher aboard to slaughter the oxen and work parties Day's run: 213 n.m. to pour out lubricating oil. Since transporting oil barrels would Total run: 71326 n.m. take too much time, the barrels will be poured into an empty

bunker on ‘Ku’. Then it will be sent over through the hose. Through the prepared drainage channel a performance of 30 barrels an hour is achieved.

1800 Boats taken aboard. During the night, the ships drift. 23.10 E 2; calm sea; moderate 0710 SW and E swell; cloudy; Boats to water. No towing connection established, good visibility. as oiling is not worth while yet and the ships are able to lie

better to the sea independently. Continuation of provisioning. 1200 26º11'S; 95º06'E.


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Day's run: 16 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 71342 n.m. 1648 Boats taken aboard. Drifting during the night. 24.10 ESE 2-3; slight sea; SW 0555 and E swell; heavy clouds; Boats set out. Work party to ‘Ku’. very good visibility. 0621 Towing connection established. 0708 Oil hose connected. 0745 Commence taking on lubricating oil. Oil can be pumped easily. On account

of the narrow diameter of the filling pipes, only 5-6 tons an hour achieved. 1103 Oil hose torn. The reinforced hoses have apparently

rusted under the wire wrapping. [*Drahtentwicklung?]. [*A hand-written note in the margin points out a typist's error in War Diary here. It says "bewährten" = proven; it should be "bewehrten" = reinforced. It is not known if this error was made aboard Kormoran or when the War Diary was copied in Tokyo.] [*Translator suspects that ‘Drahtentwicklung’ should be ‘Drahteinwicklung’ = wire wrapping.] 1140 Oiling resumed. 1200 26º00'S; 95º20'E. Day's run: 21 n.m. Leeway. Total run: 71363 n.m. 1600 Boats taken aboard. Provisioning completed except for

lubricating oil, which will take until about the afternoon of 25.10 The provisioning was excellent. We have received everything we needed. Things were thought of for which we had not dared to hope. The cooperation with Kulmerland was very good. Captain Pschunder devoted himself entirely to his task, so that there was no friction at all. I respectfully suggest that a suitable recognition will be awarded to him and his crew.

My sea endurance until 1 June 1942 seems to be ensured by this provisioning. I intend to proceed immediately with carrying out alterations to adapt Engine I as

reserve ship's network engine. Thanks to the speedy completion of the provisioning, I hope to be back in my operational area by the next new moon period.

[*New moon was ca 19 November.]