Let us follow this same Lieut.-Commander Rose on his "U 53 "
on a cruise, during which he waged war according to Prize Law, as still had to
be done in January, in pursuance of the instructions issued, before the
introduction of the unrestricted U-boat campaign. I will quote his log,
omitting what is not of general interest:
"January 20th, 1917.Left Heligoland. Wind east,
force 8, cloudless, clear. Route via Terschelling Lightship to Nordhinder
"January 21st. - Sank to the bottom, 38 m.
Conversation (by submarine telephone) with ' U 55.' 6.30 P.M., dark, starless
night, wind east, 3-4. Started on normal course.
"January 22nd.11 A.M. Sank French sailing ship
Anna (150 gr.t.) by thirteen rounds of gun-fire; cargo, road-metalling. 9 P.M.,
South of Lizard Head. ' U 55 ' reports station. As the presence of U-boats in
the Channel is thereby betrayed, tried to report on own station and intentions
(valuable for 'U 55 '). Immediately after heard very loud British convoy
signals and then the warning, ' German submarine 37 miles south of Lizard.'
That could only apply to ' U 53.' 11.40 P.M., south of the Wolf Rock, two ships
with many lights, little way, and changing courses at a distance of about 6 sea
miles from one another. Apparently guiding ships to show entrance to Channel.
After prolonged observation, steered west between the two.
"January 23, 12.5 A.M.A big cargo steamer
approaching with a course of 90 degrees. At some distance behind several
lights; probably one of the expected convoys. Two officers of mercantile marine
who are on board think the ship to be British of about 4,500 gr.t. She is fully
laden. Started attack on surface. At first attempt a miss, at second a hit,
port amidships. The steamer stops, sinks lower, gets a list, keeps on burning
blue lights, then lowers boats. Left soon as further action impossible. Did not
observe the sinking of the badly damaged ship. Passed several guardships with
different lights. One of them on a course towards the scene of disaster. Let
her searchlight play there for a short time. The guiding ships have gone on or
put out their lights.
"6.40 A.M.A steamer with bright lights and funnels lit
up steers a zigzag course. She seems to be waiting. Sent Morse message to
steamer in English. She is Dutch, with oilcake for Rotterdam. Dismissed steamer
"2 P.M.Avoided a ' Foxglove ' (new type of British
U-boat chaser) and the steamer accompanying it.
" 11 P.M.Avoided a guardship. She carried steamer
lights on forestay to appear bigger.
"January 24,12 midnight. A smaller steamer,
arranged for carrying passengers, steers 200 degrees. Flag illuminated, but not
recognisable. Obviously a neutral. Sheered off.
" 7 A.M.A steamer, course 250 degrees, approached,
pretending to be a French outpost ship. She is a neutral tank steamer. Sheered
"8.30 A.M.Wind east, but swell; cloudy in parts,
visibility good. Dived on account of an airship approaching from the east; it
may be a captive balloon broken loose. Voyage under water to the neighbourhood
of Ushant (French island at the western end of the Channel).
" 2 P.M.Wind east, force 7-8. Rose to surface.
"3.15 P.M.Small sailing ship in sight in southerly
direction. Owing to high seas, no opportunity to attack.
" 10 P.M.Wind east, 6-7, swell. Absolutely impossible
to fire at night. A lot of water comes over. Dived. Voyage to presumptive
meeting place near Ushant.
"January 25, 6.30 A.M.Wind south-east, force
7-8, position Ushant, 50 sea miles to east. Hove to. Waiting off Ushant. A
small sailing ship about 30 sea miles west of Ushant. Left her unmolested
because of heavy sea. Not possible to fire at night because of high seas.
Visibility bad, therefore dived for night journey.
"January 26.Weather unchanged. Dived for night
"January 27, 3 A.M.Wind east, force 8.
Visibility bad. Snow from 11 A.M. Boat rolls more and more. Depth 34 m.
Position not fixed. Stood out to sea at low speed.
5 P.M.North of Ushant. Wind, force 10, swell. Sighted
large steamer of about 200 tons, so far as can be seen, armed fore and aft.
Gave way, as impossible to fire at the time and no improvement in weather to be
expected for next few hours. Steamer going slow; was painted grey. Apparently
one of bigger guardships. Dived for night journey.
"January 28, 8 A.M.Came to surface north of
Ushant. Wind E.S.E., force 6.
"6.30 P.M.Inspected Spanish steamer Nueva Montana, of
Santander, 2,000 gr.t., from under water, then stopped her with shot. Cargo,
iron ore to Newcastle. Crew on board took boats in tow. Set fire to three
explosive bombs in engine-room. Steamer sinks slowly, deeper and deeper. As all
buoyancy chambers are connected, her sinking only a matter of time. When last
seen, the swell was pouring over the after part of the ship. Took crew as far
as 12 sea miles west of Ushant; left boats there.
"January 29, 7 A.M.Danish steamer Copenhagen,
cargo, coal from Newcastle to Huelva. Examined and dismissed.
"6 P.M.Steamer Algorta, 2,100 gr.t., from Segund with
iron ore for Stockton. Inspected from under water, then stopped by shot. Took
crew in tow. Sank steamer with four explosive bombs.
"10.15 P.M.Cast off boats in neighbourhood of
medium-sized steamer steering about 240 degrees. Called up steamer by star
" January 30.Course, 340 degrees. Intend
activity for next two days in neighbourhood of Scilly Isles. Nothing in sight.
At dusk, south of Scilly Isles, steamed on towards Lizard, distance 8 sea
miles. Encountered no commercial traffic, only guardships southwest and west of
"January 31, 9 A.M.Stopped Dutch steamer
Boomberg, about 1,600 gr.t. Coal from Cardiff for Las Palmas; dismissed her.
" 10 A.M.Stopped Spanish steamer Lorida, about 1,600
gr.t Cargo, coal from Cardiff to Cadiz. Dismissed her.
"2.30 P.M.Stopped Norwegian steamer Hickla, 524 gr.t.
Cargo, pit props for Cardiff. Set steamer on fire. Crew sails for Scilly
"5.30 P.M.Stopped a smallish steamer, steering 175
degrees, coming from astern. Steamer returns fire at 80 hectometres from gun of
at least 8 cm. calibre. Her shots fall short, but are well aimed.
"6 P.M.Ceased gunfire after about forty rounds.
Distance increased to bounds of visibility, then tried to keep touch at full
speed. In dusk steamer gets out of sight and cannot be found again.
" 11.50 P.M.Weather calmer, bright moon. Clear.
Stopped Danish motor-boat Falstria, about 4,000 gr.t., from Far East via
Dartmouth. Ship in order; ship dismissed.
"February 1.West of Ushant. Steamed all day
over field of search; nothing in sight.
"February 2, 5 A.M.Attacked with bronze torpedo
a large fully laden steamer, about 2,000 t., steering 170 degrees. No marks of
neutrality. Hit amidships. Steamer stops; lights go out. No movement or work
discernible on deck. After half an hour steamer still afloat. Will probably
sink, as she is badly damaged.
"4 P.M.Near Bishop Rock stopped a French old
square-rigged schooner, Anna Maria, from St. Malo, about 150 gr.t., by using
signal ' Abandon ship.' After a time the mate came on board in a little rowing
boat without a keel. The crew try with boots and cups to keep the boat more or
less dry. In consideration of the impossibility of rescuing the crew in this
boat, the ship was allowed to continue her journey. The mate gave a written
promise in the name of the crew not to go to sea any more during this war. The
cargo of the ship consisted of salt and wine.
"February 3.West of the Scillys. Wind east,
force 2. 8 A.M., stopped Norwegian steamer Rio de Janeiro, 2,800 gr.t. Wheat,
linseed, oil cakes, tan for Copenhagen and Christiana. Steamer dismissed.
" 11 A.M.Submarine attack on American steamer
Housatonic, 2,443 t. Then rose to surface and stopped steamer. Cargo 3,862 tons
of wheat from New York for London. Fired bronze torpedo from first tube to sink
steamer. The torpedo slips half out of the tube without leaving it. It starts
to go, and we can hear the engine running slowly. The boat is stopped.
Watertight doors closed. After some time detonation under the boat, without any
turmoil of water or column of smoke. The torpedo has left the tube and
obviously sunk and exploded at the bottom, at a depth of 110 m. A few rising
air bubbles indicate that the airchamber must have separated owing to pressure
as the depth of water increased. Steamer sunk by bronze torpedo from 4th tube.
Took boats in tow and handed them over to a guardship which was called up by
two shots. When retreating from the guardship, which came up at once, we met '
U 60.' ' U 60 ' dives. I intend to draw the guardship past ' U 60.' Guardship
sheers off, rescues crew of American boats which ' U 53 ' asked her by wireless
to do. ' U 60' dives. Exchange of reports with ' U 60.'
"February 4, 12.5 A.M.With gunfire and
explosive bombs sank French barque Aimée Marie, from St. Servant, 327
gr.t.; cargo, salt and wine for home port. Crew rows to Scilly Isles. Owing to
the extraordinary lightness of the night, avoided darkened guardships. Meeting
and exchange of reports with ' U 83.'
10 A.M.Sank with two explosive bombs schooner
Bangpuhtis, from Windau, 259 gr. t., and ballast from St. Nazaire for Cardiff.
Crew sails for Scilly Islands.
"4 P.M.Examined Norwegian three-master Manicia, 1,800
gr.t., from Rosano with linseed for Rotterdam, and dismissed her. Ship at sea
since December 1.
" February 5, 12.30 A.M.Wind east, estimated
force, 5-6. Surface attack on steamer on which all except navigating lights are
out, no lights as distinguishing marks, estimated at 3,000 gr.t. Armament
cannot be discerned. On attacking became convinced that size of steamer has
been over-estimated. When sheering off recognise Swedish distinguishing marks.
Stop steamer by white star-shell and Morse lamp signals. Steamer answers no
signal and makes no other sign. After a time steams at full speed out to sea.
Stopped anew by two shots. She does not answer Morse signals. Circled round
steamer till dawn. By daylight found she was steamer Bravalla, 1,519 gr.t. By
flag-signals she announced her port of destination as Liverpool, cargo, nuts.
If sunk at that spot crew would have been lost. Impossible to tow boats owing
to high seas. Therefore gave steamer signal ' Follow.' Further signals giving
exact instructions as to behaviour when ship was to be sunk later on, were cut
off because as soon as she understood the first words ' I am going to sink
you,' she hauled down the answering signal and took no further notice. On the
way I had to force the steamer to obedience again, as she tried to sheer off.
The sea gradually decreases. Shelter owing to neighbourhood of land
perceptible. A guardship is sighted. Signal to Bravalla, ' Abandon ship.' She
does nothing. Not till four minutes later, when the gun is trained on her, does
she hoist the answering signal. A shot before her bows, then one in her
forecastle. Steamer lowers boats. Ceased fire. When the boats had hove to,
opened fire again. Difficult to aim owing to rolling of boat and target. There
is a very heavy hail squall. Steamer hit several times, but does not sink.
Although no one is left on board the engines keep going with fewer revolutions.
Guardship approaches to a distance of about 40 hectometres, opens fire: dived.
Sank steamer by a torpedo, guardship meanwhile rescued Swedish crew."
And so on. These extracts should suffice to show under what
difficulties the boats worked so long as they had to consider the neutrality of
steamers, and it also shows how many opportunities for sinking ships in the
blockaded areas were lost.
To illustrate other kinds of U-boat activities in the
restricted U-boat campaign, we will quote from other logs. The first extract is
from the log of a U-C-boat that had orders to lay mines along the east coast of
"December 13, 1916.Various vessels to be seen
ahead, among them one lying with lights out, which I took to be a destroyer.
Dived to avoid danger. Broke through guard-line under water.
" 9.25 A.M.Rose to surface. Continued journey on
surface. Sighted several steamers which, coming from the south, seemed to be
making for the same point as I. It gradually grew very misty, which made it
impossible to fix position. Presumed we were near land, as the sea grew calm,
the water was dirty yellow in colour, and there was a strong smell of coal
dust. After diving quickly several times to avoid steamers, continued under
water 270 degrees (course west).
" 1 P.M.Sighted strong, surf on starboard bow. A wall
was dimly visible above, and over that a big factory, with several chimneys. At
the same time the boat touched the bottom at 10 m. Reversed course, and as I
was quite uncertain of ship's position, resolved to rise to surface to get my
bearings above water. Hardly opened hatch of conning tower when I see about 600
m. to port at 2.14 P.M. a large destroyer with three funnels and two masts,
passing at about 20 knots on a course N.N.W. She seemed to have appeared quite
suddenly out of the mist and not to have seen me yet. Dived to 16 m.
"2.20 P.M. As many steamers were in sight and
visibility still bad, gave up intention of finding ship's position. Lay at the
bottom, 23 m. water. Boat lay very unsteady; repeatedly heard the noise of
screws above me.
"5 P.M.Dusk. Northerly swell. Rose to 10 m. As it was
getting dark and no ships were to be seen, rose to surface to re-charge and
pump in air; stood out to sea a bit.
" 5.42 P.M. Several steamers coming from direction of land
towards me. Dived.
"6 P.M.Very dark night. Rose to surface as darkness
had fallen completely. The steamers were coming from west by south. So I
concluded that the entrance to the harbour must be in the direction from which
they came. The course led towards a darkened light, which now and then sent a
ray up vertically. On approaching I see the end of the breakwater. The pilot
thought he could recognise this as the entrance to the Tyne. As the night was
very dark I decided to go close up to the breakwater. First I made for the
northern breakwater; just before reaching it I turned to starboard so as to get
a bit farther north. In so doing the boat ran aground north of the northern
breakwater. Both engines reversed full steam. Boat slipped off.
"6.42 P.M.Turned hard-a-starboard to 160. Close to the
end of the northern breakwater the first mine dropped. Then turned slowly to
starboard so as to get as near as possible to the southern breakwater. When
this was in sight at a distance of about 80100 m., turned sharply, let
the last mine fall and stood out to open sea, go degrees (course east)." How
much more difficult it was for our U-boats to attack when the steamers
travelled in convoys, appears from the following extract from the log of "U
82," commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Hans Adam:
"September 19, 1917, 3.19 P.M.I shot past the
bows of this steamer towards steamers 4 and 5. Steamer 4 I hit. Steamer 2 had
hoisted a red flag, which was probably to announce the presence of the boat;
for several torpedo-boats make for the steamer. As there was no chance of
firing from the only remaining usable tube (stern tube) I dived. The destroyers
dropped about 10 depth charges; one burst pretty near the stern. The attack was
rendered very difficult by the bad weather, swell, seaway 5 and rain squalls.
The success of the attack was due to the excellent steering under water. Made
off noiselessly to S.E. under water.
"4.45 P.M.Rose to surface. I try to come up with the
convoy again, as it is still to be seen. But a destroyer forces me under water
"6.37 P.M.Rose to surface. Two destroyers prevent me
from steaming up. Owing to heavy seas from S.E. it is impossible to proceed
south so as to get ahead of them. Moreover, sea and swell make it impossible to
fire a torpedo. Therefore gave up pursuit."
On July 19 and 20, 1918, two of our U-boats encountered a
new and valuable steamer, the Justitia, of 32,120 tons, which was very strongly
protected on account of its value, and which would accordingly be very
difficult to sink. The account of the attacks of the two boats, " U-B 64 " and
" U 54," is given below. " U-B 64 " met the steamer on July 19 and damaged her
severely, while " U 54 " encountered her the next day when she was being towed
into port and finished her off.
As the steamer Justitia, being new, was not on the register
on board the U-boat, and the number of such large steamers is small, they
thought she was the German steamer Vaterland which the Americans had
"July 19, 1918. 3.50 P.M.Two destroyers in
sight, course 320 degrees (N.W.). Behind the destroyers a convoy. Boat situated
straight before them. Attack prepared for double shot at steamer (3 funnels, 2
masts) situated in the middle of the convoy, which numbers about 12 steamers.
Protection by destroyers and submarine chasers in large numbers. Convoy
zig-zags. Shortly before the shot the steamer turns towards the boat, therefore
only stem shot possible. Distance 350 m.; hit behind the bridge port side.
"4.33 P.M.British steamer Justitia, 32,120 tons in
ballast. Dived. There follow 35 depth charges, that are well placed.
" 5.20 P.M.Depth 11m. Steamer has stopped, blows off a
lot of steam; apparently hit in boiler or engine. Many destroyers to protect
her. Counter course for attack. Destroyers pass over the boat several times.
"6.15 P.M.Double shot from tubes 1 and 2; distance
2,000 m. Hit midships and astern, port side of steamer, which has stopped.
Dived. 23 depth charges which follow immediately on shot.
"7.3 P.M.Rose to 11 metres depth so as to be able to
look through periscope. Steamer has a list to port and is much down by the
stern. Started new attack. As destroyers about all the time, cannot show
periscope often. In the meantime, the steamer has been towed on a southerly
course by large tugs. Steamer towed about 34 knots. With course 180
degrees (south) went ahead under water.
"9.48 P.M.Fired from tube at distance 900 m. Hit on
port side. Dived. On a course 0 degrees (north). 11 depth charges. Made off, as
" 10.33 P.M.Depth 11 m. Steamer being towed. List has
increased, also lies lower in the water.
" 11.23 P.M.Came to surface. Charged batteries.
Reloaded bow tubes with two torpedoes.
"11.50 P.M.After the four hits, the steamer must
undoubtedly go down. It is only a matter of time until the last watertight
doors give way. Towing against the sea must make her engine break away soon.
"July 20, 1918.Before the North Channel (Irish
Sea). Kept touch during the night, so as to be sure of observing sinking. As
the condition of the steamer grew steadily worse, the course of the tow was
altered towards morning to the south for Lough Swilly. Surface attack by night
impossible because it was too light.
"4 A.M.As it was pretty dark and there was a jumble of
ships, it was particularly difficult to get in right position for attack.
Before ' U-B 64 " was ready to attack, steamer was towed along again. Position
very far aft. Steamer lay considerably lower. Batteries not in a condition for
me to follow under water.
"5.37 A.M.Depth of 11 m. Steamer lies athwart with
considerably greater list.
"8.40 A.M.Rose to surface. It could now be ascertained
that the depth charges had badly damaged oil bunkers, so that the boat left a
broad track of oil. Steamer at the moment out of sight. Wireless messages to
boats in the neighbourhood.
"11 A.M.Steamer sighted to port on course 180 degrees.
Hardly possible for her to reach the coast. Steamer with heavy list can barely
" 11.30 A.M.Observed two high, clear columns of water,
closely following one another, behind steamer; must come from two torpedoes. In
boat detonation of 35 depth charges was heard.
" 2.15 P.M .Steamer sunk. On looking round ascertain
that many protecting vessels, with steamer's lifeboats in tow, are making for
land. Other craft have rushed to the floating debris. Made off. Many destroyers
in pursuit of me." "U 54," which fired two torpedoes at the Justitia on July 20
at 11.20, reports further:
"11.32 A.M.In the hail of depth charges that became
more intense after the detonation of the first torpedo, of course no further
detonation could be heard in the boat. After 122, seconds, the petty officer
telegraphist noted the second hit through the submarine receiver. As I had only
2,200 amperes in the battery, I could not possibly make a further attack. I
went down for half an hour and found bottom at 59 m. 20 minutes after the shot
the British depth charges ceased to explode.
" 12.30 P.M.Rose from bottom till I could use
periscope on northerly course. Round about me, near by, many guardships. I
immediately dived again. As I assumed they were following me with submarine
sound receivers, I remained under water; continued till the large ship was
safe. I proceeded north, then altered course to N.W. and then to west.
"3.51 P.M.Rose to surface. The boat had 50 mm.
pressure. As letting off air took too long, I ordered the helmsman to open the
conning-tower hatch. The helmsman was blown out, and the central conductor
which has a sail attached below, was blown against my arm and crushed it
against the top of the conning-tower. The pain was so great that I fainted for
a moment. When I heard that the helmsman saw a number of ships, I crept on to
the conning-tower and saw that south and astern was full of vessels. I
attributed this activity to myself and dived away again, as I could no longer
risk being seen.
"6 P.M.Rose to surface. Far in the south a smoke
cloud. I ran farther west, and as soon as my batteries were pretty well charged
I sent wireless messages to all U-boats giving course and possibilities of
attack on Vaterland. There was no object in my following any longer, as I could
not have caught her up before the North Channel.
"July 21. 10.45 A.M.U-boat in sight;
ascertained to be ' U-B 64.' Approached within hailing distance. From exchange
of experiences I learnt that the day before, at 2 hr. 30 mins. 4½ sec.,
' U-B 64 ' saw the Vaterland sunk by my shot, capsising on port side." In
conclusion, here is the description of a fight which "U 84," commanded by
Lieutenant-Commander Rohr, had with a steamer which kept her guns hidden and
hoped by deceiving the U-boat to be able to surprise and sink her:
" February 22, 1917. 1.50.Tank steamer, about
3,000 tons, with course 250 degrees, in sight. Dived. Torpedo fired from second
tube; missed by 700 m.; had underestimated way. Steamer turns upon counter
course. Went down. Rose to surface. Stopped her with gunfire. Steamer stops,
blows off steam, crew leave the ship in two boats.
" 2.30 P.M.Approached under water. No armament. Boats,
about 810, are away from steamer.
" 2.49 P.M.Rose to surface near boats Which still try
to pull away from U-boat.
"2.49 P.M.Steamer opens fire from four guns. Dive.
Conning-tower hit five times: one shot through the bridge, one above the
aerials, the third (4.7 cm.) goes through the conning-tower, explodes inside,
nearly all apparatus destroyed. Second officer of the watch slightly wounded.
Fourth shot smashed circulating water tubes; fifth shot hit a mine deflector.
Abandoned conning-tower. Central hatch and speaking tube closed. As the
conning-tower abandoned, the boat had to be worked from the central space below
the conning-tower. The lifeboats throw depth charges to a depth of 20 m. Switch
and main switchboard held in place by hand. Electric lamp over magnetic compass
goes out. Boat is top-heavy and oscillates round the transverse axis [because
the conning-tower was filled with water]. A number of connections between the
conning-tower and hull do not remain watertight. Owing to short circuit the
following fail in quick succession: gyro-compass, lamp-circuit [for lighting],
main rudder, means of communication, forward horizontal rudder jams. In spite
of being 14 degrees down by the stern and engines going full speed, the boat
sinks by the bows to 40 m.; compressed air. To get rid of the water, rapid
expulsion of air to 20 m. to - degrees to load aft. Tank No. 1 gets no
compressed air. All hands in the bows to avoid breaking surface. Torpedo
coxswain and No. 1 (petty officer) even counter-flood forward. Boat falls 8
degrees by the bow, and sinks to 35 m. depth. Compressed air on forward tanks.
" Meanwhile the spray (from leaks in the conning-tower) is
kept off the electric apparatus by sail-cloth, waterproofs, flags, etc. The
watertight auxiliary switchboard is the saving of the boat. Boat sinks down by
the stern again and threatens to break surface. Steering under water no longer
" 3.10 P.M. - Compressed air on all tanks. Starboard
electric engine breaks down. To the guns, clear oil motors, full speed ahead! "
The commander decided, as the boat could not remain under
water, to rise to the surface and chance fighting the steamer.
"The steamer is 35 hm. off and opens fire at once. Shots all
round the boat. One 7.5 and one 4.7 cm. shell hit the upper deck forward of the
boat's 88 cm. gun. Second officer of the watch receives other slight wounds.
Replied to fire, unfortunately without telescopic sight as the conning-tower is
still full of water. Distance quickly increases to 50 hm. Then the steamer
follows slowly. To starboard a destroyer which opens fire at 80 hm.; shots fall
short. Put on cork jackets. The intention is to continue gunfire till the boat
can be sunk in the neighbourhood of a sailing vessel 8 sea miles away, to save
the crew from a Baralong fate.
"3.17 P.M.The destroyer is a ' Foxglove,' but cannot
steam faster than the boat. At about 75 hm. replied to fire. The ' Foxglove '
soon begins to try and avoid shots; is hit twice, and increases the distance.
Her guns only carry about 75 hm.
"3.20 P.M.Conning-tower can be made watertight; boat
cleared; ammunition for gun cleared; except conning-tower, all damage can
gradually be repaired. Course 165 degrees. The 'Foxglove ' follows in our wake.
Steamer lost to view. At a pinch the boat can dive, but leaves a heavy oil
track behind her. If no destroyer comes before night, the boat can be saved.
"6.50 P.M.The ' Foxglove ' has approached to 70 hm.
and opens fire again. Return fire: hit. Enemy sheers off and falls back to over
" 8 P.M.Twilight. Pursuit out of sight. On account of
oil track zig-zag course. Run into another oil track, turned to port and
gradually on course of 240 degrees.''
The boat then began her return journey and reached home
without further incident.
I myself had occasion to inspect "U84,' after her return
from this expedition. I realised that it was little short of a miracle that, in
spite of such heavy damage, she reached home. It was chiefly due to the
assurance with which the commander handled his boat, the perfect co-operation
of the whole crew in these trying circumstances, and the excellent practice
made by the gunners, in connection with which it must be remembered that the
height of the platform of a U-boat, on which the gun is mounted, is only 2 m.
above the water-level, and that aiming is thereby rendered far more difficult.
Lieutenant-Commander Rohr is, unfortunately, one of the many who have not
returned from their voyages.
It would take too much space to quote extracts from other
U-boat experiences, or to mention the names of all those who particularly
distinguished themselves. Wherever in this war heroism is spoken of, it applies
without exception to our U-boat commanders and their crews.
LAST SECTION °
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