“The U-505’s Home Port of Lorient” by S.M. O’Connor

Lorient is a Breton seaport where the German occupiers converted a French surface fleet naval base into a German submarine fleet naval base.  After the Heer (German Army) conquered France, the Kriegsmarine (Third Reich Germany’s War Navy) took over the ports of Brest, Lorient, and Saint-Nazaire in Brittany in northwestern France and Bordeaux in Gascony in southwestern France and set about building bomb-proof submarine pens.[1]  In June of 1940, the Kriegsmarine enlarged the Breton harbors of Lorient and Brest to become U-boat bases.[2]  The Kriegsmarine had already taken over the French naval arsenals at those harbors.[3]  In 1941, the Kriegsarine built a submarine base at a third Breton harbor, Saint-Nazaire, and turned the Gascon harbor of Bordeaux into a submarine base for the Italian Royal Navy.[4]  As the Kriegsmarine ramped up production of U-boats, it added submarine support bases at Bordeaux and La Pallice,[5] which is the deep-water port of La Rochelle.  [Historically a fief of the Duchy of Aquitaine, La Rochelle is a seaport roughly in the middle of the Bay of Biscay that is now the capital of the Charente-Maritime Department.]  By war’s end, these submarine support bases at Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire, La Pallice, and Bordeaux had performed 1,149 overhauls of U-boats.[6]  In addition to these facilities in France, the Kriegsmarine enlarged the Norwegian harbors of Bergen and Trondheim, and there built U-boat bunkers (also known as U-boat pens), as well.[7]  Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz (1891-1980), the Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine, expected that at any given time, one-third U-boats would be on the attack in an operational area at sea, one- third would be on the way to or back from an operational area, and another one-third would be in shipyards being overhauled.[8]  The Wehrmacht secured Lorient on Friday, June 21, 1940, and within days the Kriesgsmarine began to setup the harbor and arsenal.[9]  The first U-boat to arrive at Lorient was the U-30, under the command Fritz-Julius Lemp,[10] the cousin of Axel-Olaf Löwe, who would go on to become the first Commandant of the U-505.

From 1940 to 1944, Lorient was the main support base for U-boats.[11]  In June of 1941, the 2nd U-Boat Flotilla transferred from Wilhelmshaven[12] to Lorient and in 1942 the 10th U-boat Flotilla followed.[13]  Admiral (later Grand Admiral) Karl Dönitz, then commander of the Unterseebootswaffe (Submarine Fleet) of the Kriegsmarine, moved his headquarters near Lorient, in a villa in Kernevel, across from the Keroman peninsula.[14]  Between January of 1942 and July of 1943, up to thirty U-boats were based in Lorient.[15]

The harbor of Lorient had a winch that could life fishing boats and lower them onto turntables that could support vessels that weighed up to 200 tons.[16]  This was not sufficient to support even a small, Type II, U-boat, so the Germans had the facility enlarged to the point the turntable could support a 250-ton Type II U-boat.[17]  On Monday, August 19, 1940, the U-59 became the first sub to be winched into a dry dock position to be overhauled.[18] [The Kaiserliche Marine (Second Reich Germany’s Imperial Navy) had built submarine bunkers at Bruges in German-occupied Belgium in 1917.[19]]  The Organisation Todt (O.T.), known in English as the Todt Organization, was extremely active in Lorient.[20]  The O.T. built infrastructure as far west as France and as far east as the Soviet Union, often with slave labor.  On two of Lorient’s six dock spaces, the O.T. erected U-boat bunkers with pointed arches, sometimes called cathedral bunkers.[21]   The first set of U-boat bunkers, completed in May of 1941, were eighty-one meters (265.748 feet) long, sixteen meters (52.4934 feet) wide, and twenty-five meters (82.021 feet) high, with walls up to 1.5 meters (4.92126 feet) thick.[22]

The one to the west had an anti-aircraft gun on its roof.[23]  On January 29, 1943, the anti-aircraft two-centimeter gun was nearly hit in an air raid.[24]  Obergefreiter (Senior Lance-Corporal) Uher dragged two grievously-wounded comrades-in-arms over the arched bunker roof so they could reach sick bay.[25]

In April of 1941, work began on a second U-boat bunker, “a two-box wet bunker,” built near the naval arsenal.[26]  The bunker was 145 meters (475.722 feet) long, fifty-one meters (167.323 feet) wide, and fifteen meters (49.2126 feet) high and the boxes were 99.5 meters (326.4436) long.[27]  These boxes could accommodate Type IX U-boats, as well as Type VII U-boats.[28]

The O.T. began to construct a set of dry U-boat bunkers in February of 1941 on the Keroman peninsula, known as Keroman I and Keroman II that, combined, could hold up to twelve U-boats.[29]  A winch would raise a U-boat into a dock wagon in the water, and an electric locomotive would pull her on a wedge-shaped wagon up a slope onto a staging area beside a bunker box.[30] An armored gate could close off every section.[31]   It would take thirty-five minutes to place a U-boat in dry dock this way, compared with four-to-five hours to place a U-boat in dry dock the standard way, which involved pumping out water.[32]  The only drawback to use of the Keroman facility, for the Germans, was that the staging area was open to air attack by the Allies, but the Germans found this an acceptable price to maintain U-boats there because they had plenty of spare parts and could quickly repair damages.[33]  Keroman I opened in September of 1941 and Keroman II opened three months later.[34]  The next year, the O.T. built additions to both Keroman I and Keroman II to accommodate power generators, water tanks, and fuel tanks. [35]  One of the boxes at Keroman II was a garage for the wagon.[36]  Above that garage were barracks that housed 1,000 men. [37]

In October of 1941, the O.T. built Keroman III, which was a wet bunker.[38]   Keroman III was 170 meters (557.7428 feet) wide, 138 meters (452.76 feet) long, and twenty meters (65.6168 feet) high.[39]    It had seven boxes with thirteen U-boat berths: two boxes with one berth each, four boxes with two berths each, and one box with three berths.[40]  Keroman III also had a workshop[41]  On the roof, Keroman III had three concrete anti-aircraft towers armed with four centimeter Bofors guns.[42]  Each box had two cranes that had load limits of five tons, and two of the boxes had deck-top cranes with thirty-ton load limits.[43] Keroman III opened in January of 1943.[44]  However, Karl-Heinz and Michael Schmeelke wrote, “the drydocks could be used only as wet boxes, since a watertight gate could not be built and a calculating figure had been wrong.” [45]  In January of 1943, the O.T. began construction of a second deck of two meters (6.56168 feet) to protect Keroman III, but the workshop was not protected by this second deck.[46]  Due to the tide of war turning in favor of the Allies, plans for construction of Keroman IV were never realized.[47]

Across from Keroman II, the O.T. erected six torpedo bunkers that were forty meters (131.234 feet) long and twenty-three meters (75.4593 feet) wide with what someone hoped were the misleading names of Jaguar, Iltis (Polecat), Leopard, Luchs (Lynx), Tiger, and Wolf.[48]  A narrow gage railroad conveyed torpedoes directly from the torpedo bunkers to the U-boat bunkers.[49]

Frequently, the R.A.F. (British Royal Air Force) bombed Lorient at night, but aerial bombing did almost nothing to the submarine pens and wrought great damage to the town, which left many of the Breton villagers with bitter feelings toward the British, Admiral Daniel V. Gallery recounted.[50]  The Schmeelkes explained that the R.A.F. and United States Army Air Force (which later split from the U.S. Army as a separate armed service, the U.S. Air Force) “used specially developed bombs against the U-boat bunkers as of 1944.  They were supposed to be capable of penetrating four meters of concrete and then explode in the bunker thanks to a delayed fuse.  In practice, though, it was found that the bombs exploded after about two meters of concrete.  The bombs tore holes up to eight meters in diameter in the decks in the U-boat bunker of Brest, but the explosive force was expended upward for the most part.  The damage to the boats in the bunkers was done by falling concrete blocks, and only seldom by bomb splinters.  With a deck thickness of about five meters, the interior of the bunker remained almost completely protected from pressure and splinter effects.”[51]

Admiral Gallery observed, “By 1942, Lorient was the greatest U-boat base the world has ever seen, and a totally different town from what it had been for several hundred years.  Battered by RAF bombs, its swollen population of civilians, soldiers, technicians, collaborating French floozies and their camp followers, was a simmering brew of arrogance, intrigue, deceit and hate.  Lording it over all the rest were the thousand or so of Doenitz’s swashbuckling U-boat sailors for whom the whole thing existed.”[52]

      The citizens whose daughters were being despoiled were not tolerant.  Their hate was a terrible, vengeful one.  Some opportunists among the local citizens, thinking the Germans would certainly win the war, collaborated wholeheartedly with them, and paid savage penalties to their neighbors when the Nazis lost.  Most citizens submitted to the occupation sullenly, but with the necessity minimum of outward respect and obedience.[53]

Beneath the surly submissive surface, boiled a venomous hatred which flared out occasionally in the activities of the underground.  These activities were many, far reaching and mostly death-dealing.  There were secret Maquis killers who shot German sailors in the back and then disappeared till the war was over, into Southern France [which was occupied by Italian rather than German forces].  There were spies and saboteurs of many kinds.  Every local citizen was a potential enemy of the Germans, and it was almost an impossible job for the military government to separate the ‘good’ from the ‘bad.’  About all they could do was to shoot suspects regularly enough to deter the fainter hearted citizens from getting too far out of line.[54]

 

On Monday, January 19, 1942, the U-505 left Kiel for Lorient to join the 2nd U-boat Flotilla, arriving on Tuesday, February 3, 1942.[55]  On Friday, February 6, 1942, Admiral Dönitz personally inspected the U-505.[56]  The U-505 was in Lorient for just eight days before she left for the Central Atlantic on Wednesday, February 11, 1942.[57]  A minesweeper escorted the U-505 and U-68 to the hundred-fathom curve, at which point the three vessels would part ways.[58]  On the return voyage to Lorient, an aircraft dropped twelve bombs around the U-505 over a couple of hours.  They did no real damage, although the Germans later found a fragment from the case of one of those bombs embedded in the Conning Tower.[59]  Four hundred miles from Lorient, an aircraft again dropped bombs over the U-505.[60]  This time, they did no damage whatsoever.[61]  Two hours later, Löwe received a radio transmission with the message that an inbound U-boat in his position had been attacked, which years later indicated to Admiral Daniel V. Gallery that at that time the Germans were able to intercept reports from R.A.F. aircraft that flew over the Bay of Biscay.[62]  Löwe noted, “Fast intelligence work.”[63]  The U-505 arrived at Lorient on Thursday, May 7, 1942.[64]

The crew went on leave while the U-505 was docked in Lorient to undergo repairs and refitting from Thursday, May 7, 1942 to Saturday, June 6, 1942.[65]  In the month before the U-505 set out on her next war cruise or patrol, she underwent minor repairs, her torpedoes were reloaded, she was refueled, and her food stores were replenished.[66]  The officers and crewmen would have bragged about how many ships they sank to other submariners, listened to those submariners brag about how many ships they sank, and taken note of which U-boats were missing and presumed sunk.[67]   The crewmen, who were mostly teenage boys or were very young men, would have visited the cafes, bars, and brothels of Lorient.[68]

On Sunday, June 7, 1942, the U-505 left Lorient for the Caribbean.[69] The U-505 arrived at Lorient Tuesday, August 25, 1942, which ended a seventy-nine-day-long patrol.[70]  The U-505 was docked at Lorient for repairs and refitting from Tuesday, August 25, 1942 to Saturday, October 3, 1942.[71]  Two days after the U-505 returned to base, Löwe underwent an appendectomy.[72]  He spent the rest of the war on dry land as part of the staff of Admiral Dönitz.[73]  Staff officers noted in the U-505 War Diary, “Mission prematurely ended because of sickness of Commandant.  Took advantage of few chances of attack during time of almost total traffic stoppage.  The sinking of the Columbian schooner had better been left undone.”[74]

On Tuesday, September 15, 1942, Oberleutnant zur See Peter Zschech (1918-1943), formerly Executive Officer (X.O.) of the U-124, relieved Löwe of command of the U-505.[75]  The next month, on Sunday, October 4, 1942, the U-505 left Lorient on her fourth war patrol, Zschech’s first in command.[76]  Significantly, the Chief Engineer, Kapitänleutnant Förster remained with the U-505 for only eighteen days of the outbound U-boat’s first patrol under Zschech before he transferred to the inbound U-514 and to head back to Lorient.[77] He had only been on the U-505 to train his replacement, Oberleutnant zur See (Ingenieur) Josef Hauser.[78] On Saturday, December 12, 1942, the U-505 made it back to Lorient, the most badly damaged U-boat ever to return to port.[79]

As a result of a heavy Allied air raid that devastated Lorient on Thursday, January 14, 1943, Admiral Dönitz moved the residences of the U-boat crews from Lorient to Lager Lermp outside of town.[80]  By the end of June, 1943, the U-505 was ready to go out to sea again.[81]  She retained only one-third of her original crewmen, the rest having been disbursed amongst other U-boats whilst she was under repair.[82]  Half of those men had died in battle.[83]  Of the original crew members that were still assigned to the U-505, four were the “leading chief petty officers and a dozen were plank owners who had put her in commission.”[84]  There had been 100% turnover of the officers.[85]  The crew of the U-505 went through the usual round of visits to bars and brothers the night of Wednesday, June 30, 1943, and, if anything, were wilder than was their custom because they knew the odds were against their return when they departed the next day.[86]

On Thursday, July 1, 1943, the U-505 left Lorient on what was supposed to be a ninety-day-long cruise that would have taken her to the Azores, only to return on July 2nd when she developed a leak on her first test dive of the cruise to have repairs performed for many minor defects and one major problem that would take a long time to remedy at sea but could be done quickly in the dockyard.[87]  The major problem was a jammed valve on a ballast tank.[88]

The U-505 left again on July 3rd.[89]   Some of Zschech’s boys visited the bars and brothels again the night beforehand.[90]  This time, the U-505 set with four other U-boats under escort by seven torpedo boats that could provide some anti-aircraft protection until the U-boats reached water sufficiently deep to be able to submerge.[91]  Zschech crept along the Bay of Biscay toward Cape Finisterre in Galicia on the west coast of Spain, with only 20% of the time spent at the surface.[92] During this war cruise, the U-505 was attacked twice.  The first time, she was attached by aircraft on the afternoon of Thursday, July 8, 1943.[93]  The Metox and soundman’s equipment were rendered inoperable, but there was no serious structural damage.[94]  Zschech began to suspect that the U-505 was leaking oil.[95]  Later that same day, around 8:00 p.m., the U-505 came under attack by three destroyers dropping depth charges.[96]  Zschech escaped by using decoys.[97]  Zschech ascended to periscope depth and confirmed he was leaving a trail of oil.[98]  He stuck close by the coasts of Spain and France on the return trip to port, arriving on July 14th.[99]  During this war cruise, the U-505 had experienced trouble with the Metox, hydrophones, and radio.[100]

In the dockyard, from the 14th to the 31st of July, 1943, more than the troubles Zschech knew about had to be addressed as sabotage was uncovered.[101]  A corrosive substance had eaten away all of the rubber gaskets on the ventilation and emergency vent valves of the ballast tanks.[102]  Further, someone had drilled a hole that had the circumference of a pencil in an underwater oil tank.[103]  Two new batteries were installed.[104]Something else that would have weighed heavily on Zschech’s mind at this time is that more and more of his friends and comrades in the Untersee-waffe were getting killed or captured at sea.  In July, thirty-seven U-boats failed to return to base.[105]  Fourteen of them were sunk in the Bay of Biscay.[106]  The commanders of all those boats were friends of Zschech.[107]  Surely his boat was not the only one being sabotaged.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth war cruises each lasted two days.  During these aborted war cruises, the U-boat made strange knocking sounds when diving beneath fifty meters.[108]  On August 1st, the U-505 departed, only to return on the 2nd.[109]  Beyond the strange knocking sounds, the submariners could also hear water entering, yet found no leaks.[110]  The U-505 underwent a thorough examination, from the 3rd through the 13th of August, 1943, but the cause of the problem was not identified.[111]  On August 15th, she departed, only to return on the 16th.[112]  On this cruise, when the submariners heard the knocking sound, Zschech dove deeper and when they surfaced they discovered “the main air injection was crushed in and was full of water.”[113]  Mulligan noted, “[O]n [the] first deep practice dive cracking noises return and a tear develops in the air-intake mast, forcing returning to base.”[114]  The U-505 was under repair from the 16th to the 20th of August, 1943.[115]  On Saturday, August 21, 1943, she departed only to return on the 22nd.[116]  This time, oil leaks had been discovered.[117] Between the 23rd of August and the 17th of September, 1943, the U-505 was under repair and a new radar detector, the Wanze G2 (also known as the Hagenuk) was installed.[118] The gaskets had been fine when the U-505 set out, but an examination revealed that once again someone had used a corrosive substance to eat away at them.[119]  The dockyard inspectors eventually concluded that the French dockworkers responsible for maintaining the U-505 were sabotaging her.[120]  Subsequently, a dozen French dockworkers were arrested and shot. [121]  Mulligan noted that neither the conclusion that French dockworkers were responsible for sabotage nor the execution of French dockworkers was recorded in the U-505 War Diary.[122]

Also in August of 1943, Oberleutnant zur See Thilo Bode transferred off the U-505, just as his relationship with the crew had begun to improve.[123]   Due to the way Zschech had isolated himself from the other men under his command, with the removal of Bode, he was now alone with a crew full of men who disliked or actively hated him. Twenty-six-year-old Paul Meyer replaced Bode as First Watch Officer of the U-505.[124]  Oberleutnant zur See Kurt Brey, a naval reservist, then transferred aboard the U-505 to replace Meyer as Second Watch Officer.[125]  At the age of thirty-six, Brey was the eldest man aboard the U-boat.[126]

On Saturday, September 18, 1943, the U-505 left on her ninth patrol.[127]  On this cruise, Zscech started out with an engineering officer from the staff of Grand Admiral Dönitz on board to monitor trial dives.[128]   A lot of minor problems popped up, but the staff engineer assured Zscech he would be able to make the necessary repairs at sea and departed with a transfer to a torpedo boat.[129]  According to Mulligan, the Chief Engineer of the 10th U-boat Flotilla personally inspected and repaired the starboard side exhaust valve, which was not watertight.[130]  Zscech dove, set course for Cape Finisterre, and was extremely cautious on this cruise as he proceeded along the Bay of Biscay.[131]  Still outward bound on the 23rd, Zscech ordered a crash dive to escape an aircraft.[132]  This was the first crash dive the U-505 made on this cruise.[133]  The main ballast pump overloaded, some fuses that should have blown did not, and its armature burnt out, Gallery later related.[134]   Without a working armature, the U-505 would not be able to return to the surface after a deep dive.[135]  According to Mulligan, both the starboard side electrical motor and the main ballast pump were out of service, but the crew was able to fix the motor and not the pump.[136]  Zscech had no choice but to return to port again.[137]  The U-505 arrived at Lorient on Thursday, September 30, 1943.[138]

The French Resistance was engaging in psychological warfare with Zscech by this point.[139]  When the U-505 returned to port, the men on the deck of the U-505 could see in white letters the legend “U-505’s Hunting Ground” in a place that was visible to them but not to people standing on the dock.[140]  It would take ten days to repair the motor in the shipyard.[141]  From the 1st to the 8th of October, 1943, the main ballast pump was repaired and a new radar detector, the Naxos, was installed.[142]  In October of 1943, Dr. Frederich-Wilhelm Rosenmeyer transferred aboard the U-505.[143]

Gallery noted that Zscech was not being treated the same way in the officers’ club.  “Cszhech spent most of this time brooding over his series of failures.  He had been fully justified every time he turned back and no one could have done any different.  But his contemporaries now were beginning to treat him rather patronizingly, almost as if he were a cripple who wasn’t to be blamed for his infirmities, but who was not the same as other men.  When he joined a circle of them at the club there was an embarrassed lull in the conversation.”[144]  Consequently, he became a solitary drinker.[145]

The U-505 departed Lorient on her tenth patrol – Zscech’s last – on Saturday, October 9, 1943.[146]  According to Gallery, the night before that fateful voyage, Zscech was seated in a café with a prostitute when he heard some of his men in the next booth, unbeknownst to them because of a glass partition, and when one of them told a joke at his expense that at least with him in charge they knew they would return to base, he broke the glass in his right hand and stormed out.[147] Consequently, a corpsman at the dockyard hospital had to remove glass from his hand.[148]

On Sunday, November 7, 1943, Paul Meyer relinquished command after bringing the U-505 back to her homeport of Lorient.[149]  The U-505 underwent repairs and refitting at Lorient from the 8th of November to the 20th of December, 1943.[150]  Executive Officer Paul Meyer submitted his report and Grand Admiral Dönitz absolved him all blame, rather than giving him an award.[151]  After the official investigation into Zschech’s death was complete, his men were sworn to secrecy, and the decision was made from above to keep them together on the U-505.[152]  In other circumstances, perhaps the men would have been dispersed amongst different boats and train a whole new crew for the U-505 or scrap the boat. Although Meyer had performed well, he was considered ineligible to become commanding officer of the U-505 because he had only spent sixty-two days at sea on board a submarine (all of them on the U-505).[153]

      On Thursday, November 18, 1943, Oberleutnant zur See Harald Lange (1903-1967) assumed command of the U-505.[154]   On Christmas Day (Monday, December 25, 1943), the U-505 left Lorient, only to be directed on the 28th to rescue survivors of the German torpedo boat T-25, which had been sunk by the British in the Bay of Biscay during a battle between German torpedo boats and British destroyers.[155]  According to Admiral Gallery, after surfacing to conduct a five-hour-long search, the U-505 picked up thirty-three survivors from nine lifeboats.[156]  The U-505 dropped them off at Brest, underwent repairs, and set off again, on her final operational patrol, during the course of which Gallery’s Hunter-Killer Task Group 22.3 captured the U-505.

On D-Day (Tuesday, August 6, 1944) – coincidentally, two days after U.S. Navy Hunter-Killer Task Group 22.3 captured the U-505 – when the Allies began the liberation of France with the invasion of Normandy, the Allies carried out an air raid on Lorient.[157]  Twenty-eight Avro Lancaster four-engine heavy bombers attacked the Keroman bunkers with eleven Tallboy bombs, one of which hit Keroman III.[158]    Unfortunately for the Allies, the deck was seven-and-a-half meters (24.6063 feet) thick, so the only damage to the interior of the building was that the sheet steel on the deck’s underside, which is to say, the ceiling, bent outward.[159]  By contrast, the air raid by the R.A.F.’s 617th Squadron on the 5th, 12th, and 13th of September, 1944, was more successful, as there were nine direct hits on the bunker with Tallboy bombs, five of which tore holes in the ceiling.[160]

The next day, American armored troops became the first Allied soldiers to reach the German fortifications of Lorient.[161]  Shortly thereafter, the Allies besieged Lorient. [162]  The U-boat bunkers were so well built, they remained operational.  The U-155 was the last U-boat to leave the base, and it did so on Tuesday, September 5, 1944.[163]  The Unterseebootswaffe abandoned the U-123 and U-129 at Lorient because they could not be repaired.[164]  The U-boat bunkers became barracks and workshops where soldiers built armored trucks and light tanks to defend the barracks.[165]  Since Allied armies, naval and air fleets could not bypass the U-boat bases the way Alexander the Great simply ignored Sparta in southern Greece and moved onto the conquest of Egypt and the Persian Empire, because the U-boat bases would have continued to repair U-boats and instead of surrendering the German troops in those bases continued to resist even after the U-boats departed, Allied troops who could have been free to liberate the rest of France or the Low Countries or conquer the Third Reich were held down in a siege of the U-boat bases until the end of the war.

The French Navy appropriated the German submarine base after the war and commissioned the U-123 as the S-Blaison.[166]  The villa at Kerneval that had been the residence of Admiral Dönitz became the residence of the French naval base’s commandant.[167]    The Jaguar torpedo bunker became a warehouse for a paint firm,[168] which is a practical reuse of a structure built by foreign occupiers.  Lorient remained a French submarine base until 1996.

END NOTES

[1] Daniel V. Gallery, Twenty Million Tons Under the Sea: The Daring Capture of the U-505. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press (1956, 2001), pages 181 and 182

[2] Karl-Heinz and Michael Schmeelke, German U-boat Bunkers: Yesterday and Today. Ed Force, translator. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Military/Aviation History (1999), p. 4

[3] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[4] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[5] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[6] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[7] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[8] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[9] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[10] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[11] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[12] Wilhelmshaven is a seaport in Lower Saxony.  It started out in the Duchy of Oldenburg, which was part of the German Empire.  The Duchy of Oldenburg became the Free State of Oldenburg after Grand Duke Frederick Augustus II was overthrown with Kaiser Wilhelm II and his vassals in the Revolutions of 1918.  After World War II, the Western Allies merged Hanover and three smaller provinces – Oldenburg, Brunswick, and Schaumburg-Lippe – into the new Federal State of Lower Saxony, which became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) in 1949.  [This is counterintuitive, the way Upper Egypt is south of Lower Egypt, but Lower Saxony is northwest of Saxony.]  The defense contractor Kiserliche Werft Wilhelmshaven built warships for the Prussian Royal Navy and German Imperial Navy from 1871 to 1918.

[13] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[14] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[15] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[16] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[17] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[18] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[19] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 6

[20] The founder of the Todt Organization was Fritz Todt (1891-1942), a civil engineer and senior Nazi Party member who had joined the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (“National Socialistic German Worker’s Party,” abbreviated as N.S.D.A.P.) in 1922.  He rose from Generalinspektor für das Deutsche Straßenwesen (Inspector-General for German Roadways) in 1933 to Reich Minister for Arms and Armaments.

[21] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[22] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[23] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[24] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[25] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[26] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[27] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[28] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[29] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[30] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[31] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[32] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[33] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[34] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[35] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[36] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 14

[37] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 14

[38] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[39] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[40] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[41] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[42] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 11

[43] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[44] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[45] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[46] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[47] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[48] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[49] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[50] Gallery, pages 182, 183, and 186

[51] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 4

[52] Gallery, pages 182 and 183

[53] Gallery, p. 184

[54] Gallery, p. 184

[55] Gallery, pages 71, 94, and 95

See also Timothy Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” Hunt and Kill: U-505 and the U-boat War in the Atlantic. Edited by Theodore P. Savas. New York City, New York: Savas Beatie, L.L.C. (2004), p. 225

[56] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 225

[57] Gallery, p. 94

[58] Gallery, p. 94

[59] Gallery, p. 117

[60] Gallery, p. 117

[61] Gallery, pages 117 and 118

[62] Gallery, p. 118

[63] Gallery, p. 118

[64] Gallery, pages 118 and 119

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 226

[65] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 226

[66] Gallery, pages 119 and 120

[67] Gallery, pages 119 and 120

[68] Gallery, p. 119

[69] Gallery, p. 120

[70] Gallery, p. 158

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 227

[71] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 227

[72] Gallery, p. 159

[73] Gallery, p. 159

[74] Gallery, p. 159

Note I substituted Commandant for Captain because I believe it is a more accurate translation.

[75] Wise lists the date as September 15, 1942 (pages 7 & 10).  Mulligan also uses this date (Mulligan, p. 227).

Admiral Gallery more vaguely stated “Kapitän Leutnant Cszhech relieved Löwe early in October, 1942” (p. 161).  Gallery gave Zschech a rank Zschech did not yet have and spelt the name differently.

[76] Gallery, p. 163

[77] Timothy P. Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate: The Crew of U-505.” Hunt and Kill: U-505 and the U-boat War in the Atlantic. Edited by Theodore P. Savas. New York City, New York: Savas Beatie, L.L.C. (2004), p. 37

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 227

[78] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 227

[79] Gallery, p. 176

[80] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[81] Gallery, p. 196

[82] Gallery, p. 196

[83] Gallery, p. 196

[84] Gallery, p. 196

[85] Gallery, p. 196

See also Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 36

[86] Gallery, p. 197

[87] Gallery, p. 197

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[88] Gallery, p. 197

[89] Gallery, p. 196

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[90] Gallery, pages 196 and 197

[91] Gallery, pages 197 and 198

[92] Gallery, p. 198

[93] Gallery, p. 198

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[94] Gallery, pages 199-201

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[95] Gallery, p. 200

[96] Gallery, pages 200 and 201

[97] Gallery, pages 200 and 201

[98] Gallery, p. 201

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[99] Gallery, pages 201 and 202

[100] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[101] Gallery, p. 202

[102] Gallery, p. 202

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[103] Gallery, p. 202

[104] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[105] Gallery, p. 202

[106] Gallery, p. 202

[107] Gallery, p. 202

[108] Gallery, p. 202

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[109] Gallery, p. 202

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 228

[110] Gallery, p. 202

[111] Gallery, p. 202

Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[112] Gallery, p. 202

[113] Gallery, p. 202

[114] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

Mulligan stated the U-505 departed on August 14th (Mulligan, p. 229).

[115] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[116] Gallery, p. 202

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[117] Wise, p. 17

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[118] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[119] Gallery, p. 202

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[120] Gallery, p. 203

[121] Gallery, p. 203

See also Wise, p. 17

[122] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[123] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 34

[124] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” pages 35 and 36

[125] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 36

[126] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 36

[127] Gallery, p. 203

[128] Gallery, p. 203

[129] Gallery, p. 203

[130] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[131] Gallery, p. 203

[132] Gallery, p. 204

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[133] Gallery, p. 204

[134] Gallery, p. 204

[135] Gallery, p. 204

[136] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[137] Gallery, p. 204

[138] Gallery, p. 204

[139] Gallery, p. 205

[140] Gallery, p. 205

[141] Gallery, p. 205

[142] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[143] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 36

[144] Gallery, p. 205

[145] Gallery, p. 205

[146] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[147] Gallery, p. 206

[148] Gallery, pages 206 and 207

[149] Gallery, p. 213

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 229

[150] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 230

[151] Gallery, p. 213

[152] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 36

[153] Mulligan, “A Community Bound by Fate,” p. 37

[154] Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 230

[155] Gallery, p. 234

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 230

[156] Gallery, pages 234-236

See also Mulligan, “Appendix B: U-505 Combat Chronology,” p. 230

[157] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[158] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[159] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[160] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 8

[161] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[162] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[163] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[164] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[165] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[166] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[167] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 12

[168] Schmeelke and Schmeelke, p. 18

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