This translated German log relates to S100 and S143 of 9th Flotilla, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Bernd Klug - although this log is unsigned, in the messages which he sends to other E-boats, he refers to himself as 'Chief 5th E-boat flotilla') (Ed.) Abbreviations: OIC (Officer in Charge) E-boats = F.d.S. = Führer der Schnellboote S147 etc = German designation of the E-boats
German E-boat Logs
1st pair (S100/143)
1st pair (S100/143):
proceeded at 34 knots to point B after dismissal of the other pairs.
Underwater telephone mate reports: S138 reports to S136: “Shadow 20 degrees off port.” A few minutes later I observe a very large detonation with two white columns of water at about 110 deg. true course. No hit was felt on the boat; after some time a loud high-pitched bang comes through the air; when at about 0008h 2 flares are seen very high in the sky. I conclude there are planes. Immediately after observing detonation I ask S136 via underwater telephone “What was that?” No answer from S136 or S138.
Speed reduced to 15 knots in order not to betray ships because of phosphorescent wake.
Speed increased to 34 knots.
Pair at B, no sightings, despite very good visibility. Due to uncertain position of 3rd pair I remain at B and do not yet penetrate further into Lyme Bay.
Short code message finally received from S138: “square 2393 right centre 2 destroyers.”
from OIC E-boats: “Destroyers from the east.”
from S138: “Destroyer sinking.”
I decide to initiate an operation from the north to the site of the torpedoing of the destroyer with the 1st pair, course to the east. I want to attempt to intercept the 2nd destroyer in the north is possible and therefore give this radio telegraph message to S138: “Report whether 2nd destroyer still present and location. Chief 5th E-boat flotilla.” Our transmission of this message very much delayed so that I cannot count on an answer for the time being.
Reconnaissance report from S140 (2nd pair, 5th E-boat flotilla): “Convoy 7 naut. mi. north of Z.” Lacking further information about the destroyers reported in Square 2369 center right, I turn around and proceed to point Z at speed of 24 knots.
Short code message sent to S140: “Report your position” in order to be informed for approach.
My position is between Y and Z. To the north I observe 4-cm. fire and assume our boats engaged in combat there. At that time S140 reports: “Convoy on southerly course” and “My position is square 2365”. Thereupon I proceed north with 1st pair at 24 knots.
Convoy with southerly course in view in northeast.
Message sent: “My position is square 2365 bottom left, course northeast” to inform other boats of situation.
Maneuvered into firing position at low speed. Torpedoed first arriving steamer, ca. 2000-3000 tons, shortly before another boat fired on it. Aimed at next steamer.
Fired double shot at distance of ca. 1500m in order to be able to shoot without being noticed. The shots missed, apparently due to underestimation of speed, which had been reduced to 5 knots.
About 0203h another fairly large tanker had been torpedoed by another boat in the north, it is now burning brightly and putting out a tremendous amount of black smoke. The southern part of the bay is covered with this smoke.
Partner boat S143 fired two coordinated single shots at a 1500 ton steamer, hit after 76 sec. Steamer sinks in flames. While reloading, pair maneuvers to southeast and east toward a burning target which can still be seen. The random fire from all sides cannot reach or influence the pair. The steamer keeps on disappearing in the smoke and mist. I cannot increase speed due to the other ships very close by (2 boats of the 9th flotilla appear in view several times) and therefore decide at 0242h to return.
Radio telegraph message received from OIC E-boats: “Sail to southwest during return.”
OIC E-boats and S140 report several destroyers in position to intercept.
Square 2392 top center return at 36 knots, course 187 degrees.
In the south I see two destroyers shoot their flares to the south and decide to take advantage of the favorable position to attack the destroyers from the rear. My two boats have 2 torpedos each left on board.
With 184 degree course, 36 knot speed, operated on destroyers in square 2398, which are visible as shadows from 0316h on.
Stopped. To the south I see two destroyers, one each on port and starboard ahead, heading east, and one destroyer to the east with a northeasterly course. Discussed coordinated double firing by megaphone, in order not to use the underwater telephone. The target is to be the destroyer to the south and right. Suddenly the one in the east is seen to be in an especially favorable position at close range. [Translator’s note: from here to the bottom of this page, about 12 characters at the end of each line are missing; this reconstruction of the text is highly tentative.] I led [the pair] toward her to attack – destroyer […(perhaps the courses of the E-boat and destroyer)] becomes acute, steered away again, whereby […] at very low speed S143 [was hit] in the stern […] and slightly damaged. Therefore [I unfortunately] must decide to call off the attack, [since] I assume that the port Tor[pedo tube] of S143 is also damaged and I do not wish to subject the group to [enemy] dang! er.
Establish course to west at 15 knots and after […] report S143 continued return to Channel Islands.
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9th E-boat flotilla reports enemy landing craft in the square to the west, so at 0335h course changed to 193 degrees and 36 knots.
Radio message from OIC E-boats: “Coast alerted, report details.” I report: “3 destroyers square BF 2398 course north-northeast.” and “Nothing unusual except for destroyers reported. My position is in square 2637.”
Radio telegraph message sent to OIC E-boats: “Request calming down of our own coast and Channel Islands, since I see significant danger for our own returning boats if coast too agitated.”
Square 2663 right center.
Unforeseen bomb attack attack in square 3543 top center, four bombs between lead and partner boat, no outages.