View Full Version : A Busy Few Days off Gibraltar

06-15-2005, 07:17 PM
My first patrol in my new Type IXC was nice and close, CG-11. The patrol was uneventful so I decided to see what the big deal was about Gibraltar, only a short cruise away. The way 2 convoy routes and 2 single merchant routes converge there looked . . . interesting.

As I approach the Straights the hydrophones pick up several destroyers and a merchant. Running at periscope depth I move to intercept the merchant while keeping an eye on the DDs. I spot a Hunt and a Tribal in the distance but they remain unaware of my presence. The merchant turns out to be a big fat C3. I salvo two Type Is into him and he goes dead in the water but stays afloat. The DDs are closing in from all points of the compass so I mark the C3's position on the map and clear the area, heading south.

After just a few minutes I pick up two more merchants, cruising as if to give me the best possible shot at them. Both are Coastal Merchants, sailing in line astern and close enough that I can engage both at once with good impact angle at close range. I fire tubes 1 and 2. Both eels run true . . . and both bounce off the curve of the lower hull, as I've set them a bit too deep. The merchants start to maneuver but the range is short so I take a snapshot at the leader, going under the keel as angle is worsening rapidly. Too bad I forgot to set the torpedo to magnetic. Disgusted with myself for wasting 3 torpedoes on Coastal Merchants and coming away empty handed, I decide to finish off the crippled C3 to the north.

I'm not the only one with that destination in mind. A Hunt I is also heading in that direction. Their shallow draft makes a magnetic shot in heavy seas questionable, but the angle is good so I set the depth to 1.5m and impact detonation. The Type Ia eel practically skips across the tops of the waves as it burns it at 45 kts. The Hunt becomes the hunted and blows up spectacularly. I finish off the C3 with a shot from the stern tube and continue southeast toward the Straits.

I encounter another Coastal Merchant and sink it without difficulty. Now things get interesting; my battery charge is very low after a hard day's work, so I have to surface and recharge before sunset. The Straights are crawling with destroyers and the sky is full of Hurricanes. My highly qualified Chief Sr. Warrant Officer flak gunners will not engage any aircraft until after it has completed its attack run. Very sporting of them, but not good for the morale of the rest of the crew, especially the ones trying to reload torpedoes from external stores. I lose both gunners during one attack but fortunately my flak specialists had rotated off duty and it was a pair of lesser crew I buried at sea.

With a partial battery charge I am forced to dive when the destroyers get too close. In the narrow Straits they seem to prefer patrolling in a north-south pattern, making a 180 degree turn to port at the end of the southern leg. Having figured this out, I position myself at a likely spot and sit silently, engines stopped. Soon enough a V&W makes a fatal cruise less than a km in front of me.

I continue east through the Straits, surfacing to charge batteries whenever there are no DDs in visual range. At 00:55 I bag another V&W using the same tactics, which immediately diverts a nearby Tribal to his location. By chance his course crosses by bow at close range and a shot under the keel ends his career only 3 minutes later.

I continue east and before 07:00 I've gotten 2 more V&Ws, a Hunt, another Tribal, and a Coastal Merchant. The last 2 destroyers were particularly exciting. I was on the surface, running from the Hunt I while I got every last bit of battery charge possible before he got into firing range. When he got too close I went to periscope depth and prepped a stern tube for a 4m magnetic detonation, then waited, glued to the attack scope, while he closed the range. I fired when he was about 700m -- I doubted he could avoid the shot at that range even if he saw it in the 15m/s seas. In fact, as he was overtaking me by about 25kts, the torpedo would barely have time to arm before it hit. With 2 seconds to impact there was an explosion behind the Hunt. Was it my torpedo? That question was answered 2 seconds later as the Hunt was blasted in half. The cause of the mystery explosion was revealed a second later when I looked around and discovered a Tribal charging me from the front, less than 500m away and firing at my periscope! I ordered hard right rudder and a crash dive. No depth-charging followed so he must have been more interested in the sinking Hunt than in me. I went back up to periscope depth and nailed him with a lucky shot a few minutes later.

With only one eel remaining I set a course back to Lorient, leaving the Straits of Gibraltar and the swarms of destroyers behind. The weather miraculously cleared up and I was able to use my deck and flak guns to good effect, bagging several more ships and aircraft. The highlight of this part of the trip was blasting apart a Coastal Merchant with the 105 while my flak gunners downed 3 of the 4 Hurricanes that came to its aid. I also managed to get exactly the right angle on a C2-C3 pair that I could engage both with the deck gun at the same time. I aimed for the hull of the leader, and if I missed him it would hit the other ship at the waterline.

I'm off on another patrol of the easter part of CE now, and if I have any torpedoes left I know where I'll be going after that http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif





06-15-2005, 08:07 PM
Thats one busy/sucessful patrol! nice tonnage!

heh, bloody IX's - a crash dive in an IX, practically takes the same time as a VIIC's standard dive. I like their extra torpedos and range, but i just cant stand the handling on them, takes about an hour just to turn the sub 180 degrees when submerged, by which point that juicy C2 cargo is already unloading at Liverpool.

06-16-2005, 02:10 AM
I thought you said you had some crew die???

Thats not reported in the stats


06-16-2005, 03:43 AM
Yes I was sure I had 2 guys die, but I must have mixed that up with the other career I'm playing. Or else the game crashed and the deaths happened after my last save. That's also quite possible. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-16-2005, 09:00 AM
If you burry the crew at sea, it doesn't show in the end as having any deaths. Kind of a wierd bug.

06-17-2005, 04:31 AM
Great story rls669!

I also love to roam the waters near Gibraltar, but have never succeeded in sinking the number of ships you did in your reported mission.

To be honest, mostly in traffice chokepoints like the Gibraltar area I leave coastal and small merchants 'alone'.

Recharging batteries IS a vital aspect of hunting in that area!

Looking forward to more stories like this - keeps me SHIII minded at the office...

"Ik val aan... volg mij!"
(admiraal De Ruijter)

06-17-2005, 10:46 AM
Great patrol. S! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif