View Full Version : Noob Patrol 6 (The untimely demise of Ping Pong)

06-20-2005, 11:47 AM
~A lone U-Boat Captain fighting a battle of wits in the Atlantic€¦completely unarmed

Taken from the personal War Diary (Kriegstagebuch) of Captain J. Smitlack

Shore Leave
February 5 €" March 2, 1939

I report in to Herr Raeder. Apparently for over half a year I€ve been reporting to the wrong offices. Herr Raeder is in charge of the Reichsmarine and Herr Donitz is in charge of the Kriegsmarine. Reichsmarine Kriegsmarine its all Greek to me. I show up at Donitz office and he tells me I was supposed to report back in September. I€m only a little late. I guess Raeder had been telling me to report to Donitz since Patrol 1, guess I need to get the sal****er cleaned out of my ears. Anyway after a shower and shave I greet the Chief on the docks. I tell him that we are going to be upgrading the engines on U-1. On the 13th of February the work is well underway and with the Chief firmly in charge I head home to Elsa.

I arrive in time to catch her and my insurance salesman in bed together. Elsa explains that this would not have happened if I was not gone off to play war so often. I ask her what she would have me do. Take me with you is her reply. Well I just had a position open up as first officer I say. Can you do that? She asks. Of course I can I€m the Captain of the boat I can do anything. She seems to warm to the idea immediately and goes off to pack several bags. I cancel my policy with my agent and then stab him several times with a rusty spoon before making him take a long walk off a short pier.

Elsa and I report in to Wilhelmshaven a few days later. The time has come to test an idea I€ve had for a while. While still along the dock we submerge. The boat becomes hot and humid, like it always does. I smile over at Elsa, in the dim light she smiles back.

€œOpen screen doors!€ I order. The chief rolls his eyes and opens the outer screen doors. Elsa has a look of utter shock on her face. I can tell that she cannot believe the genius that she married. The rush of incoming salt water slams into the boat cooling off the crew instantly. The answer was not less humidity it was more a lot more. The boat quickly settles to the bottom.


Hmmmm Screen doors on a submarine€¦file that one in the seemed like a good idea at the time file. All of the crew make it off the boat safely with the exception of my first officer Elsa. I will think of her every time we submerge, or at least I€ll write about thinking about her every time we submerge in my diary. The real problem is now that U-1 has settled on the bottom of the harbor do we try to salvage or do we request a new boat? A smart Captain in the face of a determined and aggressive enemy would ask for a new boat a better boat. Lucky for the crew I am not a smart Captain. We will be sticking with U-1, smell and all. Upon hearing the news the Chief turns bright red, obviously too proud of me to say anything.

The salvage operation goes better than expected and we are able to raise U-1 from the bottom.

March 3, 1940
03:06 Nothing good can come out of sea voyage started on a Sunday. The old maritime legend echoes hollow in my head as I cross the gang plank to U-1. I€m sure that there is nothing to the old saying but I sacrifice a smelt to the angry sea Gods before we set out just to be sure. For safe keeping I toss the fish into the bilge. My first officer reports in. He is from Austria he tells me. €œI have never met anyone from China.€ I tell him and ask if I can call him Ping Pong. He says no. We are heading out to AN-73 the same grid as our last patrol. I guess someone at U-boat Command must think we will get lucky there again.

We pull away from the pier under electric motors. U-1 heads out into the harbor; half way across I give the order to Ping Pong to have the new diesel engines engaged. A low throaty growl emerges from the engine compartment and can be felt through out the boat. The deck plates beneath our feet shake and thrum in time to the engines.

€œThis is quite a boat; I have a feeling we are going to do some real damage with this tub.€ I remark to the Chief.

€œWe might even be able to inflict some on the British.€ He replies.

€œLet€s not get ahead of ourselves Chief.€

I smile to myself. I have a feeling the British are in for some real trouble this time.

€œPing Pong! Bring me my tea!€

March 4, 1940

We pull out of the harbor and head north to get beyond the chain of Frisian Islands before turning west into the North Sea steaming towards our patrol sector. The sea is flat and calm. I toss out a few lobster traps as we get under way. Lobster might be good upon out return.

March 5, 1940

00:47 we arrive at AN-73 and start our patrol of the area.

04:55 The watch spots a C Class Destroyer. U-1 submerges and tries to maneuver into a good firing position. The dd is moving to fast however and is quickly over the horizon.

10:23 Still submerged we spot a ship in the distance. We run up to Flank and close the distance.

10:34 A C-3 Cargo ship moving into a perfect firing position, she is beautiful, I have never seen a ship this large before.

10:40 I determine she is only moving 5 knots. She is a big son of gun so I begin plotting for a two torp attack but in my mind I have the thought that it might take up to four. The C-2€s have been almost impossible to sink and this is its big sister. I ask Ping Pong what he thinks they are hauling. He merely gives me a one finger answer.

10:46 U-1 has closed to within a thousand meters of the huge cargo ship. I open tube one and fire. Five seconds later I open tube two and fire.


10:47 My first torpedo slams into the fuel bunker igniting a brilliant explosion. The C-3 lifts up out of the water her back broken. As soon as she settles back in the water the second torpedo rips into her. She goes down fast.


I curse the fact that the C-3 would have gone down with one torp and that the second torpedo was wasted. I blame Ping Pong and order the engine room crew to beat him after I tell them that Ping made a disparaging remark about their mothers. I feel better afterwards when I realize that we still have 3 torps in which to engage the British.

We surface to recharge the O2 supply and charge the batteries. While we continue our patrol I order Ping Pong and the bow torpedo crew to reload the tubes.

March 6, 1940

In the early morning hours while I am on the toilet the watch spots a ship and they crash dive the boat on standing orders. After finishing I reach over to flush and accidentally fire a bow torpedo. I curse the fact that the torpedo firing mechanism in the head is on the right side right next to the toilet flush.

The boat turns out to be an armed trawler a long ways off. We surface and try to get into a good firing position. The trawler turns its spot light on and we home in on it. Before long it slips beyond the horizon. We are just unable to keep up. I tell Ping Pong that we should get a spotlight for U-1 that would be cool. He throws his hands above his head and stomps aft.

Our patrol of An-73 is complete we turn to the north. A C Class Destroyers steams across the horizon but is, once again, moving too fast to engage. It is disappears just as quickly as it appeared.

I arrange for Ping Pong to get what we affectionately refer to as a €œU-Boat Special€ for me having accidentally fired the torp at the trawler earlier. Ping Pong€s protests at the injustice of it all fall on deaf ears, mainly because they are Brutus€s ears from last patrol. A U-boat special involves the biggest sailor from the Torpedo room, Hubert, grabbing the intended, Ping Pong by the back of his underwear and pulling up until it rips and Ping is lifted off the ground. While pulling up on his underwear the crew shouts, €œRaise periscope, raise periscope!€ Once Ping Pong is off the ground Hubert turns him upside down and as the crew shouts, €œCrash dive, crash dive, crash dive!€ Hubert dunks Ping Pong€s head into the toilet. At which point the crew cries, €œDepth Charges in the water!€ And I as Captain flush the toilet. I€m going to suggest this to other Captains because it really brings the crew together.

March 7, 1940

Nothing much happened today. We continued steaming north. I order another beating for Ping Pong when he brings me my tea with lemon in it. The lemon I explain is only a weekend thing.

March 8, 1940

In the early morning hours we engage a C Class Destroyer at long range. I€m tired of these dd€s thinking that just because they can steam at 12 knots they can just keep steaming at that speed and there isn€t much we can do about it. What a bunch of jerks.

We fire a single torpedo and miss. I curse the British and tell Ping Pong to get ready for another beating.

We receive a report that a Capital Ship is heading south from the shipping lanes in the Norwegian Sea at high speed. The ship appears to be heading towards the western side of the United Kingdom. I order full head. U-1 shoots the gap between the Orkney Islands and Thurso.

14:01 We are spotted by a group of trawlers. They pursue us at high speed. U-1 submerges and takes evasive action. The trawlers are undeterred and call in a few planes to harass us. The bombs hit on either side of U-1 compromising the hull in several places. We dive as deep as we can in the shallow water like a bottom scavenger. We eventually manage to slip away which is surprising because my screaming alone almost drowns out Ping Pong€s screams from the beating I ordered when we were first attacked€¦ almost. We come to a dead stop and take a moment to catch our breath.

15:13 All quiet topside. I order Ping Pong to relieve the man on the hydrophone and do a sweep of the area. Ping Pong reports nothing on the hydrophone. We surface. While climbing to ladder to topside with Ping Pong following up below me I realizes that he is the first officer to actually live through an engagement with enemy. No sooner is the top hatch open when a deck gun fires punching an explosive fist through the middle of the watch tower killing Ping Pong instantly. The next salvo nearly takes my head off when I peak over the edge of the tower.

Two trawlers had pulled up behind us and were just waiting the sneaky little snots. I order full ahead. We cannot dive until the large hole in the tower is patched. I order a repair crew to patch it up and the crew to the flak gun. The crew refuses to man the gun even after I threaten to make them all First Officers. I€m going to need to get a new bag of tricks the old ones just aren€t working anymore.

A pair of Hawker Hurricanes show up circling like gnats. I can only throw up obscene hand gestures at them as my crew is too afraid to step topside. The Hurricanes scream in like grim death. They damage our flak gun missing me completely.

€œI hate it here!€ I scream to no one in particular as machine gun fire glances off the tower.

The tower is finally patched up. I order Ping Pong€s body beaten and then I throw it overboard. We dive. I order for silent running and ask all compartments to report damage but to do it in a whisper. Our compressor was damaged in the attack that and the flak gun is our only damage. We slip away.

16:50 I do a careful hydrophone sweep before raising the observation scope and doing several sweeps. I lament that we threw Ping Pong€s body overboard as I want to beat on him a bit more. We begin repairs, which is to say the crew slaves away while I sit back watching and drinking tea.

We spend the rest of the night on the surface making repairs, ventilating the boat of an odd fish smell and charging our batteries. We break through the gap south of Scapa Flow just before midnight.

March 9 €" 14, 1940

I spend most of the next five days in bed. I miss Ping Pong. I€m too depressed to appoint a new Number One. We stop in at a really cool cape called Cape Wrath and have a lunch of smelt and six day old bread. We do not spot a single ship. The Capital ship never appears so I decide to head back to the other side of England. We avoid the gap where we were caught by the trawlers and Hurricanes and take the long way around.

March 15, 1940

10:34 The watch spots a C-2. I should learn to leave these alone but I am too giddy at the fact of sending her to the bottom. I decide to run a surface attack. I calculate a two shot spread but before I can fire we are bracketed by bombs this time from a bi-plane. The crew refuses to man the flak gun so we dive with me cursing them.

16:45 we spot a lone fishing boat on the horizon. The waves are too high to engage with the deck gun and we let it pass unmolested. What harm can it do anyway I say.

17:13 I get my answer when a pair of Hurricanes show up and bomb us. After we dive I draft an order of war against the fishing commerce traffic. If U-1 ever runs across another fishing boat neutral, allied or enemy she is going straight to the bottom.

March 16, 1940

We drive along the eastern coast of England heading back towards our original patrol zone.

March 17, 1940

12:13 U-1 is steaming through AN-73 where she sunk her first C-3. When what should we come across.


Another C-3

12:28 We fire our remaining two torps.





And send her to Davie Jone€s locker. We steam for Wilhelmshaven at Flank speed.

March 18, 1940 we make record time back to Wilhelmshaven and have a slight problem parking the boat but nothing our skilled repair crews can patch her up.


I love those Nurses. As we tie up to the pier it dawns on me that I am a bachelor once again. I could dwell on Elsa but I do not. It was not meant to be. If you love someone sink them in a TypeII U-boat by flooding the boat when they least expect it. If they manage to escape the boat and make it to the surface alive it was meant to be. If they die by drowning while trapped in a pitch black U-boat cursing your name€¦ it was never meant to be.

All and all another successful patrol is under our belt. I let out a sigh of relief as my sea boots hit the deck. I order the Chief to supervise the repairing of the boat and order him to find me another Chinaman. He asks if I mean another Austrian. I tell him whatever, we€ll call him Chop Stick. I head off to report in.

Thanks to all who read the adventures of Captain J. Smitlack. I€ve never had so much fun writing in my entire life. I€m currently reading a couple of great books, Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson, which is really well written. Nuremberg by Joseph Persico the book is much better than the TNT movie that was based off of it. I€m also reading Hitler€s U-boat War: The Hunters 1939 - 1942, which was written by the late Clay Blair. It really goes into detail about the war in the Atlantic and what led up to it. If you are interested in this time period I highly recommend it. I hope to play and write more patrols in the coming days we will just have to see how forgiving my schedule is. Thanks again.

06-20-2005, 12:56 PM
LOL!!!! These are great, keep em comin

06-20-2005, 01:05 PM
Love it, thanks......

06-20-2005, 01:11 PM
Thanks jerk....I just pissed myself at work....

where is ping pong when i need him...lol

fooking great stuff...

06-20-2005, 02:41 PM
I just got Shadow Divers. Looks very interesting. Funny stuff keep it coming.

Yen Lo
06-20-2005, 02:53 PM
good job bud http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

06-20-2005, 05:29 PM
I truly enjoyed this story from beginning to end, I even found myself telling my wife about it who then fought me to get on the computer to read herself. I find myself silently laughing at it even as I go about what i am doing. Thank you for a truly enjoyable post. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

06-20-2005, 06:12 PM
It's 2 in the morning and the neighbours are banging on the walls telling me to be quiet and whats so darned funny anyway??
Laughter is supposed to make you live longer.....I just got another year or two extra...http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Thanx heaps...

06-20-2005, 06:24 PM
Psychfilm, here's an idea for ya. Print out what you write up, with pictures, make a book and sell it after your tour of duty is finished. I bet there'd be a bunch of us that would buy a copy.

Yeah yeah, I know.... we could just print it out ourselves, but that just wouldn't be the same. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Besides, think how valueable an autographed First Edition of it would be. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

06-20-2005, 07:25 PM

wish i could sink MY ex in a type 2!

06-20-2005, 09:30 PM
Great stuff Psychfilm http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

Your Captain Smitlack is quite clearly a man of great resource and intellect, and one that ought not be reckoned with, unless you are lucky enough to chance upon him alone in a dark alley (at night). He reminds me a bit of a Captain Blackadder I once knew...

Where can we read the rest of his entries?
*Edit - Found it HERE (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=search&reqWords=noob+patrol&use_forum_scope=on&forum_scope=857101043)

06-21-2005, 12:16 AM
Great story. Don`t stop man. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

06-21-2005, 09:24 AM
Thanks everyone. Noob Patrol 7 (Socko's Madness) should be out tomorrow, I hope. I am thinking about putting together a book about Smitlack and his crew. I really seem to be getting into the game and the time period. Thanks again to all you who read the adventures and give feedback. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif