PDA

View Full Version : Patrol Diary of Herbert Altmeier Part 5b (long)



paulhager
10-22-2005, 10:52 PM
2 May 1944
While Braun and Kessler supervised the transfer of the T3, Von Augsburg returned to his cabin. Deutschmeister went off duty, leaving me the con. The recent engagement with the escort had left the duty roster in chaos.

The transfer took the better part of an hour. When it was completed, Braun retired and Kessler joined me in the control room. For the rest of the morning I was nominally in command. Weather remained good and I shot the sun and then retired for a nap.

I woke up a little before 1400 and went to the control room. Von Augsburg€s voice filled the compartment. His demeanor had changed dramatically €" the swagger and bombast were back and he was regaling Braun and Deutschmeister with the latest installment in the continuing Von Augsburg saga: the battle with the escort. He was working up to the climax of the story as I came through the hatch.

€œAs he circled around I turned behind him and then, at just the right moment, I threw a bone right in front of his snout.€ Had I said that aloud? I€ll allow that Von Augsburg€s embellishment sounded better but, not only was he taking the credit for maneuvering us out of danger, he was describing the action using my words. It was my turn to grip the chart table.

Von Augsburg made a great show of noticing that I was in the room, €œAh, young Mister Altmeier has favored us with his presence. I was just filling in Braun here on our battle with the escort.€ I nodded. €œWhat say you, Altmeier? Anything to add?€ Full of false bonhomie. €œFrom what I heard, Sir, you captured things pretty well.€

€œThank you Altmeier. You know, I couldn€t have done it without you and the Chief €" I€m thinking of putting you both in for a commendation.€ He obviously intended no such thing €" it was not in Von Augsburg€s nature to share credit with anyone. Not that there was any credit in the action. It was an out and out blunder.

We submerged at 1600 for a sound check. Von Augsburg announced that the officers, except for Kessler, would have dinner at 1800.

I€m finding Von Augsburg€s incessant strutting and preening to be more difficult to endure than I€d imagined. I€ve decided to wear my combat ribbons and badges from now on. Until now I€ve followed the example of the Old Man, who wore none. I was completely ignorant of how highly decorated he was until I received my first medal. At the ceremony the Old Man wore a chest full of medals on his dress uniform and a Knight€s Cross with diamonds around his neck. Yvette has my Iron Cross First Class and other medals but I have the associated badges, which I€ve attached to my uniform. We shall see how they are received at dinner.

Dinner began promptly at 1800. We were cruising at slow ahead, depth 50 meters. As I sat, I was aware the other officers were stealing glances at my Iron Cross. Good, I thought. Unlike the others, Von Augsburg knew my record, yet he was unable to hide his surprise at seeing me wearing the badges I had earned.

As usual, Von Augsburg monopolized the conversation. He told us about the €œlast time€ he had dinner with the Führer. It was three years ago, shortly after he had graduated Heidelberg. The dinner was a large affair and Von Augsburg was there with his father, who was part of Speer€s entourage. €œThe Führer was magnificent: truly the living embodiment of the spirit of the German People!€

Von Augsburg returned to his favorite topic. €œBad luck today, eh Chief?€ Von Augsburg wrapped his arm around Deutschmeister€s shoulders. €œBut we€ll do better next time.€ €œYes, Captain,€ agreed Deutschmeister.

My mind began to wander. How was I to deal with Von Augsburg? As the Captain, he possesses ultimate authority but is totally incompetent. Now that he had reverted to his normal, self-aggrandizing behavior, how was I to control him? My reverie was interrupted the latest iteration of the war story: €œ€¦ 2000 meters, two torpedoes €" a gamble, yes, but we may need that Wren later, eh Chief?€ Deutschmeister was like a dog eager for his master€s approval, €œYes, Captain.€

Von Augsburg turned toward me. €œYou€ve been very quiet, Altmeier. I€m sure we€d all benefit from the assessment of a true hero of the Fatherland.€ I was thrown into confusion. Why was he asking my opinion? What if I really gave it? I began, €œIt was a bold gambit €¦€ and hesitated. €œYes, Altmeier, very good,€ Von Augsburg immediately filled the void. €œA gambit: a calculated risk now for a gain in the future.€ But that wasn€t what I wanted to say at all. I was trying to come up with a way of stating that it was a risk not worth taking €" to flatter first and then offer a carefully worded criticism. Von Augsburg had completely outmaneuvered me to make it appear I was endorsing his incompetence. Wearing my decorations had just given him the opportunity to further burnish his image with the rest of the command staff. For the first time I realized where Von Augsburg€s talents lay: he was the world€s foremost expert at promoting the career of Hans Von Augsburg. I had tangled with a master and lost.

As soon as etiquette would permit, I excused myself. €œMy apologies, Captain. I need to check my fuel consumption estimates.€ €œCertainly, Altmeier.€ I stood and walked aft to the control room. If I could, I would have rammed my fist through the pressure hull - such was my anger.

At 2000, Von Augsburg returned to his cabin. I took the opportunity to speak privately with him.

Von Augsburg was lying on his bunk reading €" across the corridor the SO was patiently listening on the hydrophone. €œSorry to bother, Captain. May we speak?€

€œOf course, Altmeier,€ he boomed €" just below command voice.

€œSir,€ sotto voce, €œmy duty is to the Fatherland, the boat, and to you. I believe that duty requires I give you the benefit of my experience, which I have tried to do.€ No response. Von Augsburg watched me with reptilian impassivity. €œSir, I want you to know that you can rely on me.€

€œWhat is your point, Altmeier?€ Quiet, menacing.
€œSir, attacking the escort was the right decision.€
€œI€m glad you approve, Altmeier. Is that all?€
€œNo sir. Had you asked for recommendations before proceeding, my advice for a 2000 meter, bow-on shot would have been to use the Wren in Tube IV.€
€œSo, you believe I committed an error in judgement.€ Icy.
€œSir, it was an extremely difficult shot €" one for which the Wren was designed. The low probability of success translated into a high probability that we would be subjected to a depth charge attack. Naturally, the execution of any attack is solely the prerogative of the Captain€¦€

€œYes, Altmeier. It is solely my responsibility, not yours. You said it yourself. It was a €˜gambit€. Anything else?€ Finality was in his voice.

€œNo, Sir.€ I turned and left.

Idiot! I€m an idiot!

3 May 1944
It€s 1300, and my first opportunity to write an entry. I€ve only just come off duty. Every time I was preparing to go off duty, I was given some new task €" generally make-work. I suspect Von Augsburg has arranged punishment for my effrontery.

It€s 1630. I€m writing this in the head. There€s no question €" I€m being denied sleep. I got about a half-hour of sleep, if that, then back up again.

2230 - again, in the head. Got a report 10 minutes ago from U-814 of a fast-moving freighter. U-814 had to break off the attack due to enemy aircraft.

4 May 1944
0100 - I doubt I€m going to get a chance to sleep so I€m writing this entry.

I plotted an intercept course for the freighter based upon the U-814€s report. Von Augsburg had the radar turned on. As I was standing at the chart table, I started to nod off. €œAltmeier!€ Von Augsburg was right on top of me. €œAltmeier,€ he whispered, €œI€m sure you don€t want to spoil your fine record by falling asleep on duty.€

Just before midnight, radar picked up the vessel. Von Augsburg ordered submerge, periscope depth.

After Von Augsburg looked through the scope he lowered it and turned to me. €œAltmeier, have you ever conducted an attack on an enemy ship?€ No, sir, I answered. €œWell, here€s your chance. Take over.€

I had had an hour-and-a-half of sleep in the past 40-odd hours. But I couldn€t refuse. I walked over to the scope and began issuing orders. €œSO, I want regular bearing and distance reports on the target. Up scope.€ Seas were calm and we were at all stop. I found the target: a medium tanker, about 10000 GWT, draft 9.5. Hasselbach asked, €œRecognition manuel?€ Not necessary, I grunted.

A picture was emerging of the tanker€s course. I ordered ahead slow, 15 degree starboard turn and then all stop again. €œSO, I want updates every 15 seconds.€ Hasselbach was graphing the target€s path on the chart €" I was doing the same in my head. After 2 minutes I had a solution €" so did Hasselbach. €œI make it 12 knots.€ No, I said, it€s 14. I said it confidently but I was so sleepy it could as easily have been 4 knots.

€œReady Tubes II and III. Depth 10.0, spread 1.0, Gyro angle 0.€ At bearing 25, range 810, I fired €" leading the tanker so as to hit around amidships. I was off a bit €" the spread hit slightly forward.
http://tinypic.com/euexap.jpg

The tanker went dead in the water, down by the bow. I had felt a surge of energy during the attack but now fatigue washed over me. I turned, leaning on the scope handles. Von Augsburg was staring at me with unalloyed hatred. €œWould you like to finish her off?€ I asked him. Von Augsburg walked over to the scope. I moved aside so that he could look through. After he satisfied himself that the tanker was, indeed, helpless he sent me to bed. I heard two more hits before she sank.

5 May 1944
He let me sleep. The punishment seems to be at an end.

I€ve taken to being much more careful with my diary entries. I do so much writing and figuring in my role as navigator, along with my daily letters to Yvette, that I doubt the diary raises suspicions. Still, I think caution must now be the order of the day.

6 May 1944
Weather remains clear. Von Augsburg continues to use the radar promiscuously.

7 May 1944
The winds freshened overnight. Seas moderate, clouds scattered.

Von Augsburg has been somewhat subdued since I sank €" or, more accurately, crippled €" the tanker. In retrospect, I€m surprised he gave me the chance to show what I can do. Obviously, he was setting me up to fail. More fool he.

9 May 1944
We are approaching the patrol zone. Should arrive late evening. Weather is again good.

There have been a couple of reports of isolated transports the past two days. I plotted intercept courses but Von Augsburg didn€t wish to divert. No convoys have been sighted.

10 May 1944
Have spent 24 hours in our patrol zone. Seas rough, heavy overcast. Von Augsburg radioed for instructions. We are to patrol zones AM 26, 33, and 34. There have been reports of enemy task forces.

11 May 1944
Von Augsburg has not spoken to me in days. He relays orders to me through Braun or Kessler. Neither man is a standout but both seem to be reasonably competent and no-nonsense. Hasselbach, I think, is a little sub-par, but is a hard worker and has an easy way with the men.

Von Augsburg€s motor seems to have run down. He has exhausted his repertoire of stories and has begun to repeat himself. Even his principal toady, Deutschmeister, is evincing boredom.

12 May 1944
Weather improved around noon. I was able to shoot the sun. Fuel consumption is nominal. I estimate 8200 kilometers at one-third.

After evening sound check, we surfaced and Von Augsburg once again ordered the radar turned on. Half the time we€re surfaced we€re announcing our position to the enemy, who, inexplicably, is uninterested.

Two hours after sunset, the enemy finally showed some interest. The radar picked up fast moving targets, bearing 40. Von Augsburg ordered ahead full and FLAK crew to the bridge. Insane. I couldn€t say anything €" I knew he wasn€t going to listen to me. It crossed my mind that I could join the FLAK crew but I hadn€t trained with them. This was not the time to improvise. I was utterly helpless. All I could do was ride it out and pray.

Kessler started yelling orders €" course and speed changes. Then the guns opened up. Very quietly I began to chant:


Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.


The first stick of bombs hit astern.
http://tinypic.com/euexi1.jpg

Kessler ordered ahead flank. Von Augsburg started to make his way to the radar room when the next stick of bombs hit. The boat lurched violently. I was holding on to the chart table and pulled a muscle in my left arm. Deutschmeister was thrown to the floor. As the boat steadied, I saw that Von Augsburg was crumpled next to the forward bulkhead. Blood was beginning to pool beneath his head. I took command. €œALARM €" FLAK crew below, crash dive!€ Deutschmeister was back on his feet, staring at me. €œFollow orders, d*** you,€ I yelled at him. Then, €œMedic to the control room.€

As we passed 40 meters another stick of bombs fell astern. €œMake your depth 100 meters.€

When Braun entered the control room I reported and relinquished the con to him. I went over to the captain. The medic had him on his back and was working on him. I could see that Von Augsburg€s eyes were open but otherwise unresponsive. When the medic shined his light in them, the pupils remained dilated. It appeared that Von Augsburg had fallen against the hatch and smashed his head on one of the dogs. You didn€t have to be a medic to know that he had suffered a severe head injury. Almost certainly a fractured skull and probable hemorrhage.

The damage reports came in. Miraculously, the boat had come through unscathed. And, other than some scrapes and bruises (and my pulled muscle) everyone save Von Augsburg was unhurt.

Braun wanted a conference with the command staff. He wanted recommendations. We all agreed that we should return to port. The only question was which. Saint Nazaire was closer but only if we didn€t swing wide to avoid enemy air patrols. If we went to Bergen we€d be past the biggest concentrations of enemy aircraft after only a couple of days. Von Augsburg, if he survived, could get adequate medical care there so it was agreed that Bergen was our destination.

13 May 1944
Weather worsened during the night. Heavy fog, visibility near zero. Late morning during sound check, picked up a freighter. Braun decided to engage. I charted it from sonar and gave Braun a recommended course to intercept. We got in position but the freighter had changed course. I suggested a sonar only attack. Braun said no and I didn€t press the matter. I worked out a new intercept course but Braun decided to break off and resume our base course.

The fog lifted somewhat around sundown. Weather remained marginal €" heavy overcast, visibility about 2000 meters.

We picked up another freighter on sonar. I computed that we could intercept with only a minor course adjustment. Braun ordered the new course and the hunt was on. We ran surfaced at flank speed for exactly 12 minutes and submerged again. This freighter had stayed on course.

After tracking it for 3 minutes, course and speed were fixed. Braun came over to the chart table. The strain of command showed €" he appeared dead on his feet. €œAltmeier, you want to handle the attack?€ €œYes, Captain, I would.€ He started upon hearing the word €œCaptain€. Braun announced that I had the con and he retired to his bunk.

We had 8 torpedoes left €" 5 in the bow, 2 in the stern, plus a Wren in external storage. I concluded that in order to get the Wren out of external storage, the simplest approach would be to attack with the stern tube. I ordered a 180 degree turn to bring the stern tube to bear.

It was a simple shot €" the Wren changed course and went for the target€s stern, blowing out the propellers and steering.
http://tinypic.com/euexok.jpg

It took two more torpedoes from the bow tubes to deliver the coup de grace.
http://tinypic.com/euexyf.jpg

I turned to con over to Hasselbach and hit the bunk.

14-17 May 1944
The rest of the voyage was uneventful. From the 15th on, we ceased sound checks and ran ahead standard.

I had forgotten how beautiful the fjords are. Although summer is fast approaching, some of the mountains are capped with snow.

We docked at 1532, 17 May.

Von Augsburg never regained consciousness. He was alive, though barely, when they took him from the boat.

paulhager
10-22-2005, 10:52 PM
2 May 1944
While Braun and Kessler supervised the transfer of the T3, Von Augsburg returned to his cabin. Deutschmeister went off duty, leaving me the con. The recent engagement with the escort had left the duty roster in chaos.

The transfer took the better part of an hour. When it was completed, Braun retired and Kessler joined me in the control room. For the rest of the morning I was nominally in command. Weather remained good and I shot the sun and then retired for a nap.

I woke up a little before 1400 and went to the control room. Von Augsburg€s voice filled the compartment. His demeanor had changed dramatically €" the swagger and bombast were back and he was regaling Braun and Deutschmeister with the latest installment in the continuing Von Augsburg saga: the battle with the escort. He was working up to the climax of the story as I came through the hatch.

€œAs he circled around I turned behind him and then, at just the right moment, I threw a bone right in front of his snout.€ Had I said that aloud? I€ll allow that Von Augsburg€s embellishment sounded better but, not only was he taking the credit for maneuvering us out of danger, he was describing the action using my words. It was my turn to grip the chart table.

Von Augsburg made a great show of noticing that I was in the room, €œAh, young Mister Altmeier has favored us with his presence. I was just filling in Braun here on our battle with the escort.€ I nodded. €œWhat say you, Altmeier? Anything to add?€ Full of false bonhomie. €œFrom what I heard, Sir, you captured things pretty well.€

€œThank you Altmeier. You know, I couldn€t have done it without you and the Chief €" I€m thinking of putting you both in for a commendation.€ He obviously intended no such thing €" it was not in Von Augsburg€s nature to share credit with anyone. Not that there was any credit in the action. It was an out and out blunder.

We submerged at 1600 for a sound check. Von Augsburg announced that the officers, except for Kessler, would have dinner at 1800.

I€m finding Von Augsburg€s incessant strutting and preening to be more difficult to endure than I€d imagined. I€ve decided to wear my combat ribbons and badges from now on. Until now I€ve followed the example of the Old Man, who wore none. I was completely ignorant of how highly decorated he was until I received my first medal. At the ceremony the Old Man wore a chest full of medals on his dress uniform and a Knight€s Cross with diamonds around his neck. Yvette has my Iron Cross First Class and other medals but I have the associated badges, which I€ve attached to my uniform. We shall see how they are received at dinner.

Dinner began promptly at 1800. We were cruising at slow ahead, depth 50 meters. As I sat, I was aware the other officers were stealing glances at my Iron Cross. Good, I thought. Unlike the others, Von Augsburg knew my record, yet he was unable to hide his surprise at seeing me wearing the badges I had earned.

As usual, Von Augsburg monopolized the conversation. He told us about the €œlast time€ he had dinner with the Führer. It was three years ago, shortly after he had graduated Heidelberg. The dinner was a large affair and Von Augsburg was there with his father, who was part of Speer€s entourage. €œThe Führer was magnificent: truly the living embodiment of the spirit of the German People!€

Von Augsburg returned to his favorite topic. €œBad luck today, eh Chief?€ Von Augsburg wrapped his arm around Deutschmeister€s shoulders. €œBut we€ll do better next time.€ €œYes, Captain,€ agreed Deutschmeister.

My mind began to wander. How was I to deal with Von Augsburg? As the Captain, he possesses ultimate authority but is totally incompetent. Now that he had reverted to his normal, self-aggrandizing behavior, how was I to control him? My reverie was interrupted the latest iteration of the war story: €œ€¦ 2000 meters, two torpedoes €" a gamble, yes, but we may need that Wren later, eh Chief?€ Deutschmeister was like a dog eager for his master€s approval, €œYes, Captain.€

Von Augsburg turned toward me. €œYou€ve been very quiet, Altmeier. I€m sure we€d all benefit from the assessment of a true hero of the Fatherland.€ I was thrown into confusion. Why was he asking my opinion? What if I really gave it? I began, €œIt was a bold gambit €¦€ and hesitated. €œYes, Altmeier, very good,€ Von Augsburg immediately filled the void. €œA gambit: a calculated risk now for a gain in the future.€ But that wasn€t what I wanted to say at all. I was trying to come up with a way of stating that it was a risk not worth taking €" to flatter first and then offer a carefully worded criticism. Von Augsburg had completely outmaneuvered me to make it appear I was endorsing his incompetence. Wearing my decorations had just given him the opportunity to further burnish his image with the rest of the command staff. For the first time I realized where Von Augsburg€s talents lay: he was the world€s foremost expert at promoting the career of Hans Von Augsburg. I had tangled with a master and lost.

As soon as etiquette would permit, I excused myself. €œMy apologies, Captain. I need to check my fuel consumption estimates.€ €œCertainly, Altmeier.€ I stood and walked aft to the control room. If I could, I would have rammed my fist through the pressure hull - such was my anger.

At 2000, Von Augsburg returned to his cabin. I took the opportunity to speak privately with him.

Von Augsburg was lying on his bunk reading €" across the corridor the SO was patiently listening on the hydrophone. €œSorry to bother, Captain. May we speak?€

€œOf course, Altmeier,€ he boomed €" just below command voice.

€œSir,€ sotto voce, €œmy duty is to the Fatherland, the boat, and to you. I believe that duty requires I give you the benefit of my experience, which I have tried to do.€ No response. Von Augsburg watched me with reptilian impassivity. €œSir, I want you to know that you can rely on me.€

€œWhat is your point, Altmeier?€ Quiet, menacing.
€œSir, attacking the escort was the right decision.€
€œI€m glad you approve, Altmeier. Is that all?€
€œNo sir. Had you asked for recommendations before proceeding, my advice for a 2000 meter, bow-on shot would have been to use the Wren in Tube IV.€
€œSo, you believe I committed an error in judgement.€ Icy.
€œSir, it was an extremely difficult shot €" one for which the Wren was designed. The low probability of success translated into a high probability that we would be subjected to a depth charge attack. Naturally, the execution of any attack is solely the prerogative of the Captain€¦€

€œYes, Altmeier. It is solely my responsibility, not yours. You said it yourself. It was a €˜gambit€. Anything else?€ Finality was in his voice.

€œNo, Sir.€ I turned and left.

Idiot! I€m an idiot!

3 May 1944
It€s 1300, and my first opportunity to write an entry. I€ve only just come off duty. Every time I was preparing to go off duty, I was given some new task €" generally make-work. I suspect Von Augsburg has arranged punishment for my effrontery.

It€s 1630. I€m writing this in the head. There€s no question €" I€m being denied sleep. I got about a half-hour of sleep, if that, then back up again.

2230 - again, in the head. Got a report 10 minutes ago from U-814 of a fast-moving freighter. U-814 had to break off the attack due to enemy aircraft.

4 May 1944
0100 - I doubt I€m going to get a chance to sleep so I€m writing this entry.

I plotted an intercept course for the freighter based upon the U-814€s report. Von Augsburg had the radar turned on. As I was standing at the chart table, I started to nod off. €œAltmeier!€ Von Augsburg was right on top of me. €œAltmeier,€ he whispered, €œI€m sure you don€t want to spoil your fine record by falling asleep on duty.€

Just before midnight, radar picked up the vessel. Von Augsburg ordered submerge, periscope depth.

After Von Augsburg looked through the scope he lowered it and turned to me. €œAltmeier, have you ever conducted an attack on an enemy ship?€ No, sir, I answered. €œWell, here€s your chance. Take over.€

I had had an hour-and-a-half of sleep in the past 40-odd hours. But I couldn€t refuse. I walked over to the scope and began issuing orders. €œSO, I want regular bearing and distance reports on the target. Up scope.€ Seas were calm and we were at all stop. I found the target: a medium tanker, about 10000 GWT, draft 9.5. Hasselbach asked, €œRecognition manuel?€ Not necessary, I grunted.

A picture was emerging of the tanker€s course. I ordered ahead slow, 15 degree starboard turn and then all stop again. €œSO, I want updates every 15 seconds.€ Hasselbach was graphing the target€s path on the chart €" I was doing the same in my head. After 2 minutes I had a solution €" so did Hasselbach. €œI make it 12 knots.€ No, I said, it€s 14. I said it confidently but I was so sleepy it could as easily have been 4 knots.

€œReady Tubes II and III. Depth 10.0, spread 1.0, Gyro angle 0.€ At bearing 25, range 810, I fired €" leading the tanker so as to hit around amidships. I was off a bit €" the spread hit slightly forward.
http://tinypic.com/euexap.jpg

The tanker went dead in the water, down by the bow. I had felt a surge of energy during the attack but now fatigue washed over me. I turned, leaning on the scope handles. Von Augsburg was staring at me with unalloyed hatred. €œWould you like to finish her off?€ I asked him. Von Augsburg walked over to the scope. I moved aside so that he could look through. After he satisfied himself that the tanker was, indeed, helpless he sent me to bed. I heard two more hits before she sank.

5 May 1944
He let me sleep. The punishment seems to be at an end.

I€ve taken to being much more careful with my diary entries. I do so much writing and figuring in my role as navigator, along with my daily letters to Yvette, that I doubt the diary raises suspicions. Still, I think caution must now be the order of the day.

6 May 1944
Weather remains clear. Von Augsburg continues to use the radar promiscuously.

7 May 1944
The winds freshened overnight. Seas moderate, clouds scattered.

Von Augsburg has been somewhat subdued since I sank €" or, more accurately, crippled €" the tanker. In retrospect, I€m surprised he gave me the chance to show what I can do. Obviously, he was setting me up to fail. More fool he.

9 May 1944
We are approaching the patrol zone. Should arrive late evening. Weather is again good.

There have been a couple of reports of isolated transports the past two days. I plotted intercept courses but Von Augsburg didn€t wish to divert. No convoys have been sighted.

10 May 1944
Have spent 24 hours in our patrol zone. Seas rough, heavy overcast. Von Augsburg radioed for instructions. We are to patrol zones AM 26, 33, and 34. There have been reports of enemy task forces.

11 May 1944
Von Augsburg has not spoken to me in days. He relays orders to me through Braun or Kessler. Neither man is a standout but both seem to be reasonably competent and no-nonsense. Hasselbach, I think, is a little sub-par, but is a hard worker and has an easy way with the men.

Von Augsburg€s motor seems to have run down. He has exhausted his repertoire of stories and has begun to repeat himself. Even his principal toady, Deutschmeister, is evincing boredom.

12 May 1944
Weather improved around noon. I was able to shoot the sun. Fuel consumption is nominal. I estimate 8200 kilometers at one-third.

After evening sound check, we surfaced and Von Augsburg once again ordered the radar turned on. Half the time we€re surfaced we€re announcing our position to the enemy, who, inexplicably, is uninterested.

Two hours after sunset, the enemy finally showed some interest. The radar picked up fast moving targets, bearing 40. Von Augsburg ordered ahead full and FLAK crew to the bridge. Insane. I couldn€t say anything €" I knew he wasn€t going to listen to me. It crossed my mind that I could join the FLAK crew but I hadn€t trained with them. This was not the time to improvise. I was utterly helpless. All I could do was ride it out and pray.

Kessler started yelling orders €" course and speed changes. Then the guns opened up. Very quietly I began to chant:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The first stick of bombs hit astern.
http://tinypic.com/euexi1.jpg

Kessler ordered ahead flank. Von Augsburg started to make his way to the radar room when the next stick of bombs hit. The boat lurched violently. I was holding on to the chart table and pulled a muscle in my left arm. Deutschmeister was thrown to the floor. As the boat steadied, I saw that Von Augsburg was crumpled next to the forward bulkhead. Blood was beginning to pool beneath his head. I took command. €œALARM €" FLAK crew below, crash dive!€ Deutschmeister was back on his feet, staring at me. €œFollow orders, d*** you,€ I yelled at him. Then, €œMedic to the control room.€

As we passed 40 meters another stick of bombs fell astern. €œMake your depth 100 meters.€

When Braun entered the control room I reported and relinquished the con to him. I went over to the captain. The medic had him on his back and was working on him. I could see that Von Augsburg€s eyes were open but otherwise unresponsive. When the medic shined his light in them, the pupils remained dilated. It appeared that Von Augsburg had fallen against the hatch and smashed his head on one of the dogs. You didn€t have to be a medic to know that he had suffered a severe head injury. Almost certainly a fractured skull and probable hemorrhage.

The damage reports came in. Miraculously, the boat had come through unscathed. And, other than some scrapes and bruises (and my pulled muscle) everyone save Von Augsburg was unhurt.

Braun wanted a conference with the command staff. He wanted recommendations. We all agreed that we should return to port. The only question was which. Saint Nazaire was closer but only if we didn€t swing wide to avoid enemy air patrols. If we went to Bergen we€d be past the biggest concentrations of enemy aircraft after only a couple of days. Von Augsburg, if he survived, could get adequate medical care there so it was agreed that Bergen was our destination.

13 May 1944
Weather worsened during the night. Heavy fog, visibility near zero. Late morning during sound check, picked up a freighter. Braun decided to engage. I charted it from sonar and gave Braun a recommended course to intercept. We got in position but the freighter had changed course. I suggested a sonar only attack. Braun said no and I didn€t press the matter. I worked out a new intercept course but Braun decided to break off and resume our base course.

The fog lifted somewhat around sundown. Weather remained marginal €" heavy overcast, visibility about 2000 meters.

We picked up another freighter on sonar. I computed that we could intercept with only a minor course adjustment. Braun ordered the new course and the hunt was on. We ran surfaced at flank speed for exactly 12 minutes and submerged again. This freighter had stayed on course.

After tracking it for 3 minutes, course and speed were fixed. Braun came over to the chart table. The strain of command showed €" he appeared dead on his feet. €œAltmeier, you want to handle the attack?€ €œYes, Captain, I would.€ He started upon hearing the word €œCaptain€. Braun announced that I had the con and he retired to his bunk.

We had 8 torpedoes left €" 5 in the bow, 2 in the stern, plus a Wren in external storage. I concluded that in order to get the Wren out of external storage, the simplest approach would be to attack with the stern tube. I ordered a 180 degree turn to bring the stern tube to bear.

It was a simple shot €" the Wren changed course and went for the target€s stern, blowing out the propellers and steering.
http://tinypic.com/euexok.jpg

It took two more torpedoes from the bow tubes to deliver the coup de grace.
http://tinypic.com/euexyf.jpg

I turned to con over to Hasselbach and hit the bunk.

14-17 May 1944
The rest of the voyage was uneventful. From the 15th on, we ceased sound checks and ran ahead standard.

I had forgotten how beautiful the fjords are. Although summer is fast approaching, some of the mountains are capped with snow.

We docked at 1532, 17 May.

Von Augsburg never regained consciousness. He was alive, though barely, when they took him from the boat.

macker33
10-23-2005, 01:15 AM
Thanks for the read,learned a new word "bonhomie".

BAH!!!that Von Augsburg !!i was shaking with anger.

What book was it from?

paulhager
10-23-2005, 06:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by macker33:
Thanks for the read,learned a new word "bonhomie".

BAH!!!that Von Augsburg !!i was shaking with anger.

What book was it from? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No book - it's from my very own head. I've been constructing the story around a series of actual missions. This is the latest installment in the series:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE>
<LI>Episode 1 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/2141067563)
<LI>Episode 2 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/9141086663)
<LI>Episode 3 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/7411026763)
<LI>Episode 4 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/6311026763)
<LI>Episode 5a (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/2041009763)
[/list]

paulhager
10-23-2005, 11:12 AM
Addendum: My wife asked me how it was that Altmeier took command when Von Augsburg was hurt.

In the absence of specific orders, the senior officer present would have the con - that would be the Chief, not Altmeier. However, the Chief is fairly ineffectual so Altmeier just started giving orders - the correct ones. Saying, "Follow orders, d*** you!" to a superior officer is at least insubordination - might be mutiny. Let's just say that Altmeier got away with it...

Baldricks_Mate
10-23-2005, 02:01 PM
It may not be a book, but it could be the basis for one, someday...

Congrats, I reaaly like your style of "journaling".

I have to go away for a couple of weeks, driving a truck again. I'll miss any installments. Damm.

paulhager
10-23-2005, 10:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Baldricks_Mate:
It may not be a book, but it could be the basis for one, someday...

Congrats, I reaaly like your style of "journaling".

I have to go away for a couple of weeks, driving a truck again. I'll miss any installments. Damm. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks. I've considered doing a graphic novel with my daughter. I'd do the story, she'd do the art. I have an idea I've been kicking around.

The nice thing about a graphic novel is that the amount of writing is comparable to a screen play and the pictures carry a lot of the narrative. In fact, a good graphic novel is something like step three in producing a movie - it's functionally equivalent to a story board.

doug.d
10-24-2005, 12:17 AM
Hey Paul, I sense you've done this before, you're not an amateur are you? Do you have any writings in print? If you're not writing professionally than you're wasting your talents. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

Heck, you've got me relating to Altmeier and hating Von Augsburg (possibly because I'm currently working for a "Von Augsburg" type), and forgot that what I was reading was related to a game called SH3. Pro job m8! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

paulhager
10-24-2005, 10:07 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by doug.d:
Hey Paul, I sense you've done this before, you're not an amateur are you? Do you have any writings in print? If you're not writing professionally than you're wasting your talents. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks. I've had a few articles published. All are non-fiction. One was a technical article on Fusion-Fission Hybrids (http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp/FFhybrid.html) from 1981, that I put on my Libertarian Corner (http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp) website. The others were political. There's also an
unpublished op-ed (http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp/ampas_nyu.htm) piece I wrote with Professor Steven Brams that became the basis of a NY Times article on Academy Awards voting.

My other website is Why I Carry (http://www.paulhager.org/) - a site dealing with the right of self-defense and some political activism I engaged in 5 years ago. Then there's The Hoosier Gadfly (http://www.paulhager.org/wordpress), my blog. Lots of libertarian-oriented political stuff there.

I've dabbled in fiction over the years - some bits and pieces of screenplays, some poetry, a few short stories. Generally speaking, the remuneration for writing fiction is close to nil - the vast majority of published writers need a day job or a working spouse to support them. That's why I've never seriously pursued it. Earning a living in the arts-entertainment area is nearly impossible.


<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Heck, you've got me relating to Altmeier and hating Von Augsburg (possibly because I'm currently working for a "Von Augsburg" type), and forgot that what I was reading was related to a game called SH3. Pro job m8! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks, again. I've actually been pretty lucky in my career - no Von Augsburgs so far.

macker33
10-24-2005, 04:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by paulhager:

Thanks. I've considered doing a graphic novel with my daughter. I'd do the story, she'd do the art. I have an idea I've been kicking around.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thats funny,doing a comic strip was the first thing i thought of when when i saw that you wrote it yourself,
Maybe the good thing about planning for a comic strip is you have to keep meaningless dialogue to a minimum or else the comic wont work.

I'll be back with something as soon as i've finished having a look around.

macker33
10-24-2005, 07:33 PM
http://homepage.eircom.net/~macker33/1boat.jpg

http://homepage.eircom.net/~macker33/2boat.jpg

http://homepage.eircom.net/~macker33/3boat.jpg

http://homepage.eircom.net/~macker33/4boat.jpg

WilhelmSchulz.-
10-24-2005, 07:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by paulhager:
I've had a few articles published. All are non-fiction. One was a technical article on Fusion-Fission Hybrids (http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp/FFhybrid.html) from 1981. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> I havent read all of it but its brileant! How did you get all of this info???

paulhager
10-25-2005, 12:31 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WilhelmSchulz.-:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by paulhager:
I've had a few articles published. All are non-fiction. One was a technical article on Fusion-Fission Hybrids (http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp/FFhybrid.html) from 1981. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> I havent read all of it but its brileant! How did you get all of this info??? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The article was the only tangible product from a couple of years of research for a book I abandoned in favor of graduate school. The book was going to be about nuclear energy, energy policy, and the anti-nuclear movement.

You may find the information about Thorium as a fuel of interest. The Canadian CANDU reactors were designed so that they could "burn" Thorium as well as Uranium.

The German's came up with a very advanced nuclear reactor called the Pebble Bed High Temperature Gas Reactor that also could "burn" Thorium. In fact, the Pebble Bed reactor theoretically could function as a breeder reactor, producing U-233 from Thorium. A "breeder" is a reactor that produces more fissile fuel than it consumes. Alas, the Greens killed nuclear research in Germany. Really stupid.

The German design has been resurrected by the South Africans and the Chinese. I'd wager the South Africans won't commercialize the design but there's nothing to stop the Chinese.

There is one potential limiting factor for Pebble Bed reactors: helium. Helium is the coolant. If the Pebble Bed takes off, expect to see a rise in helium prices.

Incidentally, I've begun work on installment 6.