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The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43» Forums » Sessions

Subject: U-206: Patrol - February1940 rss

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Jim P
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. U-Boat designations and location data is used for historical purposes only.



Oberleutnant’s Log

Olt zS J.Wulf von Konieg
Unterseeboote U-206 (Type VIIC)
Werk #635
F. Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel


Tuesday February 5th 1941

Embark at 0850 for the Atlantic. Our escort took us out and we were off. The journey through the Bay of Biscay as well as the trip to get on station was uneventful. After spending over a week in the Atlantic without coming across any ships, on the 20th we spotted smoke on the southern horizon. We made sail in the direction of this smoke to be rewarded with a juicy convoy.

Approaching from the NE we picked out the largest ship to make our attack. Being a bit brave, as well as disappointed after the last patrol, I shimmied into the convoy to get a close surface attack. This was around 2:00am on the 21st. With such pickings and no escort about (rolled a 6 on detection check) I opted for a surface attach on this night readying all five tubes. Of the four closes ships we chose two meaty beast to attack, the Yorkshire (10,000t) and the Santor (7,100t.) We loosed four G7a eels, two for each ship, and we agonized the 20 plus seconds till impact. At 27 seconds the first two eels hit the Santor with a mighty explosion (1 hit with 4 damage), snapping her in two she sank right away. Then one second later the Yorkshire lit up as both torpedo’s hit (for 2 damage total.) Since the Yorkshire was listing but not sunk I shot a second salvo from the aft tube at her. This was almost our undoing as the burning freighter’s silhouetted the U-206 bringing two destroyers down on us from opposing directions.

As we attempted to crash dive the first destroyer was over our position… “CHARGES IN THE WATER” was the call from our hydrophone operator. Being shaken relentlessly everyone held on. With the sound of metal scraping just aft of the tower we continued to dive below our depth rating. (first hit took out the 37mm flak gun)

Without a moments break the second destroyer lined up and the call came again “DEPTH CHARGE.” As the hull is screeching in pain due to the pressure we are buffeted between explosions. Everything that wasn’t tied down went flying with something large hitting the radio rendering it useless. (one hull damage from dive and the radio is damaged)

Continuing to dive for the deep reaches of the Atlantic one of the destroyers drop more tin cans of death. These charges hit close with major flooding in the forward compartment as well as minor flooding elsewhere. (one hull damage due to dive, one hit flooding and the second hit flooding x2) with nearly everyone shoring up our leaks another round of depth charges enter the water. Even staying at extreme depth the U-206th screams in pain with the palatable pressure. When the death charges ignited the hull could be heard to make an auditable snap and we thought this was the end. But the U-206 hull held strong. (one hull damage for the dive and one damage to the hull from the attack)

For the first time since this terror trip started we had five minutes respite, though the flooding was starting to worry us as it seemed to pick up at times. (plus one flooding from the first flooding hit) Then the sound of destroyer twin screws increased as we labored at stopping the leaks. KABOOM!!!! It felt as if the Atlantic Ocean hat erupted into hell, as if being two dry peas on a can while a three year old shakes it, we were showered with sea water and diesel fuel. And the hull continued to moan in protest. (four hits, two flooding, one hull and one fuel tank damage)

In rapid succession we here more tin cans in the water and brace ourselves for the inevitable. With the familiar sound we are shaken again and all electricity goes out. At once our chief goes to work as the batteries are damaged in the blast. (two hits with one to the batteries and one to number one electric motor)

We are far from done as these destroyers, what seems to be the whole of the British navy escorting this convoy, as the U-206 was shaken again. With more loose debris flying through the Untersee Boot many members of the crew were slightly wounded. (two hits both light wounds to the crew)

With immense determination the Brits continued their relentless antagonism and we suffered another round of depth charges. This assault came close to the bow of the ship jamming the forward tube doors shut. (two hits damaging the forward torpedo doors and damaging the deck gun) Again with quick succession the destroyers dropped anther round of explosives hitting just aft of the conning tower. (one hit damaging the 3.7 FlaK gun again)

Ten minutes after the last attack the screws of a destroyer approached with frantic determination followed by more tin cans in the water. The imminent concussion was anticipated by all forty-four souls onboard. None were disappointed as the ocean erupted in a fury of sound, shuddering and terror. The bow was beaten once more as the hull shrieked in agony yet again. (three hits causing damage to the forward torpedo doors, deck gun and the hull) After the reverberation of this attack subsided we could hear the destroyer’s screws heading back in the direction of the convoy. After a considerable time of silence we ventured to periscope depth to survey the surface. Scanning for destroyers off in the distance waiting to trap us on the surface we observed, in the moon lit night, the smoke from their stacks disappear to the north.

For our wellbeing we limped off, on one electric motor, to the South till we were satisfied we could surface in relative safety. After a complete evaluation of the U-206 we could see there was much damage. The deck gun and flak gun were quickly fixed, but the winter garden railing had been separated from the tower. But the batteries, fuel tank and torpedo doors could not be made operational at sea. As well the radio could not be brought back to useable status, besides the hull had had enough torture for one patrol. (seven of eight hull boxes) once we had stayed all the flooding we pressed for home. A few days later we had to submerge due to the sighting of another convoy but with the damage we had there was no way to engage the enemy safely, so we gave them wide berth and set for home. This was the last contact with the enemy. Clearing the Bay of Biscay with no encounters we made Bordeaux, Flotilla no. 12.

Upon a through inspection of the U-206 it was determined it would take at minimum of six months to bring her to a functional state. Kriegsmarine command assigned us the U-226, Type VIIC, as a replacement and we were scheduled to set sail on April 10th once we were all rested and the minor injuries were recovered from.

Olt zS J. Wulf von Konieg
Commanding Officer U-206

Note: WOW what a ride this patrol was. I think I have a good handle on depth charge attacks now. Though there were a few missed modifiers, both for the good and the bad, Yet with a good looking back over of the combat rule section I think I have it now. Time to set out on another patrol boys!

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Great report, great writing.
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John Kranz
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U-206 should consider itself fortunate it was able to escape in the end. Hopefully the crew will have better luck with its new U-Boat on its next patrol.
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Gregory Smith
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Heya,

Actually I am pretty sure U-206 should have had 5 months of refit (the max for a VIIC), not six.

-one month standard
-three months extra for hull damage 7/8 boxes, hehehe.
-one month extra due to multiple inop systems past just the two "free" repairs.

You still would have gotten a new boat though.....no sense having a trained and ready crew idle that long.

By the way folks, sometimes the escorts DON'T find you....every depth-charging isn't necessarily a total beating either. Many times you'll be undetected, or IF detected, only take one round of depth charging. It just all depends.

LOL @ 7/8 hull boxes damaged. I'm guessing that got a little tense. You're very lucky to have brought that boat home.

Greg
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Jim P
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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Sturmer wrote:
LOL @ 7/8 hull boxes damaged. I'm guessing that got a little tense. You're very lucky to have brought that boat home.

Greg


Thanks guys,

Yes this was intense. I had resigned myself that the U-206 was a goner and then I rolled low enough to escape. But I'm sure one of these days it will catch up with this crew.

Thank you guys for such a great game!
Jim P

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Chick Lewis
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Fine report, compelling, tense and well-written.

Thanks, Jasta6
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Thomas Blackwell
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Ok. Now I am hoping my copy arrives soon.
Excellent writeup
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Todd R
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Nice AAR Jim!

One question for our resident B-17 expert:

Just how does The Hunters compare to B-17?

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Jim P
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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wolverinetoddy wrote:
Nice AAR Jim!

One question for our resident B-17 expert:

Just how does The Hunters compare to B-17?



Hay Todd,

Sorry for taking so long to get to this question!

How do they compare... As a Board Game I think they compare very well. You travel the transit path, as with B-17 you fly in formation, waiting to spot the enemy and engage them. The difference is in B-17 you are the hunted where in the Hunter you are the Hunter. You make the choice to attack or not. Or with a convoy, you choose which merchant ship to take out.

Escort encounters are as intense, if not more so, than a multi "Butcherbird" attack. Unlike B-17 the aggressor can continue to pound you U-Boat till you get a positive die roll. On one occasion, escort detected me at close range during a night surface attack, I thought I was out of formation being attached by five Butcherbirds with automatic “Walking Hits.” They beat my sub with in a “box” of its live.

As for the mechanics of the game I feel they are very similar as once you get the hang of things they flow quite nicely. Lines flow chart is a GREAT benefit to those who are just starting out. This aid has helped me keep things in order. Preventing me from missing critical rules.

Now as a Roleplaying Game, I don’t think the attachment to the crew is quit the same. But take this from someone who has played hundreds of B-17 games and only 6 patrols of “the Hunters.” So this opinion may change with game time. Now the reason I say this is due to logistics. With B-17 we name everyone on the crew, only ten men. With a U-Boat there is around 40-50 crew men and you only name one of the crew, the captain. Now I will most likely name all the officers to add more personality to the crew. The other thing that is more abstract in The Hunter over B-17 is that when the noncom “Crew” takes a wound it represents a group of men not just one guy that you have nurtured from a green horn to a expert in his trade.

I have become engrossed in this game and have pulled out my U-Boat/Fleet Sub books to get more flavor for my games and expect this will help immensely with the Roleplaying aspect of this great game.

In respect to Game Play, with every patrol I have a better feel as to what is the best way to approach my targets. When to snuggle in close or stand off and take a pot shot. You will find that your tactics and decisions will have to adapt as your patrol continues. This is due to your ammo supplies, crew status and possibly the disposition of your U-boats sea worthiness. With this said, I think there are more decisions for you to make in this game than in B-17. But, Hunters is also a dice feast similar to B-17. But I love dice it is not a bad thing to me.

If you haven’t order this yet, I feel you would like this game as much, if not more, than B-17. I’m sure this will become a cherished addition to your game collection.

Hope this answers your question!
Jim Pcool
PS, Don’t worry I will get back to the 281st BG(H) campaign… That is a given!!!
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John Kranz
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Thanks for sharing your insights on this topic, Jim.
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