U-boat patrols

Patrol info for U-37

Date lookup for 24 Oct 1939

DepartureArrival / FateDuration
5 Oct 1939Wilhelmshaven8 Nov 1939Wilhelmshaven35 days


Officers *

KrvKpt. Werner Hartmann

Oblt. Ernst Bauer

Patrol description

The translated war diary of U-37 for this patrol is available on our partner website: uboatarchive.net

U-37's position on 24 Oct 1939

Ships hit by U-37 on this date

Date U-boat Commander Name of ship Tons Nat. ConvoyMap
24 Oct 1939U-37Werner Hartmann Menin Ridge2,474brA
24 Oct 1939U-37Werner Hartmann Ledbury3,528brB
24 Oct 1939U-37Werner Hartmann Tafna4,413brC

3 ships sunk (10,415 tons).

We have a picture of this vessel.

General Events during this patrol

We have no events listed for this date.

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Attacks on U-37 during this patrol

24 Oct 1939

Between 11.47 and 12.12 hrs, the boat was depth charged by several aircraft after attacking Tafna about 100 miles (161km) WSW of Gibraltar. U-37 dived to 105m (345ft) and was not damaged by the depth charges, which exploded far above. Hartmann wisely decided to run silent at a depth of 80m (263ft) and ordered most of the crew to lie down and rest, because shortly afterwards HMS Keppel, HMS Vidette and HMS Watchman arrived from Gibraltar and began an anti-submarine sweep of the area. At 16.45 hrs HMS Keppel dropped a full pattern of five depth charges set for 250ft (76m) after obtaining a good Asdic contact in position 36°03N/07°33,5W, and observed an air bubble and possibly oil rise to the surface afterwards, but failed to regain contact. The Germans had switched off the hydrophones and were caught off guard by the accurate detonations, which were felt as severe blows in the boat, which then dived to 95m (312ft). At 18.20 hrs HMS Watchman dropped a single depth charge set for 150ft (46m) from the port thrower on an Asdic contact in position 36°02N/07°18W, and lost contact after dropping the remaining four depth charges of the pattern in a follow up attack. Hartmann heard these detonate at some distance, but knew that they could not stay submerged all night as the crew had already begun to breathe through potash cartridges, so ordered the boat to be prepared for scuttling before surfacing with all guns manned at 21.45 hrs. However, the destroyers were no longer nearby and the boat was able to leave the area undetected, heading SW with a deck gun out of action due to the breech plug being jammed in place by extreme pressure at depth.

(Sources: KTB U-37, ADM 199/145)

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* These are officers that later became commanders themselves.

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