Errata Pages


by Brooks, Geoffrey told by Wolfgang Hirschfeld
The Story of a U-boat NCO, 1940-1946
1996, United States Naval Inst.
ISBN 1557503729
253 pages, 32 b&w photos
The story of Wolfgang Hirschfeld, whose diaries Geoffrey Brooks has translated. The principal chapters describe his experiences during six war patrols in U-109, in which he served as the senior telegraphist. From the foreword by Jak P. Mallmann-Showell: "This book, based on a secret diary of a U-boat radio operator, ranks as one of the most outstanding documents of the Second World War. It is unique inasmuch as it is probably the only German diary written by a non-commissioned officer as the events unfold. The keeping of private records was so strictly forbidden that discovery would have resulted in a court martial. Wolfgang Hirschfeld witnessed almost the whole period of the Battle of the Atlantic and his position enabled him to be better informed than many officers."

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Errata list

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123Referring to the sinking of the Montrolite by U-109, he states "We fired two torpedoes with a 15 second gap and after 90 seconds there were two explosions,...." Later, he tells how after the crew was safely away, they fired a third torpedo which sank the ship within minutes. (This part is correct). There were two torpedoes fired in the initial volley as Hirschfeld stated, but only one torpedo struck the target. Survivors' statements say only two torpedoes exploded - the initial one and one which sank it fired after they'd abandoned ship. U-109's log states: Shot fired from tube V, 15 seconds later shot fired from tube VI. [...] After 90 seconds hit at stern between aft mast and funnel. [...] Second torpedo missed ship.
187U-109 was sunk on May 7, 1943 at 47 06N, 10 58W by a Sunderland W3993 of 10 Sqdn. RAAF piloted by Flight Lieutenant Geoffrey Rossiter.U-109 was sunk 4 May, 1943 south of Ireland, in position 47.22N, 22.40W, by 4 depth charges from a British Liberator aircraft (Sqdn. 86/P).

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