Hirschfeldby Brooks, Geoffrey told by Wolfgang Hirschfeld
The Story of a U-boat NCO, 1940-1946
1996, United States Naval Inst.
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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We normally do not flip through a certain book cover to cover looking for mistakes.
|123||Referring 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.|
|187||U-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).|