Sunday, December 31, 2006

The End of the Cruise and the Return to Port

11 July 1942
9:38 local time
The constant patrols, by both air and sea, have made for a slow go; not to mention I have no torpedoes left and the seas are too heavy for any chance of using the deck gun. The destroyers have been easy to slip past, but it is the Sunderlands that scare me. Their radar detection sets lead them right to us in the somewhat clear weather and we have had a few close calls with their depth charge drops! I can tell the crew is getting a bit shaken and worn out by the monotony of running under the surface all day and the frequent crash dives during the half-light of the night while trying to charge our batteries.

12 July 1942
6:03 local time
Rain! Oh sweet rain! The reprieve from air cover has allowed us to stay on the surface and make a run for home at full speed. If this weather holds, and we do not run into too many surface patrols, we should be back in Brest within two days. The mood of the crew is definitely more upbeat today and the level of tension has subsided.

13 July 1942
8:51 local time
We passed the sou'west tip of Ireland during the night and are cruising across the English Channel towards France now. We should be coming up on a group of three type 34 destroyers soon. They are on station to provide the returning u-boats air cover and to warn of any approaching British ships.

13 July 1942
21:37 local time
We will be pulling into our berth shortly. I already feel a great sense of relief being under the protection of the base defenses and not out there alone on the Atlantic.

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