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Old 09-10-12, 08:10 AM   #22
VonApist
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****
It was just after midnight when Stephan entered the Zentrale. He had taken a two hour nap to recharge is batteries. He now felt fresh and ready to go. He approached the map tables at the Zentrale to get an update from Otto.

"Good evening Herr Kaleun".
Stephan acknowledged with a nod.
Otto continued "They should be getting close now sir assuming they have kept the same course".

"Indeed Otto. Any contacts on the hydrophone so far?"
"No sir. Jorg has reported nothing so far".

U-137s captain moved towards the sonar box. Jorg was performing one of his customary sweeps. The sonarman brought his index finger close to his lips, indicating that he required some extra seconds of silence.

After a while he took off his headset and turned towards Stephan
"Nothing yet Herr Kaleun."
"Keep it up Jorg. They should be in the vicinity anytime now" Stephan replied. "Report as soon as you get the faintest sound from a screw"
"Yes sir" the sonarman replied and put on his headset for another sweep.

***

When Stephan entered the bow torpedo room, Torpedomechaniker Martin Blume called the torpedo-men in the compartment to a crisp attention.

"At ease gentlemen" Stephan ordered touching his cap.

"Martin it seems that your eels will see some action tonight. I want all tubes loaded with T1, setting impact depth 2.5meters. "

"Yes sir. Acknowledged. "All bow tubes with T1 impact at 2.5 metres. Tube 1 and 2 are already loaded with T1. We will replace the T2 in tube 3 with a T1. It shouldn't take us more than 30 minutes sir."

"Make sure that this is the case Martin. We will have to run in full silence in 45 minutes tops. Get ready and let me know when you're done" Stephan replied stepping out of the compartment, as Blume barked orders, organizing his torpedo-men.

***
Forty minutes later, Martin entered the Zentrale, cap on his hands. "We are all set sir. Bow tubes T1 2.5m impact, as requested" the Torpedomechaniker reported. "We had a small issue with tube 3 as a spring was jammed and..."

"Fast screws, warship, closing, bearing 265 sir" Jorg reported from the sonar room, agitation clear in his voice.

Stephan nodded Martin to return to his position. He pressed the intercom button. "Alarm.Alarm.Alarm. Crew to battle stations." his voice reverberated through the hull of U-137 as the crew raced to assume their positions.

"Chief. All stop. Silent running. I dont want to hear a sound".

Stephan watched Jorg taking another sweep with his hydrophones.

After 1 minute Jorg reported again. "Fast crews , Warship, closing, bearing 268....wait. Sir. We have more. Multiple contacts. Faint but approaching, speed slow. Merchants. Bearing 255. Long distance."

"Its the convoy" Gerald exclaimed,a wide grin on his face.

"Seems so Gerald" Stephan replied.

"Jorg I want a sweep every three minutes. Have your ears for warships. Lets try to see how many escorts are around this baby."

He then turned to the U-boats navigator. " Otto, bring your maps to the sonar room. We will try to plot their course and speed.

***

Twenty minutes later they had managed to get an idea of what was against them. And it didnt look promising.
Stephan grabbed the marked maps and moved towards the Zentrale asking his second in command to come closer.

"According to Jorg, the convoy moves at a perfect course to the East. It is pretty large, more than 20 vessels. The escort screen seems pretty thick. Our hydrophone picked 7 different warships flanking it." Stephan reported, taking out a pencil from his breast pocket and explaining the different markings to his second in command.

"They should make a pass at an approximate distance of 2.5Km from our current position. Tough nut. But I think we should try a shot at it"

"Sir, this prohibits an attack from distance. We need to be closer than 1000m to be able to attack as visibility is very low. And this increases the risk factor quite a bit. Not feeling very comfortable about it, to be honest sir. "

"And you are right not to, Gerald" Stephan replied. "We will move to reach a position WITHIN the lines of the approaching convoy. We will attack from within and then submerge and try to make an escape, silently from underneath. Hopefully the screws of the merchants will interfere with the ASDIC of the escorts. We have a good chance. As long as we stick to our plan and keep our heads cool."

Gerald nodded. He had doubts, but his trust on the Kaleun's ability was immense.

Stephan pressed the intercom button. "Chief. Silent running. Speed 1 knot, 75 RPMs. Depth 20m".

He then turned to the crew in the Zentrale.

"Show time boys. Lets do this thing."
__________________
"Submariners are a special brotherhood, either all come to the surface or no one does. On a submarine, the phrase all for one and one for all is not just a slogan, but reality. -- VADM Rudolf Golosov

Last edited by VonApist; 09-10-12 at 04:54 PM.
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