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Old 04-26-2019, 11:05 PM   #80
bstanko6
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radar Breaking the Fortress

Breaking the Fortress

This is an awesome mission. I have done it too many times to count in SH3 and 5.

I will advise those of you who are willing to play this mission through SH5, using the utmost immersive detail possible, the way Prien did it. Consider me your mission advisor for the Scapa Flow attack!

DO NOT GO FURTHER IF YOU WISH TO TRY THE MISSION WITHOUT ASSISTANCE!

On October 8 1939 at 1100 hours Prien left Kiel for his mission. Of course, we cannot always decide when we can undertake this mission, but this is Prien's date.

He never attacked a single ship on his route to Scapa. His mission was to avoid contact at all costs with any aircraft or ship, friend or enemy. His need for secrecy was of utmost importance. The boat was grounded during daylight hours, and only surfaced and moved at night.

For immersion purposes, I do not attack ships while en route to Scapa, I remain radio silent the whole way there, and dive at dawn.

There are 3 entrances to Scapa; Holm Sound, Hoy Sound, and Hoxa Sound. You must consider the options before choosing though: Holm is located East, is least guarded, but is lined with mines and 2 coastal batteries, and several block ships, making this the most intense route in. Hoy is located at the furthest West, placing your U-Boat in a shipping lane as you go around the Flow to get there with more chances on being spotted, and is used by green destroyer crews for navigational training. This may put the most cunning U-Boat commander to the test to keep his boat quiet. Finally, Hoxa Sound is South, and is a highway of Royal Navy warships. It would take a pretty serious commander, with ice in his blood to navigate here!

Prien, along with Grossadmiral Doenitz carefully planned this mission for 2 weeks. It was Doenitz one chance to show Hitler, that U-Boat warfare was the only way to win this war. Prien had chosen Holm Sound. Reconnaissance photos were poor due to English weather, and the Holm Sound blockships were not readily seen until Prien saw them personally the night he entered.

Holm Sound mines and coastal batteries in SH5 are not mentioned by Prien in his KTB logs. I usually go the path of immersion and enter here. I use my obs scope underwater to look for mines. I asked my grandfather a while back if it was possible to see these mines underwater. Being a Chief in the USN pig boats, he advised me "mines are conspicuous things in the water. If you are shallow enough, and the moon is bright enough, it's possible." Now he was a radioman, but I take his word any day. So I use my scope underwater without fear of breaking immersion.

Prien enters Scapa, does several rounds in the Flow identifying his target, the Renown Battlecruiser. Prien notices a car with its headlights on, shining at him. It then turns away and takes off at high speed. Not knowing if he had been spotted, Prien assumes he is on a clock, and needs to get his work done.

Scapa Flow is basically dead once you are in. Most of the warships inside are "asleep" and will let you freely skim around at your own free will. However, there are 2 battleships inside. The Renown is one, and if you hit one, over time the other will come to life and fire upon you. There are some destroyers that will make their way in as well. Do the deed, and get out!

As he made his way out of the Flow through Holm Sound at approximately 0215 hours, he bottomed the boat for the rest of the morning until next sunset. He heard depth charge explosions and engines racing about all day and night.

When you make the trek out of Scapa, I do notice a bit more heavy traffic just East of here. I bottom the boat as well, and take a safer approach to travel at night. It is a long game to play like this but it sure feels good to get that battleship!

Hope you enjoy the mission. My source was google, and u-boat archive.com.
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