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Old 07-21-16, 02:16 PM   #1
Captain Coward
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Default Dispatch From The Front (A New Kommandant Sea Saga)

Note: Rather than the usual new forum member posting (and questions that can be easily answered by doing a search) I thought I'd jazz it up a bit with the following. My apologies in advance if it's rather lengthy for a newbie.


It's October 1940 and I've been assigned to command the U-52 (Type VIIB). My current mission (#12) is in the BE sector. My previous missions have been somewhat successful as I have learned many hard lessons along the way. First Lesson: Do not crash dive without knowing the ocean depth. I lost two of my crew early on making this rookie mistake. Damn, why isn't there a shortcut key to ask your navigator the distance to the bottom? May their lost souls forgive this foolish captain as the fish nibble on their cold corpses resting on the ocean floor. Second Lesson: Be careful attempting to attack in heavy fog. Twice I have had near misses at periscope depth attempting to target ships only to find them within mere meters and collision distance. My sub was so close I easily could have exchanged German Bratwurst for English Bully Beef with the ship's crew. Third Lesson: Do not put TC on 256 in seas patrolled by enemy aircraft. I am very fortunate that at this point in the war the planes pilots are inexperienced in their targeting. So inexperienced that one time while being attacked by aircraft I "cheated" and took a view from above my submerging submarine. I caught the scene at the right moment as a British plane crashed into the ocean. Our flak gun did not shoot at it so my guess is the pilot forgot to fly the plane. My crew cheered but alas, I did not get credit for the kill. Fourth Lesson: Do not rely on electronic torpedoes in rough water. So much for the legendary and fabled German high quality/reliability engineering (or perhaps the manufacturing contract of these weapons was awarded to the Italians).


But I should start at the beginning to let you readers know my background and previous experience. The Kriegsmarine was eager to hand me over my own sub command as many years ago I played both "U-Boat" and "Drumbeat" on my Macintosh Color Classic. Oh the fond memories of sinking vessels along the USA coast and System 7 (that's a Macintosh OS). Foolish Americans, they can't even make a decent sauerkraut. These early times were an excellent foundation (plotting courses and attacks etc.) for this new mission of SH3. So when I found a boxed DVD set of both SH2 and SH3 at Fry's for $9.98 I volunteered once again for the German Navy. I immediately went into training by spending hours reading/studying the manual along with following the forum advice given here. I installed the game on my laptop (Windows 8.1) without any problems as I followed all the detailed instructions posted here. I have only had one crash at startup, not bad for a game from 2005. I have not tried out any mods and yes, I do intend to install SH3 Cmdr and GWX. There are so many mods it can be overwhelming to a new captain such as myself. Many thanks to those of you that have contributed in one way or another, I doubt I would have been able to install the game correctly. Without the knowledge here I foolishly would have attempted to cross the English Channel and most likely would have met an early fate. It pains me to think of Sir Winston celebrating my demise over a whisky and cigar. Although I'd have to say some of you (including myself) have seen Das Boot one too many times.


Moving on to my present status I have found both British planes and warships (filthy British swine!) are not a threat at this stage in the war, merely a nuisance. The weather has been my most serious challenge. Seas are rough and I find my conning tower underwater quite often. My Watch Officer manages to suck in plenty of ocean water and I do believe by the looks on his face he is not too thrilled to be out in such weather. Let us hope he does not start a mutiny amongst the crew. And damn this heavy fog! How am I supposed to attack in this pea soup? Am I to waste my precious (and expensive) torpedoes based on my pathetic trigonometry skills? I'm quite sure Admiral Dönitz would not appreciate such behavior. Thank the Sea Gods however for my hydrophones which have become invaluable. On several occasions my sonar crewmember reported ships even though the sub was on the surface. Perhaps the stormy seas contributed to this as my vessel was pitching wildly in the waves. The next time in port I shall have the nearest Otolaryngologist inspect my sonar man for ear wax as his hearing seems to be suspect. Even with this precision listening apparatus, there is nothing like tracking a vessel for many kilometers, finding out it's only a coastal merchant and then watching your last torpedo bounce off the hull as a dud (another Italian made torpedo most likely). And of course the stormy weather prevents my gun crew from attacking...


That is all to report as this time, I don't want to bore you folks too much. I invite and welcome your comments and advice, let's hope the weather clears...


Auf Wiedersehen und glücklich Jagd,
Captain Coward
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Old 07-21-16, 10:56 PM   #2
HW3
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