Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Surcouf, what really happened.

Discussion in 'Submarines and ASW Technology' started by chromeboomerang, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    4
    JULY 1940

    French Navy in the Atlantic and Britain - Carrier “Hermes” and cruisers “Dorsetshire” and Australian sister-ship “Australia” lay off Dakar, French West Africa on the 8th after negotiations are refused on the future of French battleship “Richelieu”. Attacks made include one with depth-charges from a fast motorboat. This fails and a torpedo strike by Swordfish inflicts only minor damage. In Britain, two World War 1 French battleships "Courbet" and "Paris" and several destroyers and submarines, including the giant "Surcouf" are in British ports. On the 3rd they are boarded and seized, but not before there are casualties on both sides including three British and one French dead

    Is this what happened to Surcouf? I read somewhere that it was sunk in at sea.
     
  2. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well' I did find this...

    Comgar
    Thank you so very much, I had not looked at the photos, and yes it brought back memories of December 1941. That was really a large submarine during that period of time.
    I'm not for sure where the Surcouf was sunk, but we understood that it had gone back to the north to the convoys. We were informed that we should not discuss this sub under any condition, also that it had been under surveilliance for possibly sinking some of the North Atlantic convoys. I'm positive that we were told that it was sunk by aircraft, after seeing it fire at allied shiping. I thought I was told it was sunk by a zepplin, but now I'm not for sure, after 62 years some things that I didn't think was important then, seems to be important now. Back then I only remember that the crew was very nice even if I couldn't understnd much that they were saying.
    I'm really glad that I have found this "Sercouf" group, and that maybe there were others that remember it in Bermuda in December 1941.
    Sure appreciate any "Good" information.
    The CobbKentuckyRebel
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    21,941
    Likes Received:
    991
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    [​IMG]

    Surcouf was the largest Submarine in the world. She had a revolving turret with 8 inch guns. She carried an airplane.

    :eek:

    http://groups.msn.com/Surcouf/_whatsnew.msnw

    Propelled by two Sulzer diesel engines and two electric motors, capable of a range of 10,000 nautical miles and a speed of 10 knots submerged, this was a powerful weapon of war. It carried its own observation plane with its hangar aft of the conning tower and a 16-foot motorboat. Surcouf was armed not only with torpedoes but with a powerful turret gun plus anti-aircraft guns and machine guns. Fuel tanks were huge and there was a cargo compartment capable of holding 40 prisoners if the need arose.

    When the Germans invaded France Surcouf was refitting in Brest, but managed to escape across the English Channel, traveling with only one functioning motor. Following the capitulation of France most French naval vessels surrendered willingly to the British, but Surcouf did not. In capturing the submarine two British officers and one French sailor were killed and bad feeling arose.

    The vessel eventually crossed the Atlantic Ocean in December 1941 and in company with Free French corvettes captured the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon off Newfoundland for the Allied cause. This triggered more controversy since United States had made an agreement with the Vichy government for the neutrality of French possessions in North America.

    At Cherbourg, France, a Surcouf memorial stands on the ferry dock, a stone periscope pointing toward the English Channel, dedicated to 130 crewmen lost when Surcouf supposedly was sunk in the Gulf of Mexico November 18, 1942.

    ---------

    A couple of supposed mechamisms of loss of the sub

    Leaving Bermuda on February 12, 1942, en route to the Panama Canal, Surcouf was never seen again. Despite suggestions that she was deliberately sunk by the British or Americans, it is more likely that she was sunk after colliding with the American army transport Thompson Lykes in 10°40N, 79°31W on the night of February 18, or that she was mistakenly sunk by units of the U.S. Army Air Corps flying out of Rio Hato, Panama, on the morning of the 19th.

    [​IMG]


    http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/ships/html/sh_088700_surcouf.htm
     
  4. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    4
  5. rocor101

    rocor101 recruit

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    My grandfather advised me that his ship was tasked to sink the Surcouf enroute to England on a convoy .. They found an unexploded french torpedo in one of the convoy units .. he was informed that the boat was staffed by a French crew with English officers and the convoy commanders thought that boat was under non allied French control .. the sub was in contact with the convoy and they brought it close and his corvette ( HMCS Chambly ) depthcharged it .. it was lost with all hands ..

    All his war stories were backed up with evidence in his sea chest after he died .. but alas there was nothing to confirm this story .. he was not an officer aboard his corvette so not having any paper on this would be no surprise .......

    Do not flame me as I am sure that many stories abound .. :)
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    424
    There is an excellent article on the French submarine Surcouf in the June 2007 issue of Military Heritage magazine. In it it is called the "Flying Dutchman" of WWII. I hadn't realized how ill fated it was. There has been other speculations on its demise too according to the article. 1. That she tried to torpedo the Queen Mary. 2. The sub was observed refueling a U-boat and was promptly sunk by the submarines USS Marlin and USS Mackerel or by a Coast Guard blimp. 3. Sunk by the US 3rd Bombardment Squadron operating out of Panama. and a couple of other stories including being lost in the Bermuda Triangle LOL.


    French Leviathan
    [SIZE=-1]By William Sariego
    October 2006[/SIZE]

    Surcouf is one of the most fascinating ships of the Second World War. When launched she was the largest submarine in the world, only surpassed in WWII by the Japanese I-400 boats arriving in 1944. She would serve both the Third Republic and Free France before being lost under mysterious circumstances. The exact fate and final resting place of this mighty submarine are still a mystery. The long-awaited release of Bismarck by Avalanche Press is the perfect opportunity to spotlight this unique ship in the context of that fine game.
    In The Beginning
    It was the British, oddly enough, who first experimented with large submarines with naval guns as a primary armament during the Great War. Designated the M class, and projecting four submarines, only M-1 was launched during the war (June 1918) and never saw combat, though she was stationed in the Mediterranean. The British would get cold feet on the project, for fear of the Germans getting ideas about arming subs with battlecruiser-sized guns and surfacing off the coast of England to wreck havoc.
    [​IMG]
    Dreadnought of the deep: British submarine M1.
    After the war, in 1921, the British started work on another submarine series, the X Class, which would have been armed with two 5.25" guns in separate turrets. X-1 was launched in 1925; the ship was a failure and spent most of her time in the dockyards. Great Britain highly broadcast this fact, again for fear that Japan, rapidly becoming a rival in the Far East, might copycat and perfect the concept.
    It was their allies, the French, however, whom followed up on the theoretical use of massive submarines. In 1922 Admiral Drujon drafted plans for a fleet of seven such large submarines designed for commerce raiding. It took much political maneuvering until his plans were accepted, and work commenced on Surcouf (named after Robert Surcouf, a famous French pirate) at Cherbourg in 1927 and she would be launched in late 1929.
    The Design
    Surcouf displaced 3,304 tons on the surface and was 361 feet long. Powered by two large 3,800-horsepower Sulzer Diesel engines, her top speed was 18 knots on the surface and ten submerged. She had a range of 10,000 miles and could carry enough supplies for a 90 day cruise for her crew; eight officers and 110 enlisted men.
    To complement her intended role as a commerce raider, Surcouf came complete with a prison hold for up to 40 captives! Early designs even called for a motor launch to be carried to help boarding ships she disabled and captured. This idea was dropped as too impractical but a Besson MN-411 floatplane was carried in a hanger aft of the tower to both scout for victims and spot for her main battery.
    [​IMG]
    Surcouf and her crew.
    Her armaments were quite impressive. In a special watertight turret forward of the tower she carried two eight-inch naval guns, the same type found on French heavy cruisers. For anti-aircraft defense she originally carried two 37mm guns, which would later be supplemented with two dual 13.2mm machine gun mounts.
    Some controversy surrounds her torpedo armament. She carried four bow tubes armed with 21.7" torpedoes for use while submerged, that much is agreed upon. Most secondary and Internet sources have her armed with six tubes, mounted on a platform at the stern for use when surfaced. Four of these were the fast but short-ranged 15.7" torpedoes. Other sources (Submarines by Anthony Preston, for example) and most importantly the two-volume history of the French Navy by Henri Le Messon, state that two quad mounted platforms were carried astern, one for both 15.7" and 21.7" torpedoes. Henri Le Messon was a member of the French Marine Academy and editor of the authoritative magazine, Les Flottes de Combat, so I think we can trust him as a most reliable source. Regardless of exact configuration, a total of fourteen 21.7" and eight 15.7" torpedoes were carried.
    Despite the impressive armaments, Surcouf quickly proved to be a “paper tiger.” She was a very complex design and constantly plagued by mechanical troubles. The first of a projected series, one might speculate the “bugs” could have been worked out with the other boats. This was not to be the case and Surcouf was to be one of a kind. Trim was difficult to adjust during a dive, and on the surface she rolled badly in rough seas. It took over two minutes to dive to a depth of forty feet, making her vulnerable to aircraft, and she carried no form of radar. She was so low to the horizon her effective range with the 8" guns, her main strength, was effectively halved, from 15 miles to seven.
    Operations under the Third Republic
    Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Surcouf did a good job “showing the flag” on several overseas trips to various ports of call. While this projected the image of French power, it did little to test the boat in her designated role of commerce raider. She would travel over 16,000 miles, almost all on the surface, prior to the start of the Second World War. When war broke out she was in the French Antilles. She started for home on the 26th of September, 1939, as part of the escort for British convoy KJ-2, sailing from Jamaica. She docked at Brest for repairs to the hydroplanes and rudders (thus missing Operational Scenario Four).
    With the fall of France, and the German panzers rapidly approaching Brest, Surcouf bravely left port so as not to be captured. She would be in the naval dockyard at Plymouth, alongside the battleship Paris, when Operation Catapult was launched. This was the treacherous attack by Britain on her former allies, on the baseless assumption that Admiral Jean Darlan might hand over the fleet to the Axis powers. For Surcouf it meant a boarding party of British sailors and marines during the night. A brief firefight ensued, and one Frenchman and three Englishmen died as a result, before the captain of Surcouf recognized the inevitable and surrendered.
    Under the Cross of Lorraine
    Given the bitterness surrounding Operation Catapult, it is hardly surprising that only two officers and 14 men of the crew agreed to remain as part of the Free French navy. Crew would be recruited among Frenchmen on British territory, a largely inexperienced lot, though attempts were made to find anyone with knowledge of the sea (including Breton fisherman and others). She went on her first cruise with her new crew in October, and their inexperience was revealed. A British officer and two signalmen were added to the crew as liaisons. This was common procedure with navies-in-exile serving the RN and worked well with other crews. Not so with Surcouf and tensions were always high.
    What to do with the ship was the question. The largest French ships were fairly useless, with the elderly battleships Paris and Courbet being used as AA platforms and accommodation ships. Smaller ships and other subs (the exploits of Rubis are legendary) found a useful home alongside the Royal Navy. Surcouf was regarded as the pride of the fledgling navy by De Gaulle, and as a joke by the British Admiralty. After some brief training with the Third Submarine Flotilla in the Clyde, it was decided to transfer the boat to Halifax. She set sail from the Clyde on February 10th, 1941 (during Operational Scenario Seven). Several smaller Free French ships had been operating out of Halifax, acting as convoy escorts on the first leg of the long trans-Atlantic journey.
    Surcouf would sail from Halifax on April 1st and would see service as an escort for convoy HX 118 and SC 27. This is during the time frame of Operational Scenario Eight, though she was off map to the west. Detached from her duties during the trip, she was ordered back to Plymouth and would arrive on April 17th. Once more the issue of what to do with her was raised. Her purpose of commerce raiding was not relevant and she could not operate as a normal submarine, being to vulnerable to air attacks if placed on blockade duty. It was decided to send her to Bermuda, where she could act as a local escort and help patrol for German U-Boats. She sailed on May 14th, just prior to Operational Scenario Three.
    [​IMG]
    Surcouf under repair at Portsmouth, N.H., September 1941.
    Her first and only patrol in this capacity began on the last day of June and lasted three weeks. It was a total disaster, as the ship had repeated electrical failures and two diving mishaps almost cost the loss of the boat with all hands. Once chlorine gas flooded the sub, sickening the crew. Back in Bermuda it was recognized that the ship was in dire need of a major overhaul. With properly made spare parts unavailable (she was one of a kind and built in Cherbourg!) prospects were bleak. Under the terms of the recent Anglo-Allied Lend-Lease agreement Surcouf sailed to the United States and was docked at Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s naval yard late in July. She would not leave until November 11th, 1941.
    Despite Herculean efforts, only some of her problems could be addressed at Portsmouth.
    After a brief stopover in New London, Surcouf briefly went back to Bermuda. After which she received orders to proceed once more to Halifax to rendezvous with Admiral Muselier, commander of the Free French Navy. She arrived at Halifax on December 10th. The Admiral arrived a few days later with three corvettes, Mimosa, Alysse, and Aconit.
    On the 20th the little fleet, with Surcouf as flagship, left port on “maneuvers.” The maneuvers were more political and aggressive than a mere training exercise, however. On Christmas Eve, they landed sailors on the Vichy-controlled islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the southeastern coast of Newfoundland. These small islands were the last of France's North American holdings. This set off a diplomatic storm with the United States, and got President Roosevelt and General De Gaulle off on a very bad foot, indeed! In the end, despite the affront to the Monroe Doctrine (which implicitly indicates only the United States is allowed to invade countries in the Western Hemisphere), the conquest stood and Free France added the islands to its growing clientele. Surcouf returned to Halifax on January 11th, 1942.
    It became readily apparent that the boat was still not totally seaworthy as more little defects kept coming to the fore. Orders came from Free French naval command to proceed to Tahiti, in the Pacific, despite the sub’s increasingly weakening condition. She arrived at Bermuda for a temporary stop over on February 7th. Yet more problems with the engines emerged during this trip, and it was apparent Surcouf was hardly able to dive. This did not detract from her capabilities much as she had almost always functioned as a surface ship. She set out for the Panama Canal on February 12th, despite her poor state. She was just able to make 13 knots with her engines malfunctioning, but a return to Portsmouth was never considered due to the anger of her former hosts over the St. Pierre and Miquelon affair.
    The Bermuda Triangle?
    Surcouf never made it to the Panama Canal. Her exact fate remains a mystery to this day, and her wreck has never been located (though rumor persists that Jacques Cousteau found it). The most likely, and accepted, explanation is that she went down the night of February 18th, having collided with an American freighter named Thompson Lykes. It was simply bad luck. Two old ships, neither with radar, running at night in the wrong place at the wrong time. One was leaving the Canal area and the other headed toward it.
    [​IMG]
    Surcouf visits St. Pierre.
    James Rusbridger (Who Sank Surcouf?) examines some rather wild conspiracy theories on her demise. All are easy to dismiss except one. He states the records of the 6th Heavy Bomber Group operating out of Panama show them sinking a large sub the morning of the 19th. Since we know that no Axis submarine was lost in that area on that date, it could only have been Surcouf. He postulates that damage from the collision short-circuited the radio and the stricken boat could only limp blindly toward Panama and hope for the best.
    Inquiries into what happened were haphazard and tardy. Frankly, the disappearance of one French submarine was of minor import to the United States and the British Empire, engaged as they were in a global war. A later French inquiry would support the sinking due to “friendly fire.” This is conclusion was supported by Rear Admiral Jean Auphan in his excellent The French Navy in World War II in which he states “for reasons which appear to have been primarily political, she was rammed at night in the Caribbean by an American freighter.” Yet it is interesting to note that Charles de Gaulle, never one to shy away when he felt misused or diminished by the Anglo-Saxon world, simply stated in The Call to Honor that Surcouf “had sunk with all hands.” A memorial to the brave but ill-starred submarine stands today in Cherbourg harbor, overlooking the sea. The sea has many mysteries, and is an unforgiving mistress. May her crew rest in peace, whatever final fate befell them. Vive La France!

    Avalanche Press


    "Possibly the unluckest submarine of WW2 was the U-31, which has the destinction of being the only U-boat to be sunk twice

    She was first sunk on March 11, 1940 by a Bristol Blenheim aircraft of RAF Bomber Command which caught her on the surface while on trials off Jadebusen, all 58 crew were killed.
    Because it happened in shallow water she was able to be raised , and then repaired and returned to service.
    She was sunk for the second time on November 2, 1940 NW of Ireland by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Antelope. This time there were 2 dead and 44 survivors of her crew."

    French submarine Surcouf in Wars in History Channel
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    A sad story and what a waste. As the article says, both vessels were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Besides this sub had not been updated since 1939, so it was obsolete.
     
  8. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    424
    Definately ill fated. Sad and too bad we will never really know what happened to her.
     
  9. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    424
    [​IMG]
    Surcouf, her 8 inch gun turret in evidence
    This huge submarine carried twin 8 inch guns in a single turret, quite a formidible armament for a submarine, and in a hangar aft of her conning tower was an observation aircraft, a Marcel Berson-411, capable of a speed of 100 knots with a range of 400 kilometres. A cargo of torpedoes, 14 by 500mm, and another 8 by 400mm added to her fighting abilities. A 16 foot motor boat was also on board.
     
  10. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    If she were sunk after the collision in the Carribean the wreck would be in fairly shallow water. Perhaps we can take up donations to find her?;)
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    Naaaw, the Musashi must come first :D
     
  12. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    346
    Depends on where she went down. There are some shoal waters, primarily around the Bahamas, southern Florida, and at points around the coast of Cuba, but the rest of the Caribbean is extremely deep, with few shallow shelfs around the various islands and several deep trenches.
     
  13. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    A quick check my trusty National Geographic map (1967 printing) show that even tho the susposed area of the collison with the Lykes transport (10°40N, 79°31W) is barely over 100 kilometers from the Panama Coast the water is some 1700 fathoms deep. The Carribean bottom looks like a roller coaster with steep changes from places like the Columbian basin of 2300 fathoms to the banks SE of Jamiaca with hardly ten fathoms. Another fifty kilometers closer to Panama and the Sucrof would have been in less than 100 fathoms.
     
  14. PupSter

    PupSter recruit

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some years back I saw, read and might even still have and article from the Hartford Current (CT) newspaper about this sub. a diver said he found it in Long Island Sound. This was an article from the 1960's and was retracted 3 weeks later, tho only after some guys in suits and dark sedans, "talked" to the person who found it. His name slips me right now, but I remeber he was a founding member of a large CT dive club along the coast. Now you have to understand, the diver, a hard hat diver fro mthe picture of him in the paper, was black (African American) and dies back in the mid/late 1990's and was married to a white woman. A truely hard thing at the time. I'll be going thru my boxes of sub stuff to find the names and the day/date and post what I can.
     
  15. PupSter

    PupSter recruit

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    One other thing, she could fire all her fish while submerged, she could not reload the 400MM rear/side fired ones tho. They where surface reloaded only and I have not seen anything that said how many reloads she carried for that. I have also read her plane was left in France when she left as the Germans invaded.
     
  16. PupSter

    PupSter recruit

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some years back I saw, read and might even still have and article from the Hartford Current (CT) newspaper about this sub. a diver said he found Surcouf in Long Island Sound. This was an article from the 1960's (1967 I think). I was told, tho I have never seen or read, that it was retracted 3 weeks later, tho only after some guys in suits and dark sedans, "talked" to the person who found it. His name slips me right now, but I remember he was a founding member of a large CT dive club along the coast. Now you have to understand, the diver, a hard hat diver from the picture of him in the paper, was black (African American) and dies back in the mid/late 1990's and was married to a white woman. A truly hard thing at the time. I'll be going thru my boxes of sub stuff to find the names and the day/date and post what I can. I found the article, already cut out and folded up, in a 1941 Janes, at the Springfield Mass Library when I was a teen, researching subs for a war games club I belonged to.
    In the 1990's I pulled it out and started looking more into it. That's when I heard about the retraction from a member of the dive club and the stuff about his wife and threats that where made to them. In 1994ish I made contact with a few interesting people, one said he was a member of the crew of the US Sub Marlin off Long Island. From another I heard about a US Navy Seal operation off New London CT to demo the hulk of a WW2 sub. This was to have happened in the 1970 or early 1980's.
    Other interesting info I picked up, before shelving this little pet project for a while, (I pull it out every now and then) include she was not the only free french sub to go missing around this time. another was lost right after a refit in Philly Navy Yard. Surcouf stopped in Bermuda after her refit in Portsmouth Navy Yard, and the trouble she had there included a mine that went off and while in Bermudas another was found on her.
    The ideas that she was trading torps and supplies to the Germans make no sense at all, as French, British or US (tho we where "neutral") would not work in a German tube. Add to that the record keeping of the Germans say nothing of it ever happening, so even if we thought it might be going on at the time, we know now it was not, tho most Vichy records are still sealed. Jacques Cousteau was going to look for it and was talked out of it by US and French authorities, I had never heard he found it. Tho Surcouf, being the pride of the French Navy in WW2, you'd think the world renown diver would have looked for it and it would have been fairly easy if the story about being rammed and sunk by the Thompson Lykes as the official story goes, and even easier with today's equipment, she is the size of a WW2 era Destroyer and they can find the Liberty Bell space capsule at the bottom of the Pacific. Tho if she sank someplace else... Well and on that topic, The crew of the Lykes thought they ran over a small costal tanker, and there was oil in the water, tho no cork, which a sub a that time had alot of for insolation and they crys for help they heard, where in English, not French. Now If you where a French Submariner, and was just rammed and sinking, would you cry for help in English for French?
     
  17. fast1

    fast1 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    5
    thanks for the read, pretty interesting...[​IMG]
     
  18. darrell howard

    darrell howard recruit

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    when i was in college (1970) i worked in york Maine and met a man that had spent his working days in the Portsmouth Ship yard (N. H.). his name was Elwyn Beemis and we talked alot about WWII subs as my father was in the pacific. He told me about this "damn big" french sub with a hanger deck he worked on.It was the Surcouf and was nothing but trouble. He complained about this Vichy crew that so arrogant to the US . He worked inside on sheet metal fabrication for mess hall.He said he never saw an airplane in the hanger, and thought there wasn't one any more with the ship. it came to portmouth for an upgrade and refit in 1942.he said it was a (piece of ****)and was dirty as a pig stye.after a decent overhaul it went to sea on a trial and came back in a couple days complaining they almost perished and had to dump all their fuel oil to resurface.nothing was found wrong and next week they went to sea again and returned in a couple days with the same story of dumping fuel to make it to the surface after a dive. they checked over the sub and found nothing wrong except it was maned by "frenchies".
    when it went to sea the next time it was shadowed by an American submarine . he said it was easy to follow , cause the frenchies never could be quiet. It was sighted at dusk tied up to a german sub , probably shifting oil and was torpedoed by the US sub and both blew-up and sank.
    The long island sound location is entirely possible ,being abou 200 mies south of Portsmouth .i am glad i can share this with someone-Darrell
     
  19. Rubberman

    Rubberman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    2
    I remember reading a book (fictional)that used this sub can't remember the author.
     
  20. Frederick H. Hallett

    Frederick H. Hallett recruit

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    SURCOUF left Bermuda on Feb. 12, 1942 for the Panama Canal, having been ordered to Australia via Tahiti by Royal Navy's Flag Officer, Submarines Max Horton. Knowing of Operation Paukenschlag U-boats operating on the U.S. East Coast, she would have been on a full war footing just as in the previous week coming from Halifax, submerged during the day, surfacing only at night to charge batteries. This gave her an SOA (speed of advance) of 5.8 knots, identical to her SOA upon returning to Plymouth from convoy escort duty in April,1941. She would have passed through Anegada Passage on the afternoon of Feb. 18, not knowing that the four U-boats of Gruppe Neuland had commenced attacks on Trinidad, Curacao and Aruba on the 16th, shelling refineries and sinking five ships and damaging two others on the first day alone. Approaching Aruba to refuel, SURCOUF would have sailed right into the area where U-156 and U-502 were hunting. And if the U-boats didn't get her, U.S. submarines from St. Thomas and Coco Solo, which were hunting the U-boats, probably would have since she looked nothing like any U.S. submarine. In any event she was 900 miles away from THOMPSON LYKES on 18 Feb when the collision was supposed to have occurred and just as far away from the rumored air attack the following day. I believe she never made it that far. Frederick H. Hallett
     

Share This Page