Wolfpack Fink closes in on Convoy ONS 5
5th May 1943: The perspective of a U-Boat commander as he positions himself for attack - and comes under attack himself
The Battle of the Atlantic continued as intensely as ever. German radio intelligence meant they often had a good idea of when Allied convoys would be passing. Long lines of U-boats would string themselves out across the probable path of a convoy. Once one U-boat had made a sighting, the others would be ordered to move into the attack. In early May 1943, 28 U boats of 'Wolfpack Fink' had congregated in mid-Atlantic to find the Allied convoys.
Having found the convoys, it still took considerable ability to penetrate through the screen of convoy escorts to get in a position to attack the merchant ships. The number of U-boat crews with the necessary skill and experience was rapidly diminishing. Whilst the Germans could build more boats, they could not find experienced crews to man them. Many of the men now serving on U boats were no longer volunteers for the service.
Kapitänleutnant Hartwig Looks was on his third war patrol commanding U-264, and later gave this account1 of his part of the attack:
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