U-83 KTB

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Ricardo Silva
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U-83 KTB

Post by Ricardo Silva » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:32 pm

Hi to all,
im writing a paper on portuguese vessels sunk during world war two and i've come upon the KTB of U-83, which sunk Portuguese neutral ship "Corte Real" on 12 of October 1941. I would like to ask for your help on translating the report of Werner Kraus on the action leading to the sinking:

First Part:

"Dampfer in sicht. Getaucht. In Reganboe achtern Geshutz gesechen. Zum unterwasserangriff angesetzt. Dampfer zum Stoppen gezwungen und papiere zur Einsicht kommen lassen. Es handelt sich um den Dampfer "Corte Real", der sich auf der fahrt von Porto nach New-York, uber die Azbren, befand. Ladung des Dampfers bestand zum grostan teil aus maschinenteilen uhren, Chemikalien und Kork nach New York. Von Dort im Transit nach Kanada, Australien und Ostasien. Da gema atandigen Kriegsbefen die Ladung als unbedingtes Banngut zu besic nen war und der begriff der fortgesetzten re se eindeutig vorlag, befahl ich dem Kapitan des Dampfers mit seiner Besatzung und den 4 passagieren in die Boote zu gehen, da sein Schiff versenkt wurde. Der Kapitan gab an, d er nich wuste, was er an bord geladen hatte und das er bereit sei, nach lissabon zuruck zu fahren, um alles wieder auszuladen. Ichh lies der besatzung etwa 1 std. Zeidt, um in die Boote zu gehen. Wahrend dieser zeit uber nahm eine deutsche Kondor-Maschine die Aufklarung um uns herum."

Unfortunately, the copy of this document from NARA isn't as good as we would like. So, there are several words lacking letters, and some letters may be different. Since i don't speak German, it's very hard for me to make a correct translation in these conditions. I thank any help on this text, that is an important part of the paper i'm writing.

Ricardo Silva

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Howard
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by Howard » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:08 am

Hi Ricardo,

as far as I can decipher the text it goes something liek this:

Steamer in sight. Dived. In Reganboe achtern Geshutz gesechen. Ready for underwater attack. Steamer forced to stop and show papers. It was the steamer "Corte Real" on route from Porto to New York via the Azores (?). Steamer's cargo largely made up of machine parts, watches, chemicals and cork for New York. From there in transit to Canada, Australia and East Asia. Since standing orders decreed the cargo be described as contraband and the definition of the goods was very clear I ordered the Captain and his crew and 4 passengers to get into the boats, as his ship was to be sunk. The captain admitted that he didn't know what had been loaded and that he was prepared to sail back to Lisbon to unload everything. I gave the crew about an hour to get into the boats. During this time a German Kondor plane took over reconnaissance around us.

The text in italics I'm really not sure of. Did you transcribe it correctly?
Regards

Howard

kurt74
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by kurt74 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:31 pm

Seems that the is a simple misspelling, must be:" In Regenböe achtern Geschütz gesehen". > in rain flaw at the Backside of the ship seen something, expected to be a gun. Does this make sense to you?

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Hans
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by Hans » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:39 pm

Regenbö = rain-squall.
Therefore: "Through the rain-squall noticed a gun at stern".

- Hans
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Ricardo Silva
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by Ricardo Silva » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:12 pm

Thanks very much for the translation Howard, and for the add-ups from both kurt74 and Hans.
I believe it the translation is very close to the original, which unfortunately is very difficult to read. The story of this sinking is very interesting, since it had a great repercution in Portuguese public opinion. While many supported Germany for the war it was waging against the Soviet Union, this and other sinkings were having an impact on that support. To such an extent was this seen as a danger by German Autorities, that Doenitz himself ordered Hardegen of the U-123 to change his KTB after sinking another Portuguese vessel named Ganda. It is obvious that the reason behind this concerns was mostly one: wolfram. But the truth is that after this incident with the U-83, never again a German Submarine made it to the surface and sank a Portuguese vessel based on what it was carrying, from then on...they sank them submerged and without showing themselves to the survivors.

If possible, i would like to ask your help with the second and final part on this report:

Nachdem die Rettungsboote bereits abgesetzt hatten und der Dampfer die esrten Artillerietreffer erhalten hatte und brannte, stellte sich heraus, daß eines Rettungsboote so leck war, daß es verlassen werden mußte. Da dadurch die anden(?) beiden boote ubermaßig belastet und somit nicht mehr seetuchtig waren, und da außerdes frauen mit kleinen kindern an bord waren, beschloß ich, die boote ein stuck auf die kuste zu in schlepp zu nehmen. Torpdofangsch(?) auf damper mit 2 m Tiefe untersteuerte ihm bei einer entfernung von 500 m.
Zweiter torpedo, auf 1,5 m eingestellt, lief zum teil als oberflachenlaufer und traf. dampfer versank in kurzer zeit F.T. B.D.U. "portugiesischer dampfer " Corte Real" mit banngut versenkt. Uberlebend im schlepp nach Lissabon, da Rettungsboote unklar. "
Auf befehl von B.D.U.: " rofort befohlene operation fortsetzen," Rettungsboote um 1900 Uhr in CG5467 entlassen.
Gegen 1800 Uhr meldung von U 563 uber Geleitzug in Qu. CG5514. Sofort mach(?) entlassung Rettungsboote auf diese Meldung Operiert. Nehme an, daß Geleitzug versucht, in hoheitsgewassern nach suden zu gehen.
In sicht der portugiesischen kuste mit anderen booten nach suden gesucht. Erfolglos. Kleine neue Fuhlunghaltermeldung.

Thanks for the help, it will be very interesting to have both perspectives on the same paper. Usually in Portugal these incidents are seen only through government reports, which have several limitations, in my opinion.

Ricardo Silva

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Howard
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by Howard » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:55 am

Here's my shot at part 2 Ricardo:

After the life boats had already put off and the steamer had taken the first hits from gunfire and was burning, it turned out that one lifeboat was leaking so much it had to be abandoned. This meant that the other two boats were heavily overloaded and no longer seaworthy and since there were women and children on board, I decided to tow the boats a little to the coast. Final torpedo fired at steamer at a depth of 2m; Understeered it by 500m.

Second torpedo, aimed at 1.5m, was partly on the surface of the water and hit. The steamer sank quickly. Radio to BDU (U-boat high command)'Portuguese steamer Corte Real sunk with contraband. Towing survivors to Lisbon, since lifeboats uncertain."

On orders from BDU "Continue ordered operation immediately". Lifeboats left in CG5467 at 19.00 hours. Around 18.00 message from U 563 about convoy in sector CG5514. Immediately released the lifeboats on this message. Think the convoy is trying to go south in territorial waters. In sight of the Portuguese coast with other boots searched south. Unsuccessful. No new reports of sightings - I think it should be keine not kleine, but that depends on what comes next if anything.

Thanks for the clarifications guys :D
Regards

Howard

Ricardo Silva
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by Ricardo Silva » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:05 am

Thank you Howard, you did a great work with this translation.
It matches what the official records say about this sinking, now i'll translate your translation to Portuguese and ad it up to the paper.

Regards

Ricardo

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Howard
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Re: U-83 KTB

Post by Howard » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:59 am

You're welcome Ricardo.

Good luck with the paper.
Regards

Howard

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