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The Patrols

Patrol 02 - 08.10.1939-21.10.1939

08.10.1939 U-47 departs dock at Kiel, with the "Chamberlain" drawing on either side of the conning tower. Originally, it had been planned that U-47 was to take part in the first wolfpack operation, under the local control of Korvettenkapitän Werner Hartmann in U-37. When Günther Prien was presented with special orders for the Scapa Flow mission on 01.10.1939, U-47 was withdrawn from the wolfpack operation.

13/14.10.1939, British battleship HMS Royal Oak (29,150 tons), attacked by torpedo during overnight raid at the Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow, sunk after a second attack by U-47 on 14.10.1939. Time of first attack, 2358 hours on 13.10, first shots of second attack, 0116 hours on 14.10. Location Scapa Flow, 58°55N/02°59W.

15.10.1939 Upon surfacing in the North Sea, U-47 sights the steam freighter Meteor (Norway, ?grt). When radio traffic from the steamer is reported in error from the W/T office, Prien fires a salvo far ahead of the steamer, which is already stopped. The steamer is found to be destined for Newcastle with 238 passengers, and so is immediately allowed to proceed. It is reported later by the W/T office that the steamer did not make any signals. Time 1823 hours. Location 56°20N/00°40W. Later in the day, 3 drifting mines are sighted. No measures are taken due to the proximity of fishing vessels. Location 54°58N/02°56E.

17.10.1939 From 0404 to 0447 hours, U-47 chases a fishing vessel escort ship with the identification number 808. U-47 gives the appropriate recognition signal eight times but no reply is received. The vessel does not react until a Very light is used at a distance of 500-600 meters. Prien is not amused at such laxness. U-47 returns to dock at Wilhelmshaven escorted by two destroyers, and enters entry III at 1100 hours. The white outline of the soon top be famous "Snorting Bull" insignis has been painted on both sides of the conning tower. Prien and the crew are flown to Berlin, where on the following day they are welcomed by Adolf Hitler. Prien is awarded the Knight's Cross.

Total days at sea: 10
Enemy vessels sunk: 1
Total tonnage: 29,150 lt
Total days in port: 3


20.10.1939 The crew reassemble having arrived back from Berlin, and U-47 departs Wilhelmshaven at 18.30 hours for its home port of Kiel. The U-boat ties up at the Brnsbuttel Lock at 01.20 hours the next morning. U-47 leaves for Kiel sometime in the morning, and ties up at Holtenau Lock in Kiel at 13.00 hours on the 21.10.1939.

21.10.1939 The U-boat enters the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft A.G. shipyard in Kiel for repairs.

23.10.1939 U-47 sails past numerous battleships and cruisers moored in Kiel to celebrate the Scapa Flow mission. Crews of the Scharnhorst, Emden and the training ship Schleswig-Holstein parade on deck in honour of the little U-47.

24.10.1939 A further ceremony honouring the crew of the U-47 takes place at the Krupp shipyard in Kiel. The crew sign the Golden Book of the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft A.G. shipyards, a special booklet produced by the shipyard in honour of U-47's exploits in Scapa Flow.

Total days in port: 26

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