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The Patrols

Patrol 03 - 16.11.1939-18.12.1939

16.11.1939 U-47 departs dock at Kiel.

??.11.1939 U-47 encounters a destroyer, which forces the U-boat to dive. The same destroyer is encountered two days later.

28.11.1939 London-class Cruiser Norfolk (United Kingdom, 9,850 lt) attacked by torpedo. Time of first attack, 1334 hours. The torpedo explodes in the ship's wake, but Prien's thinks that the torpedo has struck the British vessel. Prien loses sight of the cruiser when it disappears behind a squall of rain, and assumes it has sunk.

05.12.1939 Steam freighter Navasota (United Kingdom, 8,795 grt), part of convoy OB-46, attacked by torpedo, sunk. Time of first attack, 1440 hours. Location 50°43N/10°16W. U-48 also reported a hit on the Navasota, although U-47 is credited with its sinking. Prien estimates that this ship is "certainly 10-12,000 tons."

06.12.1939 Motor tanker M/S Britta (Norway, 6,214 grt), attacked by torpedo, sunk. Time of first attack, 2029 hours. Location SW Longships LH (50°17N/05°44W). Later in the day U-47 sights a half-darkened steamer and fires a torpedo from tube 4. Prien then realises that he had greatly over-estimated her tonnage. Instead of 1,000 tons, he then estimates the ship to be barely 400 tons. Not wishing to waste a torpedo on so small a target, and unwilling to fire the deck gun so close to shore in daylight, Prien abandons the attack. Several neutral vessels are spotted.

07.12.1939 Motor passenger vessel Tajandoen (Netherlands, 8,159 grt), attacked by torpedo, sunk. Time of first attack, 0524 hours. Location 49°09N/04°51W.

08.12.1939 Although technically not a victim of U-47, the grain-carrier Louis Sheid (Belgium, 6,057 tons) ran ashore at Thurlstone, South Devon, in an attempt to evade the U-boat.

16.12.1939 U 47 fires a torpedo at a "fine ship of about 4,000 tons." This misses, as does the next shot. When a door opens on the darkened steamer, Prien decides to let it go.

18.12.1939 U-47 returns to dock at Kiel.

Total days at sea: 32
Enemy vessels sunk: 3
Total tonnage: 23168 grt
Total days in port: 63


U-47 departs Kiel 29.02.1940, arrives Wilhelmshaven 05.03.1940. U-47 leaves Kiel on patrol but returns to Heligoland due to problems with the compass repeaters or poor weather conditions. Then they are ordered to return to Wilhelmshaven, which they reluctantly obey.

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