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U-47 Photograph Album

Sections B (5th September 1939, Atlantic Ocean - during 1st patrol) & C (8th October 1939, Kiel - start of Scapa Flow mission)

B01. 5th September 1939, 45°29N/09°45W

The 2,407-ton British merchantman Bosnia, a "short and dumpy freighter with a flaming red stack, a black superstructure and a grass green bottom," was attacked with deck gunfire by U-47. Prien allowed its stricken crew to be picked up by the neutral Norwegian freighter Eindanger before finally sending the steamer to the bottom of the Atlantic with a torpedo. This photo showing U-47 was taken from the Eindanger.

Faintly visible are the net cutter, the jumping wire, the 88mm deck gun and the 20mm Flak gun on the aft deck. The photo illustrates how the small silhouette presented by a U-boat of this class would be difficult to spot by Allied seamen. (Nightmare)

View Photograph: B01. 5th September 1939, 45°29N/09°45W

C01. 8th October 1939, Kiel

Before U-47 set sail on the Scapa Flow mission, a drawing mocking the British Prime Minister was painted in white on both sides of the patchy conning tower. This drawing was of a skull and crossbones adorned with the top hat and umbrella favoured by their enemies' leader, Neville Chamberlain. It may or may not have still been present on the conning tower during the Scapa Flow attack. This temporary drawing was replaced during the return journey from Scapa Flow to Germany with what became one of the most famous of U-boat insignia - The Bull Of Scapa Flow.

An excellent view of the starboard navigation light and its housing is provided by this shot. The channel in front of the bulb allowed light to shine forwards, as well as to the side of the vessel. The brackets designed to hold two lifebelts of differing size are above and to the left. Neither of these lifebelts are present. Also of interest are the two separate jumping wire attachment braces, one at the rear edge of the bulwark and one above the Chamberlain drawing. Later there would only be one jumping wire attachment brace per side. (Phantom)

View Photograph: C01. 8th October 1939, Kiel

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