August 10th, 1944

Journal,

 

Life on a U-boat is difficult, although better than other alternatives.  I have a bed to sleep in and our ship has a cook who makes decent meals.  I could be in Russia, freezing and starving.  Here, we work and sleep in shifts.  Our captain is a good man.  He is well respected and fair to the men.  He likes to pull tricks too and will often drop small, exploding caps that make a loud noise.  They are harmless, but make the unsuspecting sailor jump. 

 

My job on the U-boat is that of machiner.  I work with the diesel engines and make sure they run properly.  The sub itself is like a giant pipe, with 20 men crammed inside.  It can be loud, especially when it starts up and the engines bang and clang.  When we dive and the snorkel on top is covered, the air is vacuumed out of the sub and causes everyone’s ears to plug up.  We are not able to go very deep, usually about 100 yards at the maximum depth.  We are not out in the open sea for very long either, usually only a few days at a time. Once we’re out far enough, we pull in the snorkel and go deep, using the electric motors instead of the diesel motors to remain undetected.  And we are patrolling for Russian ships.  Our subs are smaller than those of my comrades who patrol the Atlantic Ocean.  They are gone for much longer and they are much more likely to be killed. 

 

Henry

Published in: on April 22, 2006 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

April 20th, 1944

Journal,

 

I have completed my training and received my assignment. I am to serve on a Type XXI U-boat that will patrol the Baltic Sea. These U-boats hold about 20 men and all of us will serve together on this same ship. Other friends received assignments to travel to France or Norway or Hamburg immediately. We will all set sail soon, the Germans need more men

 

Henry

Published in: on April 22, 2006 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment