Having blown ballast in an effort to save the crew, the U-Boat surfaced and came under direct sustained assault consisting of a torpedo attack and heavy machinegun fire while the sailors were actively trying to abandon ship. This was a tactic devised to pin a submarine crew in the vessel to prevent it from being scuttled, however the Allies would accuse the Germans of war crimes in Nuremburg for employing similarly lethal and callous tactics during unrestricted submarine warfare.
Whatever your opinion of this is, in my basic analysis it is nothing more than cold blooded murder in a profession where rendering assistance on the high seas to those in need is a professional expectation of all who venture the ocean blue – above, on, or below the surface.
The default submarine selection is a Type IXC/40 (1944 series) U-Boat, and as with other single player missions I am running the game at a moderately increased realism setting of 49%. The primary objective of the scenario is sink to the USS Guadalcanal.
The American carrier is steaming some 3,500 meters to my port side almost parallel to my current course.
I am given a number of torpedo variants in this mission (including the advanced T IV (G7es) Falke), however tubes one and two are already loaded with T III (G7e) electrics with a 5 kilometer range, while tubes three and four have T I (G7a) FaT gas/steam fish with a 12.5 kilometer range.
From the outset of the scenario I am detected by several destroyers circling about my position and I promptly waste two torpedoes on a couple of Evarts Destroyer Escorts in an attempt to improve my odds against the stiff ASW presence, however both would fail to strike their intended targets.
The British were employing Hedgehogs, depth charges, and aerial strafing runs against my boat causing quite a bit of stress on the crew early in the engagement.
I would hastily configure the two FaT pattern running torpedoes in tubes three and four to a depth of 8.5 meters, medium speed, and a magnetic pistol. The straight run portion of the pattern is set to 65 and 80 respectively with the default leg and pattern angles. Yet again there is not a salvo setting that combines the two into a single package, so I have to manually flood the tubes and fire each fish independently from a distance of approximately 3 kilometers.
At this point I order a crash dive and begin deploying countermeasures in an effort to escape the destroyers on the surface.
Given the infamous reputation of the much sabotaged boat, I retire to my quarters and think about my predecessor, Kapitänleutnant Peter Zschech.
At 11:13, a mere 5 minute eternity after the scenario began I receive notice that one of the FaT torpedoes has struck the carrier!
Although the second fish would be off running its pattern somewhere, the first one detonates under the keel of the carrier and breaks it’s back sending it under on its port side.
While I am using realistic ship sinking times in the advanced difficulty settings, the damage caused by the single torpedo was sufficient to send the giant to the bottom of the ocean quite quickly.
A well placed fish can be absolutely devastating in the game, as it should be.
The Casablanca Escort Carrier is sunk at 11:05 on June 4, 1944 and I am credited with 10,400 tons, thus completing the primary (and only) objective of the scenario.
Although not require to successfully complete the mission, I decide to push my luck and try to make a run for the coast of Africa in an attempt to surface and avoid the dread U-Boat lost message in the after-action report.
That is one nasty looking cup of naval coffee.
In the Crew & Damage Management interface I begin to put together a damage control party in an effort to keep the boat alive and out of the hands of the Americans.
The ASW assault from above however is unrelenting and they are throwing everything they have at me.
Virtually surrounded by this Allied wolf pack of sorts my prospects are beginning to look grim as the boat is taking damage from the intense pounding.
The Hedgehog is a particularly nasty development in ASW as these devices are effectively hand grenades that know no depth – they detonate when they hit something.
My luck would run out as I take a direct hit on the starboard aft side of the hull. At this point the cumulative damage was too much for the pressure hull to handle and it buckles under the stress.
One Allied unit lost for 10,400 tons and my U-Boat is destroyed with the loss of all hands on deck.
I have no problem losing the boat at the end of this scenario as I feel the mission played out exactly as it should have. Given the parameters of the single player set (missions are individual vignettes and are not interconnected), I count this as a victory in my book because I sunk the carrier when the real life U-505 could not, and although I was not successful in evading the ASW assets I did manage to prevent the boat from becoming a museum piece in Chicago, IL.
This mission was played on 8/1/15 on a Windows 7 machine.