Posted by: Platon Alexiades
Date: February 10, 2015 07:15AM
I am afraid there is no solid evidence that TURBINE and NEMBO sank ORPHEUS off Tobruk.
1. An aircraft reported a submarine off Tobruk and the two destroyers sailed at 1615/19 June and dropped depth charges "blind" on a 60° axis from Tobruk in the direction the aircraft (which was no longer present) had indicated. Although an oil patch was reported, it is possible they attacked an old wreck. In these conditions it would have been very lucky to sink a submarine without sighting a periscope or a hydrophone contact.
2. ORPHEUS could not have been near Tobruk at that time. She was operating south west of Malta and was ordered by Captain S.1's signal of 1211/19 June to proceed and patrol off Benghazi for at least 24 hours before going to Alexandria. ORPHEUS acknowledged the signal at 1416/19 and 2115/19 (herlast signal so it is obvious she was not sunk by TURBINE).She was expected to arrive off Benghazi at about 1200/21. She was then ordered to leave the Benghazi patrol at 1600/22 and proceed to Alexandria.
The Uboat.net entry on ORPHEUS is wrong in that respect but I am sure it will be corrected in the future.
The loss of ORPHEUS is a mystery that has yet to be solved.