Re: Mystery attack 13.10.1942
Posted by: Platon Alexiades
Date: July 11, 2016 11:59AM
Hi Jan-Olof and Brian,
We are in luck as I have just located the KTB of SPICHERN for this sortie (T1022/3113, NARA) in my files. She had sailed from St. Nazaire at 0500/10 October 1942 escorted out by SPERRBRECHER 175 (until 0605) and the minesweepers M 27 and M 28 (until 1950/10). She came under heavy air attacks on 11 and 12 October roughly on the meridian 09°30' W. She was near-missed and incurred some damage and on the evening of the 12th, she turned back.
At 0945 on the 13th, a large explosion with a tall column of water was observed about 2,000 metres to port, followed by a torpedo track, Korvetten Kapitän Stencken ordered hard to port and the torpedo was observed to run on a parallel course and miss about 50 metres from the port side as fire was opened with 10.5 cm and 3.7 cm guns. At 0955, a loud noise similar to a depth charge was heard and two more torpedo tracks were observed at about 3,000 metres astern on the port side. They missed the port side by 70 metres.
At 1045, the minesweepers M 24, M 32 and M 154 [no mention of M 152, a typo?] joined to escort her and at 2345/13 SPERRBRECHER 175 arrived to lead her in. She anchored at St. Nazaire at 0031/14.
It does seem that UNIQUE must have been the attacking submarine. Could she have been the victim of one of her own torpedoes? A "circler" or a "premature" may have caused damage as three torpedo tracks in all were observed not four.