Re: British S/S WANDBY and RUPERRA in convoy HX-79
Posted by: Rainer Kolbicz
Date: September 26, 2017 03:43PM
Details of the torpedo attacks carried out at 0043 and 0148:
U-47 20/0043 AL0356 fired stern torpedo at freighter (5000grt) type "Loch Maddy" and reported hit after 1:50
U-47 20/0148 AL0364 fired torpedo at unknown merchant, but missed and reported a hit on a steamer (4000grt) beyond after 4:45
At 20/0015 the convoy was attacked again from the starboard bow, this time by U-100 which torpedoed CAPRELLA and SITALA, so another emergency turn of 40° to port was carried out. The ships of the convoy remained on course 40° until 0040 (when U-47 torpedoed LA ESTANCIA), then turned to starboard to a main course of 110° and began zigzagging. The info from the KTB of U-47 for this timeframe is minimal, but it appears that the U-boat was reloading its torpedo tubes and attacked from within the columns of the port wing of the convoy.
The Admiralty analysis states that WHITFORD POINT (#42) and ATHELMONARCH (#75) were hit at 0224. However, the report of ATHELMONARCH states that they were hit at 0207 and the report of the chief officer of WHITFORD POINT states that they were torpedoed at 0200. This is also confirmed by the vice commodore in CAIRNVALONA (#31) who wrote that at 0200 a ship in the 4th column was torpedoed on port side and disappeared astern, probably WHITFORD POINT (#42).
So the attribution of WHITFORD POINT to the attack of U-47 at 20/0148 appears to be correct. The assumption was made by Rohwer in ASS that LA ESTANCIA was possibly hit twice by U-47, but according to her master she was hit by one torpedo and sank by the stern in 4 minutes. Judging from what is currently known of the sinking of RUPERRA it is likely that she was the ship hit by U-47 at 20/0043.
To summarize the wall of text above:
U-47 19/2346 AL0357 1T probably missed TRITON (#56)
U-46 19/2346 AL6331 1T miss
U-46 19/2347 AL6331 1T most likely hit WANDBY (#26)
U-47 19/2354 AL0357 1T miss
U-47 20/0043 AL0356 1T presumably hit RUPERRA (#45)
U-47 20/0148 AL0364 1T confirmed hit WHITFORD POINT (#42)