u 864

5th January 2007, 22:49
hi all did anybody see this program on bbc2 tonight i thought it was aload of utter bo----ks how can you have a 12 year old eyewitness when both subs were submerged ken powell(H)

Gavin Gait
6th January 2007, 10:22
Hi Ken. I think the U boat was running on the surface initially with the RN Sub at Periscope Depth. I've read an account of the incident and if my memories right the U-boat tried to surface just as she was hit by the 4rth torpedo. This makes sense as the Mk VIII torpedo was an anti-surface vessel straight running torpedo that could be set for various depths up to 60ft or so below the surface.

Torpedoed almost on the surface would mean the U-boat being forced to the surface by the explosion "boil" and she would have sunk with the bow or stern out of the water. The Mk VIII torpedo used in this incidence is exactly the same one as used by HMS Conquerer to sink the Agentinian navies Belgrano in 1982.

I haven't watched the program yet ( taped it tho ) and I never expect these types of programs to get the details right. I prefer watching the program then doing some research into the real facts. You'd be surprsed at just how many mistakes and "artistic licence" is used in these supposedly acurate TV programs

Davie Tait

6th January 2007, 10:33
hi all did anybody see this program on bbc2 tonight i thought it was aload of utter bo----ks how can you have a 12 year old eyewitness when both subs were submerged ken powell(H)

What I could not work out was how the u-boat ran submerged on diesels without the snorkel up? It was supposedly just a brief raising of the periscope which gave the initial siting, it was then tracked by listening to the 'noisy' diesels. :confused:

Gavin Gait
6th January 2007, 10:48
Even running on electric motors the RN subs could track a U-boat. HMS Graph's failed attack on U333 in the Bay of Biscay is one prime example ( an attack done from periscope depth in both subs and U333 never had a snorkel ) also the USN sinking of one of the large Japanese submarine ( I-56 I think ) in mid-atlantic was done by the new homing torpedoes. You can clearly hear on the sonar bouy recording's the sound of the subs twin screws and the sound of the torpedo traking in on her ( they had just started using air-dropped sonar bouys and used a thin wire recorder in the aircraft , there was a National Geographic program about this sinking a few years ago ).


6th January 2007, 11:05
As you say Davie, I think they used rather a lot of 'artistic licence'. To be honest, the vast majority of viewers would have accepted this version of the incident as completely plausible.

6th January 2007, 12:37
Hi all

What got me was the statement that this was the first Sub/Sub sinking of WW2 (at the end of the war?).

One I know of was the sinking of U36 as early as Dec 1939 by the HMS Salmon. Im sure there were more examples

Poetic licence, my a**e.


6th January 2007, 15:52
hi david thanks for the info but as sombody pointed out i think there was abit of artistic licsens in this program as one shot they showed was hms barham exploding what it had to with this action i do not know ken powell

Ted Else
21st January 2007, 16:11
Hello All,
Must agree with most of what has been said here The 'knocking diesel' would have mean't that the Snorkel would have been deployed and it certainly was not the first Submarine to have been sunk by another Sub. The danger here is that these so called Docu-drama's get understood as 'real' History by the youngsters of today (and the not so young) how can 'we' stop this contamination? It really is an insult to the men and women who were actually there.
Regards Ted

21st January 2007, 16:31
I have always had doubts about this type of programme. On a more parochial level, my daughter asked for help in publicising the plight of her horse and pony sanctuary (charity) - the answer was that they would help if my daughter was to say to the reporter that the animals would have to be shot otherwise. Sensationalism is what they are after, not facts.

21st January 2007, 18:20
Well spoke Treeve