Source: ADM 199/1782
Proceedings of U-boat assessment committee. U-boat attack by
of Attack by SHARPSHOOTER
30’ N, 35° 27’ E.
Weather: Wind – light. Sea – calm. Visibility – good.
SHARPSHOOTER had just joined convoy PQ8 which was steering a north
westerly course in single line ahead, when MATABELE was torpedoed
on the starboard side of the convoy. After making a search for
survivors of MATABELE, SHARPSHOOTER heard a torpedo approaching at
0033 and altered course towards the sound. The torpedo crossed the
bows and at 0040 an asdic contact was obtained at a range of 700
yards to the southward. SHARPSHOOTER counter attacked at once, but
it is not stated how many depth charges were dropped or what depth
settings were used. Contact was regained astern, but was lost when
the range reached 800 yards. At 0048 contact was regained at 800
yards range and hydrophone effect was heard on the bearing. A
deliberate attack was carried out but no details of this are
given. Contact was regained astern but lost when the range reached
Contact was again established at 0109 at a range of 800 yards and
the target was moving rapidly left with opening inclination. A
deliberate attack was made in which the bearing of the target
remained steady, and at 300 yards range the sound of motors was
heard. Contact was held down the starboard side and astern until
the depth charges exploded. It appears that to keep the bearing
steady during this attack, the target was placed 50° on the bow.
After the explosion of the depth charges three echoes were
obtained which all remained steady until a range of 1,900 yards
was reached, SHARPSHOOTER turned to investigate but all the
contacts faded out below 1.00 yards. The search was continued but
no further contact was obtained.
MATABELE was torpedoed.
Asdic conditions were evidently difficult. SHARPSHOOTER states
that although the asdic range was 3,000 yards, during the whole
operation no echoes were obtained at a greater range than 800
yards with the exception of the triple echoes after the second
deliberate attack. A track chart has been forwarded.
C IN C HF’S OPINION
No opinion is expressed of the result of this attack.
SUBMARINE TRACKING ROOM’S OPINION
Tracking evidence affords no indication that this U-boat was
DECISION OF U-BOAT ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE
Asdic conditions were evidently too bad to allow any accuracy of
attack and the result is assessed as ‘Insufficient evidence of
26th March 1942