Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Niger
Attack on U Boat 5.3.42




ADM 199/1782 Proceedings of U-boat assessment committee.  Attack on U-boat by NIGER 

Précis of Attack by NIGER

Date:                5.3.42
Time:               2125
Position:           69° 20’ N, 35° 30’ E.
Depth of Water: 90 fathoms
Weather:          Wind WNW Force 8, Sea rough, Weather overcast with snow squalls, Visibility up to half a mile. 


NIGER and SPEEDWELL were searching for the Russian destroyer GROZNI, which had run out of fuel, and after searching in line abreast were steaming in line ahead to a new position with NIGER leading. An RDF bearing was obtained at a range of 4,500 yards and NIGER altered to the bearing. Eventually the Russian destroyer GROZNI, was sighted ahead. At the same moment however a U-boat was seen 100 yards ahead on the starboard beam on the surface but trimmed well down. The U-boat was on an opposite course. NIGER increased speed and altered course to ram. The Asdic Operator reported hydrophone effect a few seconds before this. By the time NIGER had altered course, the U-boat had disappeared either having dived or been beyond the visibility which was only two cables.  

On losing sight of the U-boat NIGER decided to drop a pattern of depth charges, but on looking astern it was seen that SPEEDWELL was still following and it was, therefore impossible to drop depth charges. A box search was carried out around the position of the last sighting, and SPEEDWELL co-operated but no contact was obtained which was not considered surprising in the weather conditions prevailing. Depth charges set to 300 feet were dropped at intervals. The search was abandoned after three and a half hours as it seemed most likely that asdic contact would be obtained, and NIGER considered it important to continue her search in accordance with previous orders. 


U-boat was sighted passing at short range but was not seen again.  


Asdic conditions were bad under the severe quenching. Hydrophone effect was heard for a short time after the U-boat was sighted. 


t is not considered that this encounter comes under the heading of an A/S attack since the weather spoiled any chance of using the A/S effectively, and there were no indications of the U-boat’s presence either before or after the few seconds during which it was in sight. 


There is no tracking evidence of damage to this U-boat. 


No damage. 

18th June 1942

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