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
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
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.
SUBMARINE TRACKING ROOM'S OPINION
There is no tracking evidence of damage to this
DECISION OF U-BOAT COMMITTEE
18th June 1942