U-505 Red Notebook

Internal evidence suggests that the author of this notebook was a Maschinenobergefreiter (machinist) in the German Navy.


Related Resource:
Documents Captured on German Submarine U-505


[Cover of a U-505 Red Notebook, measuring 7.5 cm in width and 11.1 cm in height. It has 48 remaining pages excluding a few that obviously have been torn out. Many of the pages have not been used. The numbering of pages lacks a coherent fashion.]
1942

[Cover of a U-505 Red Notebook, measuring 7.5 cm in width and 11.1 cm in height. It has 48 remaining pages excluding a few that obviously have been torn out. Many of the pages have not been used. The numbering of pages is inconsistent.]


The first page lists pieces of clothing in use by various crewmates and gives a translation of what one calorie is worth
One calorie = the energy that lifts one gram 428 meters into the air; or that heats one liter of water from 14.5°C to 15.5°C.

Göbler [Maschinenobergefreiter = machinist, Hans Göbeler]
1 [illegible] coat
1 [illegible] pair of pants
1 pair of gloves
1 pair of underwear
1 sport shirt

Neebe [Maschinenobergefreiter = machinist, Hans Neebe]
1 tank top

Bergmann [Maschinenobergefreiter = machinist, Helmut Bergmann]
1 pair of gym shorts
1 tank top
1 scarf


This page lists fresh food provisions
Fresh food provisions

3 butter
12 sausages
[illegible] vegetables [illegible] for butter?
700 fruits
27 meat
1 kg eggs
30 x 20 bread


These pages list further food provisions
31 coffee
44 [illegible]
24 [illegible]
10 flour, big
10 noodles, big
28 spaghetti
22 [illegible] [illegible]
17 [illegible]
4 pea soup
3 soups, loose
3 soups, [illegible]
1 beans, big
3 peas, small
7 grits, small
10 sugar, big
6 rice, big
1 rice, small
4 onions, small
1 [illegible]
1 cinnamon, big
1 tea, 1 cocoa powder

50 roast veal
[illegible]
120 bags of potatoes
[illegible]
15 pickles
9 pickles [illegible]


This page lists an illegible numerical table
Marmalade
[illegible]


Radio frequencies and readjustment technique for radio
For readjustment, anode power must be set to 160 (140-160). Antenna power to 5 (best reception)
[illegible frequencies]


These pages list hours that the submarine was possibly forced to remain submerged and further radio broadcasting instructions
Encapsulated [may be “forced to stay submerged”]

15 Sept 23.00 to 16 Sept 17.00 (11 pm to 5 pm) = 18 hours
16 Sept 19.00 to 17 Sept 19.00 (7 pm to 7 pm) = 24 hours
18 Sept 11.00 to 14.30 (11 am to 2.30 pm)

For broad wave transmitting [receiving] turn switch to “Peilen” and button to FM receiver, while antenna plug removed from plugging board [the original script has been annotated at the end of this document to provide an electronic transcript of the rapidly fading original writing] 1


Lists of appliances
3 FT keys
1 UT keys
1 GHG earphones
6 FT earphones

1 sounding box (without pliers)
1 sonic-depth finder
1 loudspeaker
[illegible]


Assorted bearings
Assorted bearings off Ireland and Africa (“starboard aft”)


This pages lists further notes concerning radioing
12 hours after approach towards Ireland
13,000 m Zeitzeichen [unclear term]
correction from II WO (Second Watch Officer) from NBU length wave


This page lists medicine to be taken
Pneumonia: 4 pieces Globucid [medicine], 2 pills every 2 hours
Boil [illegible]: 3x2 Globucid


Game of hangman, possibly on October 24, 1943
24 October 1943, 19.55 [7:55 p.m.)

[The following are answers from the "Hangman" word game.]

PINNACLE
HORNED CATTLE
WINTER
OSRAM [German manufacturer of lamps]
FALL
BORDGEUS


Fragment of a poorly-rhyming poem
[The following is a fragment of a poorly-rhyming, vulgar poem:] 30 guilders for he who retrieves my golden watch from the shit. Men, children, and women, watch the shit house with disgust. But the house owner, an otherwise brave man, takes a closer look at the matter. Quickly, he removes his shirt and pants and jumps, head first into shit and dirt. There, one can see him paddling with busy diligence, with his strong arms, he parts the crap. Soon it is hard, soon it is soft, soon it is glutinous, and soon it is like dough. There, to his left, one can see the golden watch sparkle. There, says the owner of the house: well then, you found the golden watch, but the seconds-hand remains missing. [the original script has been annotated at the end of this document to provide an electronic transcript of the rapidly fading original writing] 2


More "Hangman" and other notes

[The following are answers from the "Hangman" word game.]

GLASSES
DIRTY GOAT
WOCHENSCHAU [weekly German news broadcast on television and movie screen, source of wartime information and propaganda]
PREMATURE BIRTH
FELDWEBEL
MARZIPAN

Take a photograph of all junior officers after return to port
Holli: The White Gods, Frau [illegible]
Hermann: 100 points


Assorted scores, possibly from "Hangman"

Assorted scores, possibly from "Hangman"

Assorted scores, possibly from "Hangman"

[Assorted scores, possibly of “hangman” games]


This page lists assorted birthdays, possibly of civilian relatives or friends. It also refers to a birthday of what could be the author's son or nephew and an address in the German city of Recklinghausen.
Assorted birthdays [of civilian relatives or friends?]

Jürgen
20 Sept 1943 [brought by?] Stork
Recklinghausen 52 [or S2], Grazer Str. 22


This page contains an illegible list
[illegible]


This page, which is the inside of the back cover, lists a Latin inscription
Natura non facil saltum
[Nature never moves by leaps i.e.: do things gradually.]


Footnotes:

1. [Original writing:] Bei Längstwellenempfang Schalter auf “Peilen” und Knopf auf Rundempfänger, dabei Antennenstecker raus aus Steckbrett.”

2. [Original writing:] 30 Gulden dem zum Preise, der mir die goldene Uhr holt aus der Scheiße. Männer, Kinder und Frauen, voll Grauen in das Scheißhaus schauen. Doch der Hausherr, sonst ein tapferer Mann, der sieht sich die Sache genauer an. Schnell streift er Hemd und Hose weg und springt kopfüber in den Scheiß und Dreck. Dort sieht man ihn rudern mit emsigen Fleiße, mit kräftigen Armen durchteilt er die Scheiße. Bald ist es hart, bald ist es weich, bald ist es zähe, bald ist es Teig. Da sieht man zu seiner Linken, die goldene Uhr aufblinken. Da sprach der Hausherr: Wohl an, die golden’ Uhr hast Du gefunden, doch der Sek.-Zeiger, der blieb unten.


Acknowledgement:

A student at the University of Bonn, Germany, translated this document during a summer 2005 internship in the Contemporary History Branch and the Navy Department Library.


[Cover of a U-505 Red Notebook, measuring 7.5 cm in width and 11.1 cm in height. It has 48 remaining pages excluding a few that obviously have been torn out. Many of the pages have not been used. The numbering of pages lacks a coherent fashion.]


The first page lists pieces of clothing in use by various crewmates and gives a translation of what one calorie is worth


This page lists fresh food provision


These pages list further food provisions


This page lists an illegible numerical table


Radio frequencies and readjustment technique for radio


These pages list hours that the submarine was possibly forced to remain submerged and further radio broadcasting instructions


Lists of appliances


Assorted bearings


This pages lists further notes concerning radioing


This page lists medicine to be taken


Game of hangman, possibly on October 24, 1943


Fragment of a poorly-rhyming poem


More "Hangman" and other notes


Assorted scores, possibly from "Hangman"


Assorted scores, possibly from "Hangman"


Assorted scores, possibly from "Hangman"


This page lists assorted birthdays, possibly of civilian relatives or friends. It also refers to a birthday of what could be the author's son or nephew and an address in the German city of Recklinghausen.


This page contains an illegible list


This page, which is the inside of the back cover, lists a Latin inscription