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German Navy U-Boat (Submarine) Headquarters War Logs
From World War II in the Collection of the Navy Department Library.

B.d.U. War Logs 1939-1945
Leader of U-Boats, Italy/Mediterranean, 1941-1944
Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean, 1943-1944
U-Boat Headquarters War Logs Arrangement of Contents
(Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea, 1941-1943
War Diary of the (Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea, Arrangement of Contents
Use and Reproduction Policy



German U-Boat operations form a not inconsiderable body of the historiography of World War II, with many books having been published on the subject over the years since 1945. An important component of any serious research into German submarine warfare is the use of the war logs or war diaries of the headquarters that controlled U-Boat operations. This operational control, contrary to popular imagination, was not carried out exclusively by Admiral Karl Dönitz and his staff. Instead, submarine operations outside of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans were controlled by other German naval headquarters, and these operations accordingly mirrored the operational requirements of the geographical areas in which the various headquarters in question waged naval warfare. After the war, in order to understand the scope of German U-Boat operations, the British Naval Intelligence Division  began to translate captured war logs and war diaries of the head quarters that controlled submarines during the war. These headquarters were the Commander of Submarines (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, or B.d.U.); Leader of U-Boats, Italy/Mediterranean (Führer der Unterseeboote Italien/Mittelmeer, or F.d.U. Italien/Mittelmeer); Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean (Führer der Unterseeboote Nordmeer, or F.d.U. Nordmeer); and Commanding Admiral, Black Sea (Kommandierender Admiral Schwarzes Meer).



This finding aid contains the details of the “war logs” of the Commander of Submarines (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, or B.d.U.) headquarters located in Berlin, Germany, as well as the war logs of subordinate commands Norway and the Mediterranean and cover the period from 15 August 1939 to 15 January 1945. These war logs were part of the German Navy Archives seized in April 1945 in at Castle Tambach, Coburg, Germany and are reproductions of the originals.1 They were transferred to the British Admiralty for review and classification, here they received British file designations and “each record item was assigned a number and prefaced with the designation "PG" (reportedly an abbreviation for "pinched from the Germans").”2

Admiral Karl Dönitz was the Commander of Submarines from September 1939 to January 1943 and while his promotion to Commander in Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine) did not change this, in March 1943 U-Boat operations were shifted to the Naval War Staff (Seekriegsleitung, or Skl.) as the Submarine Operations Division (Unterseebootsführungsabteilung/Seekriegsleitung, or 2/Skl B.d.U.op.) under Konteradmiral Eberhard Godt.”3

The following excerpt from Guides to Microfilmed Records of the German Navy, 1850-1945: No 2. Records Relating to U-Boat Warfare, 1939-1945 produced by the National Archives and Records Administration describes the organization and content of these logs:

The war journal (Kriegstagebuch, or KTB) began as a daily narrative summary of U-Boat operations, claimed successes, losses, intelligence reports, perceived lessons in tactics and equipment, organizational matters, and discussions of legal and strategic issues. Beginning on July 1, 1940, the KTB listed the general locations (by geographic area) of U-Boats at the start of each semimonthly period; from November 15, 1940, submarine locations were specified according to the grid-coordinates of the standard German naval chart. On November 1, 1941, the KTB was reorganized into the format it retained through January 1945, in which each day's entry covered (1) U-Boat locations; (2) aerial reconnaissance results; (3) reports of Allied movements and activities, including signal intelligence assessments; (4) current operations, including losses of individual submarines; (5) reported successes; and (6) general observations. Appendixes to the KTB included operational orders for specific missions and (beginning January 1942) monthly summaries of U-Boat losses. Each KTB was signed by Dönitz through January 15, 1943, thereafter, by Konteradmiral Godt of the B.d.U. Operations Section. No KTB entries after January 15, 1945, have been identified.4

As previously mentioned these war logs received the British file designation of PG, each PG covers on average a 15 day span of time. In the several volumes of the war logs there is a German Naval Chart containing the grid coordinates mentioned in the citation above. No B.d.U. War Logs have been located covering the period after 15 January 1945. 5

Throughout the War Logs (B.d.U., Italy, Norway, and Black Sea) it is important to note the U-Boat Headquarters Commanders' honest and forthright assessment of their situation. The reader will observe that the peaks and valleys of the various U-Boat campaigns during World War II are punctuated in the War Logs by the Commanding Officers. This is noted in the current operations and general situation sections of the logs as well as various orders, appendices, and correspondence included in the logs.


This finding aid contains a List of Volumes of U-Boat Headquarters Logs that includes the time span covered (approximately 6 months for each volume), PG numbers, volume, and call number. Specific topics covered within these volumes are best described by the following excerpt from Guides to Microfilmed Records of the German Navy, 1850-1945: No 2. Records Relating to U-Boat Warfare, 1939-1945 produced by the National Archives and Records Administration:

A selection of the wide range of topics mentioned in the KTB includes: torpedo failures and developments (PG's 30248, 30250-30251, 30256, 30262, 30264, 30304b, 30323, 30332, 30339, 30350), signal communications security and intelligence (PG's 30290, 30297, 30304b, 30306, 30319, 30346), antiaircraft devices and measures (PG's 30310b, 30323-30326, 30329, 30334, 30336, 30338, 30341), actions against American naval and merchant vessels and operations off the American coast (PG's 30291, 30301a-30304a, 30306b, 30308a), operations in the Mediterranean (PG's 30248-30249, 30297, 30299-30301b, 30312a,b-30313b, 30328), operations in cooperation with Japanese forces in the Indian Ocean (PG's 30326, 30336, 30351), deployment and operations against the Allied invasion of Normandy, 1944 (PG's 30347-30352, 30355), the use of the Schnorchel device (PG's 30343, 30350, 30354), and official Spanish attitudes towards the repair and reprovisioning of U-Boats in Spanish waters (PG's 30251, 30256, 30293, 30335, 30341). Information regarding the continual formation of tactical groups ("wolf packs") is scattered throughout the B.d.U. KTB.6

This content section will describe significant events contained within each volume. The description will list PG number and page number and provide a hyperlink to the List of Volumes of U-Boat Headquarters Logs to provide the user with quick access to the location of these volumes within the Navy Department Library.

B.d.U. War Logs 1939-1945

The first U-Boats were organized within the framework of the training formations of the U-Boat School and within U-Boat Flotilla "Weddingen," which was established in September 1935. The Chief of U-Boat Flotilla "Weddingen," Kapitän zur See Karl Dönitz, was on 1 January 1936 made concurrently Leader of U-Boats (Führer der Unterseeboote, or F.d.U.). This position, which until the outbreak of war was located in Kiel, was subordinated during peacetime to the Chief of the Fleet (Flottenchef) for the purpose of personnel administration. This subordination was eliminated in 1942. Upon the outbreak of war, Dönitz was promoted to Commodore (Kommodore) and then to Rear Admiral (Konteradmiral) on 1 October 1939. The F.d.U. relocated to Wilhelmshaven upon the outbreak of war and a new organization of the command was introduced, reflecting the higher operational division of the naval war into three areas of responsibility. Submarine operations in the Baltic, which were carried out under the direction of the Naval Group Command East (Marinegruppenkommando Ost), were delegated to an F.d.U.Ost (Fregattenkapitän Oskar Schomburg). Submarine operations in the North Sea, which were carried out under the direction of Naval Group Command West (Marinegruppenkommando West), and submarine operations in the Atlantic, which were carried out under the direction of the Naval Warfare Staff of the Naval High Command (Seekriegsleitung/Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, or Skl/OKM), were delegated to an F.d.U.West and an F.D.U.Skl, respectively. Both of these latter positions were held by Dönitz. Upon the formal termination of naval operations against Poland on 19 September 1939, the position of F.d.U.Ost was disestablished and U-Boat activities in the Baltic were henceforth controlled by training formations. On 17 October 1939, the two positions held by Dönitz were merged into a new organization, the Commander of U-Boats (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote, or B.d.U.), and operational control (entrusted to the new B.d.U.op under the direction of Dönitz) was separated from personnel administration (entrusted to the new B.d.U.Org under the direction of Kapitän zur See Hans-Georg von Friedeburg). Both Dönitz and Friedeburg were promoted during the course of the war, the former to Admiral and the latter to Vice Admiral (Vizeadmiral), in reflection of the growing scope of responsibility in the carrying out of the tasks of submarine warfare. Furthermore, the B.d.U.op shifted its headquarters location several times during the war, representing the need during the peak of success to be as close to the operational center of gravity (Schwerpunkt) as possible, close to the operational planning of the Armed Forces High Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW) in the last half of the war, or, as was the case in the Spring of 1945, in reaction to the Allied advance into Germany:

October 1939 to September 1940 — Sengwarden, a suburb of Wilhelmshaven

September 1940 to November 1940 — Paris, Boulevard Suchet

November 1940 to March 1942 — Kernevel, a suburb of Lorient

March 1942 to March 1943 — Paris, Avenue Maréchal Maunoury

March 1943 to December 1943 — Berlin-Charlottenburg, Steinplatz

December 1943 to February 1945 — Bernau, Stabsquartier "Koralle"

February 1945 to April 1945 — Sengwarden, Wilhelmshaven

April 1945 — Plön

May 1945 — Flensburg-Mürwik

The B.d.U.op operated under the direction of the Naval Warfare Staff, and had operational responsibility for submarines deployed on war patrols in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the B.d.U.op received operational control of submarines in the Mediterranean Sea west of the Strait of Messina from September 1941 to November 1941, when this area of responsibility was transferred to the newly established Leader of U-Boats, Italy. In 1943, operations in the Indian Ocean were added to the B.d.U.op's scope of responsibility. In other areas in which U-Boats operated, e.g. the Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea, operational command and control devolved from the authority of the regional naval commands in question, and those submarines therefore were not subordinated to the B.d.U.op. The resulting competition for resources led at times to acrimonious friction which occasionally had to be resolved by Hitler personally. These command arrangements continued even after Dönitz was promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the Navy (Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine) in February 1943. In March 1943, the B.d.U.op was formally incorporated into the Naval War Staff as the Submarine Operations Division (Unterseebootsführungsabteilung/Seekriegsleitung, or 2/Skl B.d.U.op.), as detailed in the Scope notes, above. The volumes comprising this series are as follows:

1. B.d.U. War Logs 15 Aug 1939 – 31 Mar 1940. PG 30247-30260. (Spec. Coll. Oversize D 781.G413 v. 1): This first volume of the U-Boat Headquarters War Logs contains Captain Dönitz’s daily narrative of German U-Boat operations. Significant events during this time period include the beginning of the U-Boat campaign against Allied shipping and Captain Dönitz’s notes on his promotion to commander of the submarine force (a rank equivalent to Rear Admiral) in October of 1939 (PG 30247-30249).

2. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Apr 1940 – 31 Dec 1940. PG 30260-30279. (Spec. Coll. Oversize D 781.G413 v. 2): The second volume of the Headquarters War Logs contains the period covering April through December 1940. Admiral Dönitz makes note of the naval blockade of Britain in August of 1940 on PG 30271, page 99. Also contained within this War Log are two charts of the disposition of the German U-Boats and enemy shipping on 9-10 April 1940.

3. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jan 1941 – 31 Dec 1941. PG 30280-30301. (Spec. Coll. Oversize D 781.G413 v. 3): This volume contains the entire year of 1941. The loss of U-47 commanded by Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien, one of the first aces of Battle of the Atlantic, is mentioned (PG 30284, pages 30-32). Also the ineffectiveness of Italian submarines is noted (PG 30288, page 65). The loss of the battleship Bismarck in May of 1941 is detailed on PG 30289, pages 78-80 (see a transcription of these entries). In the final pages of this War Log, Dönitz wrote that the lifting of restrictions on attacking American shipping and on the operations of U-Boats in American waters will allow his forces greater flexibility in attacking American shipping (PG 30301a, page 255).

4. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jan 1942 – 31 Mar 1942. PG 30302-30305. (Spec. Coll. Oversize D 781.G413 v. 4): The first three months of 1942 are contained in this volume. German U-Boats, as mentioned above, no longer had the restrictions of operating outside of American waters and this led to an increase Allied vessels being sunk during the period of time known to U-Boat crews as the “American Turkey Shoot”. These improved conditions are mentioned in this volume (PG 30304a, page 67).

5. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Apr 1942 – 30 Jun 1942. PG 30306-30308. (Spec. Coll. Oversize D 781.G413 v. 5): The period of April 1942 saw the first tanker U-Boats (the Type XIV, known informally as Milch-Cows) proceed to sea (PG 30306a-b). In June of 1942 U-Boats mined Boston Harbor, Chesapeake Bay, and Delaware (PG 30308a. pg 125). Also of note in this volume are the notes regarding the landing of German agents on the east coast of the United States (PG 30307, pages 91-93).

6. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jul 1942 – 31 Dec 1942. PG 30308-30315. (Spec. Coll. Oversize D 781.G413 v. 6): Of note in this volume is a report from Admiral Dönitz to Adolf Hitler on the status of U-Boat Operations (PG 30309a, page 29). In addition there are extensive notes on the Allied landings during Operation TORCH in North Africa (PG 30313b, pages 124-126). It should also be pointed out there is a lack of information on U-Boat operations against convoy PQ-17 in July 1942, this convoy lost over 75% of its merchant shipping, the highest of any convoy en route Northern Russia.

7. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jan 1943 – 30 Jun 1943. PG 30315-30326. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G413 v. 7): This volume contains the U-Boat Headquarters War Logs for the first half of 1943. Significant events covered within this volume include: 1. Operations in February 1943 by U-Boat groups “Ritter” and “Knappen” against Convoy No. 10 (Allied designation ON 166) resulting in the loss of 14 Allied ships and 4 U-Boats (PG 30318, pages 100-119). 2. U-510 sinks 7 ships off the coast of Brazil.7 (PG 30319, page 149) 3. The withdrawal of U-Boat forces from areas of operations within the Atlantic signaling the end of the Battle of the Atlantic. Several orders to this effect from Admiral Dönitz are contained within these logs (PG 30324, pages 428-431).

8. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jul 1943 - 31 Dec 1943. PG 30327-30337. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G413 v. 8 ): This volume contains the U-Boat Headquarters War Logs for the second half of 1943. After the significant losses experienced during the first half of 1943 particular attention is paid in this volume to improved tactics, armament, and defensive technology. Significant documents in this volume include: 1. an assessment of the U-Boat situation in the Atlantic noting the withdrawal of U-Boats from the N. Atlantic and the lack of delivery of radar interception gear and the new acoustic torpedoes, known as “Zaunkönig." (PG 30327, pg. 23) 2. Improved anti-aircraft armament and armor for U-Boats (PG 30336, pages 344-348).

9. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jan 1944 – 30 Jun 1944. PG 30338-30349. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G413 v. 9): This volume contains the U-Boat Headquarters War Logs for the first half of 1944. Perhaps the most significant pages in this log cover the period of the Normandy Invasion, 5-7 June, and German U-Boats in France putting to sea (PG 30348, pages 318-325).

10. B.d.U. War Logs 1 Jul 1944 – 15 Jan 1945. PG 30350-30362. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G413 v. 10): This final volume contains the last documented U-Boat Headquarters War Logs during the second half of 1944 and part of Jan 1945. Significant events include the commencement of U-Boat operations against Allied shipping near Normandy (PG 30350, page 430) and the sinking by U-486 of the Allied troopship SS Leopoldville with troops from the 66th Infantry Division, an incident which was suppressed by Allied governments.8

Leader of U-Boats, Italy/Mediterranean, 1941-1944

The position of Leader of U-Boats, Italy (Führer der Unterseeboote Italien, or F.d.U. Italien), was created in November 1941 from the operational areas of responsibility of the B.d.U. in the Western Mediterranean and of the Admiral, Aegean Sea (Admiral Ägäis), in the Eastern Mediterranean, and was redesignated Leader of U-Boats, Mediterranean, in August 1943. The position, which was operationally subordinate to the Commander of the German Naval Command, Italy (Befehlshaber des Deutschen Marinekommandos Italien), was held successively by Korvettenkapitän Victor Oehrn (entrusted with carrying out the duties of the position, November 1941 to February 1942), Konteradmiral Leo Kreisch (February 1942 to January 1944), and Kapitän zur See Werner Hartmann (January 1944 to September 1944). For purposes of personnel administration, the Leader of U-Boats, Italy/Mediterranean, was subordinate to the B.d.U.Org. Reflecting the course of the war in the Mediterranean, the position of Leader of U-Boats, Mediterranean, was disestablished in September 1944. Operations in the Mediterranean were centered on disrupting the British supply route through Gibraltar and the Suez Canal as well as disrupting supplies in support of the North African campaign. Heavy losses were experienced by U-Boats operating in the Mediterranean due to aircraft and shallower, clearer waters. Notable entries within these volumes include Operation VIGOROUS, a failed convoy from Alexandria to Malta (PG 30925), and U-Boat intelligence on the Allied landings in November 1942 during Operation TORCH, the invasion of North Africa (PG 30928). Also the amount of intelligence gathered by U-Boats in the Mediterranean is present in these volumes. One example of this is Admiral Kreisch’s notes on Allied preparations for Operation HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily (PG 30931, page 422). Also the logs note the size and movements of the Allied landing force during HUSKY (PG 30932, page 479). In his synopsis of the month of August 1943, Konteradmiral Kreisch noted advanced preparations in Sicily for an Allied landing on the mainland of Italy (PG 30933, page 635-642). There is a gap in the War Logs between 31 August 1943 and 16 October 1943, and there are no volumes covering the period after 15 January 1944. The volumes comprising this series are as follows:

1. U-Boats Italy 8 Dec 1941 – 30 Jun 1942. PG 30920-30925. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4213 v.1)

2. U-Boats Italy 1 Jul 1942 – 31 Dec 1942. PG 30926-30929. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4213 v.2)

3. U-Boats Italy 1 Jan 1943 – 30 Jun 1943. PG 30930-30931. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4213 v.3)

4. U-Boats Italy 1 Jul 1943 – 31 Aug 1943. PG 30932-30933. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4213 v.4)

5. U-Boats Italy 16 Oct 1943 – 15 Jan 44. PG 30933-30934. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4213 v.5)

Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean, 1943-1944

The position of Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean (Führer der Unterseeboote Nordmeer, or F.d.U. Nordmeer) was created in January 1943 under the operational control of the Admiral, Arctic Ocean (Admiral Nordmeer), and was commanded successively by Kapitän zur See Rudolf Peters (formerly the Chief of the 7th U-Boat Flotilla) and Fregattenkapitän Reinhard Suhren. Prior to this the post of Admiral, Arctic Ocean (Admiral Nordmeer), was directly responsible for U-Boat operations. The existing war logs of the Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean, cover the time period from January 1943 to October 1944. Although war journals post October 1944 have not been found, the position of Leader of U-Boats, Norway, operated through the end of World War II. In these logs are discussions surrounding successful U-Boat operations known as “Wunderland”, directed against the Allied Arctic supply route in the summers of 1942 and 1943 (PG 31835, page 354). Weather and ice patterns in the Arctic Ocean played a significant role in U-Boat operations against Allied shipping. Assessments of these conditions are prevalent through the War Logs of the Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean, (an example of one of these can be found on PG 31838, pages 70-88). These entries regarding weather stations include a description of a combat engagement with American forces off Greenland in May 1944 (PG 31859). In addition the war logs cover the German assault on the island of Spitzbergen, OPERATION SITRONELLA/SIZILIEN (PG 31843). There is an in-depth account of the sinking of the German battleship Scharnhorst by British ships on 26-27 December 1943 (PG 31849, pages 910-918). In May of 1944 Fregattenkapitän Rheinhard Suhren, a renowned U-Boat captain who commanded U-564 from April 1941 to October 1942 and later was a group leader with the 27th U-Boat Flotilla (a training command) from March 1943 to May 1944, took over from Kapitän zur See Peters as Leader of U-Boats, Arctic Ocean (PG 31859, page 915). Also of note is the reaction to the invasion of France and concern of an imminent invasion of Norway (PG 31860, pages 1010-1011). The volumes comprising this series, which was translated under the erroneous title of U-Boats Norway on account of the fact that the submarines operated out of Norwegian ports, are as follows:

1. U-Boats Norway 18 Jan 1943 – 30 Jun 1943. PG 31827-31837. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.1)

2. U-Boats Norway 1 Jul 1943 – 31 Aug 1943. PG 31838-31841. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.2)

3. U-Boats Norway 1 Sep 1943 – 15 Oct 1943. PG 31842-31844. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.3)

4. U-Boats Norway 16 Oct 1943 – 31 Dec 1943. PG 31845-31849. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.4)

5. U-Boats Norway 1 Jan 1944 – 31 Mar 1944. PG 31850-31855. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.5)

6. U-Boats Norway 1 Apr 1944 – 15 May 1944. PG 31856-31858. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.6)

7. U-Boats Norway 16 May 1944 – 1 Jul 1944. PG 31859-31862. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.7)

8. U-Boats Norway 1 Aug 1944 – 14 Oct 1944. PG 31863-31866. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 781.G4313 v.8)

U-Boat Headquarters War Logs Arrangement of Contents

The U-Boat Headquarters War Logs listed above have a common arrangement of contents. This arrangement of contents is shown below:


Arrangement of Contents


I. Location of submarines at 0800
  When location is definite position is underlined.
  Boats entering or leaving port during current day.
II. Air Reconnaissance
  Details of reconnaissance and its target.
III. Reports on the Enemy (Enemy Reports)
  a) Reports on submarines (submarine sightings)
  b) Aircraft reports.
  c) “B” (Radio Intercept) Service reports.
  d) German Intelligence Service Reports.
IV. Current Operations
  a) Operations against convoys and follow-up
  b) General operations leading to picking up of enemy shipping, fresh positions, etc.
  c) Special tasks carried out by single boats, reconnaissance duties, convoy duties etc.
  d) Miscellaneous.
V. Reports of Successes.
VI. General Situation.


(Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea, 1941-1943

The position of Commanding Admiral, Black Sea (Kommandierender Admiral Schwarzes Meer), was established in February 1941 as the Chief (redesignated Commander on 5 April 1941) of the German Naval Mission in Rumania (Chef bzw. Befehlshaber der Deutschen Marinemission in Rumänien) under the command of Vizeadmiral Friedrich-Wilhelm Fleischer, who held command until May 1942. The position was renamed Admiral, Black Sea (Admiral Schwarzes Meer) on 2 January 1942, and renamed yet again as Commanding Admiral, Black Sea, in January or February 1943. The subsequent (Commanding) Admirals, Black Sea, were as follows:

Vizeadmiral Hans-Heinrich Wurmbach – May 1942-November 1942

Konteradmiral Hellmuth Heye (temporarily in command) – September 1942-November 1942

Vizeadmiral Robert Witthoeft-Emden – November 1942-February 1943 [Witthoeft-Emden had been the German naval attaché to the United States from November 1933 to December 1941.]

Vizeadmiral Gustav Kieseritzky – February 1943-November 1943

Vizeadmiral Helmuth Brinkmann – November 1943-October 1944 [Brinkmann had commanded the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen during the Bismarck sortie and the Channel Dash.]

In March 1941, the Chief of the German Naval Mission in Rumania, who had been subordinated directly to the Naval High Command (OKM), was subordinated to the Admiral Southeast/Naval Group Command South (Admiral Südost/Marinegruppenkommando Süd). Initially this was an administrative subordination, but eventually the subordination was extended to operational matters. Personnel matters, however, were always controlled by the Station Command Baltic (Stationskommando Ostsee).

U-Boats were first deployed in the Black Sea in October 1942 under the administrative control of the 30th U-Boat Flotilla. The problem of how to get submarines into the Black Sea, as the Montreux Convention of 1936 prohibited the transit of the Turkish Straits by belligerent warships, was solved by disassembling submarines into sections, transporting the sections by rail and canal barge to Constantza, and there reassembling the sections. Six boats of the Type IIB class saw service in the Black Sea area of operations: U-9, U-18, U-19, U-20, U-23, and U-24. Unlike other commands controlling U-Boats, the Commanding Admiral, Black Sea, did not have a commander dedicated solely to the control of submarine operations. Instead, the Commanding Admiral himself controlled submarine operations, and was assisted in this matter from October 1942 onward by a Submarine Admiral Staff Officer (Unterseeboots-Admiralstabsoffizier), who was simultaneously the Commander of the 30th U-Boat Flotilla. This staff position was held as follows:

Kapitänleutnant Helmut Rosenbaum – October 1942-May 1944

Kapitänleutnant Clemens Schöler – May 1944-July 1944

Kapitänleutnant Klaus Petersen – July 1944-October 1944

The translated volumes of the War Diary of the (Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea, held by the Navy Department Library correspond to PG Numbers 31501-31511, 31532, and 31539-31540. In terms of bound volumes, the set is missing the volumes corresponding to the periods 1 July 1942-15 May 1943 and 1-31 August 1943, as well as all volumes after November 1943. Moreover, all volumes before 16 December 1941 were not included in the original Royal Navy translation work, and therefore are not represented. The available volumes are as follows:

1. War Diary of Admiral, Black Sea, Volume 1: 16 December 1941 – 15 May 1942. PG 31501-31510. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 772.3 .G413 Dec. 1941-May 1942)

2. War Diary of Admiral, Black Sea, Volume 2: 16 May 1942 – 30 June 1942. PG 31511. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 772.3 .G413 Dec. May 1942-June 1942)

3. War Diary of Admiral, Black Sea, Volume 4: 16 May 1943 – 31 July 1943. PG 31532. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 772.3 .G413 May 1943-July 1943)

4. War Diary of Admiral, Black Sea, Volume 6:  1 September 1943 – 30 November 1943. PG 31539-31540. (Spec. Coll Oversize D 772.3 .G413 Sept. 1943-Nov. 1943)

War Diary of the (Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea, Arrangement of Contents

Unlike the arrangement of contents of the U-Boat Headquarters War Logs, the War Diary of the (Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea, has its own arrangement of information, which is shown below:

Arrangement of Contents


I. Weather forecast (Constantza)
  This section chronicles the weather as recorded at the headquarters of the (Commanding) Admiral, Black Sea. No later than May 1943, the weather section was moved behind the Own Situation/Enemy Situation section. By that time, the headquarters had relocated to Simferopol.
II. Air Reconnaissance
  Details of reconnaissance and its target. By May 1942 this section no longer appeared in the daily entries.
III. Own Situation/Enemy Situation
  By May 1942, the War Diary had begun to resemble the War Diary of the German Naval Operations Staff (SKL) with the addition of two new sections, Own Situation and Enemy Situation, in place of the Air Reconnaissance section.
IV. Chronological list of important operational events for the day. When necessary, events are broken up into geographical regions and operational areas of responsibilty, and then arranged chronologically within each sub-section. With the extended presence of the German 11th Army into the Crimea, the War Diary began to track the situation on land in this section no later than May 1942.
V. Readiness
  List of changes in the readiness of individual units. This section fell into disuse after 15 May 1942.
VI. Appendices
  When necessary, supporting information or additional documentation was inserted in the form of Appendices.


Use and Reproduction Policy: These documents are unavailable for loan and must be consulted in the library. Photocopying of more than ten pages from them is not permitted. Use of flashless digital photography by researchers to reproduce pages from documents is encouraged. The library does not provide a document duplication service. Researchers who are unable to visit the library, but wish to obtain reproductions of documents, should contact the Naval Historical Foundation for duplication services.


1. United States. National Archives and records Administration, Guides to Microfilmed Records of the German Navy, 1850-1945: No 2. Records Relating to U-Boat Warfare, 1939-1945, prepared by Timothy Mulligan, Johanna M. Wagner, and Mary Ann Coyle (National Records and Archives Administration: Washington, 1985), vii.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Mulligan, Timothy, Wagner, Johanna, M., Coyle, Mary Ann. Guides to Microfilmed Records of the German Navy, 1850-1945: No 2. Records Relating to U-Boat Warfare, 1939-1945. National Records and Archives Administration. Washington, 1985. pg VII. Retrieved November 3, 2008 from

7. Battle of the Atlantic. retrieved November 4, 2008 from “”

8. "Cover-up The Sinking of the S.S. Leopoldville," The History Channel website, (accessed November 6, 2008).



Published: Mon Dec 07 12:48:04 EST 2020