Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Attack on Lorient Submarine Dock France 1942

U-505: Winner of the most heavily damaged
U-boat to successfully return to port
We have updated our planned submarine dockyards demo game based on great feedback and suggestions from the very supportive Bolt Action community. Our initial gut feel was that this option was feasible and we liked the idea of a massive boat being fought over, but I hadn't done any historical research to justify the scenario.  As it was were were out by 2 years. And the story is much more interesting too!

Attack on Lorient Submarine Dock 1942

The German U boat U-505 was Commissioned 26 August 1941 and went on active duty 1 February 1942, based at Lorient, France.

In Lorient, the submarine pens were commenced on 2 February 1941 and completed in January 1943. 15,000 mostly slave labourers and German overseers began three separate pen enclosures 2,000 feet in length 425 feet wide and 63 feet high, topped further by a seven section, 25-foot thick reinforced concrete roof using concrete exceeding 3.4 million cubic feet.
Until these monstrous pens were completed, the U-boas were repaired using the better repair facilities compared to Norwegian ports.
On 10 November 1942, U 505 had nearly fallen victim to the U boat hunting skills of RAAF pilot Flight Sergeant Ronald Sillcock. He had perfected the technique of locating a U-boat by radar and then turning his radar off and patrolling out of sight in the clouds. Once he had a good visual identification he would cut his engines and dive out of the sun for a surprise precision attack. Two U-boats had been seriously damaged by this method in recent weeks.
Unfortunately for Sillcock and his crew the attack on this occasion had been too precise. As his depth charges hit U-505 and exploded, he was directly overhead. His Lockheed Hudson was wrecked and the entire crew killed.
On U-505 the Engineering Petty Officer led a determined attempt to save the submarine by plugging the hole in the hull and the boat was able to limp back to France, earning the distinction of being the ‘most heavily damaged U-boat to successfully return to port’.
Now is the chance for a targeted attack by a team of Commandoes guided by a team of local partisans to capture the enigma machine in the sub and finish the job that Flight Sergeant Ronald Sillcock gave his life for.


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