Explaining the accessibility of U-Boat related documents - the example of “U-47” and its U-Boat data sheets and war diaries
U-Boat data sheets listed compile essential data and facts about a particular U-Boat in a clearly arranged form.
Thus, each covering sheet of the data sheets shows the time of keel-laying, launching and commissioning at the shipyard of construction. Further, the whereabouts of a U-Boat (including the list of fallen) can be found, as well as the position of sinking, the identification number allocated by the Armed Forces Postal System and the U-Boat Flotilla assigned to. Also, the Commanding Officers, the watch officers, the chief engineers, the surgeons (if appointed), plus the chief navigators are listed by name – see the example sheet of “U-47”.
Additional documents contain data about combat achievements, crew lists, reports, correspondence, as well as other pieces of records. As an example, some 29 of a total of 566 pages currently compiled from “U-47” can be visited*. Generally, the fee for the first 30 pages of documents from an U-Boat copied will be 1,00 Euro per page. Since often the volume of documents may be considerable fees for more than 30 pages should be inquired prior ordering. The total volume of a documentation can be inquired from the column “Gesamt BB”.
*More than 50 pages of documents will be delivered as copy on data storage devices (USB stick, CD or DVD only.
A war diary (including its attachments) contains the essential notes of a particular military unit (in our case generally a U-Boat) and shows the activities of it in detail. Usually, a war diary comprises several volumes, each volume covers a certain period in time, mostly the time of a combat mission. Besides the detailed narration of events other attachments may be added to it, such as navigational track charts, torpedo firing reports, R/T message logs and engine operation logs.
U 47_02(15.09.39-21.10.39) means that “U-47” has produced a war diary covering its second combat patrol (departure on 15th of September 1939, arrival on 21st of October 1939). In detail, you will find the number of total pages of the diary, possible attachments included, plus the fees for paper copies or copies saved on data storages devices. Fees for pages covering all combat patrols and other activities of a U-Boat selected are listed as flat rate, which usually is somewhat more moderate in costs compared to ordering particular combat patrols only.
There is a selection criterion from/ to allowing to researching all combat patrols executed by U-Boats during the period in time selected, independently of a particular U-Boat designation number.
Now, the war diary of the second combat patrol of “U-47” is presented as example documentation, enabling the reader to see what information can be gained from. Please, note the size of the document of some 7 MB, which might cause some problems in downloading.