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  #11  
Old 3rd May 2018, 15:15
Bruce Dennis Bruce Dennis is offline
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Once an aircraft on an anti-submarine patrol sighted a target, they had to (A) satisfy themselves that it was an enemy vessel and (B) attack as soon as possible without waiting for instructions from ‘the boss’. That is what happened and the mistake was caused by the aircraft being in the wrong place and assuming any submarine they saw was an enemy.



The intelligence that a U-boat may be in a certain area was nothing to do with the wireless operator on the Liberator or even the base it flew from: it came from SIGINT and under no circumstances would the details be passed on to an operational aircrew. It was a mistake, not the only time an Allied aircraft attacked a friendly sub for the same reasons.



Rainer suggested two files at The National Archives. I have seen those files and he is right, everything you need is there. Again, do you have some information from another source that leads you to believe there was something else responsible for the sinking?


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  #12  
Old 3rd May 2018, 18:14
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

All I have avail. is the Russian Archives suspecting RN accountable for the incident
considering also a floating mine and a technical malfunction as a possibility. I am not aware of any
SAR activity past the tragedy nor any salvage effort post WWII. One thing which I am still
trying to understand is based on what evidences the Soviets concluded B1 did not respond
the Lib IFF interrogation . From my material is not evident if there was just a Radar contact
with the sub , visual or both before depth charges were thrown.
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  #13  
Old 4th May 2018, 10:14
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

And the Enigma info seems to be correct because U-865 was attacked on 27 Jul 1944, outbound one day from Trondheim, by a British Liberator from 86 Sqn RAF (plane R, pilot G.G. Gates) with six depth charges, sustaining moderate damage. The Germans put up a powerful flak barrage, hitting engines #1 and #2 and setting them on fire. Both subsequently managed to return to their respective bases.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:52
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Hyvää huomenta Juha miten olet?

Do you have more details on the coordinates where Trodnheim
was intercepted thus to calculate exact B1 position a day
before . In addition do you have more details on the incident
such as time etc ?

One interesting detail which just emerged from Russian military
archives is that B1 reported by radio several time that British
Recon Aircrafts made few passes over the submarine a few hours
before the contact was lost with the sub.

Slightly out of topic .....did you see this before ?

https://warspot.ru/2238-oshibka-generala-novikova



Best Regards
Alex
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Old 4th May 2018, 11:02
Bruce Dennis Bruce Dennis is offline
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Hello Alex,
The earlier aircraft was not the same one who later attacked. If I recall correctly that sighting was near a busy area and the aircrew was aware that a friendly sub would be passing through the area on the surface.

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Old 4th May 2018, 11:32
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Hi Bruce

No this was not the Lib was of an other type and performed pure Recon
which is a clear indication that the B1 was monitored .

The disapperance of B1 is an other unsolved mistery of WWII
whereby unlike on other friendly fire incidents such as this of
866 GvIAP and 82nd FG , November 1944 over Yugoslavia the Soviets
were not yelling that bad strangely taking into account also mines and
malfunctions......this leads me to believe that both British Navy
and Soviets did not have clean bill of lading .

Also, on attachment the golden submariner watch received
from admirality for outstanding services and excellency in
drills ,some shots at Murmansk and one of last B1 photos.

Alex K

Last edited by researcher111; 23rd June 2018 at 23:24.
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  #17  
Old 4th May 2018, 19:13
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Hello Alex
Kiitos hyvää mutta kiirettä pitää (Very good, thank you but very busy)
Regretably only Franks gives the position and it is bogus (64 deg 40 min N, 20 deg 20 min W, which is on Iceland! Maybe typo from 64 deg 40 min N, 02 deg 20 min W, but that is pure a guess). The time was 20.03 and when sighted the U-865 was fully surfaced. When I have spare time I’ll check Blair’s The Hunted and a couple Coastal Command histories.
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Old 4th May 2018, 20:01
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juha View Post
And the Enigma info seems to be correct because U-865 was attacked on 27 Jul 1944, outbound one day from Trondheim, by a British Liberator from 86 Sqn RAF (plane R, pilot G.G. Gates) with six depth charges, sustaining moderate damage. The Germans put up a powerful flak barrage, hitting engines #1 and #2 and setting them on fire. Both subsequently managed to return to their respective bases.
U-865 was actually already returning to Trondheim due to difficulties with its snorkel when they were slightly damaged by Liberator R/86 in naval grid AF5693 (approx. 64°45'N,09°22E) about 80 nautical miles north-northwest of Trondheim at 19h58 (German time) on 27 July 1944.

According to the Admiralty War Diary the aircraft of No. 18 Group carried out two attacks on the day in question:
- Liberator V/86 attacked U-boat, course 320° at 0610Z/27 in 64°34N/01°16W
- Liberator R/86 attacked U-boat on surface, course 150° at 1807Z/27 in approx. 65°00N/08°45E

German Naval Intelligence intercepted both sighting reports and the BdU staff correctly concluded that the second attack was directed against U-865, but was't aware of any U-boat being in the position of the first attack.

My own research confirms this, the U-boat "closest" to the first sighting report was U-300 en route to Iceland more than 100 nautical miles away and its war diary shows that it was proceeding submerged using its snorkel the whole day. In this late stage of the war air attacks on U-boats on the surface were quite a rare occurence because only snorkel equipped U-boats were still sent on patrols. Allied submarines on the other hand weren't equipped with snorkels and B-1 would certainly have proceeded on the surface during its transfer to North Russia for most of the route.

The original documents of the enquiries carried out by the Admiralty and the RAF on this incident are available from the National Archives (the links I provided in my first post in this thread). Even without knowing these documents I find it very likely that the finding of the Admiralty that Liberator V/86 attacked B-1 in error must be true.
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  #19  
Old 4th May 2018, 22:59
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Hello Reiner
Thanks a lot for your exact information!

Juha
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  #20  
Old 5th May 2018, 00:28
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Re: Soviet Sub B-1 "Sunfish" sunk by British Coastal Command

Juha and Rainer , thanks and yet I disagree about the LIB's crew guilt , they were
guided by Ops Room which on their turn were on constant contact with RN Intel
unless otherwise proven I consider RN Ops and Intel as accountable because previous
recon aircraft made clear position reports . If the Lib flew 80 miles of course and it
remained unnoticed to the crew , than drop depth charges on a sub at surface without
taking the time to ID or get IFF solution light , sounds very wierd

Question ; what was the time when the V/86 reported contact with B1 ?
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