Following are the Official Reports of HM Ships ICARUS, KINGSTON and KASHMIR that participated in the hunt for U 35. Also included are the Admiralty responses and awards messages.
From:- THE COMMANDING OFFICER, H.M.S.
Date:- 5th December 1939 No.
To:- ADMIRAL COMMANDING ORKNEYS AND
to:- Rear Admiral (D), H.M.S. AURORA
Captain (D), 5th Destroyer Flotilla, H.M.S. KELLY
Commanding Officer, H.M.S. KINGSTON
ON THE SINKING OF GERMAN SUBMARINE -
following report of the sinking of the German Submarine, U.35, in
estimated position 60 degrees 53 minutes North, 2 degrees 49 minutes
East at noon on 29th November 1939, is forwarded in accordance with
H.W.O. No. 24, paragraph 4. No I.D. forms A.E.G. have been received in
1037 the KASHMIR was ordered by Rear-Admiral Commanding Home Fleet
Destroyers to proceed with the KINGSTON and close the ICARUS
who had been attacking a submarine. On receiving a range and
bearing of the submarine from the ICARUS, the KINGSTON was ordered to
take station on the port beam of the KASHMIR and a search was started.
3. About 2 miles before the
reported position was reached KINGSTON obtained a contact. Contact was
also obtained by KASHMIR at a somewhat greater range. The KINGSTON then
attacked and dropped three depth charges with no visible result.
Considerable difficulty was then experienced in KASHMIR in maintaining
contact, due partly to the eddies set up by the depth charges and partly
to a temporary failure of her Asdic set at this moment, and a reliable
contact was not regained and an attack started until the KINGSTON had
started a second attack.
4. As the KASHMIR was approaching
on her attacking course, the KINGSTON's second pattern having exploded
some 400 yards ahead at 1158, the submarine was seen to surface directly
ahead with headway on. The crew were coming on deck and some of them
started to man their gun. On a shot being fired across the bows of the
submarine by the KASHMIR, they left their gun, held up their hands and
started to abandon the submarine whose engines were then stopped. No
depth charges were dropped by the KASHMIR.
5. The KASHMIR then approached the
submarine from aft and picked up 4 officers and 27 ratings while the
KINGSTON carried out a circular sweep. On completion of the latter, the
KINGSTON closed and rescued the remaining survivors including the
soon as the submarine surfaced, she began to sink by the stern and by
the time the KASHMIR had approached only the conning tower and part of
the foredeck were above the surface. She sank by the stern about 20
minutes after she surfaced. She is estimated to have been of 500 tons
displacement and carried one gun. She bore no identification number. Her
number - U.35. - was learnt from the survivors. She sank in about 120
The following is a summary of information subsequently gleaned from the
Two other submarines were operating in the vicinity. One of them was the
one that sunk H.M.S. ROYAL OAK. This information was obtained
independently from both officers and ratings and it was as result of it
that I decided to remain in the area and continue the search. (For Prien
for about 12 hours).
They had sighted H.M.S. NORFOLK
28th November but were too far off to attack.
They had seen two destroyers the previous night (November 28/29), but it
was too rough to attack.
They had been at sea for a fortnight, operating in the same area. They
usually do 5 weeks at sea followed by 4 in harbour.
Their speed on the surface was 11 knots, submerged 8 - 9 knots.
They expressed surprise at being "Heard" while they were
stopped, although they were "very deep".
As a result of KINGSTON's first pattern, the hydroplanes and wireless
were put out of action and the periscope glass was broken. The second
pattern put all the lights out, holed her aft and jammed the hydroplanes
in the surfacing position. She went full speed ahead to try and regain
control but came to the surface and stopped engines when the KASHMIR's
shot was fired.
None of the attacks prior to the
KINGSTON's appear to have incommoded them, though it is possible they
were directed at another submarine.
1. Was in company with submarine that sank H.M.S.
. It was stated that the other
submarine reached home in spite of being attacked by 96 depth charges.
2. U.35 claims to have sunk 40,000 tons of shipping. One
ship was sunk while in convoy escorted by 6 destroyers. During the
subsequent attack her periscope was damaged.
3. She landed the crew of a Greek steamer
, and was not damaged be a flying
boat which attacked her at this time.
4. Quite recently she had 2 torpedoes fired at her by a
8. The names of the survivors
picked up by the KASHMIR are included in the Appendix to this report.
Several of them left the ship wearing articles of clothing belonging to
officers and men of the ship as they had lost their own. It would be
appreciated if these could he recovered and returned to KASHMIR. Their
good bearing and behaviour for the 2 days they were on hoard left
nothing to be desired.
9. H.M.S. KINGSTON is rendering a
separate report, as some time is likely to elapse before she is again in
company in harbour, this report is forwarded without having been
discussed with the Commanding Officer, H.M.S. KINGSTON, who, it is
considered, carried out his attacks in a most efficient manner.
(Sgd.) H.A. King
The German ratings were
accommodated in the lower Mess Deck, displacing the Stokers, with an armed
Sentry at the top of the hatch. They were exercised occasionally and were fallen
in for entering harbour at Greenoch
. The Officers lived in the Ward
Room. I spoke only to the Senior Officer.
There was some trouble
subsequently with C-in-C. about Press coverage. Vide second sentence of Nelson's
final prayer, which I used to read to the Ship's Company on the rare occasions
we were in harbour on Sunday.
of Survivors taken on board KASHMIR from U.35
Rank or Rating.
Oberleutnant zur See.
Leutnant zur See.
V. der Helm
V. der Putten
Parthun . Maschinen-Hauptgefreiter.
SUBJECT REPORT OF ATTACK ON ENEMY
… COMMANDING OFFICER, H.M.S.
… 7th December 1839.
SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY
(Through Captain (D), Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, H.M.S. “Kelly”)
The following report is submitted in accordance with C.A.F.O. 2600/39 –
– H.M.S. “Kingston”
and Time – 29th November 1939 at 1150 G.M.T.
3. Position - 60° 53’ N. 2° 47’ E.
at which Submarine was sighted) – See
at which Submarine submerged ) narrative
of the Submarine – German – U.35.
with Depth Charges –
Type – D.III
Number Carried – 30
Number dropped and fired from throwers – 6
Depth set – 300 feet
Whether they functioned properly – Yes
11. Depth of Water – 120 fathoms
12. Wind, Weather and Visibility – S.W. 3; Overcast sky;
Visibility very good; Sea and swell 34.
2. General description of the circumstances is as follows –
3. H.M.S. “Kingston” and H.M.S. “Kashmir” were ordered by Rear
Admiral (D), to join H.M.S. “Icarus” and hunt a submarine sighted by the
latter at 0700. “Icarus” signaled that the submarine had been last seen
three miles to the westward. “Kingston” and “Kashmir” steered towards
this position, and at 1102 “Kingston” obtained Asdic contact. An attack was
made unsuccessfully at 1123. The throwers were not fired then because of the
proximity of “Kashmir”. “Kashmir” then commenced an attack, but later
abandoned it owing to a technical fault in her installation. “Kingston”
attacked a second time at 1153. The throwers misfired, because the charges were
wet. The centre charge of the three dropped from the trap hit the submarine aft.
She decided to surface before her flooding became out of hand, and at 1153 she
broke surface. Her crew fell in on deck, and then took to the water. The
submarine U.35 sank at 1204. All her crew were picked up.
4. A rough diagram of the action is attached.
(D), Fifth Destroyer Flotilla, H.M.S. “Kelly”
I have the honour to submit the following report on the sinking of the
German submarine "U-35" by H.M.S. "Kingston" on 29th
2. H.M.S. "Kingston" and H.M.S. "Kashmir" were in
company with Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, at 1030, when they were detached to
join H.M.S. "Icarus" who was standing by the position in which an
enemy submarine was seen to dive at 0700. "Icarus" was unable to
operate against the submarine as her Asdic apparatus was out of action.
3. "Icarus" signalled that the submarine had last been seen
bearing 304° 3½ miles from her position when "Kingston" closed her.
Course was therefore altered towards this position of the submarine, and
sweeping was commenced. "Kashmir", arriving later, took up a position
2000 yards to the Southward of "Kingston".
4. Contact was obtained at 1102 at a range of 900 yards. Having confirmed
it, course was altered to windward to take up a position favourable for attack.
Contact was lost at 1111 for five minutes, due to the faulty working of the
Recorder. This instrument was not subsequently used.
5. At 1121 an attack was commenced, and three charges, set to 300 feet,
were dropped at 1123. The throwers were not fired because “Kashmir” might
have been endangered. This attack was unsuccessful, and the Plot later suggested
that the attack had been delivered on the wake of the submarine.
6. About 1130 “Kashmir” started an attack, but abandoned it because
of the failure of her Recorder. The submarine passed very close to
“Kingston” shortly after this, but an attack was impossible as the ship was
practically stopped, being then Directing Vessel for “Kashmir”.
7. Having moved up-wind, “Kingston” commenced a second attack at
1148. Three charges, also set to 300 feet, were dropped at 1150. The throwers
misfired, their impulse charges being wet after the heavy weather the previous
8. The centre charge of these three exploded close to the submarine’s
engine room. She began to fill with water, and in order to save his crew, her
captain decided to come up at once. She broke surface at 1153, at a steep angle,
bows up. The captain succeeded in correcting her trim, and her crew then fell in
on deck. As the submarine began to settle they took to the water and all were
later picked up by the ships’ boats. The submarine sank at 1204.
9. When the U-boat first came to the surface, it was hoped that there
would be an opportunity of boarding her in search of papers, and the officer in
charge of the whaler was instructed accordingly: time was, however, too short
for this to be done.
10. An all round sweep for a second submarine was carried out while the
men in the water were being picked up. This was without result.
11. Conditions for operating Asdics were good. This does not, however,
detract from the credit due to the A/S Control Officer, Sub-Lieutenant G.J.
Kirkby, R.N., and all concerned in the successful result obtained.
12. Despite the very small extent of target, which was never more than 7°,
contact was maintained throughout the operation, except on the occasion
mentioned in paragraph 4 above. This reflects great credit on the First operator,
Leading Seaman R.J. Bowring, Official Number P/J.95764, and the S.D. Instructor,
C.P.O. P.J. Mansfield, Official Number, P/J.87374, who assisted the A/S Control
Officer on the Bridge.
13. The Chernikeef Log was used in both attacks. The success of the
second attack was largely due to C.P.O. Mansfield’s extremely accurate ranging
with the chronoscope, and also to his quick appreciation of changes in the
14. Great Assistance was derived throughout from the Plot, which was kept
by Midshipman J.D. Winstanley, R.N.R. His accurate forecast of the movements of
the submarine contributed to the success of the operation.
have the honour to be,
The Rear Admiral (D),
(Copies to The Commanding Officer, H.M.S. Kashmir, The Commanding Officer, H.M.S. Kingston).
Submitted in continuation of Admiral Commanding Orkneys and Shetlands No. 317/O.S.13 of 8th December, 1939.
2. The Kingston did remarkably well, especially as her recorder was out of action.
3. With reference to Admiralty Message 1813/9 Dec., the arrival of Admiralty Letter C.W. of 4th December is being awaited before any recommendation is forwarded.
4. With reference to paragraph 8, I interviewed all 4 officers and 2 men from U 35 at the Tower of London on 8th December. The officers deny that she broke surface intentionally, but maintain that she was so much down by the stern that at the speed they were moving they could not keep her down. Once up they decided to surrender.
5. The officers asked me to give their respects to the Captain of the particular destroyer which picked them up, and to thank him warmly for the fair and kind treatment they received from all onboard.
6. With reference to paragraph 10, the Captain of U-35 commended the Kashmir’s and Kingston’s tactics whereby one circled round while the other picked up survivors because any second submarine might torpedo a stopped destroyer unless they knew for certain she was picking up German survivors.
7. The Captain of U-35 told me that German Battlecruisers escorted by destroyers had recently been out raiding in the North Sea and implied strongly that they would be out again sooner than we might expect. I reported this without delay to the Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence in person.
8. A copy of the report in accordance with C.A.F.O. 2600/39 (Kingston’s No. 233/196 of 7th December) is also attached. Already forwarded to Admiralty.
Fifth Destroyer Flotilla
14th December, 1939.
Subject.. REPORT ON SINKING OF GERMAN SUBMARINE U.35.
From …. Rear Admiral (D), Home Fleet, H.M.S. TITANIA.
Date …. 17th December, 1939. No. 629/H.D.00571.
To …. SECRETARY OF THE ADMIRALTY.
(Copies to:- Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet;
Captains (D), Third and Fifth Destroyer Flotillas;
Commanding Officers, H.M. Ships
KINGSTON, KASHMIR and ICARUS
Reports from Commanding Officers of H.M. Ships ICARUS and KINGSTON on the sinking of the ‘U’ boat U.35 on 29th November, 1939 are forwarded herewith. Report from the Commanding Officer, H.M. Ship KASHMIR was forwarded to Admiralty in submission No.317/O.S.413 of 8th December, 1939 from Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands.
2. The sinking of the ‘U’ boat is again an example of good team work and while to KINGSTON rightly belongs the credit for a most successful hunt, it was due to the ICARUS that the hunt developed.
3. ICARUS’ action in remaining in the vicinity after her first attack till help arrived nearly three hours later feigning to hunt, though in fact unable to do so, as her Asdic set was out of action, was the governing factor which led to KINGSTON’s success.
ICARUS’ No.217/81 of 2nd December, 1939 and minute II thereto.
and Awards Committee have considered the claims of H.M.S.s Kingston and Kashmir
for awards for their parts in sinking U.35 and capturing her crew.
the advice of Anti-Submarine Warfare Division they submit that Kingston's share
entitles her Commanding Officer, Lieut. Commander Somerville, to a D.S.O.: and
that Commander King, C.O. of Kashmir should be "mentioned in despatches".
But some honours for the men must be included: (say)
for the Kingston &
for the Kashmir.
submit complete proposals.
First Lord approved award to COs of Kashmir and Kingston.
to ratings in A/S Destroyers are being gazetted at ... this week.
King has approved.
2. KINGSTON appears to have been somewhat
lucky in securing a "hit". It is not, however, proposed to remark on
this attack until report of ICARUS is received. KINGSTON's report does, however,
bring out the importance of destroyers obtaining sufficient time for A/S and
other training which is difficult at present with the many duties that they are
called upon to perform.
does not quite see why D.O.D.(H) considers 'Kingston's' attack lucky. It was
F Glover (?)
with interest. Fully concurring with the remarks of R.A.(D), Home Fleet.
2. It is observed that the Commanding
Officer, H.M.S. KINGSTON, was awarded the D.S.O. for the destruction of this
U-boat, before the official report was received.
3. In view of the remarks of R.A.(D), Home
Fleet, it is considered the Commanding Officer, H.M.S. ICARUS, is also deserving
of some award.
OF ASNTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE.
concur with R.A.D. paragraph 3.
is considered that ICARUS' feat of reporting the exact position of the submarine
after an interval of nearly three hours without the help of asdics deserves high