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HM/Sub Urge wohl vor Libyen gefunden. edit: bei Malta gefunden

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Platon Alexiades:
Hi Darius,

The claim that the torpedo-boat Pegaso or German aircraft sank HMS Upholder in this area (as reported in Wikipedia) is certainly an error. At that time, HMS Upholder was part of a patrol line (with HMS Urge and HMS Thrasher) near Tripoli some 150 miles away. It had no orders to go to the area where she was reported "attacked" by Pegaso and the aircraft pilot (CANT Z.506) who reported sighting a submarine later amended his signal that it was probably a dolphin. An attack by a German aircraft on a presumed submarine east of Malta on 12 April is also bogus as HMS Upholder (or any other submarine) was not in the area. I believe that HMS Upholder was probably lost on the Italian "T" minefield near Tripoli.

Best regards,

Platon

TW:
Dann werde ich das in der Chronik des Seekrieg dem entsprechend ändern.
Gruß, Thomas

Platon Alexiades:
Hello Thomas,

The theory that German aircraft or the torpedo-boat escorting the Aprilia convoy may have sunk HMS Upholder on 14th April should be dismissed. It failed to take into account that the submarine had landed two SIS agents in the Gulf of Hammamet (Tunisia) and then ordered to intercept a convoy WEST of Tripoli (informed by ULTRA signals, this was the MONREALE/UNIONE convoy leaving Tripoli for Italy by the Tunisian route) before forming the patrol line off Tripoli. The position of the supposed sinking (34°47' N, 15°55' E) makes no sense at all. HMS Upholder coming from the WEST was ordered to take position in 33°10’ N, 14°23’ E. This patrol line was expected to intercept the Aprilia convoy only early on 15th April when it was approaching Tripoli. No evidence HMS Upholder ever went (or could have gone) east of 14°23' E. Mr Mattesini wrote a very interesting account of the Aprilia convoy but failed to take into account the British sources.

Best regards,

Platon

AndreasB:
Hi Platon

Just noted you suspect Upholder was lost on the T minefield, but wouldn't this have been very well known to the Royal Navy at the time?

All the best

Andreas

Platon Alexiades:
Hi Andreas,

The British were aware that the approaches to Tripoli were mined as Force K had run into it in December 1941. They did not know the exact positions as the minefield was actually formed of several lines and the positions were almost never revealed in ULTRA intercepts.

The initial order to HMS Upholder to form a patrol line with HMS Urge and HMS Thrasher took into account the rough estimated position of the minefields. At this time, Upholder was patrolling east of Djerba island. She was ordered to go through 33°25’ N, 13°40’ E  to take a position in the patrol line in 33°10’ N, 14°23’ E. By going through 33°25’ N, 13°40’ E this would make her route at a reasonable distance from the suspected minefield (about 10 miles north of it). However, when the order came to intercept the GIULIA/MONREALE convoy and take a new position between 33°08’ N, 12°56’ E and 33°10’ N, 12°00’ E, the direct route (from 33°10’ N, 14°23’ E) would take her very near the edge of one of the "T" minefield lines. It is possible that Wanklyn, who had only a short time to comply, took the direct route and was lost on the minefield.

Best regards,

Platon

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