Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
You need to play a total of 5 battles to post in this section.
Eboreg2

Decisive Action: A Tale of the Rules of War and the fluid nature of the ROE

3 comments in this topic

Recommended Posts

Members
50 posts
16 battles

Hello guys and gals, you've probably seen my write-ups before but this time I wanted to tell a small historical story about great deliberations, crushing political consequences, the disconnect between the high command and the men on the ground and a fruitless search for honor in war.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/08/31 0100 Berlin Time
Start of hostilities against Poland 0445/1/9. Attitude of Western powers uncertain. No attacks against English etc. Forces, except in self defence or by special order. Boats to remain in waiting positions for the present.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1939/09/01 2000 Berlin Time
Overt military operations have commenced against Poland. All Polish vessels are to be considered hostile and valid targets that may be attacked at the commanders discretion.
Vessels of other nations are to be considered neutral and are not to be attacked.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1939/09/03 0210 Berlin Time
U-boats are ordered to commence hostilities with Great Britain forthwith. U-boats of the first wave are instructed to wage war against merchant shipping in accordance with the revised issue of Prize Regulations. As long as war against merchant shipping is governed by Prize Regulations, attacks are to be aimed at ships which, by this Protocol, may be sunk without warning.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1939/09/03 1400 Berlin Time
U-boat warfare against shipping is to be carried out in accordance with International Law. Attacks are to be aimed at the following ships which may be sunk without warning:
1. Troopships, i.e. Vessels which are observed to be carrying troops or war material or which may be identified in other ways.
2. Any vessel escorted by enemy warships or aircraft.
3. Vessels taking part in enemy actions or acting in direct support of enemy operations.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1939/09/03 1410 Berlin Time
International Law governing the conduct of naval warfare is included in the Battle Orders for the German Navy. Orders enjoin the strict observance of all rules of neutrality issued by individual countries and observance of the general agreements of International Law. Operations against shipping are to be governed by the revised edition of Prize Regulations. Observance of Prize Regulations is only obligatory for unarmed ships.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/03 1550 Berlin Time
Hostilities are to commence against Great Britain immediately. Do not wait to be attacked first.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/03 1752 Berlin Time
France considers herself at war with Germany from 1700. Only defensive action is to be taken against French warships or shipping. U-boats are to take no hostile action against French merchant ships except in self-defence.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/04 1200 Berlin Time
By order of Der Führer: no hostile action is to be taken against passenger ships sailing independently or in convoy.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/04 1345 Berlin Time
Operation orders remain in force against merchant shipping.

From: Open Frequency
TimeStamp: 1939/09/05 1300 Berlin Time
SSS... Stopped by German submarine operating off 39°42'N, 09°10'W
S.S. Pluvoise

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/06 0532 Berlin Time
Given the political situation, boats are still ordered to observe the 1930 London Submarine Protocol article 22. Boats are warned to observe extreme caution when approaching enemy ships.

From: U-38
TimeStamp: 1939/09/06 0922 Berlin Time
Fired at by steamer CG 5573. Steamer sunk by torpedoes for est. 7000 tons.
Advise other boats to take precautions against armed steamers.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/06 1141 Berlin Time
Situation regarding France still unclarified. Defensive action only is to be taken when encountering French forces or shipping.
Ships identified as French are not to be stopped. Avoid incidents with France at all costs.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/07 1200 Berlin Time
The Naval Staff orders that ocean going U-boats are to operate only against merchant shipping, naval ships are not to be attacked.
Der Führer has enjoined us that the sinking of Capital ships at this time might embarrass Great Britain and thereby poison attempts to negotiate Great Britain out of the war.
BdU is in agreement as the U-boat is inherantly unsuited to such an attack.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/10 1315 Berlin Time
Convoys north of Brest may be attacked if escorted by French or by French and British forces.

From: Open Frequency
TimeStamp: 1939/09/11 1300 Berlin Time
Sunk British steamer Royal Sceptre position 46°23'N, 14°59'W. Save the survivors.

From: Open Frequency
TimeStamp: 1939/09/11 1500 Berlin Time
Transmit to Mr. Churchill: I have sunk British steamer Firby position 59°40N, 13°50W. Save the crew if you please.
German submarine.

From: Open Frequency
TimeStamp: 1939/09/11 1600 Berlin Time
Message relay: Transmit to Mr. Churchill: I have sunk British steamer Firby position 59°40N, 13°50W. Save the crew if you please. German submarine.
S.S. Scanpenn.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/13 1830 Berlin Time
Freedom of action to attack in the whole of Area F has been given.

From: FdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/21 1134 Berlin Time
U-boats are again cautioned to take every precaution against attacking French ships.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/24 1401 Berlin Time
Naval operations against France are now to be carried out as against Great Britain, French ships are to be treated in the same way as British ships.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/24 1527 Berlin Time
By order of Der Führer, all merchant ships making use of radio on being stopped are to be either sunk or taken in prize. Efforts are to be made to save the crews.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/24 1558 Berlin Time
Allied passenger ships carrying 120 people or less can now be sunk in accordance with the Submarine Protocol or Prize Rules. However, under no circumstances are passenger ships carrying over 120 people to be sunk. These vessels are not to be attacked regardless of being blacked out or travelling a zig zag course.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/28 1711 Berlin Time
Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Russian ships are only to be stopped to discover the type and destination of their cargos and are not to be taken in prize or sunk. Political action is being taken to ensure that ships of these countries will not carry contraband.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/29 0849 Berlin Time
Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Russian ships are not to be stopped if their nationality can be readily identified.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/09/30 1200 Berlin Time
Observance of Prize Regulations against enemy shipping in the North Sea and Baltic is to cease. Enemy convoys, troop ships and any ships which take action endangering U-boats may now be attacked.

From: Bdu
TimeStamp: 1939/10/02 1130 Berlin Time
All darkened ships in the whole area off the east coast of Britain and the whole of the French Coast may now be attacked on sight and without warning. Darkened ships encountered off the British and French coasts can be assumed to be either warships or auxiliaries. Complete freedom of attack against these vessels is permitted between 44 degrees N and 62 degrees N, and 7 degrees W and 3 degrees E.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/04 1730 Berlin Time
U-boats are permitted to attack, without warning, enemy merchant ships which are observed to be armed, or which are listed by the Naval Staff as being armed, or which commence firing from unobserved weapons. The area in which darkened ships may be attacked without warning is extended to 15 degrees W. U-boats are still required by the Führer's order to save the crew of any ship they sink, providing it can be done without endangering the U-boat.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1939/10/06 1148 Berlin Time
The Polish government has surrendered to our forces! All remaining Polish vessels are still to be assumed hostile.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1939/10/06 1430 Berlin Time
All U-boats are ordered to report any cases of incorrect procedure on the part of neutrals.

From: Open Frequency
TimeStamp: 1939/10/13 1000 Berlin Time
SSS. Returned fire. Requesting Assistance. 48.40N, 15.30W
S.S. Stonepool

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/17 0819 Berlin Time
All ships in the British eastern coastal area, with the exception of ocean liners, which are definitely identified as enemy, and which therefore may be expected to offer resistance or resort to ramming, may be attacked without warning.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/17 0825 Berlin Time
All U-boats are permitted to attack without warning all ships identified as hostile.
BdU

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/19 2020 Berlin Time
The area in which darkened ships may be attacked is extended to 20 degrees W. Ships are not to be boarded for examination. They may be stopped by gunfire, and their papers examined, but must be sunk only with torpedoes. U-boats are not to engage in gun actions with merchant ships.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/27 2100 Berlin Time
As it has been learned beyond all doubt that the enemy is using liners extensively as troop transports, permission is now given to attack liners sailing in convoy.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/27 2000 Berlin Time
1) Boats may not board ships which have been stopped, for examination. 2) Ships are to be sunk by torpedo only, even when they are only attacked after examination. Which can now only consist in looking through the papers or after resistance has been quelled with gunfire.
BdU

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/10/29 1200 Berlin Time
Naval Staff extends the order forbidding surface approach and search of shipping in the North Sea to include the area west of the Orkneys.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/11/12 1200 Berlin Time
By order of the Führer, authorization is given for on-sight sinking of any and all enemy passenger liners of whatever size, known or seen to be armed, and any and all tankers, including those of neutral nations, which are beyond all doubt going to or from the British Isles or France. Safety of the U-boat takes precedence over safety of survivors.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/11/17 1000 Berlin Time
Attacks may be made without warning on all liners clearly identifiable as hostile, whose armament is visible or known to exist.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/11/23 1100 Berlin Time
by order of the Führer, all tankers, other than American, Russian, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish may be attacked in the American Safety Zone West of 2 degrees E. Remain undetectable and se electric torpedoes, in order that the illusion of internal explosion may be created, and political repercussions might be avoided. The tankers are of particular importance to the enemy's war effort.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/11/26 2015 Berlin Time
Rescue no one and take no one aboard. Do not concern yourselves with the ships boats. Weather conditions and the proximity of land are of no account. Care only for your own boat and strive to achieve the next success as soon as possible! We must be hard in this war.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1939/12/30 1200 Berlin Time
Since the Greeks have chartered and sold numerous ships to England, Greek ships are to be regarded as hostile within the operational area surrounding Great Britain. U-boats must try to remain unobserved while attacking.

From: Bdu
TimeStamp: 1940/01/10 0600 Berlin Time
Attacks on English waters are to be made unobtrusively and submerged in order to preserve the illusion of mine hits.

From: Bdu
TimeStamp: 1940/01/12 1200 Berlin Time
All ships in British eastern coastal areas A and now B, in and to the west of Bristol Channel, except American and friendly neutral vessels are allowed to be attacked on sight, without warning. Attacks are to be made unobtrusively and submerged in order to preserve the illusion of mine hits. Outside these areas, the Prize Regulations remain in force.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/01/22 1200 Berlin Time
Area A is extended to 2 degrees E. and Area B southwards and southwest to 10 degrees 30' W. and to include the whole of the Irish Sea. Irish territorial waters extend for 10 miles. Outside these areas, the Prize Regulations remain in force.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/01/24 1200 Berlin Time
British eastern coastal area C, the area off the southeast coast from Flamborough Head to Dover, and eastwards a little beyond the British danger area, is now unrestricted. All ships except American and friendly neutral vessels are allowed to be attacked on sight, without warning.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/02/09 1200 Berlin Time
All ships in British eastern coastal areas A and now B, in and to the west of Bristol Channel, except American and friendly neutral vessels are allowed to be attacked on sight, without warning. Attacks are to be made unobtrusively and submerged in order to preserve the illusion of mine hits. Outside these areas, the Prize Regulations remain in force.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/02/17 1200 Berlin Time
All ships in the U.S.A. Zone, which do not exhibit illuminated nationality markings are to be regarded as hostile.

From: Bdu
TimeStamp: 1940/02/23 1200 Berlin Time
Immediate freedom of attack is permitted against liners showing no neutral markings, and against those darkened, provided they are in the area in which other darkened ships may already be attacked.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/05/10 1200 Berlin Time
Area C is extended eastwards to the Dutch coast at Texel, and southwards and westwards to include the whole of the Channel as a result of the outbreak of war with Holland and Belgium.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/05/24 0800 Berlin Time
To intensify action against Britain and France, U-boats are now permitted to operate unrestrictedly in the area west of Scotland and the whole area off the French Atlantic coast, zones E and F. All ships are now allowed to be attacked on sight, without warning. This includes unescorted neutrals and passenger ships, but avoid action against American and friendly neutral ships. Outside these areas, the Prize Regulations remain in force.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/05/25 1200 Berlin Time
Ships taken over by Britain after the occupation of Norway, Belgium, and Holland are to be considered as enemy vessels, but attacks on sight are only permitted if these ships are seen to be armed. The rules of neutrality remain in force against United States, Danish, and other friendly neutrals.

From: OKM
TimeStamp: 1940/06/18 1200 Berlin Time
The capitulation of France must result not merely in the elimination of French forces from the present struggle, but must also be exploited in every possible way for the continuation of war against England.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/08/17 0415 Berlin Time
There is no longer any trade between Great Britain and neutral states which is considered legal. All ships heading to English ports are now considered to be carrying contraband, and therefore all the waters around Britain are considered a blockade area. U-boats are permitted to attack, without warning, up to 20 degrees west, all vessels including liners, with the exception of a few specified ships belonging to the Irish Free State.
BdU

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1940/08/17 1000 Berlin Time
Attacks without warning against all liners of hostile nations, armed or unarmed, is now permitted for the entire operational area surrounding Great Britain.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1941/05/01 0745 Berlin Time
As United States ships have begun crossing the western boundary of the blockade area, all U-boats must observe the regulations regarding attacks outside the operational zone. U-boats are forbidden to attack any warships until it has been definitely established that they are enemy ships, darkened, or first open fire. No pretext can be given for the United States to enter the war at this time.

From: U-203
TimeStamp: 1941/06/20 0315 Berlin Time
Have sighted U.S. Battleship Texas in blockade area. Ask permission to shoot.

From: U-203
TimeStamp: 1941/06/20 1726 Berlin Time
U.S. Battleship Texas in blockade area. Ask permission to shoot.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1941/06/20 1800 Berlin Time
By order of the Fuehrer all incidents with United States ships must be avoided in the coming weeks. Until further notice, attacks may not be made on battleships, cruisers and aircraft carriers unless definitely identified as hostile. Warships steaming at night without lights are not necessarily hostile.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1941/06/21 1243 Berlin Time
the Führer has ordered that during the next few weeks all incidents with the USA are to be avoided, even if attacked by American warships. Until further notice, only clearly identifiable enemy cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers may be attacked.

From: Naval High Command
TimeStamp: 1941/06/22 0900 Berlin Time
Commencing this morning, we are at war with Russia. We must rid Europe of the bolshevist menace.
Raeder

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1941/07/01 0754 Berlin Time
By order of the Führer, U.S. Merchant ships are not to be attacked, even in the blockade area.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1941/07/09 1323 Berlin Time
The Führer insists that everything depends on the U.S.A.'s entry into the war being delayed another month or two. First, because the Eastern Campaign must be carried out with all the aircraft allotted for that purpose, and the Führer does not wish to deplete their numbers; secondly, because the effects of the victorious Eastern Campaign on the whole situation, even on the attitude of the U.S.A., would be tremendous.

From: BdU
TimeStamp: 1941/07/12 0944 Berlin Time
Even though President Roosevelt has now officially permitted U.S. Naval forces to attack U-boats, and such flagrant violations of neutrality are likely to occur, the order forbidding attacks on darkened ships remains in force.

From: Bdu
TimeStamp: 1941/12/09 1200 Berlin Time
Restrictions on operations against American shipping have been removed.
Bdu

 


From: CNO
TimeStamp: 1941/12/07 1222 Hawaii Time
EXECUTE AGAINST JAPAN UNRESTRICTED AIR AND SUBMARINE WARFARE.

 

Special thanks to the researchers of the Silent Hunter devteam for compiling all but the last of the above messages in one easy to access location.

  • Cool 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Members
2,823 posts
6,734 battles

i'm too inebriated too read this right now, so if someone can quote me to pop a notification for me to read tomorrow i'd appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1,744
[WOLFG]
Members
5,977 posts
3,841 battles
7 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

i'm too inebriated too read this right now, so if someone can quote me to pop a notification for me to read tomorrow i'd appreciate it.

Here you go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×