U-571 - Preface

U-571 (Illustration) Famous Historical Events Famous People Film Social Studies World History World War II

What was it like to "go down the ladder" in a U-Boat?  This image depicts the conning-tower ladder in U-47 (a U-Boat Type VIIB).  David Balme descended the ladder of U-110 (a U-Boat Type IXB).  Image online, courtesy U-Boat.net.


I still wake up at night
fifty-six years later
to find myself
going down that ladder.

David Balme

The North Atlantic seas south of Iceland were relatively calm on May 9, 1941 as a British convoy made its way from England to Nova Scotia. Escort ships, like the corvette HMS Aubretia, were desperately needed to protect supply ships from the ever-present threat of German U-boats.

On board the Bulldog, senior ship of the 3rd Escort Group, Sub-Lieutenant David Balme had no clue his impending heroism would give British intelligence what they needed to decipher the secret code of the Third Reich - Hitler's "Enigma" encryption machine.

Commanding the Bulldog, A.J. (Joe) Baker-Creswell had no idea his instinctual decisions over the next several hours would turn the tide of the war against Germany.

In charge of a lurking nearby U-Boat, Fritz-Julius Lemp (commanding officer of U-110) could not have known he had only a few hours to live.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"U-571" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2000. Dec 13, 2019.
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