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U-33 goes to war in the epic U-boat sim - that's still being improved!

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Back in the day, I remember buying a bargain bin, jewel-cased CD release of the original Silent Hunter WW2 submarine simulation. Even then, its graphics were somewhat dated and it had no external view, however good it might otherwise have been. Besides, it was set in the Pacific, which is well and good but my main interest in subs is in what Churchill famously said was 'the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war'  - what he called 'the U-boat peril'. Hence the next in the series, Silent Hunter II, was the one I jumped at - external view AND the ability to fight the Battle of the Atlantic in one of a range of different types of U-boats.

A few years latter - in 2005 - along came Silent Hunter III, with a similar setting and an excellent, open-ended campaign system, lacking mainly AI subs and therefore the simulation of wolf-pack tactics, where several boats would on radio orders from Befehlshaber der U-Boote (BdU), form, abandon and reform patrol lines across suspected convoy routes, ganging up on any they came across. Despite being on your own, SH3 must surely rank as one of the most ambitious, most comprehensive and most immersive sims ever made, in any genre.

I had a few years away from simming about that time so it was only earlier this year that I dusted off my original SH3 DVD - and then bought the on-sale Steam version instead, rather than having to fiddle to get my early, Starforce-DRM protected version running on a post-Vista O/S. Like later DVD editions, Steam SH3 comes pre-patched to the latest official version (1.4b) and doesn't have Starforce.

So there was I, happily really playing SH3 as if for the first time, and thinking how great a sim it still is, as I sailed out of port in my chosen boat, here an early-war Type VIIB.

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Heck, I even managed to sink some ships in convoy...

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...and even escape the inevitable retaliation, here directed at my larger Type IXC from an aircraft which caught me on the surface, leading to a rapid crash-dive.

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At first, I stayed away from mods, partly as I was delighted with the vanilla game, partly because I didn't want to break anything  - having seen dark warnings of Steam SH3 needing a fix of some sort applied for some mods, to avoid subsequent issues. A widescreen mod was essential; though, and here I settled on ARB's one for 1080x1020. This needs a patch applied to enable the in-game map to display properly, but it all worked and worked well. My appetite for mods thus whetted, to my rescue came Fiedler's guide to installing SH3 on Windows 10 (I'm actually playing ATM on Win 7): How to run STEAM-SH3-V1.6b-GWX-WIDESCREEN on Win10 (donitzeliteflotilla.com) [link updated 6 May]

Followed carefully, this led me to other indispensable tools like SH3 Commander...

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... and the Doenitz Elite Flotilla's (DEF) SH3 front end, the former adding various goodies and the latter enabling me both to make a hassle-free second install of SH3 (to which I could apply my first choice of 'mega-mod' while not risking my near-vanilla one) and to apply at the click of a mouse the 'Steam fix' without which problems can ensue.

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Links to the stuff mentioned I'll post at the end of this thread.

I was a bit wary of going for one of the several SH3 mega mods as I preferred to have a bit of choice in my set-up. But in the end, I went for what's possibly the most popular, the Grey Wolves Expansion 3 Gold edition, commonly known as GWX3. this comes as an easy-to-use multi-part installer and while you don't then enable it via the ubiquitous JSGME, this does create several optional sub-mods which you can enable at choice - such as a 'lite' version of GWX's excellent harbour traffic.

GWX massively improved the already remarkable experience SH3 was giving me. The aforementioned harbour traffic (not the lite version) is probably my favourite addition; we'll see that in action soon.

Other icing on my U-boat cake was provided by the Compulsory Head-dress mod (which makes the sloppy default crewmen wear a suitable cap) and the excellent TKSS18 German U-boat Compilation (GUC), which greatly improves the already-improved GWX boat models. On top of this there is a further GUC add-on which even further improves the early Type VIIs (but needs backed out if you survive till after about 1942, as it doesn't yet include the later conning towers for these boats).

Finally, having happily used DEF's tools, I signed up with the online flotilla itself, which caters for single-player as well as multi-player action. This gave me dedicated storage on Mediafire to store my patrol screenshots, and the ability to role-play (before/during/after each patrol) interaction with a real human commander based on the real-life historical person, including making realistic simulated radio reports. This added a whole extra layer of immersion for me; I felt much more invested in my boat, my crew, and my mission.

You can read and see the results here:  http://www.donitzeliteflotilla.com/forum/index.php?topic=3368.0

As that career is still under way, with my second patrol in U-105 due to start very soon, I decided to run a second fully offline one in parallel. The main reason for doing this was to test the stability of the GUC mod, before relying on it in my next DEF patrol. I didn't want to take any chances - for one thing you can render career files un-loadable if you apply mods during a patrol. So I wanted to try out GUC before starting out again in U-105, using the GUC's Type IXB in place of the GWX version.

Good - stock SH3 Type IXB:

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Better - GWX3 Type IXB:

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Better still - GUC Type IXB:

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My U-105 patrol started in mid-1941 and took my big-long-ranged boat down into the Central Atlantic off Freetown, where I ran into lots of aggressive and apparently radar-equipped escorts and aircraft. For this try-out career, I decided to go for the more common and smaller Type VII, choosing U-33 in March 1940, before the fall of France opened up the bases on the French Atlantic coast. U-33 was actually a Type VIIA (U-27 to U-36 inclusive) with a prominent external stern torpedo tube and the VIIB is the nearest available substitute in SH3.

I'm based at Wilhelmshaven on the Baltic coast east of Denmark, so I won't have to sail through the Kiel Canal to get into my assigned patrol area. This is in Marine Quadrat AN21, which means I'll be operating just east of Scotland's Shetland Islands. Sadly I didn't get a screenie of the map so we'll start with the view aft from the bridge, looking towards the band which is playing us out of our berth, accompanied by well wishers who include the famous SH3 nurses chucking bouquets. SH3 fans will know all of this dockside activity is quite nicely animated.

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'Kleine fahrt voraus!' I get the boat moving, so as to keep up with the minesweeper up ahead, which is evidently our escort out of port. The GWX map has many pull-down features, which include mini-maps showing 'friendly' nets and minefields protecting our ports. I don't know if these are really simulated obstacles, but I don't plan on finding out the hard way.

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The detail on the GUC bridge is vastly better than stock SH3. For one thing, the UZO surface sight (Uberwasser Ziel Optik) isn't permanently fitted to its pedestal (the blackened peg left of centre), only when you order it brought up to the bridge. To the right is the slot for the direction finding loop antenna, which is also raised on command.

Apart from the tensioners and insulators on the jump wires (which were used as radio aerials) being much better rendered, another nice feature is that you have a beautifully-animated Kriegsmarine war flag, which a key command enables you to take down after leaving port. In Silent Hunter 5, your bridge watch is scanning with binoculars even before you've left U-boat pen or quayside, but in SH3, they are relaxed until several hundred meters out - much better.

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The first excitement of the patrol comes unexpectedly early. My watch officer turns around and warns of approaching aircraft! Are we to be bombed before we're even clear of the port?

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I hastily grab my own binos.  Relief - that's a Heinkel III, unless I'm very much mistaken.

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The five or six Heinkels roar across the port. Happily, the flak people have also identified them correctly. And the fly-boys manage to miss the barrage balloons.

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After that, it's more uneventful. There's plenty to see, though, including the new battleship Tirpitz, which is laid up awaiting fitting of her armament...

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...and a Hipper class heavy cruiser, led by a destroyer, which passes U-33 and our own, smaller escort to starboard, as we near open waters.

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There's also smaller traffic like fishing boats and a solitary coal barge.

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Clear of the defensive nets and minefields and anxious to be on our way across the North Sea, I plot a course to the north-west and we leave our escort behind.

Down in the depths of the boat, courtesy I believe of the GUC's added detail, the cook stands by his tiny stove...

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...the off-duty ratings - the 'Pairs' - relax as best they can in their accommodation in the bow torpedo room...

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...while other crew members attend to the engines...

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...and to our five torpedo tubes.

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What will the Tommies have in store for us? We'll find out, soon enough!

...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA
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On ‎04‎/‎05‎/‎2021 at 6:06 PM, strahi said:

Living Silent Hunter 3 I haven't tried (tho I am using the improved U-Boats from Fifi's enhancement pack for LSH2020 in my 'less modded' SH3 install). The things I was wary of with LSH were reportedly much longer load times than other mega mods (perhaps the flip side of the amount of extra content) and the fact a separate install is needed to play single missions (GWX comes with a  lot of extra ones, in the same install). NYGM (Not Your Grandmother's Mod!?) also sounded good. If it had been around at the time, I'd have been tempted to go instead for OneAlex's mod, which is GWX-based and I think includes the basic GUC mod - as seen in Adger's screenshots over on SimHQ: https://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4566922/re-adieu-st-nazaire#Post4566922

Edited by 33LIMA
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I bought this in a sale not so long back... still haven't got into it yet, but I'm going to make myself have it at some stage.

I know very little about the U-boat war and it all looks a bit daunting I have to say.

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18 minutes ago, TROOPER117 said:

I bought this in a sale not so long back... still haven't got into it yet, but I'm going to make myself have it at some stage.

I know very little about the U-boat war and it all looks a bit daunting I have to say.

You could do worse than start with vanilla, then get a widescreen mod up and running. Mods are optional after that. The included training missions are probably quite good. Of course watching 'Das Boot' at least once is compulsory :) The biggest complication is manual targeting, which involves making estimates of the target's speed, range and its 'angle off the bow' and feeding these into the simulated torpedo data controller thingy. But I just use the semi-automated alternative, which involves hitting a key to lock up the target you're looking at in a periscope or the surface sight, at which point the required estimates are made for you. There's certainly plenty to learn, like any decent sim that features a weapon system more complicated than a WW1 fighter for example, but it's incredibly deep (sic!). 

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Fantastic game, i spent a lot of time with SH3 and the grey wolves mod, now i return to uboats with the Uboat from steam

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Nice stuff Lima, funnily enough I started a new campaign (01 Sept 1939) out of Wilhelmshaven about two weeks ago.  Using my Steam version (I have the old disc and paper map as well) and it's plain vanilla.  I tend to revisit SHIII and SHIV every couple of years as it's still a great game.  Have survived (in this iteration) to January 1940, about mid-pack on the Ace's list tonnage-wise.  Busy getting my crew qualified and re-jigging my shift management.  Last patrol was terrible with poor weather and a full load of dud torpedoes.  On my current patrol we just loaded up some of the prewar fish instead of the crap electrics.  U-5 headed for AN41.

Kind regards,

Dave

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Thanks guys!

To digress a little, this was actually my second patrol in U-33, having used SH3 Commander first to choose my Kommandant’s name, boat, flotilla and start date; then loading the career this created after starting the game.

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Unfortunately, almost no pics have survived from that patrol, which started on 1 March 1940. I was also sent to the rather shallow waters east of the Shetlands. En route, I received radio reports of some shipping, but it was too far off to chase with any chance of success. We did, however, sight a destroyer to port, coming the opposite way. I set a course to intercept him, hoping he might be an escort for a convoy or a capital ship worth attacking. I then submerged, being close enough to reach him at underwater speed. But conditions were calm and he spotted me before I hit the cellar. He turned and came straight at me.

I wasn’t in the mood to spend possibly hours dodging depth charges. So I decided to go for him head on, with what I believe the USN called a ‘down the throat shot’ (‘up the kilt shot’ being one from dead astern). Using my attack periscope sparingly, I let fly with my single available G7e electric torpedo, which leaves no visible wake, as the range came down below 900m. Next, a compressed air-powered G7a from about 600m, holding my course towards him until the last possible moment so that he would not turn with me and thus avoid my eels. Then I turned hard to starboard and crash dived. Too late, really; but if he spotted my torpedoes in time, I was banking on his evasive action interrupting his attack - and giving me time to get deeper and out of the way.

I heard three loud bangs, all in a matter of a few minutes. The first was one of my eels hitting the destroyer. The second bang was my boat hitting bottom at about 50 metres, as I’d forgotten how shallow the water here was. The third bang, a little later, was the sound of the destroyer also hitting the bottom -  having avoided falling directly onto me by maybe a hundred meters.

All in all, I was lucky that the only damage to my boat was from striking the bottom and easily repaired by the damage control crew I assembled - even with the H.Sie realism mod I use, which increases considerably the optimistic stock SH3 repair times. Then it was back to patrolling east of the Shetlands, with the weather staying fine.

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The GWX mega-mod generates frequent radio messages, most of which are simulated traffic from imaginary boats reporting imaginary actions, just for immersion. I sometimes don’t read them right away. But one I did ordered my boat, and another, to return to base at once. Strange! I hadn’t had this happen before. I suspected it might be connected with preparations for the impending German invasion of Denmark and Norway, but of course my SH3 alter ego would not have been privy to that.

Anyway back to Wilhelmshaven we went, with a single C/D Class destroyer our only success – could have been worse, considering U-33 was at sea for only a week.

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...to be continued!

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So it comes to pass that a month later, we find ourselves outbound from Wilhelmshaven again, at the point I started this thread. We're to patrol the same grid square, east of the Shetlands. There’s no mention of any special operations, which would in any event be highly secret and likely the subject of sealed orders, to be opened only if and when specifically instructed. Which is what will happen, after a fashion.

We proceed on the surface, in calm conditions and good visibility.

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The North Sea is a little less empty this time. First contact is a small steamer, spotted by the bridge watch about half-way to our patrol area. We’re ahead of her and in a good position to dive to make a submerged attack.

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Occasional use of the attack periscope supplemented by regular reports from the hydrophone operator, keep the steamer at a steady bearing to port, as we creep slowly towards the point where our paths will converge. Conveniently, my target is keeping a constant course.

I have another ‘wake-less’ electric torpedo loaded and let rip at close range.

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She's struck amidships, hit hard.

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The steamer shows down but shows no sign of sinking. She appears to be unarmed so I decide to finish her off with the deck gun. I could have started out that way I suppose, the seas are certainly calm enough. But I don’t want to spend too long on the surface in the company of a ship that will be reporting my presence by radio.

I order the watch officer to get the gun manned and into action, aiming for the waterline. The bridge crew should really stay put and maintain a look-out rather than operating the deck gun, but I’ve yet to find a mod which changes this default SH3 behaviour.

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Anyway there’s no return fire and the steamer is soon going down, on fire and on an even keel. About fifteen hundred gross register tons, I reckon. Better than nothing.

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Little do I know it officially, but the war in the North Sea is suddenly about to liven up!

...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA

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The small coastal steamer went down on 5th April. The next day, a radio message from BdU advises us that ‘Operation Hartmut’ has begun and that we are to ‘act accordingly’.

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In real life, I would have now opened the sealed orders and found that Hartmut is the code-name for U-boats to intercept British warships trying to get at the mostly sea-borne German invasion of Norway. I don’t have the envelope, but the sudden appearance of reported enemy warships all over the place is enough to put me in the picture. You can see that the boat's radio operator is also in the picture, having a good source of interesting postcards.

The problem is the reported shipping is far away and moving much faster. I try several interceptions but make no contacts. I feel like I’m driving a milk float in a Formula 1 race.

At one point I shift location towards Scapa Flow, hoping to be in a good position to catch warships coming or going from the big Royal Navy base there. All this does is force me to crash dive to avoid frequent patrols from enemy aircraft – Swordfish biplanes, mostly...

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..but a more modern Anson at one point.

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Fortunately, we always get below in good time and aren’t bombed.

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Finally, the following day, 6th April, heading back to the Shetlands, we sight a rather bigger prize.

...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA

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The large freighter spotted that day by our eagle-eyed bridge watch has gun positions fore and aft, but apparently no weapons fitted. Nevertheless, I opt once again for a surprise submerged attack.

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This time, I'm firing two torpedoes from the bow tubes, one to slow her down...

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...and the second, a bubble-wake-generating G7a, to sink her. I hope.

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This hits, too, despite the increased gyro-angle...

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...and the ship starts listing - just perceptibly at first - to port, slightly down by the bows. I’m fairly sure she’ll go down eventually – most decent mods reduce the rather fast stock SH3 sinking time – but I don’t want to sail off only to find her crew has stabilised the flooding. So I come to the surface for another deck gun coup de grace.

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This time, I start with a few rounds from the 2 cm flak gun on the after casing, aiming for the bridge where the radio shack is likely to be.

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Then I let the AI crew of the 8.8 cm deck gun take over...

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...while I observe from the bridge, as the list rapidly increases.

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It’s not long before my second victim rolls onto her side and goes down by the bows. Over ten thousand GR tons, I reckon.

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I waste no time in resuming my patrol. Both my sinkings have been outside my patrol zone and I want to complete the modest 24 hour minimum assigned time within. On DEF patrols, the human commander seems generally to assign a longer, more realistic period. I think SH3 awards ‘renown’ points, usable to obtain better kit or crew while in port, for meeting the specified 24 hour period, so there’s still an incentive to do that. So in Shetland waters, we will tarry a little longer.

...to be continued!

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Just got into this game a few months ago. That looks nothing like I am doing! 

Please share your complete mod list.

I am Playing Fall of the Rising Sun mod now. 

I want too do what you are doing!

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Hi CrazyhorseB34

I have SH4 (but not the Monsun U-boat add-on) , but it's still shrink-wrapped!

As for SH3, for the sake of simplicity, I would recommend just going straight for 'GWX OneAlex Edition', download link on the YouTube page here, along with several videos showing it in action: (1) One Alex - YouTube.

I would probably have gone for this but it's very recent (and/or at least I discovered it very recently)

My own modlist is in this thread: https://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4565920/adieu-st-nazaire#Post4565920 

I think the FM new interior mod is superfluous as the GUC includes an expanded version (with added e-motor and stern torpedo room) - OneAlex may have taken out the additional interiors as they are just for show and take up extra RAM, not that I've noticed. They are nice, though, even though the crew members are not animated (see pics in this thread) He also has the volumetric clouds, which I don't really like. Some have reported this mod reduces U-boat lookout effectiveness but IIRC modder Fifi has provided a mini-mod which restores this to base GWX values.

The big advantage of GWX OneAlex Edition look to be that it includes GWX,  the great GUC subs and the H-Sie realism mod all 'preinstalled', and a copy of SH3 commander, plus a lot of extras or tweaks.

I have downloaded it but not yet tried it (just over 3 gig zipped) and it LOOKS like a complete package that just needs unzipped to create a fully working install of SH3, so long as it's unzipped to a separate folder to any pre-existing installation. Adger of this parish, also active on SimHQ, is using it and will know more about whether that's right. In short, it looks to me an awful lot less complicated just download and unzip, compared to getting an existing SH3 installation modded up, like I did. This seems confirmed by the simple installation instructions (see below). He says later uninstall an old version first, but as multiple SH3 installations can I believe be created by cutting and pasting an existing installation folder, I think it would be enough to unzip to a different location.

This is from the readme (re specs, I'm running GWX3+GUC on a 3.4 Gig i3, GTX580 1.5 Gb, 8 Gb RAM, performance is fine):

Hello everybody. As promised, I share my modpack. The game is made for my taste, to my preferences. Therefore, I am ready to accept criticism / suggestions, but only towards realism, not arcade. Feedback is welcome. The game will be updated as I have time.
 

Known issues / bugs:
1 Visual damage of ships at some angle of view by the camera does not reflect correctly from the water.
2 It is better not to use large time accelerations in areas where there are many events. The game may crash.
3 Sometimes ships in a convoy are generated with the wrong draft.
Approximate system requirements for a normal game (maybe less, tested the assembly on a powerful computer):
1 Sixth-generation I5 / I7 processor or higher, or its AMD equivalent.
2 RAM 8GB and above.
3 Video card Ge Force 10xx series and higher, or its AMD equivalent.


Game Installation:
1 Unzip the archive
2 Run SH3 Commander (on some PCs the game is not working without SH3 Commander)
3 Play

 

All Realism and Gameplay related hardcode fixes mods from H.sie are activated in the game at my discretion. If someone needs to patch the exe file by on his own way, then all the information is in the Support folder, at the root folder of the game.
When the radars and other sensors of the second half of the war become available in the game, then you need to activate the Late sensors compilation mod so that the sensor is in the right place.
From November 1944, an available snorkel radar detector will become available. You can install it by activating the GWX mod - Late War Sensors Snorkel Antennas, when the boat is on the base. Nothing more is needed except the snorkel itself. If there is a snorkel and the Late War Sensors Snorkel Antennas mod is activated, then after loading the campaign everything will be in its place.
Also at the root folder of the game there is a simple and understandable program for generating weather at the beginning of the SH3Weather campaign.

 

Hotkeys:
1 Shift + F / Ctrl + F - raise / lower the flag
2 Shift + V / Ctrl + V - raise / lower the antenna
3 Shift + R / Ctrl + R - raise / lower the radar, if available
4 Shift + N - On / Off time acceleration x128, if annoying time reset when detecting a vessel in friendly ports.
5 Shift + D / Ctrl + D - raise / lower the crew on the deck
6 Shift + U / Ctrl + U - raise / lower UZO (activate UZO by clicking on it with the mouse button)
7 Shift + K - raise pennants (only near the base and only when the periscope is raised)

 

Many thanks to all the people who helped me in the construction industry and the authors of those wonderful mods that I included into the game.
Be sure you have uninstalled the old version before installing the new version of the game!
I also recommend to read radiograms. Every year there are radiograms that guide the player at real events in the game! Do not miss, it will be interesting!

There are of course other good mods, like LSH3 2020 linked to earlier by Strahi. If going down my route with Steam (or DVD) SH3 as a base I would strongly recommend following Fiedler's set-up guide:How to run STEAM-SH3-V1.6b-GWX-WIDESCREEN on Win10 (donitzeliteflotilla.com)

Good hunting!

Edited by 33LIMA
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It takes only a few hours to complete the minimum period in AN21. After that, I plot a course to intercept a task force that's coming my way from the English east coast, but still a long way off.

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I haven't gone too far when the bridge watch spots smoke and mastheads on the horizon. Through the binos, I can see that it’s likely a destroyer.

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We’re abeam of her and unlikely to be able to intercept even if I want to, but I race to close the range, in the hope that she might be the escort for a convoy or perhaps a capital ship.

Sure enough, signs of other ships come into view. But it’s soon clear that what we’re seeing is a whole flotilla of destroyers, racing east towards Norway. Uncatchable.

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But they’ve spotted me. I’ve got too close in the clear conditions. They start zig-zagging, and two of them turn towards me.

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The closest one is weaving as she comes, the other is on a course straight for me. Even if it’s just these two, I don’t fancy my chances trying to attack them. I have enough time – and this time, enough water under the keel – to make a break for it. I crash dive and turn away.

I get down to 130 metres, at which point I have maybe another ten under my keel.

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I reckon I really needed another twenty meters, to be below the likely maximum setting of their depth charges. Once down, I start to creep away on silent running.

The depth-charging starts!

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On every barrage, I go to maximum revolutions for a minute or so while the water is disturbed, throwing in a course change. But always to the south, away from the track of the flotilla, since my hunters are more likely to let go and resume their main job, if I’m seen to be trying to get away rather than attacking.

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Several times, the cans explode too close for comfort. But we get away with nothing worse than a bit of a fright.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the flotilla continues east, towards Norway.

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The hunt goes on, but gradually drifts away, as it they’re no longer quite sure where I am. I may or may not have ASDIC pings, I don’t remember. Possibly they were listening with hydrophones, which is possible but unusual. Certainly, one of the destroyers was stopping every now and again, as if to listen while the other one makes attacking runs.

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A nice touch is that some of the destroyers are carrying mines. This a realistic representation of Operation Wilfred, the Royal Navy’s move to mine the inshore Norwegian shipping lanes used for Swedish iron ore imports to Germany.

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All I know of this is what I can hear from the hydrophone operator, or for myself if I put on his virtual headphones. On top of that, I can hear with the naked ear the sounds of the destroyer’s screws when they are closing in at high revolutions. And of course the cans going off. It’s all rather scary, until the hue and cry begins to die down, after maybe half an hour.

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The hydrophone operator loses contact (if you man his station yourself, you can hear a bit further). And the tension in the control room begins to ease, although people still look a bit anxious, as well they might. Even my officers.

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I increase speed slightly and come up to periscope depth. Up goes the sky periscope, operated from the control room unlike the ‘sit-on’ attack periscope that’s in the conning tower above. With the sky periscope’s larger head I can see above the boat, not just around her. But there’s nothing to see. I increase speed again, to give us more momentum if we should need to come down again quickly. Then up we go. Auftauchen! I really can’t imagine playing SH3 any other way than with German voices and (if the control interface is turned off) English subtitles. I really cringed when I watched the animated intro for Silent Hunter 5, with the boat’s commander speaking in what sounded like an imitation of a very American accent – truly awful!!!

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But wither now?

...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA
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On April 19th, we overhear a news report that the enemy is withdrawing from central Norway!

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I set up a patrol pattern off the Allied-occupied ports of Alesund and Molde, north-east of Bergen which is in our hands. By this time, the weather is deteriorating.

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On the 20th, before I'm on station, I'm ordered back to patrol to the east of Shetland again!

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Orders are orders - back we go.

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The very next day, we and U-51 are ordered to re-inforce Namsos, far to the north! Not just frustrating, but out of the question - fuel is down to about twenty percent and I don't want to have to crawl home.

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I send a patrol report to BdU so that he understands my situation and that I'm remaining off the Shetlands, while I still have the fuel. My only reward for this is to be forced down by a patrolling aircraft...

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...an Anson, which doesn't see us and proceeds on its way.

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I go down to periscope depth, but then to 20 metres as the conning tower is occasionally breaking the surface in the heavy seas.

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After a hydrophone check reveals nothing doing, I'm come up to periscope depth for a look around on the sky periscope. It's all clear, so up we come.

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I plot a course which will take us back to Wilhelmshaven after a final leg off the Shetlands.

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All I can do now is hope that we come across some shipping on the way home!

...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA
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Another change of plan from BdU! We're to resupply at the recently-captured port of Bergen, instead of heading back to sunny France! This won't be popular with the crew!

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We haven't gone far on our fresh course before we dive again to avoid an aircraft, this time a Swordfish. We get down without being spotted, thankful for once for the rough seas.

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While submerged, I take the opportunity for another hydrophone check. But there's nothing doing.

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I give it half an hour just to be safe, then we're back on the surface and headed east.

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Nearing the Norwegian coast, I finish plotting my course - the final stages of which will take me safely through the unfamiliar and deeply-indented coastline to port. I take the opportunity to check the pull-down map showing Bergen's mine and net defences - which information is presumably based on intelligence sources, as Norway was not in our hands when I left France!

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Nearing the coast, I report in to BdU. A little later, I get confirmation...perhaps he's a bit impatient.

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Despite not finding much in the way of sheltered waters amongst the narrows, we reach Bergen without mishap. The sight reminds me of the chorus quoted by Lothar Guenther Bucheim in 'U-Boat War', said to be sung to the tune of 'The Rotten Bones are Quaking':

We'll go on marching, marching, marching,

Though the shit rains from on high

We're heading back to mudville -

Bergen's the arsehole in the sky.'

I daresay it's a lovely place, really!

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There may be a mod which fixes this but SH3 seems to have U-boat bunkers built way before they actually were, and Bergen's no exception.

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Anyway the welcome is warm, if not the weather.

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Alle maschinen stopp!  U-33 glides the last few metres into her new berth.

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Just the two steamers to show for our second patrol, then. Most of the rest of the time, when we weren't dodging aircraft, we were chasing hither and thither across the North Sea trying to catch much faster surface units.

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If nothing else, this may have spared me the real-life experiences of many boats during Operation Hartmut, which suffered a disastrous level of torpedo failures. Like being to sent to fight with a toy rifle, as U-47's Prien reportedly told Doenitz.

I suppose it's a good patrol if you can walk away from it, and a great one if you can re-use the U-boat!

Edited by 33LIMA
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Howdy Lima! I follwed the instuctions from the GWX OneAlex. It looks awesome. The intro is super.

But. When I try to run a mission I get a CDT. 

Any advice? 

I am running the latest version of SH3 from Steam.

Modding this thing for me has been hit and miss. 

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Hi CrazyHorse

You might need to run Multi SH3 to fix this - it's a good idea anyway for multiple installs, and I think the OneAlex mod is a complete additional install, not a mod you enable on top of your Steam install. This creates a second folder for SH3 files in My Documents. Might or might not be the problem.

If running in Win10, setting programme compatibility to 'Run as administrator' seems advised as would be following Fiedler's guide.

Muti SH3 is available in the TOOLS folder of S3A, the Doenitz Elite Flotilla's SH3 Archive, link here: http://www.donitzeliteflotilla.com/forum/index.php?topic=1.0

It's also possible (but unlikely) that the (single?) mission you're trying to play is incompatible with this mod - I say unlikely because it's GWX-based and with GWX, I don't seem to have any diffs playing either the stock single missions, or the additional ones that GWX adds (I'm not sure if OneAlex includes extra missions).

Best also to launch SH3 and create careers via SH3 Commander - not strictly necessary but it enables use of SH3C's neat extra features, like having a Personnel Filefor your commanders with additional details of your patrols, the ability to have SH3 apply real ship names to sinkings, change the time spent in base between patrols, set the murkiness or clarity of the underwater external view and much else.

OneAlex user Adger might be able to help if he sees this - I don't know if he started with an existing install or not, so he may have started from a different point. In the meantime I'm going to see if I can get OneAlex up and running - if so it will be my third SH3 install! - and will report back.

Good hunting!

sh3-2021-03-13-13-53-54-22

 

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Well took maybe 20 minutes but I'm up and running with a fresh install of SH3 with the OneAlex GWX mod.

All I did was:

- as per the OneAlex readme, unzipped the folder SH3 and its contents to a new, separate folder outside of Program Files (x86) (to F:/SH3 in my case, I also have C:/SH3 for lightly-modded Steam based and F:/SHX for GWX+GUC-modded, again Steam based).

- then unzipped the contents of the Multi SH3 folder (downloaded from the DEF SH3 Archive) into the new SH3 folder (so that the file MultiSH3.exe and all the other files in its .zip are inside F:/SH3)

- ran Multi SH3 (selecting 'SHA' as the name of the new folder for the game files in My Documents)

- set sh3.exe to 'run as administrator' then ran the sim, which loaded fine (yes love the intro movie, tho don't care for the music!)

-  in the sim's Options menu, changed the voice language to German and loaded the Gibraltar mission.

Time to load the mission was very long (maybe a first-time thing, or down to the amount of content) but all was fine, including the widescreen mod. This is in Win 7.

I'll likely replace camera.dat file with my preferred one as I don't like the tilting world view and I want the ability to zoom the external view in steps, and will probably apply the compulsory head-dress mod,  but that apart the OneAlex mod looks fantastic out of the box!!!

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Edited by 33LIMA

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