October 30, 2011
I just read your article on the Surcouf, and found it a good read. However, I found several of the allegations to be unsupportable.
According to what I've found, the Surcouf was only at New London from sometime after November 11th to November 27th 1941, after it had completed a 3-month refit at Portsmouth Naval Yards:
According to uboat.net's losses lists for 1941 and 1942, no U-boats were lost anywhere near New England during or near this time frame: http://www.uboat.net/fates/losses/1941.htm
Also, this statement is not entirely accurate: "US tankers were being sunk off the North East coast of the United States, and Surcouf had been caught fueling a German U-Boat. Some think that after sailing in January, the Surcouf was in the vicinity of the Panama Canal, where she was run down accidentally by the US freighter Thompson Lykes, but this ship had a tonnage not a great deal more than the French Submarine. When viewed in dry dock after the freighter had hit some object, the damage to her bows looked somewhat minor, much less than would be expected if she had collided with Surcouf."
US tankers were indeed being sunk off our eastern coast, thanks to bad security on our part, but no solid evidence exists that Surcouf refueled any U-boats. The U-boats operating off our eastern coast were mostly Type IXB's
My thanks for your comments.
Of course we will never know the truth about the demise of Surcouf, unless her wreck turns up to perhaps throw some light on her sinking.
In the meantime, most written about Surcouf remains conjecture.
I am afraid from personal experience in HMAS Australia being involved with de Gaulle's debacle at Dakar in September 1940, and losing our Walrus aircraft and her three crew to Vichy fighters.
Taking two hits onboard from French cruisers, I am loath to trust the French.
Here is an interesting comment: