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At about 1100 on Friday, 13th November, "U 331" surfaced to periscope depth to receive signals from the Captain (S) (Mediterranean).
The First Lieutenant was at the periscope and reported enemy destroyers on either beam.
Concurrently, those remaining on board "U 331" had been making efforts to rescue their shipmates swimming in the water.
He at once ordered the crew to put on life-jackets in case a larger scale attack developed, necessitating abandoning ship. When spray subsided the U-Boat remained stationary on the surface.Survivors gained the impression that several destroyers were attacking. Survivors said the could not say how deep their boat had dived in this attack, as all the depth-gauges but one had been disconnected. The German Search Receiver was not in position, a fact which prisoners found it difficult to excuse, other than by saying that in daytime they normally relied more on visual than other methods for spotting aircraft. T.) At this time the sea was calm; there was high cloud, visibility being about 30 miles.Half an hour later the sound of asdics was once more evident, and thirty more D/C explosions were counted. It was usually, they said, the officer of the watch's duty to mount it in position. Tiesenhausen said that the responsibility for not having spotted the aircraft lay with Bootsmaat Meier, the starboard quarter look-out, but other survivors blamed Bootsmaat Siebels, who had the port quarter, whence the attack came. It was too late, when the aircraft was spotted, for Tiesenhausen himself to sound the alarm, but it was ordered by someone else, and "U 331" started to dive.to track, from a height of 50 feet, "L" released four Mark XI Torpex depth-charges set to shallow and spaced 36 feet apart. At this point the U-Boat was fully surfaced and several of the crew were seen on the bridge. After the spray had settled some of the crew, presumably those who had been on the bridge, were seen in the water. It was now observed that the U-Boat was making attempts to man the guns, but this was prevented by machine-gun fire from the aircraft.After this attack the U-Boat was stopped and some of the crew began to jump overboard. The German version of the machine-gun attack was, as might be expected, that their men were deliberately machine-gunned in the water and that only after this did they return the fire with their own guns.