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The Phineas T. Sleeper Archive of Discrete Information III

 Prior to creating this website, I delved into many areas of fascination. Much of what I encountered randomly on the web was of interest to me and I clipped it as I found it, with little interest in preserving the source information, inasmuch as it was to be a personal archive. Many references are, therefore, unidentified. But, since creating this site, it has occurred to me that this information, if assembled in one place, would hold tremendous potential for others. I, therefore, endow the Institute of Discrete Information with this cache of wisdom in hopes of helping wider humanity. It is the work of many, in some cases, anonymous souls. Some of it is my own. If anyone recognizes their work and would like credit, please contact the Institute with the website that is the source. I hope that you will find what you need here. Sincerely, The Author.

Content and artwork on this site are, unless otherwise indicated or attributed, copyrighted by the author. Many hours went into the creation of this site so please respect the copyright on this material by not copying or otherwise attempting to use any of it without asking permission.  February 1, 1998

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Aboard the U-boats:

"The crew wears all kinds of uniforms. From official working-suits to private chequered shirts or t-shirts - there were no limits."

Aal: Nickname for torpedoes (eels)
Agru-Front: (Ausbildungsgruppe für Front-U-Boote).Training unit for frontier U-boats
AK: (Äusserste Kraft (voraus). Command for "full speed".
Asto: (Admiralstabsoffizier). Staffofficer for the BdU. From Nov 1941 to May 1945 the 1. Asto/BdU was Fregkpt. Hessler (former Com. U-107).
A-Torpedo: (Atmosphärisch getriebener Torpedo). A compressed-air-driven torpedo.
B-Dienst: (Beobachtungsdienst). The German wireless observation service.
BdU: (Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote). Commander-in-Chief for submarines.
Biene: Nickname for aircraft. (bee)
Bold: A tool for deception of the enemy Asdic.
BRT: (Bruttoregistertonne). Gross register ton
Bundesmarine: The German Navy from 1848 - 1852 and again after 1956.
Einbaum: Nickname for the U-boat type II.(long-canoe)
Eisernes Kreuz: Iron Cross.
ES: (Erkennungssignal).Recognition signal given by flags, Morse signal or by signal pistol (the last was usual by U-boats)
Etmal: The distance the U-boat travelled in 24 hours (from high noon to high noon)
Eto: (Elektrischer Torpedo). Electric-driven torpedo.
Fächer: The simultaneous fire of two or more torpedoes. (fan)
FAT: (Flächenabsuchender Torpedo). A torpedo that was capable of running in pre-programmed patterns and loops.
FdU: (Führer der Unterseeboote). Chief/Leader/Head/Commander of Submarines.
Feindfahrt: War cruise/patrol against the enemy.
Flak: (from FLieger-Abwehr-Kanone) Anti-Aircraft gun.
Fliebo: (Fliegerbombe) Air bomb.
FT: Funktelegramm). Wireless message.
FuMB: (from FUnk-Mess-Beobachtung) Radar detection.
FuMO: (from FUunk-Mess-Ortung) Radio detecting or Radar.
GHG: (from GruppenHorchGerät) The underwater sound detector.
G 7a: A compressed-air-driven torpedo.
G 7e: Electric-driven torpedo.
Hakenkreuz: The Swastika.
I WO: (Erster Wachoffizier) First Watch Officer.
II WO: (Zweiter Wachoffizier) Second Watch Officer.
III WO: (Dritter Wach-Officier) Third Watch Officer (as a rule the "Obersteuermann".)
Kaiserliche Marine: The German Navy between 1871 - 1919.
Kaptlt.: (Kapitänleutnant). Lieutenant Commander
Kaleu: (also Kaleun or Kaleunt). Abbreviation for "Kapitänleutnant"
Kommandant: Commander.
Kriegsmarine: The German Navy between 1935 - 1945.
KTB: (Kriegstagebuch). War Log Book (War diary)
LI: (from Leitender Ingenieur). Chief Engineering Officer.
Lt. z. S.: (Leutnant zur See). Lieutenant.
Luftwaffe: German Air Force 1933 - 1945.
LUT: (Lagenunabhängiger Torpedo). A torpedo that was possible to shoot from every position and bearing.
Metox: A radar detection device.
Milchkuh: A nickname for the type XIV supply U-boat. (Milk Cow)
Mixer: A nickname for the torpedo-mechanics.
Monsunboote: U-boats that operated in the Far East and the Indian Ocean.
Naxos: An advanced radar detection device.
ObdM: (Oberbefehlshaber der Marine). Commander-in-Chief of Navy.
Oblt. z. S.: Oberleutnant zur See.
OKM: (Oberkommando der Marine). Equal to Britain's Admiralty.
OKW: (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) High Command of the Armed Forces.
Paukenschlag: Operation Drumroll / Drumbeat against the US waters and in the Caribbean in 1942.
Reichsmarine: The German Navy between 1919 - 1935.
Ritterkreuz: Knight's Cross (of the Iron Cross).
Seekuh: Nickname for large U-boats of type IX. (Sea Cow)
SKL: (Seekriegsleitung). German Supreme Naval Command)
Sonderführer: Special Commander.
Spargel: Nickname for the periscope (asparagus).
T 5: Other name for the acoustic torpedo (homing weapon)
TVA: (from Torpedo-Versuchs-Anstalt) An Institution for torpedo experiments.
UA: A U-boat that was built for Turkey in 1938-1939 as Batiray, in German duty as UA from 21 Sept, 1939.
UAA: (Unterseeboots-Ausbildung-Abteilung). A department for training men to become submariners.
UAK: (Unterseeboots-Abnahmekommando). This unit took over the recently constructed and commissioned U-boats from the shipyards.
UB: The former british submarine HMS "Seal". Commissioned into the Kriegsmarine as UB.
UC: Former Norwegian submarines.
UD: Former Dutch submarines.
UF: Former French submarines.
UIT: Former Italian submarines.
UJ: (Unterseebootsjäger) German submarine chasers, often old trawlers.
ULD: (U-Bootslehrdivision) U-boats training division.
UZO: (U-Boot-Ziel-Optik) The U-boat target optic (aiming binoculars).
Wabos: Nickname for Wasserbomben (Depth charges).
Waffen: Weapons (i.e. Waffen SS is 'Armed SS').
Wintergarten: Nickname for U-boat's gun platform. See U-boat Deck Guns
Zaunkönig: Nickname for acoustic torpedoes. (Wren)

Nicknames of U-boat commanders:
'Adi' Schnee: Adalbert Schnee, commander of U-201 & U-2511
'Ajax' Bleichrodt: Heinrich Bleichrodt, commander of U-48 & U-109
'Ali' Cremer: Peter Erich Cremer, commander of U-333
'Bertl' Endrass: Engelbert Endrass, Commander of U-46 and U-567
'Grosse Löwe': Karl Dönitz BdU (the big lion)
'Päckchen' Wohlfahrt: Herbert Wohlfarth, commander of U-556
'Prientje' 'Prienchen': Günter Prien, commander of U-47
'Recke': Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, commander of U-96
'Schweigsame Otto': Otto Kretschmer, commander of U-99 (Silent Otto)
'Teddy' Suhren: Reinhardt Suhren, commander of U-564
'Vati' Schultze: Herbert Schultze, commander of U-48 (Daddy Schultze)
'Wilde Moritz': Moritz von Willamowitz-Möllenberg, commander of U-459 (Wild Moritz)
Compiled by Gudmundur Helgason & Jürgen Schlemm
on the fabulous website at:

Learn about one of the last surviving Type IX U-Boats in the world. Take The U-505 Tour (Chicago Museum of Science and Industry)

DR. SLEEPER NOTE:  It is hugely informative and interesting, with live-action and sound segments!
Send comments to

AFA Battery Works, Hagen
AFA Battery Works, Supplier of all U-boat batteries
This is another part of the fine website mentioned above:

44 MAL 740 battery cell... the standard cell for the IX and XXI boats

Between the years 1905 and 1945 the Akkumulatoren Fabrik Aktiengesellschaft Berlin-Hagen (AFA) - (known as VARTA Batterie AG since 1962) - was the sole manufacturer of special batteries for the U-boats of the Kriegsmarine. AFA's great Hagen plant is situated in the city of Hagen on the Southeast edge of the industrial Ruhr valley. It was built in 1887 and within ten years had become one of the worlds greatest and most important battery and accumulator works.

Between the years 1905 and 1945 the Akkumulatoren Fabrik Aktiengesellschaft Berlin-Hagen (AFA) - (known as VARTA Batterie AG since 1962) - was the sole manufacturer of special batteries for the U-boats of the Kriegsmarine.

AFA's great Hagen plant is situated in ...Hagen on the Southeast edge of the industrial Ruhr valley. It was built in 1887.

In 1904 the AFA began construction and distribution of submarine batteries. The first Hagen built battery was for the Swedish submarine Hajen. Soon after the Germaniawerft in Kiel ordered four submarine batteries during 1905...

Between 1905 and 1918 ...AFA ...was the sole manufacturer of batteries for U-boats of the Kriegsmarine. AFA also produced numerous submarine batteries for other countries as well, such as Russia, Spain, Italy, Holland, and Sweden. In addition, and in conjunction with Siemens, the AFA helped produce Electro torpedoes beginning in 1916.

With the rebuilding of the Kriegsmarine after 1933, the AFA increased its production of U-boat and Torpedo batteries. Many new battery types were constructed and an extensive research and development program was carried out at the Hagen plant. During World War II, the Hagen plant was unable to produce sufficient quantities to meet the needs of the Kriegsmarine. AFA then built new battery plants near Hanover, Posen and Vienna, which began production in 1940, 1943 and 1944 respectably.

AFA peaked in its production during the war years. Its monthly production goals during the 1942-1944 period were more than 50 U-boat and over 1000 Torpedo-batteries produced by the Hagen, Hanover and Posen plants. The Hagen plant was the only known production site that the Allies had information about. The Hanover and Posen plants were not discovered by the Allies until 1945.

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Last update October 17, 1999.