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Tactics Used By An

Auto TDC Player

Waypoint Tool- 1

Besides its automatic pilot ability, it has a few other good uses.

For almost half the war, radar is without a Plan Position Indicator, if we have radar at all. After an attack on a convoy, and wounding a few ships, I use the tool to keep track of an escaping damaged ship, which usually gets out of visual range before I am ready to attack it. This tactic is even better in bad weather. I click first in the direction that I wish to go for now, like after the closest target, so that my helmsman doesn't start changing course. Then I click it on the escaping ship and then click on its escape route direction. This frees up my TDC for more urgent action. It also allows for the TDC, when free, to track another escaping ship, in Manual. When I am ready to pursue the Waypoint escaping ship, I click the black button on the gyro repeater and look at the chart, and immediately make my adjustments to be in hot pursuit of the damaged vessel before it gets too far in range.

Waypoint Tool- 2

When a convoy is sighted, I mark the target on the chart to set it in the TDC. Although its percentage is low, the target is usually at a good distance. Then I use the Waypoint Tool to first change my course to 90 degrees off and towards the targets track, then click to the target, then click down its intended course track. Then I shift the TDC to Manual. While my submarine is changing course, I can lower the periscope, submerge, check for a layer, and use the mileage scale to see how far I have to go to the target's track and make any adjustments for what attack plan I need to use. This ends up looking like a number 4, or a mirrored number 4. This helps me think a bit clearer during all the excitement, and helps me get into a good position without losing my orientation. When I am ready, or the TDC says to get ready, I then use the periscope and view the target and shift back to Auto TDC for the rest of the attack.

Chart Depth

With the Silent Hunter charted soundings being not all that good, I like to look over the Top Secret charts at the Fleet Cartographer's Office before I go on patrol to my assigned sector or mission.

The Cartographer has all the latest accumulation of sounding data given to him by many sources including merchant seamen, captured Japanese charts and other submarine commanders.

This information is valuable for transiting straits and making harbor approaches for Photo Recon and Lifeguard assignments.

I set up a scenario in the Editor of the SH-CE version for January of 1943. This allows access to all the patrol zones in Silent Hunter.

Then I can look at the body of water of interest, and make a sketch of the land, the undersea pinnacles, and the 200' and 500' curves. On the bottom of the screen are the depths of water as your mouse rolls over them.

Now I feel properly briefed for the patrol.

Photo Recon & The TDC

While doing a Photo-Recon, when I get close enough to have a ship at anchor show up on the chart, while the periscope is up, I spacebar mark the closest anchored ship that is in line with the red cross. I then go to the TDC, and change it from Auto to Manual. Then I can lower the periscope while heading towards the red cross mark on the beach. This removes my periscope from the destroyer's vision. When the TDC range is about 4,300 yards or so, up ‘scope, then I have the red flashing square to the right of the cross hairs and can TAB take a picture.

SH Land Eliminator

When I suspect that a DD or other ship may be near or behind an island, the radar will show the targets and not the land mass if you advance the time compression to 4X for a short time with the PPI scope available.

SH-AI Contact Anticipator

When traveling an expanse of ocean to get to an area or waypoint, I adjust time compression to 1024X while on the chart screen, then with my finger on the Enter Key, ready to press, as soon as the time compression drops to 512X, I hit Enter. This gives me a warning of an approaching convoy or contact from 2 to 3 hours in advance.

Foggy Day

On the surface the fog is so thick it is useless to use the binoculars. But the fog is only at sea level. Raise the periscope and see above the fog. Targets are visually observed in the hi-scope. When the scope was lowered, contact was lost on plot and TBT. Re-establishing the hi-scope, regained the contacts on both plot and TBT.

Copyright © 2002 by Jerry Calenberg.  Used with the author's permission.