The Breaking of German Naval Enigma
by Tony Sale | Back to Naval Enigma Index |

Tony Sale's
Codes and Ciphers

The Documents recovered from U559 - at a price

On 30th October 1942 radar contact was made on a U Boat by a Suderland flying boat on patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean. One of the destroyers sent to investgate was HMS Petard captained by Lt Cdr Mark Thornton. The destroyers arrived at about mid-day and began a heavy depth charge attack on the U Boat which was U559.

Eventually the U Boat was forced to the surface and its crew abandoned ship. Petard, which was nearest, then attempted to board it led by First Lieutenant Anthony Fasson accompanied by Able Seaman Grazier and Tommy Brown a young lad from the canteen.

Fasson made his way down to the Captain's cabin, found some secret looking documents and passed them up to Tommy Brown in the conning tower. Fasson and Grazier then went back down to try to recover some electronic equipment and while they were down the U Boat suddenly started to sink. Tommy Brown jumped clear but Fasson and Grazier were drowned.

The documents were taken back to Petard and eventually arrived in Bletchley Park on 24th November 1942.

The documents were the German Weather Short Code Book and the Short Signal Book and were vital in "getting back into Shark" after the blackout caused by the introduction of the 4 wheel Enigma.

Fasson and Grazier were awarded posthumously George Crosses. Tommy Brown received a George Medal.

This page was originally created by the late Tony Sale
the original curator of the Bletchley Park Museum