Items of Interest
Brief Mission FAQ for Silent Hunter II stock game campaign
Lately, I've been playing way too much Silent Hunter II, a sequel to the popular Silent Hunter submarine simulation experience that I never had the privilege of playing. So, I thought I'd post all my mission reports in a single location for easy access, since I'm sure not everyone playing SH2 reads the SubSim game forums.

What follows will be a detailed description of my own personal successes (and failures) during many of the missions available in Silent Hunter II. Most of these will be directly formulated from my posts regarding these missions at SubSim's SH2 forum. Later reports will probably be posted directly here.

But first, a few things I highly recommend to enhance your playing experience.

  • Install Silent Hunter II patch v1.1 (English version patch), which fixes numerous things, like unbeatable AI destroyers.
  • Download and install the Projekt Messerwetzer patch for your language (Eng | Ger), which fixes Silent Running and now, as of December 25th 2002, multiplayer functionality has been repaired! Please see the README for details.
  • Install U-Boat mod v2.2 by Andreas Feilner (his Web site died; I have mirrored a copy here) -- It will change armor belt values for enemy warships to sane values. You will then be able to sink enemy warships during the early war without the luck of a full spread of torpedo detonations. You can forgo this for additional challenge (and frustration) at your option*.
  • Optionally you can install one of the many graphics or sound mods to improve the play atmosphere. You'll find most of those mods here. Personally I installed the sound mod and the TDC realism mod. Read the descriptions and see if anything catches you attention.

(*In retrospect, it would've probably been better had I played without U-Boat mod v2.2 simply because at only half way through the campaign I have already sunk over 500,000 tons at 96% realism level. That's pretty insane, eh? Since you can't change the outcome of the war, it's probably better to keep it real than bring home that much bacon. But I leave it to you to decide, Captain.)

If you have questions, the SH2 forums are a good place to start. If you're a modder or into mods, there are many people actively working on SH2 mods that post regularly. There's much to learn and some cool campaigns and single missions are being written and distributed there by word of mouth (email).

For each mission write up I intend to include the objectives at a glance, my situation report for the mission itself, and when applicable the final out come. Returning to base is always a secondary objective, and thus, not necessary to get credit for the mission, but I think it increases the odds of getting a medal. Your choice. I'll also note that there's an important distinction between enemy shipping, enemy warships, and enemy cargo ships. In some missions, warships and cargo ships are fair game for meeting tonnage requirements, but in some missions you cannot substitute tonnages from one class of ships for another. Enemy shipping green lights any enemy ship. The other two discriminate based upon type, warships, and cargo ships, respectively. Keep that straight and you'll do fine.

Since the latest Projekt Messerwetzer release kills old save games, it is unlikely I'll ever be able to finish this now. I will need to replay every mission over again. I think I'll probably spend more time using the new multiplayer code to engage other human opponents, instead.

  1. Perkin Flotilla
  2. English Coast
  3. Scapa Flow
  4. Western Approaches
  5. Sub Hunt
  6. Enemy Landings (complete up to here, piecemeal for the rest for now - 05/03/02)
  7. Blitzkrieg missing
  8. Lone Wolf missing
  9. Shadow Duty
  10. Gauntlet
  11. Malta Convoy
  12. Paukenschlag (unvisited)
  13. ? ... ?

Mission 1 Pekin Flotilla

Primary Objective: Sink one Polish destroyer (Actual requirement 1500 tons -- same difference.)
Secondary Objective: Sink all three Polish destroyers (Targets listed by warship name.)
Chance Encounter: None

Author's Note: It's rumored that if you don't receive the Iron Cross, 2nd Class after this mission, your medal earning ability will be seriously hampered. You'll have to sink all three destroyers to earn it.

An easy mission, provided you intercept ahead of the destroyers and place your shots carefully, as they're moving at very high speed. If you have any duds, you'll fail your secondary objective, unless you give the remaining destroyers a reason to stick around.

Mission 2 English Coast

Primary Objective: Sink 3,000 tons of enemy shipping
Secondary Objective: Sink 9,000 tons of enemy shipping
Chance Encounter: British light cruiser

I just nailed English Coast.

I located the delicious light cruiser. I torpedoed the closest escort (it was in the way) and then proceeded to launch two more at the light cruiser at 3000m as it steamed away nearly perpendicular to me. No duds. It listed to port and spewed forth several massive fireballs (use your imagination).

With that task complete, I turned west to take on a five ship merchant convoy with my remaining torpedos. I targeted the first 8000 ton monster steaming ahead at 6kts. Dud. No one reacts. I target the second ship and sink a small 3000 ton vessel. The three merchant ships and trailing destroyer all zig zag, turn hard west from their original south easterly course.

Out of torpedos, I flank ahead of the first ship, surface, and start riddling it with 20mm fire (what it's most useful for) while the destroyer attempts to nail me from just over 5km away, at night with no moon. Sadly, the merchant ship stays afloat despite my best efforts and I take several hits.

To my surprise, my sonar officer alerts me to a new merchant ship south of my position. I flank outside the destroyer's range and intercept another slow merchant ship (3k tons). I close to 900 meters and proceeded to rake this one with 20mm fire as well. Much to my surprise, it burst into flames fore and then aft. Suddenly the air is filled with the bang of a large explosion and much to my amusement, the ship begins to sink.

I avoid an incoming task force as it closes on my general area 50nm out and run home, mission complete.

Mission 3 Scapa Flow

Primary Objective: Sink 2,500 tons of enemy warships
Secondary Objective: Sink 10,000 tons of enemy warships; Sink 28,000 tons of enemy warships
Chance Encounter: None

A fun mission, you are tasked with sinking British top of the line warships in their own naval base! Go around the northern side of the island, Scapa Flow, and make your attack by approaching through a narrow channel on the western side of the island. Patrols are minimal. You can sink a British battleship and a British cruiser. It's also possible to approach directly from the east through an even narrower channel. The warships are stationary in the harbor, ordered battleship to cruiser from east to west. So the battleship comes up first if you approach from the latter mentioned eastern channel, and the cruiser comes up first if you approach from the western channel after circumnavigating the island.

Mission 4 Western Approaches

Primary Objective: 10,000 tons of enemy cargo shipping (notice ship type discrimination here)
Secondary Objective: 20,000 tons of enemy cargo shipping
Chance Encounter: Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal

Four British and one French merchant ship can be intercepted during the night around 50nm south of the marker buoy.

Mathura, Lochgoil 8124 tons
North Conwall, Senneville; 6242, 6746 tons
Swiftpool 4829 tons

Total sinkable tons: 34565

A Dutch merchant ship and an American tanker will move about the area to annoy you, as well.

Two approximately 1800 ton British destroyers will briefly patrol the area before moving on to greener pastures. They're not worth the torpedoes. If you try to intercept the merchant ships north west of the marker buoy, you'll meet up with one or both as they escort the later helpless ships out.

Both 8000 ton ships sail alone. The remaining two British and one French ship sail in a unescourted convoy.

The Ark Royal makes an appearance south of the marker buoy, and is best dealt with in grid square BF16. Her course of 3 degrees takes her and her five escort destroyers and and two light cruisers right along 8 degrees, 0 minutes west. Interception will happen sometime in the morning between 6:30 and 8:30 GMT. Your best bet is to lie quiet in waiting in the area with 112m depth and attack from the port side, where only two destroyers are in the way.

With UBoat mod v2.2, she has sane armor values and you can cripple her with two hits, though three is safer. Four should sink her, though I've never had less than one dude, so I can't confirm that yet. If you cripple her, the fleet will slow to 10kts and two destroyers will come looking for you (possibly).

You'll have two or three hours (after that they steam back to 21kts) to escape undetected and race north to intercept (still daylight, get ahead and wait) and finish her off. You can probably take down a light cruiser as well if you don't have any duds the second round (yeah, right).

Good hunting.

Author's Aside: Oh my... I'm under water and a full load of depth charges set too shallow just blew up in the thermals above me, then suddenly my objective is complete, the Ark Royal succumbed to three torpedos and sank. (How my look out knew this at 95m down is debatable, but if I can just escape I'm scott free, unless I try my luck for a few cruisers now.)

Mission 5 Sub Hunt

Primary Objective: Grid AN 24 must be patrolled (the marker)
Secondary Objective: 5,000 tons of enemy warships must be sunk; 10,000 tons of enemy warships must be sunk
Chance Encounter: British Battle-cruiser Renoun

Author's Note: If you save this mission, it *will* crash. This crash is well documented. It will happen!

Author's Aside: I wasn't able to take on any of the hostiles in the mission. I completed the primary via probably the same back channel, then later trailed the assault fleet in. Much to my disgust, four of the six ships ran aground. Two sank immediately; the others never freed themselves (nor did they try). The remaining cruiser and destroyer were obliterated by the three shore batteries.

Later I destroyed a 'phantom' British submarine that shot down three or four bombers idling in the middle of the ocean. I idled within 5000m with lots of time compression and it only appeared when I moved closer. I proceeded to sink it, and got credit, but I don't think it even bothered to return fire. It was undamaged until I showed up.

Quite strange mission.

Mission 6 Enemy Landings

Primary Objective: 10,000 tons of enemy shipping must be sunk
Secondary Objective: 30,000 tons of enemy shipping must be sunk
Chance Encounter: British Battleship task force; British Aircraft Carrier task force

Author's Note: The radio message pertaining to one of the task forces in the area states the grid area erroneously. You're given a grid that does not exist. However, the task force in question really is to the north west as the message indicates. Ignore the specific grid square reported.

I blew the whole night shadowing the resupply convoy, performing snapshot attacks twice. The former I used T1s at max speed on a distant target and T2s on a closer one such that impact would be nearly simultaneous, preventing any zigzag from resulting in a missed opportunity. Three of four were duds, but one merchant violently exploded some time thereafter. Later after shadowing I snapshot two TIIs, one was a dud, against another large merchant ship which sank in a similar fashion after the fact.

Time to impact was generally two and a half to three minutes, so I was long gone before the four allied destroyers leading the convoy knew what had happened. I was never spotted and slipped away easily both times.

I miscalculated the third intercept and had to break off. The four destroyers had surrounded the remaining two merchant ships. By this time the British intervention fleet with a Battleship was within 10nm south west, so I headed for it at flank speed. Little did I know I picked up two destroyers from the convoy I had just broke contact with, despite it being the middle of the night, though moonlight it was.

I was spotted immediately by the battleship task force, despite running desks awash and submerging before visual contact. Two more destroyers vectored in from the front. Now surrounded, front and rear, I figured I'd suicide the British cruiser. With so many duds, the Battleship was beyond reach.

With destroyers within 1500m on all sides at 15-25kts, I ran flat out at 10m towards the light cruiser and snapshot four tubes at 800m. Two passes the target starboard. Two hit directly. But no joy. I cursed the destroyers and defiantly turned hard to starboard to blow my stern tube, a last ditched effort to bring home the goods.

I failed... at least, intially. The torpedo was a direct hit at 450m astern of my ship. But Norfolk refused to sink, listing to port and badly burning. I dived quickly, knowing what was close around me. Shortly thereafter, as fate might have it, my target after thrice being stuck down, succumbed to magazine explosions and sunk.

I spent three hours dodging depth charges at 191m, the deepest the boat could stand (including a full hour of real time play, which was intense), before I finally escaped (or they gave up?).

Thankfully the trip home was uneventful and I slipped past a carrier task force with only three torpedos left. No doubt, all duds, but loaded and ready just in case.

Mission 9 Shadow Duty

Primary Objective: Eight contact reports must be made
Secondary Objective: 10,000 tons of enemy shipping must be sunk; 20,000 tons of enemy shipping must be sunk; Grid AK 81 must be patrolled
Chance Encounter: British light cruiser

Author's Note: If you save this mission you *will* lose any contact reports you have made!

You start off to the sounds of screws turning close, but it's only your resupply ship. The sonar officer shouts about three contacts and I check the CiC. I run desks a wash in the general direction, then dive at 9000m. At flank, I close on a course in direct opposition to the three contacts, periscope up. At 4000m someone shouts about seeing a British light cruiser while I look through the scope. (Maybe he saw it in his dreams, I don't know, but somehow the crewman was dead on, for there was a cruiser.) Moments later, one of the destroyer escorts turns toward me, but finds itself lodged squarely within the British cruiser. It drags it at 16x real-time 500m away from me before freeing itself. (Realism, where?)

I closed to 800m on a perpendicular course at flank speed, scope still up at 10m down. I shoot off a pair of Tiis down the scope, and take her to 150m. Within 50 seconds, the cruiser is no more. I flee the area, completely ignored by the two destroyer escorts, and surface at 5nm out.

I head towards my objective, and reach it. I then head due west and pick up a largish convoy. I make eight contact reports 8nm out and south of the convoy, then break for an independent attack.

The convoy seems to consist of limitless merchant ships of many classes from three or four nations. I nearly run into the whole group, only seeing them at 10m down, scope up, 4000m off the port bow. Strangely, they appear to be running in all different kinds of strange courses, and even running into each other at times.

I close to 3000 meters and line up for a shot on a nice British tanker with my T1. I took the liberty of reloading all my tubes with T1s, set to maximum speed. I so love the T1.

I fire off a shot, but it misses astern some moments later. I begin searching for another target, but am happy to learn my stray torpedo bagged a ship after all!

A British destroy moves on 4500m east of my position as I move into the center of the western most portion of the convoy. Looking for quality shots is difficult, as the ships continue to run in circles around each other, stop instantly, and even turn 180 degrees instantaneously (realism, where?).

I succeed in expending my entire load of torpedos, with no duds or misses (and four near misses). The British escorts, at one point within 2500m, never care to interrupt my operations.

Later I speed home, taking on a few British bombers on the way, all failing to hit me.

My final tonnage was 104,856 tons, with two torpedos wasted on that mere 6,000 ton British light cruiser that could've gained me another 10,000 tons (2 x 8K ton tankers - light cruiser).

I sank six tankers (8874 * 4, 8319, 9056!), six merchants (8124 * 4, 6742 * 2), and a light cruiser (5999).

Author's Aside: At no point (realism, where?) did any escort bother to intervene or bomber score a hit.

Mission 10 Gauntlet

Primary Objective: Grid CG 96 must be patrolled
Secondary Objective: 5,000 tons of enemy warships must be sunk (basically the light cruiser)
Chance Encounter: British light cruiser

I actually ran the whole of the gauntlet without any troubles. My only mistake was to surface too close to British shore batteries (and one American -- scenario error?) by about 500m. Oops. The crippling hits nearly ended that mission. I managed to get an additional 500m off and then blow surface just before my boat sunk from water leaks. But the British patrol craft finished me off after I severely damaged it with 88mm fire.

In any event, I managed to evade all the patrol ships, including one that passed 50m over me at 48m away and kept right on going, snuck into the Gibraltar base, sunk three destroyers and a light cruiser, and nearly left without dying. Only that small mistake on my part cost me the mission.

Next time I'll dispatch with the light cruiser immediately, since it's on it's way south east in the beginning north of your position, then run the channel, avoiding that whole mess. Too bad, it was kind of exciting.

I can confirm that the second group, labeled Escort, will can you if detected. I was canned once by that same group. They're British corvetties, actually. So is the first one, I believe, as I saw it on my last run aground near the entrance of the straight (realism, where?) sinking. Rather funny.

There are a few ways you can approach this mission. Last first, once you do clear the straight, be very aware that allied air coverage is in full force. I've been nailed twice by allied bombers after a successful run and it ain't fun.

That said, I prefer to take on the light cruiser first. It's immediately north of your position. If you arrive by stealth, you can catch the escorts off guard and sink both the cruiser (T1s) and a trailing destroyer (TII). If you fire at the cruiser first, then the destroyer, with T1s and TII respectively, you have a good chance of nailing both simultaneously before anyone reacts. Then, get the hell out of there.

My last and final run, I actually was canned right after sinking the cruiser and had my sonar and batteries damaged, (hull 40%), but managed to escape, repair, then run the channel at dawn the following day.

It actually went quite well. I ran surfaced desks awash for as long as possible (first patrol ran aground, huh?) and submerged before the second patrol Escort group was in range. Hugging the African coast, I moved through, sometimes as slow as 4kts, since I needed to stay down for the entire day. Apparently CO2 levels can get up to 50% without any harm done. That was useful to know.

Once out of the channel, I traveled by night and submerged at 1/3 the whole of the day.

Your other option, is to immediately run the channel and avoid the light cruiser group initially. This is actually a much more fun way to play. Allow the task force to pass by unscathed, avoid the channel patrols, then plot a course right into the Gibraltar harbor! It gets a little shallow, but worry not, for the only patrol ships in this area (23kts ones) are light patrol craft. They'll torpedo and gun you on the surface (light naval guns), but you're ignored at periscope depth completely.

So, move northwards into the harbor allow the two destroyers within the task force that wish to leave the harbor to do so without molestation, then proceed to sink the two remaining destroyers (which quite possibly block your shot) before taking on the cruiser. It will be full stop. Both DDs will be cruising at around 1 or 2 kts.

Watch out for the shore batteries. Getting nailed after a successful sneak sucks big time. Don't surface until you're at least 7000m from them, further if you have the batteries for it.

If you fail to sink the cruiser, you cannot easily complete your secondary objective.

Good hunting.

Author's Aside: I can confirm that British patrol craft will torpedo you (oops).

Mission 11 Malta Convoy

Primary Objective: 10,000 tons of enemy cargo shipping must be sunk
Secondary Objective: 20,000 tons of enemy cargo shipping must be sunk
Chance Encounter: None

I can't say I had any trouble with this mission at all -- on the first run!

I headed toward Malta and transfered a T1 forward. After a while, contact reports began flowing in and I decided to intercept the convoy north west of the island in the channel, north west of Malta.

Strangely I was able to get visual sighting on most ships within 8-10nm. Is this reasonable? I proceeded to periscope depth around 6nm and went flank. The convoy was heavily escorted with a pair of destroyers, some corvetties, and two light cruisers. More warships, in fact, than merchant ships. Only four cargo ships and a tanker were present.

I closed to ~4500m and let the convoy have four forward tubes. I fired two TIIs at cargo, then two faster T1s later, timed such that they'd hit simultaneously. It turns out, I didn't need to bother time things to avoid the convoy zig, for this convoy was perpetually engaged in zigging and zagging into itself, collisions abound. Who the hell is commissioned to steer these things?

Obviously, all four torpedoes missed wildly, even passing through a pile of close ships several levels back. A quick turn allowed me to angle my stern tube at another cargo. I fired, and to my amusement, I nailed a British light cruiser instead. It exploded immediately after the hit, but did not sink.

The whole of the convoy slowed to around 8kts, thereafter, and I decided I'd chance my luck and pursue and reload instead of give up and try anew. Things paid off.

I surfaced out of range and sped south, around the convoy, to intercept it from its southern side. By the time I got in the sweet spot, the ships had slowed to ~0-4kts, oddly, and some ships were absolutely not moving at all. Who the hell crews these ships?

Tubes ready to go, I target some nice merchants, offset a degree to port, and fire away four tubes. Sick irony, a stray torpedo catches the rear of the crippled light cruiser -- and sinks it! -- the rest miss, barely.

Needless to say, this was rather annoying, but I crept close, now at 11m down at silent running (if the ships aren't moving, I surely needn't be much either) and turned to greet a large British tanker with my stern tube. At 800m it was a sure kill, and I struck gold.

Now, very much within the convoy itself, surrounded by five escorts pinging away within 800m, I proceeded to wait for reloads and fire in turn as each torpedo became available at the closest merchant ship choosing to idle at 0kts.

Within 1500m at all times of valuable targets, my final three torpedos struck gold, in twenty minute intervals, whilest the escorts passed by, ignoring me and moving in seemingly random directions, like the rest of the convoy!

Out of the whole of thirteen shots (one transferred forward), I only scored five hits. But it was enough to bring home 30,000 tons.

I went deep to 200m, left at 1kts, and finally turned north to return to base.

Author's Aside: Other's have reported that the corvetties in this mission are difficult to dealt with, spot you quickly, and depth charge you to death rather precisely. I didn't experience this personally, but I've seen it mentioned a couple times. There are more warships than merchants in this convoy, so sit tight and make every shot count.