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Donitz and The Wolf Packs

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On 17 September 1942 Admiral Karl Donitz, C-in-C U-boats, issued the following directive: To all Commanders - 'All attempts to rescue members of ships sunk, therefore also fishing out swimmers and putting them into lifeboats, righting capsized lifeboats, handing out provisions and water, have to cease. Rescue contradicts the most fundamental demands of war for the annihilation of enemy ships and crews'. This order ended what had hitherto been a war in which the opposing factions treated each other with a certain respect, seaman to seaman, showing mercy where mercy was due.

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