German submariners referred to the period from July to October 1940 as Die Glückliche Zeit, or the Happy Time, when their wolf packs sank more than 280 Allied ships.
It was not too happy for Convoy HX-77. Between Oct. 11 and 13, a wolf pack targeted its 42 cargo ships, picking off six vessels carrying 35,000 tonnes of supplies and war materiel to the United Kingdom.
At just after 10 p.m. in a gale on Oct. 11, the cargo ship Port Gisborne was hit by a torpedo from U-48 in the North Atlantic, about 180 kilometres off Ireland.
The crew abandoned ship in three lifeboats, but survivors in one boat drowned after it capsized in the storm, bringing the total of dead to 26. The other two lifeboats, carrying 36 crew and one gunner, drifted apart in the storm.
On Oct. 14, survivors in...