On January 14,1942 U123 surfaced so close to New York Harbor that the rides at Coney Island could be seen silhouetted against the evening sky. Captain Reinhard Hardegen expected the U.S. east coast to be blacked out after more than a month at war and was surprised to see the glow in the sky from Manhattan’s millions of lights.
U-123 took part in the opening of Unternehmen Paukenschlag (“Operation Drumbeat”), also called the “Second Happy Time” in January 1942. She began by sinking the cargo ship Cyclops about 125 nmi (232 km; 144 mi) southeast of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia on the 12th.
Moving down the coast, she sank Norness, Coimbra, Norvana, City of Atlanta and the Latvian Ciltvaira.
She was also credited with sinking San Jose on 17 January, although this ship was actually lost in a collision.The Malay was only damaged because Hardegen had under-estimated her size and…
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