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Danger of being located by radio triangulation when sending messages

Discussion in 'World war II at Sea' started by Fatboy Coxy, Nov 10, 2021.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    On Dec 7 Carrier Division 2 was with the rest of Kido Butai. is it possible you're thinking of another incident? Perhaps the two destroyers which bombarded Midway on Dec 7? Later of course Car Div 2 was detached with two DDs and the cruisers Tone and Chikuma to support the second attack on Wake Island.
     
  2. Bolshevik

    Bolshevik Active Member

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    Ah yes, the last truly successful foray by "Salmon and Gluckstien" as they were known, but really, the surface raiders never did pull their weight compared to the money and metal that was used to construct them.

    That could have gone to building the 300 UBoats that Karl Doenitz asked for originally, and how different the battle of the Atlantic might have been if the First Happy Time was conducted by those 300 UBoats rather than the paltry amount that Doenitz began the battle with.

    Altogether, those surface ships were a waste of money and raw materials compared to the results achieved and the manpower needed to crew them and maintain them.

    Bolshevik
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The Battle of the Atlantic would have certainly been different.

    The British, freed from countering German heavy warships could have invested all that money they spent on capitals ships in surface escorts instead. Thus, the German U-Boats would have had a far more difficult time than they did historically.

    This is the usually failing of this What-If...Only the Germans are allowed to change their output...The Allies are not. What-Ifs are not a one-way-street.

    However, such speculation has no bearing on the performance of Lutjens. His only failing was the overestimating of British radar. He believed he was still on British radar, even when he was not.
     
  4. Bolshevik

    Bolshevik Active Member

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    Ah but was the British expenditure on NEW vessels really that large?

    And initially, with a reliance only on Asdic and no real air coverage to speak of, the UBoats were painfully difficult to find let alone to deal with.
    The Allies really were only able to make good merchant losses on the entry of the United States into the war, and the shipbuilding prowess of the Henry Kaiser method, that could turn out a merchant vessel at amazing speed, and with electro welded hulls as well.

    The Kriegsmarine had a field day all over again AFTER the US entry with the Second Happy Time. And the battle of the Atlantic still had until Doenitz called off the UBoats in mid to late 1943 wasn't it?

    American shipyards won the battle, and British shipyards were certainly no match in terms of output and speedy construction or repairs.

    But remember that Britain was so short of escorts that those 50 four stacker destroyers were needed to fill the gaps, and the Canadian Navy had to expand to many times it's peacetime strength as well.

    All this took time, and money.

    That first happy time period was bad enough due to the technological backwardness of British anti submarine methods. And that took time to remedy.

    Their intelligence effort also took time to bite into German codes, and I believe that the Germans had quite a long time with their own affairs without interpretation from Bletchley Park.

    And the air coverage also took time to remedy, with Arthur Harris starving Coastal command of suitable aircraft and pushing newly finished four engine aircraft over Germany rather than the Atlantic.

    300 UBoats in September of 1939 might have given the Germans a First Happy Time that lasted a whole lot longer.

    All these Allied improvements in anti submarine methods and operations took time and experience to gain.

    Anyway, it's an interesting topic. Luckily, the Germans were big ship believers just like their British counterparts, and the Americans and Japanese as well. The Italians certainly built big monsters as well, and their submarines were not anywhere near as effective as German crews were
     
  5. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    300 U-boats - with trained crews - wouldn't just appear magically in 1939. Such a force would take several years to build up, and the effort would make it crystal clear that the Germans were preparing for war with Britain - something Hitler hoped to avoid, we might recall. A massive U-bootewaffe had no other conceivable value. The situation would be similar to the dreadnought race in the runup to WWI, and Britain's response would be the same - build up their own fleet to match and outmatch the threat. Historically by 1939, when the Kriegsmarine had only a couple dozen ocean-going U-boats, the British were starting to build specialized escort ships, corvettes and Hunt class destroyers; if the Germans started earlier, so would they.

    Corvettes and the later frigates were built in commercial yards, minimizing competition with construction of destroyers, battleships, and other warships. Britain had ample available manpower, merchant sailors, fishermen, yachtsmen, etc. who could be quickly trained to operate relatively simple ships. Submarines on other hand are among the most complex warships to build or operate. Training say four or forty 50-man crews is a much greater task than preparing 200 or 2000 men to man a destroyer or a battleship. Historically, as early as 1941 the deterioration in the quality of U-boat personnel was becoming apparent (Clay Blair's Hitler's U-boat War is a great source).

    Nor are ships and men the whole story. Knowing that the Germans were preparing for renewed submarine war, the British would prepare as well. There's a big difference between thinking something might happen and knowing that it will. There would be some missteps like the overconfidence in the capability of Asdic, but there would also have been considerable attention given to the problem of meeting a massive U-boat onslaught.

    Incidentally, Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, architect and commander of the Cold War Soviet navy, a force also largely dependent on submarines, criticized Donitz and the Germans in his book Sea Power of the State for not supporting the U-boats with adequate surface and air forces. He considered that a balanced force would be more effective than a one-dimensional threat.
     
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  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Btw, wasn't the schnorkel a Dutch invention that the Germans learnt to use soon? Well, I might be wrong...
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The British invented a snort in 1916, but it went nowhere.

    The Italians invented a snort in 1926, but it went nowhere.

    The Dutch invented a snort in 1938, and was going nowhere...Until Germany was losing the Battle of the Atlantic.
     
  8. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm thinking it was mistaken location or IDs. It WAS one of the reasons Kimmel sent Halsey south. This is mentioned in the Pearl Harbor Hearings.
     

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