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Fateful Strategy

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by Wolfpack, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I have checked it, Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, commander of U-35 and U-139 was credited with the sinking of 224 vessels, totallizing 535.900 tons of shipping!!! :eek: :eek:

    Source: Ashley Brown and Jonathan Reed, The naval units, 1986, Washington, D.C.

    (I can't post it, so here is the link)

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/1871/es-005_von_Arnauld.jpg

    [ 19 October 2002, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: General der Infanterie Friedrich H ]
     
  2. Andreas Seidel

    Andreas Seidel Member

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    Friedrich, this is the tonnage of all ships under Panamanian or Liberian flag. These ships are usually not Panamanian-owned. Panama and Liberia are the two primary countries used as "flags of convenience". So a large part of these ships are Japanese, German, English etc. but they fly a Panamanian flag and are registered in Panama.

    This is what caused an IMO financial crisis when both Panama and Liberia were unable to pay their dues to the IMO. But that's a story for another day.
     
  3. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Too many ships floating over there! Andreas, don't you think we should reopen Kiel and bring "Dönitz's spirit" back? :D [​IMG]
     
  4. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Andreas Seidel
    "BTW - anybody know what the sum total of all sinkings by U-Boote was in WW2 (tonnage/ships)?"

    Sorry if its a bit late [​IMG] , but here`s a breakdown of Allied Merchant shipping losses by cause.
    5,150 ships of 21,570,720 Gross Registered tons were sunk, of which.
    2828 ships of 14,687,231 tons sunk by submarine
    820 ships of 2,889,883 tons sunk by aircraft
    534 ships of 1,406,037 tons sunk by mine
    104 ships of 498,447 tons by warship raider
    133 ships of 829,644 tons by merchant raider
    99 ships of 229,676 tons by S-boat
    632 ships of 1,029,802 tons by other causes ( scuttling, capture, unknown, etc)
    It should be noted, these losses are for the total amount suffered in all theaters
    In an interesting side-note, which shows the massive size of the Allied merchant fleet, 1,600 ships of 3,000,000 tons were lost through "marine causes" (ie grounding, collisions,etc)during the war
    from "The Navy at War 1939-1945" by Stephan Roskill
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Well, now that I found the inspiration I might as well start getting to find why the subs lost the battle so fast in spring ´43.

    It seems the allied had enough of the U-boot and as well their new weapons were ready for action by then.

    During the Allied Conference in January 1943 at Casablanca, French Morocco, Great Britain and the United States agreed to deploy B-24 aircraft to patrol the mid Atlantic gap. Modified B-24's, with a radius up to 1,000 miles (1,609 km), could fly day or night in all but the worst weather to detect and attack submarines. The British immediately began operating Liberators, the Royal Air Force designation of the B-24, from bases in Ireland and Iceland to cover the eastern part of the gap, but the U.S. Navy did not send any aircraft to cover the western stretches of the mid Atlantic. During February 1943 21 ships totaling almost 200,000 tons were lost, mostly in the western gap. The next month in the Atlantic, the Allies lost 38 ships of 750,000 tons and an escort in four convoys.

    On 18 March a B-24 detachment of the 25th anti submarine Wing established a headquarters at St. John's, Newfoundland, and began anti submarine patrols on 3 April 1943. By the end of the month the Army Air Forces anti submarine Command had three B-24 squadrons operating from St. John's and Gander Lake, Newfoundland. The squadrons engaged in convoy coverage and in broad offensive sweeps ahead of the convoys. In April and May they made 12 sightings of German submarines, which resulted in three attacks, but the B-24's did not sink a submarine.

    During April 1943, Allied long range B-24 aircraft and escort carriers closed the mid Atlantic gap in air coverage, effectively neutralizing the German submarine offensive. That month the Germans sank only three Allied merchant vessels while losing four submarines. In May Germany lost 31 submarines in the North Atlantic, and on 26 May, Admiral Doenitz withdrew his boats from the North Atlantic, essentially conceding victory to the Allies in the Battle of the Atlantic. Almost 1,700 Allied ships crossed the ocean in June and July 1943 without a loss.

    Admiral Doenitz recognized that improvements in Allied tactics and weapons had turned the tide of war against the German submarines. He noted in a memorandum dated June 1943:

    "The war at sea is at present characterized by a decrease in the victories of our U.S. Navy against enemy merchant shipping. The principal exponent of this type of warfare, the submarine, is limited in operational capacity by the ever growing strength of the enemy's anti submarine defenses and in particular by the enemy Air Force, using as yet unknown equipment and weapons."

    Among the weaponds used were the absolute altimeter, the magnetic anomaly detector (MAD), the radio sonic buoy, improved airborne depth charges, longrange navigation, and airborne microwave radar.

    The absolute altimeter used a modified microwave radar to determine an aircraft's exact altitude to within 10 feet (3 m). This altimeter, replacing the less accurate barometric instrument, permitted aircraft to fly safely as low as 50 feet (15 m). The low altitude attack substantially improved the chances of destroying the target. This device was standard equipment on USAAF anti submarine aircraft by 1943.

    The magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) operated by sensing a change in the magnetic field of the earth, an anomaly that could be produced by the steel hull of a submarine.Combined with the use of a radio sonic buoy to listen for the sounds of a submarine, the MAD permitted an intensive search with a high probability of success.

    The 1st SeaSearch Attack Group also helped develop an effective depth bomb with shallow fuse settings for about 25 feet (7.6 m). Eventually, the Americans and British developed a blunt depth bomb that sank slowly and exploded at the desired depth to destroy the submarine. This depth bomb became standard in early 1943.

    The United States quickly developed the microwave radar, which the Germans never effectively countered. The first microwave sets were hand manufactured and delivered to the 1st SeaSearch Attack Group in June 1942. By February 1943, a skilled radar operator could identify surfaced submarines at more than 40 miles (64 km) and even the conning tower of a boat running decks awash at 15 to 30 miles (24 to 48 km).

    In general, the USAAF employed three broad types of anti submarine operations: (1) routine aerial patrol of waters in which an enemy threat might exist; (2) air escort or coverage of convoys within range of land based aircraft; and (3) intensive patrol of an area in which one or more submarines had been spotted, an operation the USAAF termed a "killer hunt" (in contrast to the U.S. Navy expression "hunter killer")

    The killer hunt took large numbers of aircraft and surface vessels from normal convoy escort and patrols, and the U.S. Navy did not regularly employ it until mid 1943. The escort aircraft carriers used this tactic very effectively against German submarines, including the "milch cows." The escort carriers coupled with ULTRA allowed the Allies to attack not just defensively, as in convoy escort, or fortuitously, as in aerial patrol, but also actively by seeking out the enemy submarines. Between June and October the escort carriers, guided by ULTRA intelligence, located and destroyed nine of the ten refueling submarines operating in the Atlantic Ocean.

    After the war, Admiral Doenitz cited the radar equipped very long range B-24 as a decisive factor in the defeat of the German submarines in the North Atlantic.

    http://uboat.net/allies/documents/usaaf_asw1.htm
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    But March 1943 would prove to be the zenith of Nazi submarines. Two new weapons, both the brainchild of the same man, would change the balance of power in favor of the Allies for the rest of the war.

    Henry J. Kaiser, an American businessman, recognized the need for mass-produced cargo ships even before America’s entry into the war. His “Liberty” ships, based on British designs, used outdated reciprocating steam engines to save materials and costs, since turbine engines were in limited supply. Design flaws caused several ships to break up in heavy seas. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt called them “Ugly Ducklings.” But they could be built in huge quantities quickly. The first sixty ships built for Britain in September 1941 became a flood of thousands of ships that served on every front. By July 1943, the Americans were building ships far faster than the Germans could sink them.

    The second innovation was the escort carrier. Another British design, the escort carrier used a merchant hull outfitted with a flight deck and carried twenty or so planes. Combined with new escorts with new weapons, Allied antisubmarine efforts skyrocketed in success in June 1943. The Canadian Navy went from six vessels in 1939 to almost 1000 ships, mostly frigates designed with shallow drafts to avoid torpedoes. More long-range aircraft, like the B-24 Liberator, were available. The “Hedgehog”— banks of mortars capable of saturating the ocean depths—were sub-killing explosives. Improvements in sonar, combined with better training in coordinated attacks on Wolf Packs, sent the German U-boats to the bottom in record numbers.

    In May 1943, convoy SC-130 was attacked by thirty-three U-boats, but suffered no losses and sank five subs. The Germans had lost fifteen U-boats in April, but in May 1943 forty boats were sunk. The U-boat commander, Admiral Karl Dönitz, temporarily pulled back his U-boats in June and losses dropped.

    http://www.worldwar2database.com/html/atlantic43_45.htm
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Naturally time for a couple of sub pics... :D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Werner Lott being addressed by Admiral Karl Dönitz and staff, upon return from the first war patrol. U 35 in background.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Pillenwerfer

    Pillenwerfer was a small device the German Navy created to help subs confuse the enemy sonar. It is released from the U-boat and the salt water starts a chemical reaction that produces millions of noisy bubbles. This "clouds" the sonar. It worked to some extent, but the slow U-boats usually couldn't get very far away to be happy about it.

    http://www.uboatwar.net/equipment.htm
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    One of the weapons for U-boats was the "Hedgehog":

    The hedgehog is a projector-type weapon that throws 24 small projectiles several hundred feet ahead of the attacking vessel. Immediately after entering the water the 32-pound projectiles arm and explode on contact with the U-boat or not until they reach the bottom of the ocean.

    The main drawback of the depth charge was that the attacking vessel usually threw the charges blind as the ASDIC done could not detect a U-boat directly underneath. With the Hedgehog the vessel could very often maintain contact until the moment of attack.

    Normally the U-boat did not survive 1-2 direct hits by the Hedgehog, although there are such cases.

    The Hedgehog was an effective weapon but was not as thrilling as the escort rushing in dropping depth charges onto the suspected U-boat's position.

    The first Hedgehog installation was put onboard the frigate (DE) HMS Bayntun on March 12, 1943.

    So successful have the forward throwing projectiles and acoustic torpedoes become that they are the mainstream anti-submarine weapons to this date.

    http://uboat.net/allies/technical/hedgehogs.htm

    'On a grassy slope in front of the targets they found a distinguished gathering of Service leaders and civilians, and jefferis put on a spectacular show for them. . . . After a while the Prime Minister looked at his watch. 'Time for lunch', he remarked, and began to walk back up the slope, the onlookers forming a line along which he passed. Taking a strategic position at the far end of the line, Goodeve looked round for Davies to support him, but he was nowhere to be seen, so when Lord Cherwell introduced the R.N.V.R. officer to the Prime Minister, Goodeve hurriedly brought up the subject of the Hedgehog on his own.

    'Mr Churchill listened intently, and then, looking again at his watch, he said: "I'm sorry, but I haven't time to come and see this weapon now. We are late already".

    'He turned away, and was about to get into his car when his daughter, who had just walked up to the group, firmly grasped his arm.

    '"We must see Captain Davies's bomb-thrower, Daddy", she pleaded, "of course there's time". Davies, with his winning manner, had not been idle!

    'Smiling ruefully, Mr Churchill gave in, and the procession of cars shot away to Whitchurch. Watching the Hedgehog give a highly impressive account of itself, the Prime Minister soon forgot all about his lunch.

    'The mortar was set to fire twenty-four rounds, two at a time in quick succession, until all the projectiles were in the air at once. Climbing the blue sky, they formed a strangely graceful pattern and as they reached their zenith they turned lazily over, before starting their swift dive to earth. Then came the bangs of the discharges as they landed round the target-the shape of a submarine outlined on the ground with white tapes.

    'The Prime Minister asked for a second salvo to be fired . . . then a third. Here at last, it seemed, was the instrument which could turn the tide of the U-boat war, and Goodeve did not have long to wait for repercussions of this successful demonstration.

    'The following morning the First Sea Lord sent for him.

    "This anti-submarine gun of yours . . . how soon can you arrange a trial for me?" asked Admiral Pound. And straightway he promised all possible assistance in getting the Hedgehog into operational use

    http://jwgibbs.cchem.berkeley.edu/CFGoodeve/cfg_bio.html

    [​IMG]
     
  10. De Vlaamse Leeuw

    De Vlaamse Leeuw Member

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    If Dönitz would have been in command of the U-Boats a loat sooner, he could have won the battle of the Atlantic.

    And few supplies would arrive in England and Russia via Murmansk and Archangelsk.
     
  11. Herr Kaleun

    Herr Kaleun Member

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    In command sooner??? Dönitz took command of u-boats in 1935!

    What Dönitz lacked early in WW2 were u-boats. Germany had only 56 commissioned u-boats at the start of hostilities. Dönitz wanted 300 boats before a war started. (100 boats on patrol, 100 boats returning from patrol, 100 boats under going refit and repair) With that many boats, the early Atlantic war could have been much different.
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Just some interesting stats:

    Of those who received Knight´s Cross in U-boat arm:

    124 U-boat commanders
    14 Leading engineers
    7 Petty officers

    With Oak Leaves:

    29 altogether, 27 boat commanders+
    Dönitz ( BdU )
    Hartmann ( FdU mediterranean )

    ;)
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The first U-boat to be given to Japan:

    U-511 ( IXC/40 ) left May 5 1943 and arrived at Kure August 7. Name change to RO-500.

    The U-511 had , if I remember right, three trips under its belt but was seen as in rather a good shape and thus suitable to be sent.

    ------

    Second was a brand new U-1224 ( IXC/40 ) left on February 15 1944 as R=-501. Sunk on May 13, 500 miles west of Cape Verde
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Some U-boat Glossary

    Aal Nickname for torpedo (eel).

    Agru-Front (Ausbildungsgruppe für Front-U-Boote). Training unit for frontier U-boats

    BdU Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote
    Commander-in-Chief for submarines, Karl Dönitz from 19 September, 1939

    Betasom Italian submarine command in Bordeaux.

    Blechkoller A form of nervous tension ("tin fright") that could be caused by depth charge attacks and resulted in violence or hysteria.

    Fächer The simultaneous fire of two or more torpedoes. (Fan shot)

    Fangschuß Finishing shot (coup de grâce).

    FdU Führer der Unterseeboote
    Chief/Leader/Head/Commander of U-boats.

    Kaleu Kapitänleutnant
    (also Kaleun or Kaleunt).

    Kimm The visual horizon.

    Kolibri The perfume for U-boat crews.

    Koralle The Codename for the Headquarters of Admiral Doenitz located near Berlin from 12.43 - 02.45.

    Mülltonnen An unfriendly word for wabos (depth charges) often used by seamen. (Garbage cans).

    Mahalla Nickname for convoys.

    Malings (Comic-) Pictures on the U-boat conning tower.

    Monsunboote U-boats that operated in the Far East and the Indian Ocean.

    Pastorius Codename for a spy operation when U-202 and U-548 set 8 agents ashore in the USA in June 1942.

    Soldatensender Calais British broadcast for psychologic warfare against the U-boat force.

    Spargel Nickname for the periscope (Asparagus).

    Werftgrandi Nickname for shipyard-workers.

    Wintergarten Nickname for U-boat's anti-aircraft platform.

    C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\uboat.net - The Glossary.htm

    ;)
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  16. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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