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Uboats, Britain and Enigma

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by Lone Wolf, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    I'm reading a novel called Fatherland by Robert Harris which is set in 1964 in a Germany that won the war in Europe (an interesting read so far). There is a bit in it were the writer explains that Germany discovered that the Brits were breaking their codes, changed all their coding machines, subsequently had an easy time in the Battle Of The Atlantic and starved Britain into submission. How feasable is that scenario ? Were the allies actually that dependant on code breaking or could the Battle Of The Atlantic have been won anyway ? I always believed that the UBoats were having an increasingly hard time of it due to technical and tactical advances.
     
  2. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    I've read somewhere without breaking the enigma machine/codes the war would lasted atleast 3 years longer....

    With the early codes broken the convoy's could simple be directed around the uboat threat rerouting them without getting contact.
    Later when a new Enigma was introduced losses on shipping rose again (the so called Happy Times of spring 1942...for the Uboats that is).
    When this new Enigma's code broken in 1943 or so messages could be decoded within 24Hrs and with the Uboats possitions known, Allied shipping could avoid them and the Uboats could activily be hunted.

    http://users.telenet.be/d.rijmenants/en ... uboats.htm

    Altough it's probable completly different i liked the movie Fatherland (with Rutger Hauer)
     
  3. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    By this time were the allied patrol planes not finding out large numbers of U-boats while they were on the surface.
     
  4. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    I don't know about the atlantic but in the med they knew where the boats where so sent planes to search the area.

    Needless to say they were very effective

    FNG
     
  5. Ossian phpbb3

    Ossian phpbb3 New Member

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    IIRC the "Happy Time" was after the US entry into the war and before convoys were introduced on the East Coast / Gulf of Mexico. With unescorted ships sailing up a coast with city lights fully on, all a U-boat skipper had to do was sit and wait for targets to steam slowly past....
     
  6. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    hundreds of us merchent seaman died because adm KING was to proud and all knowing to except advise and expertise offered freely by the RN in 42 ..so lessons hard learned by the british had to be learned again in america because of KINGS bullheadedness and chauvinism
     
  7. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    ULTRA did help the British re-route convoys out of the U-boat wolfpacks area's, so reducing losses.
    However, while losses would have been greater, the amount of U-boats operational during the period before the USA entered the war was too low to have forced Britain into submission.
     
  8. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    Hmmm :neutral:
    while it made the western allies task far easier, it had almost no impact on the eastern front. So in my view, the Soviets would still have arrived in Berlin sometime in 1945.
     
  9. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    But a screwed-up Western Allies means a screwed-up lend-lease, which even the most ardent pro-Soviet historian has to admit was jolly useful.

    Plus potentially no Second or even Third Front (Italy or Normandy) so less distraction for the Germans. No huge bombing campaign from the West so plenty of Luftwaffe fighters and no disruption of production or transport...


    I'd say a generous estimate is the Red Army rolls into Berlin in 1946/7
     
  10. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    A successful U-boot war wouldn't have had much of an effect on the shipping of lend lease, because the vast (and I mean VAST) majority of lend lease material which arrived was shipped from Alaska to Vladivostok.

    Unless the Germans/Japanese got their Navies into the Northern Pacific Ocean, there would not have been much of an impact on lend lease shipping
     
  11. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I was always under the impression that the Alaska-Vladivostok route was only used by single merchantmen (flying Russian flags to avoid the Japanese) in relatively small numbers, and that it was not exploited as greatly as it could have been because it placed too much strain on the Trans-Siberian railway (which was single-track for most of its length, and already heavily used in bringing troops etc to the Western half of the USSR).

    If it was such a good route, why did they ever bother with the horribly dangerous Murmansk route? Was it purely to get things to the front asap? Or to show Uncle Joe that we were making heroic efforts and sacrifices?


    I am, as ever, happy to be educated. :D
     
  12. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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  13. Che_Guevara

    Che_Guevara New Member

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    hmm, considering these points and the add. time, would have hitler surrenderd even if the Allies would have dropped the A-bomb on german ground. Coz of the fact that he even ordered the scorched earth policy for german territory in late 1944 ?? which was refused by Speer and his ideology that only the strongest (race) will survive (Hitler said at the end of war, that if
    the german people failed to win the war and get declined he couldnĀ“t waste a tear for them). Would Rommel be able to capture Northern Africa and the persian oilfields ?

    Regards,
    Che.
     
  14. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    That last one can be answered quickly. NO. Since the germans weren't interested in capturing North Africa they weren't going to give Rommel the supplies he needed to make the big push.
     
  15. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    One of the problems inherent in what/if scenarios is that we assume that when we change one variable that all the others would remain unchanged.
    One could as easily speculate that if the shipping lanes to the UK became as dangerous as we assume here that the US would shift more of it's lend lease to the UK route so that more would get through and that might mean a lot less being sent to Russia through the Alaska Vladivostok route.
     
  16. Ome_Joop

    Ome_Joop New Member

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    Was there a Alaska-Vladivostok route?
    I was under the impression that the Alaska route went straight to Siberia and that most of the lend lease went from the US West coast to Vladivostok...
    Altough i do know that many aircraft were flown in from Alaska!
     
  17. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    as a percentage of material , how much lend lease stuff went via siberia as opposed to mumansk ?
     
  18. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Ome_Joop's link shows that.
     
  19. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    You're probably right. I just meant to say that most lend lease arrived in the Russian Far East...
     
  20. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    Or a few German cities get instant sunrise before Japanese ones do.....
     

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