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US Submarines

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by Skua, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. PMN1

    PMN1 recruit

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    US boat conditions

    Didn't some in the RN think the US sub/boat crews were a bit soft when it came to living conditions???

    :D
     
  2. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    "And I firmly believe that the crews of the American fleet boats enjoyed better living conditions aboard their subs than their opposite numbers in any other of the wartime navies did." Why? You may be right, but we can't make any conclusions without a focused comparison.
    There's no doubt about whose boats had the longest range. Japan was way ahead of everybody else. I-400, for example, could go "37,500 miles at 14 knots. Foreign rivals never approached this figure: America’s Balao had 11,800 miles at 10 knots; Italy’s Cagni, 10,700 miles at 12 knots; Britain’s Amphion, 10,500 miles at 11 knots; Germany’s Type XXI, 15,500 miles at 10 knots; and France’s Surcouf, 10,000 miles at 10 knots."
     
  3. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    Re: US boat conditions

    The "creature comforts" on the USN subs were there for good reasons. Air conditioning is a necessity on a sub, not just to keep the crew comfortable. Subs are condensation generators big time and the dampness wreaks havoc on electrical and mechanical systems. Good food not only helped morale, it kept men fit and sharp on long patrols. It is always tempting for those who don't have to accuse those who do of being soft and use as a measure of their superiority. USN boats were still far from the comfort levels enjoyed on the big surface units.
     
  4. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    A lot of subs required a tender for the crews to live on when they weren't out at sea. Conditions being regards as too cramped for the crews to live on the subs when berthed.

    One of the little luxuries RN subs lacked compared to surface ships was laundry crew. Until I believe very recent times RN ships had Chinese coolies ( I think that was the term ) to do crew laundry. Subs never had these and were always regarded as the scruffy branch of the force.
     
  5. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Scruffy branch--I like that.
    Did submarine crews have different rules for facial hair?
     
  6. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I stand corrected. :)
     
  7. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    See? If you had your own copy of FLEETS OF WORLD WAR II, you'd have read that information. The sale is still on....!
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    :lol:

    I believe that I have read that book, but it would be nice to own it. Should I be able to pry ten bucks loose sometime in the near future, I'll get in touch with you.
     
  9. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    As far as I am aware, shaving was not enforced on subs.
    Think practically - on surface boats you can shave in seawater (ouch!) and use as much as you like, and then chuck it over the side.
    On a sub - shave with what water? Get rid of the remains how?
    It is technically possible, but quite frankly a nuisance that I doubt they catered to!
     
  10. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I think that whether or not shaving rules were enforced on submarines depends very much on which navy you're talking about. Not in the Kriegsmarine, of course, nor, I think, in the Royal Navy. I can't recall ever seeing a bearded American submariner, however, nor a Japanese one, for that matter. As for the Italians, I honestly don't know.
     
  11. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    It's difficult to compare individual submarine performance without looking at the campaign as a whole. The Germans made great subs but of course they were unsuccessful in stopping the flood of merchant ships carrying goods from the US to Europe and Russia. The US subs were also quite good (after they solved the torpedo problems ) but they waged a successful campaign in strangling the Japanese war production and sending most of it's merchant fleet to the bottom. The Germans built more than twice the number of subs that the US built but most were destroyed whereas the not insubstantial US loss rate was sustainable indefinitely.
    My point is that individual performance was somewhat related to how difficult the mission was made by enemy air and anti-submarine forces not just how good the hardware was designed and manufactured.
     
  12. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    i liked the american subs because of the size, power , and range , but twice as many crewman as a german sub , made it extremely cramped .
     
  13. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Very true - the British and Americans perfected ASW techniques and equipment, while the Japanese were notoriously poor in ASW. I should point out that I do not wish to detract in any way from the American Submariner's combat record.
     
  14. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    No worries, in fact my point was that as admirably effective as the US submarine warfare was in prosecuting the war they did not face the kind of opposition that that Germans did thus the much higher loss rate of U-boats. The Japanese convoys were not as well protected as the Allied convoys, especially late in the war when Japanese destroyers were in short supply.
     
  15. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Indeed, although it must be pointed out that each year of the war saw an increase in American submarine losses, a matter of great concern to COMSUBPAC.
     

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