CHAPTER 9

The War at Sea

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A US NAVY SHIP BATTLES ITS WAY THROUGH

HIGH SEAS IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC. AFTER THE LEND-LEASE

ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN BRITAIN AND THE USA HAD OUTLIVED

ITS USEFULNESS, PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT, FOLLOWING HIS

SECOND RE-ELECTION, LOANED 50 US WARSHIPS TO BRITAIN

TO PROTECT HER MERCHANT SHIPPING
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BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

On 3 September 1939, the day Britain declared war on Nazi Germany, the German submarine U-30 torpedoed the ocean liner SS Athenia in the north Atlantic. The 112 British and American passengers who were killed were the first Allied casualties of the war. Over the next six years, German and British vessels were to fight a desperate battle for supremacy in the Atlantic that would cost the lives of nearly 100,000 British sailors and lead to the almost total destruction of the German Navy.

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A CHARGE FROM A US DESTROYER EXPLODES AT SEA. IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC, HOWEVER, THE USA KEPT OUT OF THE ACTION. MEANWHILE, BRITAIN STRUGGLED ALONE TO PROTECT ITS VITAL MERCHANT SHIPPING LIFELINE.

As an island, Britain had always looked to the sea for her defence. At the beginning of the war, the Royal Navy had 12 battleships, seven aircraft carriers and over 200 cruisers and destroyers in service. This was considerably more than the German fleet, the Kriegs-marine, although Germany’s ships, all built since 1918, were generally better equipped. The Straits of Dover were protected by thousands of mines, and German ships bound for the Atlantic were forced to sail north, around Scotland, to find safe passage. As the Battle of Britain would illustrate in 1940, without air superiority Germany could do little directly to threaten the British mainland by sea. Yet, in order to fight a war, Britain relied on importing fuel, materials, even food, without which she could not build tanks artillery or aircraft, or even feed soldiers and civilians and keep them warm in winter.

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THE SECOND ESCORT GROUP SCORES A SUCCESS AGAINST A U-BOAT. THREE OF THE GROUP’S SIX U-BOAT KILLS WERE MADE WITHIN AN HOUR.

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VITAL SUPPLIES FROM THE USA AND CANADA ARRIVE IN BRITAIN. IN 1939 BRITAIN IMPORTED 55 MILLION TONS OF ITS GOODS AND HALF OF ITS FOOD FROM OVERSEAS. IF HITLER COULD SEVER THIS LIFELINE, THE BRITISH PEOPLE WOULD BE FORCED TO SURRENDER.

Britain’s chief suppliers in the early stages of the war were her overseas colonies, India and Canada chief among them, and the USA. Despite US neutrality, President Roosevelt had agreed to succour the British war effort on a ‘cash and carry’ basis. This meant that the British Government could buy whatever it needed from the USA for as long as its stocks of US dollars lasted, and it had the ships to transport the material. Governments in both London and Berlin knew that if the merchant navy were prevented from carrying out this task, Britain could be starved out of the war. As Churchill put it: ‘Without ships, we cannot live.’ In the first months of the war, Germany attempted to disrupt British shipping in a number of ways.

Governments in both London and Berlin knew that if the merchant navy were prevented from carrying out this task, Britain could be starved out of the war. As Churchill put it: ‘Without ships, we cannot live’

Firstly, thousands of magnetic mines – Hitler’s ‘secret weapons’ – were laid by German aircraft around the British coast and the entrance to the River Thames. They successfully sank 27 British ships during October and November 1939. The danger was defused only after a British explosives expert, Lieutenant-Commander J.D. Ouvry, bravely took apart a live mine in order to study the way it worked. With his help, the Royal Navy was able to design an electronic defence system, to be carried by each ship, that would prevent the mines from detonating. Meanwhile, from the first day of the war, German warships had been scouring the Atlantic sea lanes for unescorted shipping. Between September and December 1939, the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee attacked and sank nine British merchant ships before being challenged by three British cruisers off the coast of South America. In the ensuing battle of the River Plate, HMS Exeter was crippled, but despite being outgunned, the captains of the Ajax and Achilles managed to force the more powerful Graf Spee to run for Montevideo, in neutral Uruguay, where the Graf Spee’s captain, Hans Langsdorff, was told he could have only three days to make repairs to his ship before having to put to sea again. Meanwhile, Ajax and Achilles were waiting for him outside Uruguayan territorial waters. Three days later, on 17 December, after declaring ‘You English are hard. You do not know when you are beaten’, Langsdorff scuttled his own ship in the River Plate estuary rather than let it fall into British hands. He committed suicide two days later in Argentina.

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LIEUTENANT COMMANDER GÜNTHER PRIEN, CAPTAIN OF THE GERMAN SUBMARINE U-47 AND ONE OF THE GERMAN KRIEGSMARINE’S GREATEST SUBMARINE ACES.

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OFFICERS FROM THE U-47 LINE UP FOR INSPECTION BY GRAND ADMIRAL DÖNITZ, THE ARCHITECT OF THE GERMAN U-BOAT CAMPAIGN.

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A HEAVILY ICED-UP HMS BELFAST IN THE TREACHEROUS WATERS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE EN ROUTE FOR THE SOVIET UNION.

ARCTIC CONVOYS PQ17 AND PQ18

In July 1942, the ships of Arctic convoy PQ17 were en route for the north Russian port of Archangel when warning was received that the German battleship Tirpitz was heading their way. Fearing the convoy’s escort ships would be no match for the Tirpitz’s guns, Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, the British First Sea Lord, ordered the convoy to scatter. This was a disastrous mistake. The U-boats, aided by the Luftwaffe, picked off the isolated merchant ships one by one, and 24 ships, two-thirds of the original convoy, were lost. Over 150 men perished in the icy waters. The convoy leader, Captain John Broome, later told a court of enquiry that Pound’s order should never have been given.

The grim lesson was well learned. Two months later, convoy PQ18 was also attacked in the same area, but this time, the ships remained together and their escort vessels managed to shoot down over 40 Luftwaffe planes. Although 13 merchant ships were lost over six days of fighting, 27 were safely delivered to the Soviet Union.

The victory over the Admiral Graf Spee was an inspiration to the British at home, but it was, in reality, only a distraction from the real threat to come. On 14 October 1939, the German submarine U-47 had sailed unobserved into the British naval base at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands and sank the battleship Royal Oak, killing nearly 800 men. U-47, captained by Lieutenant-Commander Günther Prien, escaped undamaged. Submarines had previously been used in combat during the First World War, but their operations had since been largely outlawed by the Hague Convention, which demanded that attacks on shipping should take place only where provision could be made for picking up survivors. The German decision to ignore the Convention and renew the use of submarines came as a nasty surprise to the British.

The German U-boat campaign that was to follow was principally the responsibility of Admiral Karl Dönitz, a U-boat commander during the First World War, who sincerely believed that submarines could win the war for Germany. Despite having fewer than 60 U-boats under his command at the start of the war – only one-third of them capable of operating in the north Atlantic – Dönitz persuaded Hitler to sanction his hand-picked crews to launch a major offensive against British shipping. Although the Royal Navy had at this stage at least as many submarines as the Germans, only Dönitz had recognised the potential of their peculiarly furtive form of warfare for the task of destroying Britain’s supply lines. The British, however, would soon come to realise the enormity of the threat, and Winston Churchill would later write: ‘The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.’

Although the Royal Navy had…as many submarines as the Germans, only Dönitz had recognised the potential of their peculiarly furtive form of warfare…Churchill would later write: ‘The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril’

In September 1939 alone, German U-boats sank 26 British merchant ships in the Atlantic. By the end of the year, the figure had risen to over one hundred. Before every mission, Dönitz personally saw his men off from their bases in Germany, and was there to congratulate them on their return. His personal touch inspired the U-boat crews, despite the fact that at this point in the war, their campaign was largely ignored by the German High Command. Dönitz had asked for 30 new submarines to be manufactured every month. Instead, he got two at most. In such conditions, the success of Dönitz’s private war was all the more spectacular.

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A SIGNAL MAN ON A ROYAL NAVY WARSHIP TRANSMITS A MESSAGE TO OTHER MEMBERS OF A CONVOY ENGAGED IN PROTECTING BRITISH MERCHANT SHIPS AGAINST U-BOAT ATTACKS. NEVERTHELESS, IN THE EARLY YEARS OF THE WAR LOSSES WERE GREAT, AND THE FUTURE OF BRITAIN HUNG ON A KNIFE EDGE.

MERCHANT SHIPPING LOSSES

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The only answer to the U-boat menace was to escort merchant shipping across the Atlantic in huge convoys, often containing more than 50 ships each, guarded by Royal Navy warships. Arranged in columns to shorten their vulnerable flanks, the convoys zigzagged across the ocean, changing course when the warships engaged attacking submarines. In the early months of the war, the convoy system had some success, so much so that Dönitz’s U-boats avoided them and, instead, concentrated their attacks on unescorted shipping. By the beginning of 1940, fewer than 10 escorted ships had been lost. However, as the submarines increased their range, losses soon began to rise. Initially, the convoy system could operate only between Britain and the mid-Atlantic, due to a shortage of available escort ships, many of which had been seconded into largely fruitless submarine hunts. Beyond the mid-Atlantic, ships once again became easy prey for German submarine commanders. A further blow came when the Fall of France in June 1940 allowed Dönitz to establish a U-boat base at Lorient, on the French Atlantic coast. This increased the range of the German submarines by almost 500 miles. Hitler now declared a complete blockade of Britain, and announced that all shipping sailing to or from the British isles, whether neutral or not, would be sunk. Aided by long-range Focke-Wulf FW200 bombers taking off from French runways, the U-boats began to wreak havoc on merchant shipping.

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SURVIVORS FROM A U-BOAT ARE PICKED UP BY AN ALLIED SHIP FOLLOWING A RARE SUCCESS FOR THE BRITISH NAVY.

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THE GUN CREW OF AN ALLIED WARSHIP LOAD UP FOR AN ATTACK. UNTIL THE INVENTION OF SOPHISTICATED RADAR SYSTEMS, ALLIED SHIPPING HAD FEW DEFENCES AGAINST THE U-BOAT THREAT. ALL TOO OFTEN THE DANGER WOULD NOT BE SPOTTED UNTIL IT WAS ALREADY TOO LATE.

Dönitz organised his submarines into patrols that haunted the Atlantic shipping lanes, waiting to radio for support upon sighting a British convoy. Submarines from the surrounding area would then gather together into a ‘wolfpack’ and attack the convoy under cover of night. Sometimes, they would even surface inside the convoy itself, steering among the unsuspecting ships before launching their torpedoes at close range. Retreating or diving during daylight, they would repeat these attacks over subsequent nights until they ran out of torpedoes. This strategy was hugely effective. Escort captains whose job it was to defend the convoys could not risk chasing individual U-boats away without leaving the ships under their charge in even greater danger. Not only were the U-boats difficult to spot at night, but attacking on the surface made them almost invisible to the rudimentary radar defence systems with which British ships were equipped. During the summer of 1940, 240 merchant vessels were sunk. Only two U-boats were lost.

Conditions were terrible for the merchant seamen who kept the British supply lines going during this time. As losses mounted, every available ship was pressed into service, many of them old and ill-equipped. The relentless north Atlantic weather left sailors almost permanently soaked to the skin and freezing cold, and grabbing sleep where and when they could. Captains battling high seas and heaving ocean rollers struggled to keep their ships from colliding with others in the convoy. Visibility was so poor they had to communicate by flashing lights. And always there was the unseen, unsuspected danger of a U-boat lurking beneath the surface, waiting to strike. The tell-tale trail of torpedoes tearing through the water might be seen only when it was too late. Next, there was a mighty explosion, an upsurge of fire and smoke and a heavily laden merchant ship would slide all too fast beneath the waves. The crew, if they survived, had to take their chances.

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THE OIL TANKER SS DIXIE ARROW IN FLAMES OFF CAPE HATTERAS IN MARCH 1942.

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VETERAN SUB HUNTER CAPTAIN ‘JOHNNY’ WALKER ON BOARD THE BRITISH WARSHIP HMS STARLING.

CAPTAIN F.J. ‘JOHNNY’ WALKER

Captain F.J. ‘Johnny’ Walker, a specialist in anti-submarine warfare, was put in charge of the Royal Navy’s 36th escort group in 1941. To prepare his men for combat, Walker used a special simulator to put them through a rigorous and often ingenious training course in submarine hunting. Walker also devised a series of defensive ‘set pieces’, collectively known as Operation Buttercup, which were constantly rehearsed by his ships. Walker believed that only by carefully planning exactly how different escort ships and aircraft would work together, could they hope to defeat a U-boat attack. His preparations paid off on his first convoy mission, when his ships sank four U-boats during a running battle lasting six days. Walker himself described how he pursued an enemy submarine at such close range that his gun crew were ‘reduced to shaking fists and roaring curses’. As Commodore Raymond Fitzmaurice reported, rather laconically, ‘the convoy had few dull moments’.

Until the introduction of rescue ships, escort crews would often have to choose between going to the aid of the men struggling in the water and engaging the attacking U-boat. The convoy had to be kept moving at all costs. For tanker crews, with their highly flammable cargo, the danger was even greater. Captain T.D. Finch was on board one such tanker, the San Emiliano, when it was torpedoed by a U-boat in the Atlantic on the night of 9 August 1942. Within minutes, Finch later recalled, ‘the ship was ablaze from bridge to stern, the whole sky being lit up by flames which must have been hundreds of feet high.’ Sailors on fire threw themselves overboard, only to find that the sea was also a mass of flames. The San Emiliano had been carrying 12,000 tons of gasoline. Only seven of the ship’s 48-man crew survived the night.

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MORE THAN 30,000 MERCHANT SEAMEN LOST THEIR LIVES BEFORE THE WAR ENDED IN 1945. FOR THE TIME BEING AT LEAST THIS MAN HAS SURVIVED, BUT THE STRAIN AND EXHAUSTION IS UNMISTAKABLE.

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INSIDE THE CRAMPED GUN TURRET OF AN ALLIED WARSHIP EXHAUSTED CREW MEMBERS TRY TO GRAB SOME SLEEP BETWEEN ATTACKS. THROUGHOUT THE FIVE-YEAR BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC, ALLIED MERCHANT SAILORS AND FIGHTING MEN ALIKE WERE STRETCHED TO THE VERY LIMITS OF ENDURANCE.

Overall, the loss of life among men of the merchant navy throughout the war was as high as it was in some sections of the armed forces. Over 30,000 merchant seamen were killed before the end of the war in 1945. It was a horrifying figure for non-combatants. Even so, there was never a shortage of men willing to sign up for the Atlantic convoys. When, in 1941, Britain began running convoys to aid the Soviet Union in its own battle with Germany, the merchant navy acquitted itself with equal bravery in the Arctic. If anything, the voyage, to ports like Murmansk on the Barents Sea in north-west Russia, was even more hazardous than it was in the Atlantic. Vital cargoes had to make their way through dangerous frozen seas, and were almost constantly exposed to German air attack.

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A U-BOAT CAPTAIN USES HIS SUBMARINE’S PERISCOPE TO SEARCH FOR PREY.

U-BOATS

During the six years of the war at sea, a total of 785 German U-boats were sunk by Allied ships and aircraft. But the damage done by the U-boats to Allied shipping was almost incalculable. Carrying a crew of 40, each U-boat was equipped with up to five torpedo tubes, stationed both forward and aft of the ship, from which self-steering torpedoes were fired after a complex targeting procedure had been carried out. The torpedoes themselves were usually set to pass 1 to 2 metres underneath their target rather than hit a ship directly. At that point, magnetic triggers would cause them to explode.

Life on board a submarine was always difficult. The crew’s surroundings were cramped and claustrophobic, and their work required intense concentration. When submerged, U-boats could move at no more than a slow 3 knots, and their huge electric batteries had to be charged by diesel engines that could be operated only after the submarine had surfaced. At such times, the U-boat and its crew were especially vulnerable to attack from the air, and although they were armed with heavy machine-guns that could fire over 6000 rounds a minute, they had to be prepared at all times for an emergency ‘crash’ dive. If this manoeuvre failed to throw off pursuing planes or warships, decoy devices would be launched to try and fool the enemy’s radar system. This was a desperate situation, because just one direct hit from a depth charge could shatter a submarine’s hull.

The crew’s last line of defence was to submerge, then sit and wait under the water. All the while, though, they were slowly exhausting their supplies of compressed air. Crews were under strict instructions not to surrender their ships – an act that could hand the enemy vital information for use in future submarine hunts. At such times, the crew would wait quietly, try to conserve oxygen and listen for the tell-tale sounds of Allied radar signals. They also had to prepare to surface and do battle once more when their air ran out and there was no option but to confront the enemy again. Life aboard a U-boat always required tremendous discipline and very strong nerves.

When, in 1941, Britain began running convoys to aid the Soviet Union in its own battle with Germany, the merchant navy acquitted itself with equal bravery in the Arctic. If anything, the voyage, to ports like Murmansk on the Barents Sea in northwest Russia, was even more hazardous than it was in the Atlantic

Throughout 1940 and 1941, the Germans went on scoring successes against British shipping. During a lull in U-boat activity in the winter, two German battle cruisers, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau, sank over 20 merchant ships between them. Two others, the pocket battleship Admiral Scheer and the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, accounted for a further 23, the Scheer venturing as far as the Indian Ocean to prey on supply lines from Britain’s colonies in the East. On 23 May 1941, two of the Royal Navy’s premier ships, the Hood and the Prince of Wales engaged the cruiser Prinz Eugen and the Bismarck, the Kriegsmarine’s largest battleship, in the Straits of Denmark. In the ensuing battle, the Hood blew up and sank after her aft magazine was hit. Only three of the 1418 crew survived.

However, the Germans bought their victory at a high price. Two days later, attacked by torpedo-carrying Swordfish biplanes from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, the Bismarck was crippled. Her steering gear wrecked and her rudders jammed, Bismarck was unable to manoeuvre and became a sitting target for three torpedoes from the cruiser Dorsetshire, which sank her at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, 25 May. Two thousand German sailors went down with their ship.

Elsewhere, British successes were rare. One notable exception took place on 8 March 1941, when the British convoy OB293 was set upon by a U-boat wolfpack led by Günther Prien and the crew of U-47, which had sunk the Royal Oak in 1939. Although Prien’s U-boat was accompanied by the submarines of veteran captain Otto Kretschmer and a number of other experienced commanders, the British managed on this occasion to mount a powerful challenge. Two of the U-boats were crippled by depth charges from British escorts and one was forced to surrender. While attempting to pursue the fleeing convoy, Prien was obliged to crash-dive to avoid being rammed by the destroyer Wolverine. His damaged ship was chased until the Wolverine managed to destroy it with more depth charges. There were no survivors and within days, two more U-boats had followed U-47 to the Atlantic seabed. They included Otto Kretschmer’s vessel, although Kretschmer himself survived to spend the rest of the war in a prison camp. In Prien and Kretschmer, Dönitz had lost two of his best commanders.

By this time, there were almost 100 German submarines operating in the Atlantic. This gave vital importance to the ‘lend lease’ arrangement between Britain and the USA. Following his historic second re-election in 1939, President Roosevelt had convinced the US Congress that it must give Britain ‘all aid short of war’. The ‘cash and carry’ system had outlived its usefulness and was abandoned. Although not yet prepared to enter the war, America, Roosevelt declared, was ready to become ‘the arsenal of democracy’. Nearly 50 US warships were lent to Britain, US troops were garrisoned in Iceland, and the US Navy declared that it would escort shipping of ‘all nationalities’ between Iceland and the USA. In practice, this meant escorting British merchant ships for half their journey across the Atlantic. After a confrontation between the US destroyer Greer and a German U-boat on 4 September 1941, Roosevelt announced that ‘from now on, if German or Italian vessels of war enter these waters, they do so at their own peril’. Unofficially, it was a declaration of war.

There were no survivors and within days, two more U-boats had followed U-47 to the Atlantic seabed. They included Otto Kretschmer’s vessel… Kretschmer himself survived to spend the rest of the war in a prison camp. In Prien and Krets-chmer, Dönitz had lost two of his best commanders

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A WELDER WORKS ON ONE OF THE USS IOWA’S GUN TURRETS AT THE NEW YORK NAVY YARDS. WITH THE USA’S ENTRY INTO THE WAR, THE TIDE WOULD BEGIN TO TURN AGAINST THE U-BOATS.

With the Atlantic convoys reinforced by US patrols, and the British gradually making improvements to their anti-submarine strategy, losses were substantially reduced in the second half of 1941. In November, Dönitz was ordered to transfer U-boat operations to the Mediterranean for two months, to support the supply lines to the Afrika Corps. He later described this relaxation of pressure on British Atlantic shipping as ‘unjustifiable’. However, with the USA’s entry into the war in 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the situation was to change. Forced to send its best warships to the Pacific to counter the new Japanese threat, the USA soon found its own, unescorted merchant shipping in danger. By now, Dönitz had almost 200 submarines at his disposal, and he shifted his operations accordingly. In the first six months of 1942, the U-boats sank over 300 ships in US waters, the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Brazil. Over the whole year, more than 1000 Allied ships were lost to U-boat attacks. Britain, having endured almost three years of the German blockade, was now suffering severe shortages. The need for fuel oil in particular had become intense, and the strain upon the British Navy was becoming intolerable.

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ADMIRAL DÖNITZ VISITS GERMAN UNITS STATIONED ON THE ENGLISH CHANNEL IN JULY 1943. ALTHOUGH DÖNITZ’S U-BOAT CAMPAIGN HAD BEEN INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL, HE PAID A HUGE PRICE. OVER 25,000 U-BOAT CREW MEN LOST THEIR LIVES BETWEEN 1939 AND 1945.

Yet, gradually, it was the Germans who were on the defensive. Ultimately, Britain was saved by a combination of scientific ingenuity, new tactics, and a massive shipbuilding programme. With the industrial might of the USA now behind it, the British merchant fleet was able to acquire ships as fast as they were being sunk. The number of escort ships was also increasing. By 1944, the US and British navies were able to assign up to 30 warships to each convoy – about four times as many as in 1942.

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ONE OF THE BRITISH MIDGET SUBMARINES THAT DAMAGED THE GERMAN BATTLESHIP TIRPITZ, WHICH WAS MOORED IN A STRONGLY PROTECTED ANCHORAGE IN NORTH NORWAY.

They were organised into submarine-hunting support groups, co-ordinated for the first time by British Coastal Command, and supported by new long-range Liberator bombers, whose pilots had been trained at Coastal Command’s Tactical School. Their efforts were also helped enormously by a number of highly successful British submarine hunters like Captain F.J. ‘Johnny’ Walker. At home, new anti-submarine depth charges were being developed, as well as methods of intercepting German radio transmissions, which would warn convoys of nearby U-boat wolfpacks. Most decisive of all, the discovery of short-wave ‘centimetric’ radar finally gave the Allied submarine hunters a weapon against which the U-boats had no defence. Warships and aircraft armed with this extremely accurate system could track submarines day and night, whether they were on the surface or submerged.

The ball game was quite different now. Dönitz’s U-boat commanders found themselves on the run. Throughout the second half of 1942 and into 1943, U-boat losses rose steadily, despite the fact that Dönitz now had over 400 submarines operational. Although British losses also continued to climb, the Allies were hitting back hard. The turning point finally came in May 1943, the month in which Dönitz lost 41 submarines and suffered a personal loss: his son had been serving on one of them. ‘These losses are too high,’ Dönitz informed Hitler, and suspended submarine operations in the north Atlantic. Between May and September 1943, no Allied ships were sunk by German submarines in the area. Instead, two British midget submarines scored a famous victory that September, sailing unobserved into Altenfjord, Norway, where the 42,000-ton German battleship Tirpitz was moored, and putting the giant ship out of action with explosive charges. By the time Dönitz resumed U-boat operations in the north Atlantic in the autumn of 1943, the tide had already turned. Despite technical improvements, including homing torpedoes and a ‘schnorkel’ tube that allowed U-boats to charge their batteries without surfacing, the German submarine fleet never again held the upper hand. In the first three months of 1944, only three Allied merchant ships were sunk. During the same period, Dönitz lost 29 submarines. Although Dönitz’s operations would continue until the end of the war, for British shipping, the major crisis was over.

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THE GERMAN CRUISER ADMIRAL HIPPER UNDER CAMOUFLAGE IN DRY DOCK AT KIEL, WHERE IT WAS CAPTURED BY ALLIED SOLDIERS. AFTER 1943 THE GERMAN NAVY WOULD NEVER AGAIN RULE THE SEAS.

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