War was declared by the United Kingdom against Germany on September 3, 1939, and the Battle of the Atlantic would began the same day. One week later Canada followed the United Kingdom and declared war against Germany. This dangerous threat from the U boats began on September 3, 1939 with the sinking of the SS Athenia from the torpedoes of a German U Boat. The Athenia had approximately 1,400 passengers and crew onboard and the death toll was 117 passengers and crew. There were American citizens on board at the time of the sinking. The Battle of the Atlantic had begun. It would last until the U boats rose to the surface in May of 1945 and surrendered or their crews scuttled their boat.
The Royal Canadian Navy in September of 1939 had 6 destroyers, 5 small minesweepers, 2 training vessels along with a single squadron of modern military flying boats.
The Royal Navy at the beginning of hostilities in 1939 numbered 1,400 vessels.
10 battleships & battlecruisers. Only two of these were post WWI. 5 King George V battleships were under construction. 1 new aircraft carrier with 6 more under construction. There were no escort carriers. 66 cruisers with majority post WWI and 23 were under construction. 184 destroyers of all types with 50% being modern. Some older destroyers in the "V" & "W" classes being converted to escorts. 32 fleet destroyers were under construction. 20 escort types were under construction 60 modern submarines with 9 under construction. 45 escort and patrol vessels. 9 are under construction. 56 "Flower" class corvettes under construction.
The Norwegian Navy at the beginning of the war had 1 minelayer, 1 escort ship and 9 submarines, 2 very ancient battleships and a number of smaller ships. On June 7, 1940 13 Norwegian Navy vessels left their home bases for England and continued the fight against the Germans from there. The remainder of their ships remained in Norway and were either scuttled by their crews or captured. The Royal Navy then gave the Norwegian Navy 6 destroyers, some corvettes and 3 submarines.
The German Kriegsmarine in September of 1939 totalled 3 battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 3 armoured cruisers, 3 heavy cruisers, 6 light cruisers, 22 destroyers and 59 U boats
Canada had an objective to protect her eastern coasts as well as Newfoundland. A second objective was to provide escort duty for the hundreds of convoys that would be forming in Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia, St John in New Brunswick and St. John's in Newfoundland. British objectives were - to defend the trade routes and convoy organization and escort especially to and from Britain. The second objective was the detection and destruction of German surface raiders, U boats and merchantmen. The third objective was the maritime blockade of Germany. The fourth objective was the defence of the coasts of the United Kingdom German objectives were to first gain control of the Atlantic sea routes and cut off all supplies going to the United Kingdom and then force their surrender. Their second objective was to isolate the United States from Europe and prevent them from shipping good across the Atlantic. When these were accomplished the balance of power would go to Germany. They would accomplish these objectives by using the U boats, their superior airpower and their powerful naval surface ships
Canadian ports where the convoys sailed from included St John - New Brunswick, Halifax and Sydney - Nova Scotia and St. John's in Newfoundland. The Royal Canadian Navy ports were in Halifax and Sydney - Nova Scotia and St John's - Newfoundland. They sailed for the United Kingdom and northern Russia. The Royal Canadian Air Force had Eastern Air Command bases that were involved in the Battle of the Atlantic were based at RCAF Stations in Dartmouth - Nova Scotia had 8 squadrons flying the Douglas Digby, the Lockheed Hudson, the Consolidated Canso and PBY Catalina along with the Hawker Hurricane. The base at , Sydney - Nova Scotia flew the Lockheed Hudson and at Yarmouth - Nova Scotia they flew the Lockheed Hudson and the Consolidated Canso. As well the RCAF had stations in Torbray - Newfoundland which flew the Hawker Hurricane and Lockheed Hudson while Gander in Newfoundland flew the Consolidated Canso. In 1944 Yarmouth flew Lockheed Venturas and Consolidated Cansos, with Sydney flying the Lockheed Hudson and Dartmouth was flying the Hawker Hurricane. In Newfoundland Torbray was flying the Consolidated Canso and the Consolidated B24 Liberator while Gander flew the Hawker Hurricane and Consolidated Canso. The RCAF also had 5 Operational Training Units that flew the Hawker Hurricane, the Lockheed Hudson, the DeHavaiiland Mosquito, the Avro Ansen, the Bristol Beaufort, the Hadley Page Hampden and Fairey Swordfish. The Canadian Army was stationed in Iceland early in the war until relieved by the British.
United Kingdom ports where transatlantic convoys departed from in WWII was Liverpool. For the arctic convoys to Russia they departed from Loch Ewe on the Atlantic coast of Scotland and during the summer months and from the port of Hvalfjorour which was on the west coast of Iceland and was 18 miles long x 3 miles wide. The Royal Navy's Home Fleet was based at Scapa Flow and was responsible for the Home Waters, the North East Atlantic, the Irish Sea, the North Sea, the English Channel. The Navy was also based in Reykjavik - Iceland. The America and West Indies Station was based at Bermuda and responsible for the North West Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. The Royal Air Force Coastal Command had bases in Iceland. The British Army was a presence in Iceland after they relieved the Canadians and remained during the course of the war. Coastal Command bases were in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Gibraltar and the Azores.
The United States had air bases in Newfoundland and in four in Greenland as well as ten other weather stations and radio beacons locations. The United States Navy had a large base at Grondal - Greenland during the war years. The United States Army had a base there as well.
The German Kriegsmarine at the beginning of the war had bases at Bremen, Wilhelmshaven, Kiel and Hamburg and as the war progressed and they conquered territory they then had bases in Norway and France. When the war began The U boat fleet was based at the Baltic Sea ports and when France fell new U boat ports were built at Brest with 21 pens, Lorient had 30 pens, St. Nazaire had 14 pens and from these bases the U boats went out on 1,200 raiding missions. There were also U boat pens built at La Rochelle with 10 pens and Bordeaux with 11 pens for a total of 86 pens and when the Kriegsmarine began using these bases they found that they could keep their boats at sea another ten days. The Luftwaffe operated bases from northern France once it had fallen and from Norway after they invaded this country.
C) THE BATTLE ABOVE, BELOW AND ON THE ATLANTIC
The initial phase was from September 1939 until June 1940 when France crumbled. Before France fell the U boats would leave Germany and sail up through the Kattegat, through the Skagerrak, up through the top of the North Sea and then into the North Atlantic. The Axis powers barred the British from using the Mediterranean forcing the convoys south around the bottom of Africa and up to the Suez. This caused the number of merchantmen to be reduced in the North Atlantic by 50%. Following the fall of France the U boats began to operate from bases on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. They were now much closer to the Atlantic convoy routes and were able to stay out of range of the Allied anti-submarine aircraft. German long range Condor bombers also flew out to attack the Allied convoys. The convoy losses rose and by now the German shipbuilding yards were building 30 U boats each month.
The Germans were not able to win the Battle of Britain and force England to its knees in 1940 so they turned to their U boat fleet with the goal being to wring the life from the Allies sea lanes that were carrying the goods that the United Kingdom so gravely needed. The main weapon that the Germans would use was the U boat and the Allied defence was the convoy protected by naval ships and overhead aircraft when possible.
The Canadians and British countered this German move by adding long-range Catalina PBY patrol aircraft in 1941, developed longer range escort ships and added more advanced radar to their ASDIC. By May of 1841 a fully operational and escorted Atlantic convoy system was in place and it was in this month that the German Navy surface ship attacks on the Allies collapsed with the loss of the Bismarck. The Americans had set up bases in Newfoundland and were deployed in Greenland and Iceland and late in the year were escorting shipping in the northwest Atlantic and they fought several battle with U boats west of Iceland. In the late summer of 1941 the Germans began to use the "wolf pack" in their arsenal. One U boat would shadow a convoy and radio the information about the convoy to U boat Headquarters in Lorient - France and they would pass the information to other U boats. They would assemble and wait for nightfall and begin their attacks. The strategy was to sink as many merchantmen as possible and overwhelm the convoy escorts. The Allies in an attempt to counter the wolf packs built escort carriers that carried patrol planes and fitted the escorts with radio direction finders that could locate a U boat from its radio signals. By late 1941 the Atlantic was somewhat quiet as Germany had declared war on Russia and the U boats were now in Arctic seas and in the Mediterranean. The campaign in the Mediterranean depended upon seaborne supplies being shipped through waters infested with U boats.
1942 Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, Germany declared war on the United States. After WWI the US isolated themselves and had neglected to develop modern anti submarine tactics and had now idea about the convoy system protected by warships. As a result the U boats found it easy to attack shipping off the coast of the United States. In the first quarter of 1942 the tonnage sunk by U boats was 675.000 tons and this was more tonnage that was lost in the Atlantic in the previous 2 1/2 years. While the U boats were on the American east coast they were also attacking in the Guld of St Lawrence, on the Canadian east coast and in the waters surrounding Newfoundland. Between 1939-42 the U boat count in the Atlantic increased from 30 at the beginning of the war to 300. In 1942 the Allies were able to break the German Naval Code from the Enigma machines at Bletchley Park and it gave them the advantage but in February the Germans improved their code and it took them until March of 1943 to break the German code again. In the last half of 1942 the shipping losses were so high any decision to land on the continent would have to wait until the U boat attacks could be brought under control. the convoy system had expanded and the U boats were again back in the North Atlantic
By the middle of 1943 the U boats were sinking merchant ships faster than they could build them and the Germans were building U boats faster than the Allies could sink them. At this point in the war Germany was winning the battle on the Atlantic. Between the summer of 1940 & 1943 a diversion of shipping of any kind to another theatre of war was capable of causing an Allied defeat in Europe. Since 1940 Britain had been providing convoys and their escorts for both the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Then the British began supplying Russia by means of the Murmansk run via the North Atlantic convoy runs, the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. The convoys struggling to get to the noth Russian ports had to deal with savage air attacks and U boat attacks. This strained the Canadian and British resources and when merchant ships and their escorts took part in the landings of North Africa the Allied losses in the North Atlantic escalated dramatically. In January of 1943 the Allies agreed that the U boats had to be defeated and they made this their top priority. Over the next 6 months the fight on the Atlantic climaxed and in March 1943 the Allies top secret "Ultra" suffered a lapse in intercepting and encrypting enemy communications from the U boats in the Atlantic. It was during this lapse when the U boats enjoyed their final successes of the war In March of 1943 shipping losses were close to 700,000 tons because the weather was improving and the U boats found it easier to attack shipping. On any given day at this point in the war it was possible there were 100+ U boats roaming the Atlantic. Then, the tide began to turn to the Allies in April of 1943. The shipping and warships that had been diverted to the Mediterranean and the North Africa invasion began to return to the North Atlantic convoy routes. Escort ships were now operating with up to the minute anti submarine weapons and aircraft. In May of 1943 the Germans lost 41 U boats and then the U boats were withdrawn for a period of time. The U boat Headquarters had to rethink their strategy and this was a turning point on the Atlantic The U boats would never again achieve their previous successes they would always be a threat. The Germans tries the acoustic torpedo but this tactic failed in the autumn of 1943 and this forced the U boats to retreat inshore where they began a guerilla type warfare against Allied shipping. Finally, the shipping losses dropped after the Allies took control of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean was opened up to through traffic resulted in a much less loss of shipping. The Germans had lost control of the Atlantic sea lanes.
This a five year battle involving thousands of ships, 100 convoy battles and many 100s of single ship encounters. The Allies overcame the threat of the German surface raiders in 1942 and defeated the U boats by mid 1943.
The Allies had come close to being defeated on the Atlantic and in Europe. The U boat menace came very close to forcing Britain to capitulate. If that had happened the Allies would have lost North Africa and Italy. Germany built 1,162 U boats during the war and lost 785 U boats or 75% of their fleet. 632 U boats were sunk at sea with Allied surface ships sinking 246 and land based aircraft sank 245
Allies Lost anywhere from 2,200 to 3,500 merchant ships depending on where one gets his information with a gross tonnage of 12 million to 14.5 million tons and 175 warships. Manpower losses were 72,000
Germany Lost 784 U Boats. Of this total 519 were sunk by the Allies other than the United States. Russia sank 15 U Boats, the United States sank 175 U Boats and 221 were scuttled by their crews. They lost 75% of their U Boat crews which numbered 30,000. They also lost a high percentage of their naval surface fleet including the Bismark, Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisehau and Graf Spee along with 42 other vessels. They also lost 7 of their raiders.
E) ALLIED WEAPONS
ASDIC Was developed at the end of World War I to detect U boats and in 1939 had a limited range and when U boat was on the surface ASDIC was not effective. This was a central feature during the whole war on the Atlantic. A crucial development was the the integration of a plotting table and weapons as depth charges and hedgehogs to make an anti submarine warfare system. ASDIC produced an accurate range and bearing to the target. At times it could be fooled by ocean eddies and currents , schools of fish and by levels of water having varying temperatures. This could be overcome by an experienced operator. ASDIC was only effective at lower speeds and above 15 knots the noise of the ship moving through the water drowned out the echoes. The British believed that ASDIC would solve all the U boat issues and very little had been spent on anti submarine ships or weapons. The British believed that the German submarines were only going to be coastal craft and be a threat to the approaches of harbours. Because of this thinking in 1939 the Royal Navy did not have enough long range escorts to protect the ocean going shipping that would be bringing supplies to the United Kingdom. The situation in Coastal Command was they had no aircraft that could patrol the Atlantic and if they saw a submarine they were only able to machine gun it. Catapult Aircraft Merchantmen The range of aircraft was always improving, but the Atlantic Ocean was much too big to be covered by land based aircraft. One measure used was to fit a catapult ramp front of merchantmen. They were fitted with a lone expendable Hurricane. When an enemy aircraft approached, the fighter was launched and if possible dealt with the threat and the Hurricane would then ditch and hopefully the pilot would be recovered. These were used 9 times with the loss of 1 pilot. The Hurricanes did not shoot down a large number of enemy planes that were usually Fw Kondors as these aircraft shadowed the convoys and stayed out of range of the convoy guns. The CAM ships and their pilots justified their use. Depth Charges From the stern or mortar fired was the only lethal weapon anti submarine weapon available in 1939. They first rolled the depth charge off the stern and then came the "K-gun" and an explosive charge could heave a depth charge 150' from the attacking ship and a pattern of 9-10 depth charges onto the U boat's position. The depth charge was not a threat to the enemy submarine unless it exploded close to the pressure hull and that rarely happened because the U boat was making evasive maneuvers. Those U boats which were sunk by depth charges suffered accumulated damage from repeated attacks from the surface or from a depth charge that exploded underneath the U boat and this would break its back. May enemy subs survived many attacks. Then in 1943 they began to use the explosive torpex with was 50% more powerful that what was used in the past and they also streamlined the depth charge casing that improved the sinking rate. But still the U-boat could escape.
Breaking the Enigma Code The way the German Navy Command conducted the U boat campaign required heavy radio traffic and the information was encrypted with the Enigma Cipher. The Germans felt the enigma was not able to be broken. Before the Allies could break the German code they needed a Enigma machine to look at the wiring. U boat 33 was destroyed and the enigma from this U boat provided the wiring information. When U boat 110 was disabled and boarded the British gathered up cryptologic material, including bigram tables and current Enigma keys. The British for several weeks were able to read German 178 messages off of the British bombers which was an electro magnetic machine used to read the German messages. In the summer and autumn of 1941 Enigma intercepts and the High Frequency Direction Finding allowed the the British to plot the positions of U boat patrol lines and route convoys around them. Allied losses dropped. The Allied advantage was being reduced by the large number of U boats coming into service. Escort Groups were formed following the convoy battles of 1940. Permanent escort groups were formed and this became easier as new ships came into the line from Canadian shipyards, ex American destroyers and were being crewed by the Free French, Dutch and Norwegians. At first escort groups consisted of 2-3 destroyers and a half dozen corvettes. They usually sailed with the escort group numbering about 6 ships. Changes were noticed in the spring of 1941 Fire Control Computer was fitted into the Royal Canadian Navy Destroyers. They were used to help direct their 4.7" quick firing gun mounts. The Dumaresq Mk VIII was a compact and manually adjusted computer that calculated the relative speed and course of enemy ships or U boats. It indicated their changing position and different components were adjusted and moved to input information about course and speed. Pointers provided data that assisted with the aiming of the guns. . Fleet Air Arm Had obsolete aircraft in 1939 and if the fleet was attacked from the air there were few modern anti-aircraft guns on the ships. Fairey Swordfish was an antiquated, slow and cumbersome aircraft. In the first half of 1942 they became fitted with Anti Surface Vessel radar and rockets for anti submarine missions. The Swordfish Mk II had wings with metal skinned undersides and launching rails for 8 - 60 pound rockets. The radar had a range of 25 miles. It could detect a U boat Schnorkel in calm sees up to 4 miles away. Swordfish flew from escort carriers and would patrol between 25 - 90 miles ahead of a convoy. The maximum speed was 224 mph and had a cruise speed of 104 miles per hour with a range of 1,036 miles and with a torpedo the range was 560 miles.
Gyroscope Compass were steady and accurate and aided in the hunt and attack against the U boats. They also allowed the use of more advanced anti submarine weapons. Master compasses could as well send compass information to "repeaters" at different locations in the ship. Hedgehogs was a projector-type weapon that heaved 24 small projectiles several hundred feet ahead of the attacking ship. When they hit the water they become armed and explode on contact with the U boat. Using hedgehogs the ship could often keep contact with the submarine. Using the hedgehog meant the location of the U boat was more accurately known. Normally the U boat would not survive a 1-2 hit. The hedgehog sank 3x faster than a depth charge making evasive action for the U boat. High Frequency Direction Finding were known as HF/DF began to be fitted onto escorts in the late winter of 1942 and were common a year later. This equipment let an operator know the direction of a radio signal regardless of whether the contest was able to be read. When a wolf pack was out an Allied escort could run in the direction of the signal and engage the U boat. When there at least two escorts they could determine they were able to get a fix on a U boat from its radio signals. The standard procedure was to "run down" the enemy bearing and hopefully attack. An experienced operator could figure out the range but usually the target was located visually. Guns were used if the U boat was slow to dive otherwise the ASDIC was used. Leigh Light One issue with the early radar systems was the minimal range was too long and to successfully attack a U boat you had to see it. At night you could drop flares but then the U boat would submerge. The Leigh Light had 22-million candlepower and a 24" searchlight. It took until mid 1942 to install this on aircraft and in June 1942 aircraft with the Leigh Light and ASF radar were operating over the Bay of Biscay. From August 1942 the U boats chose to surface in daylight hours so they could see their attacker and shipping losses fell 67% from 600,000 tons per month to 200,000 tons. Mines The Royal Navy in 1939 was only able to sweep for moored contact mines.
Radar To be useful radar on aircraft needed to have a short minimum range and guide the aircraft close to the U boat or surface ship. In 1939-40 the Airborne Surface Vessel Radar for Coastal Command was a high priority. The Mk 1 ASV radar in late 1940 was not good and could not detect submarines but after reconfiguring the antennas it could detect s submarine broadside from 10-15 miles. The Mk II ASV radar was properly engineered and was much more reliable. It had a range of 36 miles and was then installed Coastal Command aircraft. This had forward looking and side looking. Once this MK was installed the attacks against the U boats increased 20% and allowed night time attacks. The Mk III ASV radar was installed after the Germans developed "Metox" which stalemated the Mk II ASV and when this happened Allied shipping losses rose again. This radar was centimetric and the beam could be directed by a small paraboloid reflector. The range was better as was the resolution and the ground returns were eliminated. Then, time was spent and it was configured for ships and in March 1941 it began to be installed in naval ships. Various Mks followed but then in September 1942 all work stopped. Work had stopped because Bomber Command had a ground mapping radar H2S which was very similar and was closer to production. In the middle of July 1942 there was not a single unit and at the end of the year it was being placed in bomber aircraft. It was configured for 20,000' and needed to be useable at 2,000' for anti submarine flying. By May of 1943 Coastal Command aircraft were detecting most U boats in the Bay of Biscay and the result was U boat sightings increased, and shipping losses decreased from 400,000 tons per month to 100,000 tons. The Germans had developed their "Naxos" to block the Allied radars but then the Allies developed the Mk VI ASV radar and was more powerful than the Mk III and it had a attenuator fitted which reduced power once a target was known and made the U boat or German ship think the aircraft was flying away or not coming closer. The Mk VI A ASV allowed the aircraft to lock onto a U boat and aim the Leigh light directly at it. This took place in the summer of 1944. The Mk VI B ASV was more developed and allowed blind bombing to be carried out. In October of 1944 the Germans brought a new submarine into the Atlantic and the Schnorkel made its appearance which was not detectable.
RAF Coastal Command When war broke out in 1939 had only short range reconnaissance aircraft. Only 3 squadrons had suitable aircraft when war broke out. 250 pound depth charge was a lethal weapon and it had a modified nose and fin and would be dropped from about 250 feet. As the war progressed it was a formidable weapon and the depth charges were filled with the explosive torpex. Mk 24 mine was in fact an acoustic homing torpedo dropped after a depth charge attack against a U boat. Once dropped and in the water it would be attracted to the noise coming from the U boat. Rockets was a weapon that was used against the U boat and had a high explosive or armour piercing warhead. The rocket followed the flight of the aircraft and not line of sight. If they strike a U boat it usually proved fatal. Bombsights were developed for low level missions but the aircrews did not like or trust them and continued using their own eyesight and judgement. Magnetic Anomaly Detection was a sensitive magnetometer fitted into the nose of an aircraft and it could detect anomalies in the magnetic field of the earth in a range of 400 feet and could detect U boats to within a few feet. The anti submarine aircraft had a 65.5 pound bomb with a torpex warhead was 25 pounds. There were rails on the wings of the aircraft holding the bombs and they then were rocket propelled backwards and the bombs then fall directly onto the U boat. There was no depth setting and the U boat was unaware it was being stalked and attacked. Lockheed Hudson was an early aircraft used in anti submarine missions with the Mk I having a speed of 246 mph and a range of 1,960 miles at 220 mph. The armament was an internal weapons bay, 2 fixed 303 machine guns in the nose and 2 machine guns in a dorsal turret facing the rear as well as 2 beam guns. For Reconnaissance missions it carried a F.24 camera, assorted flares and a bomb load of 1,100 pounds. The bomb load was either 4 - 250 pound bombs that were general purpose, semi armour piercing or anti submarine bombs which were 110 pounds. It could also carry a load of 12 - 110 pound anti submarine bombs. In early 1940 Anti Service Vessel radar. DeHavilland Mosquito Mk FB.VI and Type 458 FB.XVIII were used in anti submarine missions They were used in attacks against the U boats when they were either leaving on a mission or returning from a mission. The code breakers would inform Coastal Command when this was taking place. At this time the U boats were on the surface and vulnerable to rocket attacks or the 57 mm cannon firing a 6 pound shell. It had a speed of 378 mph and a range of 1,120 miles. Vickers Wellington Type 429 GR Mk.VIII, Type 458 GR Mk.XI and GR Mk.X carried the Anti Surface Vessel Mk.II radar and possibly a Leigh Light. The next versions were the Type 466 GR MK.XIII which was a daylight version carrying 2 18 inch torpedoes and the Type 467 GR Mk.XIV version had a leigh light with rocket launching rails fitted under the wings and both had the Mk III anti surface radar in a nose blister The Mk.VIII flew at 235 mph with a range of 2,500 miles and it carried 6 303 machine guns and either 2 depth charges or 2 torpedoes. The Mk.X and Mk.XI flew at 255 mph for a range of 2,020 miles and it had 8 303 machine guns with a 4,500 pound bomb load. The Mk.XIII and Mk.XIV flew at 250 mph with a range of 1,760 miles. It carried 8 303 machine guns and 5,000 pounds of bombs. Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Type 217 Mk VII were used by Coastal Command in anti submarine missions. It had a range of 2,300 miles at 230 mph and had Anti Surface Vessel radar in the nose. It was fitted with 1 x 303 machine gun in nose and in the tail turret there were 4 x 303 machine guns. It was able to carry 7,000 pounds of bombs. Lockheed Ventura GR Mk.1 and GR Mk.V were used by Coastal Command in anti submarine missions It could fly at 312 mph with a cruising speed of 272 mph over 925 miles. The armament was 8 303 machine guns and it could carry 6 325 pound depth charges or 1 torpedo. Short Sunderland were aircraft equipped with centimetric Anti Service Vessel Mk III radar. the Mk I was armed with guns in the nose and tail turret and also has two guns in hatches on the upper deck aft. The Mk II had a dorsal gun turret. The Mk V had four fixed forward firing and two hatches aft for additional guns. They had a maximum speed of 343 mph and a range of 2,700 miles with a load of 1,770 pounds of bombs. It was able to carry 4,960 pounds of bombs and depth charges. Consolidated PBY Catalina was used in anti submarine missions and convoy escort duties. The maximum speed was 196 mph and it would cruise at 135 mph with a range of 2,520 miles. It had 2 x 303 machine guns in nose and one and 1 x 303 machine gun at tail in ventral hatch. There were 2 x 50 calibre machine guns - one at each blister position. It could carry 4,000 pounds of bombs and depth charges and could be fitted for torpedoes.
Handley Page Halifax modified B Mk II flew anti submarine patrols for Coastal Command. This variant had the MK III Anti Surface Vessel radar along with a fixed wing 50 calibre forward firing machine gun. The Halifax aircraft considerably hindered the U boat activities by forcing them to submerge. It was used to mine enemy ports. Coastal Command flew the GR II, the GR II Series 1A, the GR V, the GR VI. They flew over the Bay of Biscay which was the route followed by U boats when leaving or returning to port. They were equipped with Mk III Anti Surface Vessel radar. It had wing mounted bomb bays which was ideal for hunting U boats. The speed was 325 mph with a range of 2,800 miles with a 3,000 pound load or 1,600 miles with 12,000 pound load. Boeing B-17 used in Coastal Command were Mk I, Mk II and MK IIAA variants. They had MK III Anti Surface Vessel radar and carried depth charges and bombs. The maximum speed was 325 mph and at a cruising speed of 230 miles it had a range of 2,400 miles There was 1 x 303 machine gun in the nose. 2 x 50 calibre guns in the belly turret, 2 x 50 calibre guns in the upper turret and 2 x 50 calibre in the tail. It was able to carry 4,500 pounds of bombs and depth charges. Consolidated B-24 Liberator variants GR Mk II, GR Mk V (B24D), GR Mk VI (B24 G/H/), GR Mk VIII (B24 J) was used in Coastal Command. It had Mk II Anti Surface Vessel radar and powered turrets. The upper turret had 4 x 303 machine guns and in the tail and either 2 -4 303 machine guns. One variant was a very long range aircraft that sacrificed some armour for more range. It also had a Leigh Light fitted. They were fitted with 8 zero-length rocket launchers and some rails fitted under the wings. The maximum speed was 287 mph and would cruise at 215 mph with a range of 1,600 miles. It was armed with 10 x 50 calibre machine guns in the tail. belly, upper and nose and 2 x waist guns. For long range the range was 800 miles with a bomb / depth charge load of 5,000 pounds. For very long range it was 1,200 miles with a bomb/depth charge load of 2,700 pounds.
Rockets were 2 inch and 3 inch and had high explosive and solid armour piercing warheads. The 3 inch rocket consisted 4 foot long steel tube filled with cordite propellant and fitted with 4 fins. In 1942 deliveries began. Most aircraft carried 4 under each wing. The 25 pound armour piercing warhead was used against the U boats. It was found by experience that a near miss at a shallow angle would curve up into the U boat hull. Royal Canadian Air Force Provided anti-submarine convoy escorts out to 200 miles in the Atlantic from the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Royal Canadian Navy It began the war with 12 ships of all types and ended the war as one of the largest with 434 ships of all types. During the course of the war the RCN sank 42 enemy surface ships and 33 U boats. From 1939-45 they lost 16 ships in the Battle of the Atlantic. a) Corvettes Flower Class HMCS Arvida HMCS Battleford HMCS Barrie HMCS Brandon HMCS Buctouche HMCS Camrose HMCS Chambly HMCS Chilliwack HMCS Dauphin HMCS Drumheller HMCs Eyebright HMCS Galt HMCS Hepaticia HMCS Kenogami HMCS Lethbridge HMCS Levis HMCS Mayflower HMCS Morden HMCS Napanee HMCS Orillia HMCS Pictou HMCs Rimouski HMCS Rosthern HMCS Shediac HMCS Trillium Length 205' Displacement 1,036 long tons Speed 16 knots Crew 85 Sensors 1 x SW1C and later 2C radar 1 x Type 123A and later Type 127DV ASDIC Armament 1 x 4" Mk IX single gun 2 x twin 50 calibre machine guns 2 x twin 303 machine guns 2 x Mk II depth charge throwers 2 x depth charge rails with 40 depth charges b) Corvette Flower Class HMCS Spikenard Length 205' Displacement 970 long tons (heavier than above ships Speed 16 knots Crew 85 Sensors 1 x SW1C radar and later 2C radar 1 x Type 123A and later Type 127DV ASDIC Armament 1 x 4" Mk IX single gun 2 x twin 50 caliber machine guns 2 x twin 303 machine guns 2 x Mk II depth charge throwers 2 x depth charge rails with 40 depth charges c) Corvettes Modified Flower Class HMCS Agassiz HMCS Alberni HMCS Algoma HMCS Amherst HMCS Prescott HMCS Sherbrooke Length 205' Displacement 970 long tons Speed 16 knots Crew 85 Sensors 1 x SWIC and later 2C radar 1 x Type 123A ASDIC and later Type 127 DV ASDIC Armament as at (a) Refit Sensors 1 x Direction Finding equipment installed Type 272 radar Armament 1 x 4: Mk IX single gun 4 x 20mm anti aircraft Oerlikon cannons 1 x Mk 3 hedgehog 2 x Mk II depth charge throwers 2 x depth charge rails with ro depth charges d) Corvette Flower Class HMCS Sackville which is the last corvette that served in World War II as an escort ship for the Allied convoys crossing the Atlantic. She is now a floating museum in Halifax - Nova Scotia Length 205' Displacement 950 tons Speed 16 knots Crew 85. Sensors 1 x Type 271 SW2C radar 1 x Type 144 C ASDIC Armament 1 x BL 4" Mk IX gun 1 x QF Mk VIII 2 pound gun on anti aircraft mount 2 x 20 mm Oerlikon anti aircraft cannons 2 x twin 303 machine guns 4 x Mk II depth charge throwers 2 x depth charge rails with 40 depth charges 1 x Mk 3 hedgehog e) Destroyers C & D Class HMCS Assiniboine / HMCS St Laurent HMCS Assiniboine Length 329' Displacement 1,901 tons Speed 36 knots Crew 145 Sensors 1 x Direction Control 1 x Rangefinder Armament 4 x 4" Mk IX single mounted guns "A & B" forward and "X & Y" aft 1 x 3" 20 cwt Anti aircraft gun between the funnels - removed 1936 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pound Mk II anti aircraft guns on aft end or forecastle deck were moved to between the funnels 2 x 21" quadruple torpedo tubes mounts 3 depth charge chutes with 2 depth charges each Refit 1 x 12 pounder anti aircraft gun replaced the rear torpedo tube 2 x .5" quadruple machine guns on Mk I mounts replaced 2 x 1.6" Mk II anti aircraft guns 1 x 4" Mk IX single mounted gun removed closest to stern and replaced with stowage for 60 depth charges Refit 1 x 12 pounder anti aircraft gun moved to where a "X" turret was to increase the depth charges she could carry Refit 2 x split Hedgehog anti submarine mortar with one on each side of forward turret 2 x Oerlikon 20 mm anti aircraft guns replaced the Vickers machine guns between the funnels. 2 x Oerlikon 20 mm anti aircraft guns fitted to searchlight platform 1 x Type 271 target indication radar installed 1 xType 286 short range search radar installed 1 x HF/DF radio direction finder installed HMCS St Laurent Length 329' Displacement 1,865 tons Speed 36 knots Crew 145 Sensors 1 x Director Control Tower 1 x Rangefinder Armament 4 x 4.7" Mk IX single mounted guns with " A & B" forward "X & Y" aft 1 x QF 3" 20 cwt Anti aircraft gun between the funnels 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns at aft end of forecastle deck. Refit 2 x 1.6" anti aircraft guns replaced the 1 x QF 3" antiaircraft gun between the funnels 2 x above water mounted quadruple torpedo tubes 3 x depth charge chutes were fitted on stern with 2 depth charges each Refit 2 x depth charge rails and throwers fitted 33 depth charges Refit 1 x Sensors Type 124 ASDIC Refit 1 x 12 pound anti aircraft gun replaced the rear torpedo tube mount 1 x QF .5" Mk I quadruple mount for MK III 303 machine guns replaced the 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns Canadian Refit 1 X Type 271 target indication radar replaced the Director Control Tower and Rangefinder Canadian Refit 1 x Hedgehog anti submarine spigot mortar replaced "B" gun 2 x Oerlikon 20 mm anti aircraft guns replaced to 2 x 50 calibre machine guns between the funnels 2 x Oerlikon 20 mm anti aircraft guns fitted on searchlight platform 2 x Oerlikon 20 mm anti aircraft guns fitted onto wings of bridge 1 x 12 pounder anti aircraft gun at stern was removed 1 x Type 286 short range surface search was fitted Storage for 60 depth charges replaced the "Y" gun at stern f) Town Class Destroyers HMCS Columbia / HMCS Niagara / HMCS St Croix HMCS Niagara Length 315' Displacement 1,191 tons Speed 35 knots Crew 122 Armament 4 x 4" 50 calibre guns - 1 forward, 1 aft, 2 midships 4 x 3 triple mounted torpedo tubes aft of the side 4" guns Refit 3 x 4" 50 calibre Mk 9 guns - 1 forward, 2 midships 2 x 3" anti aircraft guns aft depth charge rails replaced the aft 4: gun 1 x Type 271 radar HMCS Columbia Length 315' Displacement 1,213 tons Speed 35 knots Crew 111 Sensors 1 x SW 1C radar Armament 4 x 4" 50 calibre guns - 1 forward, 1 aft, 2 midships 4 x 3 triple mount torpedo tubes aft of the side 4" guns Refit 3 x 4 50 calibre Mk 9 guns - 1 forward, 2 midships 2 x 3" anti aircraft guns aft depth charge rails replaced the aft 4" gun 1 x Type 271 radar HMCS St Croix Length 315' Displacement 1,190 tons Speed 28 Knots Crew 153 Sensors 1 x SW 1C / SW 2C radar 1 x 123 ASDIC 3 x 4" 50 calibre Mk 9 with 1 forward, 2 midships 1 x 3" 40 calibre Mk V anti aircraft gun 2/4 x .8" Oerlikon anti aircraft guns 3 x 21" torpedo tubes 4 x Mk I depth charge throwers 2 x depth charge rails Refit 1 x Type 271 radar 1 x Type 124 ASDIC 3 x 4" 50 calibre Mk 9 with 1 forward, 2 midships 1 x 3" 40 calibre Mk V anti aircraft gun 2/4 x .8" Oerlikon anti aircraft guns 3 x 21" torpedo tubes 1 x Hedgehog anti submarine mortar 4 x Mk I depth charge throwers 2 x depth charge rails HMCS Leamington Length 314' Displacement 1,160 tons Speed 35 knots Crew 122 Armament 4 x 4" 50 calibre guns 12 x 21" torpedo tubes in 4 triple mounts 2 x depth charge tracks Refit 4 x 4" guns 2 x 3" anti aircraft guns 12 x 21" tubes g) Frigates River Class HMCS Ottawa Length 329' Displacement 1,865 tons Speed 36 knots Crew 145 Armament 4 x 4.7" 45 calibre guns Mk IX single mounts with - 2 forward, 2 aft 1 x 3" QF 30 cwt anti aircraft gun between the funnels. 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns on the aft of forecastle deck Refit 1 x 3" QF 30 cwt anti aircraft guns between funnels was removed 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns were removed from forecastle deck and fitted between the funnels 2 x quadruple torpedo tubes mounts fitted 3 x depth charge chutes fitted with 2 depth charges for each chute Refit 2 x depth charge rails with 33 depth charges 2 x depth charge throwers Canadian Refit 1 x Type 124 ASDIC 1 x quadruple torpedo tube mount removed from stern 1 x 12 pounder anti aircraft gun mounted on stern Canadian Refit 1 x Type 286 M short range surface radar that only looked forward Other Refits 4 x .8" Oerlikon anti aircraft guns 1 x 4.7" 45 Calibre Mk IX gun removed from stern depth charges were increased to 60 HMCS Restigouche Length 329' Displacement 1,865 tons Speed 26 knots Crew 145 Armamant 4 x 4.7" 45 calibre Mk IX single mounts - 2 forward, 2 aft 1 x 3: QF 30 cwt anti aircraft gun between the funnels 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns aft of forecastle deck Refit 1 x 3" QF 30 cwt anti aircraft guns between funnels removed 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns placed between funnels 2 x quadruple torpedo tube mounts fitted 3 x depth charge chutes with 2 depth charges per chute Canadian Refit 1 x Type 124 ASDIC 1 x quadruple torpedo tube mount removed from stern 1 x 12 pounder anti aircraft gun mounted on stern 2 x 1.6" QF 2 pounder Mk II anti aircraft guns removed 2 x .5" quadruple mounts QF Vickers Mk III machine guns fitted between funnels Canadian Refit 1 x 4.7" gun was removed from most forward platform 1 x Hedgehog anti submarine spigot mortar replaced forward gun 2 x .5" quadruple mounts QF Vickers Mk III machine guns removed 4 x .8" Oerlikon anti aircraft guns fitted - 2 onto search light platform and 2 fitted between funnels 1 x 12 pounder anti aircraft gun removed from stern 1 x Type 286 short range surface search radar was fitted 2 x QF 6 pounder Hotchkiss guns were fitted on wings of bridge 1 x 4.7" gun removed from stern depth charge stowage was increased to 60 depth charges HMCS Saguenay / HMCS Skeena Length 321' Displacement 1,337 tons Speed 31 knots Crew 181 Armament 4 x QF 4.7" guns with 2 forward and 2 aft 8 x tubes on 2 quadruple mounts 2 x QF 2 pounder 1.5" anti aircraft guns Refit 2 x QF 4.7" guns removed from most forward platform and stern platform 1 x QF 12 pounder 3" [laced on stern 1 x quadruple torpedo mount removed 6 x QF .8" Oerlikon anti aircraft guns 1 x Hedgehog anti submarine mortar fitted on forward gun platform Royal Navy Provided anti-submarine convoy escorts out to 200 miles in the Atlantic west of Ireland and to the middle of the Bay of Biscay.
Submarines patrolled south of Norway and the German Navy North Sea Stations which were Hamburg, Bremen and Wilhelmshaven.
Fleet aircraft carriers swept the Western Approaches during their anti-submarine patrols. The Royal Navy had similar ships as the Royal Canadian Navy had and they were armed the same inthe fight against the U boats.
The Royal Navy had in the Atlantic the following Corvettes 80 Destroyers 72 Frigate 7 Sloops 21 Armed Yacht 1 Squid Anti submarine Mortar fire three 200 pound projectiles into the water ahead of the attacking ship. The explosions surrounded a U boat in a three dimensional pattern. Underwater Sound Detector This is an acoustic device used to separate the sound of a target from ordinary ocean sounds. The target was the German U boats or a German surface ship and the intention is to detect a submarine or ship in the area of the sound detector and to find the direction and range of the object. The acoustic field of a ship is determined by listening and then determine how many blades the propeller has, the shape of her underwater part, grade of her axis and mechanism balance and the displacement and speed. For a submarine it depend upon the depth of the U boat. During the war underwater sound detectors were fitted into ships and the operator could tell if a U boat was moving or not. He could determine the mechanisms that were still working in the U boat
The United States
F) TOTAL TONNAGE SUNK IN THE ATLANTIC
This does not include sinkings from striking mines, weather or collisions
Total military tonnage sunk in the Battle of the Atlantic totaled 180 ships at 731,936 tons and this was from the German U boat fleet, Italian submarines, the principal large German fleet, the secondary ships of the German Navy and the Luftwaffe.
Total merchantmen tonnage sunk totaled 485 ships at 2,210,765 tons from Italian submarines, the principal large German fleet, the secondary ships of the German fleet, the Luftwaffe and the German raiders.
The number of merchantmen sunk in the Atlantic from the U boat fleet varied from 1,747 ships to 2,200 ships to 2,600 ships to 3500 ships and the tonnage varied from 13 million to 14.5 million tons. In my research I have come up with two scenarios of 14,499,354 merchantmen tonnage being sunk and 14 million tons being sunk. I did not consider the Wikipedia figures and gathered the information from British and German sources.
Scenario 1 Gives an estimate of 1,747 merchantmen being sunk. 1939 - 421,156 tons 1940 - 2,106751 tons 1941 - 2,171,754 1942 - 6,266,215 tons 1943 - 2,578,906 tons 1944 - 773,327 1945 - 271,226 total is 14,499,345 tons
Scenario 2 Provides no information of the number of merchantmen sunk. 1939 - 600,000 tons 1940 - 2.3 million tons 1941 - 2.2 million tons 1942 - 5.8 million tons 1943 - 2.3 million tons 1944 - 600,000 tons 1945 - 200,000 tons total 14 million tons
1) This is an accurate estimation that the U boat fleet sank 110 warships for a total of 429,692 tons
a) Royal Canadian Navy losses numbered 11 ships for a total of 16,892 tons.
Armed Yachts - HMCS Otter; HMCS Racoon Corvettes - HMCS Charlottetown; HMCS Levis; HMCS Regina; HMCS Shawinigan; HMCS Spikenard Destroyers - HMCS Athabaskan; HMCS Ottawa; HMCS St Croix Frigates - HMCS Chebogue; HMCS Magog; HMCS Valleyfield Minesweeper - HMCS Clayoquot; HMCS Esquimalt; HMCS Guysborough
b) Royal Navy losses numbered 80 ships for a total of 361,179 tons
Aircraft Carrier - HMS Courageous Armed Merchant Cruiser - HMS Andania; HMS Carinthia; HMS Dunvegan Castle; HMS Forfar; HMS Laurentic; HMS Patroclus; HMS Rajputana; HMS Salopian; HMS Scotsman; HMS Transylvania Auxiliary Fighter Ship - HMS Springbank Battlecruiser - HMS Hood Corvettes - HMS Alysse; HMS Arbutas; HMD Asphodel; HMS Bluebell; HMS Gladiolus; HMS Hurst Castle; HMS Picotee; HMS Polyanthus; HMS Vervain; HMS Zinnia Cutter - HMS Culver Destroyers - HMS Bath; HMS Belmont; HMS Beverley; HMS Broad; HMS Broadwater; HMS Cossack; HMS Firedrake; HMS Hardy; HMS Harvester; HMS Hurricane; HMS Mahratta; HMS Matabele; HMS Orkan; HMS Somali; HMS Stanley; HMS Veteran; ; HMS Warick; HMS Whirlwind Destroyer Depot Ship - HMS Helca Escort Carrier - HMS Audacity Frigate - HMS Bickerton; HMS Goodale; HMS Gould; HMS Inchen; HMS Tweed; Light Cruiser - HMS Dunedin; HMS Edinburgh Minesweeper - HMS Gossamer; HMS Leda; Ocean Boarding Ship - HMS Comito; HMS Crispin; HMS Kite; HMS Lady Somers; HMS Monistee; Sloop - HMS Dundee; HMS Lapwing; HMS Penzance; HMS Woodpecker Special Service Vessel - HMS Fidelity Trawlers - HMS Alouette; HMS Birdlip; HMS Bredon; HMS Bedfordshire; HMS Ebor Wyke; HMS Kingston Beryl; HMS Laertes; HMS Orfsay; HMS Northern Princess; HMS Rosemonde; Whaler - HMS Southern Flower; HMS Slora; HMS Southern Pride; HMS Sulla
c) United States Coast Guard losses numbered 1 ship at 2,350 tons
Cutter - Alexander Hamilton
d) United States Navy losses numbered 15 ships for a total of 46,386 tons
Destroyers - USS Borie; USS Fiske; USS Frederick C Davis; USS Jacob Jones; USS Leary; USS Reuben James Destroyer Escort - USS Leopold Gunboats - USS Erie; USS Plymouth Patrol Ship - USS Eagle Submarine - USS Dorado Submarine Chaser - USS PC 558 Troopships - USS Edward Rutledge; USS Joseph Hewess Weather Ship - USS Muskeget
e) Norwegian Navy losses were 2 ships for 1,985 tons.
Corvette - Montbretia Destroyers - Bath
f) Brazilian Navy losses were 1 ship for a total of 900 tons
Corvette - Camaqua
2) Italian Navy Submarines sank 5 warships for a total of 19,175 tons. sank 104 merchantmen for a total of 574,689 tons
3) German Navy Surface Ships
Capital Ships sank 19 warships for a total of 135,405 tons. 61 merchantmen for a total of 311,333 tons. Secondary Ships sank 3 warships for a total of 26,083 tons. 5 merchantmen for a total of 28,701 tons.
Raiders sank 57 merchantmen for a total of 400,277 tons.
Naval ships numbered 43 for a total of 124,581 tons Merchantmen numbered 258 for a total of 895,765 tons
% by country and service German Secondary Ships .4 German Capital Ships 2.8 German Auxiliary Raiders 3.6 Italian Submarines 5.2 Luftwaffe 8.0 U boat fleet 80.0
G) GERMAN WEAPONS USED AGAINST CONVOYS & ESCORTS
1) ITALIAN SUBMARINES
Italy became Nazi Germany's ally is June of 1940 and from that point until October 13, 1943 when Mussolini was deposed from power the Italian Navy had 32 of its submarines in the Atlantic. In 39 months they sank 5 Naval ships for 19,175 tons and 104 merchantmen for 574,689 tons. In total 109 ships were sunk for a total of 593,864 tons.
Naval ships sunk
HMT Kingston Sapphire; HMCS Saguenay; RFA Cairndale and Dinsdale; HMS Upholder
Aghios Nicolas; Agnete Maersk; Ainmoor; Alfonzo Penza; Alfred Olson; Allooth; Amicus; Anastassia; Andreas; Aurillac; Auris; Baitistan; Baron Lovat; Belcrest; Ben Brush; Bnlkis; Brask; Cardina; Carlton; Charibury; Charles Racine; Clan Macquarne; Clile; Djurdjura; Dogomba; Dona Aurora; Eirini Kynakides; Empire Zeal; Esso Copenhageen; Eumaeus; Eversama; Fernlore; Horn Shell; Huntington; Ida Knudson; Ilvington Court;; Kabato; lillian Moller; Macon; Mangen; Marcus Whitman; Meggie; Navemar; Nemia; Nicolas Filinis; Nikokis; Orao; Oscilla; Oronsay; Pizarro; Portugal; Reine Marie Steunt; Risoy; Saint Agnes; Scottish Star; Shakespeare; Sildra; Silverpine; Stag Hoard; Sylvia de Larrinaga; T C McCobb; Taberg; Tisnaren; Tonsbergfjord; Tredinnick; Urla; Veerharen; Western Chief
2) THE KREIGSMARINE
Kreigsmarine B Service Was finally able to read the Allied convoy codes and the Royal Navy's Operational Codes.
Both the Germans except Admiral Donitz and the British all thought that their surface fleets were the most effective merchantman destroyer. It was not until the second half of 1940 that the German surface ships made their presence known in the Atlantic.
A 1) Bismarck Class Battleships Bismarck
Tonnage was 50,300 tons loaded Length was 824 feet Speed was 30 knots Crew was 2,065 Sensors FuMO 23 Seetakt radar Armament 8 x 15 inch cannons in 4 turrets with 2 guns 12 x 5 inch guns in 6 turrets with 2 guns 16 x 4.1 inch anti aircraft guns in 8 turrets with 2 guns 16 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns in 8 turrets with 2 guns 12 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns in single emplacements Armour Belt was 12.6 inch Turrets were 14.2 inch Main deck was 3.9 - 4.7 inches Aircraft 4 Arado Ar 198 floatplanes
The Bismarck did not sink any surface ships on her only voyage. She did however sink the battlecruiser HMS Hood of 47,430 tons loaded. She was caught in the North Atlantic on the way to France. She was sunk by the Royal Navy in the ensuing battle. May 27, 1941
A 2) Bismarck Class Battleship Tirpitz
Tonnage was 52,600 tons loaded Length was 823.6 feet Speed was 30 knots Crew was 2,065 Sensors FuMO 23 Seetakt radar Armament 8 x 15 inch cannons in 4 twin turrets 12 x 5.9 inch guns in 6 double turrets 16 x 4.1 inch anti aircraft guns in 8 double turrets 16 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns in 8 double placements 12 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns in single emplacements
46 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns in single emplacements were added 8 x 21 inch torpedo tubes in 1 quadruple mounts were added on each side of ship. Armour Belt was13 inches Turrets were14 inches Main deck was 3.9 - 4.7 inches
The Tirpitz did not sink any merchantmen or warships. She was sunk by RAF Bomber Command in Norway. November 12, 1944
B 1 & 2) Scharnhorst Class Battleships Scharnhorst & Gneisenau
Tonnage was 38,700 tons loaded Length of Scharnhorst was 770.8 feet of Geisenhau was 753.11 feet Speed was 31 knots Crew was 1,669 Armament 9 x 11 inch cannons with 3 triple turrets with two forward and one aft 12 x 5.9 inch guns in 4 double turrets and 4 single emplacements 14 x 4.1 inch anti aircraft guns in 7 double placements 16 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns in 8 double placements 10 x .79 inch anti aircraft single placement guns with modifications
58 x .79 inch additional anti aircraft single placement guns 2 x 21 inch torpedo tube units with a triple mount on each side Armour Belt was 13.8 inch Deck was 2 - 4.1 inch Turrets were 7.9 - 14.2 inches Conning Tower was 13.7 inch Aircraft 3 Arado Ar 196A Seaplanes
Scharnhorst was sunk in Battle of North Cape. December 26, 1943 Gneisenau was so badly damaged in a raid by RAF Bomber Command she never sailed again. February 26, 1942.
............................................................................................................................................................................... C 1) Pocket Battleship Deutschland and then renamed Lutzow
Tonnage was 14,520 tons loaded Length was 610.3 feet Speed was 28 knots Crew was 619 Armament 6 x 11 inch cannons in 2 turrets with 3 cannons 8 x 5.9 inch guns in single turrets 3 x 3.5 inch anti aircraft guns in single mounts 8 x 21 inch torpedo tubes with 1 quadruple mount on each side Armour Belt was 3.1 inches Turrets were 5.5 inches Deck was 1.8 inches Aircraft 2 x Arado Ar 196 seaplanes
She was sunk April 13, 1945.
C 2) Pocket Battleship Admiral Scheer
Tonnage was 15,180 tons loaded Length was 610.3 feet Speed was 28.3 knots Crew was 1,073 Sensor FMG 39 G Radar Armament 6 x 11 inch cannons in two turrets with 3 guns 8 x 5.9 inch guns in single turrets 6 x 4.1 inch anti aircraft guns on sing platforms 8 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns that were twin mounted on 4 platgorms 28 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns 8 x 21 inch torpedoes mounted on quadruple mounts with one on each side Armour Belt was 3.1 inches Turrets were 5.5 inches Deck was 1.8 inches Aircraft 2 x Arado Ar 196 seaplanes
She was sunk on April 9, 1945 by RAF Bomber Command
C 3) Pocket Battleship Admiral Graf Spee
Tonnage was 15,020 tons loaded Length was 610.3 feet Speed was 28.5 knots Crew was 1,070 Sensor FMG 39 G radar Armament 6 x 11 inch cannons mounted on triple turrets 8 x 5.9 inch guns in single turrets 6 x 4.1 anti aircraft guns 4 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns 10 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns 8 x 21 Inch torpedoes mounted on two quadruple platforms on the stern Armour Belt was 3.9 inches Upper deck was .67 inches Main deck was 1.8-2.8 inches Turrets were 5.5 inches Aircraft 1 x Heinkel He 60 floatplane
The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Langsdorf on December 18, 1939.
D 1) Admiral Hipper Class Heavy Cruiser Admiral Hipper
Tonnage was 16,500 tons loaded Length was 665.4 feet Speed was 32 knots Crew was 1,382 Armament 8 x 8 inch guns mounted on 4 twin turrets 12 x 4.1 inch anti aircraft guns in 6 twin mountings 12 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns on single platforms 8 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns on single platforms 12 x 21 Inch torpedoes on 4 triple launchers on the main deck. She carried 24 torpedoes 96 contact mines
8 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns on single platforms 28 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns on single platforms
with modifications 1944
15 x 1.6 inch anti aircraft guns on single platforms
with modifications 1945 20 x 1.6 inch antiaircraft guns on single platforms 18 x .79 inch . Armour Belt was 2.9-3.1 inches Upper deck midship was .1 inches Main deck was .79-1.97 inches Turrets were 4.1 inches Aircraft 3 Arado Ar 106 float planes
The Admiral was damaged by RAF Bomber Command while in Kiel and never returned to operations.
D 2) Admiral Hipper Class Heavy Cruiser Prinz Eugen
Tonnage was 19.050 tons loaded Length was 697.2 feet Speed was 32 knots Crew was 1,382 Armament 8 x 8 inch cannons mounted in 4 twin turrets 12 x 4.1 inch anti aircraft guns in 6 twin turrets 12 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns 8 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns 2 x 21 inch triple torpedo launchers abreast of rear superstructure Armour Belt was 2.8-3.1 inches Upper deck was .47-1.18 inches Main deck was .79-1.97 inches Turrets had 4.1 inches Aircraft 3 x Arado 196 floatplanes
Prinz Eugen survived the war with the United States taking possession of her at the end of the war. She was sunk off the Bikini Atoll following the nuclear bomb tests by the United States.
Military tonnage sunk by German capital ships
HMS Hood was a British battle cruiser of 47,420 tons and was sunk from the gunfire of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.
Scharnhorst / Gneisenhau HMS Rawalpindi - 16,697 tons HMS Acasta - 1,731 tons
Scharnhorst HMS Ardent - 1,731 tons HMS Glorious - 27,419 tons
Admiral Sheer HMS Jervis Bay - 14,164 tons Sibiryakov - 1,384 tons
Admiral Hipper HMT Juniper - 770 tons HMS Orama - 19,840 tons HMS Bramble - 1,291 tons
Destroyers / E boats HMS Hardy - 2,053 tons HMS Huner - 1,883 tons HMS Eskimo - 2,519 tons HNoMZ A2 - 337 tons HNoMS Eidsvold - 4,165 tons HNoMS Norge - 4,165 tons HNoMS Smart - 122 tons HNoMS Stegg - 256 tons HMS Snapper - 960 tons
Military tonnage sunk by the German surface fleet was 19 ships for a total of 135,405 tons
Scharnhorst Lustrious - 6,156 tons Marathon - 8,101 Athelfoam - 6,564 tons British Strength - 7,139 tons Demerton - 5,251 tons Empire Industry - 3,721 tons Mangkai - 8,298 tons Sardinian Prince - 3,490 tons Silverfir - 4,347 tons
Gneisenhau A D Huff - 6,219 tons Harlesden - 5,483 tons Kantara - 3,237 tons Trelawny - 4,689 tons Bianca - 5,688 tons Myson - 4,564 tons Simnia - 6,197 tons Rio Dorado - 4,507 tons Royal Crown - 4,388 tons San Casimiro - 8,046 tons Chilian Reefer - 1,793 tons Granli - 1,577 tons
Deutschland renamed Lutzow Stonehate - 5,044 tons Lorentz W Hansen 1,918 tons
Admiral Sheer Beaverford - 10,042 tons Fresno City - 4,955 tons Kenbane Head - 5,225 tons Maidan - 7,908 tons Mopan - 5,389 tons Trewelland - 5,201 tons Stanpark - 5,103 tons Port Hobart - 7,448 tons Tribesman - 6,242 tons Barneveld - 5,597 tons
Admiral Graf Spee Clement - 5,051 tons Newton Beech - 4,651 tons Ashlea - 4,222 tons Huntsman - 5,299 tons Trevanion - 5,298 tons Doric Star - 10,442 tons Tairoa - 7,983 tons Streonshalh - 3,895 tons
Admiral Hipper Oil Pioneer - 5,666 tons Jumna - 6,078 tons Iceland - 1,271 tons Bergestad - 3,924 tons Derrynane - 4,896 tons Oswestry Grange - 4,684 tons Perseus - 5,172 tons Shrewsbury - 4,542 tons Warlaby - 4,876 tons Westbury - 4,712 tons
Destroyers / E boats Sorland - 107 tons Cate B - 4,285 tons Oxelosund - 5,613 tons Redskjael - 133 tons Mersington Court - 5,140 tons Appolonia - 2,086 tons North Cornwall - 4,303 tons Blythmoor - 6,582 tons Saphir - 4,306 tons Strassa - 6,560 tons
Merchantmen tonnage sunk by the German capital ships was 61 ships for 311,333 tons.
E) German Raiders
During the war the German Navy used merchant ships that they converted into armed raiders and these ships roamed the oceans attacking merchant shipping. Their mission was to disrupt in any manner the flow of Allied food supplies and raw materials from reaching Britain. These ships had advanced gunnery and torpedo tubes on a swivel with some tubes below the water line. They also carried a large number of mines. They carried reconnaissance aircraft as well. There were large storage facilities for fuel, food goods and drinking water. In addition there were large sick bays, a machine shop, livestock pens and greater provisions for the crews of captured ships. From 1939-42 they roamed at will and were replenished by large supply ships but then the Allied surveillance became more proficient and more convoys were put in motion, their role began to decline . Still these raiders were very successful in their objective of sinking ships.
German Raider tonnage sunk in Atlantic was 57 ships at 400,277 tons tons
E 1) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Atlantis Atlantis had a 3,000 ton fuel capacity, 1,200 ton water capacity and a coal capacity of 1,000 tons. She required space for sand ballast, space for captured prisoners, space for chicken coops, space fore refrigerators, space for the crew, space for her aircraft, space for artificial ventilation, space for two swivel torpedo tubes, space for pigpens, space for fruits and vegetables, space for sea charts and radio transmitters. Atlantis also needed a number of devices to conceal her identity and appear as another ship and these included heavy flaps, collapsible ventilators, telescoping masts and funnels helped conceal the real Atlantis. The Atlantis was the first raider to venture out into the Atlantic from her homeport in Germany during March of 1940. She had the ability to disguise herself as 37 different ships from a number of nations. During her 655 days at sea she captured or sank 16 vessels and captured 6. Many of her kills were in the Indian Ocean. On November 22, 1941, the County class cruiser HMS Devonshire (9,950 tons) sent her Walrus on a reconnaissance and anti submarine patrol and it reported a merchant ship sighting. Devonshire suspected this might be an enemy raider that he had been made aware of. He altered course and increased speed. Devonshire spotted the masts of a ship and at the time there was a moderate breeze from the south-east and a slight sea with a short slow swell. The visibility was 10 miles. Atlantis had been resupplying U-126 and once she had spotted Devonshire U-126 dived leaving her Captain aboard the Atlantis. Devonshire turned and launched her aircraft. Devonshire was aroused about this ship as it had a similar appearance to Raider 16 and the ship manoeuvred itself 12,000 - 18,000 yards from Atlantis. As soon as the aircraft was in the air Atlantis turned to starboard and sailed south-east. Devonshire then fired a two salvo spread from her 8 inch guns to right and left hoping Atlantis would return fire. Devonshire wanted to identify the ship or convince her to abandon ship and avoid bloodshed especially if she had captured merchantmen crews on board. Atlantis stopped and sent a wireless message RRR RRR RRR and gave her name as the Polyphemus. Devonshire immediately noticed that the Atlantis wireless messages were 3 sets of 3Rs and not the required 4 RS and no signal letters were used. Devonshire wanted to know for certain what this ship was so it radioed the South Atlantic Station asking if this ship was actually the Polyphemus. While Devonshire was waiting for a reply the aircraft was asked what type of stern did the ship have and the reply was it was a cruiser stern. The South Atlatic Station replied it was not the Polyphemus. Devonshire opened fire at a range of 17,000 yards and her fourth salvo struck Atlantis resulting in a fire. The fire then spread to the magazine resulting in a large explosion. Atlantis had put up a smoke screen but did not return fire. The Devonshire had fired 30 salvoes when she checked fire and turned to the east to avoid the smokescreen. The aircraft from Devonshire reported Atlantis was burning but was keeping her speed at 15 knots. Devonshire began firing again and Atlantis was now heavily on fire and down by the stern. Then there was a heavy explosion on Atlantis and followed by a second explosion and at this point Atlantis sank. Devonshire then recovered her aircraft which had a damaged propeller and because of the threat of U-126 being close the Devonshire left the scene and was unable to pick up survivors. There were 350 survivors from the Atlantis and one merchant marine seaman prisoner.
Tonnage was 7,862 Length was 509.8 feet Speed was 17.5 knots Crew was 350 Armament 6 x 5,9 inch cannons 1 x 3 inch gun 2 x 1.5 inch twin mount anti aircraft guns 2 x .8 inch anti aircraft cannons 4 x 21 inch torpedo tubes 93 mines Aircraft 2 x Heinkel He 114C floatplanes
She was given the term Raider "C" by the Royal Navy
1) Scientist was a ship of 6,201 tons. Her cargo was a general cargo which included ore and jute. She was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo in the South Atlantic. 2) Benarty was a freighter of 5,800 tons. She was shelled and sunk in the South Atlantic. 3) ZamZam was a passenger liner 8,300 tons. She had a crew of 110 which became prisoners and 200 passengers who were sent to Bordeaux. She was sunk by gunfire and scuttling charges. 4) Rabaul was a freighter of 6,810 tons and she had a cargo of coal for Britain. She was sunk by gunfire. 5) Trafalgar was a freighter of 4,530 tons. The ship was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes. 6) Tottenahm was a freighter of 4,760 tons. Her cargo was military equipment bound for the United Kingdom. She was sunk by gunfire. 7) Balzak was a freighter of 5,375 tons. Her destination was Liverpool.
In the South Atlantic she sank 7 ships totaling 41,876 tons. As she sank a number of ships in the Indian Ocean area who were sailing toward the Atlantic Ocean.
E 2) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Kormoran
Tonnage was 8,736 tons Length was 538.1 feet Speed was 18 knots Crew was 400 Armament 6 x 5.9 inch cannons with 2 in the forecastle and quarterdeck and the remaining 2 guns midships. 2 x 1.46 anti tank guns on separate mounts on the superstructure hidden by sheet metal platforms.. 5 x .79 inch anti aircraft guns with 2 guns in the forecastle, 2 on the aft funnel deck and the fifth on the quarterdeck. These were hidden and sat on hydraulic platform. 6 x 21 inch torpedo tubes on 2 twin swivel mounts on the upper deck along with 2 aft angled submerged tubes at midships. 360 contact mines 30 mines fired through torpedo tubes. Aircraft 2 Arado 196 floatplanes.
She was given the name Raider "G" by the Royal Navy.
Kormoran was converted into an armed raider and the work included installing camouflaged weapons, fitting bunks for sailors, creating internal passageways leading to various stations on the ship. Prisoner accommodations were built. She was also provided with the equipment to alter her appearance She sailed from her homeport on December 3, 1940 and her instructions were to search the Atlantic for targets of opportunity then head east into the Indian Ocean. She was expected to replenish U-boats and she carried extra torpedoes and spare parts.
1) Antonis was a freighter of 3,729 tons and was carrying coal. She was sunk by scuttling. 2) British Union was a tanker of 6,987 tons and she was sunk by gunfire. 3) Afric Star was a refrigerator ship of 11,900 tons and she was carrying meat and butter to the United Kingdom. She was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes. 4) Eurylochus was a freighter of 5,723 tons and she was carrying a load of bombers. She was sunk with one torpedo strike. 5) Agnita was a tanker of .3,552 tons. She was sunk with one torpedo strike. 6) Canadolite was a Canadian tanker of 11,309 tons. She was captured and taken to France. 7) Craftsman was a freighter of 8,022 tons. Her cargo was submarine nets bound for the far east. She was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike. 8) Nicolaos D. L. was a freighter of 5,486 tons. She had a cargo of Canadian timber. She was sunk by gunfire and scuttling.
In the South Atlantic her tally was 8 ships for a total of 56,708 tons. On November 19, 1941 she spotted masts which turned out to be HMAS Sydney a Leander class cruiser of 8,940 tons. Syndney began closing from astern and began to signal the Kormoran who did not reply. As they closed Sydney signalled by light and signal flag. Kormoran hoisted fake callsigns which Sydney originally could not see but eventually the flags stated the ship was the Dutch Straat Malakka but Sysney was not aware of such a ship. There were further flag signals between the two and then Sydney closed from the stern and began pacing the Kormoran on a parallel course 4,300 feet apart. Sydney's main guns and port torpedo launcher were fixed on Kormoran. Sydney sent the interior portion of the Straat Malakka secret callsign. Kormoran did not reply and Sydney demanded her callsign. Kormoran decamouflaged and opened fire as did Sydney. Kormaoran was not damaged by the first Salvo but Sydney's bridge destroyed as was the fire control tower and the forward turrets were damaged as was her aircraft which was burning. After the Kormorans sixth salvo was when Sydney opened up again. Kormoran took multiple hits damaging her machinery spaces and one of the cannons and igniting an oil tank. Kormoran was keeping up her heavy fire and then fired a torpedo which hit the Sydney just forward of "A" turret and near the ASDIC which ripped a hole causing the bow to angle down. Sydney moved to port and down by the bow passed behind Kormoran and shells knocked "B: turret off Sydney. who was moving south and losing speed.and on fire. Her main armament was now disabled with the two aft turrets now jammed and unable to fire. Her secondary armament was out of range. Kormorant was scoring from her aft guns Sudney fired torpedoes from her starboard side and all missed their target. Kormorants engines failed in the turn but she continued to fire. Sydney continued to increase the distance but she was not in control and after darkness the Kormoran could see the glow from the Sydney during the night. During the night she lost buoancy and sank. Kormoran was crippled and the crew abandoned their ship after they knew the fires could not be controlled and she was scuttled and she sank slowly until the mine deck exploded. HMAS Sydney sank with her crew of 645. Kormoran survivors numbered 318 out of a total of 399. On March 12, 2008 the wreck of the Kormoran was located and on March 17 the wreck of HMAS Sydney was located. Sydney was at a depth of 8,097 feet.
E 3) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Michel
Michel was once the hospital ship Bonn and during the summer of 1941 she was converted into a raider. She set out on her first raiding mission on March 1942. She sailed through the English Channel under heavy escort to a port in occupied France on the west coast on the Bay of Biscay to the port of La Pallice. She grounded on her try through the Channel but managed to reach the Atlantic on March 20.
Tonnage was 4,740 tons. Length was 433 feet Speed was 16 knots Crew was 395. Armament 6 x 5.9 inch cannons. 1 x 4.1 inch guns. 2 x 1.5 inch twin mounted anti aircraft guns. 4 x .79 anti aircraft guns 6 x 21 inch torpedo tubes with 2 swivel mounts midships and 2 single mounts underwater. 1 x Torpedo boat LS 4 Esau Aircraft 2 x Arado Ar 196A
She was given the name Raider "H" by the Royal Navy. 1) Patella was a tanker of 7,468 tons which was sunk 1,000 miles east of Rio de Janeiro. She was sailing from Trinidad to Simonstown in South Africa. Her cargo was 10,000 tons of fuel oil and the Michel shelled her and then scuttled her. 2) Connecticut was a tanker of 8,684 tons. She was carrying 100 octane gasoline. Michel's torpedo boat torpedoed her with two torpedoes which blew the ship up and sank. He destination was South Africa. 3) Kattegat was a freighter of 4,245 tons and was sailing empty. She was sunk by gunfire and scuttling. 4) George Clymer was an American Liberty Ship of 7,176 tons. She was carrying a mixed cargo plus aircraft and was bound for South Africa. She sank from torpedo strikes and scuttling. 5) Lylepark was a freighter of 5,186 tons. She was then battered by Michel's guns. She was carrying 8,000 tons of aircraft parts, petrol and military supplies. She sank from the fires of the shelling. 6) Gloucester Castle was a liner of 8,006 tons and she was shelled causing gas cannisters on her foredeck which caused fired to spread. She was carrying military equipment, aircraft, gasoline and machinery and she also had women and children on board. Some were rescued. It was forbidden by all countries to have women and children on a ship carrying war supplies. 7) William F. Humphrey was a tanker of 7,893 tons she was sunk by heavy gunfire. 8) Aramis was a tanker of 7,984 tons and she was sailing with the William F. Humphrey when she was attacked by two torpedoes and began to list. She then righted and continued on and the following day another torpedo and gunfire sank her. 9) Arabstan was a freighter of 5,874 tons. She was raked by gunfire which caused her to sink. 10) MS American Leader was a freighter of 6,778 tons. She was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes. Her cargo was 2,000 tons of rubber, 850 tons of coconut oil, 400 tons of copra, 100 tons of spices, 200 tons of grease along with hides and assorted goods plus 20 tons of opium. 11) Empire Dawn was a ship of 7,241 tons. She was sunk by gunfire. 12) Empire March was a freighter of 7,040 tons. She was carrying iron, peanuts, tea and jute. She was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes.
During her period in the South Atlantic in 1942 and early 1943 she sank 12 ships with a total tonnage of 83,575. She was successful in the Indian Ocean and the Far East as well. On the night of October 17, 1943 the USS Tarpon which was a Porpoise class of American submarine was patrolling off the coast of Japan when she detected what she thought was a Japanese Naval auxiliary vessel. He began to follow and set himself up for an attack position. At 1:56 am on the morning of October 18 the Tarpon fired a spread of 4 torpedoes and 2 torpedoes struck Michel. Michel stopped with a list to port and then got underway again and headed for the Tarpon. Tarpon had to go deep and Michel passed over the submarine and when the Tarpon came up the Michel was firing her guns in all directions. Tarpon fired a second spread of 3 torpedoes with one blowing her stern off and another striking the Michel and causing a massive explosion. By the time the smoke cleared Michel had sunk and took her Captain and 263 crew members with her. Only 110 if her crew survived the attack.
E 4) German Navy Auxiliary Cruiser Orion
The Orion was originally the cargo ship Kurmark and after he alterations was commissioned on December 9, 1939. The German Kriegsmarine considered the raiders of WWI not to have contributed very much to the war effort. As a result they decided to build just 5 raiders. She left Germany on April 6, 1940.
Tonnage was 7,021 tons Length was 486 feet Speed was 14.8 knots Crew 356 Armament 6 x 5.9 Inch cannons which were taken from first World War Battleship Schleswig-Holstein 1 x 3.0 inch gun 2 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns 4 x .8 inch anti aircraft cannons 6 x 21 inch torpedo tubes 228 Contact Mines Aircraft 1 x Arado Ar 196 floatplane 1 x Nakajima E8N floatplane Orion sailed across the Atlantic toward the Caribbean Sea where she encountered her only sinking in the Atlantic.
Haxby was a cargo ship of 5,207 tons. She was sunk by torpedos north-east of the Dominican Republic.
Orion then continued south and went around the Cape Horn into the Pacific and indian Oceans before returning to France.
She was given the name Raider "A" by the Royal Navy.
In the Atlantic Orion sank 5,207 tons.
E 5) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Pinguin
Pinguin was the most successful German raider of the war. Prior to the war she was the the freighter Kandelfels. She was one of the first raiders to proceed out on a mission. She left her home port on June 15, 1940 and slipped out through the Demark Strait and headed south into the Atlantic.
Tonnage was 17,900 tons Length was 509 feet Speed was 17 knots Crew was 401 Armament 6 x 5.9 inch cannon 1 x 3 inch gun 1 x 1.5 inch twin anti aircraft gun 2 x .8 inch anti aircraft cannons 2 x 21 inch Torpedo tubes 300 contact mines Aircraft 2 x Heinkel He 114 B 1 x Arado Ar 196 A1
1) Domingo de Larrinaga was a 5,358 ton cargo ship that was shelled and sunk. 2) Clan Buchanan was a cargo ship of 7,266 tons. She was shelled which caused her to sink. 3) Borgiten was a ship of 1,569 tons sunk by gunfire.
She was given the name Raider "F" by the Royal Navy
Pinguin sank three ships in the Atlantic for a total of 14,193 tons.
On May 7, 1941 Pinguin intercepted and sank the the tanker British Emperor who was able to send a distress call prior to sinking. HMC Cornwall a heavy cruiser altered her course. As the sun rose on May 8th one of the reconnaissance planes spotted Pinguin. What took place in the following hours in the Indian Ocean off of the Sychelles was HMS Cornwall and Pinguin made contact and opened fire. The result was Cornwall was slightly damaged but the Pinguin was badly damaged and exploded after he mines were hit by gunfire. Pinguin had a crew of 401 and 323 of the crew died. Pinguin had prisoners on board from captured and ships she sank and 22 of these men were saved.
E 6) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Stier
Stier was originally the freighter Cairo. She was converted in a mine layer for "Operation Sealion" which was the invasion of the United Kingdom which never took place. On May 9, 1942 Stier left Kiel and reached Rotterdam on May 10. Two days later the Stier departed with the escort of minesweepers and torpedo boats which convinced the British the Stier was important and on May 13 the British attacked but the Stier reached Boulogne unharmed. She then left for Le Havre and followed the coast to Cherbourg arriving at the estuary at Gironde on May 19. The next day he left for his raiding mission.
Tonnage was 4,778 tons Length was 440 feet Speed was 14 knots Crew was 324 Armament 6 x 5.9 inch cannons. 1 x 3 inch gun. 1 x 1.5 inch twin anti aircraft gun. 4 x .79 inch single anti aircraft guns. 2 x 21 inch submerged torpedo tubes. Aircraft 2 x Arado AR 231 floatplane
Gemstone was a freighter of 4,986 tons carrying a cargo if iron ore. She was sunk by torpedo. Stanvac Calcutta was a tanker of 10,170 tons.. She decided to fight it out with Stier and she was badly damaged and a number of her crew were killed. Dalhousie was a freighter of 7,072 tons and she refused to stop when ordered to and was burning from the gunfire from Stier. She was sunk by a torpedo strike. Stephen Hopkins was a Liberty Ship of 7,181 tons. She and the Stier carried out a hours long gun battle. The Stephen Hopkins had 1 x 4Inch gun, 2 x 1.5 inch anti aircraft guns and a number of machine. She fought Stier to a draw and the Stephen Hopkins sank from gunfire and fires and the Stier sank from gunfire, fires and from the torpedoes on board exploding.
Stier had been at sea only 140 days at sea on her first raiding mission and had sunk 4 ships which totaled 29,409 tons.
She was given the name of Raider "J" by the Royal Navy
E 7) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Thor
Thor was originally the cargo ship Santa Cruz and she was commissioned as a raider in March 1940. During her first raiding mission she was at sea 328 days and on her second raiding mission she was at sea 314 days. She was the second smallest of the German raiders. Following her sea trials she left Kieler Forde in Germany she headed north on June 6, 1940 through the Great Belt, the Kattegat, the Skaggerak and followed the coast of Norway arriving at Bergen. She left Bergen and reached the open water of the North Atlantic on June 16.
Tonnage was 3,862 Length was 400 feet Speed was 17 knots Crew was 349 Armament 6 x 5.9 inch cannons 2 x 1.5 inch twin anti aircraft guns 4 x .79 inch twin anti aircraft guns 4 x 21 inch torpedo tubes Aircraft 1 x Arafo Ar 196 A1 float plane
Kertosono was a cargo ship of 9,290 tons with a cargo of petrol, timber, asphalt and agricultural machinery and she was taken as a prize and sent to Lorient - France. Delambre was a freighter of 7,030 tons and carrying a cargo of cotton, cotton seed and hides. She was shelled and then scuttled. Bruges was a freighter of 4,984 tons and carrying a cargo of wheat. She was scuttled with demolition charges. Gracefield was a freighter of 4,631 tons and her cargo was wheat. She was sunk by torpedo strikes. Wendover was a freighter of 5,487 tons and was shelled and set on fire and the scuttled by charges. She had a cargo of coal. Tela was a ship of 3,777 tons and sunk by shelling and demolition charges. She had a cargo of wheat, maize and millet along with frozen turkeys, ducks and chickens. Then one day Thor encountered the British armed merchant cruiser Alcantara at 22,181 tons who chased Thor for four hours. In the following gun battle two salvos from the Alcantara hit Thor but three shells from Thor found their mark and the engine room of Alcantara was flooded forcing her to reduce speed and Thor slipped away. Kosmos was a whale/oil tanker of 17,801 tons who had a cargo of 17,662 tons of whale oil. She was sunk by gunfire. Natia was a refrigerator ship of 8,715 tons and she was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike. Thor met another British armed merchant cruiser the HMS Carnarvon Castle Thor again met a British armed merchant cruiser of 20,122 tons the HMS Carnarvon Castle. In the following gun battle the guns of Thor found their mark more than twenty times and it forced the British cruiser to break away. Tonnage sunk in 1940 was 8 ships for a total of 61,715 tons 1941
Britannia was a passenger ship of 8,799 tons and was sunk by gunfire. Tronnenholm as a Swedish neutral ship of 5,045 tons was stopped by Thor but learned the ship was chartered by the British and was hauling coal. He was sunk by demolition charges. Thor encountered the third British armed merchant cruiser the HMS Voltaire with a tonnage of 13,245 tons. Thor set the British cruiser on fire from shell fire. She was severely crippled and sank as a result of the fires. Sir Ernest Cassel was a Swedish coal carrier of 7,739 tons was sunk by demolition charges. She then headed back to Germany for an overhaul she arrived at her home port on April 30, 1941.
Seven months later on November 30, 1941 she left her home port replenished and with more modern weaponry.
Pagasitikos was a 3,942 ton ship which was sunk by Torpedo. She was carrying a cargo of coal. Wellpark was a freighter of 4,470 tons sunk by gunfire She had a cargo of aircraft parts and military vehicles. She was sunk by gunfire. Willisden was a freighter of 4,565 tons and was sunk by gunfire and torpedo strikes. Aust was a freighter of 5,630 tons was sunk by gunfire and demolition charges. Kirkpool was a freighter of 4,840 tons was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike.
Tonnage sunk in 1941 was 58,275 tons.
She received the name Raider "E" from the Royal Navy.
Thor then reached Yokahama - Japan on October 9, 1942 where refitting began for a third voyage. At the end of the month there was an explosion on the supply ship Uckermark sending large pieces of burning debris onto Thor. Both ships were now burning and both ships plus two Japanese ships were destroyed.
E 8) German Navy Auxiliary Raider Widder
Originally she was the freighter Neumark. She began her refit in late 1939 and was commissioned as the raider Widder on December 9, 1940.
Tonnage was 7,851 tons Length was 499 feet Speed was 14knots Crew was 364 Armament 6 x 5,9 inch cannons 1 x 3 inch gun 1 x 1.5 inch twin anti aircraft gun 2 x .79 inch twin anti aircraft guns 4 x 21 inch torpedo tubes on twin mounts 92 contact mines Aircraft 2 x Heinkel He 114B On February 25, 1940 she sailed from Kiel and then between April 23-May 3 she did sea trials in the eastern Baltic and then on May 6 she was heading north off the Norwegian coast and was attacked by a British Submarine which fired two torpedoes that missed Widder and then the following day another submarine was encountered. She entered Bergen harbour on May 8. They departed May 12 for the Demark Strait and the next day Widder encountered the British submarine HMS Clyde and they fought one another for an hour with no damage to either vessel. The Widder sought refuge in the Sandefiord in Noway where he remained until the following day when he again headed north and crossed the Arctic Circle on May 15. She sailed through the Denmark Strait. She finally reached her patrol zone which was between Central America and Africa.
British Petrol was a tanker of 6,891 tons was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike. Krossfonn was a tanker of 9,323 tons and she was captured and sent to France. Davisian was a cargo ship of 6,433 tons and carrying coal and briquettes. She was sunk by a torpedo strike and gunfire. King John was sunk by gunfire, scuttling charges and a torpedo strike and was 5,228 tons. Beaulieu was a tanker of 6,114 tons. She was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike. Oostplein was a freighter of 5,059 tons with a cargo of 5,850 tons of coal and coke. She was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo. Killoran was a three masted barque of 1,817 tons sailing with a cargo of 2,500 tons of maize and 500 tons of sugar. She was sunk by scuttling. Anglo Saxon was a freighter of 5,594 tons with a cargo of coal. She was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike. Cymberline was a tanker of 6,317 tons and she was sunk by gunfire and a torpedo strike. Antonios Chandris was a freighter of 5,866 tons and she carried a cargo of 6,616 tons of coal and she was scuttled.
The engines were close to failing completely the Widder headed north toward France. On this raiding voyage she had captured 1 ship of 9,323 tons and sank 9 ships for 49,319 tons.
The Captain following the war was sentenced to 10 years in prison for war crimes committed while he was the Master of the Widder. He died in prison in 1948. She received the name Raider "D" by the Royal Navy.
The German Raiders during World War II sank a total of 400,277 tons during the Battle of the Atlantic and the tonnage represented a very small % of what the actual tonnage lost actually was. The majority of these raiders sank more tonnage but this was in the Indian Ocean and far east missions. F) German Naval Destroyers and other naval craft sank 7 ships for a total of 52,982 tons.
Naval ships - Cruiser HMS Edinburgh - 13,175 tons Cruiser HMS Trinidad - 11,085 tons Frigate HMS Haqstead - 1823 tons
Cargo ships - Borgiten - 1.549 tons George Clymer - 7,176 tons Primrose Hill - 7,628 tons Donbass - 7,661 tons Bateau - 4,687 tons
G) U boats
In 1939 Germany had 57 submarines but during the course of the war 1939 - 18 U boats were built 1940 - 50 U boats were built 1941 - 199 U boats were built 1942 - 238 U boats were built 1943 - 286 U boats were built 1944 - 229 U boats were built 1945 - 91 U boats were built. The total U boats built 1939-45 numbered 1,111.
VII B - Built 14 4 bow tubes / 1 stern tube Torpedoes 14 Deck gun 88mm / 220 rounds Tonnage 753 and loaded 1,040 Speed 18 knots surfaced / 8 knots submerged Range 8,700 miles @ 10 knots / 90 miles @ 4 knots Mines 26 TMA fired through tubes Maximum Depth 722 feet. It was the first model with twin rudders.
VIIC - Built 557 4 bow tubes / 1 stern tube Built 5 2 bow tubes / 1 stern tube Built 6 4 bow tubes / 0 stern tubes Range 8,500 miles @ 10 knots / 80 miles @ 4 knots Torpedoes 14 Tonnage 769 and loaded 1,070 Mines 26 TMA Maximum depth 722 feet Speed 18 knots surfaced / 8 knots submerged Deck gun 88 mm with 220 rounds
VIII C/41 - Built 91 4 bow tubes / 1 stern tube Torpedoes 14 Deck gun 88 mm with 220 rounds Tonnage 769 and loaded 1,070 Speed 18 knots surfaced / 8 knots submerged Range 8,500 miles @ 10 knots / 80 miles @ 4 knots submerged Mines 26 TMA Maximum Depth 820 feet This model had a stronger pressure hull.
IX C - Built 11 4 bow tubes / 2 stern tubes Torpedoes 22 Deck gun 110mm / 110 rounds Tonnage 1,120 and loaded 1,540 Speed 18 knots on surface / 7 knots submerged Range 13,450 miles @ 10 knots / 63 miles @ 4 knots Mines 44 TMA Maximum Depth 755 feet This model was for mine laying and did not have the control room periscope leaving the two tower scopes.
Built 43 - and these boats were not fitted for the laying of mine operations. This model as well did not have the control room periscope leaving the two tower scopes.
IX C40 - Built 87 4 bow tubes / 2 stern tubes Torpedoes 22 Tonnage 1,120 and loaded 1,545 Speed 19 knots surfaced / 7 knots submerged Deck gun 105mm with 103 rounds Mines 44 TMA Range 13,850 miles @ 10 knots / 63 miles @ 4 knots Maximum depth 755 feet The models built up until 1943 had the deck gun. The models built from 1943 until the end of the war had the deck gun eliminated.
IX D - Built 30 4 bow tubes / 2 stern tubes Torpedoes 24 Deck gun 105mm with 102 rounds Tonnage 1,616 and 2,150 loaded Speed 19 knots on surface / 7 knots submerged Mines 48 TMA Range 23,700 miles @ 12 knots / 57 @ 4 knots submerged Maximum depth 755 feet
XIV - Built 10 Tonnage 1,668 and 2,300 tons loaded Speed 15 knots on surface / 6 knots submerged Range 12,350 miles @ 10 knots / 55 miles submerged at 4 knots Maximum depth was 787 feet The size of these submarines and their intended purpose earned them the name "Milch Cows". They delivered supplies and ammunition to the U boats on patrol in the Atlantic. They were successful operation off the eastern seaboard on North America and in the Caribbean up until 1943. By then the Allies had vastly improved their radar and air coverage. These boats carried fuel oil, lubricating oil, had a small bakery. There was also large refrigerators for perishable items.
XXI - Built 118 Tonnage 1,621 and 2,100 loaded Speed 16 knots on surface / 17 knot submerged and 75 miles at 4 knots with silent running. Range 15,500 miles @ 10 knots / 340 miles submerged @ 5 knots 6 bow tubes Torpedoes 23 Mines 12 TMC Maximum depth was 919 feet If this boat had been built a few years earlier it may have have changed the outcome in the Atlantic. This was the first submarine that was meant to be in the depths of the Atlantic. These boats were much quieter in the depths than other boats. They had hydraulic torpedo reload and could reload all the tubes in less than 10 minutes.
XXIII - Built 61 Tonnage 234 and 275 loaded Speed was 10 knots on surface / 13 knots submerged Range 2,600 miles @v8 knots / 194 miles submerged @ 4 knots Torpedoes 2 Maximum Depth 591 feet. This boat was used in the waters around the British Isles.
In the early years of the war the U boats were designed to be on the surface and to submerge if there was a threat. In 1939-40 the U boat on the surface near a convoy was quite secure because the Allied ASDIC could only detect objects beneath the surface. With the Allies developing more anti submarine tools and improving what they had was when the U boats had to spend more time submerged. When Germany invaded the Netherland it was quite by accident that the Germans got hold of a Dutch invention which allowed submarines to breath underwater. The Kreigesmarine did nothing with this until the losses in 1942-1943 forced them to look at it.
It was called the Schnorkel and was fitted on to the U boats in early 1944. The folding mast was fitted on the side of the conning tower. Originally they could could only move at 6 knots otherwise the mast would break off. Another issue was if they used the Schnorkel for long period they had to find a place to store the garbage that was foulding the air in the boat. A third problem was the Schnorkel masts tended to close up and they deprived the diesels of air from above and sucked all the air out of the boat.
FuMO 29 Seetakt was a unit small enough to fit on a conning tower with a range of 4 miles and a field of view of 60 degrees. It was not a successful radar.
FuMO 30 was a unit that had a rotating mast with a direction finder added that was ready in late 1942. It was added to all U boats but was disabled bt depth charges or bombs and the antennas corroded in the salt ocean water.
FuMO 61 Howentwiel U / .FuMO 65 Howentwiel 65 was for aircraft and first appeared in 1942. From August 1943 it began to be installed on the U boats. It had a rotating 40" x 55" rotating antenna on a mast. The size of the antenna and the mast height were restricted after being installed and the range was 6 miles for ships and 12 miles for aircraft. the FuMO 65 replaced the traditional radar display and was the first circular display and only installed on a few boats.
FuMO 83 Berlin U I this was a centimetric radar was light and small and had 4 stub antennas is a plastic sphere which was installed on a rotating mast. It was used for panoamic scanning and direction finding . It was said to give a view as if in a balloon 650' in the air. FuMO 84 Berlin U II was the improved version with a retractable mast. It never was installed.
Ballspiel was a gunnery radar for U boats with a range of 15 miles. It had a azimuth accuracy of about 1 degree` and a range accuracy of 1,600 feet. It was used on some boats.
FuMB 1 Metox 66A was on U boats from August 1942 and was a receiver tuned to pick up 1.5 metre ASV radar at a safe distance. But the radar picked up excessive contacts and could not discriminate between signals. It emitted a weak signal and this had serious consequences. In the spring of 1943 the U boats had difficulty after the British introduced a ASC radar. It was delayed and during the delay the U boat losses increased.
FuG 350/350a Naxos 1/1a was first used against U boats in the Bay of Biscay on March 17, 1943 and the U boats could not detect the signals and it was not safe for the U boats. The warning receiver built for the U boats was so sensitive it forced the submarines to make needless dives. The first equipment was ready in September 1943 and by November the British were aware the contacts were lost as they approached the U boats.
These were formed to overwhelm the Allied convoy system by gathering U boats in patrol lines to scout for convoys. When a convoy was spotted one submarine would shadow the convoy and report its speed and heading to Headquarters. They would inform other U boats to form up around the convoy and they would then attack the convoy. During 1939-40 there were not enough U boats to do this However, in May of 1941 the wolfpacks began operating but as well this month a Enigma machine was captured off a sinking submarine. They broke the code and then the Allies rerouted the convoy around the wolfpacks. The wolfpacks began operating in the Arctic but in May 1942 they began again in the Atlantic. A year later due to heavy losses the wolfpacks stopped in the Atlantic. As the war progressed German Headquarters often sent messages to their U boats ordering them to a convoy but many boats never received these messages as they had been lost weeks previous. They were ordered to be on radio silence so the Germans often never were aware that a U boat had been lost. The packs could have been 3-4 boats or up to 20 boats. The pack could have been for a few days or they could have bee a pack for months.
Losses 1939 9 1940 24 1941 35 1942 87 1943 244 1944 249 1945 120 = 768
Cause Ships 264 and includes losses to merchant ships Aircraft 250 includes all ship bases aircraft Aircraft/Ships 37 co-operation between aircraft and ships Missing 46 Air Raids on ports 43 while in port they were sunk from Allied bombing missions Mines 35 Captured 3 Scuttled 238 scuttled after April 30, 1945 by their crews Surrendered 155 Paid Off 37 these were old and battered boats Accidents 25 friendly fire Other 7 TOTAL 1,144
Underwater Sound Detector
Hydro-phones based on electrodynamic and piezoelectricity had been introduced. Electric compensator enable detection of direction without revolving of the hydro-phones. Underwater sound detector operators could determine if a ship was a warship or a merchantman and the speed it was going. The submarine could determine a submarine a destroyer 5-10 miles away, a merchantman 3-8 miles away and a convoy up to 50 miles away. The operator on a ship could determine if a submarine was moving and which mechanisms on the U boat were working
At the end of February 1941 the Luftwaffe Naval Command Luftflotte 3 which was based at Lorient - France and they would use the four-engine Fw 200 "Condors" to shadow the convoys and then direct the U boats to their prey, and then begin a co-ordinated air-sea attack to defeat the Allied convoy system. The forces provided were inadequate and
Kampfgeschwader 40 was based at Cognac and Bordeaux and this contained Groups I, II, III / KG40
Group I./KG 40 based at Lorient and at the beginning of 1941 it had 8 Fw 200 "Condors" Group II./KG 40 was formed with I Staffel on January 1, 1941 and it had 29 Do 217s and 1 He 111. Group III./KG 40 was formed on March 24, 1941 and was based at Brest with He 111s and Fw 200s.
Kustenfliegergruppe 106 based at Amsterdam, 406 based at Brest, 506 based at Westerland, 606 based at Lannion in Brittany and 906 based at Aalborg in Denmark.
Aufklarungsgruppe 122 was based at Amsterdam, Brest and in Germany.
1 Staffein Sturzkampfgeschwader
1 Staffein Kampfgeschwader 77
Aircraft Strength in April 1941 was 21 Fw 200s, 26 He 111s, 24 He 115s along with a mixed force of Me 110s and Ju 88s. in July 1941 was 29 Fw 200s, 31 He 111s, 18 He 115s plus 45 Ju 88s, 20 Do 217s, 12 Bf 110s.
They provided little support in the Battle of the Atlantic and the two aircraft they used against the Allied convoys were the Focke Wulf Fw 200 and the Junkers Ju 290. The Fw 200 C (Condor) achieved success as a commerce raider up until mid 1941 and sank 365,000 tons of shipping. When involved in the Battle of the Atlantic the armament was a 7.9 mm MG machine gun in the forward dorsal turret. a 13mm MG 131 machine gun in aft dorsal position, 2 MG 131 guns in the beam position, 1 20mm MG 151/20 in front of of the ventral gondola and 1 MG 15 machine gun in the aft section of the gondola. The bomb load was 4,600 pounds. The He 111 H5 H6 was armed with 1 x 20 mm MG/FF cannon, 1 x 13 mm MG 131 machine gun, 7 x 7.92 mm MG 15 and/or Mg 81 machine gun, 1 x 4,409 lb bomb carried externally, 1 x 1,102 lb bomb carried internally and 8 x 55 lb bombs carried internally. The He 115 A & C was armed with 7.92 MG 15 / MG 17 machine guns, a single torpedo LTF 5 / LTF 6b, or instead of a torpedo it carried 2 x SD 500 1,000 lb bombs or 3 x SC 250 5oo lb bombs. In 1943 a 20 mm MG 151 or 20 mm MG FF was added for use when on a torpedo run. The Ju 88 A 4 came with a four man crew with a pilot, bombardier / nose gunner, a radio operator / rear gunner, and a navigator / ventral gunner. The armament was 6 x 7.92 mm MG 81 machine guns with one at the nose, one at the cockpit windscreen, two at the rear of the cockpit flight deck and the final two in the ventral gondola at the rear. The Do 217 E 5 was a variant for anti shipping and was fitted with a bomb carrier for the Hs 293 glide bomb or a drop tank fitted under each wing. It carried the appropriate Kehl series radio guidance and control transmitter for the missile. It was usually operated with a missile under the starboard wing and a drop tank under the port wing. The K 2 variant was for anti shipping and was intended to carry the Fritz X glide bomb with one under each wing using the Kehl radio guidance and control transmitter for the bombs. The K 3 variant had an improved Kehl missile guidance system. The Bf 110 D3 was best suited for anti shipping roles had two 900 litre drop tanks and used multi purpose ordnance racks capable of holding drop tanks or bombs. The armament was 2 x 20 mm MG FF/M cannons, 4 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns and 1 x 7.92 MG 17 machine gun facing the rear. The Ju 290 came in 1944 and the armament was 1 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in forward dorsal turret, 1 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in aft dorsal turret, 1 29 mm MG 151/20 in the tail, 1 MG 151/20 cannon OR 1 30mm automatic cannon in ventral gondola position and 2 13mm MG 131 heavy machine guns in ventral gondola position. The bomb load was 6,400 pounds. It came into service in 1943.
Anti Submarine Trawler HMS Rutlandshire Attack Submarine HMS Shark Armed Guard Ship HMS Van Dyck Auxiliary Armed Cruiser HMS Lady Somers Destroyers HMS Afridi; HMS Gurkah; HMS Mashona Fighter Catapult Ship HMS Springbaank Fighter Direction Tender HMS FTD 216 Light Cruiser HMS Curlew; HMS Trinidad Ocean Boarding Vessel HMS Malvernian Mine Laying Submarine HMS Narwal Royal Fleet Auxiliary RFA Alderdale; RFA Oleander; RFA Osage Rescue Tug HMS Englishman Sloop HMS Egret Torpedo Gunboat HMS Gossamer Troopship HMS Lancastria; HMS Mashobra; HM MTB Trawler HMS Bradman; HMS Loch Shin; HMT Aston Villa; HMT Cape Chelyuskin; HMT Cape Possaro; HMT Cape Siretoko; HMT Gaul; HMT Gowan Hill; HMT Hammond; HMT Hurricane; HMT Jardine; HMT Lady Lillian; HMT Larwood; HMT Reubens; HMT St Gorans; HMT Warwickshire
Destroyer HMoMS Aeger; HMoMS Garm Motor Torpedo Boat HMoMS Trygg
Destroyer ORP Grom
Naval ship sunk was 43 for a tonnage of 124,581 tons
Merchant Ships Aeneas; Abbas Combe; Alamor; Alpha; Amiens; Amstelland; Anchises; Anfjord; Anglesea Rose; Apapa; Ariacne; Aska; Austvard; Balmore; Baron Inchcape; Barnacle; Baritonic; Barrhill; Bass Rock; Bay Fisher; Beachy; Beaufont; Beaverbrae; Bencorich; Beinisvor; Ben Stroma; Bergholm; Bergonia; Beursplein; Biarkov; Bintang; Bison; Bittern; Blaafjeld; Bloomfield; Bolette; Bolton Castle; Bonita; Bonnington Court; Borgund; Brill; Britang; Britannic; British Trust; Burmah; Caerphilly Castle; Calafatis; California; Capella; Caroline Thorden; Castleton; Celte; Christopher Newport; City of Birmingham; City of Christchurch; City of Joliet; City of Limerick; City of Mobile; Clytoneus; Corland; Dace; Dagmar; Dago; Daneb; Daniel Morgan; Dekabrit; Diana; Dione LL; Domino; Douro; Dronning Maud; Duchess of York; Dunstan; Earlston; El Argentino; El Captain; El Grillo; Eli; Elisabeth Marie; Ellesbank; Emily Barton; Empire Beaumont; Empire Cowper; Empire Frost; Empire Gunner; Empire Hurst; Empire Lawrence; Empire Mermaid; Empire Purcell; Empire Ranger; Empire Simba; Empire Starlight; Empire Stevenson; Empire Swinda; Empire Warrior; Empire Wind; Europa; Exeter; Favorit; Fairfield City; Fair Head; Fenix; Folden; Fort Babine; Fowery Rose; Francis W Pettygrove; Frossula; Gallus; Glen head; Goathland; Gracia; Greirosa; Grosvenor; Guelma; Gulfamerica; Gunda; Halizones; Hanne; Heemskerk; Hoosier; Housatanic; Ida Beltourin; Ida Burton; Iobjorn; Ioannis M Embiricos; Isbjorn; Isoida; Ivy P; John Penn; Juliet; Jura; Jutland; Kallopi S; Kepetan Stratis; Karlander; Kentucky; Kerry Head; Kexholm; Kildale; Kigarren Castle; Kyriakoula; Lancaster Castle; Langleegorse; Latimer; Leo; Leola; Liancarfan; Lianwern; Ling; Longendale; Lurigathan; Macbeth; Mahanada; Marsa; Marton;; Mary Lucenbach; Meadpark; Meandros; Mehanda; Mormacsul; Morsa, Moslyn; Mountpark; Mus; Naeraberg; Nalon; Naniwa; Navarino; Nestiea; Nocolasu Zografic; Nyhaug; Ocean Freedom; Olga S; Olymper; Onobo; Ontario; Oregonian; Orrell; Pan; Pandion; Pan Atlantic; Pan Kraft; Paulus Potter; Pembroke Coast; Perseus; Peter Kerr; Peter Kraft; Pike; Pioner; Port Townsville; Prince Rupert City; Prins Frederik Hendrik; Prins Olaf; Providentia; Quebec City; Queensbury; Ray; Reach; Richard With; Riso; River Ness; Rofula; Rose; Rover; Rowonbank; Royal Fusilier; Royaron; Rupert de Larringaga; Salamus; San Conrado; Scanholm; Sekstant; Selis; Shetland; Siguard Jari; Silverdale; Simaloer; Sinus; Sirius; Solfero; Somerset; Skerstad; Staffordshire; Statesman; Statira; Stesso; Strathiocy; Stromboli; Sylvia; Sviny; Swedru; Swinburne; Tankerton Towers; Tejo; Temple Mead; Thorold; Torgtind; Traffic; Trentino; Tromosund; Tunisia; Uloy; Victoria; Varna; Vingaland; Volante; Volturo; W. Hendrik; Wacosta; Walmar Castle; Walton; Washington; Wild Rose; William Hooper; Yeiresias; Zaafaran
Merchant ships sunk was 258 for a total of 895,765 tons.
The Luftwaffe sank 301 ships for a total of 1,020,666 tons
4) Magnetic Mines
Mines were detonated by passing ships from contact, magnetic or acoustics. Submarines launched their mines through the torpedo tubes. The minefield a submarine laid was very small.
TMA was a moored mine secured by a heavy anchor chain with a cable attached to the mine which then floated to the surface. Two could be carried in a torpedo tube. They were 11' long and the warhead was 475 pounds. It could be laid in water to a depth of 885 feet.
TMB was a ground mine laid in water that was less than 66 feet and rested on the seabed. It was detonated by the magnetic or acoustic signature of a passing target. Three could be carried in each tube. They were 71/2' long and the warhead was 1,280 pounds.
TMC was a ground mine and laid in shallow water and the magnetic or acoustic signature of a target caused it to explode. Two were carried in each tube. The warhead was 2,200 pounds. EMS was fired from a torpedo tube and was a drifting mine and floated on the surface and exploded it when it contacted a ship. Once it was launched it armed itself 10 minutes later and would float for 72 hours before sinking to the seabed. The warhead was 31 pounds.
MTA was a ground mine and replaced to TMB mine. It was a torpedo driven mine and was carried to a pre set distance by a torpedo. When it had travelled the required distance the torpedo shut down and sank and it became a ground mine. It could travel 23,000 feet or 4.4 miles. It could only be laid in water less than 66 feet.
5) Deck armament on U boats
Models VII / IX had a powerful deck gun in front of the conning tower and could fire 15-18 rounds a minute. They were used to finish off a ship or sink small craft. The crew was 3-5 men. It could only be used when the U boat was fully riding on the surface. It required a line of men with 3 on the deck to transport the shells from the main locker below the control room for the gun. The used round were taken below. There was a small waterproof ammunition locker on the deck so they could fire quickly.
88 mm deck gun fired a shell 27-31 pounds with a 20 pound warhead. From June of 1943 the Model VII / IX boats left on their missions with out the deck guns.
105 mm deck gun was used on the Model IX boats. Following the Allied successes in the Atlantic during 1942-43 the deck gun on the U boat became a thing of the past.
Model VIIC at the beginning of the war had one single anti aircraft guns behind the conning tower and this was a 20 mm gun. Behind the conning tower was inadequate and the Germany Navy redesigned their conning towers a number of times. In November of 1942 there were 2 20mm guns mounted on an upper platform. Then in 1944-45 the boats were fitted with a single 37 mm anti aircraft on the lower platform of the conning tower. More than 50% of the U boat fleet was sunk by aircraft so having anti aircraft defence was important. From late 1944 the U boats spent much more time submerged and their anti aircraft guns were silent.
6) Naval Enigma Ciphers
Dolphin was used at the beginning of the war. It was used by the U boats in "home waters" until October 5, 1941. British codebreakers broke the Dolphin code in August 1941 and read the messages until the end of the war.
Shark was used in the Atlantic from early October 1941 and used 3 rotors until February 1, 1942 and then changed to a 4 rotor version. British codebreakers broke the 3 rotor version and the 4 rotor version was broken on December 10, 1942. From this point until August of 1943 it was generally broken and from September of 1943 it was broken within 24 hours.
Narwal was used by the U boats based in Norway from June 1944 until the end of the war and was broken by the codebreakers in September 1944.
Barracuda was the cipher used in fleet operations from May 1941 and was never broken during the course of the war
7) G7e Torpedo
This was the torpedo used by the U boat fleet in the war but there were 20 different variants used. They were 23' in length with a 21" diameter and had a 660 pound warhead.
G7e (TII) This torpedo was silent and left no visible trail of air bubbles but was not as reliable as the (TI) and it had a range of 5,500 yards with a speed of 35 miles per hour. The contact and magnetic detonators were not reliable. The magnetic influencer exploder allowed the torpedo to explode under a target braking its back but these exploded early or not at all. After that they were fired with only the contact detonator. In addition the contact pistol was unreliable. By the end of the Norwegian campaign the contact exploder and depth keeping gear was much more reliable. The range had also increased to 8,200 yards. However, at this point in the war it was being phased out.
G7e (TIII) was introduced in 1942 and had a range of 8,200 yards and could achieve 35 miles per hour. One of these torpedoes could many times could break the back of a target and they were only used during the day. The torpedo used at night was the TI.
G7e (TIV) was not a straight running weapon. It ran at 24 miles per hour for 8,200 yards and was an acoustic weapon introduced in March of 1943, With this torpedo the U boat could remain submerged. It was fired toward the sound of a ships screws and the homing device would then locate a target. Once fired it worked like a normal torpedo for 440 yards at which time the acoustic sensors became active and searched for a target. It was a slower running torpedo and if it was faster the noise it made would interfere with the acoustic sensors trying to locate the target. The performance was satisfactory but it was phased out quickly.
This a brief history of the Battle of the Atlantic and the weapons used by both sides and the result of using those weapons. The fighting began on September 3, 1939 and ended May 7, 1945 for a total of 2,042 days. I tried tobe as accurate as possible with the tonnage sunk by Germany.