The U-Boat War In the Atlantic - Volume II: 1942-1943 (The Third Reich From Original Sources)

The U-Boat War In the Atlantic - Volume II: 1942-1943 (The Third Reich From Original Sources)

Language: English

Pages: 0


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This is the second of three volumes covering the U-boat campaign in the Atlantic during the Second World War.

This is the fascinating account, as told from the German perspective, of the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest-running, continuous military campaign in World War II, spanning from 1939 through to Germany’s defeat in 1945. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, which was announced the day after the declaration of war, although it quickly grew to include Germany's counter-blockade. The name "Battle of the Atlantic", was coined by Winston Churchill in 1941 and he famously stated that the U-boats were the only thing that really frightened him. The U-boat war encompassed a campaign that began on the first day of the European war and lasted for six years, involved thousands of ships and stretched over thousands of square miles of ocean, in more than 100 convoy battles and perhaps 1,000 single-ship encounters. In the 68 months of World War II, 2,775 Allied merchant ships were sunk for the loss of 781 U-boats.

This is the story of that massive encounter from the German perspective. Published in three volumes, this work was compiled under the supervision of the U.S Navy Department and the British Admiralty by Fregattenkapitan Gunther Hessler. The author, though without previous experience as a writer, had first hand experience of U-boat warfare having commanded a U-boat in 1940 and 1941. For the remainder of the war he was Staff Officer to the Flag Officer commanding U-boats. He had access to German war diaries and other relevant documents concerning U-boat command, and this work based on these many documents, tells the story entirely from the viewpoint of that command. For this reason this work is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of World War II from primary sources and will be of enduring interest to those engaged in attempting to unravel the true nature of submarine warfare in World War II.

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shipping, and attention to the Gibraltar convoys might persuade the British to keep their escorts nearer home. If our attacks against HG convoys failed, the boats could still be employed either against North Atlantic convoys or in the Western Atlantic, for they would be able to refuel from one of two U-tankers - U.459 and 460. On 9th June German Intelligence in Spain reported the departure of HG 84 from Gibraltar. The first sighting was made on the 11th by FW 200s. On the 14th, Group Endrass was

U-boat were sighted by an aircraft, it was frequently not long before a hunter group or a single destroyer arrived at the position where the boat had dived. Both aircraft and surface vessels searched the area so thoroughly that it was no easy matter to escape the hunters. The various noises heard by our U-boats when being pursued led to the conclusion that the enemy used several types of locating devices working on the asdic principle. At short ranges they appeared to be more accurate than

with experienced commanders, who at first had no bother from air patrols, had provided excellent conditions. The original intention of sending the large (Type IXC) boats to the U.S. coast was now abandoned. About half the boats employed against UGS 6 were now refuelled from the others in order to commence the homeward journey. The remainder proceeded southwards to occupy attacking positions west of the Canaries during the full-moon period. Our Radio Intelligence showed that RS 3 (a

dangerous the situation had become during the night fog, and he anxiously awaited the short signals indicating the further state of readiness of our boats. Four of them reported heavy damage necessitating a return to base, while six were silent - they had been destroyed. In spite of the claim of 16 ships sunk, totalling 90,000 tons66, and probable damage to several more, the heavy loss of U-boats compelled us to regard this operation as a reverse. In the past F.O. U-boats had believed that the

1942)        ..        ..        ..        ..        ..        .. (274) 194 This section is based on F.O. U-boats’ notes for a conference with the Führer on 14th May, 1942, Naval Staff War Diary, Part C IV, 1942, and the British Admiralty publication B.R. 1337 British and Foreign Merchant Vessels lost or damaged by Enemy Action during Second World War        ..        ..        ..        .. (275) 195 From F.O. U-boats’ notes for a conference with the Führer on 14th May, 1942 (276) 195

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