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DEUTSCHE UNTERSEEBOOTE OPERATIONEN IM ZWEITEN WELTKRIEG. OVERVIEW. INTRODUCTION U-BOOT OPERATIONS U-BOOT TACTICS ENIGMA “ACES OF THE DEEP” LIFE ONBOARD U-156 LEGACY QUESTIONS.

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

OVERVIEW

INTRODUCTION

U-BOOT OPERATIONS

U-BOOT TACTICS

ENIGMA

“ACES OF THE DEEP”

LIFE ONBOARD

U-156

LEGACY

QUESTIONS

slide3

INTRODUCTION

  • Submarines used be Germany during WW I (1914-1918)
  • “Unrestricted Submarine Warfare”
  • Sinking of the LUSITANIA
  • Germany has a limited coastline – easily blockaded
    • During WW II (1939 – 1945) established based in conquered countries – France and Norway
  • Primary mission to disrupt Allied shipping and control sea lanes
  • German Navy (Kriegsmarine) not fanatic supporters of Nazi regime (unlike the Army and Air Force – Luftwaffe)
slide7

U-BOOT SHIPYARDS

  • U-BOOT construction in Northern Germany
    • North Sea & Baltic Sea
  • 1153 U-boats commissioned into the Kriegsmarine during 1935-1945
  • Largest builder was Blohm + Voss
slide9

U-BOOT OPERATIONS

I

  • German U-Boats operated WORLDWIDE
    • PRIMARILY in the ATLANTIC
    • Mediterranean
    • Caribbean
    • Black Sea
    • MONSON U-Boats in the Far East (Penang Malaysia, Jakarta & Sabang Indonesia)
        • Assisted Imperial Japanese Navy
  • Primary mission to disrupt merchant shipping, allied naval convoys and navy escorts
slide13

U-BOOT TACTICS

  • Primary tactic developed by Donitz was the “Wolfpack” (Rudeltaktik)
  • Enough U-boats and facilities available after the fall of France in 1940
  • Simple concept: gather U-boats in patrol lines to scout for convoys
slide14

“WOLFPACKS”

  • Once a convoy was spotted the first boat was designated "shadower" and would chase the convoy and report its heading and speed to BdU
  • This would allow other boats to form around it and attack, more or less all at once, usually on the surface at night
slide15

OPERATION “DRUMBEAT”, 1942

  • Largest U-Boat offensive against America
  • Commenced after Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
    • Germany declared war on US on Dec 11, 1941
    • U.S. Navy had already been countering German U-Boats through work with Royal Navy
  • Operation DRUMBEAT (Paulkenschlag)
    • Attacks on U.S. merchant shipping on East Coast
    • Massive damage inflicted – over 3,000 nm away
      • “Die Glückliche Zeit” (The Happy Time)
    • Sunk 2 million tons (600 ships); 5000 killed
      • Only 7 U-Boats lost
  • Operations commenced from bases in France
slide19

“BLACK MAY” - 1943

  • Turning point in May, 1943
  • U.S. Navy established effective convoys
  • By Late 1942, shifted focus back to North Atlantic
  • Remained spread out across Atlantic
  • By Spring, 1943, Allies were able to defeat the Wolf Packs
  • Primary reasons for reversal:
    • “Hunter-Killer” Groups
    • Improved Detection capabilities
    • Aircraft Coverage
    • Breaking of Enigma Code
      • U-Boats being attacked leaving port
  • By end of 1943, majority of U-Boat fleet would be sunk
    • Most would be lost with ALL HANDS
slide21

SPIES & SABOTEURS

  • Saboteur Landings in 1942 & 1944
  • German Military Intelligence (Abwehr) directed by Hitler to conduct sabotage operations inside American borders
  • Abwehr sabotage school located in Berlin
  • Teams delivered by U-Boats
    • Operational failure
    • Arrested by FBI
    • 6 of 10 captured saboeurs executed
  • Intended targets included power plants, infrastructure, industry, canals, etc.

Admiral Wilhelm Canaris

1887 - 1945

slide24

ULTRA INTELLIGENCE

  • Enigma was a portable cipher machine
  • Used to encrypt and decrypt secret messages
  • Enigma utilized very sophisticated cryptanalysis techniques by changing the substitution alphabet
  • Allied codebreakers were able to decrypt a large number of messages that had been enciphered on the machine
  • The intelligence gained through this source — codenamed “ULTRA” — was a significant aid to the Allied war effort
  • By 1945, almost all German Enigma traffic (Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, Abwehr, SD, etc.) could be decrypted within a day or two
slide25

“ACES OF THE DEEP”

  • The Aces of the Deep were the ten U-Boat commanders during World War II who sunk the most enemy merchant ships during their naval services
  • Ranked according to the total tonnage of the ships they sunk
  • The term is related to flying ace, a World War I name for a pilot who shot down five or more enemy planes
  • The currently accepted list is as follows:
  • 1 Otto Kretschmer
  • 2 Wolfgang Lüth
  • 3 Erich Topp
  • 4 Heinrich Liebe
  • 5 Victor Schütze
  • 6 Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock
  • 7 Karl-Friedrich Merten
  • 8 Herbert Schultze
  • 9 Günther Prien
  • 10 Georg Lassen
slide26

Otto Kretschmer

1912 - 1998

Fregattenkapitän (Crew 30)

Successes40 ships sunk for a total of 208.954 GRT3 auxiliary warships sunk for a total of 46.440 GRT1 warship sunk for a total of 1.375 tons5 ships damaged for a total of 37.965 GRT1 ship taken as prize for a total of 2.136 GRT2 ships a total loss for a total of 15.513 GRT

slide27

Wolfgang Lüth

1913 - 1945

Kapitän zur See (Crew 33)

Successes46 ships sunk for a total of 225.204 GRT1 warship sunk for a total of 552 tons2 ships damaged for a total of 17.343 GRT

slide28

Erich Topp

1914 - 2005

Fregattenkapitän (Crew 34)

Successes34 ships sunk for a total of 197.233 GRT1 auxiliary warship sunk for a total of 227 GRT1 warship sunk for a total of 1.190 tons4 ships damaged for a total of 32.317 GRT

slide29

Günther Prien

1908 – 1941

Korvettenkapitän (Crew 33)

Successes30 ships sunk for a total of 162.769 GRT1 warship sunk for a total of 29.150 tons8 ships damaged for a total of 62.751 GRT

slide30

Joachim Schepke

1912 - 1941

Kapitänleutnant (Crew 30)

Successes36 ships sunk for a total of 153.677 GRT4 ships damaged for a total of 17.229 GRT1 ship a total loss for a total of 2.205 GRT

slide31

U - 156

Kapitänleutnant Werner Harten

slide34

LACONIA INCIDENT

  • On 12 September, 1942 U-156 sank the Allied liner LANCONIA west of Africa
  • 136-man crew, some 80 civilians, military material and personnel (268 men)
  • Approx. 1800 Italian prisoners of war onboard
  • In the next days U-156 rescued some 400 survivors - 200 on board and the other 200 in lifeboats
  • On Sept 15, at 1130 hours U-506 under Kptlt Erich Würdemann arrived at the scene and continued to rescue the survivors
  • U.S. B-24 spotted and attacked U-156, forcing her to submerge
slide35

LACONIA ORDER

  • Resulting rescue attempt infuriated German High Command
  • Prompted one of the most controversial order Dönitz ever issued
  • Known as the Laconia order:
    • No U-boats were to take part in any rescue operations
    • Leave any survivors in the sea
  • Up until that time U-boats had on very many occasions helped the survivors of their victims with supplies, water, directions to nearest land
slide75

WEBSITES ABOUT U-BOATS

http://www.uboat.net/index.html

http://www.u-boot-archiv.de/index.php

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