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THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC. SEPTEMBER, 1939 – MAY, 1945. BASIC FACTS. THE LONGEST CONTINUOUS MILITARY CAMPAIGN OF WWII (September 1939-May, 1945) WHERE? N.ATLANTIC S. ATLANTIC CARIBBEAN SEA GULF OF MEXICO WHO? AXIS: GERMAN KRIEGSMARINE (GERMAN NAVY ) ALLIES:

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THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC


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    1. THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC SEPTEMBER, 1939 – MAY, 1945

    2. BASIC FACTS • THE LONGEST CONTINUOUS MILITARY CAMPAIGN OF WWII (September 1939-May, 1945) • WHERE? • N.ATLANTIC • S. ATLANTIC • CARIBBEAN SEA • GULF OF MEXICO • WHO? • AXIS: GERMAN KRIEGSMARINE(GERMAN NAVY ) • ALLIES: • ROYAL NAVY (U.K.) • ROYAL NAVY (CANADA) • U.S. NAVY • WHAT? • 100+ CONVOY BATTLES • 1000 SINGLE-SHIP BATTLES

    3. MAJOR PHASES -BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

    4. MAJOR ADVANCES & WEAPONS • GERMANS: • U-BOATS (UNTERZEEBOOT): GERMAN SUBMARINES • SURFACE RAIDERS: SURFACE SHIPS USED TO ATTACK CONVOYS • POCKET BATTLESHIPS: SMALLER-SIZED BATTLESHIPS USED TO ATTACK CONVOYS • ENIGMA MACHINES: MESSAGE ENCODING MACHINE • SCHNORKEL: SUBMARINE-MOUNTED AIR /VENTILATION DEVICE • ALLIES: • DESTROYERS: SMALL, FAST, AGILE WARSHIPS USED FOR CONVOY ESCORTING AND SUBMARINE HUNTING • A.S.D.I.C.: ALLIED SONAR • DEPTH CHARGE: PRESSURE / DEPTH DETONATED UNDERWATER EXPLOSIVE • ESCORT CARRIERS: SMALL-SIZED ARICRAFT CARRIERS USED FOR SUBMARINE HUNTING • M.A.C. SHIPS: MERCHANT AIRCRAFT CARRIERS • HF/DF (ALSO CALLED “HUFF-DUFF”): HIGH FREQUENCY DIRECTION FINDER (RADAR) • HEDGEHOG: SHIP-MOUNTED UNDERWATER EXPLOSIVE MORTAR • LEIGH-LIGHT: RADAR-GUIDED AERIAL SEARCH LIGHT • B-24 LIBERATOR: LONG-RANGE U.S. BOMBER USED FOR SUBMARINE HUNTING

    5. KEY INDIVIDUALS & STRATEGY • GERMANS: • GRAND ADMIRAL ERICH RADER: COMMANDER, KRIEGSMARINE • VICE-ADMIRAL KARL DONITZ: COMMANDER OF U-BOATS • ALLIES: • U.K.: • ADMIRAL SIR PERCY NOBLE • ADMIRAL SIR MAX HORTON • U.S: • ADMIRAL ERNEST KING, COMMANDER, U.S. FLEET • STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES: • GERMANS: • DISRUPT/CUT OFF SUPPLIES & SHIPPING THAT ALLOWED BRITAIN TO FIGHT • FORCE BRITS. TO SIGN PEACE TREATY • PREVENT SECOND FRONT • ALLIES: • KEEP ATLANTIC SHIPPING LANES OPEN • KEEP BRITS. SUPPLIED • U.S. WANTS TO KEEP BRITS. “ALIVE” UNTIL U.S. ENTERS WAR • ELIMINATE GERMAN NAVAL THREAT BEFORE EVENTUAL INVASION OF EUROPE

    6. THE NORTH ATLANTIC & MAJOR PORTS

    7. STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES • STRENGTHS: • AXIS: • EXPERIENCED NAVAL CREWS • GOOD NAVAL SHIP DESIGNS • INITIATIVE / MOMENTUM AFTER GERMAN SUCCESS OF 1939 • ALLIES: • NUMBER OF SHIPS • IMPROVING ANTI-SUBMARINE TECHNOLOGY (ex. A.S.D.I.C. sonar) • AERIAL SUPREMACY • AIRCRAFT CARRIERS • WEAKNESSES: • AXIS: • LACK OF AERIAL COVER • LACK OF SURFACE SHIPS • ALLIES: • DISTANCE OF VOYAGE • SIZE OF CONVOYS • VULNERABILITY OF MERCHANT SHIPS • “AIR GAP” IN ATLANTIC

    8. GRAND ADMIRALERICH RAEDER,COMMANDING OFFICER,KRIEGSMARINE

    9. GRAND ADMIRAL ERICH RAEDER ON TIME COVER, 1940

    10. VICE-ADMIRALKARL DONITZ,KRIEGSMARINECOMMANDER OFU-BOATS

    11. ADMIRAL ERNEST J. KING, U.S.N. COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. FLEET

    12. WINSTON CHURCHILL, BRITISH P.M. ADMIRAL SIR PERCY NOBLE, R.N.

    13. ADMIRAL SIR PERCY NOBLE,ROYAL NAVY (U.K.)Commander,Western Approaches,1941-43

    14. ADMIRAL SIR MAX HORTON,ROYAL NAVY (U.K.),Commander,Western Approaches,1943-45

    15. ADMIRALLEONARD MURRAY,ROYAL CANADIAN NAVY,COMMANDER,CANADIAN NORTHWESTATLANTIC FLEET

    16. REAR ADMIRALROYAL INGERSOLL,U.S. NAVY,COMMANDING OFFICER, ATLANTIC FLEET, 1941-44

    17. FRANKLIND. ROOSEVELT, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1933-45

    18. FDR & CHURCHILL DURING WWII

    19. WWII WAR BOND POSTERS

    20. COURSE OF BATTLE • INITIAL BASIC TACTICS (Sept.,’39 – May,’40) • GERMANS: • ATTACK MERCHANT SHIPS • HOW? U-BOATS, SURFACE RAIDERS, PLANES, etc. • WHY? U-BOAT FLEET IS SMALL AT FIRST • ALSO MINE BRITISH PORT CITIES • BRITISH: • “CONVOY” SYSTEM CREATED • ***“ESCORT” SHIPS USED TO PROTECT CONVOYS • ***DEFINE “ESCORT”: SMALLER, FASTER NAVAL SHIPS USED TO HUNT / ATTACK SUBMARINES • (EX.: “DESTROYERS”) • PROBLEM: CHURCHILL WANTS MORE AGGRESSIVE STRATEGY • RESULT? • ANTI-SUBMARINE HUNTING GROUPS FORMED • AIRCRAFT CARRIER GROUPS USED TO HUNT U-BOATS • PROBLEM (again): • U-BOATS TOO ELUSIVE FOR A.C. GROUPS • ALLIED SONAR NOT ADVANCED ENOUGH YET

    21. ALLIED ATLANTIC CONVOY

    22. WWII ROYAL NAVY DESTROYER

    23. ROYAL NAVY DESTROYERS

    24. WATCH DUTY, NORTH ATLANTIC CONVOY

    25. U.S. EC2 TRANSPORT SHIP, a.k.a. “LIBERTY SHIP” DESIGN

    26. U.S. NAVY SB2U “VINDICATOR” DIVE BOMBER

    27. GERMAN SUCCESS • “THE HAPPY TIME”: JUNE, 1940-FEB., 1941 • OCCUPATION OF FRANCE = DIRECT ACCESS TO ATLANTIC PORTS FOR KRIEGSMARINE • EFFECT? • U-BOAT RANGE INTO ATLANTIC INCREASES • BRITS LOSE BIGGEST ALLY (AT THAT TIME) • BRITS. HAVE TO DIVERT MORE FORCES TO MEDITERRANEAN SEA • RESULT? • FEWER SHIPS AVAILABLE FOR CONVOY ESCORT • U-BOATS ATTACKS VERY SUCCESSFUL • EXAMPLE: • JUNE – OCT., 1940 = 270 ALLIED SHIPS SUNK • WHY? GERMAN “WOLFPACK SYSTEM”

    28. INTERIOR DESIGN-WWII SUBMARINE

    29. CROSS-SECTION OF BASIC SUBMARINE

    30. SUBMARINE DESIGN / CROSS-SECTION IN HIGHER DETAIL

    31. BASIC SUBMERGING AND SURFACING PROCESS ON A SUBMARINE

    32. THE WOLFPACK SYSTEM • DEFINITION: • MULTIPLE U-BOAT ATTACKS ON CONVOYS • ORIGIN: • GERMANS HAD DECYPHERED BRIT. NAVAL CODES • MOVEMENT / LOCATION OF CONVOYS COULD BE MORE EASILY PREDICTED • TACTIC: • U-BOATS SPREAD OUT IN LINE ACROSS EXPECTED PATH OF CONVOY • U-BOAT FIRST TO SIGHT CONVOY SIGNALS TO OTHER U-BOATS • U-BOATS MOVE TO GATHER FOR ATTACK • ATTACKS OFTEN MADE AT NIGHT • RESULT? • VERY SUCCESSFUL – BECOMES PRIMARY GERMAN ATTACK METHOD • EX.: 9/21/40 – CONVOY HX 72 (42 MERCHANT SHIPS) ATTACKED 4 U-BOATS • LOSSES = 11 SHIPS, 2 BADLY DAMAGED

    33. U-BOAT STARTING ATLANTIC PATROL

    34. U-BOAT OFFICERS ON OBSERVATION DECK

    35. WORLD WAR II GERMAN U-BOAT“SCHNORKEL”

    36. U-BOAT DURING ATTACK ON CONVOY