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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. POLITICAL MAP OF THE WORLD

  4. MAJOR PHASES -BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. THE NORTH ATLANTIC & MAJOR PORTS

  8. 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

  9. GRAND ADMIRALERICH RAEDER,COMMANDING OFFICER,KRIEGSMARINE

  10. GRAND ADMIRAL ERICH RAEDER ON TIME COVER, 1940

  11. VICE-ADMIRALKARL DONITZ,KRIEGSMARINECOMMANDER OFU-BOATS

  12. ADM. SIR JOHN TOVEY, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, HOME FLEET, ROYAL NAVY, 1941 – 43

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

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

  15. “WE SHALL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES, WE SHALL FIGHT THEM ON THE SEAS…WE SHALL NEVER SURRENDER.”

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

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

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

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

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

  21. FDR & CHURCHILL DURING WWII

  22. WWII WAR BOND POSTERS

  23. 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

  24. ALLIED ATLANTIC CONVOY

  25. WWII ROYAL NAVY DESTROYER

  26. WORLD WAR II DESTROYERS

  27. WATCH DUTY, NORTH ATLANTIC CONVOY

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

  29. THE ATLANTIC AIR GAP,MARCH – DECEMBER, 1941GREEN: MAJOR CONVOY ROUTESBLUE: ALLIED SHIPS SUNKRED: U-BOATS SUNK

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

  31. 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”

  32. INTERIOR DESIGN-WWII SUBMARINE

  33. CROSS-SECTION OF BASIC SUBMARINE

  34. SUBMARINE DESIGN / CROSS-SECTION IN HIGHER DETAIL

  35. BASIC SUBMERGING AND SURFACING PROCESS ON A SUBMARINE

  36. 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 BY 4 U-BOATS • LOSSES = 11 SHIPS, 2 BADLY DAMAGED

  37. NAUTICAL SPEED KEY AND COMPARISON CHART

  38. U-BOAT STARTING ATLANTIC PATROL