Could Germany have won Battle of Britain with more subs? - Page 2




 
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November 10th, 2004  
AussieNick
 
I think you'll find that the subs weren't the huge problem they are made out to be. My grandfather (Royal Merchent Navy) who was in the Atlantic from '39 to '43 till his convoy changed routes, said that they felt under much greater threat from air attack, especially long range aircraft like the Focke Wulf Condor.
November 10th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Some mariners creditted the a certain defect of the Liberty Ships to the Wolfpacks. Due to it being welded and not rivetted, there was a tendency for them run into catastrophe when encountering a sudden change in water temperature and cold water in general. They would split in half at the speed of sound (thusly making quite a lot of racket) and go straight to the bottom. I believe that the first several times that happened, they thought it might have been a kill by a U-boat. They did figure it out of course ... even added a reinforcing steel belt to stop it later on in the war.

One of the Wolfpacks' greatest assets was the fear they inspired. Fear is a powerful tool.

Anyways, the biggest problem with the U-boats trying to play at being main battle seacraft is that, in a protracted battle, they lose their greatest advantage -- stealth. For sneak attacks on smaller attack groups, Wolfpacks performed quite well. Enmasse vs the enormous Royal Navy enmasse, I don't think the U-boats stood a chance.
November 11th, 2004  
Patrick
 

Topic: Battle of Britain


Interestingly, the Battle of Britain never reached its completion thanks to the efforts of the RAF. Hitler's "Battle of Britain" called for an air campaign followed by the seaborne phase. Since the latter never materialized, the need for additional submarines to support the amphibious force vanished. If Sea Lion did go forward, additional U-Boats would have helped provide a better screen for the ships carrying the invasion force.
Patrick
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November 11th, 2004  
redcoat
 
 

Topic: Re: Battle of Britain


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
If Sea Lion did go forward, additional U-Boats would have helped provide a better screen for the ships carrying the invasion force.
Patrick
It should be noted that in the 1940 time- frame that its was almost impossible for a submerged submarine to obtain a firing solution on any ship which was travelling at high speed (+20 knots) and zig-zaging. Which is exactly what any fleet the RN would have sent against Sealow would have been doing.
While its possible that the U-boats may have been able to get 1 or 2 lucky hits if they fired large spreads against the fleet, there is no way they could have sunk or damaged enough to seriously effect the actions of the RN no matter how many U-Boats the Germans had.
November 12th, 2004  
Patrick
 

Topic: Sea Lion


In fact, the U-boats were enjoying increased success during the autumn of 1940. It was the beginning of what U-boat crewmen called the "Happy Time". During 1940 alone, 2,373,070 merchant tonnage was lost. This was achieved by an average of only 21 U-boats at sea at any one time. In September 1940, U-boats intercepted two convoys off the coast of Ireland and sank 16 ships. The following month saw what would prove to be the single most successful U-boat operation of the war, when a pack of 12 boats, in a four -night operation, sank 32 merchant ships of a total 154,661 tons. This all ocurrred in 1940.

Therefore, it is plausible to conclude that additional U-boats for Sea Lion (if it had ocurred) would have had a greater impact in favor of the Germans.

Patrick
November 14th, 2004  
redcoat
 
 

Topic: Re: Sea Lion


Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
Therefore, it is plausible to conclude that additional U-boats for Sea Lion (if it had ocurred) would have had a greater impact in favor of the Germans.

Patrick
No, there is a great deal of difference between a slow merchant ship and a fast moving warship, and the major reason for the U-boat success was the fact of the RN removing a large amount of destroyers ( 50+)off convoy duty and on to invasion alert.
When the invasion scare ended and the destroyers were returned to normal duties, the 'Happy Time' soon came to an end.
October 16th, 2005  
Peterminator
 
while sea lion wouldn't have been a sucess,if hitler build more u-boats
he could have starved britain and then invade it under favorable conditions or more likely they would have surrendered(churchill would have had to be overthrown)
October 23rd, 2005  
LeEnfield
 
 
Operation Sea Lion depended on control of the air, the Germans had not been able at that stage of the war to move their U Boat arm into the French Ports. So it did not affect the Battle For Britain, once Hitler had lost the Air Battle his interest moved East and away from Britain. The Battle of the Atlantic was still a close run thing and there are many ifs and buts to the whole thing.