Could Germany have won Battle of Britain with more subs?




 
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November 8th, 2004  
BigBert96
 

Topic: Could Germany have won Battle of Britain with more subs?


Looking back at how close the Battle of Britain was, could Germany have won if it had 2x the amount of submarines? 1940 saw emergence of Battle of Britain, and Battle of Atlantic. Could this have effected overall outcome of the airwar?
November 8th, 2004  
GuyontheRight
 
No, Hitler was never in a position where he could have launched Sea Lion in favorable conditions. More submarines would only prolonged the timetables, and by that time Hitler would have been to frustrated and turned back towards Russia.
November 9th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Hitler was always going to attack the USSR regardless of whether Sealion had been launched or not. I don't think twice the number of subs would have made that any likelier myself.
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November 9th, 2004  
Young Winston
 
 
No! Too many other variables. Some already mentioned in the preceeding posts.

Maybe the topic should read "Could Germany have won the Battle of the Atlantic with more subs".
November 9th, 2004  
Mark Conley
 
 
the real problem was that even with twice the subs..you still only had the same amount of targets and for the first two years america was neutral and supposedly not targets.

course..after america entered the war with the fact that germany was twice as active..would have only speeded up the efforts to fight the subs.

My opinion: no , not in the long run
November 9th, 2004  
Hegario
 
http://www.uboat.net/

This is an excellent site regarding the whole U-boat war and it includes a lot of articles, bios and pictures from the era.

IMHO The war could've dragged on a whole lot longer if Dönitz had been able to start the war with the 300 subs he was hoping for. I don't think you are quite aware of how close to victory the Kriegsmarine actually was. More ships were sunk than built for a considerable time.

EDIT: Just a slight addition. October 31st was actually the 63rd anniversary of the first major sinking of an American warship in WW2. On October 31st 1941 the Reuben James was torpedoed by U-552 and sank with the loss of 115 men.
November 9th, 2004  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hegario
http://www.uboat.net/

This is an excellent site regarding the whole U-boat war and it includes a lot of articles, bios and pictures from the era.

IMHO The war could've dragged on a whole lot longer if Dönitz had been able to start the war with the 300 subs he was hoping for. I don't think you are quite aware of how close to victory the Kriegsmarine actually was. More ships were sunk than built for a considerable time.
Yes the Wolfpack did very well for a while and did a great deal of disruption to Allied shipping lanes. BTW just to mention that Germany began WW2 with Grand Admiral Erich Raeder in command of the Kriegsmarine and he really pressed for more U-Boats than was provided. Dönitz got promoted when Hitler dismissed Raeder in 1943.
November 9th, 2004  
BigBert96
 
Thanks for the cool link!
November 9th, 2004  
Hegario
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
BTW just to mention that Germany began WW2 with Grand Admiral Erich Raeder in command of the Kriegsmarine and he really pressed for more U-Boats than was provided. Dönitz got promoted when Hitler dismissed Raeder in 1943.
I know that Raeder was in overall command of the Kriegsmarine but he was a surface fleet man, and Dönitz had had overall command of all U-boat forces since Jan 1st 1936. So in essence Dönitz was the father of the U-boat arm.
November 10th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Incidentally, Raeder was promised by Hitler that he would not need to worry about having to confront the Royal Navy until 1945. The naval campaign in the Atlantic might have been very different if that promise had held.

It is interesting to note that the Royal Navy was certainly scared of the Wolfpacks at that stage of the game. Had the lucky shot on the Bismarck not occurred, the Royal Navy would likely have broken off pursuit for fear of U-boats and the Luftwaffe. Still, if we're talking about an attempt at Sea Lion, I think the RN gets a lot braver when trying to save Britain from invasion.

Britain was well aware of U-boats and their capabilities, and frankly I doubt they'd have done very well at trying to escort an amphibious invasion force -- not exactly the U-boat's specialty. This would have more likely been a complete disaster. Nobody fully knew it at the time, but the Luftwaffe (and air power in general) was much more dangerous to the Royal Navy than anything else. Because nobody knew it, Germany wouldn't have launched Sea Lion even if they HAD destroyed the RAF.