“Shadow Over The Atlantic” by Robert Forsyth

“Shadow Over The Atlantic” (The Luftwaffe and the U-Boats: 1943-45) is pretty much the story of Fernaufklarungsgruppe 5 of the Luftwaffe tasked to provide surveillance of the Allied convoys in the Atlantic and inform the German Navy’s U-boats packs about their movements. Admiral Karl Doenitz, the creator of the U-boat fleets, realized the value of air reconnaissance and surveillance far more than his counterparts in the Luftwaffe did. He knew they could be a potent weapon which could give timely information to his U-boat commanders of enemy shipping, their numbers, composition and direction. This would enable him to assign the nearest U-boat pack to attack the convoy. Continue reading ““Shadow Over The Atlantic” by Robert Forsyth”

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U for U-boats

As a Second World War freak, for me U has to be for U-Boats, those menacing destroyers of Allied shipping which Hitler used so effectively in the first part of the war. Most historians agree that all through 1939 to 1942 the U-Boats were feared for their sudden attacks as Allied convoys ran the risk of running into packs of U-Boats in the Atlantic waters. It was only after 1943, when Allied bombing severely damaged U-boat pens in Europe and brought the production of U-Boats down from a flood to a stutter that things began to change. Convoys became safer at sea and Allied Navies grew as the strength of the German Kriegsmarine waned. The Battle of the Atlantic raged on and was finally won by the Allies but at great cost: the Allies lost 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships were sunk for the loss of 783 U-boats.

Continue reading “U for U-boats”