What factors affected the Battle of the Atlantic?
The use of new technology gave both the German and the Allies tactical advantages over each other.
Overview of the Battle
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest war in this conflict and had over ten countries involved . It lasted from September 3, 1939 – May 7, 1945, Nazi Germany's defeat. To start of this war the Allies came off strong, destroying German ships and U-boats.Seeing this the Nazis quickly enhanced their strategy by attacking at night where Allied sonar could not detect them. This had great success and by the end 1941, 875 Allied ships were sunk. The Allies may have taken massive casualties in 1941, but the tide started to shift when Great Britain received 50 destroyers from the United States. This led to the capture of U-boats and allowed Allies to track other U-boats. Once again the balanced shifted due to the fast paced developments of U-boats that was at a rate of 20 U-boats per month. This brought the destruction of 500 ships between January and June 1942. This year also brought the peak of Allied losses with a total of 1,664 ships sunk. This dilemma also brought British foods supplies to a critically low level. Finally the battle took its final turn that shifted for the better for the Allies. The Allies could finally cover the gap with their escort carriers and destroyers. These ships destroying a quarter of all U-boats in one month. This took a major toll on the Nazis and they weren't able to rebuild quick enough.
Type VII C
- It's range was over 8,000 miles
- Had a surface weight of 1,051 tons
- Surface speed of 18 knot
- Underwater speed of 7 knots,
- Carrying 22 torpedoes
- Took longer and more resources to build
- Mass attacks(Wolf Packs)
- Night attacks where they couldn't be detected by ASDIC(Allied Sonar)
- Attacks on merchant convoys
Types of Sonars
- A receiver and transmitter in one
- Could send and receive noises (communication)
- Located portside
- Determines direction of submarine
- Two sonars combined
- JK is for receiving noises only
- QC is for sending waves
- Each system is located on each side of the ship
- Specialized in detecting mines
How Sonars Work
This radar had wavelength of 10cm. This was a huge upgrade from 1.5m which was only accurate enough to detect enemy air craft . With the new wave length of 10cm the Cavity Magnetron was accurate enough that it was able to detect surfaced U-boat. Alone it would only detect U-boats a couple of feet above sea level.
Fletcher Class Destroyers
These types of destroyers entered the war in mid-1943. This was the response to the major losses in 1942 to the German U-boats destroying convoys. That's why the were also built for escort duties. They were equipped with both QB sonars and cavity magnetron. were much slower only reaching 21 knots compared to a Fletcher class 35 knots. Though they were slower were more reinforced in the hull allowing to sustain more blows than most destroyers. This allowing them to protect the convoy as long as they possibly and then as destroy the U-boats. By the end of the war they the best U-boat killers.