German U-boats were a big part of World War 1 and World War 2. The German U-boat fleet all started in 1905 when the German government ordered for a new type of military submarine to be produced. They helped the Germans drive Britain out of the war. German U-boats were cheap to produce and really effective during the war. There were only two different types of German U-boats. The first one was type VIIB which carried fourteen torpedoes, its range was 8,500 miles at 10 knots, it could carry between 44-52 men and the boat itself had weighed 769 tons. The second model was the type IXC which carried 22 torpedoes, its range was 13,450 at 10 knots, it could carry between 48-56 men and weighed 1,120 tons. The U-boats ran on electric motors and could be submerged for longer periods of times. Unlike in World War 1 the German U-boats had run on diesel engines and could not be submerged under water for as long as the new and improved electric motor could. The U stands for underwater. The first submarine ever to sink a ship was the German U-boat which sunk a ship in England on September 5, 1914
The battle of the Atlantic was a commerce war waged by German U-boats against Britain’s merchant marine. Over 6 years from 1939-1945 Germany launched over a thousand U-boats into combat to isolate and blockade the British Isles. It had forced the British out of the war. The attack from the German U-boats had cut off vital supplies of food, fuel, and raw materials needed to continue fighting. By the end of World War 2 Germany had sent 2,900 ships and 14 million tons of allied shipping to the bottom of the sea with the U-boats. The Allies had only sunk almost 800 U-boats total by the end. One of the tactics the Germans used was to make the German U-boat look like a normal boat. The battle of the Atlantic happened after the attack Of Pearl harbor. The German U-boats would go in packs, which is how they got the nick name of wolf packs.
The wolf pack tactic was when a bunch of German U-boats would spread across the ocean not too far away from each other to enhance their probability of detecting any enemy passing ships. Once one German U-boat detected a passing enemy ship instead of attacking it alone multiple German U-boats would attack that one ship so that no German U-boats would be sunk. It was all done best when it was night time to be more hidden. The German U-boats best defense is concealment. This tactic was made up by the commander Karl Doenitz. If spotted by a ship the German U-boat would immediately dive down in the water so that the ship would have a hard time trying to attack the German U-boat. Then the U-boats would attack in their packs to defeat the ship and move on to the next. The whole point of the tactic was to be ahead of the convoy system.
Karl Doenitz was the commander of submarine warfare during World War 2. He was born in Berlin on September 16, 1891. He was in charge of the development of the German U-boats in 1935. He started off being in the German navy in 1913. In 1918 October he was captured as a prisoner in the First World War and was released in 1919 July. After he was put in charge he wanted 1,000 U-boats to be built but only ended up with 57 by 1939.
In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles had forbid the Germans from having any submarines. To get around it the German submarine crews had to train in Spain and Russia. But Karl Doenitz ignored the law and had built more and more German U-boats.
The Germans U-boats had sunk many ships in each year during the war. In 1939 U-boats sunk 114 ships, in 1940 U-boats sank 471 ships, in 1941 U-boats sank 432 ships, in 1942 U-boats sank 1,100 ships, in 1943 U-boats sank 377 ships, in 1944 U-boats sank 132 ships and in 1945 U-boats sank 56 for a grand total of 2,742 ships sunk by the German U-boats.
German U-boats were the biggest part of Germany being in the war they were the best with submarine warfare. They sunk many ships and caused Britain to back out of the war from the battle of the Atlantic. During the submarine warfare the German U-boats had the most casualties of any modern war in history. There were 5 best commanders of the submarine warfare in history. Commander Otto Kretschmer had 16 patrols with 46 ships sunk and five ships damaged. He was the greatest U-boat commander. Wolfgang Luth was the second best commander with 16 patrols, 46 ships sunk and 2 ships damaged. Erich Topp who has 12 patrols, 35 ships sunk and 4 ships damaged. Heinrich Liebe with 9 patrols 34 ships sunk, 2 ships damaged. Viktor Shutze with 7 patrols, 35 ships sunk and 2 ships damaged.
These are some of the biggest ships that were destroyed by the U boats. Oct. 28 1940 the Empress of Britain was destroyed by U-32. It was a steam passenger ship. Dec. 21 1942 the Strathallan was sunk by U-562. It was a troop transporter ship. Oct. 10 1942 the Orcades was sunk by U-172. It was a troop transportation ship. Mar. 7 1941 Terje Viken was sunk by U-99. It was a whale factory ship. Jun. 6 1940 HMS Carinthia was sunk by U-46. It was a Armed Merchant Cruiser.
Here’s some of the biggest Capital Warships sunk by U-boats. Commander Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen sunk the Battleship HMS Barham on Nov. 25 1941. Commander Gunther Prien sunk the Battleship HMS Royal Oak on Oct. 14 1939. Commander Friedrich Guggenberger sunk the Aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal on Nov. 13 1941. Commander Helmut Rosenbaum sunk the Aircraft carrier HMS Eagle on Aug. 11 1942. Commander Otto Schuhart sunk the Aircraft carrier HMS Courageous on Sep. 17 1939. The youngest U-boat commander was Ltn. Ludwig-Ferdinand von Friedeburg who was 20, 111 days old. The oldest commander was Kpt. Bruno Mahn who was 54 years, 270 days old.
These are the top 5 shipyards that produced U-boats. Blohm & Voss, Hamburg made 224 U-boats. AG Weser, Bremen made 162 U-boats. F Krupp Germaniawerft AG, Kiel made 131 U-boats. Deutsche Werft AG, Hamburg made 113 U-boats. F Schichau GmbH, Danzig made 94 U-boats.
Some of the most successful U-boats were U-48 which had 13 patrols, 51 ships sunk and 3 ships damaged. U-103 had 11 patrols, 45 ships sunk and 3 ships damaged. U-123 had 12 patrols, 42 ships sunk and 6 ships damaged. U-124 had 11 patrols, 46 ships sunk and 4 ships damaged. U-107 had 14 patrols, 37 ships sunk and 4 ships damaged.
The very last German U-boat that was made was the Bismarck. The Bismarck was the most feared of all of the German U-boats. The Bismarck started being built in July of 1936 and was launched in 1940. The maximum speed was 36 knots. It was heavily equipped with four twin turrets. Fully loaded the Bismarck had weighed almost up to 50,000 tons. It was the largest and most powerful of all the German U-boats. It had a total of 150,000 horsepower. The Bismarck was sunk on May 27, 1941. The Bismarck was sunk by the HMS hood but the Bismarck didn’t go down without a fight. The Bismarck as well sunk the HMS hood.
German U-boats had one of the biggest impacts on World War 2. Without them Great Britain wouldn’t have got out of the war because they needed supplies in order to survive. The German U-boats cut off those supplies and caused Great Britain to flee the War. The German U-boats were one of the most useful things during the wars by taking out all of the aircraft carriers and all of the battle ships. By having the German U-boats they were able to come up with better tactics and ways to defeat the enemy. The wolf pack was the most successful tactic that the Germans had come up with. By using the German U-boats they had the most casualties in any modern war history. The German U-boat was the best submarine during its time and went down in history as one of the greatest war inventions that there ever could be and the most useful.
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