Overview

At the start of the war, German U-boat technology vastly out performed that possessed by the Allies, and under the pressure of the war continual development helped keep pace with wartime needs and improvements in anti-submarine weaponry. But it was not just the technology that had to change. German U-boat tactics evolved over time. Used in a variety of roles, from coastal patrolling through to the combined actions of convey-hunting 'wolf ...

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U-boat Tactics in World War II

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Overview

At the start of the war, German U-boat technology vastly out performed that possessed by the Allies, and under the pressure of the war continual development helped keep pace with wartime needs and improvements in anti-submarine weaponry. But it was not just the technology that had to change. German U-boat tactics evolved over time. Used in a variety of roles, from coastal patrolling through to the combined actions of convey-hunting 'wolf packs', the tactics used by U-Boats were diverse.

This book analyses how the U-boats dominated the seas thanks to their innovative and daring tactical deployment, and how the cracking of the Enigma code effectively hamstrung them, greatly reducing their impact, a problem that even their advanced tactics failed to solve.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In his book, author Gordon Williamson has a look at how submarines operated at various stages of the war. There are sections on associated equipment, offensive and defensive weapons/equipment, and various defensive tactics used. This latter was more and more important as the war went against the German submarine fleet. All of this is illustrated by a goodly selection of period photographs and that artwork of Ian Palmer, who shows some very well done charts of how both the submarines and Allied shipping dealt with the submarine war. It makes for a book I found quite engrossing and one that I can easily recommend to you." - Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (November 2010)

"...this book will give [readers] an understanding of why some boats were more successful than others and why the war was ultimately lost."
- Glen Porter, www.hyperscale.com (February 2011)

"...provides a fine, narrowed history of u-boat tactics that uses wartime source material documents and manuals to explain operational tactics used by German subs during the war. Any collection strong in military strategy will consider this a key survey."
- The Midwest Book Review

"This well-illustrated monograph describes the variety of tactics used by the Kreigsmarine’s submarine force to attack Allied convoys and warships in the Atlantic campaign that did more to threaten Great Britain’s survival than any other threat during the war. The author researched German documents and manuals to describe deck-gun and torpedo attacks, wolfpack tactics, cooperative operations with aircraft, anti-aircraft defense and the use of tethered unpowered gyrocopters for target spotting. He also details some of the technology — armor, anechoic coating, flak guns, homing torpedoes — that enhanced and changed the tactics as the war progressed."    -Seapower (June 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780969756
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 6/19/2012
  • Series: Elite
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 832,563
  • File size: 11 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Gordon Williamson was born in 1951 and currently works for the Scottish Land Register. He spent seven years with the Military Police TA and has published a number of books and articles on the decorations of the Third Reich and their recipients. He is the author of a number of World War II titles for Osprey.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Basic chronology of the U-boat war in the Atlantic

Convoy Night Surface Attacks 5

The Kretschmer method, 1940-41

The official doctrine, 1943

Deck-Gun Attacks 14

The theory: rules for interception of merchant ships

The practice

The official doctrine

Solo Missions 21

U-47 at Scapa Flow

The Mediterranean: U-81 and U-331

North American waters, 1942

Far Eastern waters, 1943-44

'Wolf-Pack' Attacks 29

'Free hunting'

Patrol/reporting lines

Fast patrol lines

The turn of the tide

Kriegsmarine-Luftwaffe Co-Operation 37

The Fw 200C Condor

Combined air-sea strikes

Associated Equipment 40

Bachstelze ('Wagtail')

Midget submarines

Offensive Weapons 43

Torpedoes

Torpedo guidance systems

Mines

Defensive Equipment 49

Radar decoys

Sonar decoys

Protective coatings

Defensive Tactics 55

Against warships

Against aircraft

Select Bibliography 63

Index 64

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