Saturday, January 20, 2018

Battle of the Atlantic (WWII)

The battle of the Atlantic was the naval military engagement that took place from 1939 to 1945, in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. It was fought between the German Kriegsmarine's submarines and the Allied navies warships.

The main objective of the German navy was to destroy the maritime supply lines to Great Britain, attacking cargo and freight ships of all types. Thus, Germany hoped not only to deprive the British of war materiel and ammunition, being shipped from the United States, but also of food supply. Since the Third Reich did not have a strong force of battleships and aircraft carriers, it had to rely on its submarine fleet to carry out this mission. The battle of the Atlantic would last until the end of the World War II and would be a very decisive theater of conflict. 

During this long submarine campaign the German U-boats sank thousands of tons of Anglo-American shipping. But besides the submarine threat, the German Navy also fought with smaller warships, which were known as Pocket Battleships. On December 13, 1939, the German battleship Graf Spee marauded in the South Atlantic when British warships from the Royal Navy's South American Division took on the might of the Graf Spee, which was seriously damaged in the Battle of the River Plate and had to be scuttled at the end by its crews.

During the first three years, the German had the upperhands in the Battle of the Atlantic, attacking the enemy ships in small groups of submarines called packs, causing great damage to the British supply lines. However, with the introduction of modern and powerful sonars, as well as more powerful depth charge, the British could turn the tide of war to their favor. Although, the Allied nations won the battle of the Atlantic, about 3,600 merchant ships and 180 warships of all kinds had been sunk by the lethal German submarines.