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i wonder?

Discussion in 'Atlantic Naval Conflict' started by Ron, Nov 6, 2000.

  1. Ron

    Ron Member

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    I always kinda wondered why more escort carriers wern't sunk in the atlantic. The submarine is a deadly enemy of these little flat tops...why didn't the u-boats attack them much? or sink more?
    The only answer i could think of was
    1. the freighters and tankers were more of a priority (but would the u-boat captains pass up a shot at one?)
    2. The carriers were well escorted (however the tankers and freighters were also well guarded and they were still being sunk up until 1945.)
    Does anyone else know anything?
     
  2. CoWBoY MoRoN

    CoWBoY MoRoN Member

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    Don't forget fast escort carriers are difficult targets, and dangerous ones! If you try to attack one you will most likely be sunk, as the U Boat captains probably discovered... Too late.
    An underwater U Boat is too slow to attack effectively fast warships, and he will have to surface after a certain amount of time. If planes are in the vicinity, (and there WILL be planes if a U Boat was detected near a carrier) he won't be able to refill the batteries (it takes hours!) before being attacked, and probably sunk.
    The carriers were often used as Hunter Killers searching for U Boats even far from convoy, and planes can attack surface cruising U Boat far from their carrier while a U Boat has to sneak (on surface!) near a very mobile and fast target.
    On the other hand, convoys were so slow they were quite easy for U Boat to shadow and attack using the Wolf Pack tactic.
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Simply because there were too many hunter-killer groups looking for the U-Boats. Too many light carriers with 4F4 Wildcats, Avengers,(shore-based) Liberator, Wellington and Halifax bombers, PBY Catalinas, and Martins all flying about day and night. Many U-Boats were sunk by aircraft.
     
  4. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Well In Clay Blair's book-'Hitler's U-Boat War', I know for sure that no skipper ever passed up an oppourtunity to have a shot at a carrier-One Kapitan indeed fired a full boat spread of 5 torpedoes at the carrier. They missed, but sank a destroyer and battleship.
    Too much firepower on the Allied side kept carrier losses down...aircraft, escorts etc etc etc
     
  5. Herr Kaleun

    Herr Kaleun Member

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    Escort carriers would have their search planes up and any u-boat on the surface would immediately dive to avoid dectection and thus be out of position to make an attack.

    The technical devices that were developed drastically lowered the chances of a u-boat attack on a carrier. Shipboard radar made it easy for the Allies to detect a surfaced u-boat from many miles away. High frequency direction finding (HF-DF or 'Huff-Duff') also allowed the Allies to pinpoint the locations of the u-boats due to their liberal use of radio.

    And finally, Bletchley Park's ability to read the enemy's coded radio traffic lead to locating the u-boats and thusly their destruction by the hunter-killer groups.
     
  6. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    Definetley-Air Power was used to maximum effect on the high seas in protection of carriers. The presence of a carrier usually meant a large task force-A VERY JUICY TARGET FOR ANY U-BOAT CAPTAIN
     
  7. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Member

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    @Panzer-they may have appeared to be juicy targets-however the encounter would have been fatal-examine the the fate of U 549. She sank the escort carrier USS Block Island on May 29, 1944. She was hunted and destroyed with all hands by the escorts that same day-The boats were too slow to get away safely after sinking such a target.
     
  8. Jumbo_Wilson

    Jumbo_Wilson Member

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    By the time Escort Carriers were being used in any numbers other technologies had also emerged making U-Boat attacks on any Convoy difficult. A couple of Swordfish flitting about with their radar coupled with a tight Escort Group would make things tough.

    Jumbo
     

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