Discussion in 'Germany at Sea!' started by Prospero Quevedo, Jun 28, 2021.
..I second what Takao said in post # 5..I would say they were just about worthless IMO
Small can be effetive,too. I admit the minisubs have nothing to show but... special unit of frogmen....
German Frogmen in Action II
Amongst the frogmen’s achievements were the destruction of lock gates on the Orne by eight men led by the ex-SS man Obermaat Orlowski during July and the sabotage of captured German guns on 26 August by Prinzhorn and seven of his men...
Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine - Wikipedia
1944 September 16: By this time the Allies had taken Antwerp. Two teams of five German frogmen left Rotterdam on two attack boats, to attack Antwerp docks. When they were stopped by defence nets, the teams continued by swimming, each towing a torpedo with a ton of explosive. One team placed its torpedo on the main canal lock in Antwerp. The lock was out of use for three months.
1944, night of September 28–29: By now the Allies had taken intact a road bridge at Nijmegen and a railway bridge at Moerdijk, and had immediately installed a strong anti-aircraft defence there. In order to assist with a German counter offensive against the Nijmegen salient, three groups of four German frogmen set off from 10 km upstream from the bridges. They were to place explosives under the bridges and then to continue with the river current 24 km further to return to their lines. The railway bridge was blown up. The road bridge was only slightly damaged because the mine had been badly placed. Of the 12 men, three were killed, seven were captured, and two returned to their lines.
The German micro-submarines were never anything other than a last-minute desperate measure when all resources finally ran out.
However, a mistake in thinking was made when it was assumed that a weapon system that was easy to produce and easy to operate could then also be used successfully by personnel with little training.
This worked just as little for the navy with its micro-subs as it did for the Luftwaffe with the envisaged "people's fighter" Heinkel 162 manned with Hitler-youth Glider „pilots“ and - with limitations - for the army with the Panzerfaust: it is, was and will practically always be the quality of the personnel that makes the difference.
The Nazis, on the other hand, consistently following their ideological agenda, relied on mass deployment and fanatical will - at a time when the masses were becoming fewer and fewer and fanaticism could only be found among a few bigwigs.
The micro submarines were then most successful in supplying besieged port cities (especially Dunkirk) with supplies as so-called "butter torpedoes".
I guess the German people believed in these Hitler lies because in January 1945 the enemy was still outside the old German borders ( Before the war ) and naturallly, the Göbbels´´propaganda in papers and films.
Just like the Finns were after the Winter War disappointed to the losing of Carelia and other areas as the propaganda had made them think we were winning, and suddenly we were the losers.
..I would think a lot did not totally believe the propaganda and lies
After both "Overlord" in the West and "Bagration" in the East smashed the German fronts with devastating success and Allied bombers turned the cities into rubble around the clock, it was clear to any halfway realistically thinking person that the war could no longer be won. One however well advised, that better not to say aloud.....
In this respect, fatalism rather than fanaticism was predominant.
What, to stay with the topic, drove the crews of the mini-subs, was youthful idealism, which the Nazi propaganda knew how to instrumentalize after almost 12 years of indoctrination.
It was already in the 30's clear Hitler was preparing for war and several people in the Army wanted to get rid of him. Read the Oster conspiracy. Also Stauffenberg was in the middle of things but as Hitler survived many Generals turned their back. The German people were also told about the things the Red Army would do and stayed loyal.
This is undisputed, yet fanatical will to win was practically impossible to convey: In the East, the front held out of sheer fear of the expected retaliation by the Soviets.
In the West, on the other hand, the number of PoW´s went up so steeply that the only way to fight it was to use most drastic methods.
Back to the mini-subs: Japan, GB and Italy used their systems very purposefully against selected single targets - often with quite good success (X-boats vs Tirpitz, Maiale vs Queen Elizabeth/Valiant).
The Kriegsmarine, on the other hand, calculated with large numbers of torpedoes to use as many as possible against enemy ships - a completely different concept that did not work
The effect of tying up protective forces is often brought into play, but since the submarines no longer played a role in the Atlantic Tonnage War, there were more than sufficient support vessels (+ aircraft + experienced crews) to repel the mini-subs most successfully.
In short, it was not an efficient use of existing resources, but the burning of the last resources to somehow delay the inevitable end - in the hope of "wonder weapons" or otherwise a divine providence of fate.
This is not at all comparable with the Finnish perspective: They were smarter and more pragmatic in every respect - and they kicked the Red Army in the balls so thoroughly that even Stalin was satisfied with neutrality rather than annexing the country
Both in Germany and Japan people were incouraged to spy and report on each other. People who spoke out against the war would suddenly disappear sometime with their families. Many people out of fear went along with whatever the official papers said and kept their opinions to themselves. I know a lot of people could not believe the nearby towns of the death camps didn't know what was going on, I think they suspected but did what they were told out of fear of what the ss might do to them or their families. The ss sent many they considered unloyal to labor camps, I wonder if the Japanese did the same. They built hundreds of cave systems alone the coasts for the expected invasion, it said most local towns volunteered to dig out these fortifications for their country but I'm sure those arrested for unloyal acts were put to work as so many of these caves were needed. I thinks it's good that we didn't have to do the invasion as both sides predicted high casualties the Japanese were building bunches of concrete launch ramps for the orkas they figured when the navy got close for the amphibious operations they would launch hundreds of these things and sink a large portion of the fleet. I wonder what their plan was for that long range heavy bomber, attack our b29 bases? It's an interesting looking aircraft and the j7w shinden Kai they say the US military was impressed that it was fast and had heavy fire power. They were build several models of medium and heavy tanks for the battle but I really wonder if they would have built them in any great numbers as by the wars end they had built very small numbers due to steel shortages. And if the invasion had happen would the people really have made suicide attacks, like so many of the men were in the military all they had left were the old and women and children, most of the girls schools had special classes to teach the girls how to make bamboo spears and how to fight and kill with them then each family was given a grenade or an explosive satchel that they were supposed to dive under a tank and detonate. Now I know soldiers had done that but would civilians be so bold or ready to die. Soldiers had been trained for years to believe it was honorable to die fighting the enemy but the common civilian would they be so willing to die as well, maybe, the British said they'd fight to the last against the Germans.
You must remember that in Japan the leader was considered a god. His word was the law. The US took that position away after the war.
In case of invasion the Japanese also had many kamikaze planes.