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Losses to German Aircraft

Discussion in 'Convoys and Troopships' started by Carl W Schwamberger, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    Looking at some compiled numbers of Allied cargo tonnage sunk organized by year I noticed the submarines were credited with less than 80% of the material sunk. The remainder was lumped together under 'other'. This made me curious about how much cargo destined for the UK was sunk by by aircraft. The Germans kept only a small number of aircraft operational for the Battle of the Atlantic, so the proportion of cargo lost to non submarine action seems high.

    Are there any experts here how can advise on what the Allies actually lost to what weapon in the Battle of the Atlantic. Any sources to recomend? I've Huges & Costello's Battle of the Atlantic but it does not clearly break out the details & I'd like other takes on this.

    Thanks
     
  2. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Most of the the "other" category is likely surface raiders and to naval vessels like the Scharnhorst and Gneisneau during Operation Berlin and the like.
     
  4. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    what about the magnetic mine?

    The surface raiders are unlikely to contribute much to the overall tonnage lost. They were after all the least effective element in the German arsenal. Most probably at the bottom of the list.
     
  5. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Wouldn't have made up a very high percentage but there were the raiders before 1943 - overt and camouflaged.

    Also IIRC wasn't there a higher than normal wastage due to weather as a result of using overworked and rather ancient ships and pushing the season limits on artic convoys? Also quite a few, although not sure how many, of the early liberty ships broke up as well.

    If your figures are for all allied losses then possibly north sea and arctic losses have been included which would be greater aircraft involvement

    what about mines?

    also port and harbour air raids?

    also are there not more collisions and so on when operating convoys (doubt if it adds much to actual sinkings directly, but maybe there were some scuttlings etc as a result of damage)
     
  6. Trud3r

    Trud3r Member

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    GERMAN COMMERCE RAIDER & BRITISH CRUISER
    The Atlantic & The Pacific 1941
    Osprey Duel #27
     
  7. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    I meant the big ships....the commerce raiding smaller vessels were VERY effective, as posted byTrud3R...sorry, should have clarified exactly what I meant.

    The aircraft must have caused some concern. Churchill referred to the operations of the few Luftwaffe Kondors as "The Scourge of the Atlantic." Hurricane equipped "CAM Ships" had to be specially put into service to combat these aircraft, so it must have raised eyebrows somewhere.
     
  8. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

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    According to Stephen Roskill the official RN historian of WW2, in his book 'The Navy At War 1939-45' puts Allied merchant ship losses by enemy action by cause as follows:

    2828 ships of 14,687,231 tons by submarine
    820 ships of 2,889,883 tons by aircraft
    534 ships of 1,406,037 tons by mine
    104 ships of 498,447 tons by warship raider
    133 ships of 829,644 tons by merchant raider
    99 ships of 229,676 tons by S-Boat
    632 ships of 1,029,802 tons by other cause ( scuttling, capture, unknown, etc).


    Also during WW2, 1,600 ships of over 3,000,000 tons were lost through marine causes (ie grounding, collisions etc).

    ps: Unfortunately the figures are for total losses not just the Atlantic
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  10. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    when it comes to German mining ops there are no true figures for destruction or damage of Allied shipping. no matter air dropped sea mines or the ones put out by Kriegsmarine shipping, too much overlap. Any known Allied shipping lane was mined by combination's of German ships and the S-Booten, U-Boots.

    As well as those pretty little and quite interesting German LW tail rudders all painted up with ship kills, most likely more than half were not destroyed but made it back to harbor. with that besides Fw 200C's you have He 111's and the Ju 88 variants in the bombing and torpedo roles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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