17. Reading The Atlantic



Download 65.66 Kb.
Date conversion08.05.2017
Size65.66 Kb.








Title

17. Reading – The Atlantic

Description




Keywords




Objectives




Author

Mark Callagher

Organisation




Version




Date




Copyright





Introduction


There were five principle theatres where World War II was to be fought


  1. The Atlantic

  2. The Mediterranean and North Africa

  3. Eastern Europe

  4. The Pacific and Asia

  5. Western Europe (from June 1944)

The Axis Powers had gained considerable successes right up to the middle of 1942.


It was in the critical 18 months from mid 1942 through to the end of 1943 that the tide was turned in the Allies favour.






The Atlantic Charter



In August 1941 Churchill arrived just off Newfoundland (near Canada) on board the battleship HMS “Prince of Wales”. The occasion was to be his first meeting with President Roosevelt.
When Churchill boarded the USS Augusta and came face to face with the American President there was a moment of silence until Churchill said “At long last Mr President”, to which Roosevelt replied “Glad to have you aboard Mr Churchill”.
The meeting was to establish the Atlantic Charter, a vision for a post-World War II world, despite the fact that the United States had yet to enter the war. The participants hoped that the Soviet Union would adhere as well, after having been attacked by Nazi Germany two months earlier.




HMS “Prince of Wales” arrives for Atlantic Charter Conference


Eight Points



The Eight Points of the Atlantic Charter were that:

  1. No territorial gains were to be sought by the United States or the United Kingdom.

  2. Territorial adjustments must be in accord with wishes of the peoples concerned.

  3. The peoples had a right to self-determination.

  4. Trade barriers were to be lowered.

  5. There was to be global economic cooperation and advancement of social welfare.

  6. Freedom from want and fear was to be enforced.

  7. There was to be freedom of the seas.

  8. Disarmament of aggressor nations and post-war common disarmament was to be done.






Roosevelt and Churchill together

Germany First
Japan or Germany?

Before America entered the war Roosevelt had agreed that it was to be a priority to defeat Germany before Japan.

The treacherous Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbour both delighted and worried Churchill. He knew that the United States would now be fighting the Axis powers with Britain, but he was concerned that President Roosevelt would be unable to resist public pressure to exact vengeance for Pearl Harbour.
Germany First

Churchill travelled to the USA two weeks after Pearl Harbour to convince Roosevelt to stick to a “Germany First” war strategy.

Appreciating that the American public and Congress would not tolerate a war strategy that allowed the Japanese to proceed on an unchecked rampage across the Pacific, President Roosevelt decided to keep secret his government’s commitment to the “Germany First” war strategy.
Battle of the Atlantic


The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle of the Second World War, beginning from the first day of hostilities and ending on the very last day of the war. It was also the most important battle during the entire Second World War because the success of every other campaign in every other theatre of war depended upon its success. Many experts agree that defeat of the German U-Boats and control of the shipping lanes linking the Allied nations of Great Britain, United States and Canada was a key factor if the Allied nations were to invade occupied Europe and the heartland of Germany itself.
Churchill said that:

The Battle of the Atlantic was the key feature of the War. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere on land, sea or in the air depended on its outcome.”







Winmedia

File

sonar ping2.wav

Path

C:\Documents and Settings\Mark Callagher\My Documents\History\PPT Origins of World War II\

Width

75

Height

42

Autostart

True

Align

Left

Long description




Caption

Sonar Ping

Link to player

False







Battle of Atlantic begins



Germany had almost won the First World War in 1916 and 1917 by cutting off Britain’s supplies from the USA. The Germans tried to do the same thing in the Second World War.
German U-boats sank as much Allied shipping as possible. If the Germans sank more ships than the British could build, Britain would be cut off and lose the war.




Ship sinks in the Atlantic after a German U-Boat torpedo attack


Britain dominated above the waves
At the start of the war the British & French Navy were far superior with 22 Battleships and 83 Cruisers to Germany’s 3 small “pocket” Battleships and 8 Cruisers

The balance began to change in the summer of 1940 with the defeat of France when Hitler ordered an air and submarine assault on British shipping to cut off British imports and starve Britain into submission.



By 1941 Germany had also produced two superior new generation heavy battleships, the Bismarck and Tirpitz. However, after a huge naval battle, Britain managed to maintain its superiority above the oceans by sinking the Bismarck and forcing the Tirpitz to hide in the Norwegian Fjords.


German Battleship “Bismarck”, sunk May 1941



Winmedia

File

16_inch_guns.wav

Path

C:\Documents and Settings\Mark Callagher\My Documents\History\PPT Origins of World War II\

Width

75

Height

42

Autostart

True

Align

Left

Long description




Caption

Battleship 16 inch guns

Link to player

False


Merchant Navy Convoys



At the outbreak of war, the British Government took control of all British merchant ships. Their crews, the Merchant Navy, were civilians and not part of the Royal Navy.
All merchant ships had to sail in groups called convoys. Each convoy had an escort of naval ships, mostly destroyers. There were never enough escort ships to go round. Most convoys sailed between North America and Britain. Later, some convoys went to supply Russia.




An Atlantic Convoy

Wolf-Packs



The biggest threat to the Atlantic convoys was the German Wolf-packs. At the start of the war German U-boats (submarines) had hunted individually, but a new strategy proved to be more successful.
The U-boats spread themselves in a line across the Atlantic. When a convoy was spotted they came together as a pack. At night they surfaced and fired their torpedoes. Most Allied shipping was sunk by this Wolf-Pack method.



German U-Boat in the Atlantic



ASDIC



Asdic was a device for locating submerged submarines by using sound waves. It was named after the Anti-Submarine Detection Investigation Committee (ASDIC) and later renamed SONAR (SOund Navigation And Ranging).

It consisted of an electronic sound transmitter and receiver. This was housed in a metal dome beneath the ship’s hull. High-frequency beams - audible ‘pings’ - were sent out and bounced back when they hit a submarine. The time that passed before an echo was received showed the range of the submarine. The pitch of the echo revealed if it was approaching or moving away.







Winmedia

File

asidic pings.mp3

Path

C:\Documents and Settings\Mark Callagher\My Documents\History\PPT Origins of World War II\

Width

75

Height

42

Autostart

True

Align

Left

Long description




Caption

Asdic Pings

Link to player

False




Asdic (Sonar) in action

Destroyers
Initially Destroyers were the most commonly used anti-submarine weapon. They would travel with an Atlantic Convoy. If a U-boat was detected by Sonar then depth-charges would be dropped to disable or destroy it.






Destroyer



Winmedia

File

GenQtrs.wav

Path

C:\Documents and Settings\Mark Callagher\My Documents\History\PPT Origins of World War II\

Width

75

Height

42

Autostart

True

Align

Left

Long description




Caption

General Quarters Alert on a Destroyer

Link to player

False






Destroyer depth-charging a U-boat with the convoy in the background


Animation
Play this Animation to learn how to defeat the U-boats and guide your convoy to safety:


http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/interactive/games/battle_atlantic/index.shtml

715

500


Allied losses


By mid-1941 so many ships were being sunk that the British Government stopped publishing the figures. It was clear that the U-boats were winning.
In 1941

1299 Allied ships were sunk. This was six times as many as could be replaced.

Only 87 U-boats were sunk. The Germans could easily replace these losses.
By July 1942

U-boats were being launched at a rate of 30 a month.


In 1942

1700 Allied ships were lost.








The Turning Point



Since December 1941 the USA had joined the war. US “liberty” ships were being launched faster than the U-boats could sink them.
The US Navy could now also help escort the convoys. The Royal Navy was at last getting new ships that had been ordered in 1940.




An American liberty ship being launched



American complacency


Initially the USA was complacent about the Atlantic Battle. Lights were left on all across the American East Coast. German U-boats took advantage of this opportunity.





The Battle Intensifies


Radar and convoy support groups were increasingly used from 1942. Hunter-killer groups of destroyers went with the convoys to seek and destroy U-boats even if it meant leaving the convoys.
Convoys were also getting more protection from aircraft. By mid 1942 U-boats could only operate effectively in the “Atlantic Gap” – an area out of range of land based aircraft.





Victory over the U-Boat


The Allies started to win.

In 1943, 237 U-boats were sunk, many by aircraft. The USA and Britain were coordinating their Naval and Air forces to win a decisive battle. The Allies built four times as many ships as were sunk.


In May 1943, Admiral Doenitz, the commander of the U-boat fleet recalled his boats from the Atlantic. He said:

At the present time it is not a victory but the survival of boats and their crews that must come first”


U-Boats were no longer a threat.

The threat of blockade against Britain had ended. The build-up of forces for a land attack on Europe was made possible.







Overall U-Boat Losses

Overall Merchant Ship Losses

Conclusion
The removal of the U-Boat threat now made it possible for the Allies to prepare for an invasion of Fortress Europe from Britain.


The database is protected by copyright ©ininet.org 2016
send message

    Main page