Military history

ASSESSMENTS

The withdrawal of Type VIIs from independent patrols to American waters in August of 1942 was another major turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic. That and a sharp decline in Type IX patrols signaled the beginning of the end of the all-out U-boat war against the Americas and provides a convenient milestone to sum up and assess that campaign.

Any such assessment must begin by restating the distortions in existing accounts. Admiral King and the American naval staff emerge in most of these as fools or knaves or worse, the U.S. Army leaders and the British as brilliant and infallible warlords. To see the U-boat campaign in American waters in a proper light, these important reminders and correctives are required.

First, it must be remembered that the historically majestic British Royal Navy was in a state of serious decline, and the American Navy was in vigorous ascendancy. As historian James R. Leutze has shown,* British navalists did not gladly admit of this role reversal and were quite unwilling to surrender naval supremacy to their untutored, uncouth country cousins. This jealousy, very much prevalent in 1942, colored the views of British navalists regarding the effectiveness of the American and Canadian navies and leaders, and, subsequently, British naval historians, who have uncritically accepted contemporary, biased British reports on the North American cousins as gospel.

Besides that, it must be remembered that notwithstanding the public displays of amity, the American and British war planners were in serious disagreement over strategy for most of 1942. The Americans were eager to mount Sledgehammer, the invasion of Occupied France, and to come to grips directly with German power on the ground. Contrarily, the British opposed Sledgehammer in favor of a number of low-intensity operations on the “periphery” and what was predicted to be a morale-crushing, war-winning strategic bombing campaign against German industry and cities.

American and British navalists held divergent views over the strategic role of Allied sea power in the Atlantic theater. As was done by Americans in World War I, Admiral King assigned highest priority to the safe delivery of soldiers and other military personnel to overseas destinations, particularly those American forces embarked originally for the British Isles to carry out Sledgehammer. The British laid nearly equal stress on the importance of protecting “trade” or merchant shipping engaged in transporting food, oil, and tools of war to the British Isles, which were deemed vital for her survival and her ability to wage the kind of war the British War Cabinet preferred.

British historians and popular writers seldom acknowledge there was ever a divergence of strategic views over the use of maritime assets in 1942 or that the protection of troop transports was seen by the Americans as the most vital task of all. They mainly write that the Americans were incredibly stupid in the protection of merchant shipping, “refusing” as they did to initiate convoying in American waters until May, and, as a consequence, suffered a devastating naval defeat. The recent suggestions by American naval historians Dean C. Allard and Robert W. Love, Jr., that the transporting of American troops from the United States across the Atlantic to the British Isles in the first eight months of 1942 with no losses was a significant naval victory by and of itself, has largely gone unremarked by British historians.

Another aspect of the Allied naval disputations in this period that the critics of Admiral King seldom acknowledge is that the American Navy had to cope with a “two-ocean war.” In order to protect the line of communications to Australia and prevent an invasion of that continent, as set forth in Anglo-American strategic agreements, the Americans had to send tens of thousands of soldiers and airmen to Hawaii, New Caledonia, the Fiji Islands, and Australia.* These troopship convoys, most crossing vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean, had to be protected as stoutly as the Atlantic troopship convoys. It was therefore not possible (as urged by the British Admiralty) to withdraw American destroyers from the Pacific to serve as escorts for cargo convoys in the Atlantic.

When the shortage of destroyers and other suitable vessels forced King to choose between escorting American and British troopships and escorting cargo vessels and tankers, he chose to protect the troops.

A third important factor to remember in order to see the U-boat campaign in American waters in a proper light is that the American Army and Navy were in serious disagreement over ways of coping with the U-boat threat throughout 1942. The Army believed that special units of radar-equipped, four-engine, land-based aircraft, such as the B-24 Liberators, should be employed to hunt down U-boats “offensively,” a so-called hunter-killer strategy. Contrarily, the Navy deemed hunter-killer operations to be futile and urged that such aircraft be employed “defensively” for the protection of convoys, to which U-boats were certain to be drawn like bees to honey, and “offensively” only against submarine-building yards, forward bases, and known “choke points” such as the Bay of Biscay.

Because of this divergence of views and because the Army Air Forces were opposed for political, doctrinal, and other reasons to rescinding a prewar agreement that gave it exclusive control of land-based aircraft, in 1942 the Navy was barred from organizing its own land-based aircraft units for convoy escort. Instead, the Navy had to beg and borrow Army Air Forces units, whose personnel were not trained in convoy escort or ASW and, in any case, detested this “defensive” assignment as opposed to the glamorous “offensive” strategic bombing of the German heartland. It is not surprising, therefore, that in the eight months of the U-boat campaign in American waters the Army Air Forces units failed abysmally, sinking only one U-boat (U-701) unassisted by surface ships or other forces.

In the existing accounts of the U-boat campaign in the Americas, this absurd and wasteful interservice battle over control of airpower is almost never depicted adequately. That President Roosevelt allowed it to persist throughout 1942 and half of 1943 is one of the great military misfortunes of World War II. Be that as it may, the situation demands the fullest exposition in discussing this phase of the U-boat war.

A fourth factor to recall is that the Allies “lost” naval Enigma on the U-boat Triton (Shark) net in early 1942. The official British intelligence historian has dismissed this setback as of small consequence in the U-boat campaign in the Americas, but in fact, it was of vital importance. Had U-boat naval Enigma not been lost, the Americans would have discovered at once that this new campaign was an allout German assault, employing all available Atlantic submarines, including medium-range Type VIIs and new U-tankers. Informed of these facts and other tactical data, such as the fact that the U-boats were not to operate in coordinated groups or “wolf packs,” the American military high command doubtless would have reacted differently, perhaps even to the extent of authorizing unescorted oil and cargo convoys.

A fifth factor to remember is that in early 1942 just as the campaign in the Americas was being launched, the Germans discovered the last major defect in their submarine torpedoes. This was the leak in the balance chamber that caused them to run much deeper than set. The steps taken to correct this defect greatly improved torpedo performance and the percentage of hits in American waters.

A sixth factor to keep in mind is that in 1940-1941, the Americans loaned to the British and Canadians fifty four-stack destroyers and ten Lake-class Coast Guard cutters. Had these sixty big warships remained in U.S. Navy control, they would have been sufficient to establish convoy networks immediately on the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, preventing the loss of scores of ships and hundreds of merchant seamen.

Having set forth those important reminders, the assessment of the U-boat campaign in the Americas may now proceed in a fairer prospective. To assist in this assessment, it is necessary to examine another set of numbers. These are derived from U-boat sailings to American waters from December 18, 1941, through August 31, 1942.*

• The Germans mounted 184 war patrols: 80 by Type IXs and 104 by Type VIIs. This was an average of about twenty sailings per month, a much heavier commitment of force than usually depicted.

• These boats sank 609 ships for 3.1 million gross tons, including all trawlers, small auxiliaries, and sailing vessels as well as ships sunk en route to and from the Americas. This was an average of about sixty-eight vessels a month for about 350,000 tons.

The ships sunk in the campaign in the Americas in this period constitute about one-quarter of all Allied shipping sunk by German U-boats in World War II. Thus, the campaign was the single most important of the war in terms of sinkings achieved in a relatively brief time period for effort expended—the high-water mark of the U-boat war. Only about six of the 184 patrols to American waters in this period resulted in no sinkings or damage to Allied shipping. Moreover, German losses were relatively modest: twenty-two U-boats (ten IXs and twelve VIIs). Of the approximately 1,000 submariners manning these boats, only about 200 survived, 114 of these as POWs.

One of the ironies of this most successful campaign was that the Type IX boats, which Dönitz had so ardently opposed, achieved by far the greatest successes. Fortuitously for the Germans, thirty-four new Type IXs, long in production, workup, and retrofit, became available to the Atlantic force in the first eight months of 1942. The eighty patrols by the Type IXs accounted for 384 of the vessels sunk (63 percent of the total) for about 2.0 million gross tons (65 percent). The 104 patrols by the Type VIIs accounted for the other 225 vessels (37 percent) for about 1.1 million gross tons (35 percent). Overall, the Type IXs averaged 4.8 vessels sunk for 25,100 gross tons per boat per patrol compared with an average 2.2 vessels sunk for 10,686 gross tons per boat per patrol by the Type VIIs. By this reckoning, had Dönitz had his way and there had been far fewer Type IXs, and had the eighty Type IX patrols been carried out by Type VIIs, the total sinkings in the campaign would have been considerably less: perhaps 400 ships for about 2.0 million tons, rather than 609 ships for 3.1 million tons.

PLATE 12

A striking feature of this campaign in the Americas was the very large number of Allied tankers that fell victim to the Germans in the first eight months of 1942.* Losses by area:

U.S. Eastern Seaboard

43

Gulf of Mexico

22

Caribbean/Latin America

72

Canada

6

Total

143

When these tanker losses are added to the tankers sunk by Axis submarines en route to and from the Americas and patrolling to other areas, such as Freetown, Sierra Leone, and the Azores, during the first eight months of 1942, the total of tanker losses in this period rises to 188.

This was indisputably a blow to the Allies: The losses restricted a number of Allied military operations and were the cause of much friction between the U.S. Army and Navy and between London and Washington. But contrary to some accounts, it was not a crippling blow. The American, British, and Canadian shipyards produced ninety-two bigger and better tankers for about 925,000 tons in 1942, replacing half the number of tankers lost but nearly two-thirds of the tonnage lost. In 1943, American shipyards alone produced another 214 tankers for about 2.1 million gross tons, while tanker losses to U-boats fell dramatically to forty-eight for 373,000 tons.

The Americans compensated for the drop in the oil flow caused by the tanker losses and convoying in 1942 through a drastic reduction in their dependence on oceangoing tankers and by the use of alternative oil-delivery systems. This shift can be seen in the following chart of the oil flow from Texas and Louisiana to the northeast United States, measured in barrels per day:

Delivery System

Jan. 1942

Dec. 1942

Railroad tank cars

98,500

740,063

Pipelines

62,500

158,180

Barges, lake vessels

42,500

64,380

Oceangoing tankers

1,268,500

111,759

Totals

1,472,000

1,074,382

The deficit in this flow of oil was overcome in 1942 by gasoline rationing on the Eastern Seaboard and the conversion of factories from oil to coal and to natural gas, as well as a depletion of oil stockpiles in that area.

The decreased dependence on oceangoing tankers for oil delivery to the northeastern United States and the output of new tankers in 1942 enabled the Americans to again “loan” the British tankers. In response to requests from London (the so-called Red Gap and Blue Gap), Washington made available in 1942 the equivalent of about 100 tankers. This emergency diversion of ships, together with stricter gasoline rationing in the British Isles and a depletion of British stockpiles, averted the oft-predicted oil crisis there in the first eight months of 1942. However, convoying in the Americas and the rerouting of tankers inbound to the British Isles via Freetown, together with intensified British military operations in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean area, strained British oil resources to the absolute limit.

Over and above the tankers, the U-boats engaged in the campaign in the Americas sank 440 Allied cargo ships, trawlers, auxiliaries, and sailing vessels for about 1.7 million gross tons. This was another tough blow, but contrary to many accounts, it was not a crippling one either. The losses were made good quickly by new ship construction. In 1942, American, British, and Canadian shipyards produced about 7.1 million gross tons, or about a million more gross tons than were lost to U-boats (6.1 million).* In particular, American shipyards performed truly astonishing feats during this period. These can best be shown by yet another set of figures that compare worldwide Allied shipping losses to all Axis submarines with new construction in American yards in the summer of 1942.

 Admiralty figures, by Axis submarines in all waters.

 In American yards only. Note that new ships averaged 7,300 tons; older ships in the “sunk” column, 4,900 tons. Hence not as many new ships were required to equal or surpass the gross registered tonnage of ships sunk.

In summary, while it is undeniably true that the sinking of 609 ships for 3.1 million gross tons in the North American campaign was a notable German naval achievement, it did not by any means dent decisively the Allied merchant-ship pool of about 30 million gross tons. As related, most of the merchant-ship losses were made good quickly by new construction and, owing to the shifts in oil delivery systems in the United States and to rationing, no crippling oil crises developed in the Americas or British Isles in 1942—only a number of frustrating, temporary spot shortages requiring emergency measures.

PLATE 13

Another striking feature of this campaign was the relatively small effect it had on the vital lifeline transporting cargo from North America to the British Isles (see Plate 13). In the first eight months of 1941, 2,867 loaded ships in Halifax and Slow convoys had arrived in the United Kingdom. By comparison, in the first eight months of 1942, 2,411 loaded ships in Halifax and Slow convoys arrived in the United Kingdom. The difference—456 fewer ships in 1942—was due not so much to U-boat sinkings in American waters as to three other factors:

• The diversion of about 200 loaded cargo ships to northern Russia in convoys PQ 7 through PQ 17. Of this total, 42 ships sailed in convoys PQ 7 through PQ 11, about 160 ships in convoys PQ 12 (departing March 1) through PQ 17.

• The “opening out” of Halifax convoy sailings from every six days to every seven days, in part to compensate for the diversion of American destroyers in the MOEF to the escort of troopship convoys. This step reduced the number of Halifax convoy sailings per year by about nine, from about sixty-one per year to about fifty-two. Assuming a rock-bottom average of forty ships per Halifax convoy, that amounted to a reduction of about 360 ship arrivals per year in Halifax convoys, or about 240 ships in the first eight months of 1942.

PLATE 14

• The rerouting of many loaded tankers en route from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom via Freetown, thence homeward in slow Sierra Leone convoys.

These three measures plus losses to U-boats resulted in yet another sharp drop in total imports to the United Kingdom in the first eight months of 1942: from 28,466, 000 tons in 1941 to 23,402,000 in 1942 (see Plate 14). This was a decline in basic imports of about 5 million tons, and it led to very real hardships in the British Isles—food, heating fuel, and gasoline shortages, among others—and to serious second thoughts about diverting so much shipping to provide aid to the Soviet Union and about embarking on further military campaigns such as Torch; it led as well to renewed demands on Washington for a larger share of the shipping allocations.

On one hand, it would not be correct to suggest that the U-boat campaign in American waters was of small consequence. It hurt the Allies badly in several ways and caused death and terror in the ranks of the American and British merchant marines. On the other hand, it must be deemed an unrealized victory in the sense that it did not achieve the decisive strategic results that Dönitz sought. Men and matériel and new ships of all types continued to flow from the United States to the far corners of the globe in prodigious quantities.

The principal achievement of the U-boat campaign in American waters was to force the Allies to commit vast resources to extending the convoy network to the Eastern Seaboard, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and Latin America. Even though the U-boat menace in these areas diminished rather quickly and soon evaporated in the face of improved ASW, this new and complex network, called the “Interlocking Convoy System,” remained in place to the end of the war. Even allowing for exaggeration in Churchill’s estimate that convoying by itself reduced British imports by “one-third,” doubtless convoying in North and South American waters, however efficient, substantially retarded the flow of raw materials and goods by ship to the end of hostilities.

This concludes our study of the first two phases of the German U-boat campaign—the nearly separate wars against the British Empire and the Americas, taking the story to September 1, 1942. The U-boat campaign against Allied shipping continued for thirty-two more months—in fact, to May 8, 1945, the very last day of the war in Europe. This third and final phase of the campaign will be described and assessed in Volume II of this study.

* Mayrant, Rhind, Rowan, Wainwright.

 Barton, Duncan, Lansdowne, Lardner, McCalla, Meade. The last was commissioned June 22.

* Even so, on June 21 Dönitz complained to Berlin that of 138 U-boats recently commissioned, sixty-three were still in the Baltic four months after commissioning. Moreover, accidents in the Baltic. The VII U-596 had a battery explosion that delayed her sailing from June to August. The VII U-606 had a bad engine-room fire. The VII U-444 rammed and sank the VII U-612 on August 6. The U-612 was salvaged but restricted to service as a school boat. Repeatedly set back by mechanical problems—some attributed to sabotage—it took the IX U-164 nearly eight months to get out of the Baltic.

* At Argentia, on May 29, Spry had caught fire while alongside the valuable new destroyer tender Prairie. The fire spread to Prairie, causing “extensive damage,” which compelled Prairie to return to Boston for months of repairs.

* At the time of the award, Mützelburg’s confirmed score was twenty ships for about 83,000 tons. At that time, only two other skippers of the Atlantic U-boat force wore the Oak Leaves: Erich Topp in U-552 and Reinhard Suhren in U-564.

* The U-166 burst into the news in April 1971, when a Florida salvor asserted that she had somehow drifted across the gulf to the Tampa area and that there was danger that the 200 tons of mercury she carried for ballast trim would leak out and kill the marine life. It was all nonsense. U-166 could not rise and “drift” from her grave and she carried no mercury for ballast trim. Although U-166 sank in shallow water, sport divers have not been able to find her. Very likely she is buried in silt deposited by the Mississippi River.

* Pfeffer and some crew returned to Germany to man a new boat.

 At the time of the award, Lassen’s confirmed score was eleven ships for 66,000 tons sunk, plus damage to two tankers. The first tanker, Bidwell, was salvaged. The second, Havsten, was abandoned. Two days later the Italian submarine Tazzoli found Havsten and sank her with two torpedoes.

* Combat Flotilla 11, commanded by Hans Cohausz, onetime skipper of U-A, was formally established in Bergen on June 6, but weeks elapsed before it was fully staffed and operational.

* U-88, U-255, U-355, U-408, U-457, U-601.

* Six destroyers, four corvettes, two submarines, three minesweepers, two antiaircraft gun ships, and four ASW trawlers.

 Two British heavy cruisers, London and Norfolk; two American heavy cruisers, Tuscaloosa and Wichita; the British destroyer Somali; and two modern American destroyers, Rowan and Wain-wright.

 The British carrier Victorious, the battleship Duke of York, heavy cruisers Nigeria and Cumberland, and twelve destroyers; the American battleship Washington; and two modern American destroyers, Mayrant and Rhind.

§ The British submarines Sahib, Seawolf, Sturgeon, Tribune, Trident, Unrivalled, Unshaken, and Ursula; the Free French Minerve; and six Soviet submarines.

* After entering the Denmark Strait unmolested by the Germans, a section of QP 13 accidentally ran into an Allied defensive minefield. The British minesweeper Niger and five big ships totaling about 31,000 tons hit mines, blew up, and sank. One of the lost ships, the Soviet cargo-passenger vessel Rodina, was transporting the wives and families of Soviet diplomats to England.

* A boarding party from U-255 recovered the papers, which included exact details on the composition of PQ 17, as well as “new signal codebooks for convoys” and “other welcome papers.”

 Hermann Goring awarded three Ritterkreuzes to airmen who engaged in the battle with PQ 17.

 The eleven U-boats deployed against PQ 17 shot a total of seventy-two torpedoes, of which twenty-seven were believed to have hit and exploded. Nine of the eleven boats were credited with sinkings. Reinhardt von Hymmen in U-408 and Heinrich Göllnitz in U-657 (who aborted with an oil leak) sank no ships.

§ Twenty-two of the twenty-four confirmed ships sunk were big freighters, heavily laden with war matériel. Fourteen of the twenty-four were American ships. The lost cargo included 3,350 trucks and vehicles, 430 tanks, 210 aircraft, and about 100,000 tons of other war supplies. About 153 merchant marine officers and men (107 Americans) died in the sinkings or in lifeboats; about 1,300 others (581 Americans) survived. The ships that reached Soviet ports delivered 896 vehicles, 164 tanks, 87 aircraft, and about 57,000 tons of other military cargo. In mounting 202 dive-bomber and torpedo sorties, the Luftwaffe lost only five aircraft and a few men. The U-boat force incurred no losses.

* The first four American-built “jeep” carriers for the Royal Navy had been delayed. As related, during workup in the Caribbean, Archer collided with and sank the Peruvian freighter Brazos, damaging herself so badly that she had to be towed to the Charleston naval base for repairs. All four had severe teething problems with their newly designed high-performance diesel engines.

* The correct procedure in such cases, Coastal Command headquarters stated, was to continue offensive action by all weapons, in order to keep the U-boat crew below and prevent scuttling until a surface ship arrived.

* The award of the Ritterkreuz to Kraus was apparently part of a propaganda scheme to give recognition to German submariners in the Mediterranean. At the time of the award, Kraus’s claimed sinkings on U-83 totaled twelve ships for 35,000 tons, including the seven small ships off Palestine. Up to then, he had sunk only one confirmed ship of any size: the 2,000-ton Portuguese freighter Corte Real, which he stopped in the Atlantic by gun, searched, and deemed to be carrying contraband, then sank with a single torpedo.

 Perla yielded some intelligence papers of value but apparently nothing helpful to Allied code-breakers. They were still reading the Italian naval code C-38m but had not broken any German naval codes employed in the Mediterranean area. In August, shortly after Perla’s capture, Allied codebreakers turned to the German naval Enigma network Süd (Porpoise), used by German naval commanders and surface ships in the Mediterranean, Balkans, and Black Sea. It proved to be a “relatively uncomplicated prewar machine,” which “could be decrypted with no special difficulty,” but it provided no cribs for breaking the four-rotor Enigma in use on the Triton (Shark) net in the Atlantic or tactical information of value.

* At the time of the award, Rosenbaum had sunk six confirmed ships for 52,000 tons, including Eagle, the third carrier after Courageous and Ark Royal to be sunk by U-boats.

* The ducks U-9, U-18, U-19, U-20, U-23, and U-24 had been decommissioned and disassembled and laboriously shipped by rail and barge to Galati, Romania, on the Black Sea, where they were reassembled and recommissioned for the purpose of attacking Soviet naval units in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.

* At this time, British forces in the Mediterranean sank yet another Italian submarine, Scire. While she was attempting to sneak into Haifa to launch three Chariots (or “human torpedoes”) on August 10, the ASW trawler Islay destroyed her.

 Schonder’s award also appears to be part of the effort to give Mediterranean U-boats greater recognition. At the time of the award (the third Ritterkreuz won by Mediterranean skippers within two months), Schonder’s confirmed sinkings on the duck U-58 and the U-77 were nine ships for about 35,000 tons (including the Hunt-class destroyer Grove) plus the ten sailing ships.

* As related earlier, after he left the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Vogelsang in U-132 sank the 6,700-ton freighter Pacific Pioneer of this convoy.

* This action and others in convoy Outbound North 115 are vividly described in Easton’s war memoir, Fifty North (1963).

* At the time of the award, Topp’s confirmed score on the duck U-57 and U-552 was 34 ships sunk for about 185,000 tons, including the destroyer Reuben James. In ships and tonnage sunk, he stood fourth among all skippers in the war.

* At that time there were forty-eight ASW aircraft based on Iceland: twenty-nine British, ten American, and nine Norwegian.

* The convoy was Reykjavik-United Kingdom 36, consisting of two cruisers and four destroyers escorting four large and important merchant ships.

 A U-tanker could refuel only about thirteen U-boats per voyage. Therefore, about one tanker was needed for efficient operation of each attack group.

* At the time of the award, Schnee’s claims on the duck U-60 and the U-201 totaled 29 ships for about 210,000 tons. His confirmed score was 22 ships for about 92,000 tons.

* At the time of the award, Kals’s confirmed score was eighteen ships for about 116,500 tons.

* At the time of the award, his confirmed score on U-48 and U-109 was twenty-six and a half ships for 150,000 tons.

* The assertion in some American records that U-751 planted a minefield at Charleston is obviously in error.

 The convergence of six U-boats (two IXs, four VIIs) in the area near Outbound South 34 suggests that Dönitz had prior knowledge of its position and that Bigalk in U-751, who carried torpedoes as well as mines, was part of a special operation against this convoy. However, no records have come to light to confirm this possibility.

*A hard, hazardous task, accomplished by floating buoyed torpedoes from one boat to the other.

 After Kretschmer and Topp, Suhren was the third skipper to earn Swords to his Ritterkreuz. Uniquely, he had won his Ritterkreuz while serving as first watch officer of the record-breaking U-48 under Herbert Schultze, Hans Rösing, and Heinrich Bleichrodt. As captain of the U-564 for five patrols, Suhren had sunk 18 ships for about 95,000 tons.

* At the time of the award, Thurmann’s confirmed score was fourteen ships for 80,237 tons.

* The weapon, which was not adopted, had a 464-pound TNT warhead. The majority of airmen preferred to carry a greater load of the smaller, lighter, Mark XVII depth charge with a Torpex warhead.

* At the time of the award, Krech’s confirmed score was fifteen ships for 104,593 tons, including two British warships: the corvette Gladiolus and the ASW trawler Bedfordshire.

 U-43, U-174, and U-176.

* At the time of the award, Piening’s confirmed score was 20 ships (four big tankers) for 94,635 tons.

* At the time of the award, Scholtz’s confirmed score was 26 ships for 130,677 tons, including the Brines, which is not included in most German sources. His transfer to shore duty left two skippers who wore Oak Leaves in command of Atlantic U-boats: Bleichrodt in U-109 and Mützelburg in U-203.

* Originally this task had been assigned to three Type VIIs of the July group, but they became involved in convoy battles and were eventually redirected to the Caribbean.

* Chatham was the second American “troopship” to be lost in the war after the Cherokee. Thirteen men died in the sinking.

 Notwithstanding Admiral King’s reluctance to give medals for saving one’s ship, Moncy was awarded a Navy Cross.

* The 7,300-ton tanker Petrofuel detonated a mine in Gräf’s field off the mouth of the Chesapeake but was not damaged. Neither minefield produced any sinkings. Both fields were discovered and swept by the Americans.

* The survivors of Antonico asserted that Wiebe shot at them in the lifeboats, killing six and wounding ten men. These charges were brought against Dönitz at his Nuremberg trial but to small effect. Dönitz responded that the survivors had doubtless drifted into gunfire aimed at the ship and that had Wiebe intended to wipe out the survivors, as charged, he would not have departed the scene in a mere twenty minutes.

* Bargaining for Supremacy (1977).

 Among other forces, four Army divisions: 1st, 5th, and 34th Infantry and 1st Armored. The number of American military personnel disembarked in the British Isles in this period was roughly 157,000. (See tables in Behrens, p. 283, and Bykofsky and Larson, p. 102.) The thirteen men lost on the troopship Chatham were outbound from Nova Scotia to Greenland.

* Among other forces, six American Army divisions: Americal, 27th, 32nd, 37th, 40th, and 41st Infantry, and the Marine Corps 1st Division.

* See Appendix 4 and Plate 12.

 From U-94, U-162, U-352, U-512, and U-701.

* See Appendix 17.

 Includes one tanker sunk by U-512 and two by U-515 in early September.

* The 43,000 shipbuilders in the British Isles produced a total of about 1.3 million tons of new merchant ships in 1942; the Canadians about half a million.

If you find an error please notify us in the comments. Thank you!