Sample Essay on Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945)

Battle of the Atlantic (1939–1945)

The Battle of the Atlantic, which took place between 1939 and 1945, went in history as the longest continuous military operation during the war. In the end, German tasted defeat in 1945. The six years of warfare saw German U-Boats and Warships and later joined by Italian submarines gang against Allied troops, which were ferrying weapons and supplies to Britain and the Soviet Union across the Atlantic. Thousands of ships took part in the operation to control Atlantic shipping lanes, stretching to dangerous zones.

It is paramount to note that during the early stages of the encounter, German warships attacked the shipping lanes with the aim of looting and capturing Allied convoys. However, this did not happen, resulting into massive loss. For example, Germany lost ships like Graf Spee and Bismarck, which were important to the side. Starting 1940, Germany Navy heavily focused on expanding the U-Boat battle. They launched major surface attacks at night since it was impossible for the Allied Sonar or ASDIC to sense them. The U-Boats had huge success on the side of Germany during the war. They successfully attacked Allied convoys and sunk merchant warships. To avoid counteract by escorting ships, U-Boat ships always submerged after attacking Allied convoys.

However, Germans did not have the tactical advantage forever, as it started shifting towards British side by 1941. For instance, Britain signed an agreement with the United States, in which the U.S was to access British bases in exchange with fifty American destroyers. Canada also enhanced its escort mission with increased air cover by the RAF Coastal Command. The capture of U-110 in 1941 was a great success for the Allied troops as they were able to monitor the movement of U-Boats. U-110 was loaded with Enigma machines and codes. Following this development, US warships would escort Allied convoys to far places like Iceland, resulting into confrontations with U-Boats. This was a point of controversy because the United States was not officially in the war. In the Allies, favor was also advancement in technology, which led to the development of radar, which could detect U-Boats a mile ahead. This was adopted in August 1941.

Even with all these favors, convoys remained vulnerable in the Atlantic Gap as there was no anti-submarine aircraft to provide cover. However, the Allied troops registered improved security of their submarines, with minimal cases of sinking. This triggered Hitler’s decision to ship submarines to the Mediterranean. In 1942, the Germans were up again enjoying the favors of the balance. There were more submarines joining the service at a faster rate of up to twenty per month. It is worth noting that the U.S had little to do to control sinking submarines even after officially joining the war. Thus, almost 500 submarines sunk under its watch from January to June 1942. Allied forces registered their greatest loss by 1942, have lost 1,664 ships, which were sunk by U-Boats of Germany. As a result, there was shortage of food supplies to Britain, hitting critical levels. The Allies took advantage in 1943 as they had enough escort aircraft carriers, with the battle getting to the peak in May 1943.

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