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The Battle of the Atlantic A Summary of the Longest Campaign of World War II 1939-1945.

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Presentation on theme: "The Battle of the Atlantic A Summary of the Longest Campaign of World War II 1939-1945."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Battle of the Atlantic A Summary of the Longest Campaign of World War II 1939-1945

2 The Strategic Situation Britain needed supplies to fight the war Convoys of ships brought oil, wood, aluminum and finished goods like planes and tanks Without supplies Britain could not continue the war

3 The Battleground

4 The Nazi Strategy The Germans tried to cut off supplies to Britain by sinking transport ships They used some raiding vessels (cruisers and battleships), but primarily U-boats (submarines)

5 Allied Strategy The Allies tried to protect the transport ships in three ways: 1.Convoys – large flotillas of ships 2.Escorts – Destroyers and Corvettes deployed to protect the convoys 3.Air cover – limited to within a few hundred miles of Canada and Britain Allied ships feared the mid-Atlantic where there was no air cover

6 Allied Convoys

7 German Tactics Groups of U-boats would hunt for convoys in “Wolf Packs” U-boats would maneuver in front of the convoy and then submerge – surfacing in the middle of the convoy German subs would first use deck guns to sink boats – if a threat existed they would use torpedoes instead

8 U-Boat Attack

9 Convoy Tactics Allied warships would look for U-boats using “ASDIC” – a early form of Sonar. If a surfaced U-boat was detected, warships tried to ram them If the U-boat submerged, Allied warships would drop “depth charges” – barrels of explosive set to go off at different depths. Planes would also attack and drop depth charges

10 Convoy Tactics

11 The Battle June 1940 – February 1941 “The Happy Time” for the U- boats – Hundreds of ships sunk March 1941 – December 1941 – Allies use ASDIC, HF- DF radar + better tactics to thwart U-boats -- British break German Code – “Enigma” Jan., 1942 – July 1942 – “Operation Drumbeat” – U-boats attack USA shipping – easy targets July 1942 –Feb 1943 – Wolf Pack in Mid-Atlantic April-May 1943 – Climax of the Battle – U-boats suffer enormous losses -- remain a threat until the end of the war

12 Surface Raiders German Battleship Bismarck British Battleship Hood Swordfish Dive bomber

13 Conclusion Allied victory in the Atlantic was essential to Allied victory in Europe By defeating the U-boat and Surface Raider threat, we were able to win the war

14 Your Task: Convoy Puzzle You are to deploy your convoy in the best formation to protect it from the Nazi U-boats that are hunting it. You must create a diagram AND explain it in 3-5 sentences You have 20 transport vessels that go about 10 knots (11mph) You have one destroyer (small warship with depth charges & ASDIC) as a command vessel You have two corvettes (very small escort vessels with depth charges & ASDIC)

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