U-Boat Combat Missions


Lawrence Paterson
Gratham Publishing
119 Mb

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Twice during the turbulent years of the 20th century, German U-boats forged a reputation for aggressive action at sea. During World War I, U-boats came to be recognized as a potentially decisive weapon, capable of sapping their enemies' will and ability to fight by attacking not only their warships but also their vital merchant supply routes. Three decades later, as World War II began, U-boats were once again seen to be operating with an almost unparalleled aggression and determination. For, on the day that Britain and France declared war on Germany—September 3, 1939—a passenger liner was torpedoed in a tragic case of mistaken identity. The established image of the U-boat man was thus reinforced and perpetuated. During the early months of World War II, Britain became increasingly isolated as Nazi Germany swept victoriously through Western Europe, and once again merchant convoys, particularly those from North America, became crucial to the survival of the embattled island nation. What has now become famous as The Battle of The Atlantic began—and it was to cost the lives of thousands of men on both sides of the conflict.

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