U-Boat off New York Coast

"I saw Long Island, the coast and all the lights and motor cars..."  - Kapitainleutnant Reinhard Hardegen of the U-123 sailing undetected off the coast of Long Island in January 1942 This is a fascinating 2010 interview with famed U-Boat captain  Reinhard Hardegen who...

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Enemy in the Mirror

  Excerpts from the book: Once the shoji screen was closed, Kiyoshi said in a low voice, “It’s about the piece I submitted to the Chūō Kōron.” Fumiko took a deep breath. The Chūō Kōron was one of the few literary magazines that still dared to publish articles hinting...

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Q Ship vs U-Boat

U-Boat ace Reinhard Hardegen (white hat) tells of U-123 ENCOUNTER WITH A Q SHIP in March 1942 Q-ships were heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks that gave Q-ships the chance to open fire and sink...

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Japanese Hospital Ship Sunk

    In April 1945, the Awa Maru was a Japanese ocean liner requisitioned by the Imperial Japanese navy, sailing under the protection of the Red Cross with 2004 passengers and crew. After delivering Red Cross supplies to Singapore, the Awa Maru took on stranded...

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U.S. Submarines – Pacific WWII

Although the U. S. Navy had 68 submarines in the Pacific at the start of the Pacific War, they sank only 93,300 tons of Japanese shipping. This was < 10% of what 100 operational German U-boats sank in the same period. Initially, U.S. submarine operations were hindered...

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USS Wahoo Atrocity

The facts regarding the USS Wahoo (SS-238) January 1943 attack on the Japanese troop ship Buyo Maru remain highly controversial. The Wahoo, under the command of  Lt. Commander Dudley W. “Mush” Morton, attacked the Buyo Maru, one of the four ships in a Japanese troop...

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Leigh Light

  Starting in June 1942, the Leigh Light, a powerful (22 million candela) carbon arc searchlight, 24 inches in diameter, was installed on many RAF Coastal Command patrol bombers, to enhance attacks on U-boats recharging their batteries on the surface at night. Using...

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U-Boat Milchkuh Resupply

Researching material for a history-inspired novel I am writing about the Battle of the Atlantic, I came across the fascinating story of the Type XIV Milchkuh (milk cow) submarine tanker. In early 1942, German U-Boats hunting Allied ships along the U.S. East Coast,...

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U-Boat Patrol

In the history-inspired novel I am currently writing, Kapitänleutnant Reinhard Hardegen is the role model for my German U-Boat commander protagonist.  

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Hedgehog

In 1942 the British Royal Navy introduced a new forward-throwing anti-submarine weapon to supplement the depth charge. Nicknamed the hedgehog after its configuration of small spiked fittings mounted on a mortar bomb, the Hedgehog exploded on contact, rather than at a...

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U-Boats Off America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZL7-nclmO0 In January 1942 five German Type IX U-boats, essentially unmolested by U.S. air and naval forces who were unprepared for anti-submarine warfare, began hunting merchant ships off the east coast of North America. Many of their...

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Battle of the Atlantic

  Named the "Battle of the Atlantic,” by Winston Churchill, the course of the WWII six-year U-boat campaign changed constantly, with one side or the other gaining advantage, as each side developed new weapons, tactics, counter-measures and equipment. By the end of...

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Japan Firebombs Oregon Forest

On September 9, 1942, a  Yokosuka E14Y floatplane, launched from the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-25, dropped two incendiary bombs on the forest near Brookings, Oregon. Although the Japanese intended to start a forest fire, wet weather and alert fire lookouts...

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Brazil Declares War on Axis

Under the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas, Brazil remained neutral in the early months of WWII. Then, due to repeated U-boat attacks on Brazilian ships between February and August, the government of Brazil declared war against Germany and Italy in August 1942. Brazil...

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Anti-Submarine Warfare

This 1942  film depicts an American aircraft accurately bombing a U-boat off the Atlantic Coast. In reality, US anti-submarine tactics at this point in the war were dismal. Hundreds of merchant ships were sunk by an extremely effective U-Boat fleet in in the Battle of...

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Japan Attacks Oregon

In the late evening of June 21, 1942, the I-25, a  2,369 ton, 354 ft long B1-class submarine with a range of 14,000 nautical miles and a maximum surface speed of 23.5 knots (submerged, 8 knots), used a screen of fishing boats to avoid minefields at the Columbia River...

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~33 Allied Ships Sunk/Week

Charts via American Merchant Marine in World War 2 The majority of Allied losses were to U-Boats in the Atlantic. Although Germany was highly successful in the first part of the war, Imperial Japan never pursued an active campaign against shipping in the Pacific. The...

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Mexico Declares War

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afrOsaJCGm4 In the decade before WWII, Mexico was chaotic and unstable. The Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) which caused widespread destruction and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives was followed by several violent uprisings against...

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U-Boat Paukenschlag

The war reached North America in January 1942 with the beginning of Paukenschlag (Operation Drumbeat) orchestrated by Vice Admiral Karl Dönitz. Most American naval resources at the time were involved in North Atlantic convoys and the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts were...

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Q-Ship vs U-Boat

    USS Atik  was a heavily armed merchant ship with concealed weaponry (a Q ship) that was designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. The Atik had a crew of 141 men and an armament of four 100 mm naval guns, eight machine guns and six K-guns (depth...

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Japanese Attack on Santa Barbara

Before the war, Commander Kozo Nishino of the imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-17 commanded a merchant ship which had transported oil from the Ellwood Oil Field in Santa Barbara, California to Japan. On February 23, 1942, the I-17 carried out the first attack...

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Japanese Submarines Off West Coast

From December 18 - 24, 1941, nine Japanese submarines positioned along the American West Coast attacked eight merchant ships. Two ships were sunk, two damaged and six seamen were killed. A plan for all nine submarines to shell selected U.S. coastal cities on Christmas...

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