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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WWII U-Boat Ace Dies at 105

U-Boat ace  Reinhard Hardegen died this week at age 105. Although America's WWII enemy, Hardegen appears to have been an honorable warrior, revered by many today who are fascinated by the mystique of U-Boat warfare. ____________________ Captain of the infamous...

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Wolves at the Doorstep 1942

  Somewhere between the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Bataan death march and the fierce fighting on Guadalcanal, many of us seem to have forgotten one of the most important American theaters in early WWII - The Battle of the Western Atlantic. In 1942, German...

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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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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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~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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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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U.S. Arms Merchant Ships

  Prior to the U.S. entry into WWII, the U.S. Neutrality Act of 1936 prohibited  the arming of American merchant ships carrying war supplies to the Allies.  With increasing attacks by German aircraft and submarines  in war zones, Congress amended the act in November...

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USS Reuben James Sunk

  The American convoy destroyer U.S.S. Reuben James was torpedoed and sunk off Iceland with the loss of 115 of 160 crewmen on October 31, 1941. Although other U.S. ships had been torpedoed, the Reuben James was the first one sunk by Germany. The folk singer Woody...

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U.S. Destroyer Attacks U-Boat

On September 4, 1941, after the U- 652's torpedo missed, the USS Greer retaliated with an unsuccessful depth charge attack against the U-Boat. This first overt act of war was interpreted differently by Germany and the USA. The USS Greer, built in WWI, was similar in...

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SS Robin Moor Sunk by U-boat

After allowing the passengers and crew to disembark to lifeboats, the German submarine U-69 sank the SS Robin Moor on May 21, 1941. The U-69 left some bread and butter for the survivors and explained that the ship had been sunk because she was carrying supplies to...

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USA Begins Trans-Atlantic Escorts

As an ostensibly neutral USA increased military Lend Lease aid to Great Britain, Germany viewed the U.S. action as hostile. The establishment of a Pan-American Security Zone extending over much of the Atlantic Ocean, provided American escorts to British and neutral...

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