The Battle of the Atlantic was a violent and destructive battle which caused chaos in the ocean. Many ships were built then blown up or sunk in sea and some may have survived. This battle was so violent and destructive that each side had its own strategy planned out exactly at when to use it. The allies mass-produced over 100 corvettes in 1943 and by 1945 the allies ships turned from 38 – 410 ship because in the spring of 1941, u-boats sunk about 500,000 tons of shipping good each month (u-boats are German submarines). May 1943 was the turning point of the allies.
The allies moved from the defensive strategy to offensive; instead of the Germans hunting us, the RCN (Royal Canadian Navy) and company hunted them. By July, the Germans were only capable to destroy/sink 20 ships per month. “The Battle of the Atlantic was the only thing that ever frightened me. ” –Winston Churchill One of the reasons that the Germans got so many kills was because they used a strategy called ‘wolf packs. ’ This strategy involves hunting in packs instead of separately; they would hunt with 3-4 ships minimum.
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Everyone was devastated when this battle erupted; it caused a lot of deaths as well as nightmares for the ones who survived. Up to this day, no one can forget this horrific battle because it was the longest running battle during World War II which was also one of the most destructive ones with the thousands of ships submerged beneath the cold, dark waters of the Atlantic During the 2,075 days of the Battle of the Atlantic, there were many deaths as well as ships sunk on each of the 2 sides.
It may have seemed that Germany sunk more ships because they achieved to sink over 1000 ships in 600 months but they were the ones that lost the most. One of the reasons Canada joined the war is because the Germans sunk a passenger ship ‘SS Athenia’ on the coast of Ireland on September 3, 1939 which resulted in 4 Canadians killed. The Germans might have sunk the ship by accident or on purpose but either way, they have killed 4 Canadians and the prime minster was not pleased.
There were 95,000 uniformed men and women in the navy. After the war, 2,210 Canadians died; 6 of them were women, 24 warships and 2,900 other ships (merchants etc) sunk including 14 million tons of shipping goods. On the other hand, the Germans lost 800 u-boats, 42 enemy surface crafts and 30,000 of the 39,000 Germans never returned. Although many Canadians died in this ongoing battle, we (the navy) commemorate them for their actions during this battle every year on the first Sunday of May.
The allies (RC/RCN) struggled throughout the war because of the lack of technology. In the 1940’s a new sonar system was created to help the allies detect the enemies. In the beginning, the allies only had an early type of sonar called ‘ASDIC’ (Allied Submarine Detection Investigation Committee). ASDIC was most effective when used underwater where the allies could detect long range u-boats but on surface, the u-boats were undetectable.
As the war continued, allies were equipped with a better, more advanced sonar system which could detect u-boats underwater and even on the surface in dense fog; the allies perfected the technique ‘Radio Directional Finding’ (RDF) as they received this new enhanced technology. With the new technology in hand, the allies had a special feature; they could locate wolf packs accurately using the u-boat radio transmissions. The results of the new features and technological innovations were fantastic; the allies could hold their ground against the u-boats when escorting ships such as merchants etc.
Since we now have the advanced technology of the sonar from the battle, our sonar technology is improving every day. When the Battle of the Atlantic came to an end, World War II was close to the end. With many injured, dead and submerged under the waters of the Atlantic, they helped the allies win the battle and defeat the Germans as well as innovating the sonar and navy technology. Every year on the first Sunday of May, the navy would commemorate the ones who fought in the Battle of the Atlantic as they did some heroic actions leading the allies into victory!
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