What fraction of allied ships were sunk while heading west?

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the submarine forces of the Kriegsmarine.
User avatar
DrZ214
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 18 Sep 2017 14:46
Location: USA

What fraction of allied ships were sunk while heading west?

Post by DrZ214 » 29 Sep 2017 23:20

Did the U-Boats sink any allied ships that were going west? That is, from Britain to America/Canada, rather than vice versa. If so, what fraction of total sinkings were of these ships? Were the U-Boats under orders to do this if the opportunity arose, or was it against doctrine to waste torpedoes on single ships rather than convoys?

mark harrison
Member
Posts: 264
Joined: 05 Feb 2014 15:59
Location: UK

Re: What fraction of allied ships were sunk while heading west?

Post by mark harrison » 06 Oct 2017 20:15

Hi, You will have to go through a list of all the convoys that sailed in that direction yourself to get the figures. Some ships like the Athenia sailed alone and were sunk by submarine.
This link will take you to the convoy codes page of Hyperwar.http://0-www.ibiblio.org.librus.hccs.ed ... Codes.html

regards MH.

User avatar
Polar bear
Member
Posts: 2517
Joined: 25 Sep 2010 15:49
Location: Hanover, Lower Saxony

Re: What fraction of allied ships were sunk while heading west?

Post by Polar bear » 18 Oct 2017 08:43

hi,
DrZ214 wrote:Did the U-Boats sink any allied ships that were going west? That is, from Britain to America/Canada, rather than vice versa. If so, what fraction of total sinkings were of these ships?
1. Oh, YES !
If you look at this excellent site https://warsailors.com/convoys/index.html , you may see that the east-going convoys of the HX- and SC-series lost, roughly, 420 ships. The west-going convoys of OB-, ON- amd ONS series lost approximately 400 ships. Thus, the losses were nearly equal. This answers your second question.

greetings, the pb
Peace hath her victories no less renowned than War
(John Milton, the poet, in a letter to the Lord General Cromwell, May 1652)

Felix C
Member
Posts: 883
Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
Location: Miami, Fl

Re: What fraction of allied ships were sunk while heading west?

Post by Felix C » 20 Oct 2017 02:19

seemed to me axis submarines sank more unescorted ships than escorted ones

Rob Stuart
Member
Posts: 990
Joined: 18 Apr 2009 00:41
Location: Ottawa

Re: What fraction of allied ships were sunk while heading west?

Post by Rob Stuart » 20 Oct 2017 02:43

DrZ214 wrote:Did the U-Boats sink any allied ships that were going west? That is, from Britain to America/Canada, rather than vice versa. If so, what fraction of total sinkings were of these ships? Were the U-Boats under orders to do this if the opportunity arose, or was it against doctrine to waste torpedoes on single ships rather than convoys?
Donitz's idea was to reduce Allied shipping capacity by sinking as many ships as possible, wherever possible. I believe that his calculation was that if he could sink 700,000 tons a month, then eventually the Allied stock of shipping would fall below the point where the UK could be sustained as a base for offensive operations. From this point of view it did not matter if the ships he sank were sailing to or from the UK, empty or full.

Return to “U-Boats”