1942 the Germans thought it was ‘happy hour’ as the US newly entered into WWII seemed powerless to protect its merchant shipping from German submarines. This new book looks at the US failure to protect its merchant ships during the first months after joining Britain in the war against the Nazi – Very Highly Recommended.
NAME: U-boat Assault On America, Why The US Was Unprepared For War In The Atlantic FILE: R2668 AUTHOR: Ken Brown PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Seaforth Publishing BINDING: hard back PAGES: 208 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, World War 2, anti-submarine warfare, convoys, convoy escort, maritime patrol aircraft, black-out, submarines, U-boats, USN, USCG, hunter killer groups ISBN: 978-1-4738-8728-2 IMAGE: B2668.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ya4up7ay LINKS: DESCRIPTION: 1942 the Germans thought it was 'happy hour' as the US newly entered into WWII seemed powerless to protect its merchant shipping from German submarines. This new book looks at the US failure to protect its merchant ships during the first months after joining Britain in the war against the Nazi – Very Highly Recommended. The author reviews and explains the reasons for the US inability to provide adequate protection to its merchant ships. It is an absorbing account and sympathetic to the challenges faced by the US Navy and US Coast Guard. Looking back it seems incredible that the US made so many mistakes, particularly because the USN had been escorting merchant convoys from US ports to the British Isles in contravention of the rules of neutrality before the Germans declared war on the US following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. During this 'pre-war' period, the USN had the opportunity to learn how to combat U-boats and was able to train up warship crews in live conditions. It should therefore be reasonable to expect that they would move very rapidly to open war and protect US and Allied shipping in US waters and out into the Atlantic. Many excuses have been aired over the years but this is the first balanced study. Of course there are no simple conclusions. With the devastating surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet in port at Pearl Harbour, the US did suffer an extreme shock at all levels of society and across the US military and political factions. In practical terms, it did nothing to change the situation on the Atlantic seaboard, because the warships were already there, the crews had trained, and there were long range maritime patrol aircraft on station. New equipment was starting to reach ships, mostly developed by the British from the experience of convoy protection and anti-submarine warfare since the outbreak of war in 1939 between Britain and Germany. Training had been aided by experienced British sailors who were used for promotional speaking and training for USN personnel while their warships were being repaired in US ports, something that again pre-dated the entry of the US into the war. The damage to the Pacific Fleet did require the movement of warships from the Atlantic home ports to the Pacific to replace losses suffered during the Japanese attack. The US also took strategic responsibility for the defence of Australia, requiring the transfer of long range aircraft, such as the B-24 Liberator to new airfields being built in Northern Australia. To make matters more difficult, New York suffered from German spies and saboteurs, leading to the damage of ships loading and unloading in that port, and the transmission of intelligence, from that port to the German U-boats, on ships due to sail for Britain. US counter-intelligence enlisted the help of the Mafia to address security in New York and other ports, the shipbuilding program for the USN speeded up dramatically and the command structure was strengthened to stem the tide of U-boat sinkings. It did take time and the amazingly slow enforcement of security precautions along the Atlantic seaboard remains one of the mysteries. The civil authorities were very reluctant to apply simple measures such as black-out restrictions. This greatly assisted U-boats lurking off the coast who could see juicy targets silhouetted against the blaze of lights, making them easy targets. The author has provided well presented arguments and the text is supported by a B&W photo-plate section with some very interesting images