U-boat Assault On America, Why The US Was Unprepared For War In The Atlantic

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.


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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