7th U-Boat Flotilla: Doenitz's Atlantic Wolves by Jak P. Mallmann Showell, Angus Konstam

By Jak P. Mallmann Showell, Angus Konstam

The seventh U-Boat Flotilla - 'Wegener' - used to be shaped in Kiel in June 1938 with six boats, just one of which survived operationally to the top of the warfare. Early battle motion from Kiel replaced thoroughly after the autumn of France whilst the flotilla moved to St Nazaire, the place it's going to stay until eventually the Allied advances led its last boats to maneuver to Norway.
Some 114 boats observed carrier with the flotilla and such a lot of them served within the North Atlantic the place their operations nearly introduced Britain to its knees. the tale of the flotilla starts off with the tale of the convoy predators; during the grim realities of the convoy procedure whose escorts benefited from extremely decrypting of the Kriegsmarine's codes; the bloodbath of the U-boats trying to halt the invasion of Europe; to the ultimate coda as 14 boats escaped from St. Nazaire to Norway.
Ian Westwell spent 5 years within the Royal military earlier than turning into Curator of guns on the Royal Armouries. After a spell as a marine archaeologist he turned leader Curator on the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West. He moved again to England to put in writing complete time in 2001.

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This system was perfected in September and October 1941, when no fewer than ten U-boat groups were created. The boats of the 7th Flotilla played a leading part in these operations, despite a continuing attrition in men and boats. At the end of June 1941 the veteran U-48 was retired from active service, being deemed structurally unsound after nearly two years of constant patrolling. With 52 ships displacing a total of more than 300,000 tons to her credit, she was the most successful U-boat of the war.

Some 41 U-boats were sunk in May alone, the highest monthly loss of the war. The writing was on the wall even so, and on 24 May 1943 Donitz conceded defeat. The Rudeltaktik had proved a costly failure. C. Stulcken & Sohn, Hamburg Commissioned: 2 September 1942 Operational in flotilla: 1 April 1943 Commander: ObltzS Dietrich von Carlewitz Operational patrols: 1 Allied vessels sunk: 0 Fate: Sunk on 24 April 1943 (no survivors) 52 Left: Touching up the emblem of a frog sitting in the rain under an umbrella on U-95 (Kptlt Gerd Schreiber).

Faced with mounting losses and the AngloAmerican Torch invasion of North-West Africa in November, Donitz ordered most of his boats out of the Mediterranean, concentrating on attacks off the Moroccan coast, west of the Straits of Gibraltar. •_. •• :~i: .. In the Atlantic, the U-boats achieved their greatest .. :.... ::: part of the year. While seven U-boats were lost during the ... month (the highest monthly total of 1942), 126 ... ' merchantmen were sunk, with a total displacement of 802,000 tons.

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