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Still Waters

Divers trace lost WW2 shipwrecks

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Divers and historians are searching an area of seabed off the coast for the wrecks of dozens of British and German vessels sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic.

http://www.telegraph...e-Atlantic.html

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The interesting part of the research is to find out about the stories behind the ships and the sinkings.”

They have assembled a chart of possible sites from existing wreck databases, along with reports from fishermen about unidentified objects on the seabed and information from other divers.

The research, which has been ongoing over several years, does not cover the 116 German submarines sunk in the area by the British at the end of the war.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10388455/Divers-trace-lost-WW2-shipwrecks-from-the-Battle-of-the-Atlantic.html

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How are they going to know whether the ships they find are not one of the 116 German submarines until they find it? do they see what looks like an old rusted sub and move on?

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Wreck diving and identification has been going on for quite a whie although in the Pacific many are beyond reasonable dive depth - ex: the Mariana Trench. It's good to see that the Battle of the Atlantic is being covered as well.

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I'm sure there are many many ships that still have not been found sunk by German u boats

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I'm sure there are many many ships that still have not been found sunk by German u boats

Quite so. The North Atlantic convoys lost quite a few including a number off the US Atlantic seaboard and Gulf coast ... in full sight of the mainland. It took a while for the AAC & Navy to figure out that the US was not immune to such attacks.

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Quite so. The North Atlantic convoys lost quite a few including a number off the US Atlantic seaboard and Gulf coast ... in full sight of the mainland. It took a while for the AAC & Navy to figure out that the US was not immune to such attacks.

Yes, one of the great scandals of American participation in World War Two - the failure to implement fundamental defensive tactics for as long as six months after America's entry into World War Two. This included:

- Not enforcing a blackout along the Atlantic coast (because enforcing it was bad for local economies). This meant that merchant ships up to several miles from the coast were well illuminated for submarine attack.

- Not putting merchant ships into convoys (because there were supposedly too few escorts). Even if they had no escorts, putting merchant ships into convoys reduced the number of targets for submarines to attack, as a convoy was barely any easier to find than an individual ship. Yes, if a convoy was found the results might be worse, but the likelihood of an attack on any individual ship was much less if it was in a convoy than if it sailed alone.

- Assigning available escorts to hunter-killer groups rather than to convoy protection (because the US Navy brass assumed they knew more about this than the Royal Navy brass, despite giving the Brits a 2 year head start). The problem was that a submarine was harder to find at sea than a merchant ship. As a result the hunter-killer groups spent the first few months of the war heading to the locations where merchant ships had been sunk, by which time of course the submarines were long gone. Eventually it dawned on the US Navy brass that if they put merchant ships in convoys, and escorts with the convoys, then the escorts would already be where the submarines had to go to get some action. From that time on merchant ship losses fell and submarine losses increased.

A lot of merchant seamen paid a heavy price for that stubbornness on the part of the US Navy brass.

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