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The Second World War

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1. The Second World War was the most devastating war in human history in terms of lives lost and material destruction. It began in 1939 as a European conflict between Germany and an Anglo-French-Polish coalition but eventually widened to include most of the nations of the world.

2. In the early morning hours of 01 Sep 39, the German armies marched into Poland. On 03 Sep, the British and French surprised Hitler by declaring war on Germany. The Germans hoped to subdue the British by starving them out. In June 1940 they began the Battle of Atlantic, using submarine warfare to cut the British overseas lifelines. It was a battle on which the whole outcome of the World War II depended.

3. It was to the Atlantic that ships from the seven seas came, laden with weapons, munitions, raw materials and fuel. It was in the Atlantic, therefore, that Germany had the best chance to deliver a mortal blow. Every phase of the war against Germany was dominated by the necessity to bring Britain's laden ships safely to her port.

4. The Battle of the Atlantic was war under the sea unlike any that ever had been before - secret, nearly invisible, only faintly heard, and then at second hand, through its echoes . The Battles of Atlantic was fought in many parts of the huge plains of Atlantic over an extended period of about 3 years. In our deliberation, we shall discuss about the significant parts of this battle, which had greater contribution towards the outcome and strategic consequences of this battle.


5. To educate the audience regarding the series of events that occurred during the battle of atlantic and analyse the battle in the light of principles of war.


As a nation with an overseas empire, the united kingdom was highly dependent on imported goods. Britain required more than a million tons of imported material per week in order to be able to survive and fight German objective was to strangle britian into submission through sea isolation. depriving it of the food, raw materials and oil which flowed into its ports, causing millions to perish


Britishers had multiple objectives which are as follows:

 Defence of trade routes, and convoy organisation and escort, especially to and from britain

 Detection and destruction of surface raiders and u-boats

 Maritime blockade of germany and contraband control

 Defence of own coasts

 Escort troops to france and between britain, the dominions and other areas under allied control


During Ww-I, Newly Invented German U-Boats Tried To Sever The Lifeline To North America.U-Boats Attempted To Break The Royal Navy's Blockade Of Germany .This Highly Destructive War Resulted In The Loss Of Nearly Half Of Britain's Merchant Marine Fleet During The Course Of The War.Germans Sank 8 Million Tons Of Shipping At The Cost Of 178 U-Boats

German Perception

8. The Germans knew from the very start that the sea borne commerce was vital to Britain's survival. German Navy made plans to use battleships and cruisers to sink merchant ships on the high seas. They also planned to sow the waters around Britain with deadly mines, and to employ armed merchantmen disguised to look like innocent freighters to sneak up on unwary ships and sink them.


12. At the outset Britain was ill equipped to fight, even though she was the world's foremost sea power. Britain's un-preparedness stemmed from a variety of misjudgements.

13. First, there was the widely held view that the Germans would never again resort to the kind of merciless, unrestricted submarine warfare that had been waged in the First World War. There were good reasons for this belief. The London Submarine Protocol of 1936, which the Germans had signed, expressly outlawed the sinking of any unescorted merchant ship without warning.

14. Secondly, the Royal Navy had been more concerned with Germany's emerging surface fleet than with the potential Submarine menace.

15. There was another reason why the Britain did not take the Submarine threat more seriously. It was from an undue reliance on a system called ASDIC. Unfortunately, the basis on which ASDIC was founded was thoroughly unsound.


Upon becoming chancellor of Germany in 1933 hitler withdrew from the stipulations of the treaty of versailles and began the systematic re-building of the armed forces. Adolf hitler was the commander-in-chief of the kriegsmarine.

Kriegsmarine grew rapidly during German naval rearmaments under plan z

Two opposing viewpoints emerged regarding the direction of the re-equipment of the navy which are as follows:

Large battle fleet capable of taking on the most powerful opponents (plan z)

Large force of u-boats and medium-sized warships for destruction of the enemy's commercial shipping

Hitler opted for the plan z and in January 1939 ordered that top priority be given to balanced construction. Plan z included u-boats only as a part of fleet that could challenge Great Britain's control of the seas. Plan z included a building plan of 10 battleships, 04 aircraft carriers,03 battle cruisers, eight heavy cruisers, 44 light cruisers, 68 destroyers and 249 u-boats by 1944. Personnel strength was planned to rise to over 200,000. With the outbreak of world war ii plan z was essentially shelved

Resources initially allocated for its realization were largely redirected to the construction of u-boats.However this delayed shift to u-boats put a great stress

on existing u-boat fleet.U-boat fleet comprised of only 57 boats,30 were coastal boats.Only 08 boats had range of 10,000 miles Kriegsmarine was not at all ready for a major role in the war. Started the war with a distinct disadvantage in terms of sheer size in comparison with adversaries. However Much of the kriegsmarine were modern ships, fast, well-armed and well-armoured





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