Naval War Day-by-Day (Full Version)

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warspite1 -> Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 10:01:37 AM)

Now that Capt Harlock's brilliant Civil War thread has come to an end, is there any enthusiasm for a day by day on another topic?

I would be happy to do such for the naval war 1939-45 if there is interest?




shunwick -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 10:35:21 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Now that Capt Harlock's brilliant Civil War thread has come to an end, is there any enthusiasm for a day by day on another topic?

I would be happy to do such for the naval war 1939-45 if there is interest?


You would certainly have my interest.

Best wishes,
Steve




cohimbra -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 11:03:44 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: shunwick

You would certainly have my interest.


+1




Rodwonder -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 1:25:32 PM)

Yes!




operating -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 2:17:46 PM)

Go for it![:)]



[image]local://upfiles/43885/1CD2C8CAA6574E34913961BABC3D70B1.jpg[/image]




Lecivius -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 3:08:08 PM)

+1




vonRocko -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 3:26:36 PM)

+1




Aurelian -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 4:09:25 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Now that Capt Harlock's brilliant Civil War thread has come to an end, is there any enthusiasm for a day by day on another topic?

I would be happy to do such for the naval war 1939-45 if there is interest?


Do it. Do it. Do it.




danlongman -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 4:12:10 PM)

Only if it has picture of Mr Wilkes at the pet shop with Rachel Pilsem.
Then warspite1 would be my friend.




Orm -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 6:07:52 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Now that Capt Harlock's brilliant Civil War thread has come to an end, is there any enthusiasm for a day by day on another topic?

I would be happy to do such for the naval war 1939-45 if there is interest?

I would be a eager follower. [:)]

Would it be a '76 years since' kind of thread?




Josh -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 6:54:09 PM)

Yep +1 here also.
Looking forward to it.




nate25 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 7:27:13 PM)

Sounds nice.

I appreciated Harlock's all-business approach to his journal. May I request you keep this in the same vein?

Over here business, and over there pleasure, so to speak.

Thanks for your consideration.

Nate




Capt. Harlock -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 7:44:30 PM)

Since the first shots of WWII were a naval bombardment, it certainly has promise. Would you be covering both Atlantic and Pacific?




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 7:47:57 PM)

1st - 3rd September 1939 (Poland and the Baltic)

1st September 1939

The conflict that was to become World War II began with the German invasion of Poland in the early hours of 1st September.

Only a few days prior to the attack, the British and Polish had agreed a plan – Operation Peking - that would see three of Poland’s four destroyers sail for the United Kingdom to serve alongside the Royal Navy. It was realised that these ships would be unlikely to survive any German attack for very long – either falling victim to the much larger Kriegsmarine or the Luftwaffe. All three chosen destroyers (Burza, Grom and Blyskawica) safely made the journey through the Baltic – indeed German sailors aboard the light cruiser force sent to intercept them had the ships in their sights at one point but had to frustratingly watch them sail into the distance as the war had not then begun. Many Polish merchant vessels made it to the United Kingdom too. In addition, two of the five Polish submarines – Wilk and Orzel – also made it to there eventually, the latter via brief internment - and escape - from Estonia.

The Kriegsmarine can claim to have fired the first shots of the war when, at around 0400hrs the old pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison at Westerplatte, near Danzig. She had sailed into Danzig a few days earlier under the cover of a ceremonial visit, but then slipped her moorings to begin the bombardment as a prelude to the invasion proper at 04:45hrs. The pre-WWI vintage battleship would remain on bombardment duty for much of the Polish Campaign, until the Polish resistance in the corridor was finally put to an end.


The Schleswig-Holstein bombards the defenders of the Westerplatte on the opening day of the war.

[image]local://upfiles/28156/F347631A131A4C3EA67310038592C33D.jpg[/image]
To defend against the attack the Polish Navy, commanded by Rear-Admiral Josef Unrug, could call upon the destroyer Wicher, the minelayer Gryf and a handful of smaller craft in addition to the five submarines. These vessels were ordered to sea as part of a minelaying operation to protect the coastline from possible German landings.

Luftwaffe aircraft cause serious damage to much of the Polish flotilla on that first day; Gryf returned to Hel where she was sunk in shallow water and used as an artillery battery.

2nd September 1939

The submarine Wilk was damaged in a depth charge attack by German minesweepers but she laid her mines as per the plan and safely arrived in the UK on the 20th September. As mentioned above, she would be joined by Orzel, but the remaining three Polish boats – Sep, Zbik and Rys - sailed for Sweden and were interned for the rest of the war.

3rd September 1939

The first signs of problems to come… The U-14 attacks the Polish submarine Zbik in the Baltic. The Germans believed the enemy boat sunk – but instead the magnetic pistol failed to work. This failure would prove a major problem for Admiral Donitz and his U-boat fleet in the months and years to come.

Two German destroyers – Lebrecht Maass and Wolfgang Zenker – were ordered to the Hel Peninsula to attack the Wicher and the Gryf which were sheltering under the protection of the Polish shore batteries there. The four ships traded blows and the Lebrecht Maass was damaged. Both Germans ships withdrew and it was left to the Luftwaffe to finish off the Polish ships later that day.


The modern destroyer Grom successfully reached the UK with two other destroyers as part of Operation Peking.

[image]local://upfiles/28156/934D3A8F6FCC4191B8B1F872BE12FDEF.jpg[/image]

The Wicher was chosen to stay and fight. She didn't last long......

[image]local://upfiles/28156/F45DD38DD83F45A1BB97A963D1A6BBAB.jpg[/image]




nate25 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 7:57:31 PM)

Well done, W1!

I'm an avid follower from here on.

Thanks,
Nate




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 8:00:47 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

Since the first shots of WWII were a naval bombardment, it certainly has promise. Would you be covering both Atlantic and Pacific?
warspite1

That is the plan yes [:)]




parusski -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 9:31:21 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

1st - 3rd September 1939 (Poland and the Baltic)

1st September 1939

The conflict that was to become World War II began with the German invasion of Poland in the early hours of 1st September.

Only a few days prior to the attack, the British and Polish had agreed a plan – Operation Peking - that would see three of Poland’s four destroyers sail for the United Kingdom to serve alongside the Royal Navy. It was realised that these ships would be unlikely to survive any German attack for very long – either falling victim to the much larger Kriegsmarine or the Luftwaffe. All three chosen destroyers (Burza, Grom and Blyskawica) safely made the journey through the Baltic – indeed German sailors aboard the light cruiser force sent to intercept them had the ships in their sights at one point but had to frustratingly watch them sail into the distance as the war had not then begun. Many Polish merchant vessels made it to the United Kingdom too. In addition, two of the five Polish submarines – Wilk and Orzel – also made it to there eventually, the latter via brief internment - and escape - from Estonia.

The Kriegsmarine can claim to have fired the first shots of the war when, at around 0400hrs the old pre-dreadnought battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison at Westerplatte, near Danzig. She had sailed into Danzig a few days earlier under the cover of a ceremonial visit, but then slipped her moorings to begin the bombardment as a prelude to the invasion proper at 04:45hrs. The pre-WWI vintage battleship would remain on bombardment duty for much of the Polish Campaign, until the Polish resistance in the corridor was finally put to an end.


The Schleswig-Holstein bombards the defenders of the Westerplatte on the opening day of the war.

[image]local://upfiles/28156/F347631A131A4C3EA67310038592C33D.jpg[/image]

To defend against the attack the Polish Navy, commanded by Rear-Admiral Josef Unrug, could call upon the destroyer Wicher, the minelayer Gryf and a handful of smaller craft in addition to the five submarines. These vessels were ordered to sea as part of a minelaying operation to protect the coastline from possible German landings.

Luftwaffe aircraft cause serious damage to much of the Polish flotilla on that first day; Gryf returned to Hel where she was sunk in shallow water and used as an artillery battery.

2nd September 1939

The submarine Wilk was damaged in a depth charge attack by German minesweepers but she laid her mines as per the plan and safely arrived in the UK on the 20th September. As mentioned above, she would be joined by Orzel, but the remaining three Polish boats – Sep, Zbik and Rys - sailed for Sweden and were interned for the rest of the war.

3rd September 1939

The first signs of problems to come… The U-14 attacks the Polish submarine Zbik in the Baltic. The Germans believed the enemy boat sunk – but instead the magnetic pistol failed to work. This failure would prove a major problem for Admiral Donitz and his U-boat fleet in the months and years to come.

Two German destroyers – Lebrecht Maass and Wolfgang Zenker – were ordered to the Hel Peninsula to attack the Wicher and the Gryf which were sheltering under the protection of the Polish shore batteries there. The four ships traded blows and the Lebrecht Maass was damaged. Both Germans ships withdrew and it was left to the Luftwaffe to finish off the Polish ships later that day.


The modern destroyer Grom successfully reached the UK with two other destroyers as part of Operation Peking.

[image]local://upfiles/28156/934D3A8F6FCC4191B8B1F872BE12FDEF.jpg[/image]

The Wicher was chosen to stay and fight. She didn't last long......

[image]local://upfiles/28156/F45DD38DD83F45A1BB97A963D1A6BBAB.jpg[/image]


Great start.




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 10:08:30 PM)

3rd September 1939 (North Atlantic – the U-boat war)

With their ultimatum ordering Hitler to withdraw from Poland ignored, the British and French Empires declared war on Germany on the 3rd September. The Dominions of the Commonwealth agreed to stand shoulder to shoulder with the mother country.

The war in the west very quickly turned into a “Phoney War” but that was not the case for the navy men – the merchant marine included. For these men the war was all too real from day one and would remain so for the next six years…..

The main threat to the United Kingdom at this time came from the German U-boat fleet. The British had paid insufficient attention to submarine warfare during the inter-war years, they had put too much faith in ASDIC for detecting enemy U-boats, not to mention they had hoped to get the submarine banned! Furthermore money was scarce and what was available was spent trying to update World War I vintage vessels….

Fortunately for the British, the Germans started the war with only 57 submarines and of these, only 27 were of the ocean-going type – and 7 of these were experimental Type 1’s or Type VII or IX that were not combat ready. Because of the time taken to get to and from patrol lines, it meant that the number of U-boats that could patrol the Atlantic at any one time were very few.

The U-boat war against the merchant marine started with Prize Regulations in place. These rules complicated life for the submariner in that merchant ships could not be sunk without warning (subject to some exceptions e.g. troopships or vessels in convoy) which increased considerably the dangers to the submarine of being found on the surface. To add to Donitz’s woes, Hitler, in a bid to not alienate France, ordered that initially no attacks were allowed against French merchant ships. But, on this first day of hostilities between Germany and the Western Allies, the situation was about to get even more complicated.

If Hitler wanted to avoid antagonising the French, he was desperate to avoid unpleasantness with the US – memories of the Lusitania and the possibility of the Americans coming in against Germany were at the forefront of Hitler’s thinking. But in the early evening of the 3rd September, one of Donitz’s U-boat commanders, Fritz-Julius Lemp, in U-30 made a major blunder.

The SS Athenia was a 13,500 GRT liner that plied her trade between the UK and Canada for the Donaldson Atlantic Line. On the 1st September she had sailed from Glasgow, Scotland bound for Montreal, Canada carrying just over 1,100 passengers and 315 crew. More than 300 passengers were US citizens, 500 were Jewish refugees, and the remainder were Canadian or British.

Two days later Athenia was 200 miles northwest of Ireland when her silhouette appeared in Lemp’s periscope. Lemp tracked Athenia for some three hours and then, believing her to be an armed merchant cruiser or troopship, fired a couple of torpedoes at the unsuspecting vessel. Athenia sank – mercifully slowly – but 117 people died, of which 28 were American.

The SS Athenia sinking. She took 14 hours to sink

[image]local://upfiles/28156/6AC2366106FF43B5B9745D2D1C79F211.jpg[/image]

Fritz-Julius Lemp

[image]local://upfiles/28156/7787C7E7BC0E4F708961C9371FD445E2.jpg[/image]

The sinking could have been a major problem for the Germans. Hitler decided that Lemp had made an understandable mistake but ordered that the log book of U-30 be altered. The Germans attempted to pin the blame on the British and simply denied any U-boat was in the vicinity. But the sinking meant a further restriction was imposed on Donitz and his men. From now on no passenger ship – even if in convoy – could be sunk.

Lemp was a lucky man and was not court-martialled for his action. He was to cause further problems for Donitz later in the war……




fodder -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 10:16:23 PM)

[sm=00000613.gif][sm=party-smiley-012.gif]




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 10:54:57 PM)

3rd September 1939 (North Atlantic)

The first of many German blockade runners to be captured was the 2,372 GRT Hannah Boge. She was stopped 350 miles south of Iceland and taken as a prize by the destroyer HMS Somali. She was later re-named Crown Arun and put into service by the British. She was to be sunk just over a year later by the U-boat ace Otto Kretschmer in U-99.

Hunter and the hunted - Hannah Boge (top) and the Tribal-class destroyer HMS Somali (Bottom)

[image]local://upfiles/28156/39798DBBAF434BE283182AD63F927BC8.jpg[/image]

[image]local://upfiles/28156/AD010A0D215A437487018656C1875A3A.jpg[/image]




Orm -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 11:13:59 PM)

Thank you, Warspite1. [&o] [:)]

I am so looking forward to reading next post. And the next. [sm=character0085.gif]


-----


Any chance that you will make a pdf document with all the 'day-by-day' posts when this project comes to an end?





warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/13/2015 11:17:20 PM)

3rd September 1939 (North Atlantic – the U-boat war)

One of the first actions the British took in World War II was to put in place a convoy system. All ships that could achieve 9 knots or more (up to 15 knots) were put into convoy. This was a mammoth undertaking and suffered from two major problems:

1. The imports into the UK were actually slowed up considerably by the convoy process (but was considered the lesser of two evils)
2. There simply were not enough specialist escort vessels available.

New vessels (Hunt and Flower-class) were on their way but these would take time to come through – and the Hunt-class would prove wholly unsuited to the North Atlantic escort role. Royal Navy losses that were shortly to follow as one disaster followed another, merely added to the problems facing the British Government and the Admiralty.

There were to be some particularly dark days ahead....

A common sight from September 1939

[image]local://upfiles/28156/6A681BB2817747AF97E061ADFC0C76DD.jpg[/image]




rhondabrwn -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 1:59:24 AM)

I'm gonna love this [sm=00001746.gif]

Tell Mrs Warspite that this is merely a "sisterly" kiss [;)]




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 9:25:31 AM)

Thanks everyone for their words of support and kisses! [:)]




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 9:27:11 AM)

3rd September 1939 (North Atlantic – the U-boat war and surface fleet)

So if the British were caught unprepared for the war that was to be waged against the sea lanes - the vital arteries that served the United Kingdom with its lifeblood: food, oil, and other resources – what about the Germans?

The head of the Kriegsmarine Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was assured by Hitler that there would be no war with Britain until 1944. By this time, the Kriegsmarine would have Plan Z – a plan approved just months earlier – well underway. Plan Z envisaged a Kriegsmarine with 4 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 12 battlecruisers, 3 pocket battleships, 5 heavy cruisers, 32 light and scout cruisers, 68 destroyers, 90 torpedo boats and 250 U-boats. Plan Z was a pipedream – and with the outbreak of war, it was cancelled altogether.

Erich Raeder head of the Kriegsmarine in 1939

[image]local://upfiles/28156/92791BAD7A034F2EBBBDFB4A873C0C7D.jpg[/image]

The Kriegsmarine’s focus would now be on building up the U-boat arm. But as said previously, the U-boat arm in 1939 was no bigger than the submarine fleet of the Royal Navy thanks to the Hitler’s belief that he could keep the British “on-side” and the signing of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement in 1935.

So on the 3rd September 1939 what did Admiral Karl Donitz have operationally ready and at his disposal?

22 Ocean-going U-boats (Types VII and IX) – 17 were in position off the Atlantic coasts of the UK, France and Gibraltar, 1 (Type I) was assigned mine-laying duties in the English Channel, 3 were held in reserve and 1 sent to operate in the North Sea.

29 Type II (known as Ducks) boats – 17 were to operate in the North Sea, 10 on defensive duty, 5 on mine-laying duty and 2 to patrol off Scotland.

Many of the U-boat commanders at sea that day would become “U-boat aces” in the coming months – heroes to the German public and holders of the highly prized Ritterkreuz. Among those at sea on the 3rd September were: Prien, Lemp, Endrass, Bleichrodt, Liebe, Schultze and Hartmann.

Karl Donitz head of the U-boat forces in 1939

[image]local://upfiles/28156/2D001D5094DB4098B50F5464C297647A.jpg[/image]

There were hopes too for the surface fleet initially in the commerce raiding role. In late August, with Hitler having made up his mind to deal with Poland, the 11-inch gunned “pocket-battleships” Graf Spee and Deutschland had sailed from Wilhelmshaven. Each had a supply ship (Altmark and Westerwald respectively) that would provide the ships with supplies, spare parts and be on hand to assist with taking on prisoners of war etc.

Graf Spee (Captain Hans Langsdorff) was headed for the South Atlantic and Deutschland (Captain Paul Wenneker) was ordered to the North Atlantic. However Hitler, still hoping to get Britain and France to come to terms, did not authorise either ship to begin offensive operations until later in the month.

The Panzerschiffe Deutschland

[image]local://upfiles/28156/3A6D5196116A42EAA4AE73BB6F9AC269.jpg[/image]

Other units of the surface fleet were at work from the 3rd too. The German light cruisers and destroyers (under the command of Vice-Admiral Hermann Densch) were deployed to escort ships carrying out defensive minelaying operations in the North Sea – the so called Westwall Barrage. This operation would take until the 20th September to complete.




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 9:53:33 AM)

3rd September 1939 (Admiralty)

Finally on the 3rd, there was an important appointment made by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Winston Spencer Churchill, an outspoken critic of appeasement during the 1930's was brought back into Government as the First Lord of the Admiralty (the position he had held for a time in World War I). Churchill was now part of the War Cabinet. The message went out from the Admiralty to all commands:

Winston is back!!

[image]local://upfiles/28156/E8E49CB3F6C245CA86D64985DC8741EB.jpg[/image]




Josh -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 10:29:43 AM)

Impressive start W1. [&o]

Famous first shots of the Schleswig-Holstein; Schleswig-Holstein




warspite1 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 10:47:25 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Josh

Impressive start W1. [&o]

Famous first shots of the Schleswig-Holstein; Schleswig-Holstein
warspite1

Thanks Josh - not seen that before. From 7:15 onwards they show the aftermath of the air attacks on the Wicher and the Gryf plus the re-naming of a couple of the four captured Jaskolka-class minesweepers Czajka (Oxhoft) and Zuraw (Westerplatte).




operating -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 12:14:40 PM)

Keep up the good work! Great theater introductions[;)]


[image]local://upfiles/43885/0FE86485831847E38FCD0AB64546EBAD.jpg[/image]




radic202 -> RE: Naval War Day-by-Day (5/14/2015 12:23:07 PM)

This will certainly peek my interest!




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