World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Battle of the Atlantic
From Wikipedia

                                                                    Pic from BBC News In Pictures

IN May 2013 the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic (BOA 70) will be commemorated with a series of events centred around the cities of Liverpool, London and Derry-Londonderry.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War 2, at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943. The BOA demonstrated the enduring importance of control of the sea to provide a highway for the transport of raw materials, munitions, and men, to maintain the nation’s security and to project power across the globe. The Battle of the Atlantic was pivotal to the success of the allied side in World War 2. After the fall of Europe, the main supply route for the continued prosecution of the war was between north America and the UK across the North Atlantic. Ultimately it was the successful protection of this vital sea corridor by British and allied ships from the German surface and U-boat threat that led to success in North Africa, at D-Day and ultimately resulted in the fall of Germany.

The 70th anniversary of the Battle of Atlantic is promising to be a spectacle for thousands of visitors to the waterfront to see a naval fleet on the River Mersey.

The first of 25 warships have sailed down the famous river to cheers from crowds who have gathered at the Pier Head as celebrations begin.

The Royal Navy mine hunter HMS Pembroke is moored outside the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the German mine hunter Groemitz has also arrived.

Both ships will open from Saturday to Monday at 11am to 5pm, with the last entry 4pm.

In the Albert Dock, a fleet of 11 Royal Navy P2000 patrol ships are all berthed but they will not be open for the public.

The Polish frigate Gen T Koscciuszko docked at Liverpool Cruise Terminal at around 10am and the Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov followed 11am.

Both ships will not be open to the public but they will undoubtedly draw the gaze of dozens upon dozens of pairs of eyes.

Also, the Canadian destroyer Iroquois and the Trinity House flagship Patricia arrived at Liverpool Cruise Terminal last night.

HMS Edinburgh, which fired its last ever operational Sea Dart in April after a 30 year career, is docked at Cammell Laird's which is open to the public for the first time in 20 years.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign of World War II and ran from 1939 until Hitler's defeat in 1945.

The outcome of the battle was a strategic loss for the Allies because the German blockade failed but at a huge cost to troops military hardware.

There were 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships sunk while the Nazis lost 783 U-boats.

The name of the conflict was coined by Sir Winston Churchill in February 1941 and has been called the "longest, largest and most complex" naval battle in history.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, running from 1939 to the defeat of Germany in 1945. At its core was the Allied naval blockade of Germany, announced the day after the declaration of war, and Germany's subsequent counter-blockade. It was at its height from mid-1940 through to the end of 1943.

The Battle of the Atlantic pitted U-boats and other warships of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) and aircraft of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) against Allied merchant shipping. The convoys, coming mainly from North America and mainly going to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, were protected for the most part by the British and Canadian navies and air forces. These forces were aided by ships and aircraft of the United States from September 13, 1941. The Germans were joined by submarines of the Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) after their Axis ally Italy entered the war on June 10, 1940.
Allied tanker Dixie Arrow, torpedoed by U-71, in 1942
As an island nation, 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. In essence, the Battle of the Atlantic was a tonnage war: the Allied struggle to supply Britain and the Axis attempt to stem the flow of merchant shipping which enabled Britain to keep fighting. From 1942 onwards, the Germans also sought to prevent the build-up of Allied supplies and equipment in the British Isles in preparation for the invasion of occupied Europe. The defeat of the U-boat threat was a pre-requisite for pushing back the Germans. Winston Churchill was later to state:
The Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea or in the air depended ultimately on its outcome.
Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar mounted on the forecastle of the destroyer HMS Westcott
The outcome of the battle was a strategic victory for the Allies—the German blockade failed—but at great cost: 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships were sunk for the loss of 783 U-boats.

The name "Battle of the Atlantic" was coined by Winston Churchill in February 1941.[8] It has been called the "longest, largest, and most complex" naval battle in history. The campaign began immediately after the European war began and lasted six years. It involved thousands of ships in more than 100 convoy battles and perhaps 1,000 single-ship encounters, in a theatre covering thousands of square miles of ocean. The situation changed constantly, with one side or the other gaining advantage, as new weapons, tactics, counter-measures, and equipment were developed by both sides. The Allies gradually gained the upper hand, overcoming German surface raiders by the end of 1942 (withdrawn on Hitler's orders) and defeating the U-boats by mid-1943, though losses to U-boats continued to war's end.