Jump to content
Black Chicken Studios Forums
Nel Celestine

WW2 Convoy History

Recommended Posts

I wish there were something made about the Italian convoys in the Mediterranean... but alas, when the Mediterranean is mentioned, it's mostly about the British and their Malta convoys.

 

Too bad, since the convoys to Lybia and Tunisia were arguably where the Regia Marina really came through, and obtained its best successes, overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, I'd love to hear more about that. There are so many things I'd like to know more about in documentaries but they haven't made them or I can't find them. I can't even find one about Prinz Eugen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or about the general failures to protect shipping in the Pacific- although I understand that right towards the end there is some indication that the Japanese did organize a convoy system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, with the Tokyo Express they did have a vague convoy system pretty early in the war. It was mostly destroyers instead of cargo ships, however, and tended to be small packs carrying whatever they could fit in their minimal storage space for the troops (including more troops!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know from destroyer records that they'd often have one or two supply ships accompanied by similar numbers of destroyers. No big organized convoys though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Italians never achieved anything like the big convoys that crossed the Atlantic, either.

 

For the thirty-nine months of the war (until September 1943), it was a continuous movement of small convoys (even one or two merchantmen, some with escort, some without). As a result, the Royal Navy, the RAF and the other Allied parties that came there had plenty of targets; and they took advantage of it, since some of the best British successes were achieved here (especially if we talk about submarines).

 

However, despite this inefficiency (and other inefficiencies because of logistical issues, such as the low capacity of the Lybian harbours), the Italians managed to do rather well. Statistics show that the Regia Marina managed to get through to their destination (other than North Africa, also Albania and the Dodecanese islands) almost all that was sent, losing only 9.5% of all kinds of material and only 4% of the personnel.

Too bad that what was sent was in any way insufficient to ensure a different outcome of the war, and especially of the North African campaign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Historynerd;

 

Well, don't forget the successes of the Italian codebreakers in that either! :)

 

Yes; it's relatively little-known, but even though the Enigma machine was broken, the main Italian naval codebook remained relatively secure throughout the war, and instead the codebreakers of the Regia Marina achieved repeated successes against the Royal Navy's codes. Too bad they were too few.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Yes; it's relatively little-known, but even though the Enigma machine was broken, the main Italian naval codebook remained relatively secure throughout the war, and instead the codebreakers of the Regia Marina achieved repeated successes against the Royal Navy's codes. Too bad they were too few.

 

Many times in War it is number rather than skill that wins the do so the people like the Regia Marina and their successes become only footnotes in history, which is a shame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should be noted that the US dragged its feet to establish convoys too, as the results of Operation Drumbeat plainly show. I remember reading that several uboats sank plenty of ships that were using peacetime shipping lanes, with full running lights, along the backdrop of fully lit cities. I do believe the phrase 'loose lips sink ships' was merely one way to limit the flow of information about how badly things went in the first year for the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too bad they were too few.

 

I totally respect and support your patriotism here and earlier in the thread regarding supplies to North Africa, Historynerd, but I feel the need to point out that the true tragedy was Italy allowing herself to fall under the spell of Mussolini and Mussolini allowing himself to be eclipsed and eventually consumed by Adolf Hitler. I certainly agree that Italy achieved some great things related to WWII, but in the end, however unintended, it was all to further the ends of their senior partner to the north. Sometimes you end up defined by the company you keep, and never was that more true than Italy in WW II.

 

By the way, I'm not sure if this is disclosure or just interesting info, but my grandfather on my mother's side was a merchant marine in the Atlantic during WWII. I kinda got skin (and everything else) in the game on this topic...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The US was busy building DDs and CVEs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No kidding.

 

My home town where I grew up is Vancouver, WA. Major CVE shipyard. The Casablanca class. I walk along the waterfront where they were built a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Free;

 

It's also debated to what degree King is responsible for that- but definitely, they were unprepared, and it was a very Happy Time for certain Germans. :)

 

I'd say a lot. He didn't consider the Atlantic theatre important, focusing mostly on the Pacific theatre and refusing to take Allied advice to put his transports in convoys, costing hundreds if not thousands of lives and many ships as well. Part of it was due to his Anglophobia and seemingly irrational hatred of the British. As a result, the RCN had to take up the task of putting the American ships in convoys themselves, spreading the already thinly spread navy even further.

 

General McArthur would later say that the war would have ended sooner if someone had just shot King.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do NOT get me started on the topic of Douglas MacArthur.. >.<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...