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Thursday, February 17, 2011

BATTLES OF THE ATLANTIC [PART I & II]

“We will win....come hell or high water....but we will win”

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I'm not going to go into a great deal of 'explaining' about his article....so...I decided to just put in the 'intro' of the start of the article....and then you can dive in and see what you think....  It is a two part article...and a long one....but I think it is excellent...that is if you care to read about this era of WW II.

[I do wish to say that a couple of the pictures did not turn out as well as I wanted on this .pdf document...I do apoligize for my error]

On New Yea’s Eve 1942, Hitler had entertained guests at the Wolfsschanze (Wolf’s Lair),his headquarters in East Prussia. Aides had not seen him so cheerful for some time as he informed each new arrival of the good news. A Russian-bound convoy had been destroyed by the pocket ship Lutzow and the heavy cruiser Admiral Hippper in the Barents Sea, and he was only awaiting the details; the Naval High Command was preparing a special communique. It was indeed propitious that this feat of German arms should be announced to the world at the start of a new year. Vice-Admiral Theodor Krancke, Grand Admiral Raeder’s representative at the Fuhrer’s headquarters, was instructed to keep him informed of every detail as soon as information came in. Krancke begged the impatient Hitler to understand that Vice-Admiral Oskar Kummetz, who commanded the squadron, had to keep radio silence to avoid betraying the position of his ships. As soon as he reached Altenfjord, a full report would become available.

“When will that be?” Hitler asked. “When will I get my report?” “Probably during the course of the evening - unless Admiral Kummetz is unforeseeably held up......”

Midnight arrived, heralding the new year, but there was no news. Pacing restlessly, Hitler refused to go to bed, and periodically ordered Krancke to telephone Berlin. Slowly, his mood changed to one of repressed fury. Not long after dawn, he was given a copy of a news flash issued by the British press agency Reuters: The Royal Navy had fought off an attack by a superior force of German ships on a convoy in the Barents Sea. A German destroyer had been sunk and a cruiser badly damaged. The British had lost a destroyer.

Mad with rage and suspecting a conspiracy by the admirals to hide the disaster from him, Hitler subjected Krancke to a tirade against the navy. In WW I, the High Seas Fleet had made little contribution to the German war effort, and its idle ships had been a breading ground for Bolshevism and revolution. In this war, the surface fleet had never been worth its keep; the admirals were cowardly and overcautious - he ignored the effects on naval strategy of his reluctance to risk the heavy ships - and, given a last chance to prove itself, the navy had produced another humiliating failure. It was his “irrevocable decision” to scrap the entire fleet, down to the last destroyer; men, armor, and guns were to be to profitable use as part of the Atlantic coastal defenses. Admiral Raeder was immediately summoned to the Wolfsschanze to receive these orders.
 
If you'd care to give this a 'gander' you can get to "Part I" by clicking on:
Battles of the Atlantic Part one
and if Part I don't bore you....then you can read "Part II" by click on:
Battles of the Atlantic Part two 

Hope you enjoy