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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

CONVOY SC-118 [WORST CONVOY BATTLE OF WW II]

The days of easy uncontested victories for the U-boats drew to a close in the Spring of 1943 as increasing numbers of convoy escorts, new anti-submarine weapons and long range air patrols began to take a toll of the undersea raiders.  In April 1943 U-boats sank 245,000 tons of Allied shipping for the loss of 15 submarines.  In May, 40 U-boats were sunk for a loss of only 165,000 tons, a remarkable turn around in one month that foreshadowed the collapse of the U-boat campaign.

Acting Commander F. B. Proudfoot, Royal Navy, had every reason to be pleased as darkness fell on the evening of 6 February 1943.  As he stood on the bridge of HMS Vanessa and looked at the 61 ships of Convoy SC-118 stretching over a front of seven miles, the screening ships of British escort Group B2 had things under firm control.  But for one of the finest escort performances yet seen in the Battle of the Atlantic, disaster could have over-taken them, for SC-118 had encountered one bad break after another.

If you wish to read about the WORST CONVOY BATTLE OF WW II
Click: PART I
PART II