Re: U-Boats Were the Key
Doenitz was horrified at the timing for the start of the war. He was supposed to have another 5 years to ready the U-Boat arm, instead he was tasked with isolating Britian's SLOCs with less than fifty boats - most of them short-ranged.
While the Seven-Cs were excellent handling boats with astonishing capabilities, they didn't have the legs and the tools the job needed. These limited operational capabilities were the seeds for their demise as effective deployment meant strict operational control, which meant a lot of radio traffic.
The Type-21, even without the intended Walther engine, was a deadly boat with advanced sensor and attack capabilities. Fifty of these boats -even early production types with limited sensor development - could have sealed Britian's fate. Neither Britian nor the U.S. had effective anti-submarine weapons early in the war.
Thanks to an ingenious bunch of "boffins" ensconsed over Admirality Arch and led by a Canadian, a bevy of highly effective ASW devices and techniques were developed. Perhaps the most famous, the Hedgehog, was used by both navies to good effect. The corvette USS England sank six I-Boats in the PTO with it in one mission ! Another product, the AS spear, essentially a rocket with a cast iron head, was developed, produced, deployed and sank a submarine in less than three months as I recall. The inventor, Nevil Schute, is perhaps better known for his other talents......
Fortunately for Britian and the U.S. Adolph Hitler was a self-professed "land animal". Considering his role in most of Germany's greatest debacles, he was perhaps our best ally. >MW