(September 1939-1945: 6 years)
The Battle of the Atlantic pitted Allied convoys - transporting military equipment and supplies to Great Britain and the Soviet Union - against German U-boats and warships in a concentrated effort to control the shipping lanes of the Atlantic Ocean. Large-scale use of German U-boats, attacking on the surface with torpedoes by night and re-submerging to evade warship escorts, wreaked heavy tolls on Allied convoys. 1942 saw an increase in U-boat production, with devastating effects; 1,664 Allied ships sunk. In 1943, the Allies increased the presence of escort aircraft carriers with long-range aircraft, effectively covering the Atlantic Gap. Depth charges, deployed by transport ships, were also effective in reducing U-boat casualties. By the end of the war, the Merchant Navy lost more than 30,000 men and 3,000 ships in the effort to keep the European and North African Theaters supplied.
Battles - the Atlantic