The U-Boat War in the Caribbean: Opportunities Lost.
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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This paper reviews the specific segments of the Battle of the Atlantic that were conducted in and around the Caribbean Sea. The background information explores Germanys political goals and policies in the years prior to the second world war, and the military situation that resulted. The Battle of the Atlantic is reviewed to determine the reasons for sending U-boats to the Caribbean theater, which was at the effective limit of their operational endurance. Further, the operational art aspects of the use of U-boats in the Caribbean theater and the results they achieved are examined in detail. The subsequent withdrawal of U-boats from the Caribbean after only eleven months in the theater is specifically evaluated in light of the personal leadership and operational art abilities of the Command in Chief of the U-boat Arm, Admiral Karl Doenitz. The papers conclusion is an evaluation of the title question. Despite the acknowledged tactical success of inking 400 merchant ships, with the loss of only seventeen U-boats, the author concluded that tb. Germans did not exploit all available opportunities that may have allowed them to achieve an even greater operational success in the prosecution of the Battle of the Atlantic.
- Naval Surface Warfare