New PDF release: 1939 - The Second World War at Sea in Photographs

By Phil Carradice

As 1942, the fourth 12 months of the warfare, begun, victory for the Allies used to be nonetheless some distance off. German submarines have been sinking ships off the coast of the U.S. in what may develop into referred to as the ‘Second chuffed Time’ for the U-boat crews whereas Allied vessels have been falling sufferer to jap plane and warships within the some distance East. Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen made their sprint throughout the Channel to German waters whereas within the Arctic the battleship Tirpitz and German airplane and submarines menaced the convoys offering Russia. despite the fact that, convoys persevered to get via to provide beleaguered Malta regardless of heavy losses to submarines and plane, and within the Pacific the USA military inflicted defeats at the jap on the key battles of the Coral Sea and halfway, battles during which the key vessels by no means really observed one another, battling with carrier-borne plane as a substitute. Troops have been landed at the island of Guadalcanal and in North Africa. during this booklet, Phil Carradice makes use of many not often visible photos to inform the tale of the second one international battle at Sea in 1942.

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Extra resources for 1939 - The Second World War at Sea in Photographs

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Opposite bottom: Convoys were the only way to protect the lumbering merchant ships that brought in vital food supplies to Britain. The convoy system had worked effectively in 1917 and 1918 and, despite the lack of attention the anti-submarine arm of the Navy had been given between the wars, it was now beginning to be used again. German U-boat attacks had not yet reached the level of sophistication where coordinated Wolf Pack attacks could be made, but as early as November and December 1939 all sailors lived in fear of the sudden torpedo in the night.

At first, the Germans directed their fire onto the Exeter, which was soon badly hit and ree ling away out of range. As the biggest of the British ships, Exeter's 8-inch guns were a vital part of British firepower, but she was no match for the pocket battleship. With her effectively out of the battle, Langsdorff then switched his target to the Ajax. She, too, was hit many times. Clever use of radio broadcasts, and the careful spreading of false information, soon convinced Langsdorff that Harwood had been heavily reinforced by capital ships.

After two hours, both Ajax and Exeter had been badly hit by the shells from the Graf Spee, but the German raider had also suffered damage, and chose to break off the action. Langsdorff made for neutral Montivideo, where he hoped he would be allowed to undertake vital repairs on his ship. Exeter, unable to continue, limped south towards the Falkland Islands while Harwood, with his two remaining cruisers, remained outside Montivideo, keeping the Graf Spee penned up in the neutral port. Clever use of BBC radio broadcasts totally fooled Langsdorff into thinking that the carrier Ark Royal and battlecruiser Renown had joined Harwood and were waiting for him to emerge.

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1939 - The Second World War at Sea in Photographs by Phil Carradice


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