- Jun 2012
- At present SD, USA
I think the author in "Black May" made the commentary that the Type VII was actually a better submarine given the missions they had and the need to strike quickly at British commerce, as it could dive quicker than the Type IX... and even if the Type IX was the better boat, 80 was no where NEAR enough. Donitz estimated that Germany would need around 300 submarines to be able to have an appropriate impact on British trade and strategically hurt them...They shouldn't have wasted so much steel and labor building the Bismarck and Tirpitz. Had they invested all that in Type IX construction they could've had 80 or so extra long-range boats to massacre US shipping early in '42. That might've affected the course of the war drastically.
And since Germany had closer to 50 U-boats in 1939 than 300, they had no where NEAR enough. By the time Germany had closer to that number of submarines active, British anti-submarine weapons, tactics, and technology caught up with what advances Germany had made between 1918 and 1939.
Now, had they not focused on their surface fleet and built more U-boats that might have worked... but Britain and France were well aware of what Germany was doing, and many of their ships were built to provide some counter. Which would mean that if Germany invested more in U-boats than battleships, Britain and France probably would have invested more in destroyers and anti-submarine weapons/tactics than they did in history... It's where we can't really change one thing and expect nothing else to change as a consequence.