What if the German Navy concentrated on U Boats?

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,499
Sea of Fate
This was stated many times in this discussion, that if Germany would increase number of submarines Britain would respond immediately. This is far from guaranteed. There is good chance that Britain would respond too late or not respond to German build up at all.
Any effort by Germany is going to take years to see results, as they lacked sufficient u-boat shipyards and trained crews to ramp up production and fleet size quickly.
The progression of U-boats constructed shows this

1938 - 9
1939 - 18
1940 - 50
1941- 199

Conversely, Britain was able to ramp up production of escort vessels quicker, and had a larger pool of trained sailors to start with
 
Oct 2015
999
Virginia
British construction programs for ocean escorts:
1939 war emergency: 16 Destroyers, 36 Escort Destroyers, 60 Corvettes
1940-41: 32 Destroyers, 30 Escort Destroyers, 18 Sloops, 27 Frigates, 25 Corvettes
1941-42: 40 Destroyers, 9 Sloops, 19 Frigates, 3 Corvettes
1942-43: 40 Destroyers, 16 Frigates, 14 Corvettes.
1943-44: 13 Destroyers, 50 Frigates, 17 Corvettes
1944-45: 7 Destroyers
51 Destroyers, 4 Sloops and 20 Frigates were not completed until after the war.

In addition Canada produced 8 Destroyers (4 built in UK) 60 Frigates and 112 Corvettes (15 built in UK)

The US provided via lend lease 38 Escort Carriers, 107 Frigates (8 built in Canada) and 22 Corvettes (7 built in Canada). This in addition to the 50 old Destroyers and 10 Coast Guard Cutters.
 
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Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,499
Sea of Fate
British construction programs for ocean escorts:
1939 war emergency: 16 Destroyers, 36 Escort Destroyers, 60 Corvettes
1940-41: 32 Destroyers, 30 Escort Destroyers, 18 Sloops, 27 Frigates, 25 Corvettes
1941-42: 40 Destroyers, 9 Sloops, 19 Frigates, 3 Corvettes
1942-43: 40 Destroyers, 16 Frigates, 14 Corvettes.
1943-44: 13 Destroyers, 50 Frigates, 17 Corvettes
1944-45: 7 Destroyers
51 Destroyers, 4 Sloops and 20 Frigates were not completed until after the war.

In addition Canada produced 8 Destroyers (4 built in UK) 60 Frigates and 112 Corvettes (15 built in UK)

The US provided via lend lease 38 Escort Carriers, 107 Frigates (8 built in Canada) and 22 Corvettes (7 built in Canada). This in addition to the 50 old Destroyers and 10 Coast Guard Cutters.
Obviously the Lend Lease US Escort carriers & frigates didn't arrive until 1942-1943, however in addition to the 225 British/Canadian Corvettes (Flower class) and 86 British Escort destroyers (Hunt class) there were 360 further ships ordered in the 1939-1942 building programs, the 185 Isles/Tree/Dance class ASW trawlers/minesweepers, and 175 Bangor/Bird class minesweepers/patrol craft. At about 550-600 tons they weren't as suitable for long distance Ocean escort, however they were used for coastal ASW work in the North sea, Irish Sea, Channel and Mediterranean. Additionally, a few dozen were sent to the US Eastern seaboard in 1942 to counter the "Drumbeat" offensive.


In addition, there were 37 Black Swan class ASW Sloops built, adding to the 45 Kingfisher/Egret/Grimsby/Hastings classes built in the 1930s.

At about 1,200 tons, the Black Swan class was optimised for escort and ASW work, with the "Starling" becoming the most successful ASW warship, participating in sinking 11 U-boats
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,970
I found this site useful for looking up various classes of ships,. Itr's wealth of informationon many classes. It inclucdes load outs at verious dates for the aicrfat carriers, which is quite interspersing as well.


It gives the Ship in servic of the Royal Navy 1st Jan 1940.

IN SERVICE: 11 battleships, 3 battlecruisers, 3 monitors, 4 fleet aircraft carriers, 2 light aircraft carriers, 2 seaplane tenders, 13 heavy cruisers, 43 light cruisers, 1 cruiser-minelayer, 41 auxiliary cruisers, 18 destroyer leaders, 160 destroyers, 60 submarines, 34 sloops, 10 patrol ships (corvettes), 12 armed boarding vessels, 38 auxiliary patrol vessels, 7 auxiliary decoy vessels, 1 auxiliary seagoing AA vessel, 1 auxiliary coastal AA vessel, 67 armed yachts, 20 river gunboats, 24 motor torpedo boats, 21 motor anti-submarine boats, 17 small landing ships, 2 small landing barges, 10 landing crafts, 8 minelayers, 8 auxiliary minelayers, 2 netlayers, 45 minesweepers, 49 auxiliary minesweepers, 1 auxiliary mine destruction vessel, 79 minesweeping trawlers, 576 auxiliary armed trawlers, 6 minesweeping drifters, 58 auxiliary armed drifters, 6 armed whalers, 7 auxiliary armed whalers, 1 minesweeping

Deck planes F: 38 Sea Gladiator II intermediate, 60 Sea Gladiator II (delivery till 4/1940), 136 Roc I (delivery till early 1940); FB: 192 Skua II (delivery till 3/1940); TB: 992 Swordfish I (delivery till 1943)

Seaplanes TB: part of Swordfish I (delivery till 1940); R: 24 Seagull V (amphibious), 555 Walrus I (amphibious, delivery till 1/1944), 66 Seafox I




other useful naval sites.

For uboats, convoys and stuff sunk by u boats.

 
Last edited:
Dec 2014
479
Wales
It's not just ships. Britain made massive technological advances in ASW, such as the hedgehog weapon, a far superior weapon than depth charges, ASDIC/Sonar and Radar and even the Leigh Light:




It was a on-going technical battle as well as a production battle and the allies had a real advantage here as well.