Fighting the U-boats

Allied Navies

Merchant ships


The Liberty ship Jeremiah O'Brien

During the Battle of the Atlantic in the early years of World War II, the German U-Boats were sinking allied merchant ships at an alarming rate. Unless more ships were built to replace those sunk, the war effort would grind to a halt. Cargo ships would have to be replaced faster than the U-Boats could sink them. In May 1941, the rate of German sinkings of merchant ships was more than three times the capacity of British shipyards to replace them, and more than twice the rate of combined British and American shipyard output at the time.

One of the most effective way to defeat the German tonnage-war was to build more ships than the Germans could sink.

The Wartime Shipbuilding Program

Read about this massive program designed to defeat the tonnage war and supply the continued and expanding war effort. It lists the many types of ships needed to build.



Black Pit ... and Beyond, The

Mumford, J. Gordon


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Books dealing with this subject include

Arctic Convoy PQ8. Michael Wadsworth, 2010.
Arktyka odpiera atak. Wilczek, Wojciech, 1974.
Atlas Of Maritime History. Natkiel, Richard and Preston, Antony, 1986.
Bataille de l'Atlantique. Guierre, Maurice, 1967.
The Battle of The Atlantic. Williams, Andrew, 2002.
Beware Raiders!. Edwards, Bernard, 2001.
The Black Pit ... and Beyond. Mumford, J. Gordon, 2000.
Boarding Party. Leasor, James, 1995.
British and Commonwealth Merchant Ship Losses to Axis Submarines, 1939-1945. Tennent, Alan, 2001.
British Merchant Ships Sunk by U-boats in the 1914-1918 War. Tennent, A. J., 1990.
British Vessels Lost at Sea 1914-18. N/A, 1977.
Burlando el bloqueo. Amich, Julián, 1995.
The Canadian Naval Chronicle 1939-1945. Darlington, Robert and McKee, Fraser M., 1998.
A Careless Word ... A Needless Sinking. Moore, Arthur R., 1983.
The Catafighters and Merchant Aircraft Carriers. Poolman, Kenneth, 1970.
Conflict over Convoys. Smith, Kevin, 2002.
Convoy. Kaplan, Philip and Currie, Jack, 1998.
Corsarios Alemanes en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. de la Sierra, Luis, 1960.
Deep Their Grave. Gyles, Tony, 2000.
Die deutsche Handelsflotte 1939-1945. Dinklage, Ludwig and Witthöft, Hans Jürgen, 2001.
Druga Mala Flota. Pertek, Jerzy, 1983.
The Empire Ships. Sawyer, L. A. and Mitchell, W.H., 1990.
Die Fahrt der 'Deutschland'. König, Paul, 1916. (transl.)
FIGHT FOR THE SEA. John Frayn Turner, 2013.
The Fighting Commodores. Burn, Alan, 1999.
Fighting Merchantmen. Goodman, Sydney, 2001.
First Sailing of the S.S. Smith Thompson. Miller, Steve, 2011.
The Fourth Service. Slader, John, 1997.
German Commerce Raider vs British Cruisers (Duel). Robert Forczyk, 2010.
The Giving Years. Irvine, James W., 1991.
Good Shipmates The Story of the Restoration of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown. Ernest F. Imhoff, 2006.
A Great Fleet of Ships. Heal, S.C., 2000.
Guerra segreta sugli oceani. Santoni, Alberto, 1984.
Hellcats. Peter Sasgen, 2010.
Heroes in Dungarees. Bunker, John, 1995.
Heroes of the Atlantic. Halstead, Ivor, 1941.
Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet. Duffy, James P., 2001.
I Drasi tou Polemikou kai Emporikou Ellinikou Naftikou kata ton B' Pagosmio Polemo. Manolas, Stamatios G., R. Adm. (ret.), Economist - Attorney at Law, 1998.
In Danger's Hour. Holman, Gordon, 1948.
Kleska konwoju PQ-17. Szubanski, Rajmund, 1985.
The Land That Time Forgot. Burroughs, Edgar Rice, 1999.
The Last Voyage of the SS Henry Bacon. Alotta, Robert I., 2002.
Liberty Ship. Cooper, Sherod, 1997.
Lifeline. Carse, Robert, 1943.
Liners in Battledress. Williams, David, 1997.
Local Heroes. Neil Carlsen, 2010.
Ludzie glebin. Umiastowski, Roman, 1929.
Making Shore. Sara Allerton, 2011.
La Marina mercante y el tráfico marítimo en la Guerra Civil Española. Gonzalez Echegaray, Rafael, 2003.
La Marina Mercante. British Ministry of Propaganda, 1943.
La Marine marchande française 1939/1940. Saibène/Brouard/Mercier, 1996.
The Merchant Navy Fights. Divine, A. D., 1940.
The Merchant Seaman's War. Lane, Tony, 1990.
The Merchant U-boat. Messimer, Dwight R., 1988.
A Midshipman's War. Wade, Frank, 1994.
More v plamenech. Hubacek, Milos, 2001.
Neptuno. German Ministry of Propaganda, 1942.
Neutral Shores. Mark McShane, 2012.
Nothing Friendly in the Vicinity. Conner, Claude, 1999.
Patriots and Heroes. Reminick, Gerald, 2000.
Raider 16. Hoyt, Edwin, 1988. (transl.)
S.O.S. Paulus Potter. Rep, Jelte, 1984.
Saattue nakyvissa. Nylund, Frans, 1974.
Schiff 16. Rogge, Bernhard, 1955. (transl.)
Sea Killers in Disguise. Bridgland, Tony, 1999.
Ships for Victory. Lane, Frederic Chapin, 2001.
Shooting the War. Giese, Otto and Wise, Capt. James E. Jr. (Ret.), 1994.
Stalin's Silver. Beasant, John, 1999.
Submarine Torbay. Chapman, Paul, 1989.
The Submariners: Life in British Submarines 1901-1999. Winton, John, 1999.
Survival Against the Odds. MacLeod, Donald J., 2000.
The T-class Submarine. Kemp, Paul J., 1991.
The Silent Service in World War II. Michael Green, 2012.
The sinking of the laconia and the u-boat war. Duffy, James P., 2009.
The War Below. James Scott, 2013.
There Go The Ships. Carse, Robert, 1942.
Torpedoes in the Gulf. Wiggins, Melanie, 1995.
Track of the Grey Wolf. Gentile, Gary, 1989.
Trzecia torpeda. Dyjeta, Henryk, 1973.
Tuntematon merimies. Heikkinen, Helge, 1975.
Turning the tide. Ed Offley, 2011.
U-48. Franz Kurowski, 2012.
U-Boats Attack!. Jak P. Mallman Showell, 2011.
U-Boats in the Bahamas. Eric Wiberg, 2016.
U.S. Merchant Vessel War Casualties of World War II. Browning, Robert M., 1995.
Ultra versus u-boats. Roy Conyers Nesbit, 2009.
Under the Red Duster. Lewis, William J., 2003.
Vaarallisilla vesilla. Heikkinen, Helge, 1960.
Var tionde man måste dö. Hansson, Per, 2003.
Victory Ships and Tankers. Sawyer, L. A., 1974.
The World's Merchant Fleets, 1939. Jordan, Roger W., 2000.
Åländska sjömän under andra världskriget. Ålands Nautical Club r.f., 1999.


Allied Navies