The Dreadnought Project Forum Index The Dreadnought Project
Naval History in the years 1890-1920
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   Reg1sterReg1ster 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

U-boats at Jutland

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Dreadnought Project Forum Index -> Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Euphraneous



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 4
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: U-boats at Jutland Reply with quote

One thing that's been bugging me for a while: A big part of Admiral Scheer's plan at Jutland was for his U-boats to ambush the British ships as they left port. Why did they fail so completely in this task? They were not even able to report that the entire Grand fleet had gone to sea. Was the problem that the British knew they were out there and sought to evade them? Was it because the British left port at night? Was it the loss of some of the U-boats to British defenses before Jutland? Was it because the U-boats were at the end of their food and/or fuel supplies and were within one day of returning to port? Was the task simply beyond the capability of the number of U-boats available? Was it a combination of some or all of the above?
_________________
Windows, Mac, and Linux
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 479
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One factor was certainly that they were at the limit of their endurance, as the sortie was postponed, IIRC.

One sub did take a shot at the Grand Fleet to no effect. I am not sure any U-boat carried a radio powerful enough to report home with any reliability.

tone
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 131
Location: Great Britain

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something I'd been working on earlier this month anyway.

Quote:
At 0100 on 31 May Hipper's force of I and II Scouting Groups, and II, VI and IX Flotillas, left the outer Jade Roads. Scheer put to sea with the rest of the force at 0230 as dawn was breaking. Only two of the U-boats, U66 and U32, had received the "All ships" signal informing them that the British might be at sea [Sent at 1004 on 30 May]. U66, 60 miles east of Peterhead prepared to attack the armoured cruiser Duke of Edinburgh but the latter quickly steamed out of range. At 0635 on 31 May she reported by wireless that she had sighted "Eight enemy battleships, light cruisers, destroyers on northerly course" and gave her position. The British ships she had sighted were actually travelling east-north-east. U32, stationed off the Firth of Forth, sighted the light cruisers Galatea and Phaeton at 0440 and fired one torpedo at the leading ship. Before a second could be fired the periscope jammed while extended and the submarine was forced to crash-dive. After lying submerged for 30 minutes she surfaced and sighted the Second Battle Cruiser Squadron, and reported it as "Two battleships, two cruisers and several destroyers on southerly course." Scheer received U32's report at 0537 and U66's about an hour later, and didn't suspect that the two British forces might be working in concert.


Simon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Euphraneous



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 4
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. I had not heard the story on the U32.
_________________
Windows, Mac, and Linux
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deamon



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 35
Location: Germany,Bremen

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason the u-boats failed was simple because they were called back to early. At that time it was considered that u-boats cannot operate for a long time, only maybe 5 days.

Before the war they were actually meant only for coastile protection and were supposed to be replaced daily, much like speed boats or something.

Anyway, the german fleet didn't departed as planned due to bad weather and when it finally did the u-boats were called back alredy and just a while later the british fleet was heading out.

So the u-boats missed the opportunity. I don't remember the exact number but there was at least one u-boat that came across a british recon group, that actually scored a hit on a cruiser on its way back.

So the trick might have worked out nicely if the u-boats would have been left on station a few days longer. It's a shame for the german navy that it didn't happened. They shouldn't have gone to sea when the u-boats were not on station.

A fantastic opportunity for the german navy went down the drain. Essentially not the u-boats failed but the admiralty. They grossly underestimated the potential of the u-boats.

The communication problems were true however. Radios were still weak at the beginning of the war but improved rapidly during the war.
_________________
IMPERIAL U-FLOTILLA 1914-1918

http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/heinrich/main.htm
Current stage: 2 - pre alpha
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
Posts: 131
Location: Great Britain

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure about 5 days? Scheer ordered ten submarines out to find and attack British warships from 17-22 May, then ordered them to stations off the British coast where they were to remain until 1 June, to be joined by other submarines. And the ordering out of so many U-boats gave the British the first inkling that the High Sea Fleet was planning a major operation.

When were the U-boats called back? I was under the impression that they remained on station until their designated return time.

Simon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address MSN Messenger
Deamon



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 35
Location: Germany,Bremen

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harley wrote:
Are you sure about 5 days? Scheer ordered ten submarines out to find and attack British warships from 17-22 May, then ordered them to stations off the British coast where they were to remain until 1 June, to be joined by other submarines. And the ordering out of so many U-boats gave the British the first inkling that the High Sea Fleet was planning a major operation.

When were the U-boats called back? I was under the impression that they remained on station until their designated return time.

Simon

No wait I messed something up. The 5 days rule was before and at the beginning of the war. But by the time of the juttland battle the u-boats were sent out on much longer patrols. But I have to check out my sources again. I think they were already on their way back as the british fleet left the ports but I need to make sure that my memory doesn't play me a trick here. Will be back when I find the source again.
_________________
IMPERIAL U-FLOTILLA 1914-1918

http://www.dreadnoughtproject.org/heinrich/main.htm
Current stage: 2 - pre alpha
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Dreadnought Project Forum Index -> Discussion All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group