Summary: antisubmarine warfare plays a very important role in, German Navy hoped to use large-scale submarine warfare to paralyze British Atlantic routes, thereby forcing Britain out of the war due to shortages of materials. So for the Allies, the anti-submarine warfare became a priority for surviving. In response to the German submarine attacks, the Allied used of a large number of naval vessels to escort merchant ships, and rebuilt a portion of the ships, so that it could carry aircraft for anti-submarine missions. As the war progressed, Allied naval forces were greatly increased, while the Germans because of the lack of supplies, failed to catch the opponent’s development. The Allies eventually won anti-submarine operation with an advantage of an overwhelming number. In , there were depth bombs and anti-submarine aircrafts and so on for anti-submarine operation weapons.
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The anti-submarine warfare, antisubmarine warfare and anti-submarine warfare (ASW or A / S) is the part of naval warfare that uses surface vessel (equipped with sonar – especially anti-submarine frigates but also aircraft carriers), maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters ASW, or other attack submarines (SSK – submarine-killer submarine) to find, track and attack enemy vessels underwater.
ASW is also the definition given to the hardware and software systems for anti-submarine warfare. ASW system has the task of managing the underwater sensors (sonar) and weapons of both offense, such as torpedoes and missiles, surface / surface (such as MILAS), which defensive systems, which is an example of the SLAT anti-torpedo system.
At the beginning of WorldI there were no means of discovering the submarines fully immersed, then the same could be attacked only when they were on the surface. For this reason, the first measures against German submarines, after September 22, 1914 the U-9 had sunk into a single action three armored cruisers, were to hold 500 ships of small tonnage (boats and pleasure craft), armed with a gun of small caliber, and in some cases of torpedoes to towing, to monitor all British waters. These means antisubmarine were clearly not very effective, so much so that in the first three months of the campaign against merchant shipping in the North Sea Germany lost only twenty-five submarines on 18 February 1915 that had started the campaign and who had achieved so far 57 torpedo attacks and 93 attacks with cannon. At the time there was no detection systems, submarines, so the only way to detect its presence was to use networks, meeting the submarine would have reported its position to ships (usually vessels) that pulled. Of course, this method could not be used in open seas, but it was effective to block the Strait of Dover. More effective was the creation of the “Q ship”, i.e. ships owl, apparena merchant, but with guns hidden on board. Since, after the sinking of the Lusitania, which had raised against Germany U.S. public opinion, German submarines had to attack merchant according to the surface, the “Q ship” from June September 1915 German submarines sank three (out of a total of 11 lost in the same period).
In 1916 Britainbegan to point the hydrophone, which, being able to capture underwater noises, could indicate, at least approximately, the position of the submarine to surface ships, and the depth charge attack that allowed even when submerged. On 16 July 1916 the German submarine UC 7, for the first time in history, was localized by the hydrophones and was sunk with depth charges. The month in which you had the greatest losses of German submarines was in May 1918, where they were lost 55, including 23 for the depth charges, mines 13 and 19 from other causes.
Also during the First World was used as an anti-submarine weapon the cannon Davis, installed as the U.S. submarine chaser SC-17 and SC-20. The British, always in the context of anti-submarine warfare, I employed experimentally on several aircraft, including a bomber Handley Page Type O and a Short S.81.
World War II
The threat of U-Boot: December 1941 – June 1942
During World War II, before the U.S. war, the German submarine campaign was directed against the merchant traffic addressed to Great Britain, with successes which led to the sinking more ships than you could put in water replace the losses, threatening the supremacy Allied materials guaranteed by theAct with which the U.S. undertook to supply Great Britain of any kind of need. In addition, the German threat also vitiated the decision taken by the leaders of Anglo-American (in particular, Prime Minister and President ) in the , held in Washington in late 1941 and early 1942, to defeat the in implementing an inevitable landing ‘continental Europe by the English Channel.
The strategyof the (navy of ) was simple: the highest sink many ships as possible in order to limit the flow of troops and supplies to the front and at the same time opposing the Allied naval power. The entry into the war of the USA (December 11, 1941 as a result of Pearl Harbor attack) gave new impetus to this strategy while at the same time, the U.S. Navy (U.S. Navy) and his commander in chief Admiral were not prepared to face the danger given the lack of trained personnel, unit area specialized in antisubmarine warfare and long-range aircraft. As the sea, even the ‘ (USAAF – Air Force Army of the United States) of General was unprepared to fight a war like this: planes (just to cover all the proper roles of an air force) lacked depth bombs, radar and identification of any instrument of submarines and, most importantly, pilots trained in antisubmarine warfare.
Over time, the U.S. Air Force responded to the offensive of U-Boot exploiting their need to surface, usually at night, to recharge the batteries, ventilate the boat and to air crew. Often the German crews were traveling the submarine to the surface of the water to navigate more quickly (15 kn instead of 3 kn developed underwater) or even to launch attacks with both torpedoes with the cannon. The air patrols (depending on convoy escort or free) served to prevent just such maneuvers on the surface. The air crews were put to the test by the hundreds of hours spent at sea without sighting anything, but having to be always ready to attack, in 15/35 seconds, a submarine surfaced surprise, surprise it was crucial and when a was identified the pilot was trying to get with the sun behind you to then make an attack at an angle between 15 and 45 °, flying at very low altitude (about15 m) releasing from time to time groups of depth charges within6 m from ‘goal, all while workers with machine guns tried to counter the anti-aircraft fire from the submarine. To resolve conflicts between the U.S. Navy and the USAAF about who should control and organize the Air Force in U.S. waters General Arnold took over the situation and instituted, October 15, 1942, its own Antisubmarine Command headed by brigadier General Westside T. Larson, consisting of teams mainly from the Command and dependent on the War Department, although the operational control of the squadrons and groups remained at the U.S. Navy anti-submarine, training, administration and maintenance of transport became more efficient.
One of the Allied planes that lent itself more to antisubmarine warfare, especially in European theaters – Africa and the Middle East was the, duly modified for the purpose, in the winter of 1942 came into conflict within USAAF and Royal Air Force Coastal Command. The approximately 9,400 liters of fuel on board that could give him the ability to do both day and night patrols extremely long (an average of ten / twelve hours) away from the airport of departure. The onboard radar in the millimeter band ASV-10 (Airborne Surface Vessel Detection10 mm) was able to identify a submarine surfaced more than64 km away and the only turret surfaced to 24/32 km. Other electronic equipment details were a special altimeter up to3 m above sea level, a detector of magnetic anomalies especially useful when used together with sonoboa able to capture the sounds of the enemy vessel, to find submarines sighted but immediately took to diving, and the radio navigation system LORAN. As for the weapons, the B-24 transporting six anti-submarine depth charges from227 kg each typically calibrated to sink slowly and explode at about8 m (but had to change), four20 mm cannons and six .50 caliber machine guns, in late1943 in some B-24 was added a bow turret with four machine guns to increase the firepower.
The: September 1942 – May 1943
When he was in the process of reorganization of USAAF antisubmarine forces was underway on the, in whose namesake ocean Admiral Doenitz had rischierato most of his U-boats in July 1942. The Allies responded by providing air cover for escorting convoys that plied the east coast USA to Great Britain, but left uncovered, for reasons of autonomy aircraft, an area of 805 kmbetween 25 ° W and 45 ° W of longitude (the so-called “gap”). It was in this space that concentrated groups of German submarines, the “wolves”.
At the beginning of World War II, the British were able to decipher the
The Allied landings inMorocco andAlgeria on 8 November 1942 did converge most of the submarines at sea in the North Atlantic in the mid-Atlantic, off the north-western coast of Africa and guard theStrait ofGibraltar. The twenty or thirty U-boats were sunk in the North Atlantic during the months of November and December, twenty-one ships against only one loss, but by the end of the British colmarono deficits decryption of the previous months and by March 1943 the Allies were aware that the code of their convoys had been hacked. In June, it was introduced as a new code and by August the British operators were able to read near real-time communications for U-Boot, while since the last months of 1942 had become operational commercial speed even if the German shipbuilding industry produced a number of submersible pumps suitable to replace losses. However, the Allied submarine warfare was forcefully in theCasablanca conference in January 1943 andBritain deployed its B-24 inIreland andIceland to cover the eastern part of the gap.
Dönitz repositioned its U-boats in the North Atlanticduring the first three months of 1943 sank 85 Allied ships losing a single ship. The Antisubmarine Command said basing three squadrons of B-24 inNewfoundlandto patrol the western part of the gap while the 1st and the 2nd Provisional
West One of Greenland, while the U.S. Navy began to provide a carrier to monitor the northern part of the gap. Although in April and May, the Allies lost a total of thirty-eight ships, from April 25 to May 20 were destroyed sixteen U-Boot and Dönitz was forced to withdraw his crews of theNorth Atlantic. From June to July 1943, about 1,700 Allied ships were able to dock inBritain unscathed. The U-Boot retreated in a strategy to destroy, rather than the convoys, enemy antisubmarine forces, scattering small groups of units on the east coast USA, in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Brazil, in the Atlantic coast of Africa and in ‘Indian Ocean with minimal effect on the preparation of the Allied landing in Normandy.
Operations in the Gulf of Biscay: November 1942 – October 1943
Although also involved in the Atlantic, Allied air power played in the fight against the Axis submarines, a bigger role in the Bay of Biscay, the Atlantic Ocean that extends for 193 kmto the west of Franceand 483 kmnorth of Spainand therefore accessible by long-range aircraft based in Britain. The Bay of Biscay was a place of transit from July 1940 to October 1943, i.e. up to a year before the termination of the anti-submarine patrol aircraft Allies, the U-Boot started from four different French ports directed toward the Atlantic.
The Coastal Command flew over the Gulf as frequently as possible helped USAAF. Aware of the air threat, the U-boats settled in late 1942, a device that can capture the high-frequency waves emanating from radar Allies, for which the Coastal Command immediately requested radars operating in the microwave for around the counter enemy. In November 1942, the USAAF sent in Cornwall on 1 anti-submarine squadron of Jack Roberts subjecting however, under the command of Coastal Command. The squadron performed the first mission on November 10 then being joined in January 1943 by the 2nd anti-submarine squadron. The two squads were placed on January 15 under the umbrella of the newborn 1st provisional anti-submarine group”, running by the next day. U.S. and British then together they planned an offensive lasting nine days from February 6 to coincide with the return of U-boats of the North Atlantic, making a total of more than 300 missions, including 19 sightings and attacks 8. Overall, during the four-month stay in Britain, the U.S. crews lost seven B-24 at the hands of the , they spotted 22 submarines, 11 of them attacked and sank one of them, the U-519 hit by B-24 pilot by First WL Sanford. On 5 March 1943 the aircraft of the 1st Antisubmarine Group performed the last patrol in the Bay of Biscay before moving toNorth Africa.
The pressure of the Coastal Command, however, did not fail and in April Dönitz opted for the operational changes: all the U-boats passing through the Bay of Biscay was ordered to charge the batteries during the day and emerge to move more quickly, diving, conversely at night, and to deal with any fire attack enemy aircraft. The latter provision in particular proved to be a mistake. Aided by radar and, British pilots in May submarines sank seven of sixty-four attacks in the price of six aircraft. On June 1, to the captains of German submarines were ordered to cross the Gulf as a team to maximize the impact of anti-aircraft and emerge only for the time needed to recharge the batteries, but in the two weeks that followed went bad two submarines and a third was sunk. At the expense of the Kriegsmarine also arrived towards the end of June the 4th and the 19th antisubmarine U.S. (always subject to Coastal Command), from which originated on July 8, the 479 º group submarine under the command of Howard Moore, in August 479 º flew to the less congested base of Dunkeswell, also in Cornwall, and in September its ranks swelled with the crews of 6 º and 22 º anti-submarine squadron.
With these forces the Coastal Command was able to put into practice an effective hunting U-boats could afford new patrols over a wide expanse of sea to the north-north-west of Cape Finisterre, leaving the U.S.aircraft jurisdiction on the south side of area close to the coast of Spain. A week later, on July 13, the date of the first mission of the 479th Antisubmarine Group, a B-24 anti-submarine squadron of the 19th bombed the U-558, forcing the crew to abandon it, the same day a German submarine recorded the killing of a single Allied aircraft in the Bay of Biscay. On July 28, another B-24, this time of the 4th squadron anti-submarine, sank the U-404, and two days after a Liberator sighted three U-boats off Cape Finisterre, but ran out of fuel, conveyed his position where in Following an Australian Sunderland sank the U-461, a British Halifax’ s U-462 and a supervening force of the surface U-504. Before ceasing operations on 31 October 1943, the 479th Antisubmarine Group sank his last sub, the U-706, August 2. During the period July 13 to August 2 about a quarter of the total Allied attacks against the U-boats and at least 40% of the losses of the latter was realized in theBay of Biscay.
of the Strait of Gibraltar: March – October 1943
In parallel to the flight of the 479 º group submarine in the Bay of Biscay the 1st and the 2nd squadron anti-submarine, moved from Cornwall to Port Lyautey, Morocco, in March 1943, effettuarono patrol anti-submarine and especially stocks convoys along the west coast of Morocco to monitor the Strait of Gibraltar where the U-boats began to sink some ships. The security of convoys was in fact necessary for the continuation of the Tunisian campaign and for the invasion of Sicily. Fifteen of the two B-24 squadrons, under the authority of the Northwest African Coastal Air Force for what concerned the administration and under the Fleet Air Wing 15 (15 º flock naval aviation) of the U.S. Navy’s operational use, then went to work alongside the U.S. Navy PBY Catalina on 19 March, the date of their first mission in the African theater. On March 22, the firstWL Sanford sank the first submarine off the Atlantic coast of Africa, the U-524 inabissatosi near the Canary Islands, 19 June the 1st and 2nd antisubmarine were reorganized in 480 º group antisom the now Jack Roberts.
In June Dönitz doubled submarines guard the Straits of Gibraltar, and in July the U-boats, to reduce the risk of getting caught in the Bay of Biscay, began to descend towards the south and the Atlantic Ocean along the tacking then Spain to Portugal a Once past Cape Finisterre, thereby producing a certain drive traffic between the Azores and the Strait of Gibraltar as shown by the 15 sightings and three losses inflicted by the 480 º group 5 to 15 July (sank the U-boats U-951 , U-232 and U-506). Dönitz then moved his men to the west, away from the aircraft, but exposed to the Allied convoy escort ships of the U.S. Navy that, between June and October, sank nine of the ten submarines refueling German sailors in theAtlantic inhibiting greatly operational U-boat.
When the German submarine threat in the mid-Atlantic and sank in the Straits of Gibraltar, the Allies riposizionarono some antisubmarine units to support the invasion ofSicily. This was the case for example of the 1st squadron anti-submarine, which moved from Port Lyautey to Protville, in Tunisia, in order to better conduct patrols between Sicily and Naples began on September 4 and allargatisi five days after the sea to the west of Sardinia and Corsica , other tasks included the usual stocks convoys and air cover Italian vessels en route to Malta to surrender to the Allies in compliance with the armistice terms. The 1st squadron returned to theU.S.in November 1943. These, however, were the last actions antisubmarine USAAF. On July 9, 1943 U.S. Navy and USAAF agreed to withdraw the unit from the first line of the first anti-submarine, August 31 following the Antisubmarine Command was disbanded but the 479 º and 480 º antisubmarine group remained active, however, the first ceased to exist on 11 November and the second 29 January 1944.
African theater in thewas present with fluctuating results, among other aircraft, even with the four-engine long-range .
The significant increase in the quantity and quality of submarines of the Soviet Navy led a considerable qualitative and quantitative evolution of NATO platforms dedicated to anti-submarine warfare. Even in the Warsaw Pact were created several air and naval units dedicated to anti-submarine warfare.
NATO in the immediate post-war post WWII U.S.converted into different units specialized in anti-submarine warfare, such as the USS Lake Champlain and other Essex-class aircraft carriers that were not modernized flight deck with angled necessary for jet aircraft; one other innovation was to introduce the helicopters as a new weapon, among them the Sikorsky S-58 and various other versions that were specialized or those in service with the ‘USAF as the Sikorsky HH-60 Seahawk (derived from the UH-60 Black Hawk), or built specifically as the Sikorsky S-61 (military designation U.S. SH-3 Sea King) and the Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, II said LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose System). Other nations created their airborne platforms or on board, acquiring the licensed production ofU.S. settled as the ‘who designed the Agusta ASH-3D version Specialize used by the navies Italian, Brazilian, Peruvian and Argentinian. These weapon systems were equipped with sonar immersion spinnable through a winch, lightweight anti-submarine torpedo as the Whitehead A244 / S. Even specific aircraft were devoted to this task as the Lockheed S-3 Viking, bioreactor can stay in the air for long periods at a considerable distance from the , equipped with torpedoes, sonoboe and Magnetic Anomaly Detector. In addition to the instruments was elaborated a theory of the strong anti-submarine warfare, considered to be critical to ensure the protection of battle groups but also to the convoys that in case of war would have to cross the Atlantic to supply the land formations engaged in Europe.
In addition to weapons and sensors carried on board ships and aircraft, NATO forces, but in fact the United States, they created networks of underwater discovery put in some critical areas, such as the SOSUS network, network equipment listening underwater installed during the Cold War to monitor Soviet submarines). The SOSUS consists, in addition to the sensor network scattered in the ocean, gathering and processing stations, which then converge to the data center for anti-submarine warfare in the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, the Western Atlantic, a chain of sensors arranged to control the so-called GIUK gap, i.e. the gap between Greenland (G), Iceland (I) and the United Kingdom (UK), is controlled by a station placed in Iceland at Keflavik, in the vicinity of the air base NATO, since 1966 and Brawdy, Wales, in 1974. Similarly, other networks and stations SOSUS are located since 1954 on the west coast of the United States, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turks and San Salvador in the Bahamas and Argentia in Newfoundland (since 1959); since 1957 other stations in Bermuda, Shelburne ( Nova Scotia), Nantucket, Cape May, Cape Hatteras, Antiqua, Eleuthera and Barbados, with operational constraints due to the maximum cable length equal to150 km, a network ever since 1957 began to be operational in the Pacific with stations in San Nicholas Island, Point Sur and Centerville Beach, California, Coos Bay, Oregon and Pacific Beach, Washington. then further chains of sensors were installed in Guam, Midway, Adak (Aleutian Islands), and Barber’s Point near Honolulu, In fact, the SOSUS has been and still is a very important component of the ability of U.S. and NATO anti-submarine detection.
Since even such a network could fully cover the vast ocean, with a deficit or no control over some of these, was ordered the construction of these vessels, similar to large offshore tugs, specialize in finding submarines, called SURTASS ( Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System), Stalwart classes (in 18 specimens), Victorious (4 ships) and Impeccable (5 ships), these boats were built in materials with low radar observability, were designed by the U.S. Navy as a mobile system to integrate the SOSUS and are preceded by the prefix USNS, to emphasize that they are not combat units, but with government staff and civil electronic intelligence specialists, their main sensor is a sonar towed type AN/SQQ-89.
The Warsaw Pact had its anti-submarine unit, given the lack of real aircraft carrier from the Soviets, at sea were mainly represented by the anti-submarine cruisers like classes Kresta I and Kresta II, the anti-submarine frigate andclass Krivak class Grisha and Mirka, with helicopters on board as the Kamov Ka-25 and its derivative Kamov Ka-27. They are flanked antisubmarine aircraft Ilyushin Il-38 (NATO reporting name May) entered service in 1969 and the Tupolev Tu-142 (NATO reporting name Bear) entered service in 1972.
A recent team unity relatively recent dedicated to fighting anti-submarine was the class Udaloj, developed in the mid-seventies as a vessel of considerable size capable of operating over long periods in the open sea with a weapon that makes the ship independently from the support other naval units, similar to theU.S.units of the Spruance class. He then gave way to the design of the class Udaloy I. Even if the ship is classified as the class frigate Udaloy is a big step forward compared to Krivak class ships, which were initially devoid of a flight deck for helicopters, and only later were equipped with a bridge to the land helicopters and a hangar for a single device. The class was immediately Udaloy designed to carry two helicopters of the type Kamov Ka-25. Compared to the Krivak class ships also sonar systems have been improved and the ships also have marginal capability for air defense, even if the doctrine of the Soviet and then Russian job was to accompany them to classSovremenny powerfully armed for the defense flak.
During the Cold War, the non-aligned countries preferred to buy or produce under license by the two opposing blocs those limited equipment they needed. For example,Pakistanendowed his Navy anti-submarine aircraft type Br 1150 Atlantic Breguet, one of which was shot down while flying patrol aircraft toIndiain ‘Accident Atlantic.
Currently many navies put less emphasis in the fight antosommergibile being lowered international tensions due to the confrontation between the two blocs. An exception is the Japanese navy, than having to deal with the growing threat of China is equipped with the new helicopter carrier class Hyūga and evolves its SH-60J manufactured under license of Sikorsy, and the Pakistani navy, facing the Indian Navy which currently is building a new nuclear submarine missile launchers derived from the Akula class I and with Russian technology, the INS Arihant, launched in 2009, and that is by carrying out sea trials for the entry into service.
Even the Chinese navy has paid attention to the tools of antisubmarine warfare, both on board as the VDS (Variable Depth– variable depth sonar) DUBV LF-43 French-built places on its Luhu class destroyers and conventional sonar hull as the DUBV-23 Luhu and place on the next Luhai, that the systems located on anti-submarine helicopters as HAMC Z-9C (NATO reporting name Haitun), licensed by Aérospatiale SA 365 Dauphin, with Thales sonar spinnable HS-12 radar and KLC-11 / J-band (Chinese version of agrion 15) and Yu-7 torpedoes indigenous cloned from AS.244 Whitehead. The increase in anti-submarine component of the Chinese navy is due to the political will to establish a naval force to rise, that is able to compete with the U.S. Navy and allow an eventual landing on the island of Taiwan, having as its strategic doctrine cancellation the threat of local forces diving and possible U.S. attack submarines present in the area. In fact, the coexistence of foreign technology from various sources and local products does not allow an extensive integration between the board and the consequence is a reduced operational capacity of the crews who have to use material with manuals often in China, also the high dependency the Chinese navy from foreign technology does not guarantee a continuity. Consequently, and given the increased quality of Chinese forces diving, even the U.S. Navy is reviewing its assessment.