Slide Rules and Submarines: American Scientists and Subsurface Warfare in World War II

Front Cover
The Minerva Group, Inc., Jun 1, 2002 - History - 296 pages
0 Reviews
The classic problem of when to depend on lessons learned from previous conflicts and when to employ new tactics and technology always confronts military leaders. At the beginning of World War II, for example, Allied naval strategists were prepared to do battle using traditional tactics against surface vessels, but - this study contends - not against submarines; because the strategists failed to appreciate either the damage done by submarines in World War I or the tactics that had worked successfully against them. Consequently, from the beginning of World War II to mid-1943, German U-boats were able to mount a devastating campaign against Allied shipping. In Slide Rules and Submarines, Montgomery Meigs describes how the allies learned to counter the U-boat threat. Using new technology - and new tactics derived from scientific methods - they devised countermeasures to defeat the German submarine menace. Then, continuing to apply those successful measures, they went on to negate the Japanese submarine threat in the Pacific. The author cites the crucial role of civilian scientists - the "outsiders" - who worked with military staffs and operational commanders of the campaign at sea. Their open minds and objective methods were essential for the application of such tactical advances as sonar and radar, acoustic torpedoes, depth finders, and code breaking to the battle. As this study illustrates, the importance of such timely and innovative cooperation among scientists, the research and development community, and military commanders in bringing technological knowledge to bear for operational and strategic advantage cannot be overstated. Meigs study of how such cooperation succeeded in the crucible of wartime crisis is itself an example of how the lessons of the past can serve us well today. J. A. Baldwin Vice Admiral, United States Navy President, National Defense University
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Forgotten Naval Lessons of World War I
3
Depth charge explosion
4
Admiral King COMINCH
11
Convoy in North Atlantic early in war
18
Dr Vannevar Bush Chairman National Defense Research Com
25
Ships in North Atlantic convoy
32
Lack of Preparation is Costly
37
Lookout scans sky sea from subs conning tower
38
Depth charge hunts Uboat from SPENCERs stern
137
Snorkel of U3008 Mark XXI Uboat
144
American Submarine Campaign in the Pacific
153
GATOdass submarine on Pacific war patrol May 1945
154
Admiral Nimitz CINCPAC
160
WAHOO skipper officer on watch in conning tower
166
Sailor displays echoranging device
172
Victory in Subsurface Warfare
179

Tanker burns off Cape Hatteras March 1942
47
Radio sonobuoys
56
General Arnold Army Air Forces Chief confers with Marine
66
Convincing Admiral King
71
Secretary of War Henry L Stimson
72
Torpedoed merchantman in North Atlantic
82
Escort carrier USS BOGUE CVE9
90
Jeep carrier BOGUE
102
Radar on ships the wars silent weapon
108
Campaign Against the I Boat
112
U118 sunk by planes from BOGUE
117
US Navy blimp over Atlantic convoy
124
Effects of fire from USCGC SPENCER on Uboat
130
SPENCER Kgun fires depth charge
180
German submarine nest
187
German soldiers use Enigma encoding machine
194
U118 under attack from BOGUEs planes June 1943
203
Destroyer through WAHOO periscope January 1943
210
In Retrospect
211
Captain of U858 May 1945
216
Notes
221
Selected Bibliography
247
Abbreviations
255
The Author
269
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Bibliographic information