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    The Battle of The Atlantic - The End of The Wolfpacks

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    Tomasz Derent

    by Tomasz Derent

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    In 1941 times had changed for the German U-Boats. It was more difficult to find convoys and the ones, that were found, were given stronger escort. In the first 14 days of January, 1941, U-boats had managed to sink only two vessels in North Atlantic. This was due to the number of operational submarines as well as adverse weather conditions.

    Three famous German U-boat commanders, Günther Prien, Joachim Schepke and Otto Kretschmer, decided to take leave with their crews. They were national heroes and everyone wanted to meet them. The most known and admired was Günther Prien, the Bull of Scapa Flow, who sank British battleship HMS Royal Oak. Otto Kretschmer was the most successful U-boat ace, who sank 46 ships and damaged another 5 during the World War II. The last one, Joachim Schepke was the 11th most successful German submarine commander during the World War II. In 1941 he was just 20 year old; he was elegant, handsome, very confident and approachable at the same time. Unlike Prien and Kretschmer, he was happily giving official speeches at the Nazi Party rallies, keenly supporting Hitler`s regime.

    A few weeks later all of them were out of action. Krestchmer was taken prisoner of war, Prien and Schepke were dead. Three famous aces were eliminated within just a few days. Was that the beginning of the end for the Nazi Wolfpacks?