The Royal Navy and Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1917-49
Routledge – 2006 – 240 pages
An essential new account of how anti-submarine warfare is conducted, with a focus on both historic and present-day operations.
This new book shows how until 1944 U-boats operated as submersible torpedo craft which relied heavily on the surface for movement and charging their batteries. This pattern was repeated in WWII until Allied anti-submarine countermeasures had forced the Germans to modify their existing U-boats with the schnorkel. Countermeasures along also pushed the development of high-speed U-boats capable of continuously submerged operations.
This study shows how these improved submarines became benchmark of the post-war Russian submarine challenge. Royal Navy doctrine was developed by professional anti-submarine officers, and based on the well-tried combination of defensive and offensive anti-submarine measures that had stood the press of time since 1917, notwithstanding considerable technological change.
This consistent and holistic view of anti-submarine warfare has not been understood by most of the subsequent historians of these anti-submarine campaigns, and this book provides an essential and new insight into how Cold War, and indeed modern, anti-submarine warfare is conducted.
'An extremely well researched and balanced work, The Royal Navy and Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1917-49 is a refereshing look at a complex subject, from the eyes of a seasoned professional, and sheds light on some popular misunderstanding as to the complexity of modern ASW…a key reference document for naval historians and future maritime strategists.' - The Northern Mariner
Introduction 1. Echoes from the Past, 1917-1940 2. Mastering the Submersible, 1939-1943 3. Elusive Victory: Countering the Schnorkel, 1944-1945 4. The Dawn of Modern Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1944-1946 5. Short-Term Problems, Long-Term, Solutions, 1945-1946 6. New Problems, Old Recipes, 1947-1948 7. Future Uncertainties, 1948-1949 Conclusion: Joining up the Dots, 1944-1949