Was the Elektroboat really a "wonder weapon"?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Jenisch, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Hello,

    So, this German submarine design is higly praised. But I ask: it was really "everything" told about it? I mean, the Allies didn't really have any answer or could develop one for it?
     
  2. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    What do you mean with wonder weapon Jenisch?

    To every weapon you can develope an answer but at the introduction of the XXI submarine it was a very very advanced weapon and it was built to counter all anti submarine weapons.

    -constructed to 300m maximum depth. At that depths weather hedgehogs nor waterbombs have a great impact because the water pressure is to high.

    - 17kn-18kn underwaterspeed, also with the battery capacity to go around 30sm with full speed; 120sm with 8kn (highest speed of the Typ VII); Asdic had only a effictive range to 1,5-2sm and the destroyer must be on very slow speed.

    - active sonar and a kind of passiv sonar (not in modern kind of way) Gruppenhorchgerät, with that "passiv sonar" you could detect large convoys at 80sm and small convoys at 40sm under water.

    - first fire control computer that was interactive with the active and passive sonar and was able to shoot a torpedo at 50m depth with the numbers from the sonar arrays that feeded the computer.

    - 3 different engines, Diesel engines with snorkel, E- machines and an extra silent E-machine.
    From Test at the USA a Typ XXI running with the extra silent E-engine couldn't be detected at 220m.

    - first aerodynamic underwater vessel for underwater highspeed.

    The XXI was the real first true submarine, that was built to operate permanent under water.

    Allied weapons against the XXI at introduction.
    -The snorkel could be detected from aircrafts with radar under good conditions.

    -Asdic and the MAD detection system if the XXI submarine was at slow speed or above 80m depths.

    - The MK 24 FIDO or Mark 24 torpedo (12kn fast) and aircraft carried, which was self controled by hydrophones.

    All this weapon could be very dangerous for a XXI submarine but against the Asdic and MAD and the MK 24 FIDO or Mark 24 torpedo it could escape with its high speed and possibility to dip very fast to 250-300m depths.

    The XXI had much better chances to escape the allied anti submarine weapons or trick them out, these weapons were normally the sure death for the old submarines, but the XXI could match with them and had a good chance not to die!
     
  3. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Thanks for the informations DonL.

    With "wonder weapon" I wanted to mean a system that didn't have effective answer.
     
  4. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Although 118 XXI's were built between 43-45, they had big quality control problems. Only 4 were ever brought up to combat ready status. Only 2 went on war patrols, and sank NOTHING.

    More were taken as war prizes and served in foreign navies, than ever served in the Kriegsmarine.

    Just another case of CSWBD.
     
  5. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    The Royal Navy and US Navy would have struggled if large numbers had got to sea but countermeasures were on the way. The Loch class frigates with there sophisticated Action Information Centre, Squid mortar launched depth charges and a towed array sonar would probably have made things tough for the XXI class. Other countermeasures were on there way like heavier faster versions of the Mk24 torpedo. The RN was modifying S class subs as training targets with bigger motors, propellors and batteries plus streamlining to give them similar speed to the XXI.

    The main thing that would have beaten the XXI was the numbers game the Allies could build aircraft carriers, escorts and merchant ships twice as fast as 300 plus XXIs could sink them.
     
  6. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Allied intelligence was aware of the XXI development?

    A bigger air campaign against the U-Boat installations would not help in the case they were deployed in numbers? I think the Allies had resources to do this until measures against the submarine were developed.
     
  7. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    No XXI submarine was on a real patrol station at WWII. You refering to myths.
    No XXI were built at 1943! The submarines that were completely built till the end of 1944 were 61!

    The XXI submarine typ was throught in production harum-scarum and yes they had quality problems but kindergarden issues were sorted out at the east sea at the end 1944 till march 1945.

    U 2511, U 3008, U 3503,U 3523 had all incidents with allied hunt groups, aircrafts, allied submarines after the no attack order from Dönitz, no submarine could be hunted down by allieds, and all could escape!

    No XXI submarine had ever driven a serious attack against allied ships or submarines!
     
  8. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #8 tyrodtom, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    So 4 XXI's had incidents with allied hunt groups, but even with their massive technological advances, sunk NOTHING.
    Oh, wait, there was a "no attack" order from Donitz. That sounds like a convenient excuse/ myth.

    If they had about 120 under constuction since 43, and only 4 were operational, it sounds like the quality control issues was well pass the kindergarden catagory.
     
  9. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #9 DonL, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    You should do some research!

    Only 61 were ready at December 1944 and 28 out of 61 were produced and ready manufactored at December 1944!

    With all new weapons you must train the crew! Read some books about the XXI but don't tell some myths or things that haven't anything to do with reality!

    Also the manufaction program started August 1944! Again read some serious books about the XXI and don't tell any myths!
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    One thing that is not a myth, they sunk NOTHING.

    Just like most of the wunderweapons, CSWBD.
     
  11. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #11 DonL, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    This sentence shows your Kindergarden expert knowledge!

    The XXI submarines were advanced weapons which influenced the USA GUPPY-Programm with the USS Albacore!
    Also they influenced the UdSSR Whiskey-Class and Zulu-Class, the french Naval-Class and the british Oberon-Class!

    Not bad for a s h i t weapon after your opinion!

    And again no XXI submarine has ever driven a serious attack against allied ships or submarines, you should do some research Mr.....

    Learn the facts and try to post again!
     
  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The XXI's were manufactored as subassemblies remote from the shipyards, usually construction on a conventionally assembled ship is when it is started at the shipyard itself,or laid down. The XXi's weren't considered laid down till the subassemblies reached the shipyard. Though construction of the subassemblies would have started earlier, of course.

    The U-2511 subassemblies were started in Nov. 43, laid down at the shipyard Jul. 44.

    The sad fact is the only thing they accomplished is to advance the Navys of other countries, they advanced the Nazi regime not one inch, not one second. All those tons of steel, and thousands of man-hours for not one allied ship sunk. That in anybodies estimation but yours is a abject failure.
     
  13. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #13 DonL, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    Rofl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes you are right and it's true but what has this to do with the weapon?
    Could you not abstract that this submarine (XXI) was state of the art as it's introduction? What has the XXI submarine to do with the nazis, other that it was developed in germany? Couldn't you abstract these things?

    What is your agenda?
     
  14. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #14 tyrodtom, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    My agenda? What is your agenda? In my posts i've never got personal, can you say the same?

    When a country puts millions of man-hours and steel into a weapon, it's expected to do some sevice for that country, if it doesn't then that weapon system is a failure, a waste of resources that could have been more productively used elsewhere.


    I'm ROFL, because you can't see that this program and several others like it hastened the end of the war, sure it's a wunderweapon, but I wonder what Germany could have done with the same resources, more intelligently applied.

    Can you actually elevate the XXI to the status of a weapon, since it was never used as such.
     
  15. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #15 DonL, Apr 30, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    Yes you are ROFL!

    Any german submarine mission from the middle of 1943 was a suicide comando! 35000 german submarine men died out of 46000 men!
    The XXI submarine program was nothing else then a program to get again a sharp weapon other then the old suicide submarines.
    Nobody of this program could imagine, when the war was over! The only goal was to counter the allied anty submarine weapons!

    And the XXI submarine was a success to counter all anti allied submarine weapons, which was shown through allied tests after the war!

    I can't understand your argumentation nor your agenda, because the supply way over the Atlantic to Britain was essential for the third reich!
    So I can't understand the direction of your argumentation, only because the program was too late. Many weapon programs from all countrys were sometimes too late (example P51H).
    But this has nothing to do with the developed weapon and it's effective. Or do you want to tell us for example that the P51H or F7 F Tigercats were bad weapons because they weren't ready till the end of the war?

    Sorry but I can't follow your agenda nor your argumentation and the fact is that the XXI submarines were very advanced weapons stated from all allieds!
     
  16. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The Allies had enough excess resources, they could afford a little wasted here and there, Germany couldn't.

    If it could have been operational 6 months earlier, would it have changed the course of the war? Or just delayed the western allies so the Soviets would have overrun even more of Germany? Or delayed it enough that the atomic bombs would have been dropped on Germany?

    So maybe Germany is actually lucky that a lot of the Wunderwaffe weapons were just nails in the 3rd. Reichs coffin.
     
  17. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Again I think you don't understand what I'm refering to!

    My agenda is the weapon abstract from any ideology or politics, the only interesting things to me is the technology and effectiveness of the weapons against it's weapon counterparts!

    The facts of the XXI submarine and it's technology you can read at any good and serious book!
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I agree the XXI was a advanced submarine, but as a weapon for the country that developed it, it was a failure, and actually contributed to it's defeat.
     
  19. barney

    barney Member

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    I will go a different direction here and say that what made the XXI a wonder weapon, and it was one, was the head slapping that occurred amongst the personnel of every other navy when they saw an XXI.

    The advancements of the XXI, any sailor could have told you then, were what any submarine needed but until the XXI, it never happened. You needed to dive deeper, any submariner who had been depth charged knew that. You needed more underwater speed and endurance. That is why zig zagging proved to be such an important protection scheme for surface units.

    So, take off the forest of railings, guns and cable cutters. A submarine shouldn't be rigged like a clipper ship. Hey, the conning tower goes underwater too, should it be shaped like an office building? Shape the hull so that the fastest speed occurs submerged. Hadn't any sailor seen a whale? And, was there a treaty that limited the capacity of the batteries?

    So what Germany was forced to do was build the submarine that every navy should have had all along. None of these advances when viewed separately is revolutionary. What was amazing was that they all occurred and came together in one boat. Meanwhile, everyone else was building boats that wouldn't have looked out of place in WWI.

    For a Guppy Class conversion, take an American Fleet Class Submarine, torch off all the junk on the deck, put some streamlined plating around the conning tower, add a snorkel and you have two thirds of an XXI. It still needs more batteries and a better hull.
     
  20. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #20 Juha, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
    Even if Type XXI didn't participate actively to WWII its "coastal cousin/half-brother" Type XXIII did. IIRC usually the first incling to Allied that a XXIII operated in certain area was an attack. Because it operated in coastal areas, British could move their assets fast to the area but none were sunk in British waters by RN. They were far more difficult enemies than earlier snorkel equipped boats which also participated those last attacks around GB.

    XXI/XXIII were not a new in idea, but had better intergrated systems than their predessors. The RN WWI R-Class hunter-killer subs were the first nearly real subs, but really had too high max underwater speed for their control system. IJN had also in late 30s a high speed sub, was that I-71 or I-91 or something, but they didn't pursue that route and went to big subs with recon plane. Only very late in WWII they produced I-201 type steamlined high speed sub.

    Juha
     
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