Film: 'Greyhound', starring Tom Hanks - 1942 - A Convoy Edges Across The Atlantic - Release Date July 2020

Admiral King was clueless about ASW warfare? Really?

1938

Adm King lobbied for the mass production of the big Treasury class Coast Guard cutters as ASW escorts along the line of Flower Class Corvettes. That was rejected by President Roosevelt who had an obsession with small and useless ‘fast Sub chasers’.

November 1941

he wrote.....“It seems to me that the time is near at hand when we shall have to begin to make up our own convoys at Boston, New York, Hampton Roads …. Each of these posts requires an organization to deal with the make-up of convoys, such as that now in force at Halifax and at Sydney, Nova Scotia.”

December 1941

King wrote Adm Stark to complain about the “weakness of our coastal defense force” and urge Navy the prepare for “the imminent probability of a German submarine attack” he further added that the developing strategic picture “makes it essential that the maximum practicable number of our destroyers be based at home bases.”

However, when he became CNO, he had just 14 Destroyers left to guard the US coast at the start of 1942 as the USN was rather busy everywhere, including doing things like escorting Atlantic and Arctic Convoys, shipping stuff to the Mediterranean .

And of course, as was found by the Canadians and British too in 1942, trying to be everywhere at once and having a too small escort for convoys was a disaster waiting to happen.

There was also the large number of US troop convoys needing to be escorted cross the Atlantic in early 1942, done without loss. Just a few troop ships lost would have far eclipsed the loss of life during Drumbeat.

But let’s not let the facts and the strategic picture get in the way of a good anti King rant.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Admiral King was clueless about ASW warfare? Really?
Well, he was demonstrably pretty useless at it, wasn't he?

he wrote.....“It seems to me that the time is near at hand when we shall have to begin to make up our own convoys at Boston, New York, Hampton Roads …. Each of these posts requires an organization to deal with the make-up of convoys, such as that now in force at Halifax and at Sydney, Nova Scotia.”
So why did he block the use of convoys by the US?

November 1941
King wrote Adm Stark to complain about the “weakness of our coastal defense force” and urge Navy the prepare for “the imminent probability of a German submarine attack” he further added that the developing strategic picture “makes it essential that the maximum practicable number of our destroyers be based at home bases.”
Which he then didn't do anything about. It's almost as if there was someone above him in the Navy hierarchy taking his destroyers away...

And of course, as was found by the Canadians and British too in 1942, trying to be everywhere at once and having a too small escort for convoys was a disaster waiting to happen.
That was the US claim, but not the experience when avoiding single submarines (like the Drumbeat force). In open ocean, "wolf packs" could overwhelm a weakly-escorted convoy if they made contact: along the US coast, even the practically unescorted convoys the Canadians first set up, operated without loss.

But let’s not let the facts and the strategic picture get in the way of a good anti King rant.
When you demonstrate any particular acquaintance with the facts and the strategic picture, let us know.

Until then, try reading a little more widely than "Why I Was Right All Along (And We Never Needed Those Ships Anyway)" by Admiral King.
 
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soleil

War Hero
 
exactly...... most convoys saw nothing more than a seagull, and losses outside the North Atlantic routes were tiny.

“Although horrific battles were fought when convoys were successfully intercepted, in all more than 80 per cent of Allied convoys crossed the Atlantic entirely unscathed”
 
Krauss was washed up before the war and recalled for hostilities.
Hanks age is credible; maybe a little too old.
Not nearly as bad as Brad Pitt in Fury
Which was based on a true story - with only a few minor changes
1) It was the 1st world war**
2) It was a British tank
3) There wasn't really a tank battle

**Which at least explains why in reality the gaping plot hole in fury (why the Germans didn't simply whack it with a Panzerfaust ) isn't an issue
 
Admiral King was right, he stated repeatedly at the time the British were utterly obsessed with the Atlantic convoys and through the whole world should revolve around that, while ignoring the little matter of the Pacific.
Otherwise known as the UK* considered the number 1 priority securing its lines of communication and keeping its people fed and munitions factories producing.

*Rather sensibly really D Day - quite apart from being on the British Isles rather than from is going to be a little more complicated launched from New York.

News Flash keeping GB as an unsinkable Amphibious assault ship is priority 1 for the war effort - that in turn dictates dominating the Atlantic - lose that Britain's effectively out
 
Otherwise known as the UK* considered the number 1 priority securing its lines of communication and keeping its people fed and munitions factories producing.

*Rather sensibly really D Day - quite apart from being on the British Isles rather than from is going to be a little more complicated launched from New York.

News Flash keeping GB as an unsinkable Amphibious assault ship is priority 1 for the war effort - that in turn dictates dominating the Atlantic - lose that Britain's effectively out
you mean doing thinks like sending troop convoys to Iceland to garrison it?

the North Atlantic convoy route wasn't the only game in town.
the incredibly stupid Germans were allowing huge Quantities of meat and grain to sail unmolested from a South America while they sank outbound ships to North America sailing in ballast.
 
you mean doing thinks like sending troop convoys to Iceland to garrison it?
That would be after the UK invaded it to stop it being invaded by the Axis and used as a U boat base.

I dont see Iceland being of much use as a staging post for D Day on the British Isles, at best its an MPA base to help secure a flank
 
the incredibly stupid Germans were allowing huge Quantities of meat and grain to sail unmolested from a South America while they sank outbound ships to North America sailing in ballast.
So you keep saying

But those incredibly stupid Germans were smart enough to realise they only had a limited time on station and that even empty a sunk ship takes time and resources to replace. And potentially its a ship less on the next few runs.

Sinking somethings better than nothing
 
I dont see Iceland being of much use as a staging post for D Day on the British Isles, at best its an MPA base to help secure a flank
Though they have 950 stores the car parks are not big enough to hold a battle group and the rations would all defrost before they launched an invasion.
 

Diko

Old-Salt
The Cruel Sea, I saw it in 1953 with my mother at Chippenham. I didn’t understand as I was a youngster but some men were crying and they left. In later years I read the book, I now know why those men left the cinema it must have been horrendous for the men of the Mercantile Marine.
 
This should be another good WW2 Movie for the Summer -


They were filming on Horse Guards a few weeks ago.

View attachment 454044View attachment 454045View attachment 454046
Awesome, thanks for the heads up

I've still got the documentary of Operation Mincemeat on VHS somewhere
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
In the Greyhound trailer the air cover fucks off with a explanation for the audience of "good luck all the way to England on your own" comment.

I thought (though my wife considers my thinking a double edged sword at best) that the USN escorted a certain distance before handing over to the RN who then took the convoy the final 2/3 of the way. Is that correct or did it just come later or..?
 
In the Greyhound trailer the air cover fucks off with a explanation for the audience of "good luck all the way to England on your own" comment.

I thought (though my wife considers my thinking a double edged sword at best) that the USN escorted a certain distance before handing over to the RN who then took the convoy the final 2/3 of the way. Is that correct or did it just come later or..?
The air cover gap where land based coastal command could go no further west, until the introduction of the light carrier escort ships that took over from the cam ships with their solitary hurricane. With more light carriers being introduced the air gap wasn't to disappear until more liberators became available.
In 1941 USN ships did escort so far as part of the neutrality patrol. The Cruel sea mentions an observer or two at western approaches in Liverpool. The usn aviator aboard the catalina, that spotted the Bismarck heading in a round about way for France demonstrated that the usn were passively participating.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
The air cover gap where land based coastal command could go no further west, until the introduction of the light carrier escort ships that took over from the cam ships with their solitary hurricane. With more light carriers being introduced the air gap wasn't to disappear until more liberators became available.
In 1941 USN ships did escort so far as part of the neutrality patrol. The Cruel sea mentions an observer or two at western approaches in Liverpool. The usn aviator aboard the catalina, that spotted the Bismarck heading in a round about way for France demonstrated that the usn were passively participating.
Thanks, so in 1942 the USN did go with their convoys all the way to England?
 

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