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cueceleches
05-19-2005, 05:21 AM
Maybe it´s quite a stupid question, but I´m curious about it...
Whenever a U-boat hasd to be transferred from any base in the Atlantic coast of France i.e, to a Mediterranean base, why not do it another way than crossing the deadly Strait of Gibraltar, where so many were sunk?
I mean, couldn´t they have been transported by train for example? IMHO, it was safer, quicker. Maybe because it demanded more resources? But in this case, wasn´t a crew a more valuable resource than anything, overall the lack of combat experienced crews later in the war??

W.Irving
05-19-2005, 05:46 AM
Many U-boats were transported by rail, for example the Black Sea U-boat fleet.

I think most U-boats operating in the med went through the Gibraltar strait. Rumour has it no one ever came out the same way. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

pike1964
05-19-2005, 05:47 AM
Nice idea but not practical due to the size of a U-boat. The type VIIC for instance (the workhorse)had an overall length of 67.1 meter (over 200 ft). You can not just load that kind of length on to a train. Then there's the height (9.6 meters) and the weight (close to 1000 tonns). Bridges would not be made to carry that much weight.
There is a canal from the Mediteranian to Bordeaux but the locks are simpley not large enough to hold a U-boat.

pike1964
05-19-2005, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by W.Irving:
Many U-boats were transported by rail, for example the Black Sea U-boat fleet.

True, but these 6 were all type IIB.



I think most U-boats operating in the med went through the Gibraltar strait. Rumour has it no one ever came out the same way. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

True again. The only way back from the Med to the Atlantic is at the surface beause the current flowing into the Med runs at the surface and is too strong for U-boats to take head-on when submerged.

Italian subs had a base near Bordeaux. All the Italian boats participating in the battle of the Atlantic went through the Gibraltar strait in 1940 when British patrols in the area were not so intense as later during the war.

cueceleches
05-19-2005, 06:03 AM
Mmmhh...thanks for the info.

W.Irving
05-19-2005, 06:06 AM
Originally posted by pike1964:
The only way back from the Med to the Atlantic is at the surface beause the current flowing into the Med runs at the surface and is too strong for U-boats to take head-on when submerged.

This doesn't make sense.
Why didn't they submerge? The strait of Gibraltar is quite deep..

Researched..
The current from the Atlantic was too strong and ran deep, so the only way to leave the Med was to run surfaced.

cueceleches
05-19-2005, 06:08 AM
If Im not wrong, the strait is deep right into the middle of it. If I were a U-boat commander, I would choose to cross I would stick as close to the african coast as possible, where waters are rather shallow, but british patrols not so intense.

pike1964
05-19-2005, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by cueceleches:
If Im not wrong, the strait is deep right into the middle of it. If I were a U-boat commander, I would choose to cross I would stick as close to the african coast as possible, where waters are rather shallow, but british patrols not so intense.

The intensity of British patrols depends on the year you 'd want to leave the Med. Early war you might be correct but later on you 'd hardley have a chance.

T.Rex
05-19-2005, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by cueceleches:
If Im not wrong, the strait is deep right into the middle of it. If I were a U-boat commander, I would choose to cross I would stick as close to the african coast as possible, where waters are rather shallow, but british patrols not so intense.
You forgot about coastal artillery.

cueceleches
05-19-2005, 08:54 AM
I don´t think coastal artillery to be a threat when submerged. I mean, I won´t be fool enough to cross the strait while surfaced, with every british radar focusing on my sub.

OgreB
05-19-2005, 09:04 AM
Stick to the African coast...and run fast surfaced( at night)...any sign of trouble sub merge and elude...

It is a dangerous run..remember Das Boot? They almost bought it there, themselves.

T.Rex
05-19-2005, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by cueceleches:
I don´t think coastal artillery to be a threat when submerged. I mean, I won´t be fool enough to cross the strait while surfaced, with every british radar focusing on my sub.
You can't fight the current, when submerged.

cueceleches
05-19-2005, 09:43 AM
You can for the way to the Mediterranean. Once again, and this time if I did understand well, Werner crossed the strait submerged on its way to Toulon and got a true speed of 14 knots submerged: 1.5 of its own engines propulsion at minimum revs and 12.5 of the current! And I can assure you, having salied through the strait many times in my father´s boat, that it is true. The way from Cadiz to Malaga is pure tourism, but the opposite...man! Pray the wind not to be strong from the east and the tides favourable!

W.Irving
05-19-2005, 09:49 AM
DAM*N shame there are no currents in the game!

The_Third_Half
05-19-2005, 09:53 AM
You completly sure on that ?
I know it's not a " current" per say, but last night off Eastern Canada/ newfoundland, etc i was in a 14 meter/sec storm that was forcing me sideways. I had to up the engines to standard instead of 2/3 to continue going straight.

cueceleches
05-19-2005, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by W.Irving:
DAM*N shame there are no currents in the game!

Yeahhh...a pity..but nevertheless, it can be done!

cueceleches
05-19-2005, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by The_Third_Half:
You completly sure on that ?
I know it's not a " current" per say, but last night off Eastern Canada/ newfoundland, etc i was in a 14 meter/sec storm that was forcing me sideways. I had to up the engines to standard instead of 2/3 to continue going straight.

In the case of the strait, it because the mass of the much more bigger and denser water of the Atlantic pours into the mediterranean (more salty, less denser) through a ver narrow passage of only a few kilometers...though I may be wrong, I´m not a physician nor a geographist...But it seems logical.