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DESCHEG MONATSSCHAU Nr. 11 1.1943 - U BOOT RUDELTAKTIK 1942
[DVD PAL/NTSC]

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Descheg Monatsschau
Nr. 11; 1.1943
German language
Without subtitles
11:43 Min.
 

 
U Boote Rudeltaktik 1942
German language
Without subtitles
7:53 Min.
 
Karl Dönitz used the term Rudeltaktik to describe his strategy of submarine warfare—Rudeltaktik translates best as "tactics" of a "pack" of animals and has become known in English as "wolfpack" (Wolfsrudel), an accurate metaphoric, but not a literal translation.
 
Tactics
 
U-boat movements were controlled by the Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote (BdU; English translation: "Commander of Submarines") much more closely than American submarines, which were given tremendous independence once on patrol. Accordingly, U-boats usually patrolled separately, often strung out in co-ordinated lines across likely convoy routes (usually merchants and small vulnerable destroyers), only being ordered to congregate after one located a convoy and alerted the BdU, so a Rudel consisted of as many U-boats as could reach the scene of the attack. With the exception of the orders given by the BdU, U-Boat commanders could attack as they saw fit. Often the U-Boat commanders were given a probable number of U-Boats that would show up, and then when they were in contact with the convoy, make call signs to see how many had arrived. If their number were sufficiently high compared to the expected threat of the escorts, they would attack.