May 1943: Climax in the Atlantic I

Weapons and Warfare

Cobb, Charles David; The 1943 Climax of the Atlantic Convoy War No.2; National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-1943-climax-of-the-atlantic-convoy-war-no-2-116426

Before examining the May convoy battles, it is worth noting another result of the ORU’s work. (Blackett had become Director, Naval Operational Research.) It was appreciated that the number of escort ships with a convoy reduced the loss rate and that air cover of about eight hours a day decreased ship losses by a third. However:

Since it was by no means safe to rely on the increase of air support to stop the crippling ship losses of the autumn of 1942, an energetic search was made for some other measures which could be put into operation quickly. Detailed attention was given, therefore, to the organizational aspects of the Atlantic convoy system. Perhaps some alteration in the organization of the convoys might conceivably improve the situation.

Hitherto, organization of convoys…

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