Submarine Bubble Target (SBT)

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Fourth period: January 1942-September 1942
This period was characterized by heavy sinking on the coast of United States. Japanese ships sank and the country incurred heavy losses. The submarine was responsible for those shipping losses. Major changes were made in the war whereby the battleships were no longer used. This was a result of the attack that happened in Japan in 1941. The U.S entry into the war led to the rapid expansion of the scope of U-boat operations. Additionally, America integrated submarines in her military operations. The submarine was characterized by unique designs and powerful machines. Since German had a large and rapidly increasing U-boat fleet, they were able to launch a full-scale attack against the feebly protected
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Navy sent out all available planes and blimps to battle the U-boats along the coast. They were aided by the First Bomber Command, initial Army Air Forces contribution, which was activated in December 1941. During this period, several scientific and technical advances were achieved to aid the antisubmarine war. Germans were fully alive to possibilities of meter-wave radar, and they were aided by the capture of Mark II radar set in Tunisia in the spring of 1942. Admiral Doenitz demanded quick equipping of all U-boats with the makeshift equipment. Another new device introduced by the U-boats was Submarine Bubble Target (SBT) or “Pillenwerfer” which were to be released by the U-boats when attacked by surface craft. The dissolving tablets formed bubbles that produced false sonar targets which were envisioned to throw the attacking ships off the track of the U-boat (Hackmann, 1984). In early1942, a new type of passive defense against the torpedo attacks, known as Admiralty Net Defense (AND), was being fitted to merchant ships which reduced the probabilities of the ships being torpedoed by the U-boat by 50%. In March 1942, the Hedgehog charges were made more deadly by filling them with Torpex. Magnetic Airborne Detector (MAD) was also developed during this phase to facilitate aircraft trail submerged submarines (Hackmann,…show more content…
By October, the U-boats were returning to the North Atlantic in force with attacks on transatlantic convoys being their aims and operated in the mid-ocean gap that could not be accessed by land-based air patrols (Gardner, 1996). This gave them the liberty to operate on the surface and gathered very large wolf packs, therefore, leading to the breaks in the escort formation and disorganization of the defense. In the spring of 1943, the convoy defenses were reinforced by a few aircraft patrol in the mid-ocean gap, which attested to be unexpectedly effective. A good number of U-boats were sunk, but they continued to attack until May when they were sent off from ONS 5 in the pivotal convoy battle of the war (Hackmann,
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