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|01-24-2009, 01:09 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
After facing a number of large and heavily escorted convoys in SH4, I started thinking how much more effective my campaign might be if I could coordinate the attacks with multiple subs, and started wondering why the US Navy never adopted the German Wolfpack strategy.
For example: Convoy of 12 ships + 3 escorts. The lead sub could position at the front of the convoy and launch salvos, dive deep and evade while relloading. As soon as the first torps hit, the escorts will move from position and race to the location of Sub1. The tailing merchants will change course to avoid hitting the buring ships, providing the perfect oppourtunity for any sub to the side or aft of the convoy. The escorts would simply be overwhelmed with targets to pursue, and the "pack" could sink any escort that was giving any particular sub a hard time.
With a single sub, it would be tough for me to engage this entire convoy and get off more than a few salvos before the escorts drove me below the thermal layer as the majority of the fleet sailed on.
While I don't think it would be an effective strategy for all areas of the Pacific, the heavily trafficed sea lanes could be shut down by some strategically placed choke points.
- Large convoys could be engaged and destroyed, with a focus on targeting battlegroups.
- Overlap coverage may reduce sub losses as crews could be rescued or defended by other members of the pack.
- Target lanes would have more comprensive coverage if 3 subs spread out and coordinated contacts and engagements.
- The enemy would have to reallocate resources to respond - For example, building more escorts or doubling the number of escorts on battlegroups or large convoys.
- Reduces total area of coverage by 70% (3 subs operating in one area, instead of 3)
- Radio traffic may be intercepted
- Subs could not communicate during the attack
- Subs would have to remain +8,000 yards away from each other to avoid stray torpedos
- Sub speeds (surface and submerged) limit the ability of wolfpack to intercept large convoys outside of their patrol area.
- Entire ports and sea lanes could be shut down for strategic periods
- Large battleships and carrier groups could be engaged effectively in a coordinated attack
- Wolfpacks could be rearmed and refueled at sea with a single tender sub
- Wolfpack subs could rotate 1/3 of the pack back to base without the losing coverage of the patrol area.
- Wolfpacks can be assembled and dispersed rapidly based on intel reports and tactical considerations.
- The enemy would surely encrease ASW coverage of known operational areas
- The enemy could reroute critical traffic
Anyone know if they were ever used or tested by the American Navy?
Any additional thoughts pro or con?
Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.
John Lehman (1942 - ), Secretary of the Navy, 1981-1987
|01-24-2009, 01:29 PM||#2|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: United States
The USN did adopt wolfpacks. It was later in the war, and they were never as large as their German counterparts, but they exist 1944-45.
|01-24-2009, 01:43 PM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: standing watch...
the USN did not think highly of the german wolfpack doctrine with all actions controlled by a landbased commander...perhaps because they were worried about their codes being broken, much as they had broken the german and japanese codes.
the USN, starting in 44, went with small 3 boat wolfpacks, under the control of first, a senior officer and later on, the senior skipper, leaving it to the on the scene skippers to direct the action.
would be nice to have that in SH4..
|01-24-2009, 01:51 PM||#4|
I should buy a boat.
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Yep, the US deployed the first wolfpack in October of '43. If you read Clear the Bridge by O'Kane, and Thunder Below by Fluckey, they both talk about patrols where they were part of a wolfpack.
They don’t think it be like it is, but it do.
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|01-24-2009, 08:24 PM||#6|
Join Date: Apr 2005
I don't know how much the auxilary units can be modded-the ones you can order around within a certain radius. Like SH3 I don't think AI subs can do much other than fire their guns.