Home History Why Didn’t the German Navy Attack the Allies on D-Day?

Why Didn’t the German Navy Attack the Allies on D-Day?

by Enochadmin

Q: With the big variety of Allied ships throughout D-Day, did the German navy assault the fleet utilizing submarines or E-boats or different means? 
—Wes Chan, Westminster, Md. 

A: The straightforward reply is that the hopelessly outmatched German Kriegsmarine had no likelihood of stopping the huge Allied fleet of almost 7,000 vessels supporting the Normandy landings. That isn’t to say they didn’t strive, however their few successes had been at greatest inconsequential and got here at nice value to Nazi Germany.

A major motive is that the German navy was caught fully unexpectedly on D-Day. The storm the day earlier than satisfied many German leaders that the invasion couldn’t probably occur on June 6, 1944. Even when studies from Normandy started to achieve German leaders, it was assumed the landings there have been merely a feint and that the true invasion would start elsewhere in subsequent days. Therefore German submarines had been nonetheless of their pens when the landings commenced at daybreak; no commander wished to launch at that time, in broad daylight and weak to aerial assault, particularly if the true invasion was but to return. U-boats had some few successes within the following days but additionally suffered irreplaceable losses. By 1944, in any case, the Allied fleets had gained spectacular expertise in detecting and attacking German subs. Spotter planes, destroyers and destroyer escorts—small, quick patrol boats armed with torpedoes—had been all vigilantly in search of German vessels within the Channel. 

Small German floor vessels like E-boats did get into the battle, however in such small numbers that they hardly certified as pinpricks. One exception, and possibly the Kriegsmarine’s largest triumph on D-Day, was the sinking off Sword Seashore of the Norwegian destroyer Svenner by a torpedo boat, with the lack of 33 sailors out of a crew of 219. Whereas the boat crew might properly have bragged, the truth is the best weapon the Germans had in opposition to the Allied ships weren’t manned vessels in any respect, however naval mines. Whereas it wasn’t all the time clear if the losses had been inflicted by mines or torpedoes, it’s nonetheless estimated that no less than three dozen American ships had been broken or destroyed by mines on D-Day and within the days that instantly adopted. 

—John D. Lengthy is the director of schooling on the Nationwide D-Day Memorial Basis in Bedford, Va. 

Sfinish queries to: Ask World Conflict II, 901 N. Glebe Highway, fifth Flooring, Arlington, VA 22203 or e mail: worldwar2@historynet.com

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