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BATTLE FOR THE SOUTH ATLANTIC * - SHIPS SUNK/DAMAGED/CAPTURED

1)THE SOUTH ATLANTIC BATTLE


The Battle of the south Atlantic was fiercely fought by the US, British and Brazilian Navies against one insidious enemy, the German raiders, U-Boats and the Italian submarines. Allied forces employed nearly 250 warships which varied from Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers, Sub Chasers, Minelayers, Corvettes, etc, once the Kriegsmarine objective was the disruption of the merchant sea routes, through them the Allies supplied with raw material the USA and Great Britain with badly needed like rubber, oil, ores, coffee, sugar, cotton, beef etc.


In the struggle, the Axis with a handful of their submarines and raiders, lay havoc amidst the shipping lanes, sending to the bottom 500 ships including the tragic loss of HMS Dunedin, the British Cruiser caught during one routine patrol in the south Atlantic in 24/Nov/41, when was mortally hit by two torpedoes fired by a prowling U-124. Only 67 out of 486 of her gallant crew managed to survive an incredible ordeal in the infested shark waters of Equatorial latitudes.


Despite U-boat operations in the region (centered in the Atlantic Narrows between Brazil and West Africa) beginning autumn 1940, only in the following year did these start to raise serious concern in Washington. This perceived threat caused the U.S. to decide that the introduction of U.S. forces along Brazil's coast would be valuable. After negotiations with Brazilian Foreign Minister Osvaldo Aranha (on behalf of dictator Getúlio Vargas), these were introduced in second half of 1941.


Germany and Italy subsequently extended their submarine attacks to include Brazilian ships wherever they were, and from April 1942 they moved to the south Atlantic off Brazilian waters. On 22 May 1942, the first Brazilian attack (although unsuccessful) was carried out by Brazilian Air Force aircraft upon the Italian submarine Barbarigo. After a series of attacks on merchant vessels off the Brazilian coast by U-507,Brazil officially entered the war on 22 August 1942, offering an important addition to the Allied strategic position in the South Atlantic.


Although the Brazilian Navy was small, it had modern minelayers suitable for coastal convoy escort and aircraft which needed only small modifications to become operational for maritime patrol. During the War years, mainly, separated  or in conjunction with the U.S Navy, Brazilian Navy provided effective escort to  3,167 ships in 614 convoys, totalling 16,500,000 tons, with losses of 0.1%. 972 seamen and civilian passengers were lost aboard the 32 Brazilian merchant vessels attacked by enemy submarines, being 21 in the south Atlantic.


Although the Brazilian Navy was small, it had modern minelayers suitable for coastal convoy escort and aircraft which needed only small modifications to become operational for maritime patrol. During the War years, mainly, separated  or in conjunction with the U.S Navy, Brazilian Navy provided effective escort to  3,167 ships in 614 convoys, totalling 16,500,000 tons, with losses of 0.1%. 972 seamen and civilian passengers were lost aboard the 32 Brazilian merchant vessels attacked and sunk by enemy submarines, being 26 in the south Atlantic.


In the Fall of 1943, the decreasing number of Allied shipping losses in South Atlantic coincided with the increasing elimination of Axis submarines operating there. From then, the battle in the region was lost for Germans, even with the most of remaining submarines in the region receiving official order of withdrawal only in August of the following year. The last allied merchant sunk by one u-boat in the south Atlantic, was the British Baron Jedburgh on 10 March 1945.


SHIPS SUNK, DAMAGED, CAPTURED, LOST, TONNAGE, CARGO, DEAD, SURVIVORS, P.O.W.


ALLIED SHIPS CAPTURED BY GERMAN RAIDERS = 9


ALLIED SHIPS DAMAGED BY UBOATS = 13


ALLIED & NEUTRAL MERCHANTS SUNK  BY GERMAN U-BOATS = 333


ALLIED & NEUTRAL MERCHANTS SUNK BY ITALIAN SUBMARINES = 27


ALLIED & NEUTRAL MERCHANTS SUNK BY GERMAN RAIDERS = 57


ALLIED  MERCHANT SUNK BY FRENCH VICHY = 2


ALLIED MERCHANT SUNK BY JAPANESE SUBMARINE = 1


ROYAL NAVY VESSELS SUNK BY GERMAN U-BOATS = 9


BRAZILIAN MERCHANTS SUNK BY U-BOATS = 26


BRAZILIAN MERCHANTS DAMAGED = 1


TOTAL = 478


8,900 DEAD (Underestimated figures)


24,800 SURVIVORS (Underestimated figures)


1,946 P.O.W.


2,595,526 GRT (Approx)


7,034,000 DWT (Approx)


3,264,027 TONS OF CARGO (Underestimated figures)


700,000 BARRELS OF FUEL


200+ AIRCRAFTS


CARGO LOST: 146 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS.


AUTO TIRES, ASBESTOS, AMMUNITION, ARMY AMBULANCES,  AIRCRAFT PARTS, AVIATION SPIRITS


BABAÇU COCONUTS, BAUXITE, BERYL, BOILER OIL, BRAN, BUTTER, BEEF, BEER


CABLE DRUMS, CANNED MEAT, CEREALS, CHEESE, CHILLED ORANGES, CHEMICALS, COKE, COBALT, COPPER, CHROMIUM, COPPRA, COCOA, CRYSTAL ROCK, CEMENT, CASED MEAT, CASTOR SEEDS, COFFEE, COAL, COPAL


DIESEL OIL, DRUGS, DYNAMITE


EGGS, EXTRACTS, EXPLOSIVES, ENGINES, EDIBLE OILS


FERTILIZERS, FISH OIL, FLOUR, FROZEN MEAT, FRUIS, FUEL OIL


GASOLINE, GASOLINE DRUMS, GAS OIL, GEMSTONES, GOLD, GRAINS, GUNS, GOVERNMENT STORES, GUM, GRADERS


HEMP, HIDES


IPECACUANA, IRON ORE


JUTE, JAM


KEROSENE, KAPOK, KERNELS, KYANITE ORE


LEAD, LEAD INGOTS, LINSEED, LOCOMOTIVES, LIGHT BULBS, LUBRICATING OIL, LUMBER, REFRIGERATED CARGO OF LAMB


MAGNESITE, MAIZE, MAIL BAGS, MANGANESE ORE, MAHOGANY, MARGARINE, MICA, MILLET, MILITARY VEHICLES, MINERAL OIL, MILITARY STORES, MONAZITE SANDS, REFRIGERATED CARGO OF MUTTON


NICKEL, NUTS


OLIVE OIL, OPIUM, OIL DRUMS



PALLADIUM, PALM OIL, PEAS, PEANUTS, PEANUT OIL, PINEWOOD, PITCH, POPLAR WOOD, POTASH, PLANKS, PULSES, PAPER PULP


QUININE


RADIO SETS, RAF STORES, REFRIGERATED CARGO, RICE, RUGS, ROAD BUILDING EQUIPMENT, RUM, RAPE SEED, RUBBER, 


SALT, SCRAP IRON, SILVER COINS, SALTED HIDES, SISAL, STEEL RAILS, STEEL BILLET, SUGAR, SULPHITE (The salt extracted from sulphuric acid manufacture), SULPHUR


TANNING BARK, TANKS, TEA, THORIUM, TIMBER, TIN, TINNED MEAT, TINPLATES, TOBACCO, TRUCKS, TRACTORS


VANADIUM, VEGETABLE OIL, VEHICLES


WOOL, WOLFRAM, WHEAT, WHALE OIL


ZINC, ZIRCONIUM ETC.


NOTE: These figures are highly underestimated once that, out of all Allied ships sunk, 38 British merchants, 1 French, 1 Danish, 5 Greeks, 2 Dutch, 5 Swedish and 5 Americans, totaling 57 ships, lack any information regarding the nature of cargo they carried. 


THE DATA ABOVE DOES NOT INCLUDE:


25 GERMAN UBOATS 


U66      U128     U161    U164      U177    U179    U199    U403    U468    U488     U507


U512    U513     U590    U591      U598    U604    U662    U801    U848    U849     U860  


U863   U1059   U1062


1 ITALIAN SUBMARINE =  ARCHIMEDI


1 JAPANESE SUBMARINE =  I-52


1 POCKET BATTLESHIP =  ADM GRAF SPEE


3 GERMAN RAIDERS = ATLANTIS - STIER  - PYTHON


15 GERMAN MERCHANTS SCUTTLED 

ADOLF WOERMANN - ADOLF LEONHARDT - BABITONGA – CARL FRITZEN – EGERLAND - ERLANGEN - ESSO HAMBURG - GOSLAR - HALLE - KARNAK – NORDERNEY – OLINDA - USSUKUMA - WAKAMA – WATUSSI


1 GERMAN MERCHANT CAPTURED = ODENWALD


7 BLOCKADE RUNNERS 

ANNELIESE ESSBERGER – BURGENLAND – KARIN – KARNAK  – PORTLAND - RIO GRANDE – WESERLAND.


APPROX. 3,000,000 GRT  TOTALING 532  VESSELS OF ALL TYPES.


 

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