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They traveled alone and in packs. They collected intelligence and launched attacks. They rose above the ocean depths and ultimately changed the course of war. Chart some of the most dramatic and influential submarine patrols of World War II, from the perspective of the naval masterminds who plotted the strategies to the tenacious and aggressive commanders who carried them out. Follow the ongoing challenges the Axis and Allies faced as they pushed the limits of their vessels in pursuit or in escape.
The wolfpack tactic was made famous by Admiral Karl Donitz, Hitler's mastermind of submariners. His strategy: to send teams of U-boats to bear against the convoys of ships heading from Canada to Britain, cut maritime lifelines, and starve the enemy into defeat. Take a deep dive into the North Atlantic as we go above and below sea level to relive one of the first attacks of Donitz's lethal subs in 1940, headed by leader of the pack Commander Otto Kretschmer. Then follow Britain's war strategists as they race to combat this new deadly attack.
Sail into New York Harbor and learn the chilling story of Hitler's campaign to bring World War II to America's shores. The Nazi campaign to send U-boats across the Atlantic to the U.S. at the beginning of Operation Drumbeat is explained.
See how a new wave of aggressive U.S. sub commanders radically changed the Navy's WWII strategy, and in turn, the war. In January 1943, America's submarine force struggles to gain an edge in the South Pacific. Dudley "Mush" Morton, Commander of USS Wahoo, sets out to turn the tide. The new skipper decides to take on an entire convoy. If he succeeds, he will be the first American submarine commander to claim such a prize.
Enter The Devil's Gorge with two Allied convoys on a collision course with the largest Nazi wolf pack ever assembled. In March 1943, two Allied convoys, HX.229 and SC.122 leave North America bound for Britain. They total nearly 100 ships carrying vital food and raw materials to supply the Allied war effort. John Gordon Luther commands the short-handed escort group charged with protecting convoy HX.229. Short at least two ships, he lacks adequate defenses for the mid-Atlantic U-boat attack that the Karl Donitz, Gross Admiral of the German Navy, has in store for them. For three days the convoys are hammered by a merciless litany of torpedo attacks and an Atlantic winter storm. Many ships and their crews are lost.
Relive the incredible patrol of submarine USS Harder and its multiple victories in enemy-controlled seas.
In December 1943 fueled by the loss of mentor and friend Dudley "Mush" Morton, Richard Hetherington O'Kane and his submarine USS Tang set out to assault Japanese shipping. In four patrols O'Kane rises to the ranks of America's top submarine commander. But in the Formosa Strait, his last Mark 18 torpedo turns against him. As O'Kane's submarine meets its end, an unforgettable fight to survive begins. Man the battle stations with Commander O'Kane as we track the famous last patrol of America's deadliest sub, USS Tang.
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