History, datas and pictures of German, Italian and Japanese warships in WW2.
During WW2 the common factor that permitted the USA to wage war in both Europe and the Pacific simultaneously, and which allowed the UK to exist at all, was merchant shipping. Losses of warships could cause problems, but losses of merchantmen were potentially disastrous. If the loss rate had exceeded the construction rate for a significant period, the Allies' capacity to wage war would have slowed, to the point of eventual capitulation.
As World War I had adequately proved to the Germans that submarines were the best vehicles for this form of warfare, it seems extraordinary that more resources were not put into their construction in the late 1930s.Those available caused damage enough, but greater numbers and a higher construction rate from the outset would have swamped the ability to cope of current Allied defences. Throughout the conflict, the Germans strove to improve both the technical quality of their boats and the methods by which they could best be employed, a natural energy that contrasted strangely with that of their Axis partners.
Both Italy and Japan had
sizeable submarine fleets and, as
each joined the war at later dates,
they had adequate time to learn
at first hand the problems of submarine
warfare before actually
Italy, however, found her boats
to be deficient in quality and
their crews both poorly trained
and, in many cases, suffering from
the same lack of motivation and
conviction that affected her surface
There was no lack of sacrifice. In pursuing their various objectives, the Axis partners lost more than 950 boats in action and many more from other causes.