Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rig For Silent Running

During World War II Germany sent her finest young men to sea in it's fearsome U-boat fleet in an effort to bring Britain to her knees. During the early days of the war the U-boats nearly accomplished this feat. As the Allies became more adept at combating the German submarine menace, the casualties of the U-boats rose rapidly. The once voracious hunters now became the hunted. Despite the tremendous odds against them, the U-boatmen continued to carry the war to sea and attack Allied shipping wherever it was found. All too often this resulted in detection by destroyer escorts and a relentless pounding via depth charge attack. The only escape for the U-boat in this case was to submerge and rig for silent running in hopes of escaping detection. One can only imagine the terror these men must have felt as bombs exploded outside their steel tube; the black sea ready to crush them instantly should their hull be cracked.

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