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Submarine warfare is one of the four divisions of underwater warfare, the others being anti-submarine warfare, mine warfare and mine countermeasures.
Underwater warfare is one of the three operational areas of naval warfare, the others being surface warfare and aerial warfare. It refers to combat conducted underwater such as:
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find, track, and deter, damage, or destroy enemy submarines.
A naval mine is a self-contained explosive device placed in water to damage or destroy surface ships or submarines. Unlike depth charges, mines are deposited and left to wait until they are triggered by the approach of, or contact with, any vessel. Naval mines can be used offensively, to hamper enemy shipping movements or lock vessels into a harbour; or defensively, to protect friendly vessels and create "safe" zones.
Submarine warfare consists primarily of diesel and nuclear submarines using torpedoes, missiles or nuclear weapons, as well as advanced sensing equipment, to attack other submarines, ships, or land targets. Submarines may also be used for reconnaissance and landing of special forces as well as deterrence. In some navies they may be used for task force screening. The effectiveness of submarine warfare partly depends on the anti-submarine warfare carried out in response.
The Diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel, which is injected into the combustion chamber, is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to the mechanical compression. Diesel engines work by compressing only the air. This increases the air temperature inside the cylinder to such a high degree that atomised Diesel fuel injected into the combustion chamber ignites spontaneously. With the fuel being injected into the air just before combustion, the dispersion of the fuel is uneven; this is called a heterogenous air-fuel mixture. The process of mixing air and fuel happens almost entirely during combustion, the oxygen diffuses into the flame, which means that the Diesel engine operates with a diffusion flame. The torque a Diesel engine produces is controlled by manipulating the air ratio; this means, that instead of throttling the intake air, the Diesel engine relies on altering the amount of fuel that is injected, and the air ratio is usually high.
A nuclear submarine is a submarine powered by a nuclear reactor. The performance advantages of nuclear submarines over "conventional" submarines are considerable. Nuclear propulsion, being completely independent of air, frees the submarine from the need to surface frequently, as is necessary for conventional submarines. The large amount of power generated by a nuclear reactor allows nuclear submarines to operate at high speed for long periods of time; and the long interval between refuelings grants a range virtually unlimited, making the only limits on voyage times being imposed by such factors as the need to restock food or other consumables.
A modern torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target, and designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.
The age of submarine warfare began during the American Civil War. The 1860s was a time of many turning points in terms of how naval warfare was fought. Many new types of warships were being developed for use in the United States and Confederate States Navies. Submarine watercraft were among the newly created vessels. The first sinking of an enemy ship by a submarine occurred on 17 February 1864, when the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, a privateer sank the sloop USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Shortly afterward, however, H. L. Hunley sank, with the loss of her entire crew of eight.
The American Civil War was a war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S. history. Primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
A navy or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It includes anything conducted by surface ships, amphibious ships, submarines, and seaborne aviation, as well as ancillary support, communications, training, and other fields. The strategic offensive role of a navy is projection of force into areas beyond a country's shores. The strategic defensive purpose of a navy is to frustrate seaborne projection-of-force by enemies. The strategic task of the navy also may incorporate nuclear deterrence by use of submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Naval operations can be broadly divided between riverine and littoral applications, open-ocean applications, and something in between, although these distinctions are more about strategic scope than tactical or operational division.
Submarine warfare in World War I was primarily a fight between German and Austro-Hungarian U-boats and supply convoys bound for the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. British and Allied submarines conducted widespread operations in the Baltic, North, Mediterranean and Black Seas along with the Atlantic Ocean. Only a few actions occurred outside the wider European-Atlantic theatre. German submarine attacks on Allied merchant ships, especially the sinking of Lusitania, turned American public opinion against the Central Powers. The U.S. demanded it stop, and Germany did so. Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff (1853–1919), chief of the admiralty staff, argued successfully in January 1917 to resume the attacks and thus starve the British. The German high command realized the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare meant war with the United States but calculated that American mobilization would be too slow to stop a German victory on the Western Front.and played a large role in the United States entering the war in April 1917.
U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word U-Boot[ˈuːboːt](
The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).
The Baltic Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, northwest Germany, Poland, Russia and the North and Central European Plain.
All participants were supposed to abide by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, but this was found to be impracticable for submarines. The German government maintained the British naval blockade was illegal under international law. Initially, German submarines did attempt to comply with the prize rules, but later switched to unrestricted submarine warfare following the British introduction of Q-ships with concealed deck guns. American diplomatic pressure forced the Germans to stop this for a while, but in January 1917 Germany declared a war zone around the British Isles and sank up to a quarter of shipping entering it, until escorted convoys were introduced. Pathfinder was the first combat victory of a modern submarine, and the exploits of SM U-9, which sank three British cruisers in under an hour, established the submarine as an important new component of naval warfare.The sinking of HMS
The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 are a series of international treaties and declarations negotiated at two international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands. Along with the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the body of secular international law. A third conference was planned for 1914 and later rescheduled for 1915, but it did not take place due to the start of World War I.
The Blockade of Germany, or the Blockade of Europe, occurred from 1914 to 1919. It was a prolonged naval operation conducted by the Allied Powers during and after World War I in an effort to restrict the maritime supply of goods to the Central Powers, which included Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. It is considered one of the key elements in the eventual Allied victory in the war. The German Board of Public Health in December 1918 claimed that 763,000 German civilians died from starvation and disease caused by the blockade up until the end of December 1918. An academic study done in 1928 put the death toll at 424,000.
Q-ships, also known as Q-boats, decoy vessels, special service ships, or mystery ships, were heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. This gave Q-ships the chance to open fire and sink them.
German submarines were used to lay naval mines and to attack iron ore shipping in the Baltic. The British submarine flotilla in the Baltic operated in support of the Russians until the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. During the war, the British invested efforts into developing a submarine that could operate in conjunction with a battleship fleet – the "Fleet Submarine". To achieve the necessary 20 knots (37 km/h) (surfaced) the K-class submarines were steam powered. In practice, the K class were a constant problem and could not operate effectively with a fleet.
Iron ores are rocks and minerals from which metallic iron can be economically extracted. The ores are usually rich in iron oxides and vary in colour from dark grey, bright yellow, or deep purple to rusty red. The iron is usually found in the form of magnetite (Fe
4, 72.4% Fe), hematite (Fe
3, 69.9% Fe), goethite (FeO(OH), 62.9% Fe), limonite (FeO(OH)·n(H2O), 55% Fe) or siderite (FeCO3, 48.2% Fe).
A British submarine flotilla operated in the Baltic Sea for three years during the First World War. The squadron of nine submarines was attached to the Russian Baltic Fleet. The main task of the flotilla was to prevent the import of iron ore from Sweden to Imperial Germany. The success of the flotilla also forced the German Navy in the Baltic to keep to their bases and denied the German High Seas Fleet a training ground. The flotilla was based in Reval (Tallinn), and for most of its career commanded by Captain Francis Cromie.
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918 between the new Bolshevik government of Russia and the Central Powers, that ended Russia's participation in World War I. The treaty was signed at German-controlled Brest-Litovsk, after two months of negotiations. The treaty was agreed upon by the Russians to stop further invasion. According to the treaty, Soviet Russia defaulted on all of Imperial Russia's commitments to the Allies and eleven nations became independent in Eastern Europe and western Asia.
Between the wars, navies experimented with submarine cruisers (France, Surcouf), submarines armed with battleship caliber guns (UK, HMS M1) and submarines capable of carrying small aircraft for reconnaissance (HMS M2 and Surcouf).
Germany was denied submarines by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, but built some anyway. This was not legitimized until the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, under which the UK accepted German parity in submarine numbers with the Royal Navy.
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In World War II, submarine warfare was split into two main areas – the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Mediterranean Sea was also a very active area for submarine operations. This was particularly true for the British and French, as well as the Germans. The Italians were also involved, but achieved their greatest successes using midget submarines and human torpedoes.
In the Atlantic, where German submarines again sought out and attacked Allied convoys, this part of the war was very reminiscent of the latter part of World War I. Many British submarines were active as well, particularly in the Mediterranean and off Norway, against Axis warships, submarines and merchant shipping.
Initially, Hitler ordered his submarines to abide by the prize rules, but this restriction was withdrawn in December 1939. Although mass attacks by submarine had been carried out in World War I, the "wolf pack" was mainly a tactic of World War II U-boats. The main steps in this tactic were as follows:
With the later increase in warship and aircraft escorts, U-boat losses became unacceptable. Many boats were lost, and the earlier experienced commanders with them.
In the Pacific, the situation was reversed, with US submarines hunting Japanese shipping. By war's end, US submarines had destroyed over half of all Japanese merchant ships,totaling well over five million tons of shipping. British and Dutch submarines also took part in attacks on Japanese shipping, mostly in coastal waters. Japanese submarines were initially successful, destroying two US fleet aircraft carriers, a cruiser, and several other ships. However, following a doctrine that concentrated on attacking warships, rather than more-vulnerable merchantmen, the smaller Japanese fleet proved ineffectual in the long term, while suffering heavy losses to Allied anti-submarine measures. Italian submarines and one German submarine operated in the Pacific Ocean, but never enough to be an important factor, inhibited by distance and difficult relations with their Japanese ally.
Japanese submarines operated in the Indian Ocean, forcing the British surface fleet to withdraw to the east coast of Africa. Some German and Italian submarines operated in the Indian Ocean, but never enough to play a significant role.
Since the Second World War, several wars, such as the Korean War, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and the Falklands War, have involved limited use of submarines. Later submarine-launched land-attack missiles were employed against Iraq and Afghanistan. With these exceptions, submarine warfare ceased after 1945. Hence strategic thinking about the role of submarines has developed independently of actual experience.
The advent of the nuclear-powered submarine in the 1950s brought about a major change in strategic thinking about submarine warfare. These boats could operate faster, deeper and had much longer endurance. They could be larger and so became missile launching platforms. In response to this the attack submarine became more important, particularly in regard to its postulated role as a hunter-killer. The US also used nuclear submarines as radar pickets for a while. There have also been major advances in sensors and weapons.
During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union played what was described as a 'cat-and-mouse' game of detecting and even trailing enemy submarines.
As the likelihood of unrestricted submarine warfare has diminished, thinking about conventional submarines has focused on their use against surface warship. The mere existence of a submarine may curtail surface warships' freedom to operate. To counter the threat of these submarines, hunter submarines were developed in turn. The role of the submarine has extended with the use of submarine-launched autonomous unmanned vehicles.[ citation needed ] The development of new air independent propulsion methods has meant that the diesel-electric submarine's need to surface, making it vulnerable, has been reduced. Nuclear submarines, although far larger, could generate their own air and water for an extended duration, meaning their need to surface was limited in any case.
In today's more fractured geopolitical system, many nations are building and/or upgrading their submarines.[ citation needed ] The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has launched new models of submarines every few years;[ citation needed ] South Korea has upgraded the already capable Type 209(Chang Bogoclass) design from Germany and sold copies to Indonesia. Russia has improved the old Soviet Kilo model into what strategic analysts are calling equivalent to the 1980s-era Los Angelesclass, and so on.[ citation needed ]
At the end of his naval warfare book The Price of Admiralty, military historian John Keegan postulates that eventually, almost all roles of surface warships will be taken over by submarines, as they will be the only naval units capable of evading the increasing intelligence capabilities (space satellites, airplanes etc.) that a fight between evenly matched modern states could bring to bear on them.[ citation needed ]
However, thinking about importance of the submarine has shifted to an even more strategic role, with the advent of the nuclear ballistic missile submarine carrying Submarine-launched ballistic missiles with nuclear weapons to provide second strike capability.
A modern submarine is a multi-role platform. It can conduct both overt and covert operations. In peacetime it can act as a deterrent as well as for surveillance operations and information gathering.
In wartime a submarine can carry out a number of missions including:
A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and can usually perform several roles.
The Kriegsmarine was the navy of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It superseded the Imperial German Navy of the German Empire (1871–1918) and the inter-war Reichsmarine (1919–1935) of the Weimar Republic. The Kriegsmarine was one of three official branches, along with the Heer (Army) and the Luftwaffe of the Wehrmacht, the German armed forces from 1933 to 1945.
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability. The term most commonly refers to a large, crewed vessel. It is also sometimes used historically or colloquially to refer to remotely operated vehicles and robots, as well as medium-sized or smaller vessels, such as the midget submarine and the wet sub. The noun submarine evolved as a shortened form of submarine boat; by naval tradition, submarines are usually referred to as "boats" rather than as "ships", regardless of their size.
An armed merchantman is a merchant ship equipped with guns, usually for defensive purposes, either by design or after the fact. In the days of sail, piracy and privateers, many merchantmen would be routinely armed, especially those engaging in long distance and high value trade.
A tonnage war is a military strategy aimed at merchant shipping. The premise is that the enemy has a finite number of ships and a finite capacity to build replacements. The concept was made famous by German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, who wrote:
"The shipping of the enemy powers is one great whole. It is therefore in this connection immaterial where a ship is sunk—it must still in the final analysis be replaced by a new ship".
Unrestricted submarine warfare is a type of naval warfare in which submarines sink vessels such as freighters and tankers without warning, as opposed to attacks per prize rules. Prize rules call for submarines to surface and search merchantmen and place crews in "a place of safety" before sinking them, unless the ship showed "persistent refusal to stop ... or active resistance to visit or search". During the First World War, the British introduced Q-ships with concealed deck guns, and armed many merchantmen, leading the Germans to ignore the prize rules; in the most dramatic episode they sank Lusitania in 1915 in a few minutes because she was carrying war munitions. The U.S. demanded it stop, and Germany did so. Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff, chief of the Admiralty staff, argued successfully in early 1917 to resume the attacks and thus starve the British. The German high command realized the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare meant war with the United States but calculated that American mobilization would be too slow to stop a German victory on the Western Front.
A fleet submarine is a submarine with the speed, range, and endurance to operate as part of a navy's Battle Fleet. Examples of fleet submarines are the British K class and the American Gato class. Within the modern Royal Navy, the term is used for the British nuclear powered attack submarines. In the United States Navy, the term came to be used primarily for the long-range submarines that served in World War II.
Commerce raiding is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt logistics of the enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging its combatants or enforcing a blockade against them. It is also known, in French, as guerre de course and, in German, Handelskrieg, from the nations most heavily committed to it historically as a strategy.
The names of commissioned ships of the United States Navy all start with USS, for "United States Ship". Non-commissioned, primarily civilian-manned vessels of the U.S. Navy under the Military Sealift Command have names that begin with USNS, standing for "United States Naval Ship". A letter-based hull classification symbol is used to designate a vessel's type. The names of ships are selected by the Secretary of the Navy. The names are those of states, cities, towns, important persons, important locations, famous battles, fish, and ideals. Usually, different types of ships have names originated from different types of sources.
There are three major types of submarines in the United States Navy: ballistic missile submarines, attack submarines, and cruise missile submarines. All submarines in the U.S. Navy are nuclear-powered. Ballistic missile submarines have a single strategic mission of carrying nuclear submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Attack submarines have several tactical missions, including sinking ships and subs, launching cruise missiles, and gathering intelligence.
Although Australia was remote from the main battlefronts, there was considerable Axis naval activity in Australian waters during the Second World War. A total of 54 German and Japanese warships and submarines entered Australian waters between 1940 and 1945 and attacked ships, ports and other targets. Among the best-known attacks are the sinking of HMAS Sydney by a German raider in November 1941, the bombing of Darwin by Japanese naval aircraft in February 1942, and the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in May 1942. In addition, many Allied merchant ships were damaged or sunk off the Australian coast by submarines and mines. Japanese submarines also shelled several Australian ports and submarine-based aircraft flew over several Australian capital cities.
Beginning in ancient times, humans sought to operate under the water. From simple submersibles to nuclear-powered underwater behemoths, humans have searched for a means to remain safely underwater to gain the advantage in warfare, resulting in the development of the submarine. It was first built in 1620.
There was sporadic naval warfare in the Mediterranean during World War I between the Central Powers' navies of Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire and the Allied navies of Italy, France, Greece, Japan, America and the British Empire.
The Mediterranean U-boat Campaign in the Mediterranean Sea was fought by Austria-Hungary and German Empire against the Allies during World War I. It was characterised by the ability of the Central Powers to raid with near impunity during the first years of the war, causing substantial shipping losses, until the introduction of the convoy system allowed the Allies to drastically cut their losses from 1917 on.
The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second largest and second most powerful air force in the world.
The U-boat Campaign from 1914 to 1918 was the World War I naval campaign fought by German U-boats against the trade routes of the Allies. It took place largely in the seas around the British Isles and in the Mediterranean. The German Empire relied on imports for food and domestic food production and the United Kingdom relied heavily on imports to feed its population, and both required raw materials to supply their war industry; the powers aimed, therefore, to blockade one another. The British had the Royal Navy which was superior in numbers and could operate on most of the world's oceans because of the British Empire, whereas the Imperial German Navy surface fleet was mainly restricted to the German Bight, and used commerce raiders and unrestricted submarine warfare to operate elsewhere.
The Atlantic U-boat campaign of World War I was the prolonged naval conflict between German submarines and the Allied navies in Atlantic waters—the seas around the British Isles, the North Sea and the coast of France.
The convoy—a group of merchantmen or troopships traveling together with a naval escort—was revived during World War I (1914–18), after having been discarded at the start of the Age of Steam. Although convoys were used by the Royal Navy in 1914 to escort troopships from the Dominions, and in 1915 by both it and the French Navy to cover their own troop movements for overseas service, they were not systematically employed by any belligerent navy until 1916. The Royal Navy was the major user and developer of the modern convoy system, and regular transoceanic convoying began in June 1917. They made heavy use of aircraft for escorts, especially in coastal waters, an obvious departure from the convoy practices of the Age of Sail.