Scope and Aim
B. Cooling of Europe
Arctic Europe - winter of
C. Three European winters: 1939 – 42
153 Occupation of Norway - Return of Ice
D. Global sea war and climate changes
E. Severe Warming 1918
251 Europe Weather-Influence by WWI (5_11)
F. Climate changes twice
G. 313 References
depth charges at sea (2_15)
Impact caused to seas in a sea battle with bombardments by airplanes and firing by battle ships and coastal batteries can only be imagined. How many bombs and shells ‘stirred’ the sea? How much explosives blew up? How many missions were carried out? None of the above questionscan be answered here in detail, as suchinformation is rarely available. The first four months of war can beregarded asa mere ‘military warming up’ phase. It certainly was, as far as aerial warfare is concerned, even though aviation had made considerable developments since WWI.
The question remains as to what restraints or precautionsshould have been observed by participants inthe war in order not to drive the winter weather into arctic condition? The answer is left to everyone’sown judgement.
Bomber planes usually could carry up to two tonnes of ammunition, which means that on each mission they carried with them bombs in denominations of: either twenty numbers of 50 kg each, or eight numbers of 250 kg each, or four numbers of 500 kg each. A small anti-aircraft gun of 2 cm could fire about 200 shots per minute. Guns andmunitions ofup to 20 cm could goon larger naval vessels. During the first two months of war, German pilots were ordered to attack only warships, but the order was soonenlargedto includemerchant ships as well. The ‘Loewengeschwader’ of the Luftwaffe soon claimed to have attacked more than 200 war and merchant ships, sinking 46 of themwith a tonnage of70,000 and severely damaging 76 ships with a tonnage of300.000. The veracity of this claim cannot either be confirmed or refutedhere. But as the British Admiralty admitted in December 1939, German planes had attacked 35of its vessels within a period ofthree days, sinking 7 ships. (NYT, 21 December 1939). The totalnumber of bomber attacks against naval and merchant vessels, ports and near coastal installations mightamount to many hundreds over the first 3-4 months of war, with thousands of bombs deployed intheNorth Sea area alone.
charging submarines during WWII actually meant the hunting down of
GermanU-boats, either by air planes, surface vessels or speciallylaid mine
barrages. When the war started, Germany had only 57 boats ready for
service, of which only 23 were fit to operate in the Atlantic. In England
it was reported that 15-18 German submarines could have been out at sea on
September 1st. (NYT, 4 September 1939). Although the number was
small in the beginning, and never more than a dozen boats were in the
Atlantic or on missions elsewhereat any time during the first few months,
the Royal Navy did notfear anything morethan the U-boats. Even with a
modest success of sinking more than 100 ships with a tonnage of100,000,
the Allies felt the threat byU-boats seriouslyand employed all means
available at their command to fight this enemy, whether real or imaginary.
Consequently thousands ofcharges could have been deployed day by day.
Further details: (A) Northern Europe plunged into arctic conditions, 2_11.
1 Goulter, p.111f
2 Goulter, p.37
5 Van Dyke, p.54
7 Thomas, p.21
|New Book 2012