Yesterday evening the Cold War Era US Navy Destroyer USS Edson passed through Detroit (picture below) along the Detroit River, the river also separates the US and Canada, on its way to its final berth as a floating museum at the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum. Pulled and pushed by tugs, the Edson left Philadelphia on July 18th on a 2,500 mile journey to its final destination.
Launched in 1958 the Edson is a Forrest-Sherman Class Destroyer that most notably saw extensive service in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War.
World War II era German submarine U-550, a Type IX C-40 U-boat, was found this past week roughly 70 miles off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts. On April 16, 1944 U-550 discovered Allied convoy CU-2, which had departed from New York for the United Kingdom.
Straggling behind the convoy was the massive tanker SS Pan Pennsylvania, which U-550 promptly discovered and torpedoed; causing the tanker to begin to sink. The convoy's escorts, The US Navy's USS Gandy and Coast Guard's USS Joyce and Peterson, immediately pounced and sank the German U-boat after a brief engagement (the sinking U-boat
Well over 6,000 ships sunk during the Second World War sit on the bottom of oceans and seas worldwide. After roughly 70 years of exposure to the elements many are raising concerns that these distingrating wrecks could release the oil mostly still contained in their hulls. Though few of these ships contain anywhere near the oil released by the oil tanker seen sinking in this picture following a U-boat attack, when the oil from these thousands of ships is aggregated together it is estimated by some to total well in excess of the oil released by 2010's Deepwater Horizon spill.
In December of 1939 the German surface raider and "pocket" battleship Admiral Graf Spee had finally been brought to battle by three cruisers from the British Royal Navy. Operating primarily in the South Atlantic during the fall of 1939 the Graf Spee sank numerous British merchantmen. However, the Royal Navy, after mobilizing significant assets to stop the Graf Spee, finally caught up with the German warship and after a running battle in which the Graf Spee sustained serious damage the Graf pocket battleship's captain decided to scuttle his vessel rather than attempt to fight his way past the
Following Hitler's December 1941 declaration of war upon the United States German Admiral Karl Doenitz sought to take advantage of the weakly guarded sea-lanes near the American coast and pick off the highly vulnerable, solitary, merchant ships plying these waters. Hitler approved Doenitz's plan, code named Operation Paukenschlag, or drumbeat/roll the drums. Doenitz' U-boats would carry Hitler's war to America and if successful deliver the first blows designed to cripple American shipping and industry.
Scandinavia took on ample significance to both Germany and Britain late in the winter of 1939-1940. The subsequent events in Scandinavian waters during the spring of 1940 would prove even more strategically significant following France's capitulation in June of 1940. The following will explain why.
Following the outbreak of the Second World War, a politically weakened Neville Chamberlain had brought one of his leading dissenters, Winston Churchill, into his cabinet as First Lord of the Admiralty; in an attempt to silence Churchill's politically damaging critiques of Chamberlain's leadership.