In Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia Canada sits one of the more unique Second World War era museum ships: the HMCS Sackville. The Sackville was one of 123 Flower Class Corvettes to serve with the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War. As of this writing it is the last of its kind.
Corvettes are small multi-role ships that for centuries have served as a key component of the world's naval powers. Dating back to the Age of Sail, corvettes have traditionally been smaller than frigates; but larger than offshore or coastal patrol craft.
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
Precisely seventy years ago, on December 11, 1941, Adolf Hitler declared war upon the United States. Today, this declaration of war is remembered as one of history’s great strategic blunders, and rightly so, nonetheless the reasons underpinning this remembrance have little to do with how and why war against the United States led to the Third Reich’s defeat. Conventional wisdom today explains German defeat during World War II as almost inevitable following Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union, and its subsequent declaration of war upon the United States.
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.
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.