Battle of the Atlantic


During the war Great Britain got most of its food , war materials and other supplies from North America. Throughout the war Germany tried to destroy the ships that brought goods to the island. German U-boats or submarines were the biggest threat to the British navy . At first these U-boats were very successful in tracking down British cargo ships and sinking them. They often attacked in groups called wolf packs .

To survive such attacks British ships travelled in groups called convoys . They were protected by destroyers and also supported by planes. As time went on America gave British ships more and more protection .

In 1943 the Allies began to escort the convoys with small aircraft carriers . The planes that could take off from the carriers and long-range bombers from land began to attack and destroy more and more German submarines. The Allies began winning the sea war also because they started using an underwater radar system called sonar to find the submarines. By the middle of 1943 the Allies were sinking German U-boats faster than they could replace them.

US destroyer in the Atlantic Ocean

US destroyer in the Atlantic Ocean



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  • aircraft carrier = ship that planes can fly from and land on
  • Allies = the counties that fought against Germany in World War II = The USA, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union
  • attack = to use guns and bombs against an enemy in a war
  • cargo = the goods that are carried on a ship or a plane
  • convoy = group of ships that are travelling together
  • destroy =to damage completely so that you cannot use it any more
  • destroyer = a small fast military ship with guns
  • escort = a ship that travels with another one to protect it
  • goods = things that are produced so that they can be sold
  • long-range = to be able to hit something that is a long distance away
  • navy = part of a country’s army that fights at sea
  • protect =defend, guard
  • replace =here: to get new ones
  • sonar = machine on a ship or submarine that uses sound waves to find out where objects under water are
  • successful =to be good at something
  • supplies = things that are necessary for daily life , like food, clothes, medicine etc..
  • support = help, assist
  • survive =to live on after a dangerous situation
  • take off = start
  • threat = danger
  • throughout = in all of
  • track down = look for, find
  • wolf pack = here: a group of submarines that travel together and attack enemy ships