Chapter 1 - GENESIS 1906-1940
In 1906 was launched the U-1 and in 1917 the German Imperial Navy had 128 submarines. During the last months of the First World War, the success of the U-Boots seemed unstoppable until the aeroplane was incorporated as an anti-submarine weapon.
After the treaty of Versailles, the German command secretly undertook the rearmament of its armies, a process which speeded up with Hitler’s rise to power. The outbreak of World War Two and the beginning of a struggle for the control of the seas started to shape the legend of the deathly “wolf packs”.
Chapter 2 - THE GOOD TIMES 1940-1941
The British government considered that the German submarines stationed in French bases represented one of the major threats of the war. For Karl Dönitz and his men, they were good times.
Still, after the sinking of the Bismarck battleship, the invasion of the Soviet Union, the lack of air support and the numerous technical developments incorporated by the Allied ships, the success of the U-Boots entered a slow but relentless downfall.
Chapter 3 - THE SOUND OF THE DRUM 1942-1945
The entry of the US in the war critically affected the naval war. The Germans undertook Operation Paukenschlag (drumbeat), moving some of its submarines to the American coast.
The technological war heated up and the Allied investment in weaponry increased spectacularly. “Machines will defeat machines”, Churchill had predicted after the occupation of France. The German failures in the Eastern front, the surrender of Italy and the landings in northern Europe pushed the U-Boots into a suicidal war.