The Schnorkel, designed to breath new life into Germany's U-Boat force, which by 1944 had been all but destroyed as an effective fighting force.
Battle of the Atlantic!
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05/01/1944 The last of four German blockade-runners from Japan are sunk in the South Atlantic.
 
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07/02/1944 The first operational ‘Schnorkel’ U-boat arrives in the Atlantic.
25/02/1944
Convoy JW-57 (43 ships and 19 escorts) sailing the Loch Ewe to the Kola Peninsula, is attacked on 25 February off Norway. One destroyer, HMS Mahratta, is sunk by U-990 for 1,920 tons.
 
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04/03/1944
Convoy RA-57 (31 ships) sailing the Arctic route from the Kola Peninsula to Loch Ewe, is attacked off Norway. The steam merchant Empire Tourist is sunk by U-703 for 7,062 gross tons lost. However, the convoys escorts sink 3 U-boats en-route.
 
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03/04/1944 Forty-two Royal Navy, fleet Air Arm Barracuda torpedo-bombers hit the Battleship Tirpitz 14 times in a daring raid on the Alten Fjord, in Norway.
27/04/1944 German planes spot an Allied convoy west of Start Point along the Channel Coast. The convoy is actually making a practice run ('Operation Tiger') for the planned invasion of Normandy on a stretch of coast very much like that found in the Normandy region of France. The 5th and 9th Schnellbootflottillers are directed to attack at night, which they do with the following boats: S100, S130, S138, S138, S140, S142, S143, S145, S150. They engage the convoy, consisting of 8 landing craft and protected by the lone English Corvette Azeala at Lyme Bay. The result is that LST 507 was set on fire and had to be given up, LST 531 was sunk and LST 289 received a torpedo hit which killed many soldiers. Total Allied losses were 197 seaman and 441 soldiers lost.
 
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16/05/1944 Aircraft of RAF Coastal Command sink 5 U-boats off the Norwegian coast.
29/05/1944 The U.S. escort carrier Block Island is sunk by U-549.
 
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04/06/1944 U-505, patrolling off Cape Blanco on the West African coast is forced to the surface by depth-charges from the U.S. destroyer escort Chatelain and is captured intact and towed to Bermuda by the escort carrier Guadalcanal.
06/06/1944 The Royal Navy loses the Destroyers Wrestler and Svenner, which was Norwegian.
 
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05/07/1944 German U-boats begin operations off the Normandy coast, sinking 4 small allied warships and damaging the British cruiser Dragon.
 
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22/08/1944 The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm begins four days of attacks on the German Battleship Tirpitz and other shipping in the Alten Fjord, Norway.
 
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15/09/1944 Twenty-eight RAF Lancaster bombers from Russia pound the Battleship Tirpitz with 12,000lb ‘Tall Boy’ bombs in Kaa Fjord, Norway, scoring direct hits right throughout the ship.
 
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29/10/1944 RAF Lancaster's attack the Battleship Tirpitz again with 12,000lb, ‘Tallboy’ bombs, this time off Tromso.
 
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12/11/1944 Heavy bombers of the RAF, after several previous attempts, succeed in sinking the battleship Tirpitz, the sister ship of the Bismarck, which is lying at anchor in a fjord near Tromso in Norway. Over 1,000 men of her crew trapped in her capsized hull are lost.
27/11/1944 The German ship ‘Rigel’ is sunk. Over 2,570 are drowned, most of them prisoners of war.
 
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01/12/1944 Princess Elizabeth launches HMS Vanguard, the last and biggest battleship ever built in Britain.
23/12/1944 A German E-boat force is routed off the Scheldt Estuary.
24/12/1944 In the English Channel, U-486 (Oblt.z.S. Gerhard Meyer) sinks the allied troop carrier SS Leopoldville with the loss of 763 men of the US 66th Infantry Division. All news and information on this incident is suppressed by orders of SHAEF headquarters.
31/12/1944 Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year's end 1944 is 251 ships, equaling 978,892 gross tons. 252 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.
 

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