Best Defense

Why was the Navy so slow to prepare for anti-sub warfare in the Atlantic in 1942?

I mean, our admirals had been watching the British fight German submarines for years.

U534

Submarine_attack_(AWM_304949)

I mean, our admirals had been watching the British fight German submarines for years. Yet there seems to have been no thought given on how to have land-based aircraft carry torpedoes and work with the surface Navy. As FDR (who had been a civilian official of the Navy Department in his younger days) wrote to Churchill in March 1942, “My Navy has definitely been slack in preparing for this submarine war off our coast.”

Australian War Memorial/Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1
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