U-boats are submarines built by Germans during World War 1. The boats were designed to move underwater undetected and they were mostly used to stop merchant boats and ensure the armies got a frequent supply of food, water, weapons, and ammunition in order to win the war.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using U-boats.
1. Effective: The submarines helped the German to win the war by destroying the ships and supplies of the strong British naval fleet during WWI.
2. Carry supplies: U-boats used to carry various supplies needed by the German army like food, water, ammunition, and other types of supplies needed for the German to win the war in the British waters.
3. Gasoline and diesel powered: The submarines are both gasoline and diesel powered. The boat traveled at the surface using a diesel engine and when submerged, it used electric power. The diesel-powered torpedo could attack the boats.
4. Size: Although the initial U-boat submarines were small in size, the introduction of nuclear-powered submarines led to the building of large U-boat with fresh air and showers on board.
5. Stealth technology: The boats were made of stealth technology and were able to attract merchant ships at a reduced risk of being submerged.
6. Lightweight: The boat was designed to be lightweight and be able to maintain or balance itself underwater.
7. Minelaying: Allied submarines did not carry guns and they were used exclusively for mine-lying. The submarines carried anti-aircraft gun which made U-boat effective tool against the sea vessels.
8. Powerful submarine: Although the U-boat was not used in the front-line, it was able to launch ambushes on battleships and also to ferry the troops. Its value enabled the submarine to take down the British vessel undetected.
9. Undetectable: The submarine movement was underwater and this made it difficult for the enemy to detect it. Due to its undetectable nature, the German U-boat was able to take British vessels by surprise by damaging the vessel. It was able to slip past most of the naval blockades.
10. Last two months: The submarine was able to stay out for about two months at a time before the supplies got depleted.
1. Limited supplies: U-boat used to carry a limited amount of supplies and torpedoes due to its small size. Once the supplies were over, the boat had to go back to the German waters for re-supply. The boat had to pass through the England waters before it gets to German to restock supplies and more ammunition.
2. Vulnerable: Due to its lightweight nature, the U-boats were very vulnerable to attacks or any weapon used against it.
3. Smelly and dark: Since the boat was designed to move underwater, sailors had to face dark, smelly and cramped rooms. The rooms were extremely cramped such that food was stored in spare toilets. Sailors would go for days without seeing the sun or feeling the ocean breeze.
4. England economy: Although the submarine boat helped Germany to successfully attack England, there was no significant damage to the England economy.
5. Reduced coverage area: U-boats had to remain submerged and this limited the area it would cover.
6. Expensive: To build this submarine is very expensive and takes a lot of time to come up with an efficient submarine. The cost of material used in the construction was high and the submarines needed frequent maintenance.
7. Resurfaces to fire torpedoes: During the battle, the submarine had to re-surface in order to fire torpedoes.
8. Limited torpedoes: U-boats had few torpedoes.