By James Harmon Ward, Sir Howard Douglas
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Extra info for A manual of naval tactics: together with a brief critical analysis of the principal modern naval battles
In these early days Hitler still hoped for a short war against Poland, followed by a negotiated peace with Britain and France. In consequence, Dönitz was ordered to operate strictly within the Prize Rules, forbidding attacks on merchant ships without warning. Unfortunately for any such hopes, Lemp in U-30 sighted a liner in poor visibility that, from its position and movements, he thought wrongly to be an armed merchant cruiser. He fired two torpedoes, both of which hit and exploded, an unusual success rate.
Deep diving and reliable, they were the backbone of Dönitz’s fleet. During the war some 100 trawlers were converted into ocean escorts. Such ships were at least 160 feet long with a speed of eleven to twelve knots. Typically they would carry 200 tons of coal, enough for fourteen days’ steaming at economical speed, with three days’ reserve. They would have a 4in gun and one to three Oerlikons, with asdic in the 123 series, Type 268 PQ radar, four depth charge throwers, two rails and fifty-five charges.
Later this shallow draught was seen as a handicap for asdic operation. Anti-submarine warfare was not neglected; it seems always to have been envisaged that they would have asdic. However, sets were not available and the early classes were completed without. By the outbreak of war they had been fitted with Type 127, replaced when Hedgehog was fitted by Type 144. Four depth charge chutes were held on board, disassembled; many chutes and rails were held in store after being removed when ships were disposed of after the first war.