Easy Model EM37316 German Kriegsmarine Type VIIC U-Boat - 1944 (1:700 Scale)
"Our losses have reached an intolerable level. The enemy air force played a decisive role in inflicting these high losses."
- Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, May 24th, 1943
Type VII U-boats were the workhorses of the German World War II U-boot-waffe. Type VII was based on earlier German submarine designs, designed through the Dutch dummy company Ingenieurskantoor voor Scheepsbouw den Haag (I.v.S) (set up by Germany after World War I in order to maintain and develop German submarine know-how and to circumvent the limitations set by the Treaty of Versailles) and built by shipyards around the world; the Finnish Vetehinen class and Spanish Type E-1. These designs led to the Type VII along with Type I, the latter being built in AG Weser shipyard in Bremen, Germany. The production of Type I was cut down only after two boats, the reasons for this are not certain and range from political decisions to faults of the type. The design of the Type I was however further used in the development of the Type VII and Type IX. Submarines of the Type VII were the most widely used boats of the war and were the most produced submarine class in history, with over 700 built. The type had several modifications.
Pictured here is a 1:700 sale replica of a German Kriegsmarine Type VIIC U-Boat.
Length: 3-3/4 inches
Release Date: August 2008
Historical Account: "Wolf Pack" - The term wolf pack refers to the mass-attack tactics against convoys used by U-boats of the Kriegsmarine during the Battle of the Atlantic and submarines of the United States Navy against Japanese shipping in the Pacific Ocean in World War II.
Karl Donitz used the term Rudel to describe his strategy of submarine warfare - Rudel translates best as "pack" of animals and has become known in English as "wolf pack" (
Wolfsrudel), a more accurate metaphoric, but not literal, translation.
U-boat movements were controlled by the
Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote (BdU; English translation: "Commander of Submarines") much more closely than American submarines, which were given tremendous independence once on patrol. Accordingly, U-boats usually patrolled separately, often strung out in co-ordinated lines across likely convoy routes, only being ordered to congregate after one located a convoy and alerted the BdU, so a Rudel consisted of as many U-boats as could reach the scene of the attack. With the exception of the orders given by the BdU, U-Boat commanders could attack as they saw fit. Often the U-Boat commanders were given a probable number of U-Boats that would show up, and then when they were in contact with the convoy, make call signs to see how many had arrived. If the number was sufficient, or if the threat of increased escorts was a possibility, they would attack. American wolf packs usually comprised three boats that patrolled in close company and organized before they left port under the command of the senior captain of the three. "Swede" Momsen devised the tactics and led the first American wolf pack to sea in October 1943.