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The Hunters: German U-Boats at War, 1939-43» Forums » General

Subject: Escorts Leaving Damaged Ships rss

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Peter Gibson
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I am wondering why an escort might leave a damaged ship as is checked for when following a ship for a new round of combat. I can understand why damaged ships from a convoy might be left to struggle on alone by the escorts, but if a single ship is damaged it seems strange that there is a chance that it too, on a roll of 5-6, could be left to its own devices by its escorts. I know that escorts had real limitations with fuel, etc so perhaps that's the reasoning?

Just playing my first game and survived my first British Isles patrol. Now onto my second and enjoying the game very much.
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Jim P
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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Peter,

A convoy could have as many as 20, 30, 40 or 50 plus merchant ships in it with only 5 to 10, maybe up to 20ish, escorts protecting it. Most likely the lower number of escorts though. So if an escort ship left the convoy to save one damaged ship they would reduce the protective screen for the group to save a lone ship. Sadly the one was usually sacrificed for the others protection.

Happy ANZAC Day and good hunting,
Jim
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Jack Beckman
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Could be a fuel/ammo shortage, or called away for what is deemed a more important mission.
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Piotr Frąckowiak
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Or it could turn out that there are no chances to save the ship.
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Peter Gibson
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Thanks for the good ANZAC Day wishes Jim. Being a currently serving member of our Air Force I always find it a bit of a special day and one that is undoubtedly assuming a greater level of pride and importance in NZ society. As a nation we haven't always been particularly proud of our military, especially in the 70s and 80s bu that is all now changing for the better.

Pete
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Ian Cooper
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Basically as an escort, your job is to protect your biggest asset. You do this by protecting the area with the most supplies and by sinking U-boats whenever you can find them. Anything else is counter-productive. Protecting a lone straggler with maybe 5,000 tons of supplies is a poor use of resources when there are 10+ ships elsewhere carrying 50,000 tons of supplies.

As others have said, if you have enough escorts protecting the convoy, maybe you can spare one escort to look after a straggler, but it's a risky proposition if there's a wolfpack out there shadowing the main body of the convoy. Every straggler that gets its own private escort lays the convoy open to exponentially greater risk.
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Jim P
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But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you… And I will beat you.
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TheFlatline wrote:

ONS 5 during Black May had I think like 6 escorts for 50 ships. Originally it was supposed to have like 12 I think,


Sean you are absolutely correct! At most they had 6 escorts. Here is information from a site that list nearly all the convoys and there stats;

Convoy ONS.5
Link: http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/ons/index.html

Depart Liverpool on 21 April 1943.
Arrive Halifax on 12 May 1943.
Hague's records contain 46 merchants and 22 escorts (ed note: he only listed 20 escorts)

The escort schedule:
DUNCAN - ESCORT 22/04 - 03/05
LOOSESTRIFE - ESCORT 22/04 - 03/05
PINK - ESCORT 22/04 - 03/05
SUNFLOWER - ESCORT 22/04 - 03/05
SNOWFLAKE - ESCORT 22/04 - 07/05
TAY - ESCORT 22/04 - 07/05
VIDETTE - ESCORT 26/04 - 03/05
ORIBI - ESCORT 29/04 - 06/05
IMPULSIVE - ESCORT 02/05 - 03/05
PANTHER - ESCORT 02/05 - 03/05
PENN - ESCORT 02/05 - 03/05
OFFA - ESCORT 02/05 - 06/05
JED - ESCORT 06/05 - 08/05
PELICAN - ESCORT 06/05 - 08/05
SENNEN - ESCORT 06/05 - 08/05
SPEY - ESCORT 06/05 - 08/05
WEAR - ESCORT 06/05 - 08/05
BARRIE - ESCORT 07/05 - 12/05
BUCTOUCHE - ESCORT 07/05 - 12/05
COWICHAN - ESCORT 07/05 - 12/05


Notice even though 20 naval ships were assigned at most only 6 to 7 ships were present at any one time.

Jim
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