Battle of Convoy SC129, 12-14 May 1943

The U-boat attack on Convoy SC129 of 12-14 May 1943 was one of a series of defeats that forced Admiral Dönitz to pull his wolf packs out of the North Atlantic. As often happened at this stage of the war German code-breakers had discovered the route of the convoy and set a trap. British code-breakers had then discovered the ambush and the convoy had been rerouted, but the Germans code-breakers had discovered the new route and moved their ambush. A group of over 30 U-boats was in place to attack Convoy SC129.

The attack began badly for the Germans, with the convoy escorts sinking one U-boat on 12 May. On the next day a VLR Liberator operating at a range of 1,200 miles from its base attacked two of the U-boats waiting for the convoy. Finally on 14 May the convoy came within range of the VLR (Very Long Range aircraft), and at the same time was joined by the 5th Escort Group, which contained the escort carrier HMS Biter. By the time the fighting stopped the Germans had sunk two merchant ships for the loss of two U-boats, a disastrous rate of exchange for Dönitz.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (23 September 2008), Battle of Convoy SC129, 12-14 May 1943 ,

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