Battle of the
disaster was convoy HX–84
(1940) – HMS
Jervis Bay and five merchant ships sunk.
1940: US gave Britain 50 destroyers in exchange for Atlantic naval bases.
things helped the Allies to stop the U-boats, but key were the codebreakers at
Bletchley Park (especially when Britain captured an Enigma code machine)
turning point was Convoy ONS–5 (1943). Although 13 merchant ships were
lost, the U-Boats were detected by HF-DF, and six sunk.
counter-measures - anti-aircraft guns, Snorkel (allowed U-Boats to refresh
air without surfacing) and ‘Bottoming’ - did not work.
Rationing and the
effects of submarine warfare
22 Sept 1939: petrol
30 Jan 1940:
national campaign to collect scrap metal, paper, and food
waste (for pig-swill)
3 Apr 1940:
Lord Woolton appointed Minister of Food
butter, sugar and bacon,
FACTS OF RATIONING LIFE: Coupons/
Black market/ Dig for Victory/ Potato Pete and Dr Carrot/ SPAM/ Dried
eggs/ Women’s Voluntary Service collections/
Utility clothing and furniture/ swapshops/ 6” water in the bath.
The role of women
Sept 1939: 25,000 women join
the Women’s Land Army.
After Dec 1941, women aged
20–30 could be conscripted to the women’s armed forces (though not to
3. THREE WAYS WOMEN
WRNS/ WAAF/ 450,000 in the ATS.
The number of women employed
rose from 5 to 8 million/ by 1943, nine out of every ten single women were
doing war work.
At first the government did
not conscript married women, and women with children under 14 could not be
sent away from home. After 1943, this had to end.