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Incomplete German U-boats abandoned at the Blohm and Voss shipyard in Hamburg, 4 May 1945. Submarine production was not among Hitler's priorities and that was one of his many strategic mistakes.If indeed the Allies were to face a significant U-boat force, instead of the few dozen operational submarines at a time, the outcome of the war could have been different.
A German submarine of the UB Class in rough seas. At the outbreak of war, Germany had a small force of just 25 subs with 6 still under construction--compared to 90 active subs in the British Navy. Traditional minded German admirals had seen little war potential for submarines, preferring to rely on their super battleships. But in Sep 1914, just 1 month into the war, the spectacular destruction of 3 British warships by a single U-Boat changed everything and the sub fleet was enlarged tenfold.
FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918 WAR SEA (Q 20220) The crew of a German UC-1 class submarine on deck. Introduced in 1915, the submarines of this class were employed mainly on minelaying duties and carried up to twelve mines. German submarines sank 1,845,000 tons of Allied and neutral shipping between February and April 1917.