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Quiz about Run Silent Run Deep UBoats At War
Quiz about Run Silent Run Deep UBoats At War

Run Silent, Run Deep: U-Boats At War Quiz


In two World Wars, the German Unterseeboot menace almost brought their country's enemies to their knees. This quiz is about those U-Boats, and the war against them.

A multiple-choice quiz by darksplash. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
darksplash
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
348,595
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
10 / 15
Plays
536
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
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Question 1 of 15
1. At the start of WW1, Germany had almost 30 U-Boats and quickly put them to good use. Which of these was first ship in the conflict credited with being sunk by a torpedo strike? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. In 1915, the German submarine U-20 carried out an attack that, some claim, hastened the entry of the neutral USA into WW1 by sinking a passenger liner. Which of these was she? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. As allied losses to U-Boats mounted in WW1, various new defensive measures were introduced. Among these was the practice of arming merchant ships, but concealing the guns. The theory was that since - at least early in the war - U-Boats had to surface to use their guns or torpedo tubes, the ships could fire back to sink the submarines. What were such covert armed ships called? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. In the early stages of WW1, the range of German and Austrian U-Boats was limited, but by 1916 vessels of a longer range had been developed. Which of these was the first to complete a cross-Atlantic voyage from Germany to the USA? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. The German U-Boat fleet fought desperately on their country's behalf during WW1, but some of their tactics caused revulsion and were seen as being against the 'rules of war'. One such incident was the sinking of the Llandovery Castle in 1918. What type of ship was she? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. By which name was the principal U-Boat campaign of WW2 known to the allies? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. The Second World War was only a matter of days old when the first recorded outrage at sea took place. On September 3, 1939, a U-Boat torpedoed and sank a passenger ship north of Ireland. What was her name? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. In WW1, German U-Boats tended to operate alone. In WW2, as allied defences became more effective, they began to operate in groups. What were these groups called? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. In WW2, approximately how many allied ships were sunk by German U-Boats? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. At the end of WW2, where did the bulk of the German navy's Atlantic U-Boat fleet sail to make their surrender? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. German U-Boats almost brought Britain to her knees in WW2 through the sinking of huge numbers of ships, but the sinking of just one U-Boat was to prove pivotal in the battle for the seas. What did the British recover from the U-559? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. When they first saw service, U-Boats had a limited range, but that was gradually extended. In WW2, U-Boats were able to reach American waters. In April 1942, U-85 was sunk off the coast of the USA. Where, exactly? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, and sonar played a crucial role for the allies in combating the German U-Boat menace of WW2. True or false, sonar was invented by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Question 14 of 15
14. Many U-Boats were sunk at sea by the allies and others were scuttled at the end of the war. One sub captured by the Allies in 1944 went on to be put on display in a science museum. Where was that? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. In WW2, U-Boats operated extensively in the North Atlantic, but in which group of islands far from home were they also based? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. At the start of WW1, Germany had almost 30 U-Boats and quickly put them to good use. Which of these was first ship in the conflict credited with being sunk by a torpedo strike?

Answer: HMS Pathfinder

Pathfinder was a scout cruiser that was sunk by U-21 on 5 September 1914 off the Firth of Forth in Scotland. One torpedo struck the magazine and the ship exploded and sank, with the loss of 229 lives. The world had been at war just 41 days.
By the end of the war, 334 U-boats had been built and more than 200 were under construction. At its height, in October 1917, the German fleet had 140 U-Boats. In four years of warfare, U-Boats destroyed 10m tons of shipping.
2. In 1915, the German submarine U-20 carried out an attack that, some claim, hastened the entry of the neutral USA into WW1 by sinking a passenger liner. Which of these was she?

Answer: RMS Lusitania

Almost 1,200 people, including more than 100 Americans, lost their lives when Lusitana was struck by a single torpedo off the coast of Ireland on May 7th 1915. Around 800 people survived.
U-20 almost certainly broke a wartime convention that required warships to give a warning to unarmed civilian ships that allowed passengers and crew to abandon them safely. Germany subsequently claimed Lusitania was classed as an auxiliary cruiser and "carried contraband of war". It was also claimed she carried mounted guns, a claim denied by the British.
In the United States, many were resistant to the idea of joining a European War. The sinking of the Lusitania and other similar acts gradually turned that around and on April 6 1917 the US declared war on Germany.
3. As allied losses to U-Boats mounted in WW1, various new defensive measures were introduced. Among these was the practice of arming merchant ships, but concealing the guns. The theory was that since - at least early in the war - U-Boats had to surface to use their guns or torpedo tubes, the ships could fire back to sink the submarines. What were such covert armed ships called?

Answer: Q Ships

The name came about because the ships were based at Queenstown in Ireland.
The first success by a Q Ship acting on her own came on July 24th 1915 when the 'Prince Charles' sank U-36 off the coast of Scotland. Q Ships were also used during WW2.
4. In the early stages of WW1, the range of German and Austrian U-Boats was limited, but by 1916 vessels of a longer range had been developed. Which of these was the first to complete a cross-Atlantic voyage from Germany to the USA?

Answer: Deutschland

Deutschland was built by private companies in 1916 and was initially unarmed. In June 1916, carrying a mixed cargo, she set off from Europe bound for the then still-neutral USA, arriving in Baltimore about July 6 or 7. She received a warm welcome from Americans and picked up a cargo of nickel, tin and crude rubber.

She arrived in Bremerhaven on August 24. The following year, after one further cross-Atlantic voyage, she was taken over by the German Navy and was armed with guns and torpedo tubes and renamed U-155.

She went on to sink 42 ships before the end of the war.
5. The German U-Boat fleet fought desperately on their country's behalf during WW1, but some of their tactics caused revulsion and were seen as being against the 'rules of war'. One such incident was the sinking of the Llandovery Castle in 1918. What type of ship was she?

Answer: Hospital ship

The Canadian hospital ship 'Llandovery Castle' was sunk in June 27th 1918 by U-86 off the coast of Ireland. Of a crew of 256, only 24 survived. As the ship went down, the captain of the U-86 used it to ram lifeboats and also opened fire on survivors. After the war, the captain and watch officers were tried by a German court and jailed for four years.
6. By which name was the principal U-Boat campaign of WW2 known to the allies?

Answer: The Battle of the Atlantic

After WW1, Germany was forbidden to build any U-Boats, but secretly ignored the rules and by 1939 had 65 ready. The aim was to blockade Britain from her Commonwealth allies abroad and, in particular, the sources of supply of arms and equipment from the USA. Winston Churchill is credited as having coined the phrase 'Battle of the Atlantic' in 1941, but it is said to refer to all naval action on the ocean from 1939 to 1945.
7. The Second World War was only a matter of days old when the first recorded outrage at sea took place. On September 3, 1939, a U-Boat torpedoed and sank a passenger ship north of Ireland. What was her name?

Answer: SS Athenia

Athenia left Glasgow bound for Montreal on September 1st. On board were 1,400 passengers and crew, with about 300 of the passengers being American. U-30 spotted the ship on the afternoon of September 3 and stalked her for three hours before firing two torpedoes, one of which struck the Athenia. Several nearby warships rushed to the rescue, and 981 of those on board were saved.

The captain of the U-36 later claimed he believed Athenia to be a Q-Ship - i.e. an armed merchantman.
8. In WW1, German U-Boats tended to operate alone. In WW2, as allied defences became more effective, they began to operate in groups. What were these groups called?

Answer: Wolf Packs

The wolf packs were the idea of Admiral Karl Donitz and the aim was that large groups could operate together to counter the convoy systems used by the allies.
In one 48-hour period in October 1940, 34 ships in two convoys were attacked and sunk by seven U-Boats in what later became known as "the night of the long knives".
9. In WW2, approximately how many allied ships were sunk by German U-Boats?

Answer: 2,600

According to www.angelfire.com, 2,640 ships were sunk between 1939 and 1945, with 1,160 of those losses in 1942. The figures also show that of the 40,000 sailors in U-Boats, 30,000 died at sea in 994 vessels.
10. At the end of WW2, where did the bulk of the German navy's Atlantic U-Boat fleet sail to make their surrender?

Answer: Lough Foyle

Around 40 U-Boats sailed into Lough Foyle on Ireland's north coast. They anchored at Lisahally, just a few miles from the Port of Londonderry. Many were subsequently scuttled in the lough. Londonderry (aka Derry) played a major part in the British war effort, being the most north-westerly port at which to base convoy escort ships.
11. German U-Boats almost brought Britain to her knees in WW2 through the sinking of huge numbers of ships, but the sinking of just one U-Boat was to prove pivotal in the battle for the seas. What did the British recover from the U-559?

Answer: A code machine

U-Boats got their instructions from Germany by radio, but the transmissions were coded and uncoded by the Enigma machines each carried. For many years these codes had been unbreakable.
Then, on October 30 1942, a Sunderland flying boat spotted U-559 off the Nile Delta in the Mediterranean. HMS Hero, a destroyer, was dispatched to the area and forced the U-Boat to dive. For 16 hours Hero carried out depth charge attacks that damaged U-559's pressure hull. Forced to surface after dark, she was confronted by the British submarine HMS Petard, which fired on her with Oerlikon cannons. The crew abandoned the 559, but failed to destroy the Enigma machine, or scuttle their craft.
The Enigma machine was recovered by the British sailors and the material taken to the code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park. This was a huge coup that enabled the allies to decode German radio transmissions.
Note: If you think I have used the word "British" a lot in this question, it's because it was the Royal Navy that recovered the Enigma machine and not the US Navy, as the Hollywood film "U-571" (2000) would have us believe. The real U-571 was, in fact, a craft sunk off the coast of Ireland in 1944 by a Sunderland of the Royal Australian Air Force.
12. When they first saw service, U-Boats had a limited range, but that was gradually extended. In WW2, U-Boats were able to reach American waters. In April 1942, U-85 was sunk off the coast of the USA. Where, exactly?

Answer: Nags Head, North Carolina

On April 14 1942 U-85 became the first ship to be sunk in American waters when she tangled with USS Roper. All 45 on board the sub died.
13. Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention, and sonar played a crucial role for the allies in combating the German U-Boat menace of WW2. True or false, sonar was invented by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Answer: False

The technology was a British invention - they called it ASDIC. The Royal Navy had put ASDIC into HMS Antrim in 1920. It enabled ships to bounce sound into the water and, by timing the reflections, detect submarines. Sonar worked on a similar principle and was developed by the Americans in the 1930s - after the British gave them ASDIC to refine.
14. Many U-Boats were sunk at sea by the allies and others were scuttled at the end of the war. One sub captured by the Allies in 1944 went on to be put on display in a science museum. Where was that?

Answer: Chicago Illinois

U-505 was captured intact by the US Navy in the South Atlantic in June 1944. This success was kept secret and the sub was taken to Bermuda, where the crew were interned. In 1954, she was donated to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois and became a museum ship.
15. In WW2, U-Boats operated extensively in the North Atlantic, but in which group of islands far from home were they also based?

Answer: Indonesia

Known as "Monson Boats", they operated from bases provided by the Japanese, mainly from 1943 onwards. The subs proved to be very effective in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Seas.
Source: Author darksplash

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