View Full Version : 90% of merchants in Atlantic are British? Why???

01-23-2010, 07:32 PM
I ve been playing the stock version 1.4 starting in 1939, now I am in middle 1942 with a type IXC U boat and I already sunk over 600'000 tons in total since 1939. The thing is that in the whole career I have mostly seen British ships in the Atlantic so far, no Canadians or Americans. Only a few times I saw some American ships mixed with British ones in a convoy.
And I have never yet seen any capital ships or aircraft carriers of any nation. Also now I think that I made a mistake aquiring a type IXC U boat, I spend most of the time sailing to the most distant locations as objectives, and having to be satisfied with sinking 3 or 4 ships per patrol. I tried going near USA like New York or Norfolk, but I did'nt see many ships to sink there either, despite that I read it's a good hunting spot.

01-23-2010, 10:09 PM
I feel the same. I don't know, there should be a LOT more Canadian ships. It should be probably half american/canadian ships and the other half british and all else.

I'm Canadian myself, and I know for a fact that Canada contributed a huge amount of supplies for the war effort. US/Can supply convoys should appear far more. I hope this is shown in SH5

01-24-2010, 01:23 AM
I agree. Most of the merchants i have seen are British or US. I am Greek and it is a fact that Greek merchant marine , one of the biggest at the time , has given a lot to the cause. (Remember the Peleus incident, the only documented case of machine gunning survivors , U 852 IXD2 Heinz Eck ,March 1944). Back to the game , the only Greek ships I have come across are small merchants and a lone C2 cargo once , and never a warship , though Greek DDs have escorted numerous convoys in the Atlantic.
On the other hand,I haven't tried the Med.
I have never sunk them for obvious reasons!

01-24-2010, 02:23 AM
Thats what I was thinking a lot after begining of 1942, I expected that half of ships I will sink would be American, Canadian or anything else with allies. Though I must admit in SH3 the Canadian flag can easily be mistaken for the British merchant flag from a distance. Canadians transported most of the stuff across the Atlantic until the Lend Lease act was passed actually, as before that American ships would not sail and bring supplies to the UK, British or Canadian ships had to get them from US ports and carry them. Norwegian merchants made a significant contribition, their tankers have transported around 30% of oil across the Atlantic, but I never saw one. Recently I intercepted a huge convoy just south of Ireland, I saw among them a Greek C2 cargo and a Brazilian small merchant, I also saw 3 or 4 American ships, but the other 20 ships were British! And this was in mid 1942!

01-24-2010, 03:25 AM
Maybe this help you ...http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy331/frendly-kenny/fa182005052010334577_big.jpg

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">SH3world v3.0 </span>

http://www.subsim.com/subsim_f..._WORLD3%5B1%5D.0.rar (http://www.subsim.com/subsim_files/patches05/SH3_WORLD3%5B1%5D.0.rar)

SH3world v3.0 (406KB) - Features include 1.Increase number of warships, submarines, destroyers and other ships for Brest and Lorient, St. Nazaire and La Pallice. You can see the destroyers and battleships making a return voyage when you sail .2.Increase the warship / aircraft carrier /Cruiser /Battle ship and other ships at the port of the enemy . Have increased the destroyer go on patrol at the port of the enemy . 3.Have changed the rank of most destroyers to Elite. 4.Increased the German warship of patrol in the each district. 5.Increased the British bombardier air attack port. Different time contain different plane assaults. 6.Sailing for the first time in 1939 , BF109 forms into columns to convoy. by W_clear


01-24-2010, 09:07 AM
Interestingly, having accidentally found the website: "Uboat.net", which appears to be quite thorough in posting stats about all that is U-Boat oriented, they list the top five nations whose ships were hit, but not necessarily sunk by U-Boats in WWII.

I am not surprised about the first two, but I am surprised about 3, 4, and 5, let alone that Russia and Canada are not even in the top five.

Check it out:

5 nations hit the hardest:

Country & Ships hit:
British 1,665
American 550
Norwegian 315
Dutch 137
Greek 124
Total 2,791

So, there you have it. Apparently, there were 3,476 total incidents, and from doing the math, that means the British suffered just slightly less than half of all other Allied countries combined! Pretty significant, if you think about it. So, maybe that's why there appears to be so many Brit merchants out there.

01-24-2010, 02:01 PM
Thanks for the data HeavyRabbit, interesting facts. According to the data it means that in SH3 British merchants should be around 65% of ships you encounter, not 90% like in the game. The fact that British ships got hit the most is not too suprising because the U boats have been hunting them longest (since 1939) and especially during the "U boat good times", but that does not mean the British ships were 90% of all shipping in the Atlantic like represented in SH3.

P.S: Russian merchants sailed mostly to Iceland, Rekjavik to collect supplies and return to the USSR, but they had fewer merchants and therefore most shipments were conducted by US, Canadian or British ships.

01-24-2010, 03:25 PM
No Prob, Dron22.

However, I am not quite sure how you are able to calculate the 90% figure so assuredly.

This is mainly because, for instance, I can't even see the darn flags precisely, until I get relatively close to the ships.

Let alone that the Empire Navy flags look so similar.

(Also, please keep in mind, that as a native New Yorker, I will argue a point to exhaustion, even if I am completely incorrect.



Anyway, let it be known, as per today's NY Times, that on this day: Jan. 24, 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

What an amazing life that man led.

May he rest in peace.

Oh, and one more thing:


(As of this moment: 20-Colts, 17-Jets, fourth quarter, It's been 41 years since I saw the Jets win the Super Bowl with Joe Namath.)



01-24-2010, 03:35 PM
I'm Canadian as well, but not particularly bothered at the apparent lack of Canadian flagged vessels. I do hope that you guys are looking for the flag we flew at that time, not the red maple leaf we use today. [By the way, I'm old enough to remember the old flag and prefer it to the new one. I was a kid in school when they brought in the new flag. I am certain that it was created as part of a Liberal Party plot to uncouple Canada from its British heritage, along with such other acts as the adoption of the metric system, offical bilingualism and "multicultural" immigration laws.]

The lion's share, no pun intended, of the shipping should be British. Britain had perhaps the largest or second largest merchant fleet in the world during at least the early part of the war. Britain adopted the convoy system immediately upon the commencement of hostilities, remembering from bitter experience how much it had cost them in WW1 for not adopting convoys. The British government thus had more power of compulsion over its own shipping than it did foreign flagged vessels, such as the Norwegians, Dutch and Greek. Upon the surrender of such countries as Norway and the Netherlands, some of their shipping was captured, but a significant amount joined the Allies. Still, a goodly number of these vessels preferred to sail solo instead of in convoy. These lone sailing ships paid a higher price compared to those that sailed in convoy. Sadly, the decision of most captains to sail alone was based more on stubbornness than cold logic. For some it was logical, as their vessels were capable of sustained speeds higher than convoys, but for most it wasn't and they thus suffered a higher rate of sinkings than ships sailed in convoys.

My own game experience does not bear out the observation of some folks. I encounter a multiplicity of flags and see that it was a multinational effort to win the Battle of the Atlantic. We should not expect to see as many Canadian vessels as we would think, considering that Britain was both larger than Canada in population, but more importantly, was an island empire and thus heavily dependent upon shipping. There were very few items that Canada really needed to import and our population of some eleven or twelve million did not require a large merchant fleet. As well, most of our shipping would be on the interior Great Lakes or coastal shipping on both coasts. A certain percentage of our imports would be brought in by British vessels, then sail home with our wheat, wood, ore and other goods.

I use GWX as my main mod. In my opinion I think the modders did a fair job, but I am open to other opinions.

01-24-2010, 04:00 PM
To HeavyRabbit:
90% is an estimate of my experiance in SH3 so far, and yes everytime I attack a convoy I use external look to see what potential targets are and see their flags close up (I know I am a cheater sometimes) and nearly all ships are British, rarely I encounter multinational convoys where maybe 1/3 of ships will be non-British. As I know from History lessons, Lend-Lease convoys were done by US merchants and therefore after December 1941 when USA is at War at least 50% of ships in a convoy should be American, or at least non-British.
According to the data you showed above, American loses were fewer than British is because most US merchants travelled almost exclusively in convoys after mid-1942 and were harder targets for U boats.

To Kaleun1961:
Thanks for your comment and some interesting facts about Canada. (I did'nt know that Canadian politicians have been trying to distance their country from British Heritage.)
I agree that the British had one of the largest merchant fleets and depended most heavily on them, but at the same time they were the most overstreched, especially by 1942 when Japan was attacking British colonies in Far East, USSR was invaded by Axis and the fighting in North Africa against Rommel's Afrika Corps was still undecided, and the Suez Canal was inoperable for some time due to heavy bombing by Luftwaffe and Italian airforce. The British merchant fleets were burdened by the need to supply its troops overseas and bring raw materials from various colonies to the UK. This is why only half of British merchants could be available for the Atlantic convoys.

01-24-2010, 04:27 PM

You use the external camera to identify the nationality of ships before you attack them?



I have some interesting pics concerning the Canadian effort during WWII, which I will post, as soon as I can figure out how to do that.



01-24-2010, 04:37 PM
To Heavy Rabbit:
I use the external camera with map first of all to see the ship types, convoy formation and to get a better angle before I begin the attack, and of course I take a peek at their flag to see which countries have the cheek to challenge U boats like mine! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
Besides, you get penalised for sinking neutral ships which sometimes take part in Convoys, usually countries formally not at war with Germany but are friendly to the Allied cause.
Please post those pictures about Canadian war effort, if you cannot post them just leave a link where I can find them.

01-24-2010, 07:45 PM
I get around the neutrality thorn by editing the game files to eliminate the penalty for sinking a neutral ship. This may seem a "gamey" tactic but I also think it is "gamey" for the developers to put that into the game with respect to neutral shipping sailing in a convoy guarded by belligerent escorts. Heck, even that sly old fox Roosevelt didn't have the nerve to accuse the Germans of sinking an American ship sailing in a British guarded convoy.

I can't recall at the moment which file it is I edit. It's a very simple change; the file can be opened with Notepad or Word and you simply change a "-1" to a "1". That means you get positive renown for sinking a neutral. However, in spite of using this fix, I do not attack neutral ships sailing solo. My aim in playing this game is not to manipulate the game but to simulate the career of a U-boat captain. There are a few other changes I make to my game in order to replicate this, but I do not have the time right now to detail all of them.

01-26-2010, 04:59 PM
I suppose I should have looked at the numbers before posting. I concede that even if North American supplies were large in number, that doesn't mean the goods were transported by North American ships. I suppose the British merchant fleet would be the world's largest.

I didn't think that Greece or Netherlands would have played as big a role, but I suppose looking back at history (and I'm a huge history buff) that Netherlands was a maritime nation and colonial power so they would have a large merchant fleet as well. I can see Greece playing a major role in the Mediterranean too.

I would like to see more Canadian ships though (I'm partial obviously) but I really want to see more Canadian escorts than merchants - corvettes and destroyers, which played a large role in the early war - when England needed them most - until the end. I'd be happier seeing a single Canadian corvette in a convoy with other British escorts than a whole group of Can merchants.

As for our flag, I don't think we are distancing ourselves or anything. We are just an independent nation and part of the commonwealth and no longer a colony. Almost every Commonwealth nation today does not sport the Union Jack as part of their flag. Have a look:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...monwealth_of_Nations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_Commonwealth_of_Nations) </pre>

01-26-2010, 05:08 PM
I just found this and would like to add it, hope nobody minds:

"Second World War

The RCN expanded greatly during the Second World War and following the end of the war was the third-largest navy in the world, behind the United States and the United Kingdom.[2] Although it showed its inexperience at times during the early part of the war, a navy made up of men from all across the country, including many who had never before seen a large body of water, proved capable of exceeding the expectations of its allies. By the end of the Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945), the RCN was the primary navy in the northwest sector of the Atlantic Ocean and was responsible for the safe escort of innumerable convoys and the destruction of many U-boats — an anti-submarine capability that the RCN would build upon during the post-war. Similarly, a massive building program (for a nation of only 11 million) saw corvettes, frigates, and other escort vessels built in shipyards on both coasts and on the Great Lakes. Added to this were aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, and various auxiliary ships."

01-26-2010, 05:59 PM
I agree that we played our part in winning the battle for the convoy lanes. But our navy was woefully small at the beginning of the war. Yes, we finished with the third largest fleet, but it took a while to get there. Our third place ranking was also helped, of course, by the massive destruction of the Japanese, Italian and German navies.

By the way, we ended up in fourth for our air force, after the Americans, British and Russians. Not bad for a small nation with almost no military to speak of at the beginning of the war.

A good read on Canada's contribution to the naval war is "The Corvette Navy." I cannot recall the name of the author at the moment, but I did enjoy reading it. His descriptions of life aboard a corvette had left me feeling anxious to get back into my U-boat and take it deep.

01-28-2010, 01:18 PM
I was in Halifax twice. There is a completely restored WWII Canadian Corvette Museum on the "HMCS Sackville".









More to come!

Stay tuned!

01-28-2010, 02:00 PM
Awesome !!!

If I ever manage to get across the pond I need to visit it!

01-28-2010, 03:06 PM
Still more of the WWII Canadian Corvette: HMCS Sackville?

Ha, Ha!!!


You will beg for mercy!!!







01-29-2010, 07:57 AM
I love the corvettes. They are like the little underdogs to me. I wish I could captain one in the game.

BTW I found somewhere that the merchant marine of Canada used a blue flag. I changed my in-game Canadian merchants to using this blue flag btw. I'll show you.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/8978/canadianm.png (http://img32.imageshack.us/i/canadianm.png/)

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6171/sh3img291201095523984.png (http://img197.imageshack.us/i/sh3img291201095523984.png/)

I also discovered that Canada built merchant ships very similar to the Liberty (or Victory?) Cargo class called Fort or "Park Ships."

From Wikipedia: "Eventually thousands of Canadians served aboard hundreds of Canadian Merchant Navy ships, notably the "Park Ships", the Canadian equivalent of the American "Liberty Ships"."

Is there a way to add liberty ships to Canada's fleet? I'd like to do it. Thanks guys!

01-29-2010, 08:23 AM
<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre"> http://wwii.ca/page54.html </pre>

From Veteran's Affairs Canada:



* Considered to have been won by the Allies in 1943, although lasted the duration of the Second World War, which in Europe ended May 8, 1945.
* Began September 3, 1939, with the sinking of the Montréal-bound passenger ship SS Athenia by a German submarine west of Ireland. Of the 1,400 passengers and crew, 118, including 4 Canadians, were killed.
* Training, air cover, special intelligence and more and better equipment turned the tide in mid-1943.

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)

* Began the war with 13 vessels, of which 6 were destroyers, and 3,500 personnel, and ended it with the third largest navy in the world. At war's end the RCN had 373 fighting ships and over 110,000 members, all of whom were volunteers, including 6,500 women who served in the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Services.
* Escort of merchant ship convoys was the RCN's chief responsibility during the Battle. The first convoy sailed from Halifax on September 16, 1939, escorted by the Canadian destroyer St. Laurent. By mid-1942, the RCN, with support from the RCAF, was providing nearly half the convoy escorts, and afterward carried out the lion's share of escort duty.
* Approximately 2,000 members of the RCN died during the war, and 24 RCN vessels were sunk.
* Canadian aircraft and ships, alone or in consort with other ships or aircraft, sank 50 U-boats.

Merchant Marine

* On August 26, 1939, all Canadian merchant ships passed from the control of their owners to the control of the RCN. No Canadian-registered ship or merchant ship in a Canadian port could sail without the RCN's authority and direction.
* When the war began Canada had 38 oceangoing merchant vessels of 1,000 tons or more. 410 merchant ships were built in Canada during the war.
* More than 25,000 merchant ship voyages were made.
* The Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance lists the names of approximately 1,600 Canadians who died at sea during the war, including those of eight women.

U-boats (Unterseebooten)

* German submarines, main threat to merchant and other surface vessels. Were capable of remaining away from port for three months and more. When submerged, operated on batteries which, until the schnorkel was invented, had to be re-charged by their diesel engines at surface level. Carried up to 21 torpedoes and also laid mines. Could dive below the surface in roughly 30 seconds.
* In one month — June 1941 — over 500,000 tons of Allied shipping were lost to U-boats.
* U-boats improved with acoustic torpedo and schnorkel, which drew air inside sub and expelled exhaust fumes, allowing vessel to recharge its batteries while beneath the surface. First appeared in late 1943.
* By March 1945, 463 U-boats were on patrol, compared to 27 in 1939. "

01-29-2010, 09:58 AM
Ahem, gamer025:

I assume you mean this, at the bow of the Corvette?



(I love flags, and always have, ever since I was a little kid.)

Still more to come.

Stand by...

01-29-2010, 10:33 AM
Hmm the one I found is "Blue Ensign worn as a jack by the Royal Canadian Navy from 1921–1957."

The one you have posted (with red leaves) is "Blue Ensign worn as a jack by the Royal Canadian Navy from 1957–1965."

I guess the RCN ships should have the blue flag then and not the merchant ships?

It seems that Canada used both, the Red Ensign with green leaves and the Blue ensign with green up to 1957...

I don't know what to do now lol. I'd like to use the distinguishing flags for each country if I can.

01-29-2010, 01:12 PM
Originally posted by gamer025:
I love the corvettes. They are like the little underdogs to me. I wish I could captain one in the game.

BTW I found somewhere that the merchant marine of Canada used a blue flag. I changed my in-game Canadian merchants to using this blue flag btw. I'll show you.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/8978/canadianm.png (http://img32.imageshack.us/i/canadianm.png/)

http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/6171/sh3img291201095523984.png (http://img197.imageshack.us/i/sh3img291201095523984.png/)

I also discovered that Canada built merchant ships very similar to the Liberty (or Victory?) Cargo class called Fort or "Park Ships."

From Wikipedia: "Eventually thousands of Canadians served aboard hundreds of Canadian Merchant Navy ships, notably the "Park Ships", the Canadian equivalent of the American "Liberty Ships"."

Is there a way to add liberty ships to Canada's fleet? I'd like to do it. Thanks guys!

Awesome flag! I'd love it as a fellow Canuckian if this were somehow made available as a downloadable mod. [Hint, hint http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif]

The corvettes weren't particularly fast; a Type VII could outhaul it on the surface. They weren't very pleasant to serve aboard; they bounced like corks and there were few, if any, sailors who never once tossed their cookies. But they were agile, able to buck heavy seas, inexpensive and fairly easy/quick to build. They filled a gap while the larger, faster destroyer escorts were designed and built. The RCN commissioned well over 200 if memory serves me correctly, thus earning it the nickname, "Corvette Navy."

01-29-2010, 03:39 PM
Thanks Kaleun1961. I hope to be able to do similar things for other countries if I can find more flags.

I sent you a PM so check that out. If anyone else wants it let me know. The best thing is it's super-simple and not a mod so it won't conflict with anything. Very high-res though.

I'm also going to try to add more ships to the RCN if I can figure out how. I renamed the "River class" from a DDE to a Frigate. Now it says "River Frigate." I've read that only the USN used the term "Destroyer Escort" while the British used "Frigate" for the same class of vessels. I'll post my results here.

EDIT: so I just found out what a "jack" is: a small national flag flown at the bow of a vessel in harbour.

Still I think it will be all right to keep it atop the main mast, right? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

EDIT2: I managed to add Fiji CL and some more DDs to the lineup.

01-29-2010, 04:39 PM
Here's what I've managed so far. Strangely I can't play single missions, only campaign. I'm using SH3 Commander so maybe that's interfering with it.