ME

BUILDING AND PROTECTION
FROM SUBMARINES

Sydney McDonald

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Building and Protection from Submarines
Sydney McDonald

In World War II, every state made a great contribution to the war efforts against the Axis. The United States belonged to the Allies. Maine’s contribution was submarines to be used under water to both find out information and launch attacks. Maine contributed a few things to the war, but submarines were our main strength.

Submarines were extremely important to the Allied efforts in World War II. Submarines made up about 2% of the U.S navy forces, although, they also sunk over 30% of Japan’s navy. American submarines virtually decimated Japan’s economy, sinking the majority of Japanese shipping. However, this came at the cost of losing 52 boats and 3,506 men from the American submarine forces. Maine was a primary supplier of submarines because of a few things; one, it’s extremely convenient location, and its abundant supplies. Maine is a coastal state, with plenty of shorelines and shipyards perfect for building and sending out the submarines. Maine also remained with a healthy economy and a great amount of supplies which they used to build the submarines. This made Maine a great state in which to do a great deal of work with submarines.

Submarines are very complicated, difficult to build, and even harder to control and make great use of. However, once used properly, they are very agile and useful. Submarines are increasingly large, and quite cumbersome. They are powered by diesel engines and although they can move rather quickly, they slow down considerably under water. They use batteries to remain under water longer. Their main weapons are torpedoes, sometimes called ‘mini-submarines’. These qualities were shared in most submarines, but in comparison of the German and U.S submarines, the Germans were more advanced in underwater speed and endurance, making it slightly more dangerous for the Allies to engage in submarine battles with the Axis powers. Submarines were so important to the Germans that the Maine fishermen were given radios in order to send word if they saw any German subs.

One of the major shipyards for building and repairing submarines during World War II was Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Located between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, NH, and established in 1800, it began its submarine production and repair in World War I. World War II increased this dramatically, however. The shipyard continued to make these submarines until 1969, when the first nuclear power submarine was made there. One of the largest ship houses in the United States is also at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Franklin Ship house was built from 1854 to 1864, when it was fully completed. The ship yard was the Navy’s primary research center, especially after World War II.

Maine and its submarines were vital to the war efforts in World War II. With the combined importance of subtle information gathering, under-sea attacks, building the subs, deploying the subs, and the profit gained for the shipyards from the subs, these vehicles were used often, and made a huge impact on the United State’s economy. Without the submarines, not only would the United States’ navy forces be much weaker, we would not have won as many battles, we would not have crippled their economy, and we may not have won World War II. With the German’s excessively growing technology and intelligence with their subs, we would have been at a huge disadvantage without them, further setting an example of how important submarines were.

Following this thesis, Maine was a vital producer to the United States. Like life’s food chain, with its producers and consumers. Maine would qualify as a producer, with the Allies as a whole as a consumer. Further expanding this theory, you could imagine what it would be like if Maine had not been a primary supplier of submarines. If Maine was removed from the equation, there would have been a significant decrease in submarine production and distribution. Again, this leaving the United States, and in following, the Allies, at a serious disadvantage.

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