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From this seaside villa,
on the edge of the French port of Lorient,

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Karl Donitz directed
the Battle of the Atlantic.

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By the summer of 1942, Donitz commanded
three hundred and thirty U-boats.

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Five times more than
at the beginning of the war.

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With these, he hoped to strike a decisive
blow against the convoys on

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which the allied war effort depended.

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Fast on the surface, able to hide beneath it,
the U-boat seemed an invincible enemy.

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This is the story of
how the allies fought back

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and within a year drove
the U-boat from the Atlantic.

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After three years of success,
the hunter became the hunted.

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Hitler's U-boats sank more than a hundred
and thirty ships in June 1942.

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The crews called this their 'happy time.'

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We were convinced we were
fighting in the right service.

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We expected
to have success in battle.

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We were young, optimistic,

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and we'd sworn our Oath of Allegiance
to the Fatherland, and to our

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- well, as he was then - beloved Fuhrer.

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The U-boat was winning
the battle of the Atlantic.

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More than five hundred allied ships
were sunk in the first half of 1942,

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for the loss ofjust
twenty-one German U-boats.

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The leader of the U-boat arm
judged a decisive victory

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in the Atlantic to be within his grasp.

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But Karl Donitz's confidence
was shaken that summer,

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by a new and entirely unexpected threat.

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On the night of July the 13th, 1942,

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U-159 was making good speed home to
its base on the French coast.

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lts crew felt safe. The dark hull of the boat
was almost invisible at night.

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We were sailing at full speed at night

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when we were suddenly caught
in the glare of a searchlight.

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A plane was running in to attack us.

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The U-boat had been detected by
a Wellington from RAF Coastal Command.

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lt dropped five depth charges
next to the boat, pretty close.

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We didn't know how it had found us.
We only knew for the -

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- first time a plane had
attacked us at night

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and caught us in the full beam
of its searchlight.

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The U-159 limped back
into Lorient to discover

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that two other boats
had been attacked that night.


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