In 1940, German U-boat commander Otto Kretschmer's submarine was under siege for hours and his crew grew tremendously stressed. In order to preserve oxygen, they had to find ways to stay calm.
The wolfpack tactic was made famous by Admiral Karl Donitz, Hitler's mastermind of submariners. His strategy: to send teams of U-boats to bear against the convoys of ships heading from Canada to Britain, cut maritime lifelines, and starve the enemy into defeat. Take a deep dive into the North Atlantic as we go above and below sea level to relive one of the first attacks of Donitz's lethal subs in 1940, headed by leader of the pack Commander Otto Kretschmer. Then follow Britain's war strategists as they race to combat this new deadly attack.
Watch this episode online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.