Louisiana Institute of Higher Education

 

#12 “U-Boats in the Gulf of Mexico in World War II”

2002-2003 History Lecture Series Season – December 2nd, 2002

Martin K. A. Morgan, Research Historian, National D-Day Museum

Attendance – 95

 

Lecture Description

 

 Morgan told of the effective effort to interfere with the American ability to wage war when between May and August of 1942, twenty-four German U-Boats operated in the Gulf of Mexico. The German campaign did much more than just threaten American strategic oil reserves. It also brought World War II combat directly to Texas, Florida and Louisiana. Throughout that summer, U-Boat commanders were in a position of great advantage and consequently found targets in the Gulf of Mexico to be plentiful and vulnerable. Unhindered by coastal blackouts or escorted convoys, the U-Boats quickly accumulated a dramatic record of success in the Gulf – a record of success that has been largely overlooked by history. During that summer, German submarines sank fifty-six allied ships in the Gulf – some of them within sight of the Louisiana coast.