Oh hey. Everyone’s too busy for an update. Guess it’s time for another.
ENTERPRISE’S CARRIER CORNER!
Not so fast Prisse. I’m not about to have someone else steal my SUB corner again. You’ve already did your SBD thing a while back.
But didn’t you say you were too busy today? I even prepared to talk a bit about Midway! The turning point of the war! Carriers were useful too! Easily the most important ship class of the war! I’m sure the readers-
Prisse… Tog’s had a long day…. You best not-
Carriers were the most important? Prisse… Lemme show you something real quick…
See that? DO YOU SEE THAT?
Yea. Carrier air has the most naval ships sunk! Woohoo! Victory through air power!
NO. LOOK HOW MANY SHIPS WERE SUNK BY SUBMARINES! LOOK AT IT.
1.6% of US Navy personnel were responsible for over HALF of enemy shipping sunk! HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THEY WERE IMPORTANT!
…I wasn’t saying they weren’t important… I was just saying-
THE US NAVY SUBMARINE FORCE DID TO JAPAN WHAT THE KRIEGSMARINE FAILED TO DO TO ENGLAND.
PLUS! THE US SUBMARINE FORCE SUFFERED THE HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE OF ALL BRANCHES OF THE US MILITARY!
GAAAAAAH! THE US SUBMARINE SERVICE NEVER GETS ANY LOVE OKAY!? EVERYONE EITHER COMPARES BATTLESHIP STATS. AS IF IT MATTERS? HOW MANY SHIPS WERE SANK BY BATTLESHIPS DURING WORLD WAR 2? THEN YOU’VE GOT THE PEOPLE THAT GOES AND MARVELS OVER THE STRIKING POWER OF CARRIER AIR. IF THERE ARE ANY PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN SUBMARINES, THEY’RE ALWAYS DROOLING OVER THE U-BOATS.
WHAT’D THE U-BOATS DO?
LOSE THE WAR?
I’m sorry Tautog.
Nah. I’m sorry.
The US submarine service was plenty important. I didn’t want to imply otherwise. I won’t try to take your subcorners again.
I mean, I like your sub corners! I always learn something new! This is kinda your spot to tell the world the story of US submarines, so I guess it’s really rude for me to try and take it for myself. Sorry. I should have been more considerate.
Prisse. Uh. Sorry. I blew up. I put words in your mouth. Here. Next post can be a Carrier corner if you’d like.
Oh, no need. You go do your sub corners.
Really. I insist. Go write out a carrier corner. I’ll even help you!
YEA! WE’RE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RIGHT? WOOHOO! UNITED WE STAND! HOORAY FOR A HAPPY ENDING! I LOVE THIS COUNTRY!
Yeah. I think you are. I’m gonna be red… or maybe just normal color this time. I think it’s kind of weird that we always switch colors, though…
I honestly was not expecting you to be so … Please, don’t take this the wrong way, Tambusebär but I did not think that you would be so thoughtful.
Underestimate the Tambor at your own peril, ya no-good kraut, haha! This one’ll be fun.
Hi! Tambor here. I have Dracha and Hata with me today. Sorry if you were expecting Tautog’s commentary on the London Naval Conference. Since she’s busy trying to figure out ways to make it seem like we aren’t too biased against CERTAIN powers, the three of us sat down and thought we’d talk a little about food!
After all, everyone likes food! As Tautog said in an earlier post, food is what makes life on a submarine much more bearable. What we’re going to do today is to have the three of us describe to you what an average menu would taste like (little hint, St. Bernard! You should totally draw this out) based on historical documents we’ve scrounged up regarding submarine cuisine.
These are respectively:
A Type XXI Supply Document (summarized by the US military)
A Tambor-class supply log (actually, it’s the Tautog’s stores!)
A I-15 class assessment report (since not much information survived off of late-war Japanese submarines)
To maximize (yes, you read that right!) bias, we’re having Hata eat the American menu, Dracha eat the Japanese menu, and I get the U-boat one.
This’ll be fun! I REGRET NOTHING!
Gaaaaaaah I regret EVERYTHING.
I should have gotten Dracha to get me an early war menu, where the Germans might have actually had all-edible food as opposed to that fake meat thing. As it stands, dinner consisted of:
A really good pork sausage. Yum.
Some kind of pork sausage that doesn’t taste like sausage. A closer inspections reveals something called Bratlingspulver. It’s a soy-based mock-meat filler. Ugh.
A pound of (somewhat burnt) baked potatoes loaded with bacon and ham bits. Not sure if this is just Dracha can’t cook or if it’s supposed to be that way, but this one tasted fine.
A chopped up dish of gherkins. Dracha says that these are surprisingly enough well-received by the crew. Kind of vinegary but it tastes German enough…
For drinks, a sweetened red tea that tastes kind of like our southern-styled ice tea back home, to be honest…
Some kind of very hard hard-bread cracker with a marmalade I can’t quite figure out. Maybe apple? Strawberry? The cracker was very tough and nearly impossible to bite into.
Overall, I was glad to have avoided the legendary horror that’s the “one-pot stew.” Apparently it’s welcomed by U-boat crews but no one else in particular. Personally, I was expecting a whole lot more meat since it’s supposed to be German and all…
However, it seems that the largest amount of food carried were indeed tinned meats (Bratlingspulver-added or otherwise), potatoes, and “preserved breads” (which I can only assume was the cracker-thing that I ate). I’m not sure of the quality of the canned vegetables, but apparently it wasn’t very well liked.
(Here’s a picture I found from U-boat.net. Looks like they had plenty of creative ways to store their foods. Hmm… I wonder why Dracha didn’t give me an apple or an orange or something… That picture looks like there’s definitely plenty of fruit…
Unless fruits go bad fast too… I wonder how fast apples spoil inside a U-boat.)
Overall. Taste? 3 out 5. Portions? 5 out of 5. I think this was fine. Man, I kind of want Trout to make some brats for dinner tonight now…
SHEISSE, WHERE IS POTATO????????
I UNDERSTAND TINY MENU IS FOR TINY JAPANESE PEOPLES BUT THE PORTIONS ARE TINY!
No, Dracha, you just eat a whole lot. The IJN’s wartime caloric allotment was in the region of anywhere from 3200 kcals to 3600 kcals, which was on par with the calorie standards of other navies…
It’s also rude to talk with your mouth full of food like that. Also did you forget? This is my sub-corner after all. Just because I’m busy doing research doesn’t mean I can’t pipe in and provide useful commentary, where I’m sure all our readers appreciate.
S-sorry! I wasn’t trying to talk. It’s just this … RICE! THINGIE! It’s REALLY hard to eat. It’s hard and doesn’t taste like rice at all!
That’s because it’s barley rice. Typical ratio is 2 portions of barley to 1 portion of rice for the surface fleet. Hata says that most submariners still had to purchase their own food supplements, and nobody have the money to afford eating “silver rice” – what you and I call white rice every meal – with the exception of maybe some very wealthy officers.
I DEFINITELY see more grains of white rice here than 2:1, Tautog.
Japanese submarines have a much high portion of white rice, per meal, compared to anything else on the fleet. Think of it as hazard pay or a morale booster. However, barley mixed rice is still common enough that it appears on the menu fairly regularly. During earlier periods white rice may be far more common (in fact several commanders can attest it being almost for every meal!), but the evidence we obtained is sourced in 1944 – well into the losing portions of the Pacific War.
There’s no potato… no meat… waah… Those pickles are tiny and the black sauce tastes really off…
You ate the meat already.
H-Huh??? You mean that tiny canned thing?
Yeah. Also, it wasn’t tiny. It was 500 g and you ate two of them in that stew-like dish. Normally Japanese submariners don’t just get canned, pre-made meat meals. Those were special. You just ate enough meat for four, and it’s generally stretched out into a stew or a curry.
… They didn’t taste like anything to be honest. Kinda bland and salty. The meat’s texture was also really weird. Say, Tautog, do Japanese canned fish taste better? I just realized that it’s not common at all over this side –
We have canned tuna but nobody really likes it much.
Yeah. Tambor’s right. Typically canned tuna is easy to get in the US side, but it’s really just meant as a sandwich filler more than anything else. The Japanese sort of canned sauced fish or deboned raw fish is interesting precisely because it’s different. Normally, preserved, fresh, or whole fish is common. Below is a picture from a Japanese military manual showing new recruits how to properly fillet and process fish.
However, submariners often had to deal with canned goods. Take a trip to the local Asian supermarket and look for their canned stuff. It won’t be too different from what the Japanese submariners ate historically.
… I have to say I really didn’t like it. At all. The whole meal, I mean. We eat rice too, but it’s nothing like the way the Japanese submariners make it. The meat was cold and it didn’t taste very good. The pickles are really flavorful, but they were really tiny. The black sauce tasted horrible! It was like burnt leather, only saltier and smellier. The only thing I liked was their soda-pop. It was zesty and lemony and tasted really good. Just like the sodas we get on Avalon these days.
Also, why didn’t they have dessert?
OH. ALSO. I HAD A BEER. IT WAS WEAK AS SHEISSE. WHOEVER DECIDED TO CALL THIS STUFF BEER SHOULD GO DO THE SAMURAI SUICIDE THING BECAUSE IT’S AN INSULT TO BEER. I AM ACTUALLY KIND OF OFFENDED NOW.
Er, first of all, the black sauce you had was supposed to be miso. Apparently based on the two sources we could find, many Japanese submariners disliked the miso supplied to them. They preferred other canned sauces or non-canned soy sauces instead.
Secondly, dessert items were considered to be “extra” menu items. It’s kind of like their midrats. Plenty of bean breads and baked goodies or other sweets, but only for specially qualified individuals. For the matter, it wasn’t very good either. Unlike the plethora of baked goodies you see on a US submarine, most Japanese baked items were basically … bread plus sugar.
Literally plus table sugar. You’ll see plenty of menu items like “bread with canned red bean paste” or “bread with sugar sprinkles” or “bread with sugar sprinkles plus extra sugar rations.” Other common dessert items such as Mitsumame (think of these as jelly) and Yokan (another jelly-paste like dessert made out of red bean paste) are generally served at the commander’s discretion.
Beer… I have no idea. Some sources mention the alcohol rations are often diluted on occasions, and other than that I haven’t heard anything about Japanese beers being “weak.” Hata?
Freshly baked bread every day. Not a single meal without good meat. Choices of beef, pork, chicken, wow. Desserts all the time. Huge mix of fruits, vegetables, and … waw…
Fresh! Milk! Ice cream!
Easy there hon. Fresh milk isn’t that common. It’s generally only available at the beginning of a patrol or in port. It’s definitely something you miss, though.
T-Tautog, I’m gonna make some gaijin home-guard who harbors a far too romanticized view of everything Japanese mad by saying this, but this food is really, really good!
Of course. Pic related. It’s a reenactor showing everyone what cooking on a US WW2 submarine looked like! If I have my way you’ll see an entire mini-series within the Navy foods mini-series too! All about cooking on a submarine, mwahaha!
Hope you had fun reading that, everyone. See ya next time!
…Shouldn’t Tautog be the one closing this off?
Actually I’m kinda hungry now. Besides, it doesn’t count as a hostile takeover if I approve wholeheartedly of its contents!
Wait, so were there sub corners that weren’t approved?
No, I mean, not that way. It WOULD be nice if Dolphin doesn’t randomly barge in and go MURICA on everyone though. I’d also like to keep it as related to submarines as possible, so no random Prisse-Zuizu-Marby or whatever/whoever else coming in talk about the things they like.
IN OTHER WORDS: SILENT SERVICE: ON SUBMARINE DESIGNS AND WHY LE SURCOUF IS BEST SUBMARINE OF DEUXIÈME GUERRE MONDIALE
Hohum! Now that the Morgane is currently sick in bed no one is going to do sub-corner. Which means it is time for I, Surcouf, to save the day! Surcouf will teach you about the engineering marvel that is the Surcouf, which is biggest and best allied sous-marine of –
OUT! I’M ANGRY NOW! EVERYONE KEEP ON HIJACKING MY SUBCORNERS! THEY’RE MY SUBCORNERS! IT EVEN HAVE MY NAME ON IT! LITERALLY! TITLED! TAUTOG’S SUB! CORNERS!
Uh oh –
YOU HAVE THREE SECONDS TO GET THAT STUFF OUT OF HERE BEFORE I SHOVE YOU OFF INTO THE APPENDIX SURCOUF!
O-okay, okay! Bonne mère, you are in a bad mood …
MORGANE’S SICK! DO YOU SEE THE BACKLOG OF WORK UP THERE? I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THAN SUBMARINES! AND I DON’T SPEAK CHINESE! I CAN’T MAGICALLY MAKE BOOKS SHIP FASTER! GAAAAAAH –
Tautog? Oh. Hey. So I got that –
NOT NOW TAMBOR THIS A BAD TIME. I’M PRETENDING TO BE SARGE AND YELLING. IT CALMS MY NERVES!
– research page you wanted.
OH. Good. Okay. We’re actually going to talk about this today. Surcouf, you can actually hang around. This actually involve you (sort of).
Hi everyone! It’s another one of my sub-corners. Today’s topic is actually a very simple one. It’s politics.
Specifically, the politics that lead to the U.S. navy’s development and design of submarines. We’re going to talk about the Geneva and London conferences (since they happened more or less closely).
Now, we’ve touched on the Washington naval treaty before, where a number of great powers came together to discuss and develop limitations on naval build-up. We came up with this idea called “collective security,” after all, and we were pretty happy to generally keep massive shipbuilding to a minimum.
Not so the other countries. Battleships were still being developed and built, and there was no agreement on an overall tonnage limit for smaller ships. So, everywhere you see, cruisers and destroyers, and yes, submarines, were all being built. This put the US navy at a pretty tough spot, since Congress really didn’t give it much money. What money went instead to the modernization of the Battle fleet (if you read vol. 1 and some of the BB girls talk about that? Yeah. It’s a reference to that process) and the conversion of the Lexington and Saratoga into aircraft carriers.
The problem here is that if you look at other countries, they were building a lot of stuff. Below I’ve put a table of new ships authorized to be built from 1922 to 1926 by the other major powers.
Silly kraut Germany can’t into boatbuilding honhonhonhon –
Let’s not interrupt. Come on.
Hey! Peanut gallery! Settle down! I’m still talking!
Okay. Where was I? Right. Look at that chart up there. The only new things we were building at this time were the large submarines we’ve already talked about and the Omaha-class cruisers. Meanwhile, the Japanese and the English were both building some pretty advanced ships of all types. Thus, president Coolidge thought it might be a good idea to call the other powers together to see if we can’t put some limitations on what kind of smaller ships could be built. This first conference was the Geneva conference in 1927.
The British, of course, had more plans. The Admiralty planned at least seventy cruisers, and the British Empire would need to construct close to fifty ships by the 1930s to maintain imperial hegemony. They came in wanting the limits lifted, because funding issues prevented the RN architects from fully optimizing their ship designs, and they weren’t really interested in taking on the Japanese and French cruisers armed with the big 8” guns.
Japan, too, of course wanted more tonnage. France, however, along with Italy, declined to attend.
In fact, to further insult the US, the French foreign minister submitted a draft treaty to outlaw war to the League of Nations on the same day this naval conference began.
We had our reasons! First of all, the Washington Treaty was not fair to the French! You can’t trust the English to keep their word! Not when they design their forces explicitly to check the Marine Nationale!
A French shipgirl, attacking the English, when they aren’t even here to defend themselves. Why am I not surprised.
If any such conference is to take place it will happen AFTER they are built. Do you see how many submarines we are building? THE FRENCH ARE THE MASTER OF SOUS-MARINE COMBAT –
Yeah, well. The massive rearmament coming out of the UK and France basically scared the Italians. They really didn’t want to come into a conference where there was always a chance that everyone else’ll gang up on them and stop them from building more ships. You have to remember that basically everyone other than the US was still in a massive, massive shipbuilding frenzy right now.
By the way, this conference really went nowhere. America went in wanting to limit everyone’s shipbuilding. Britain went in wanting to make sure the Empire stays on top, and so wanted to push out as many ships as possible for the maintenance of the empire. Japan went in offended by western bias – literally calling the US and UK “imperialist hegemons” attempting to keep the definitely-not-invading-Asia Japanese inferior – and came out even more offended by western bias. I mean, people got assassinated back home because of these treaties!
You know what, I underestimated the length of this particular piece. I’m going to talk about London in the next sub corner instead. Or, actually, probably the next few sub corners.
… I’m seriously confused. Why did I dig out those documents again?
You know, I started out wanting to talk about how the British constantly tried to outlaw submarine warfare at every major naval conference. The one they came close to was at London, and this would end up significantly influencing submarine design of pretty much all the countries that had good submarines.
Well, to do that, I need to explain what the naval conferences are. Specifically, I’d need to talk about the London naval conference in greater detail.
To do that, I need to basically dig out the context for why these terms are discussed. Submarines were a small part of the conference overall, but the implications behind trying to limit the submarines was much bigger, since it revealed different historical objectives by all these powers.
In order to do that, I need to probably talk about Geneva, and what didn’t work there. Since, well, if Geneva had worked, maybe the start of the war would have turned out differently.
To explain Geneva I probably should go research just what the period was like. After all, we called that convention…
To do that, well, I had to look at what led to Geneva. That’s how the table got made.
…Hmm, we should probably talk a bit more about Washington too… That’s how this started after all.
Okay, so, dear reader, if you were to just remember one thing after reading this, I’d say it’d be this.
“The Geneva Naval Conference was initiated by the US due to concerns over increasing numbers of new ships being built by foreign powers. Meant to reach an agreement over limitations on naval construction, it failed.”