Presentation of DMB historian Dr. Witt at international conference on "Battle of the Atlantic"
As part of the British events for 70th anniversary commemorations for the "Battle of the Atlantic" in World War II a historical conference was held on 23 and 24 May in Liverpool under the title "The Battle of the Atlantic Remembered". Around 30 well-known naval historian from Britain, Australia, Germany, Canada and the United States presented their latest research. Their papers covered a wide range of different topics, ranging from the question of the role of the convoy system over the British response to the threat of the German U-boats, the notion of individual actors, such as the Canadian naval officer James Douglas Prentice, to socio-historical reflections on the fate of families and children during World War II. With Eric Grove and Andrew Lambert also two of Britains leading naval historians were among the speakers. As a representative of the German Naval Association, Dr. Jann M. Witt of the German Naval Monument at Laboe attended the conference in Liverpool. "We were very warmly received. During breaks and at dinner we had stimulating discussions on various issues. Also in this regard, the conference was a great success," says Dr. Witt.

In his presentation, Dr. Witt focused on the German surface naval strategy in World War II. The main objective of the German Kriegsmarine in World War II was to cut the British supply lines in the Atlantic. In addition to submarines the German navy also used battleships and heavy cruisers in commerce warfare, the strategic value of these heavy surface vessels being at least as important as the sinking of merchant ships, since they helped to divert a large number of British warships to escort duty. The second German speaker, Commander Christian Jentzsch, historian of the German Naval Academy Mürwik, discussed the role of the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of the Atlantic. The cooperation between German navy and German air force in naval air warfare remained inadequate during the entire duration of World War II. The absence of an independent naval air force hampered the German navy especially in respect to long range maritime air reconnaissance.
The two-day conference was concluded by a reception by the First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy at the Liverpool Maritime Museum. "It was a great, meeting such a number of renowned international colleagues in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere," Dr. Witt sums up the conference.
Dr. Jann M. Witt und Korvettenkapitän Christian Jentzsch von der Marineschule Mürwik
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