Talk:Second Happy Time

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No sources, little wikification, and definate opinionated claims, especially towards the end with things like "Popular alarm at the sinkings was dealt with by a combination of secrecy and misleading propaganda." (And no source). 04:21, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The source for "Popular alarm etc " is probablly Gannon's Operation Drumbeat - which goes into the detailed discussion of articles in the US Press at the time, particularly from the Miami Herald, which was demanding a blackout while the US government and Navy failed to implement it!

The article is generally accurate, though there are a number of areas where the emphasis one may question. The essential point as this catastrophe on the US East coast (which came close to the Allies being defeated) has been surpressed in popular US History. The idea of the UK sending ships and aircraft to defend the East Coast of the US conflicts with the idea coming to the rescue of Europe.


Vaguely Correct, Definitely Innacurate[edit]

I would most emphatically disagree that this article is "generally accurate," as there are major mistatements of fact, such as "through the summer and the first half of autumn 1942, there were no U-boat sinkings at all."

Gannon's book records the first sinkings of u-boats by American forces in March of 1942. Subsequent sinkings by USN personnel continued into July (pages 380-383 of the trade paperback version). I am changing that paragraph to reflect the Gannon source.

Further, the assertion that convoys were not implemented during the specified time period is also incorrect, as coastal convoys, by Gannon's book, were implemented in May, 1942. The historical record is damning enough of King and his lopsided thinking without the inaccuracies.

I would also contest the notion that the catastrophe that befell the East Coast of the US in January - August 1942 has been "surpressed" (sic). Gannon is an American historian, and the book was a national bestseller.

--Wulfe 17:28, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Yup, US forces did sink u-boats in early 1942. Two off Newfoundland in March, 1942 (not strictly part of the scope of this article as Second Happy Time refers to the U-boat campaign in US waters) and one off Cape Hatteras on 14 April (the first off the US East Coast in this campaign). I'm checking other details. The thrust of the article, however, is that the US was largely unprepared, ill-equipped, resisted British advice and there were huge avoidable losses in Allied merchant tonnage. This is widely supported. Folks at 137 23:05, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't see where that is contested. However, the article did state that the Kriegsmarine sustained no losses at the hands of US forces during the Second Happy Time, which is incorrect. The article as written also noted implementation of convoys far later than it actually occurred. The data on both German u-boat losses and implementation of convoys comes directly from the Gannon book. --Wulfe 17:28, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, no offence intended. I took your statement: "I would most emphatically disagree that this article is "generally accurate,"..." to query an important thread of the article, so I re-stated it. On the other hand, the point about no sinkings needed correction, as you pointed out (I used as a source: I don't know the Gannon book): thanks for the prompt to dig for info. "Second Happy Time" (SHT) refers to the u-boat campaign in US waters, I believe. The 2 sinkings in March off Newfoundland, therefore, are not really part of the SHT scope, although they were by US aircraft. Folks at 137 17:06, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
None taken, my friend. The Newfoundland sinkings should probably be removed. I'll take them out. I used the Gannon book as a source, and then verified through I would be very curious to know what the interaction was between King and Andrews during the height of Paukenschlag. King, distracted by his tunnel vision and anglophobia, did not heed British warnings and advice. I have run across a document on that attests to Andrews requesting convoys as early as February 1942 but deciding against it as the available escort vessels were too slow. That may have been a flawed decision, but it runs against the notion that USN strategists disregarded British warnings and advice out of hand. I'd need a little stronger substantiation before dropping it into the article though. --Wulfe 17:28, 21 August 2006 (UTC)


I make no judgements as to the accuracy of the article - I have neither the resources, nor really the inclination, to take the time to check. But the article at the very least needs cited references in order to move above Start-class. LordAmeth 19:58, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Why was it named this?[edit]

Does anybody know the origin of the name? Klosterdev 11:55, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

It's self evident - The U-boat crews were happy because they could sink without being sunk.

  • Why was it the second happy time? What was the first happy time? A sourced answer to this should be worked into the introduction for clarification purposes. -- saberwyn 11:18, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
It's mentioned in the first paragraph. ==Wulfe
In the German article, it does not state any name related to "second happy time" but the correct name used there is "Unternehmen Paukenschlag" meaning something like operation drumming attack. So unless proper sources are provided for the current article name, it should be renamed. As to my knowledge calling this operation happy time or golden time is pure imagination. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:36, August 30, 2007 (UTC)
"Operation Drumbeat" is the common translation of "Unternehmen Paukenschlag". To be honest, the formal German title is irrelevant here, since this is the English language Wiki. There appropriate redirects to this article and use of the "Paukenschlag" title would probably cause problems. My understanding is that the "Second Happy Time" name (or its German equivalent) was used unofficially by u-boat crews because of the easy targets and comparative lack of opposition. I hope to do a rewrite, so will attend to this point (see below). Folks at 137 19:52, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Reference added. Folks at 137 08:11, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
"Second Happy Time" has to be a translation, right? The German U-Boat captains wouldn't use an English phrase (and a silly one at that). Unless that's the actual phrase they used, the article should list the original German phrase somewhere. Salvar (talk) 14:28, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Salvar. In my opinion the title of the page should be: Operation Paukenschlag (Drumbeat), or Operation Drumbeat (Paukenschlag). Aha0 (talk) 19:50, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Rearrange, clean & expand[edit]

Unless there are objections, I plan to do a rewrite. It's an important topic and deserves a better rating; also, we've been encouraged to at least add references, which I would do. The proposed headings would cover: Summary, Background, Warnings & indications, Preparations, Events, Outcomes, Assessment. Perhaps also a brief outline of the personalities. The intention would be to make all sections factual, except for Assessment, which would intend to draw together the various arguments and assessments that have been made. Changes will occur as work progresses. If I can work out how to use the sandbox, I'll develop there, otherwise I'll deposit the first cut for comment. Folks at 137 19:52, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. I have tried to code references, but haven't gotten the hang of it.
Wulfe 21:06, 12 September 2007 (UTC)Wulfe

I have requested citations for three statements in the early portion of the article. I believe the first is a rather subjective opinion deserving of attribution, the second is inaccurate, and the third is confusing.

I am unable to confirm the attribution of unavailability of type IX U-boats for service off the American east coast because of assignments to the Mediterranean Sea. My references indicate only type VII U-boats were assigned to the Mediterranean. I suspect the type IX U-boats mentioned were actually assigned elsewhere.

The statement about unavailability of tankers is confusing. I believe this is intended to address the original surface raider oilers rather than type XIV or X submarine oilers. I have been unable to verify naval status for the early oilers, and my references indicate the Drumbeat operation actually predated availability of the naval type XIV oilers, and the targeted destruction of the latter oilers post-dated operation Drumbeat. Drumbeat may have occurred during the interim period of oiler unavailability; but I request a reference citation to verify the last of the various blockade runners with refueling capability (or some other identifiable subset of oilers) had been destroyed prior to drumbeat. I could change both statements to fit my references, but I prefer to offer the original author opportunity to preserve the intended flow of presentation through citation or correction. Thewellman (talk) 17:49, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

After waiting four years, replaced unreferenced assertions with documented information.Thewellman (talk) 17:07, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:SS Gulfamerica.jpg[edit]

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coordinates should be named[edit]

Inline coord templates should be supplued with the name= parameter to individually name each coord instance on the article. I'd propose a scheme like

name=ship sunk by U-number

Any objections? --Dschwen 02:26, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Are you proposing to eliminate the date of sinking, nationality of the sunken ship, and crew losses? Thewellman (talk) 07:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
No, absolutely not. My changes won't remove anything, just add a parameter each to the coord templates. Like so --Dschwen 15:41, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. I concur your suggestion is an improvement. Thewellman (talk) 17:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

U-166 Sinking[edit]

U-166: sunk 1 August by USCG J4F Widgeon aircraft in position [show location on an interactive map] 28°31′01″N 90°45′00″W / 28.517, -90.75 in the Gulf of Mexico,[37] the only U-boat sunk in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II

The U-166 page itself disputes this story, saying that the PC escorting Robert E. Lee was responsible for the sinking. Which one is correct? (talk) 21:52, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Rename article[edit]

I strongly agree with those that advocate re-naming this article to "Operation Drumbeat (Paukenschlag)" - see 'Why was it named this?' above. --TedColes (talk) 11:48, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


I've changed dates and so on into American-English (month, day, year instead of day, month and year and 'defence' into defense and so on), as I feel that this article needs it - the campaign was fought off the American east coast.
Before anyone gets too excited, I'm British. If anyone violently objects, please change the edits (but not all of them), back.

RASAM (talk) 23:11, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Shouldn't have been included the Second Happy Time attacks on the Brazilian Coast?[edit]

German_submarine_U-507#Summary_of_Raiding_Career Does anyone know why those sunken ships have been ignored in this article? Thanks! MarcosPassos (talk) 05:25, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Information Conflict[edit]

It seems there's a conflict with some of the information under the "Allied counter-measures get under way" section. The U-1223 is listed as scuttled during East Coast operations, yet the boat's page lists it as scuttled in Wesermünde. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SMU1993 (talkcontribs) 01:55, 12 December 2016 (UTC)