Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back Them Up - The Hudson & U-570 - World War II Propaganda Poster

Back Them Up! National Savings Bond Poster, World War II

The war had to be financed by all means possible so in addition to taxation and war loans from allies, the public was exhorted to scrape together a few coppers, silver coins would be nicer, and support the war effort through national savings bonds. Such thrift had the additional benefit of suppressing consumption at home. Besides, with war time shortages and priority given to war industries, who could find anything to buy with their weekly pay packet, anyway?

A little research reveals that the Lockheed Hudson of 269 Squadron British Coastal Command pictured in the poster captured the German U 570 U-boat submarine on 27 August, 1941. The crew of the Hudson spotted a U-boat on the surface off Iceland, dropping 4 depth charges on it as it attempted to dive, damaging it so that it re-surfaced. After a good raking with machine gun fire, the U-boat captain surrendered. Next day the crew were removed and the vessel boarded to recover whatever documents that could be useful to the war effort and to attempt to save the submarine for further examination. The U-570 was subsequently towed into harbour in Iceland then taken to the UK after repairs. It yielded a wealth of invaluable technical information to the Allies on the operation of U-boats.

U-570 had a very short wartime service, commissioned in May or June 1941 it was effectively decommissioned by the late August attack. Allied investigators concluded the submarine actually could have evaded its circling British captors overnight by submerging and sailing away but a panicked and inexperienced crew, already troubled by severe sea sickness, lacked the knowledge and capability to do so. The U-570 crew earned the dubious distinction of being the only U-boat crew to surrender in World War II..

A wealth of information - photos, plans, and reports on the U-570 capture and examination of its design and operation can be found at U-boat Archive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Hello- Thank you for posting all that information about U-570. I have an original copy of this poster that was displayed in Portugal during WWII.
best regards,