WI Germany Attacks NY in Dec 1941

WI the Kriegsmarine manages to shell New York city, the port more so in the few weeks after war is declared. Now I'm not taking about taking a fleet with battlecruiser's and the like.
Say up to 6 Type IX U Boats stand off at 6/7 miles and blast away with their 10.5 SK C/32 guns at night. These weapons have a range of 9 miles of so and could bung a shell of 33lb's. Not that big, yet if one lands on your house your're not going to be best pleased!

6 boats, firing 80 shells each, 480 shells, how much damage could be done?
Would the damage be more psychological than material?
How much more defence will have to be put up and around the east coast of the USA?
The amount of men, money, and time could be wasted for an attack that may never come?

Type about this for a bit.:)
 

One thing to consider is that the range you mentioned is on a surface ship with the option of sufficient elevation. Don't know the exact range of those weapons, but due to lack of stabilization, elevation and lower mounting the range is probably reduced to 1-3 miles.
The coastal batteries of the US would be mighty pleased if the Germans got in that close and stay on the surface for prolonged periods of time to use their guns.

Let's assume that the Germans matched special incendiary rounds than the damage could be significant, but both the Germans and Americans would know that Germany could not afford to waste its resources on repeated propaganda stunts.
Germany first was already agreed upon so little was changed other than perhaps Germany losing 6 valuable U-Boats early in the war.
 

One thing to consider is that the range you mentioned is on a surface ship with the option of sufficient elevation. Don't know the exact range of those weapons, but due to lack of stabilization, elevation and lower mounting the range is probably reduced to 1-3 miles.
The coastal batteries of the US would be mighty pleased if the Germans got in that close and stay on the surface for prolonged periods of time to use their guns.

Let's assume that the Germans matched special incendiary rounds than the damage could be significant, but both the Germans and Americans would know that Germany could not afford to waste its resources on repeated propaganda stunts.
Germany first was already agreed upon so little was changed other than perhaps Germany losing 6 valuable U-Boats early in the war.

How quickly could any coastal batteries be ready? The attack might be between 5 and 8 minutes, no way more than 10, by the time anyone really knows what is going on the boats have buggered off.
 
How quickly could any coastal batteries be ready? The attack might be between 5 and 8 minutes, no way more than 10, by the time anyone really knows what is going on the boats have buggered off.

On a moving deck with little to no gun stabilization? If they really want to fire every shell it would take between an hour and hour and a half AT LEAST!

It would be suicide to even attempt it.
Just look at why the french Surcouf class had little success and that vessel was arguably better equipped for the job you're proposing than the German U-Boats.
 
If the Germans do decide to make a shock-and-awe attack on NYC, it likely won't be in the Harbour itself because any enemy ship trying to pass through the Narrows (home to Fort Hamilton and Fort Wadsworth) would simply be on a suicide mission. However, let's say they try it.

The easiest and most likely target in NYC proper for any U-Boat attack would likely be the Rockaway Peninsula, which was a very popular beach among working class whites from the Outer Boroughs. However, even the Peninsula in and of itself was not an easy target as it was home to a military installation (Fort Tilden) which was equipped with coastal batteries and it was less than a mile away from Naval Air Station New York in Brooklyn. It was also just not that valuable a target except for propaganda purposes.

The result: American public opinion is further outraged. The home front gears up a lot more. Other then that not much. Both sides know Germany can't afford to launch that many raids on the Eastern Seaboard.
 
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Which parts of New York? Might upset the Irish or Italians if parts of their diasporas get blown up. I imagine the main targets are just going to be dockyards? Lmost seems easier for them to have went with another Black Tom.
 

DougM

Donor
If you look at the effect of the various bombing raids on any city in Europe such as London you will soon realize that in the grsnd scheme of things 400-500 random shells from U oats is not going yo really do much damage to a city the size of New York. But psychological impact may be a bit difficult and the US may make a bigger effort sooner to A) protect the coastline and B) go after UBoats in or near US waters.
The thing is the US had so many resources available to it in WW2 that increasied spending on Shor batteries is not going to cut back on any much. So the impact is not going to help Germany at all. iIf anything it may hurt Germany as the US will probably take the UBoat menace more seriously sooner and thus take steps sooner to counter them.
 
It wouldn't have long term impacts, but a single U-boat shelling some random area along the east coast in late 1941 or early 1942 isn't unrealistic. Considering how badly the US handled German U-boat attacks early on, with few anti sub navy assets, poor army/navy cooperation, coastal areas not doing blackouts, etc, even if overall damage and long term impact is insignificant, one or two odd U-boats firing a few dozen shells into a coastal city isn't impossible.
 
OTL U-Boats got close enough to see targets leaving the harbor against the Manhattan skyline and could make out landmarks.

So, you can definitely get U-Boats to New York. Having them attack it meaningfully in a way worth the cost is another thing.
 
I imagine it would really change things like the resistance to blackouts on the eastern Sea Board and force the USN to take the threat more seriously

I imagine that the mighty 8th's first job would be bombing U boat pens!
 
It wouldn't have long term impacts, but a single U-boat shelling some random area along the east coast in late 1941 or early 1942 isn't unrealistic. Considering how badly the US handled German U-boat attacks early on, with few anti sub navy assets, poor army/navy cooperation, coastal areas not doing blackouts, etc, even if overall damage and long term impact is insignificant, one or two odd U-boats firing a few dozen shells into a coastal city isn't impossible.

yep, if you have 6 boats like the OP stated then you dont have them all line up outside NYC harbour

you dot them down the seaboard at 6 random targets, from NYC down to hicksville, nowhereland (pop: 3 beach huts and a pier)

indiscrimanately lob half a dozen shells at each target, then get the hell out

propaganda - 'nowhere is safe'
 
Italy actually planned to bomb NY.

They did have the aircraft that could fly the distance and come back again.

Mussolini cancelled it because ...... they would hit NY and there were a lot of Italians there - so ... no-go

but imagine....
 

Deleted member 94680

Reinforces the Germany first attitude for sure. Some form of retaliatory strike (a la Doolittle) will be called for.

As others have said, USN anti-U boat operations will be more intense and have more resources thrown at them.
 
Basically this would have been a propaganda moment and not much else. Being New York there would have been a few days of hysterical political speeches and vows to retaliate. It might have lead to blackouts (Actually dim outs) which would have reduced the merchant ship toll in the first six months of the war.
 
Admiral King gets fired immediately
Without King in charge of the Navy the battle of the Atlantic will progress a lot faster in the Allies favor and Japan is utterly screwed
 
How badly would the US retaliate for thjs later considering what we did for Pearl Harbor
German coastal cities would become high priority targets. The U-Boat pens would be pretty safe internal specific ordinance designed to defeat them became available, but the infrastructure needed to support them would be severely damaged
 
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