The Battle of the Caribbean lasted nine and a half months—from February 16, 1942, to November 30, 1942. In that comparatively brief time, German submarines torpedoed 263 ships in the Caribbean and its approaches, with a gross tonnage of 1,362,278.
It is a little known, or at least neglected, fact that the sinkings in the Caribbean during this period were greater than the losses incurred on the North Atlantic Convoy Routes, the Eastern Sea Frontier, and the Canadian Coastal Zone, all three combined.
This tremendously damaging blow coming as it did when the nation was struggling to get its teeth into the world conflict was achieved by the Germans with the loss of only four submarines from which there were 77 survivors. To say that it was a cheap price to pay is a classic of understatement.
This article will attempt to describe the battle from its dramatic, intense beginning through the hopelessly one-sided first six months of no escorts and insufficient escorts to the days when convoys made the 7,810 mile trip from Curacao to Swansea, Vales, and return without the loss of a ship.