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The secret victory

men in small boat approaching partly submerged submarine

A party from HMS Bulldog prepares to board U-110. Image copyright Imperial War Museum reference IWM HU63114

In May 1941 Royal Navy escorts achieved a crucial victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. A skilful attack off Greenland badly damaged U-boat U-110. A boarding party from HMS 'Bulldog' captured the vessel. In doing so they obtained her code books and Enigma encoding machine before she sank. This gave British code breakers a chance to break the complex U-boat codes.

By using the Enigma machine the Royal Navy gained vital information about U-boat positions and tactics. Convoys could be guided away from U-boats or reinforced if threatened.