During World War 2, German U boats sank 3,500 merchant ships.
To give you an idea, the Royal Navy now has 76 ships.
So U Boats sank the equivalent of fifty Royal Navies.
Churchill said the Battle Of The Atlantic was the only thing that ever truly frightened him during the war.
If Britain couldn’t import food we’d starve, that’s how important it was.
And we were being starved as U Boats sank everything that floated.
Unarmed merchant ships were easy to pick off.
So they were gathered into convoys.
But it was difficult for a few destroyers to protect dozens of slow merchant ships spread out over miles and miles of ocean.
The U Boats would just wait for them to come along then sink them as they went by.
For example in just one particular convoy, 38 U Boats attacked 90 merchant ships and sank 22 of them.
Britain was losing the battle Of The Atlantic, which meant they were losing the war.
Until Captain “Johnny” Walker had an idea.
He thought we’d been looking at the problem the wrong way round.
Captain Walker said we’d been trying to protect the convoys.
That was defensive, that gave the enemy the initiative.
We shouldn’t concentrate on protecting convoys, but on finding and sinking U Boats.
The convoys weren’t there to be protected.
The convoys were bait.
If we treated the convoys as bait, we’d know exactly where the U boats would show up.
The convoys were the cheese, the U Boats were the mice, the Navy was the mousetrap.
And Captain Walker put together a U Boat hunter/killer group.
The object wasn’t to slowly travel along with the convoy and wait for an attack.
The object was to kill the U Boats before they could get close
On his first patrol Captain Walker sank five U Boats.
They were forty miles in front of the convoy, relaxing and waiting for it to arrive.
In a subsequent patrol he sank three more U Boats in one day.
Then he found three U boats refuelling on the surface, waiting for the convoy to come along.
But his hunter/killer group came along instead and sank them all.
Captain walker sank six more U Boats in a single patrol.
In February 1944 he sank five U Boats in just one month.
By the end of the war, U Boats were being sunk faster than they could be built.
Thanks to “Johnny” Walker’s tactics, 781 U Boats were sunk.
Britain won the Battle Of The Atlantic, and consequently the war.
That’s what happens when you get pro-active.
Instead of letting your competitor have the advantage, playing where they are strong and you are weak, you change the game to one where you are strong and they are weak.
It’s the same in sport, or business, or anything competitive.
You can’t just sit and wait for the situation to change.
Hoping that things will get better.
As Andy Warhol said “People say time changes things, but I’ve found you have to change them yourself.”