"The Atlantic Campaign: World War II's Great Struggle at Sea" (used book)
The Atlantic Campaign: World War II's Great Struggle at Sea
by Dan van der Vat
About the Book
Used Book. First Edition. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Excellent condition.
-- from the dust jacket
The battle between Germany and the Allies for control of the Atlantic sea lanes was a prolonged and desperate struggle that came closer than any other to ending the Second World War in Germany’s favor. Churchill called it “a war of groping and drowning, of ambuscade and stratagem, of science and seamanship.” It was a costly battle fought by courageous men under conditions of terrible fear and hardship in a campaign that depended heavily on tactical innovation, secret intelligence and rapidly developing technologies.
After Alan Turing’s brilliant Bletchley Park group cracked Enigma, and B-Dienst – German intelligence – cracked the British code, maneuvers among the powers at sea and among their secret services became extremely complex. How German, British and American admirals plotted the grand strategy of the campaign from Berlin, London, and Washington is brilliantly recounted here, as are the dramas played out on and under the Atlantic: the Allies’ increasingly elusive systems of sailing in convoy; the German surface raiders and artfully disguised motherships that vastly extended the U-Boats’ range; the devastating mass attacks by U-boats at night, when fear and confusion were at their peak. By the war’s end the Allies had lost more than 2,700 ships to submarines in the Atlantic; the British, who bore the brunt of it, lost a total of 104,--- men in the Merchant and Royal navies. The Third Reich lost 784 of its 1,162 submarines, and of the 41,000 German sailors who served in the U-Boats two out of three were killed, 5,000 captured.
In The Atlantic Campaign the author’s full portrayal of the German side of the story is particularly striking. Unlike writers before him, van der Vat is fluent in German and has taken full advantage of extensive German archives on the subject. He has also given full weight to the important and gallant role played by Canada’s ships and sailors in the campaign.
Built on solid original research, The Atlantic Campaign is the stirring account of a struggle of profound consequence that brings to life all the important players – Admirals Donitz and Raeder, Admirals Pound and King, General Marshall, F.D.R., Churchill – as well as many lesser military and political figures who played a role in the drama. This splendid book is both a compelling story and a first-rate work of history, certain to be greeted as the best account yet written of the Atlantic Campaign.