Monday, 13 September 2010

The Battle of the Atlantic

How many books have I read with this title now?! This is the one by Marc Milner. And it's pretty reasonable, although I wasn't as impressed as I thought I'd be from reading the blurb. I thought it was going to say much more exciting things, but for the most part it just followed pretty standard lines. Was well written, did make some interesting points though, I'm inclined to recommend this as a good book to read on the Atlantic Campaign as it did cover the whole thing, and there was a good sense of perspective in terms of the air support and the shore based institutions, along with the politics that influenced the battle and the actual convoy battles. Made a very good point at the beginning that yeh, Germany's u-boat arm was dangerous and yeh, Britian didn't have much in the way of ships to fight it, but ships to fight u-boats were much easier to produce in war time under crash programmes than battleships and carriers, which were needed to effectively counter the German surface fleet--which was Raeder's priority before the war.

What else? Well, for a book that according to the blurb was gonna show that Enigma wasn't such a war winner as other things, it sure gave a lot of credit to Enigma and the ability to re-route convoys initially to avoid wolf packs and then to find them so that the u-boats could be fought and destroyed once effective means of fighting them had been found. Did go into the aircraft side of things, which seemed to be, at least according to this guy, the main reason the Battle was won, as it removed the u-boats ability to stay on the surface and re-charge batteries. In turn, that was only effective once decent radar was found to fit to the aircraft so that they could actually find the u-boats. Interesting, if not particularly new, documentation of all stages of the battle. Well written.

I guess the main reason I was a little disappointed in this book was because I've already read a fair bit on the Battle of the Atlantic and the blurb led me to think it was gonna be quite revisionist with a totally different take on things to usual. That wasn't really the case, but it was a pretty decent book.

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