The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War

Jonathan Dimbleby. Oxford Univ, $34.95 (560p) ISBN 978-0-19-049585-5
Dimbleby (Destiny in the Desert), an experienced journalist and historian, makes a convincing case that of all the campaigns of WWII, the struggle for dominance over the North Atlantic was the most important. In support of his thesis, Dimbleby effectively describes the strategic situation as seen from London, Berlin, and Washington. Through the carefully researched actions of the senior leadership, he demonstrates that all of the senior naval and political leaders were aware of the importance of the campaign. The book shows how close the Germans came to victory: in 1941, the Allies could only replace one-third of the ships lost, and in 1942 the Germans destroyed a million tons more shipping than was replaced. Equally well done is Dimbleby’s telling of the personal experiences, using diaries, letters, and ship’s logs, including his descriptions of a days-long fight to survive in a life raft in the frigid North Atlantic and an hours-long depth-charge attack endured 700 feet below the surface of the ocean. The history of the battle for the Atlantic is well documented, but Dimbleby’s work, with its emphasis on the strategic importance of the battle, is an excellent addition to the story, and expert historians as well as general readers can enjoy this effort. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/18/2016
Release date: 03/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 512 pages - 978-0-241-18660-2
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-241-97210-6
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-0-241-18661-9
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