Download The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War – Vansonphu.com

The Battle of the Atlantic: How the Allies Won the War The Battle of the Atlantic was though often overlooked crucial to the Allied victory If the German U boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe There would have been no D Day Through fascinating contemporary diaries and letters, from the leaders and from the sailors on all sides, Jonathan Dimbleby creates a thrilling narrative that uniquely places the campaign in the context of the entire Second World War Challenging conventional wisdom on the use of intelligence and on Churchill s bombing campaign, The Battle of the Atlantic tells the epic story of the decisions that led to victory, and the horror and humanity of life on those perilous seas Unlike some historians, the author does not confine his coverage to the U boat narrative, although the Allied campaign against German submarines makes up the bulk of the Atlantic War and this book He relates in detail the political and as well as military history of the surface battles early in the war which decimated the bulk of the German surface fleet and rendered the remaining fraction irrelevant Dimbleby also accurately places military events in their political context For example, Dimbl Unlike some historians, the author does not confine his coverage to the U boat narrative, although the Allied campaign against German submarines makes up the bulk of the Atlantic War and this book He relates in detail the political and as well as military history of the surface battles early in the war which decimated the bulk of the German surface fleet and rendered the remaining fraction irrelevant Dimbleby also accurately places military events in their political context For example, Dimbleby relates the stupid and inept attempts Churchill made to attack the Nazis after their invasion of Norway After another failed attempt in early May 1940 caused a respected retired Admiral in the House of Commons to deliver a blistering attack on the government, to which Chamberlain made a shallow and stupid rebuttal, costing Chamberlain support in the House of Commons and among the people On May 10, Germany invaded Belgium and within days, Churchill became Prime Minister I recommend you skip the Preface see comments at the end of this review and go directly to Chapter I where Dimbleby demonstrates the Phony War was anything but phony in the Atlantic Admiral Donitz s small U boat fleet sunk a large amount of tonnage, because the British distained operating in convoys, somehow forgetting the hard won lessons of World War I Dimbleby shows how it was not only United States Admirals who failed to appreciate the battleships were obsolete Churchill, Hitler and Reader all caused many military blunders for their slow appreciation that WWII Navies would best consist of submarines, aircraft carriers and their screens It was interesting to see how both Churchill and Roosevelt appreciated the strategic significance of the island nation of Iceland Tom Clancy illustrated this powerfully in what I believe is his best novel, Red Storm Rising Having failed to convince the government to invade Norway until it was too late, in May 1940 while First Sea Lord, in clear violation of international law, Churchill had the Royal Navy land at Reykjavik, occupy the city, intern the German consul, and garrisoned 25,000 British and Canadian troops A year later with America still at peace, Roosevelt offered to replace UK troops with American, which Churchill gladly accepted American troops landed in July and eventually numbered 40,000 Churchill delighted to put his soldiers to other efforts and understood the American decision nudged the reluctant United States closer to war I read histories of the Atlantic battles with reluctance because the early years of the war were disastrous for the Allies and Merchant Marine crews Dimbleby covers this ground in detail and his history and analysis is excellent The terrible early years of WWII were due in part to the lack of Navy escort ships by both the USN and the Royal Navy, but the death toll on ships and crews continued thru April 1943 because of almost criminal stubbornness by UK and the US military and civilian leaders A 300 mile wide Atlantic gap was fertile harvest ground for German U boats due to the obstinacy of the Allied Air Forces, Roosevelt and Churchill in failing to provide long range bomber coverage in favor of area bombing of mostly civilian targets in Germany Bombing of municipal areas was shown after the war to be ineffective in shortening the war, and it always had dubious morality Other terrible decisions in the early years included America s failure to require a blackout along the Atlantic coast which back light targets for submarines until mid 1942 And somehow both the U S Navy and the Royal Navy failed to remember the importance of the convoy system which cost the Allies hundreds of merchant vessels and thousands of lives By necessity, any history of the Battle of the Atlantic must focus on the years 1939 1943 where the U boat war came close to starving the United Kingdom, literally The U boat campaigned turned on a dime in early May 1943 when the Allies finally allotted long range bomber coverage, introduced escort aircraft carries and began equipping escort ships with improved and accurate radar From May 1943 until the end of the war, German submarine commanders went to sea knowing the probability of living thru a single voyage was less than 50% Dimbleby is English so the bulk of the book addresses efforts by the Royal Navy This is not much of a draw back because the majority of the U boat campaign was undertaken by the Royal Navy and Canadian Navy Excellent book highly recommended JHE 9 3 2016 Kindle Edition The Preface Written after reading only the Preface I ll retain confidence this book will get better In the Preface, Dimbleby spins out his criticism of the politicians and admirals on both sides for failing to make the perfect decisions only revealed after the war by perfect historical hindsight He accuses Churchill of almost losing the war by allocation of bombers to German cities when they could have won the Battle of the Atlantic true enough Hitler and Raeder were insane, he maintains, for not diverting the entire war production into submarines What Political and military leaders live and operate in the world of real politic where conflicting interests are always at odds and all solutions are imperfect compromises He criticizes Admiral King USN for diverting any effort to the Pacific when the U boat threat in the Atlantic was so critical seemingly forgetting that the American people wanted Japanese blood after Pearl Harbor and Roosevelt would have undoubtedly been impeached if he d ignored the Pacific campaign Many of Dimbleby s claims in the Preface are simplistically absurd I approached The Battle of the Atlantic with a certain amount of caution Jonathon Dimbleby is best known as a TV and radio presenter, whose previous works have mainly been pedestrian biographies, and I was unaware of his having any great interest in naval history What I found was a well researched and thoughtful account of one of the most strategically important, and under appreciated campaigns of the Second World War.Dimbleby combines some first hand accounts with a reasonable sweeping review I approached The Battle of the Atlantic with a certain amount of caution Jonathon Dimbleby is best known as a TV and radio presenter, whose previous works have mainly been pedestrian biographies, and I was unaware of his having any great interest in naval history What I found was a well researched and thoughtful account of one of the most strategically important, and under appreciated campaigns of the Second World War.Dimbleby combines some first hand accounts with a reasonable sweeping review of the technological and economic elements of the U boat campaign At times he does lose focus, allowing himself to be drawn away into allied campaigns like the Mediterranean and the doings of the surface fleet, often for no discernible reason I would also have liked a littleoperation detail on the activities and pressures on both Derby House, and the German side, but that said this is a sound and enjoyable book Those wishing for somethinganalytical would do better with John Terraine s masterly Business in Great Waters Immensely readable account of probably the most critical campaign of World War 2Well known British broadcaster and author Jonathan Dimbleby has produced a scholarly yet accessible account of the campaign that if won by the Germans would have forced the surrender of the UK and most likely either the defeat of the Soviet Union or a forced peace Whilst he visits many areas that are well known such as the sacrifice borne by the merchant navy s 30,000 casualties and the 75% casualty rate amongst U B Immensely readable account of probably the most critical campaign of World War 2Well known British broadcaster and author Jonathan Dimbleby has produced a scholarly yet accessible account of the campaign that if won by the Germans would have forced the surrender of the UK and most likely either the defeat of the Soviet Union or a forced peace Whilst he visits many areas that are well known such as the sacrifice borne by the merchant navy s 30,000 casualties and the 75% casualty rate amongst U Boat crews he also challenges many of the received views Most notable is the part played by the Ultra decrypts where he claims that whilst they were useful, technological advances in airborne radar and the deployment of long range aircraft werecritical He argues that the Ultra decrypts were negated to a significant degree by the lesser known German code breaking efforts which resulted in them reading the British and Allied Merchants Ships code and a breakthrough in February 1942 where they broke the code used for communication with many of the Atlantic convoys.The Battle of the Atlantic is the subject of a number of books but Dimbleby has successfully added several refreshing new viewpoints and created a book that is readable for the general reader too I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review Roger Lancashire was a surgeon aboard the cruiser HMS Exeter in her confrontation with the German battleship Graf Spee As his ship came under fire he described dealing with the injured The casualties were pretty devastating There were two or three who literally died in my arms These were people I had been living with, as it were, for three years There were cases where, if I d had the facilities and an endless supply of blood transfusions, things might have been different, but it wasn t like Roger Lancashire was a surgeon aboard the cruiser HMS Exeter in her confrontation with the German battleship Graf Spee As his ship came under fire he described dealing with the injured The casualties were pretty devastating There were two or three who literally died in my arms These were people I had been living with, as it were, for three years There were cases where, if I d had the facilities and an endless supply of blood transfusions, things might have been different, but it wasn t like that I did a quick assessment of who was most likely to benefit and then went to work on them.Powerful personal testimonies such as this are part of the delight of the new generation of military history, exemplified by Anthony Beevor s work over the past few decades British broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby has taken this model and applied it to this important theatre of World War 2 Through a range of mostly secondary sources he successfully sweeps from the broad strategic view down to the experiences of those on board the merchant vessels, navy ships and submarines that bore the brunt of the battle As he points out, the term Battle of the Atlantic is a misnomer It not only lasted from the very first to the very last day of the war but, so far from being a single battle, it involved hundreds of hostile encounters on a wide variety of frontsof a campaign according to Dimbleby.He portrays the importance of the battle well, both through the views of war leaders such as Roosevelt and Churchill and through the everyday experiences of often quoted Nella Last of Barrow on Furness, dealing with the consequences of rationing The drama is not just portrayed through the life and death struggle of the participants, but also with the battles within the participant powers Churchill recognised the strategic importance of the theatre, but at the same time allowed the RAF to diminish the importance of Coastal Command s efforts, resulting in a diversion of long range aircraft to bombing instead of maritime duties which almost let the German s win the battle of attrition On the German s side Raeder and Donitz competed for Hitler s attention and undermined each other with their visions of the relative importance of the surface and submarine fleets Overarching these conflicts were the disagreements between the war leaders, especially Stalin s displeasure and distrust of the US and Britain and their ability to meet their commitments for equipment supply via the Arctic convoys Interestingly having recently read Enigma The Battle for the Code and seen the film The Imitation Game it was fascinating how little coverage Dimbleby gives Enigma After getting the impression that the reading of Ultra or not directly correlated with success in the war against the U Boats, this book givessubtlety, pointing out the many other factors especially the fact that the German s could also read the merchant navy s codes This meant that when the convoys were diverted as a result of intel from Ultra the German s were able to move their U Boats in response Dimbleby s viewpoint does carry some weight, as it explains why Donitz in particular, although suspicious never worked out that his communications with U Boats were being intercepted Arguably in this theatre the two side s efforts in code breaking almost nullified each other.If I have one criticism of the book it is that at times the context about other theatres of war for example the Russian front are given a bitattention that is necessary This felt a bit like filler at times, although for someone reading this book without a good knowledge of the Second World War I m sure these passages will be welcome Overall this book provides a sound explanation of this vital theatre which places it in its justified historical context, providing well balanced coverage of the personalities, strategic decisionmaking, importance of the Atlantic lifeline and most of all conveying the struggles, discomfort and danger confronted by the sailors on the high seas A recommended book

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *