'An exceptionally vivid account by a masterly writer' Max Hastings
'No book depicts all the myriad aspects better than Jonathan Dimbleby's majestic overview... truly gripping' Andrew Roberts
A gripping tale that transforms our understanding of the Second World War
The Battle of the Atlantic was - though often overlooked - crucial to victory in the Second World War. 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.
'A fascinating story written with bite and grip of one of the most crucial showdowns of the twentieth century... compelling' Lord Peter Hennessey
'A vivid evocation of dramatic events' Robert Tombs, The Times
'Dimbleby's incisive, gripping narrative uniquely places the campaign in the context of the entire war' Richard Blackmore, The Independent
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.