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Turning the Tide: How a Small Band of Allied…
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Turning the Tide: How a Small Band of Allied Sailors Defeated the U-boats… (2011)

by Ed Offley

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From September 1939 until May 1945, a battle raged in the North Atlantic. German U-boats attacked Allied shipping in a deadly attempt to stop the flow of material going to England. By the time the Americans entered the war, the Germans had developed their deadly wolf-pack offense, where instead of a single U-boat seeking targets of opportunity, U-boats were instructed to locate a convey, and wait until a sufficient number of submarines could be assemble for a devastating coordinated attack.

The Germans had early success with this tactic. The Allies had insufficient men and material to hold off the Germans, and allied shipping loses were becoming unacceptable and threatened to starve planned allied offensives.

The month of March 1943 was the worst month for the Allies, and the best month for the Germans. This book details the actions of the allies to stem the losses. Several factors developed: the Allied navies increased the number of escort ships assigned to convoys. Then the Allies were also able to triangulate German radio messages and locate U-boats before they could form up a wolf-pack. Also, the navies were finally able to persuade the Air Force to assign long-range aircraft to cover the convoys. The wolf-packs were primarily effective in the ‘Greenland gap’, an area where land-based planes were unable to fly. The introduction of long-range aircraft closed the ‘Greenland gap.’

By the final year of the war, the Allied convoys traveled with complete air protection.

This was a well written and exciting book that reads like fiction and I found it hard to put down. ( )
  ramon4 | Dec 3, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A riveting description of the Battle of the Atlantic told from both sides - the brave but doomed U-boat crews, the often helpless merchant mariners, and the over-worked and exhausted British, Canadian, and American Sailors. This was exceptionally read (I am reviewing the audiobook), and while it was a lengthy listen, I am glad it was not abridged. This book kept me transfixed to my car radio as I made several long-distance drives. That should not keep people from purchasing this version - it also does well in small chunks. ( )
  sjolly75 | Apr 17, 2016 |
Interesting read about the factors that led to the Allies gaining the upper hand in the battle of the North Atlantic. The author looks at the passage of a small number of convoys over a short period of time to demonstrate the impact that particular decisions and technical advances on the side of the Allies had on minimising the effectiveness of the Germans. The downside was that at times it felt like you were reading an omnibus of statistics, rather than seeing the human side of the War. ( )
  kenno82 | Sep 23, 2014 |
The Atlantic battle of WW II was brutal and absolutely crucial to the survival for Britain. This was an unforgiving collision of submarines, merchant shipping, and allied destroyer/corvettes ships. This author did an good job portraying the struggle and the ultimate outcome of this life/death struggle. I am glad this story is being told with a such great command of the complexities of this particular war. I like the way the author told the many individual experiences. I am impressed by strength and dignity of these many seaman and military men who made great sacrifices to get vital supplies and equipment to Britain. This was tremendous fight which eventually ended the submarine threat. ( )
  phillund | Aug 13, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an audio book I received instead of the paper copy, not what I had expected and never did listen too. I am not an audio book person so I cannot give an honest review of this book until I get the paper copy. ( )
  virg144 | Apr 28, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 046501397X, Hardcover)

The United States experienced its most harrowing military disaster of World War II not in 1941 at Pearl Harbor but in the period from 1942 to 1943, in Atlantic coastal waters from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. Sinking merchant ships with impunity, German U-boats threatened the lifeline between the United States and Britain, very nearly denying the Allies their springboard onto the European Continent--a loss that would have effectively cost the Allies the war.

In Turning the Tide, author Ed Offley tells the gripping story of how, during a twelve-week period in the spring of 1943, a handful of battle-hardened American, British, and Canadian sailors turned the tide in the Atlantic. Using extensive archival research and interviews with key survivors, Offley places the reader at the heart of the most decisive maritime battle of World War II.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The United States experienced its most harrowing military disaster of World War II not in 1941 at Pearl Harbor but in the period from 1942 to 1943, in Atlantic coastal waters from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. Sinking merchant ships with impunity, German U-boats threatened the lifeline between the United States and Britain, very nearly denying the Allies their springboard onto the European continent--a loss that would have effectively cost the Allies the war. Here, military journalist Ed Offley tells how, during a twelve-week period in the spring of 1943, a handful of battle-hardened American, British, and Canadian sailors turned the tide in the Atlantic. Using extensive archival research and interviews with key survivors, Offley places the reader at the heart of the most decisive maritime battle of World War II.--From publisher description.… (more)

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