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The Battle of the Atlantic How the Allies Won the War by Jonathan Dimbleby

The Battle of the Atlantic How the Allies Won the War

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World War Two - we are an island, don't produce enough food, enough raw materials, armaments or men to fight - Britain's unique vulnarability. It led to The Battle of the Atlantic, fighting back against the German planes, U-boats and battle ships. What a desperate fight it was and how well Jonathan Dimbleby illuminates the confusion, the losses and the resistance to the superior German forces. He gives us the course of the battle(s), the strategies and plans – or lack of them but what I found most humbling was the human story he brings us, the sacrifice and bravery of the ordinary seamen, the sheer terror of being bombed and shipwrecked, lost in the vast ocean, prey to the enemy and to the cold. ~ Sue Baker

Like for Like Reading. The Cruel Sea (Novel), Nicholas Monsarrat. Citizen Sailors: The Royal Navy in the Second World War, Glyn Prysor.


The Battle of the Atlantic How the Allies Won the War by Jonathan Dimbleby

Majestic. Truly gripping . (Andrew Roberts). The Battle of the Atlantic was the single most important - and longest - campaign of the Second World War. If Britain lost this vital supply route it lost the war. In Jonathan Dimbleby's brilliant and dramatic new account we see how this epic struggle for maritime mastery played out, from the politicians and admirals to the men on and under the sea and their families waiting at home. Filled with haunting and hair-raising stories of chases, ambushes, sinkings, stalkings, disasters and rescues, The Battle of the Atlantic is a monumental work of history as it was lived and fought. Recounts the horror and humanity of life on those perilous oceans . (Independent). Dimbleby moves with skill from scene to scene, eavesdropping on the great statesmen like Churchill, the merchant seamen who carried out their orders, the U-boat commanders who tried to sink them and the families of those who lost their lives at sea . (Mail on Sunday).


Winston Churchill famously described the Battle of the Atlantic as 'a war of groping and drowning, a war of ambuscade and stratagem, a war of science and seamanship and no book depicts all of those myriad aspects better than Jonathan Dimbleby 's majestic overview. His judgments can sometimes be harsh and are bound to be controversial, but they are backed up with wide reading, diligent scholarship and cogent argument. This is a truly gripping account of a campaign that the author rightly puts epicentral to the Allied victory in the Second World War. Andrew Roberts, author of 'Masters and Commanders'

Jonathan Dimbleby 's second volume on the Second World War is even better than its predecessor. The Battle of the Atlantic is a gripping account of the Allies'
hard-won victory at sea. Dimbleby has delivered a masterful narrative that challenges many of the received views about this often overlooked conflict that foretold the defeat of Nazism. -- Amanda Foreman Starred review.

'A gripping history overflowing with anecdotes and enough calamity, misery, explosions, and individual valor for a Hollywood disaster epic.' Kirkus

'A gripping read and a great contribution to the history of the Second World War. The author realizes his immense ambition of bringing out the human aspects of the drama at every level, from the heads of state to the crews in the Atlantic, while also bringing important nuances to received views on the struggle against the U-boats, and, indeed, on Churchill's war leadership. An epic account.' Peter Padfield, author of 'War Beneath the Sea: Submarine Conflict 1939-1945', and biographies of Donitz, Himmler and Hess

'In this refreshing book Jonathan Dimbleby skilfully weaves together front line accounts and high policy discussions to provide a gripping and accessible new account of the most important campaign of the Second World War against Germany.' Professor Eric Grove, author of 'The Royal Navy since 1815

'The epic Battle of the Atlantic can only really be understood when set against the strategic context of the time. This highly engaging history does this by combining gripping accounts of the tactics and operational fortunes of the Germans and the Allies in this bitterest of battles with an authoritative review of the strategic thinking that helps explain their motives and their responses at the highest national level, and that shows why victory was so important for both sides.' Professor Geoff Till, author of 'The Development of British Naval Thinking'

About the Author

Jonathan Dimbleby

Jonathan Dimbleby is a writer, broadcaster and film-maker. He presents Any Questions? for BBC Radio 4 and presented ITV's flagship weekly political programme, This Week, for over ten years. In 2008 his five-part series on Russia was broadcast by BBC 2, accompanied by his book, Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and Its People; other books include Charles: The Private Man, the Public Face and The Last Governor, and the highly acclaimed Destiny in the Desert: The Road to El Alamein. He lives in Devon.

Author photo © Antonio Olmos

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Book Info

Publication date

19th May 2016


Jonathan Dimbleby

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Penguin Books Ltd


560 pages


Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Second World War
Battles & campaigns
European history
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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