Turning the Tide: How a Small Band of Allied Sailors Defeated the U-boats and Won the Battle of the Atlantic

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Overview


In Turning the Tide, military reporter and author Ed Offley presents a rousing military history of the climax of the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, when a handful of battle-hardened British, Canadian and American sailors successfully beat back the German U-Boats that were threatening the lifeline between the US and Britain. Tens of thousands of merchant seamen, naval gunners, civilian passengers and U-boat crewmen lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic, making it the deadliest naval conflict in ...
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Turning the Tide: How a Small Band of Allied Sailors Defeated the U-boats and Won the Battle of the Atlantic

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Overview


In Turning the Tide, military reporter and author Ed Offley presents a rousing military history of the climax of the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, when a handful of battle-hardened British, Canadian and American sailors successfully beat back the German U-Boats that were threatening the lifeline between the US and Britain. Tens of thousands of merchant seamen, naval gunners, civilian passengers and U-boat crewmen lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic, making it the deadliest naval conflict in history—but the losses were high because the stakes were even higher. If the U-boats had managed to sever the lifeline between the U.S. and Great Britain—as they seemed poised to do by late 1942—Germany could have denied the Allies their springboard into the European continent, effectively costing them the war. Using interviews with key survivors on both sides and extensive research in German, British, and American archives, Offley puts the reader into the heart of the pivotal episodes of this critical conflict, showing how the Allies nearly lost—and ultimately regained—victory in both the Atlantic and in Europe itself.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
WWII's Battle of the Atlantic, where Admiral Dönitz's U-boats attempted to starve Great Britain into capitulation, was one of many crucial points in that conflict that were indispensable to Allied victory. If the Germans had succeeded in interdicting its maritime lifeline, Britain would not have become the Allies' "unsinkable aircraft carrier" and staging point for invasion, which in turn meant that there would have been no second front in France, and this in turn could have lead Stalin to make a separate peace with Hitler. By examining two actions against Allied convoys in March and May 1943, Offley (Scorpion Down) demonstrates how the Allies were more responsive to changing technological and tactical conditions, while the Kriegsmarine was hampered by a failure to recognize the same changes and by a culture that encouraged reporting inflated results; curiously, both opponents had cracked the other's codes, but the Allies made better use of the intelligence. The author focuses on individual combatants, from the lowest ranks to the highest, emphasizing the human elements and making for an extremely readable text that should appeal to neophytes as well as professionals. (May)
America In WWII Magazine
Overall, Turning the Tide is rewarding reading. It undeniably enlarges our understanding of the Battle of the Atlantic and keenly evokes the sense of desperate aggression felt by both sides.
Library Journal
World War II's Battle of the Atlantic, fighting the German U-Boats encroaching along the North American coast and the Caribbean, was the longest naval battle in history. This is an account of the crucial convoy battles of March to May 1943 that saw Allied naval escorts and air power finally subdue the deadly Kriegsmarine subs. Offley (Scorpion Down), a naval veteran and military historian, shows how the battle was very much a mind game, each side trying to outfox the other. The author's emphasis is on the harrowing experiences of the men on both sides, rather than on high-level policy decisions. The subtitle is misleading: thousands were involved in these battles. With a glossary and helpful appendixes that list the convoys, technical details, and so on, this is recommended as a primer for those new to this part of World War II history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465028733
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 640,143
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Offley

Ed Offley has been a military reporting specialist for newspapers and online publications since 1981, including the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Virginia, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Stripes.com, and DefenseWatch magazine. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Offley served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. He lives in Panama City Beach, Florida.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Fight in the Dark ix

1 A City at War 1

2 The Adversaries 37

3 Movement to Contact 63

4 The U-boat 79

5 The Battle of the Codes 93

6 The Sighting 107

7 The Battle of St. Patrick's Day 127

8 Heavy Losses 159

9 Crisis in the North Atlantic 179

10 The Allies Fight Back 211

11 The First Skirmishes 245

12 The Mêlée at 55 North 042 West 281

13 Battle in the Fog 319

14 Defeat of the U-Boats 337

Epilogue 367

Acknowledgments 393

Appendix 1 Critical Convoy Ships, March-May 1943 397

Appendix 2 North Atlantic Convoys at Sea, March 1-May 24, 1943 405

Appendix 3 German U-boats of World War II 408

Appendix 4 Escort Warships 413

Appendix 5 Equivalent World War II Naval Officer Ranks 420

Notes 421

Glossary 444

Bibliography 452

Index 461

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Customer Reviews

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