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THE CRUCIAL WWII "BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC"
on May 20, 2011
Five COMPELLING Stars! A sweeping, very detailed, often action-packed portrait by author Ed Offley of the Battle of the Atlantic, describing activities within the five phases of the "longest and deadliest naval conflict in world history" stretching from 1939 to 1945: the "crucial naval battle of the Second World War." Along the way, he places the battle into historical context and gives a detailed picture of the treacherous Atlantic ocean routes, made all the more dangerous because of the weather. The book describes crucial battle encounters between the Allies and the Axis forces on the high seas and in coastal waters as U-boat 'wolf packs' pursued Allies' vital supply convoys across the Atlantic ocean. The author looks at both the strategic and tactical points of view, using diagrams and photographs. The book's opening engagement between the HMS Hersperus on 12 May 1943, hunting the trailing Nazi U-boat, U-223, which was stalking the 24 merchant ships of SC (Slow Convoy) 129 is mesmerizing and just a foretaste of what is to follow, such as the carnage of The Battle of St. Patrick's Day, with its heroes and its fainthearted. The book is loaded with detail on the ships and subs, their weaponry, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing forces, with input from crew member's postwar interviews. Superbly researched and well written with great attention to detail, linking the Battle of the Atlantic to the land and air wars and the political climate of the time, "Turning the Tide" gets my Highest Recommendation. Five HISTORICAL Stars! (This review is based on a Kindle download, in text-to-speech, Mac2, and iPhone platforms. 14 Chapters with numerous pictures and diagrams; Epilogue; Appendices of critical convoy ships, U-boats, and Escort warships; bibliography; and a very helpful glossary of acronyms and unique terminology.)