GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Finally, the history of the U-boat war I have been waiting for....

Finding a readable, yet comprehensive book on the Allied struggle against the U-boat menace in World War 2 has proven challenging.  

Although I really enjoyed my mentor's book on the American Navy in the European war, I really didn't want to struggle through Samuel Eliot Morisons majestic tomes on the Battle of the Atlantic.  

Fortunately, I found this volume at my local Barnes and Noble, used one of my many coupons and off I went.  I can honestly say I had a hard time putting it down and actually postponed a book or two to finish it.

Mr. Dimbleby combines a sweeping narrative history with participant recollections and some pretty searing analysis to write a very readable account of the most critical battle of World War 2.  

What makes this book notable is that enough time has now passed that a truly unbiased, no-holds bared look can be made at the decisions of politicians, generals, and ordinary commanders from both sides and how they affected the outcome of the battle.  

No one is spared from Dimbleby's criticism, including Winston Churchill.  The near-run victory of the Allies, like much of World War 2, was much closer than most people think...at least those that bother to critically study history, and the inevitable triumph of the Allied navies was anything but. A couple of different and more strategically sound decisions by Hitler and his high command and Britain may have indeed been starved into submission before Pearl Harbor, with all the dreadful consequences which would have ensued....think Man in the High Castle.  

Only a combination of technology, industrial might, political will to break down bureaucratic barriers, and shear desperation to try nearly anything to win allowed the Allies to fight and eventually win a bitter battle of attrition with the most formidable U-boat force the Third Reich could muster.  

The book moves at a marvelous pace and fortunately doesn't get bogged down in too many details, especially after the Allies achieved virtual maritime dominance of the Atlantic seaplanes after the fall of 1943, allowing the D-Day landings to occur with absolutely no attacks by German U-boats on the vast armada of Allied ships plying the sea between southern England and the Normandy coast.

This is really marvelous naval history and a wonderful addition to the story of naval combat in World War 2.