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The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945: It's Organization, Defence, and Operation [Hardcover]

Arnold Hague
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press (Aug 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557500193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557500199
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 22.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,888,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

This is a history of the development and operation of the Allied convoy system in the Second World War. It explains the organization and protection of convoys and provides descriptions of all the escort vessels, oilers, rescue ships and salvage tugs that were employed. Further explanations are provided on the tactics and weapons of the U-boat war. Also included is an appendix listing every North Atlantic-related convoy, with details of departure and arrival dates and the ships involved, and an index of ships lost. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Reference Work 17 July 2003
Format:Hardcover
The War in the Atlantic was the only thing Winston Churchill was said to be worried about. An island nation surrounded by hostile seas, Britain needed a system that would keep her supplled so she could maintain the fight against the Axis powers. Its solution was to introduce the Convoy System, and for the rest of the war the vicious Battle of the Atlantic raged with no letup and little mercy. At the conclusion of the war, it was the allied victory in the Atlantic which was arguably the single most important factor in that victory.
However, sitxy years after this remarkable battle began, and with its partcipants now passing away in ever increasing numbers, there is a danger the details and tactics which won the day will pass from memory. That is why this book fills such an important niche, because the development and operations of Allied convoys has never been so well described.
A retired naval officer and longtime researcher on the staff of the Historical Section of the Ministry of Defence, Arnold Hague has assembled what is probably the largest collection of convoy records in existence and from these he has written the most comprehensive and detailed history presently available. This wide-ranging work not only explains how the convoy system was organized how it was protected, but also contains descriptions and illustrations of escorts, escort oilers, rescue ships, salvage tugs, and escort aircraft carriers, as well as describing the tactics and weapons of the U-boat war.
Of most interest to the researcher is the huge appendix, which lists every North Atlantic-related convoy, with sailing and arrival dates, points of departure and arrival, number of vessels involved and number lost.
This remarkable reference book fills a significant gap in the literature of the Second World War and is an essential work for anyone interested in learning how WW2 was one by victory in this vital battle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's important to be balanced. 22 Jun 2009
By PMW
Format:Hardcover
This book provides a curious mix of detail and overview. Some of the topics, which are hard to find details of elsewhere, eg rescue tugs and salvage work, are not covered in any great detail, but this book does provide a useful reminder of the topic. It is a slim volume and the majority of the narrative covers the operation of the convoy system. It is thus a useful adjunct to the more detailed accounts of the Battle of the Atlantic and of individual convoys. The appendicies are a useful reminder of just how many vessels crossed the oceans unharmed, but be careful reading them because there are some important exclusions that distort the picture somewhat. As a summary of the data available on the internet this is a valuable document, and it would be good to see a more detailed publication as well researched as this. Arnold Hague has left an important legacy, but there is a danger that that this book, on its own, would underplay, through its statistics, the bitterness of the conflict and the difficulties faced by many throughout the period. I would recommend this be read in conjunction with a good book on the Battle of the Atlantic, and one on the Artic Convoys. That will help provide real balance to this epic struggle. There are some good photos, but sadly some have been poorly cropped.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Allied Convoy System... 1939-1945 19 Jun 2001
By S. Christopher Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Hague, a retired Royal Navy Lieutenant-Commander, author of The Towns, Destroyers for Great Britain, Sloops 1926-1946, co-author of Convoys to Russia, and a former sub-editor of Jane's Fighting Ships has produced nothing new. He has, instead, published a work intended originally, at the request of the Naval Historical Branch in London, for reference use to assist in replying to convoy enquiries. His work on the Allied convoy system is the result of six years of study and reflects his thirty years of naval service, beginning in 1949 as a National Service rating, specializing in ship movements, naval operations and communications, and ending in 1979 after having commanded two Royal Navy Reserve communications centres and the West Midlands Sea Cadet Corps.
It is a technical reference source, not lending itself to an easy Sunday afternoon read, but very useful for specific details rather than eloquent narrative. Included are definitions of the multi-various acronyms found in navalspeak, punctuated definitions, codes, and a short history of the strategic and tactical development of the convoy system, from Julius Caesar's expeditionary fleet through the years leading up to the Second World War. In addition, chapters one and three also cover convoy composition, command and control both in home waters, at sea and abroad. Several chapters are devoted to specific types of ships vital to convoy security and safety, naval intelligence, and enemy dangers such as submarines and aircraft. Throughout are scattered photographs of ships, aircraft and their weapons, captioned by extensive and informative narrative, as well as comprehensive lists of convoys, primarily in the European Theatre, including departure dates, arrival dates, cross-indexed casualties, origins and destinations. Chapter seventeen is devoted exclusively to personnel losses. This text is the kind of summary which might be submitted to the Admiralty by a staff intelligence officer completing an after-action report for several campaigns simultaneously. For the serious student of naval history, this is a must-have.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent data source 18 Feb 2008
By Rare Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a reference, not meant to be a flowing narrative. That said, it is a very complete and thorough source for information on the convoy system which ensured the victory in the Atlantic. Sections describe the bureaucratic organization behind the system, variations in the system in different areas over time, the often skipped over importance of signals intelligence, and the progressive development of weaponry and sensors which decisively defeated the U-boat.

Multiple photographs illustrate ship configurations, weaponry, and sensors.

Tables in the back list every convoy and the losses it sustained.

For a one book reference on the "other side" of the U-boat war, this book is a must have.
5.0 out of 5 stars We are a Military Museum 7 Jan 2013
By Regional Military Museum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bools like this are kept in our research library so that people doing research on World War II can get the informatioin they need right here in their home town.
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