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The Atlantic Campaign Paperback – 1 Oct 2001

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A great overview of the Atlantic Campaign 9 May 2005
By David Aldinger - Published on
Format: Paperback
After reading the fantastic "Pacific Campaign" by Van Der Vat, I knew I had to find this book. When I finally read it, I wasn't disappointed. Very clear, informative, fair AND balanced. There are as many interviews with former German Submariners as there are with British, American, and Canadian Navy men and merchant marine as well as Coast Guard. It covers the German Navy after WW1 and it's subterfuge of the Versaille Treaty. Then moves on to the build up before WW2 and finally the war itself. I highly recommend this book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, balanced job 9 Jun. 2008
By John M. Dionne - Published on
Format: Paperback
Excellent job. The approach was very balanced and spread virtue and fault evenly. Beside all that, it was a good read. One of those books that you are sorry to see end.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Interesting Predecessor for The Pacific Campaign 27 Dec. 2009
By Loves RPGs - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From what I've read so far, Mr. Van der Vat starts with World War I, and how submarine warfare by the Germans changed the complexion of total war, definitely influencing its further refinement in World War II. He explains that codebreaking played an important part in helping the Allies win WW II, but tries to make the reader understand that it was not the be-all, end-all panacea that other historians tell us it is. The convoy, in his mind, was much more important in reducing the depredations caused by the Germans.
However, I do have a bone to pick with the author. He proclaims that the first submarines used in warfare were those by the Germans during WW I (page 37 of the paperback), and the first warship sunk by a submarine attack was the British HMS Pathfinder (page 39). If he were talking about the first German and British boats and ships involved in warfare against each other, he would be correct. But the wording is such that almost anyone would immediately understand he implies these were the first of their kinds. This is incorrect, since the first successful submarine attack took place during the American Civil War, on February 17, 1864. The submarine CSS H. L. Hunley attacked the screw sloop USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, sinking the ship and itself in the process.
I realize The Atlantic Campaign was originally published in 1988, back when information about the Hunley was still sketchy. But since then, divers found the wreck of the submarine, and examination of the DNA of the hands on board the boat confirmed their identities. When The Atlantic Campaign was republished as a paperback in 2001, a correction should have been done to clarify Mr. Van der Vat's assertions. However, that wasn't the case: his errors were allowed to stand.
Having first read his excellent The Pacific Campaign, I am unhappy to see that his earlier work reflects such a strong tendency towards Euro-centrism, with no effort to fix obvious problems in later reprints.
I do hope I don't see any more of these errors as I continue reading The Atlantic Campaign. The writing style is very easy to handle and lends itself to quickly understanding the core of the matter, so I expect the rest of the book to only get better.
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