A long time ago, someone gave me a copy of this book (previously published in 1961) and it became one of the first books I ever read about War at Sea. I remember it as being "very" exciting. Now that I have read it again, it is interesting to see how some people and events have remained exactly as I had remembered them whereas others had not.
At one time, Captain Donald MacIntyre was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. During WW2, however, he commanded 3 different Escort Destroyers at one time or another during the battle of the Atlantic. He was awarded the DSO and two bars and the DSC. In terms of success against the U-Boat, this man was second only to the great Walker RN - who achieved the rare distinction of 4 DSOs. On retiring from the Navy in 1954, Donald MacIntyre became a widely read and much respected naval historian with a number of successful books to his credit.
This is one of those books and I am pleased to see it republished - if only because it will give all those people who were never able to find a copy, an opportunity to read this amazing story at long last.
The Battle of the Atlantic is a paper-back book measuring 196 mm x 130 mm and containing 208 pages plus a collection of 47 glossy black and white photographs found together after page 96.
It is a well written classic of naval warfare by one who was there. At first glance, it may not look like a "5" star book, but it certainly has more than 5 star content. With contributions taken from the log-books of such people as Walker and Gretton on the one side and from the combat-reports of such adversaries as Prien, Kretschmer and Schepke on the other, this account is as full, vivid and accurate as they get.
on 14 March 2014
This is an excellent potted history of the world's greatest ocean conflict. Written by the most successful Royal Naval captain, after the famous Frederic John Walker, it gives an insight to the weapons used, difficulties faced and the silent war waged by scientists and code breakers on both sides.
on 24 October 2011
I didn't buy this from Amazon, I chose it as a school prize 40+ years ago. Still, I have re-read it a couple of times and continue to be impressed. The style of writing is easy and unpretentious. The depiction of the campaign in phases and the role of technical developments in reversing the fortunes of the two sides is very clear and well reasoned. So it should be, the author was there, in the thick of it.
on 17 March 2013
A clear synopsis of the longest campaign of WW2 from someone who played a distinguished role. Donald Macintyre scored his most important successes before the new weaponry all came together in 1943. His removal from the battle of three of Donitz's top U-Boat Captains was achieved in March 1941 long before the improved 10-centimetric radar, HF/DF and the Hedgehog mortar, all came together in 1943. He gives proper credit to the importance of HF/DF, whereas two books in my possession make no reference to HF/DF at all!
It is well worth reading this clear account by the first of our Captains who was master of his trade.
For anyone interested in subs and the U-boat war you could do worse than read this book before any other. It is a concise and detailed account of the battle between the German U-boats and the Allied shipping that was the lifeline of Britain during the war. Using accounts of survivors and historians he tells the overall story and the developments that effected the battles, then goes into detail in describing several of the major convoy actions in a way that really makes you feel for the people involved. An excellent book with some great information, highly recommended.