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Customer Review

on 4 February 2013
A fine piece of writing about a largely forgotten piece of WW2 history. Submarine warfare in WW2 is dominated in terms of accounts by the famous U-boats and their charismatic commanders.

However, what this book provides is an insight into the brave terrifying world of submarine warfare as experienced by the Royal Navy. It builds the story of their experience from the dark and early days of WW2 with outdated equipment and woeful underfunding, right up to the RN's contribution to the naval war in the far east, from which the submarine service was excluded until the latter years of the war.

What I do feel the author provides are some poignant lessons that British commanders and politicians ignore at their peril time and again. The Germans clearly recognised the value of the submarine as a weapon from WW1 and yet the British despite this placed emphasis on the surface navy, hoping for pitched engagements which by and large never happened.

Instead the woefully under-equipped and poorly funded submarine commanders made do and some truly brilliant tacticians from the silent service were overlooked despite their far advanced thinking and embrace of modern technology and methods of waging warfare. The author points out at least one occasion that had the submarine flotillas been fully equipped early on alongside the capital ships, they could have altered the course of the entire war.

This is a fantastic historical compendium of stories, history and nascent submarine warfare tactics that serves well as a reminder to those in such positions today of mistakes from the past. A worthy addition to anyone's shelf, especially the military historian
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