THE 1942-45 BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
◗ Mark Lardas
◗ Osprey (2021)
◗ 96 pages (softback)
The Atlantic Campaign presents a fascinating interplay of quantitative and qualitative warfare, and the air-sea aspect is well analysed in this latest offering in the Osprey ‘Air Campaign’ series. The German objective was simply to sink more ships than the Allied could produce: the Allied objectives were to prevent this and to ensure that Britain could be developed as an offensive base to regain Europe.
The author provides clear data on aircraft and U-boats, in terms of numbers, types, dispositions and technological developments, together with a month-bymonth account of the sinkings on both sides and an outline of the significant engagements. Aircraft accounted for just over a half of U-boat losses, as well as forcing U-boats to submerge – leading to fewer convoy sightings, reduced patrol times, and increased fuel consumption.
As the author states, the Germans clearly failed in their main objective. They lost 760 U-boats and 30,000 men, but the loss of Allied supplies and equipment must have been colossal, and this is surely a case of a very cost-effective weapons system? A highly recommended book.