Osprey Publishing Air Campaign: Battle of the Atlantic 1939-41

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OSP-AC15

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In his six-volume series The Second World War, Winston Churchill wrote 'The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.' Initially, however, everyone was surprised at the effectiveness of the submarines. Sonar proved less efficient a detection method than the British had predicted; surface attack made the U-boat invisible, especially at night; and wolf-pack tactics overwhelmed convoy escorts. Only faulty German torpedoes and the restricted number of available U-boats limited their success.

Astonishingly, Britain had the major piece of the solution to the U-Boat threat from the opening days of World War II: the anti-submarine aircraft. If it had been used assiduously and effectively in the first months of the war, Britain might have won the Battle of the Atlantic in its first year. Instead, the opportunity was missed and the Battle of the Atlantic continued until Germany's surrender in May 1945.

This title examines the role played by aircraft in the early years of the Battle of the Atlantic. Highlighting their success when employed effectively, the book follows these early operations to show how and why aircraft were initially misused. It also traces the development of technologies which made aircraft much more effective submarine-killers including radar and depth charges.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Attacker's Capabilities
  • Defender's Capabilities
  • Campaign Objectives
  • Order of Battle
  • The Campaign
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Index

About The Author:

Mark Lardas has been fascinated by things related to the sea and sky his entire life. From building models of ships and aircraft as a teen, his maritime interest led him to study Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, but his interest in aviation led him to take a job on the then-new Space Shuttle program. Over the next 30 years, he worked as a navigation engineer on the Shuttle program. Currently, he works in developing commercial aircraft systems as a quality assurance manager. He has written extensively about aircraft and warships and is the author of 25 books, all related to military, naval or maritime history. He lives in Texas, USA. Edouard Groult grew up inspired by watching historical documentaries with his father and developed a fascination for historical and fantasy art. Following art studies in both Paris and Belgium, he worked as a concept artist in the videogame industry and in recent years has also undertaken historical commissions while working as a freelancer for historical magazines. He lives and works in Oxford, UK.