This book was written to accompany the BBC television series of the same title. As might be expected from a TV series, it contains a good many anecdotes from people who were involved in the campaign, both British and German, and is a balanced account of their experiences.
Williams also describes the tactics and training of the two sides, especially the ineffective tactics of the escorts at the beginning of the war and the very effective tactics which were developed later, aided by significant advances in technology such as radar and High-Frequency Direction-Finding. He contrasts the over-simple organisation by which Donitz ran the U-boats with the highly developed Western Approaches Command run by Admirals Noble and Horton.
The book concentrates entirely on the Atlantic U-boat campaign; very little is said about German surface warships and merchant raiders, or about the Arctic convoys or U-boats in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
The book is a good read and gives a satisfactory overview of this campaign, the longest of the war, lasting from 3 September 1939 to VE Day, and the one that Britain had to win or be reduced to starvation and to be forced into making peace with Germany.
The paperback edition is made from Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, which is laudable, but the reproduction of photographs on this paper is pretty awful; hence only four stars.
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