Battle of the Atlantic

G - M

Gallehawk, John. Convoys and the U-boats. Bletchley Park Report no. 7. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1997.

Kruh, Cryptologia 22.2: "An account of critical events in the Battle of the Atlantic in March 1943."

Gannon, Michael.

1. Black May: The Epic Story of the Allies' Defeat of the German U-Boats in May 1943. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

Kruh, Cryptologia 23.1, calls Gannon's work "thrilling and comprehensive," adding that the author's "enormous research has produced the most thoroughly documented study of these battles and their participants."

2. Operation Drumbeat: The Dramatic True Story of Germany's First U-Boat Attacks Along the American Coast in World War II. New York: Harper, 1990.

According to Sexton, the author in his "compelling narrative ... is extremely critical of Admiral Ernest J. King, who he claims ignored ULTRA warnings of German intentions."

Gardner, W.J.R. Decoding History: The Battle of the Atlantic and Ultra. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1999. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000.

For Kruh, Cryptologia 24.3, Gardner makes "an important contribution to naval history" by combining "rigorous analysis with a full understanding of all causes of the outcome." The result is "a thorough and rounded assessment of all factors and the relative role of Ultra in the victory."

McFarland, I&NS 15.3, sees "some repetition in the book"; in addition, "the author assumes that the reader has a fairly deep knowledge of battle details." Nonetheless, the work "adds a significant contribution to the historical studies that integrate intelligence and the military." Bates, NIPQ 16.3, finds this work "very technical and detailed appealing mainly to those with a systems analysis or operations research background.... I don't recommend it for general reading."

Gordon, Don. Electronic Warfare: Element of Strategy and Multiplier of Combat Power. New York: Pergamon, 1981.

Harbron, John D. The Longest Battle: The Royal Canadian Navy in the Atlantic, 1939-1945. St. Catherines, Ontario: Vanwell, 1993. D770H34

From "A picture history book of the battle of the Atlantic, examining Canada's contribution to World War II on the home front, and offshore."

Herz, Norman. Operation Alacrity: The Azores and the War in the Atlantic. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004.

According to Bath, NIPQ 20.2, this work tells the story of the war in Atlantic in the context of the efforts to obtain Allied bases in the Azores. Although it is "not a book on intelligence,... [i]t is a well written account that documents a ...significant[] sidebar to the larger story of the U-boat war."

Howarth, Stephen, and Derek Law, eds. The Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1945: The 50th Anniversary International Naval Conference. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994. London: Greenhill. 1994.

Hughes, Terry, and Costello, John. The Battle of the Atlantic: The First Complete Account of the Origins and Outcome of the Longest and Most Crucial Campaign of World War II. New York: Dial Press, 1977.

Nautical Brass Bibliography views this as a "good account of this part of the War, although there are several errors regarding Enigma."

Kahn, David. Seizing the Enigma: The Race to Break the German U-Boat Codes, 1939-1943. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. London: Souvenir Press, 1991. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1998.

Kruh, Cryptologia 23.2, notes that the Barnes & Noble edition of "this superb book ... contains a new preface by Kahn, who also used the opportunity to correct some minor errors found in the earlier edition." In the view of Milner, I&NS 9.1, the author presents a "fascinating study ... and a perfectly sound conclusion." He has an "impressive grasp of the practical problems of codebreaking and usage ... [and] understands the limits of special intelligence."

For Surveillant 1.4, this is a "rare gem" of a book. It tells the "story of how the British, unable to break the German naval Enigma cipher machine because it was used in a much more complicated fashion than the Luftwaffe Enigma machine (which they were breaking), had to steal documents from some German weather ships operating north of Iceland, to aid in breaking the codes.... [W]ith these filched documents, [they] were able to break the German U-boat codes and divert their convoys so they wouldn't be sunk and, later, sink the U-boats because they now knew where they were located."

Miller, IJI&C 6.3, says that Kahn "presents another excellent work on intelligence and raises his standards even higher.... This remarkably fine book is the best to date on ULTRA." To Ringle, WPNWE, 17-23 Jun. 1991, the author's "impressive economy and dogged research" has produced "not only great history, but great midnight reading." Peake, AIJ 15.1/90, sees Seizing the Enigma as "a very readable and worthwhile book."

Kennedy, Michael. Guarding Neutral Ireland: The Coast Watching Service and Military Intelligence, 1939-1945. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2008.

White and Riley, Irish Studies in International Affairs 19 (2008), find that the author's "major point is that this service contributed valuable intelligence to the Irish government during the war. Much of this information was shared with the Allies. As Ireland was drawn into the air and naval battles that surrounded and crossed its territory during the war, the Irish clearly sided with the Allies. For Kennedy, Irish neutrality was a formality that underestimates the important role Ireland played in assisting the Allies in their effort against the Germans."

Kingsley, F.A., ed. The Applications of Radar and Other Electronic Systems in the Royal Navy in World War II. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 1995.

From publisher: "This volume concentrates on specific applications of individual radar systems for Weapon control, Weapon direction, Action Information, and Fighter Direction. Also included is an account of the pioneering activities in the fields of electronic countermeasures against enemy systems, and of HF DF, ashore and afloat."

Knowles, Kenneth A. "ULTRA and the Battle of the Atlantic: The American View." In Changing Interpretations and New Sources in Naval History: Papers from the Third United States Naval Academy History Symposium, ed. Robert V. Love, 444-449. New York: Garland, 1980.

Sexton identifies the author as the head of the Atlantic Section, Combat Intelligence, of the 10th Fleet (the U.S. Navy's equivalent of the British Admiralty's Submarine Tracking Room). Knowles argues that integrated with HF/DF, Ultra provided the "'edge of victory at sea' in the Atlantic. Highly recommended."

Kohnen, David. Commanders Winn and Knowles: Winning the U-Boat War with Intelligence, 1939-1943. Krakow, Poland: The Enigma Bulletin, No. 4, Special Issue, 1999. [pb]

According to information from Mark Friedman (, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Commander Rodger Winn and U.S. Navy Commander Kenneth Knowles of the U.S. Navy's "F-21 Atlantic Section" were at the "strategic core" of the Allied naval effort in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Kruh, Cryptologia 24.1, says that "Kohnen has written an excellent account of British-American naval strategies, relations between their leaders, and he includes many cryptologic details and information about the codebreakers involved." For Rohwer, JIH 1.1, "[w]e must be very grateful to David Kohnen for reminding us of the development of the American-British-Canadian SIGINT cooperation and especially for providing us with a vivid description of Rodger Winn and Kenneth Knowles."

Mallmann-Showell, Jak P. Enigma U-Boats: Breaking the Code -- The True Story. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000. Shepperton: Ian Allan, 2000.

From publisher: "This ... analysis of Enigma's development and its role during U-boat operations includes details of Allied boardings from which Enigma machines could have been captured."

McCue, Brian. "A Chessboard Model of the U-boat War in the Atlantic with Applications to Signals Intelligence." Naval Research Logistics (NRL) 52, no. 2 (Mar. 2005): 107–136.

From Abstract: "This paper uses a simple Monte Carlo model to analyze the influence of signals intelligence on the Second World War's Battle of the Atlantic. The principle measure of effectiveness is the number of U-boat days of attack to which convoys were subjected. A secondary measure is the number of convoyed ships sunk.... Allied use of signals intelligence is shown to have been capable of completely offsetting German use of signals intelligence, and then some."

McLean, Douglas. "Confronting Technological and Tactical Change: Allied Antisubmarine Warfare in the Last Year of the Battle of the Atlantic." Naval War College Review 47 (Winter 1994): 87-104.

McShane, Mark. Neutral Shores: Ireland and the Battle of the Atlantic. Cork: Mercier, 2012.

Milner, Marc. "The Battle of the Atlantic." In Decisive Campaigns of the Second World War, ed. John Gooch, 45-66. London: Frank Cass, 1990.

Sexton notes that this article includes a discussion of "the influence of communications intelligence on both German and Allied operations.... Highly recommended."


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