A brilliant recounting of the Battle of the Atlantic, Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of the Second World War and the key to its victory
In the twentieth century’s greatest war, one battlefield held the key to victory or defeat—the North Atlantic. It took 2,074 days and nights to determine its outcome, but the Battle of the Atlantic proved the turning point of WWII.
For five and a half years, German surface warships and submarines attempted to destroy Allied transatlantic convoys, most of which were escorted by Royal Canadian Navy destroyers and corvettes, as well as aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Throwing deadly U-boat wolf packs in the paths of Merchant Navy convoys, the German Kriegsmarine nearly strangled this vital lifeline to a beleaguered Great Britain and left any hope of liberating Europe in doubt. In 1939, Canada’s navy went to war with exactly thirteen warships and about 3,500 sailors. During the desperate Atlantic crossings, the RCN grew to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men and women in uniform. By VE Day in 1945, it had become the fourth largest navy in the world. The Battle of the Atlantic proved to be Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of WWII. The story of the country’s naval awakening in the bloody battle to get convoys to Britain is a Canadian wartime saga for the ages.