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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Battle of the Atlantic, written and read by Jonathan Dimbleby.

The Battle of the Atlantic was - though often overlooked - crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe. There would have been no D-Day.

Through fascinating contemporary diaries and letters from the leaders and from the sailors on all sides, Jonathan Dimbleby creates a thrilling narrative that uniquely places the campaign in the context of the entire Second World War.

Challenging conventional wisdom on the use of intelligence and on Churchill's bombing campaign, The Battle of the Atlantic tells the epic story of the decisions that led to victory and the horror and humanity of life on those perilous seas.

©2015 Jonathan Dimbleby (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited

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Strategic Overview

This book provides a very good insight to the grand strategic factors impacting the Battle of the Atlantic. For comparable insight to the operational and tactical factors, Black May by Michael Gammon is hard to beat. This provides the best available overview (in my opinion) of perhaps the single most important allied initiative to winning the Battle of the Atlantic - operational research and its intelligent application. It also illustrates the critical importance of coherent doctrine, training, and tactical level leadership. Mr Dimbleby only touches lightly on these topics. This may be nit picking but I think the Battle of the Barents Sea in which Capt Sherbrooke won the VC deserves a more comprehensive treatment than it receives in this book. This does not detract from an excellent overall study, however.

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  • Paul J Day
  • 01-29-16

Brilliant but faulty editing

Really interesting book and very well read. Especially interesting were the personal stories.

However, the recording has at least 2 sections where sections were left in where Jonathan makes a mistake, apologised then restarts the reading.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • grant
  • 06-02-16

Good but runs out of steam

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The book is great although terribly edited with regular mistakes and repeated phrases not removed. There are 18 hours of coverage of 1939-1942 and then two hours for the rest. The period where the allies were losing is brilliantly described in significant detail but it feels that he realised he had to cram the rest of the war into two hours and rushed it. The sinking of 5 submarines in 24 hours is given 60 seconds.

What other book might you compare The Battle of the Atlantic to, and why?

Max Hastings does this better

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

His narration is brilliant as you would expect of one of our best ever broadcasters but some basic editing would have also helped.

Do you think The Battle of the Atlantic needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

Any additional comments?

Could have been great but seems very unbalanced.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Woody
  • 05-29-17

Poor editing

Did no one proof listen to this? Clearly not.
A terrific performance ruined because whoever produced it did not take out where Jonathan had clearly faltered and started a line again.
A real shame as it distracted from a cracking book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lee
  • 06-21-16

Editing!

The book overall was very good and informative with good eye witness accounts. Dimblebys impressions of Roosevelt, Churchill and so on, leave a little to be desired.

The one poor thing was the editing. There are a number of places where Dimbleby repeats himself as he made an error, at one point actually saying sorry. Also coughing a spluttering in places, surely this could have been edited out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • timothy davies
  • 05-25-16

Poorly edited!

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Enjoyable listen but the editing and continuity has a few glaring mistakes, and Mr Dimbleby's pronunciation of German ranks and terms is somewhat inconsistent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob
  • 04-15-16

Recording errors

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

The book was fine and so was the performance, but there was quite a few repeated bits of takes, which I wouldn't expect in a commercial release.

What aspect of Jonathan Dimbleby’s performance might you have changed?

The over use of Latin, which doesn't add anything in my view, particularly if you have to look up what it meant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Fred
  • 12-26-17

excellent account of the battle of the Atlantic

This is a very good account of the battle of the Atlantic. great performance and full of 1st hand accounts.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-29-17

Informative, thrilling, heart-breaking

This account of Battle of the Atlantic is both deeply fascinating and well-written, by turns looking at the grand strategy of the conflict and the individual stories and personalities that struggled in it.

The audio recording is slightly marred by inexplicably poor editing, as though it were rushed, but these issues are very occasional indeed.

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  • Mr A LE MAITRE
  • 10-24-17

Gripping!

well read and composed,systematically goes year by year including concluding information on events and characters. While everyone knows the final outcome the author brings the combatants characters to play....most enjoyable...with a staggering amount of information.

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  • Gadgetfanatic
  • 07-04-17

ok.

Spoilt by attempts at impressions of Churchill, Roosevelt and others. Which is unnecessary. Otherwise an ok listen.

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  • Peter Gray
  • 06-16-16

A great account ruined by some bad editing

Jonathan Dimbleby is an accomplished historian who has researched the subject well. The audio book is spoiled by misreadings and corrections which have been left in instead of being edited out. There are also several references to other pages which are entirely inappropriate to an audio book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-12-17

The Battle of the Atlantic

This book is a tribute to the bravery of the men, on both sides, who fort and died in largely horrific circumstances during the second world war on the Atlantic. It also touches on the stories of the civilians who became caught up in it. Written and read by Jonathan Dimbelby the presentation is in line with the standards of the writing and broadcasting traditions of the Dimbleby family.
It was disappointing to note that the audio was not edited thoroughly. Many reading errors were left uncorrected.

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  • Rob Woof
  • 06-20-17

Thorough and sweeping

This book is a thorough and sweeping treatment of the Battle of the Atlantic in its full wartime context. By covering the wider strategic situations impinging on the Atlantic theatre of war, the reader/listener is given a valuable broad perspective of the influences on and effects of the Atlantic struggle for supremacy in sea transport - the Allied forces seeking to protect it and the Kriegsmarine's efforts to interrupt it. Yet the big picture view does not leave out important, intimate snapshots from participants on both sides, and at all levels of the command structure - seamen, passengers, ships' officers, and even high-ranking diplomats and politicians. A masterful work, read very well.