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Turning the Tide

How a Small Band of Allied Sailors Defeated the U-Boats and Won the Battle of the Atlantic
By: Ed Offley
Narrated by: James Adams
Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The United States experienced its most harrowing military disaster of World War II not in 1941 at Pearl Harbor, but rather in the period from 1942 to 1943, in the frigid North Atlantic and American coastal waters from Newfoundland to the Caribbean. Nearly seven decades after the event, the Battle of the Atlantic still stands as the longest-running and most lethal clash of arms in naval history. During the entire duration of the conflict, more than 30,264 Allied merchant seamen and hundreds of navy personnel lost their lives.

The strategic stakes in the Battle of the Atlantic were immense. If the Axis won, Great Britain could have been starved into submission, the Allies would have been unable to marshal their forces to liberate the Continent, and the Germans likely would have at least engineered a stalemate with the Soviets on the Eastern Front that would have allowed the Nazi regime to remain in power.

In Turning the Tide, military reporter and author Ed Offley tells the story of how, during a 12-week period during the spring of 1943, a handful of battle-hardened British, Canadian and American sailors turned the tide in the Atlantic. Using extensive documents from archives in Germany, Great Britain and the United States, and interviews with key survivors on both sides, Offley puts the reader into the heart of the battle - from the navigation bridges of British and American escort warships, to the main decks and engine rooms of Allied merchant ships in convoy, to the claustrophobic control rooms and wave-swept bridges of the U-boats stalking their prey. He also portrays the vicious bureaucratic struggles that raged behind closed doors at the headquarters of both the Allied and German military services, and the above-Top Secret Allied intelligence campaign to crack the German Naval Enigma codes.

A thrilling tale of the decisive naval battle of World War II, Turning the Tide is also a harrowing story of how the Allies nearly lost - and ultimately regained - victory in both the Atlantic and in Europe itself.

©2011 Original material by Ed Offley. Recorded by arrangement with Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group. (P)2011 HighBridge Company

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  • PismoPat
  • Central Coast of California
  • 05-15-11

Just The Facts

I listened to this book for about 1.5 hours. The first 15 minutes was very interesting, but then I noticed that it seemed to be lots of facts and minutia, but no real story. It was obvious that Mr. Offley did lots of research and this book is very much a reference and compendium of North Atlantic shipping during WWII. I just didn't see a plot becoming organized or story line developing. If you are a WWII history buff, you may find it very interesting.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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EXCELLENT SUBMARINE WARFARE BOOK OF WW2

Incredible stats that tell a devastating submarine history of the Allies & Germany. Merchant mariners deserve greater recognition than they have heretofore received.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Carroll
  • Hilo, HI, United States
  • 11-03-14

A great new view of a historical campaign

A great narrative of this serious campaign that "almost" lost this war for the "good guys".

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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WWII Battle for the Atlantic...

A tremendous amount of research had to go into this well written book on US, British and German naval history during the battle for the Atlantic from 1939 to 1945... Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and the narration was top notch...

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A Great History of Allied Victory in the Atlantic

If you could sum up Turning the Tide in three words, what would they be?

This is a great history of the convoy system and how the Allies won the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II through the use of new technology.

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So Disappointing

What disappointed you about Turning the Tide?

I am frustrated that this work focuses primarily on one singular battle in the north Atlantic, rather than how the combined efforts of the Allies used technology and tenacity to defeat the German Wolfpacks. Secondly, the narration is (in a stuffy English accent)

Would you be willing to try another book from Ed Offley? Why or why not?

Certainly. He focuses on facts and details, which is nice.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of James Adams?

I think hearing Nelson Runger read this work would be terrific.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Duh, disappointment.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • B. Monaghan
  • 08-08-16

Good history

The historical account was good. Well-researched and thorough. The narrator was well-spoken, but bizarrely used American English whilst speaking very standard English. More gravely, he did not even have an elementary grasp of German pronunciation. This was rather jarring at times, as the account was peppered with German names. Apart from these blemishes, I would recommend this audio book to anyone interested in the subject.

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  • Craig
  • 04-19-19

Great story.

Loved this book...full of facts and figures...maybe too many. As a result the narrative is clumsy from fact to personal story's. Not really conveying the real suffering. That's just my take on this book. For as far as the story and history goes it's a great listen. Enjoy.

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  • Paraig McGovern
  • 05-21-16

Enthralling story of near forgotten battles

Brilliantly told story of a series of forgotten but pivotal battles. A fitting tribute to the courage and fortitude of all who took part on both sides.