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Naval Battles of the Second World War (Hardback)

The Atlantic and the Mediterranean

WWII Maritime Royal Navy Naval Photographic Books Military

By Leo Marriott
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 120 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399098939
Published: 1st April 2022

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The Second World War was a truly global conflict and maritime power played a major role in every theatre of operations. Land campaigns depended on supplies transported by sea, and victory or defeat depended on the outcome of naval battles. So Leo Marriott’s highly illustrated two-volume account of the struggle sets naval actions in the wider strategic context as well as giving graphic accounts of what happened in each engagement.

This first volume concentrates on the Royal Navy’s confrontation with the ships and submarines of the German Kriegsmarine during the Battle of the Atlantic, the Arctic convoys and the struggle across the Mediterranean against the Italian navy to supply the opposing armies in North Africa. The Battle of the River Plate, the pursuit of the Bismarck, the PQ17 convoy to the Soviet Union and Operation Pedestal, the most famous convoy sent to relieve Malta, are among the episodes described in vivid detail and illustrated with a selection of striking photographs.

This concise but wide-ranging introduction to the naval war emphasizes the sheer scale of the conflict in every sea and shows the direct impact of each naval battle on the course of the war.

Marriott also includes a helpful appendix listing the ships involved in all these operations, though his bibliography could have been significantly beefed up. But quibbles aside, I enjoyed my evening reading about World War II naval battles, and I look forward to reading Marriott’s volume on the Pacific theatre.

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Beating Tsundoku

About Leo Marriott

Leo Marriott has written numerous books on aviation, naval and military subjects including Treaty Cruisers, Catapult Aircraft, Jets at Sea, Early Jet Fighters: British and American 1944-1954, Early Jet Bombers 1944-1954, Early Jet Fighters 1944-1954: The Soviet Union and Europe, Essex Class Aircraft Carriers 1943-1991 and Naval Battles of the Second World War: The Atlantic and the Mediterranean. He is now retired after a fifty-year career as an air traffic controller. Apart from aviation and naval history, his other interests include sailing, photography and painting.

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