The War for England's Shores (ePub)
S-Boats and the Fight Against British Coastal Convoys
War for England's Shores examines the Kriegsmarine's S-Boat offensive along the English Channel and the North Sea from 1940 to 1945, together with British and, later, Allied responses to nullify that threat. Very fast, and armed with torpedoes and mines, S-Boats posed a serious threat to the convoys that were forced to run close along the British coast on a daily basis. Despite the significance of this campaign and the real threat to the whole British war economy, it has been, until now, strangely overlooked by historians. Indeed, the book highlights issues around the maritime identity of those states and navies that see themselves in oceanic terms, at the expense of engagement with, and operations in, coastal waters.
Using an array of archival materials from Britain, Germany and the USA, The War for England’s Shores examines why the Germans failed to make the most of this opportunity to disrupt British trade. G H Bennett analyses how the British slowly countered the threat by embracing new technologies and developing a system of sea control that gradually forced the German S-Boat arm from the offensive against Britain's coastal convoys, and on to the defensive in the months leading up to the invasion of France. The author also looks at the S-Boat campaign along these convoy routes in the context of present-day interest in littoral warfare, so that the work has a vital and current appeal and offers significant and surprising insights.
The book offers an unparalleled exploration of a key moment in the development of coastal warfare, and will appeal to historians and enthusiasts as well as defence analysts and naval personnel.
Article: Telling tales of wartime stalwartsThe Herald (Plymouth)
"The book offers an unparalleled exploration of a key moment in the development of coastal warfare, and will appeal to historians and enthusiasts as well as defence analysts and naval personnel."New Books Network Podcast
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“This masterly work will become and long remain the standard treatise on German S-Boat operations in their doomed exertions to control British coastal waters in World War II.”Eric C. Rust, author of German Naval Officers under Hitler and U-Boat Commander Oskar Kusch: Anatomy of a Nazi-Era Betrayal and Judicial Murder.
"Bennett’s The War for England's Shores: S-Boats and the Fight Against British Coastal Convoys highlights the actions of German fast attack craft in English waters. Along the way Bennett raises some provocative points; for example, that Berlin’s emphasis on U-Boat oceanic war was a mistake and that a more vigorous coastal campaign could have had war-winning implications. Overall, a well-written and well-researched work that the naval enthusiast and historian alike will find a rewarding read. It's going into my personal library."—Vincent P. O’Hara, co-editor, Fighting in the Dark: Naval Combat at Night, 1904-1944 and co-author Innovating Victory: Naval Technology in Three Wars