Review by Choice Review
Blair is author of some two dozen books, including the acclaimed Silent Victory, a study of the American submarine war against Japan (CH, Jul'75). In volume 2 of Hitler's U-Boat War (v. 1: CH, Apr'97), Blair argues that earlier authors like Royal Navy veteran Donald Mcintyre and Samuel Eliot Morison erred in overrating the U-boat menace. Instead, he emphasizes such weaknesses of German submarines as the poor habitability of most types of U-boats, failure to keep pace with Allied electronic advances, reliance on a compromised cipher system, and, in the last stages of the war, the poor performance of the new snorkel-equipped submarines, whose submerged speed was inadequate for operational requirements. An occasional wolf pack could still sink an impressive number of Allied merchant ships as late as the first months of 1943, but such successes were few and becoming fewer, and failed to keep the Allies from securing their maritime lifelines to such far-flung locations as the British Isles, Gibraltar, Murmansk, and Capetown. Numerous maps, tables, illustrations, and appendixes should ease the reader's way through this copiously detailed work. Upper-division undergraduates and above. L. J. Graybar; Eastern Kentucky University
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