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Faculty Book: David Syrett

David Syrett

The Defeat of the German U-Boats: The Battle of the Atlantic
(University of South Carolina Press, 1994, 2010)

In this volume, newly released in paperback, Syrett explains the significance and the outcome of World War II’s most important naval campaign in the European theatre—the six-year air and sea battle that ended Germany’s bid to sever Allied supply lines in the Atlantic. It offers a detailed analysis of the effort to stop German U-boat attacks on Allied merchant vessels, which by 1943 ranked as the Allies’ top priority in their strategy to defeat Hitler’s forces. Syrett argues that the Germans were unable to match Allied communication, technological, and tactical advances and that the Allies prevailed largely because of their skill in utilizing the material and intelligence resources at their disposal. He uses intelligence information—released decades after the war—to plot the progression of each Allied convoy, German U-boat assault, and Allied response. Crediting the Allied victory with keeping Britain in the war and making possible the 1944 invasion of northwest Europe, Syrett emphasizes the Battle of the Atlantic’s pivotal role in determining the war’s outcome. David Syrett taught for 38 years at Queens College and was a member of the doctoral faculty in history at the Graduate Center until his death in October 2004. The book was published posthumously.

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Submitted on: SEP 30, 2010

Category: History, Faculty Books