Britain appeared doomed until the German naval codes were cracked.

Battle of the Atlantic

The Codebreakers’ War in the Atlantic

By Gene J. Pfeffer

The Battle of the Atlantic was a life-and-death struggle between the German Kriegsmarine and the Allied navies that was fought for control of Britain’s lifeline to its empire and to the United States. Read more

The War Production Board wanted a manufacturer who could build a giant flying boat. They got was Howard Hughes and the improbable “Spruce Goose.”

Battle of the Atlantic

The First and Last Flight of the Spruce Goose

By Allyn Vannoy

The Time magazine article was titled “It Flies!” It was a note of triumph and vindication, but also an epitaph, of an aircraft that was five years in the making—the “Spruce Goose,” a plane that should not have existed. Read more

Of all the factors that helped the Allies win the war, none was more important than the unbroken flow of supplies to the front lines.

Battle of the Atlantic

The Supply Front: The Allies’ Key to Victory

By Glenn Barnett

After the war in Europe was won, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had many opportunities to review various campaigns with the leaders of the Soviet Army–– including even Joseph Stalin himself. Read more

Admiral Sir Max Horton of the Royal Navy was himself a submarine veteran.

Battle of the Atlantic

Max Horton: Leading the Charge Against the U-Boats

By Michael D. Hull

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who rode in a cavalry charge in the Sudan in 1898, escaped from the Boers in 1899 and served for six months as a troop leader in the Western Front trenches in 1915-1916, remarked during World War II, “The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.” Read more

The Allies and the Axis sought to control the highly valued Azores, but both had to contend with the noninvolvement of Portugal during WW2.

Battle of the Atlantic

Portugal during WW2: Covering the Azores Gap

By Norman Herz

The year 1944 dawned with America already at war for over two years. In an event not marked by history books, the 96th Navy Construction Battalion, Seabees, crossed the Atlantic from Davisville, Rhode Island, on the Abraham Lincoln, a converted banana boat escorted by two destroyers, the USS Ellis and USS Biddle. Read more

Battle of the Atlantic

The USCGC Taney: Pearl Harbor and Beyond

by Paul B. Cora

Built in the mid-1930s as one of the famed Treasury class of large U.S. Coast Guard cutters, USCGC Taney had a distinguished career spanning five decades of continuous service. Read more

The war service of the RMS Queen Mary made a vital contribution to the success of the Allies in World War II.

Battle of the Atlantic

RMS Queen Mary’s War Service: Voyages to Victory

by Eric Niderost

The late summer of 1939 saw Great Britain teetering on the brink of war with Hitler’s Germany. The years of appeasement and vacillation, of meekly acquiescing to Hitler’s insatiable territorial demands, were over at last. Read more

The ordeal of convoy PQ-17 is indicative of Nazi efforts to sever the lend-lease lifeline to the Soviet Union.

Battle of the Atlantic

“Convoy is to Scatter”: Arctic Convoy Disaster

 

By David H. Lippman

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had made the promise to Soviet Premier Josef Stalin, and Admiral Sir John Tovey of the Royal Navy had to keep it: to sail three convoys loaded with critical supplies from Britain to Russia every two months, with 25 to 35 ships in each convoy. Read more