In the 20th century’s greatest war, one battlefield held the key to victory or defeat – the North Atlantic. It took 2,074 days and nights to determine its outcome, but the Battle of the Atlantic proved the turning point of the Second World War. For five and a half years, German surface warships and submarines attempted to destroy Allied transatlantic convoys, mostly escorted by Royal Canadian Navy destroyers and corvettes, as well as aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Throwing deadly U-boat ‘wolf packs’ in the paths of Merchant Navy convoys, the German Kriegsmarine nearly strangled this vital life-line to a beleaguered Great Britain. In 1939, Canada’s navy went to war with exactly 13 warships and about 3,500 sailors. During the desperate Atlantic crossings, the RCN grew to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men and women in uniform. By V-E Day in 1945, it had become the 4th largest navy in the world. The Battle of the Atlantic proved to be Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of the war. The story of Canada’s naval awakening in the bloody battle to get convoys to Britain, is a Canadian wartime saga for the ages.
Ted Barris has published 19 non-fiction books, half of them wartime histories. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 Libris Award as Best Non-Fiction Book in Canada. His book Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany received the 2019 NORAD Trophy from the RCAF Association. And his book Rush to Danger: Medics in the Line of Fire was listed for the 2020 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction in Canada. Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory is Ted’s 20th published non-fiction book.