Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Battle of the Atlantic, written and read by Jonathan Dimbleby.
The Battle of the Atlantic was - though often overlooked - crucial to victory in the Second World War. If the German U-boats had prevailed, the maritime artery across the Atlantic would have been severed. Mass hunger would have consumed Britain, and the Allied armies would have been prevented from joining in the invasion of Europe. There would have been no D-Day.
Through fascinating contemporary diaries and letters from the leaders and from the sailors on all sides, Jonathan Dimbleby creates a thrilling narrative that uniquely places the campaign in the context of the entire Second World War.
Challenging conventional wisdom on the use of intelligence and on Churchill's bombing campaign, The Battle of the Atlantic tells the epic story of the decisions that led to victory and the horror and humanity of life on those perilous seas.
©2015 Jonathan Dimbleby (P)2015 Penguin Books Limited
Jonathan Dimbleby is an accomplished historian who has researched the subject well. The audio book is spoiled by misreadings and corrections which have been left in instead of being edited out. There are also several references to other pages which are entirely inappropriate to an audio book.
"Brilliant but faulty editing"
Really interesting book and very well read. Especially interesting were the personal stories.
However, the recording has at least 2 sections where sections were left in where Jonathan makes a mistake, apologised then restarts the reading.
"Good but runs out of steam"
The book is great although terribly edited with regular mistakes and repeated phrases not removed. There are 18 hours of coverage of 1939-1942 and then two hours for the rest. The period where the allies were losing is brilliantly described in significant detail but it feels that he realised he had to cram the rest of the war into two hours and rushed it. The sinking of 5 submarines in 24 hours is given 60 seconds.
Max Hastings does this better
His narration is brilliant as you would expect of one of our best ever broadcasters but some basic editing would have also helped.
Could have been great but seems very unbalanced.
The book overall was very good and informative with good eye witness accounts. Dimblebys impressions of Roosevelt, Churchill and so on, leave a little to be desired.
The one poor thing was the editing. There are a number of places where Dimbleby repeats himself as he made an error, at one point actually saying sorry. Also coughing a spluttering in places, surely this could have been edited out!
Enjoyable listen but the editing and continuity has a few glaring mistakes, and Mr Dimbleby's pronunciation of German ranks and terms is somewhat inconsistent!
"Excellent performance, shame about the book"
I love books read by the Author and Jonathan's performance here is excellent as you would expect. A lovely touch is that after a mispronunciation he corrects himself and continues.
This book twice makes reference to aircraft cover for convoys in WW1 (which happened in a limited way along the North Sea and channel), and then contends that Bomber Command should have used it's long range bombers to hunt for U boats in the Atlantic in WW2.
This book needs some expert opinion to weigh up the pros and cons of Jonathan's idea, which he assumes is practicable but doesn't account for details like U boats hunting at night and submarines tending to be underwater.
"Good but more politics than 'on the water'"
Yes, for listening in the car. The quality is patchy as there are a number of 're-recordings' left in the audio, and the levels vary between Jonathan's recording sessions. Could do with a final edit and balancing out.
The narrative itself is tilted strongly towards the politician's perspective of the battle. I'd say 55% White House/Downing Street/Berlin, 35% on the water and 10% implications of the battle. Rather too much of the political back and forth for me; though it is a vital part of the story, I would rather have had the politics/water proportions reversed.
"Important subject with minor flaws"
This is an important subject that has obviously been well researched and documented. That said this audiobook is marred by poor attention to detail in the editing. The author's strengths are more biased towards the research and writing, the narration improved when he settled on one way of pronouncing some German words.
Criticisms are minor, this is a book that deserves attention and focuses a light on an often forgotten battle and those mariners who fought both an enemy and the ocean unrecognised for so long in both war and peace.
The book was fine and so was the performance, but there was quite a few repeated bits of takes, which I wouldn't expect in a commercial release.
The over use of Latin, which doesn't add anything in my view, particularly if you have to look up what it meant.
"Superb book, let down by poor editing."
Superbly written & narrated, let down by appalling editing - there are coughs, repetitions and background noise
"A comprehensive and fascinating account"
I already knew much about the battle for the Atlantic and other aspects of WWII. But this audio book - so well read by Jonathan Dimbleby - is, from start to end - a wonderful and fascinating account. I recommend it fully. I could quibble about some early mispronunciations and the like, but that would truly be mere quibbling. And I would have loved the final U-boat surrender to have included Montserrat's stirring account from The Cruel Sea - one of the most masterly passages of prose I've read anywhere. But...100% recommend. Thanks to Audible and to Jonathan Dimbleby.
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