The Battle of the Atlantic

German (Type IXC) U-boat, U-550, surfaces astern of USS Joyce (DE 317) after being depth charged, April 16, 1944 (© Natl. Mus. of the U.S. Navy)

The Battle of the Atlantic, a fierce five-year battle fought in the ocean during World War II, was one of the most intense and violent naval confrontations in history. It is the story of the ships that escorted the vital supply convoys from North America to the Allies in Europe, preyed upon by packs of German U-boats, and it inspired Nicholas Monsarrat’s 1951 classic “The Cruel Sea”. This war novel in turn inspired Michele Ernsting to speak with some of the survivors of the battle in this Oral Histories edition of our weekly “Siren Song”.

Produced and presented by Michele Ernsting

Broadcast November 28, 1996