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Decision in the AtlanticThe Allies and the Longest Campaign of the Second World War$
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Marcus Faulkner and Christopher M. Bell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781949668001

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9781949668001.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The View from the Top

The View from the Top

Winston Churchill, British Grand Strategy, and the Battle of the Atlantic

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 The View from the Top
Source:
Decision in the Atlantic
Author(s):

Christopher M. Bell

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9781949668001.003.0003

This chapter by Christopher M. Bell examines how Winston Churchill's approach to the Battle of the Atlantic was shaped by the demands of British grand strategy. His preference for offensive operations on the largest possible scale deprived the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force's Coastal Command of resources needed for the protection of merchant shipping. Churchill counted on the United States to replace Britain's shipping losses so that imports would not decline to critical levels. American ships did not appear in the expected numbers, and in late 1942 Britain appeared to be heading towards an import crisis. Churchill was forced to reconsider his strategic priorities. Some resources were diverted from the strategic bombing campaign to trade defense, but Churchill remained reluctant to abandon his offensive priorities. He pursued a diplomatic agreement with the United States to secure additional merchant ships and expedited efforts to master the U-boat challenge by increasing the number of very-long-range aircraft capable of protecting Allied convoys in the mid-Atlantic.

Keywords:   anti-submarine warfare, Battle of the Atlantic, Winston Churchill, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, strategic bombing, U-boat

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