A detailed account of WW2 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The result, snippets of interesting in a sea of mundane. After the sinking of U-517 the comment is made in the book that "[m]ost of the crew survived and provided Allied intelligence with a detailed and accurate - and gripping - account of their exploits in Canadian waters." What this book did not deliver was the gripping.
Although Canada's Navy and Air Force appeared to be engaged in a losing battle in the St. Lawrence (for ex., it did not sink a single u-boat) during World War II, their determined efforts made St. Lawrence shipping an unattractive and risky target for German submarines. Mr. Sarty's research into German archives and the Allies declassified documents has produced a fascinating account of the military and political realities of the day: Canada had decided to focus the bulk of its limited military resources to the European and North African theatres, leaving an under-equipped, not-so-well trained force to deal with the German submarines who had every advantage on their side (for ex., the different temperature layers of the water made asdic or sonar virtually useless; the outdated aircraft and warships). I learned a great deal from this book. P.S. There will be - as I noticed in some online reviews of this book - some nit-pickers who will latch on to Mr. Sarty's use of kilometres/hour for ship and air-speed references. Well, I for one do not care for knots as a speed measurement: I don't undestand it and I frankly think km/h will make the book more intelligible to the greater number of readers. History - even military history - is too important to be catering to professional historians exclusively and to the knot-obsessed military types.
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