Stroud, 1st.ed., 2002. 276 pp., c.200 photographs & paintings (some cold.). D.j., 30 x 21cm. FINE. The author provides a detailed and authoritative account of the longest battle of the Second World War – the Battle of the Atlantic – which stretched from the day war broke out in 1939, to Germany’s eventual defeat in 1945. Both the Allied and German perspectives are given, supported by some 200 photographs and paintings (some in colour). When Britain declared war on Germany, Dönitz realized that his best chance of success was to destroy Britain’s vital commerce by the aid of his U-boats. It was not until 1943, when Britain had cracked the seemingly impenetrable Enigma code, that the tide turned against Germany and merchant ship losses slowly decreased as U-boat losses rose to unstainable heights.