The British Battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1941, by Evan Wilson
Famously, Churchill claimed, “The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril.” From 1939 until the United States entered the war, Britain's isolation left it vulnerable to the German U-boat campaign. Too often, though, historians have been more alert to the weaknesses in British defenses than to the difficulties faced by the Germans. This lecture will examine the fundamental problem that the Germans faced in the first years of the Battle of the Atlantic -- they needed to secure a decisive result quickly, before the full weight of U.S. industrial might could be felt. But they were deploying a weapon designed for a long war.
Evan Wilson is an assistant professor in the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research. His research specializes in the relationship between navies and societies, and he seeks to connect naval history to other approaches to national history. The Institute of Historical Research awarded him the Sir Julian Corbett Prize in Modern Naval History for an article based on research conducted in the Naval War College Historical Collection. Before coming to Newport, he was the Caird Senior Research Fellow at the National Maritime Museum (UK) and the associate director of International Security Studies at Yale University. He holds degrees from Yale, Cambridge and Oxford.
All lectures are free and open to the public, no reservations are required.