The Longest Campaign

Britain's Maritime Struggle in the Atlantic and Northwest Europe, 1939–1945

Brian E Walter

A complete account of the British maritime contribution to victory in World War II.
Date Published :
May 2020
Publisher :
Illustration :
20 images
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612008561
Pages : 360
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A complete and balanced account of the maritime struggle in the Atlantic theater.

For four centuries the British realm depended upon sea power to defend its interest and independence against a myriad of threats both military and economic. During this time the Royal Navy established itself as the "Sovereign of the Seas," helping transform England, and later Great Britain, from an unassuming island nation perched on the edge of the European continent to the center of a global empire. Yet the advent of World War II presented Britain's maritime services with their greatest challenge to date. At stake was the survival of the nation.

The Longest Campaign tells the story of this epic struggle and the indispensable role that British sea power played in bringing about the victory that shaped the world we live in today. It is a complete, balanced and detailed account of the activities, results and relevance of Britain's maritime effort in the Atlantic and off northwest Europe throughout World War II. It looks at the entire breadth of the maritime conflict, exploring the contribution of all participants including the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British merchant marines and their Commonwealth equivalents. It puts the maritime conflict in the context of the overall war effort and shows how the various operations and campaigns were intertwined. Finally, it provides unique analysis of the effectiveness of the British maritime effort and role it played in bringing about the final Allied victory.

About The Author

Brian E. Walter is a retired Army officer from a combat arms branch with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and International Relations. He has been a student of the British military during the Second World War for more than 30 years. In researching this book, he did thousands of hours of research and analysis over a 25-year period during which time he reviewed and took inputs from hundreds of primary and secondary sources including substantial online and in-person research at the British National Archives and Imperial War Museum.


Chapter 1: Phoney War
Chapter 2: Blitzkrieg
Chapter 3: Standing Alone
Chapter 4: Respite in the Atlantic
Chapter 5: Offensive Operations
Chapter 6: The Battle Intensifies
Chapter 7: Turning Point
Chapter 8: Retaining the Initiative
Chapter 9: Operation Neptune and the Battle for Northwest Europe
Chapter 10: Victory in Europe
Chapter 11: The Reckoning


"...a worthy contribution to the vast array of World War II studies. It is well documented and offers a concise review of the war in Europe."

- Sea History Magazine

“This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Naval warfare.”

- PowerShips

"This is a well referenced account of the Battle of the Atlantic set within the context of the war as a whole...strongly recommended for the expert and general reader alike."

- Miniature Wargames

"The author's lucid prose and well-constructed narrative make this a valuable reference of the war's most important struggle. Walter's style will entertain the reader and his accuracy and breadth of coverage will ensure that The Longest Campaign will soldier on as a well-thumbed reference long after the first reading."  

- Vincent P. O'Hara, author of ‘German Fleet at War, Torch, and Six Victories: North Africa, Malta, and the Mediterranean Convoy War November 1941-March 1942’

“Brian Walter has produced a solid new narrative history of the struggle for the vital control of the shipping lanes in the Atlantic, one of the decisive campaigns of the Second World War. This is a lucid, and well-argued interpretation that shows how important the struggle between the German U-boats and Allied, mostly British, naval forces was for the triumph over Nazi Germany.”

- Professor Phillips O’Brien, University of St Andrews

"In straight and well-organised narrative form, every imaginable incident or event that occurred in the North Atlantic region during World War II is described fully and in a manner that holds the reader’s interest in a tight grip."

- Baird Maritime

‘’The bibliography reveals that Walter has been scrupulous in his research and has derived his data from a range of recognised publications together with the UK government archives at Kew. ...this is a factually rich book and a valuable reference guide for researchers who might lack the time or resources to seek out reliable information elsewhere. The Longest Campaign does not carry any startling revelations but it does provide a balanced and dispassionate account for any newcomer of this all-important campaign which the author regards as the apogee of Britain’s long and proud naval history.’’

- Navy News

" impressive piece of work that is recommended to the scholar and maritime history enthusiast alike."

- The Northern Mariner

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