1st Edition

The Battle of the Atlantic and Signals Intelligence U–Boat Situations and Trends, 1941–1945

Edited By David Syrett Copyright 2003
    476 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book contains the U-boats situations and trends written by the staff of the Admiralty’s Operational Intelligence Centre during the Second World War. Based largely on communications intelligence, the U-boat situations and trends were designed to inform a small number of senior officers and high officials of the latest events and developments in the Allied war against the U-boats. The Battle of the Atlantic and the war against the U-boats was the longest and the most complex naval battle in history. In this huge conflict which sprawled across the oceans of the world the U-boats sank 2,828 Allied merchant ships while the Allies destroyed more than 780 German U-boats. These documents relate on a weekly, and in some cases a daily, basis exactly what the Allies knew concerning the activities of the U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic.

    Editorial policies, Glossary of commonly abbreviated terms in communications intelligence papers, Abbreviations for repositories of manuscript sources, Introduction, U-BOAT TRACKING PAPERS, 1941–1947, Appendix: List of Documents and Sources.


    Born 8 January 1939 in White Plains, New York was the son of a well-known historian of the early American republic and editor of The Papers of Alexander Hamilton,. He graduated from Columbia University in 1961, completed his MA there in 1964 and moved to the University of London, where he completed his PhD in 1966 with a thesis on “Shipping and the American War of Independence”. He became Distinguished Professor of History at Queen’s College, City University of New York.  His principal areas of interest were eighteenth-century British naval history and the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II.  e died in New York on 18 October 2004, and his widow, Elena Frangakis-Syrett, has published some of his work posthumously.

    'Syrett provides a tightly written and very informative description of signals intelligence by the Allies.' Cryptolog, Vol. 21, No. 1 'Excellent explanatory footnotes and a comprehensive index make this fine volume particularly user-friendly. It is a fascinating collection that will become essential to the specialist in naval or intelligence history.' Canadian Military History '... the outstanding contribution this volume makes to understanding the Allied intelligence triumph...' International Journal of Maritime History 'Syrett's research has been thorough, the selection of documents is intelligent, and they illuminate the fundamental aspects of their topic... His introduction to the role of signals intelligence in the battle of the Atlantic is the best in print, and an excellent guide to the records and the literature. This work must be read by any student of intelligence, or of the Second World War at sea.' The Mariner's Mirror