The Royal Navy and Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1917-49: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Royal Navy and Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1917-49

1st Edition

By Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones


240 pages

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Paperback: 9781138010420
pub: 2014-08-15
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An essential new account of how anti-submarine warfare is conducted, with a focus on both historic and present-day operations.

This new book shows how until 1944 U-boats operated as submersible torpedo craft which relied heavily on the surface for movement and charging their batteries. This pattern was repeated in WWII until Allied anti-submarine countermeasures had forced the Germans to modify their existing U-boats with the schnorkel. Countermeasures along also pushed the development of high-speed U-boats capable of continuously submerged operations.

This study shows how these improved submarines became benchmark of the post-war Russian submarine challenge. Royal Navy doctrine was developed by professional anti-submarine officers, and based on the well-tried combination of defensive and offensive anti-submarine measures that had stood the press of time since 1917, notwithstanding considerable technological change.

This consistent and holistic view of anti-submarine warfare has not been understood by most of the subsequent historians of these anti-submarine campaigns, and this book provides an essential and new insight into how Cold War, and indeed modern, anti-submarine warfare is conducted.


'An extremely well researched and balanced work, The Royal Navy and Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1917-49 is a refereshing look at a complex subject, from the eyes of a seasoned professional, and sheds light on some popular misunderstanding as to the complexity of modern ASW…a key reference document for naval historians and future maritime strategists.' - The Northern Mariner

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Echoes from the Past, 1917-1940 2. Mastering the Submersible, 1939-1943 3. Elusive Victory: Countering the Schnorkel, 1944-1945 4. The Dawn of Modern Anti-Submarine Warfare, 1944-1946 5. Short-Term Problems, Long-Term, Solutions, 1945-1946 6. New Problems, Old Recipes, 1947-1948 7. Future Uncertainties, 1948-1949 Conclusion: Joining up the Dots, 1944-1949

About the Series

Cass Series: Naval Policy and History

This series consists primarily of original manuscripts by research scholars in the general area of naval policy and history, without national or chronological limitations. 

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Naval
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General