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World War II at Sea

A Global History
Written by: Craig L. Symonds
Narrated by: Eric Martin
Length: 25 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: History, Military
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Opening with the 1930 London Conference, Symonds shows how any limitations on naval warfare would become irrelevant before the decade was up, as Europe erupted into conflict once more and its navies were brought to bear against each other. World War II at Sea offers a global perspective, focusing on the major engagements and personalities and revealing both their scale and their interconnection: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords; Mussolini's Regia Marina - at the start of the war the fourth-largest navy in the world - and the dominance of the Kidö Butai and Japanese naval power in the Pacific; Pearl Harbor then Midway; the struggles of the Russian Navy and the scuttling of the French Fleet in Toulon in 1942; the landings in North Africa and then Normandy. Here as well are the notable naval leaders - FDR and Churchill, both self-proclaimed "Navy men," Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Erich Raeder, Inigo Campioni, Louis Mountbatten, William Halsey, as well as the hundreds of thousands of seamen and officers of all nationalities whose live were imperiled and lost during the greatest naval conflicts in history.

©2018 Craig L. Symonds (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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  • Patrick
  • 2019-02-14

Outstanding

I have read dozens of books about WW-II, and many, many about the war at sea during that conflict. This was one of the very BEST. I learned several vignettes an other facts that recent schlorship has brought to light. I highly recommend this book.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Nashville Cat
  • 2018-12-31

The Ocean War: 30,000 feet to 600 feet below

My highly decorated father-in-law fought in WWII in France and Germany. He would never have arrived except for other men -such as my father- who helped design the ships in the Brooklyn Navy yard that carried our armed forces to Europe and the Pacific. Men and woman like them saved the world. As Wellington said, : this was"a near run thing" ; victory was not inevitable. This book will convince you victory was hard won at all levels. But you get a better appreciation by examining the war at sea. It really is wonderful given the premise that --like a sausage circus balloon -- you squeeze at one end and it expands at another. Ships needed for the invasion in Europe had to compete with carrier losses in the Pacific. This book examines the global sea war chronologically --hitting the major battles and political infighting but also telling us stories about single ship actions complete with the names of the captains. And it is not just about the war. It is the war against commerce and the war to build more ships faster than the enemy can sink them. Great bravery and damn good luck in some cases saved the day. It is a wonderful, gripping story, well told.and very interesting.The print version has maps and photographs. This audio version is seriously marred by the lack the .pdf s that accompany other military-related audio-books. That said you can find most of the maps on line in Wikipedia. Get the book.-- you will not be disappointed.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. Bubba
  • 2019-02-14

WIDE Ranging. Paints comprehensive global picture.

Superbly researched and presented. Ties all theaters together to provide a fascinating interlocking view of World War II at sea.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Buczinsky
  • 2019-06-16

A Great Bird’s Eye View of WWII

I have read lots of books about particular WWII battles and soldiers; this one gave me my first bird’s eye view of the war as a whole, using the operations at sea as a prism. I appreciated Symonds’ ability to pepper the big narrative with both incisive character sketches of important players and engaging smaller tales of particular battles—all while explaining clearly the technical, strategic, or logistical issues needed to comprehend what was at stake in any given operation. Eric Martin’s narration at first struck me as a bit stilted, but I soon came to appreciate the care and clarity he brought to more difficult passages that require a listener’s complete attention. I liked it so much I’m going to take it from the top and listen to the whole thing again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Don Boots
  • 2019-05-09

Very rewarding coverage of entire war effort.

I haven't experienced as thorough a coverage of this world war in such a compact package. Author Symonds gives an astounding walk of the entire War from the Naval aspect while still furnishing the right amount of detail on the other services contributions. And this with a very good description of nationalistic aspects on all of the nations on both sides of the conflict.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric Walden
  • 2019-01-18

Battle Logistics writ large

The scale of the Naval engagements in both theaters and the sacrifices made by all combatants are staggering when absorbed in one session like this.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Raubenstine
  • 2019-08-26

Both sides have tales to tell

I enjoyed the way we are shown both sides of the battles and the build up to it. He can be credited with the amount of research conducted to make the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J.Brock
  • 2019-04-02

Most Comprehensive history...pay close attention

Craig Symonds is a master of naval history. This is a comprehensive masterpiece of naval warfare during World War II. It’s very thorough so if one isn’t paying attention, much detail will be missed. I had to rewind a lot. But no detail is left uncovered. Eric Martin’s narration strikes the perfect tone. This will most definitely require a second or third listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Joseph Bauer
  • 2019-08-30

Great narration and account of ww2 at sea

I've listened to several ww2 accounts and can say this is one of my favorites. great detail and depiction of major naval battles and political escalation that led to them. highly recommend

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Springer
  • 2019-05-24

Outstanding.

Hits the sweet spot between overview and comprehensive detail. Must read for students of WWII and Naval history.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful