BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
It was arguably the most critical campaign in British history, yet the outcome of the Battle of the Atlantic may well have rested on the shoulders of a retired naval commander, his staff of Wrens, and some chalk. Ellie Evans investigates
In January 1942, vital supplies from North America and the Empire were under serious threat from German U-boats and commerce raiders as they crossed the Atlantic. In a two-storey bunker beneath Liverpool’s Derby House, the Western Approaches Area Combined Headquarters was a hive of activity for the Royal Navy and RAF.
As both worked to plot what was happening at sea and protect the Western Approaches, U-boat wolfpacks were ravaging convoys, resulting in the heavy loss of ships, lives, and the precious food and war supplies sent to sustain Britain. Facing starvation and with ships being lost almost as fast as they could be built, action had to be taken.