Share This Article

Atlantic Air War: Sub Hunters vs. U-Boats, by John W. Lambert, Specialty Press, North Branch, Minn., 1999, $18.95 plus shipping.

This book is Volume 4 in the Air Combat Photo History Series, each book of which graphically portrays World War II aerial actions. Frequently, the photographs included were shot with hand-held cameras in the midst of combat. Although the photos are sometimes out of focus or blurred by movement, they provide a vivid, you-are-there experience for readers.

Lambert includes coverage of the actions of aerial warriors on both sides of the fray, giving a good balance between Allied and Axis perspectives. In addition to the main introduction, which sets the theme for the book, there are useful set-the-scenes introductions to each of the six chapters that cover the Atlantic air war between 1940 and 1945, including: “England’s Life Line,” “War in the North Atlantic,” “Battle off the Americas,” “The Bay of Biscay,” “The Escort Carriers” and “A Grim Final Accounting.”

But it is the photographs that make up the bulk of Lambert’s book–and many of them have never before been published. Here you’ll see riveting shots of action in progress and post-action pictures of submarines and sub hunters that bear the scars, sometimes fatal, of close combat. Atlantic Air War is well suited to chapter-at-a-time reading–if, unlike me, you don’t get sucked into finishing the book in just one sitting.

Arthur H. Sanfelici