The battle of the Atlantic

If Britain wasn't to starve in the Second World War, then the Merchant Navy simply had to win its duel with the German Kriegsmarine's U-boats. GH Bennett explores the desperate six-year campaign to preserve the Atlantic supply line

Welcome home: the cruiser 'Exeter' arrives back at Plymouth, c15 February 1940, after taking part in the battle of the River Plate. The action resulted in the scuttling of the German pocket battleship 'Admiral Graf Spee', which had sent several British merchant ships to the bottom of the Atlantic. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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