Michael Gannon. New York: HarperCollins, 1998. 480 pp. Photos. $30.00 ($27.00).
Reviewed by Vice Admiral James F. Calvert, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Michael Gannon, author of Operation Drumbeat (HarperCollins, 1991), the story of the U-boat field day off the East coast of the United States in the first six months after Pearl Harbor, has written another fine book. His goal is to provide a new view of how the Allies won the Battle of the Atlantic—and to pinpoint, as closely as possible, when the tide turned decisively. He has chosen to detail the battle for Convoy ONS.5 (short for Westbound North Slow Convoy Number Five), fought during the final days of April and the first few days of May 1943.
ONS.5 consisted of 46 merchant vessels escorted by nine Allied combatant ships: one destroyer, one frigate, four corvettes, two trawlers, and one tanker. The convoy assembled in the narrows northeast of Ireland and soon was under way, moving into the teeth of a fierce North Atlantic gale.