The critical importance of the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II is probably best summed up by Winston Churchill:
The Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea, or in the air, depended ultimately on its outcome, and amid all other cares we viewed its changing fortunes day by day with hope or apprehension.1
While the statistics presented are almost inconceivable to 21st-century minds, the consequences could have been much worse, and as a result, the outcome of Allied war efforts throughout the European continent much different. Many historians have studied the progression of Allied antisubmarine-warfare (ASW) efforts throughout the war in an effort to describe the means by which the Allies defeated the German U-boat threat in the Atlantic. Few historians have studied the attempted coordinated Italian-German submarine operations in the Battle of Atlantic—and the reasons for the failure of those operations.