Duel in the Deep

"The Hunters, the Hunted, and a High Seas Fight to the Finish"

Hardcover $34.95
Member Price $20.97 Save 40%
Book: Cover Type


In Autumn 1943 the Battle of the Atlantic, World War II’s longest seagoing campaign, reached a new crescendo. Anti-submarine aircraft and ships using new tactics, technologies, and weaponry dominated a seascape where German U-boats once ruled supreme. But then unexpectedly, in eerie, mid-ocean darkness, an elemental hull-to-deck, sailor-to-submariner duel erupted.

On Halloween Eve, U.S. Navy destroyer Borie, an outmoded, thin-skinned “tin can” of World War I vintage, set out alone to track down an elusive U-boat. Borie had thus far toiled in the war’s backwaters, her crew of young reservists anxious to prove its mettle.

When Borie trapped U-405 on the surface, that chance arrived. As Borie’s deck guns unleashed withering fire and U-405’s skipper angled his submarine to launch torpedoes, Borie’s young skipper—a salesman in civilian life--resorted to the original (and once the only) means of sinking a submarine: ramming, full speed ahead, consequences be damned. Borie’s slashing collision with U-405 ignited a swashbuckling, no-holds-barred brawl of cannons, machine guns, small arms, and even knives and spent shell casings. In the wreckage-strewn aftermath, desperate sailors on both sides fought for survival in a heaving, frigid, unforgiving sea. Duel in the Deep weaves together high-stakes strategy and lethal gamesmanship with poignant human backstories, pounding air/surface/subsurface action, epic heroism, and wrenching sacrifice.

A former U.S. Navy officer and “tin can” veteran—now a seasoned, widely published and highly acclaimed military historian—portrays a rousing high-seas showdown reminiscent of fighting in the age of sail.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"Duel in the Deep is a rousing ‘Tin Can Tale’ extolling the perseverance and heroism of the U.S. Navy’s ‘Greatest Generation’ stalwarts. A navy ‘four-piper’ destroyer—a World War I relic, really, crewed by sailors, many of whom began World War II as care-free New Jersey ‘street kids’—takes on a Nazi U-boat in a vast, dark, cold and unforgiving ocean. Fine reading—and a welcome reminder of all that is best about America."—Admiral James G. Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander, NATO, and author of The Sailor's Bookshelf and The Leader's Bookshelf
"Duel in the Deep tells the story of a dramatic clash between an aging U.S. destroyer and a German submarine. Author David Sears takes an up-close, personal and contextual look at the story’s human aspects. He also illuminates the Battle of the Atlantic from America’s perspective. Gripping writing, strong characters, good history. Highly recommended.—Vincent P. O'Hara, author of Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory and Naval History Special Edition: USS Massachusetts
"David Sears delivers perhaps his best World War II volume with Duel in the Deep, the unforgettable story of the crew of the USS Borie (DD-215) as they battle German U-boats. Prowling the Atlantic on Halloween 1943, Borie earns acclaim by stalking and ramming U-405. Leaning on gripping first-hand accounts from the gallant tin can’s officers and men, Sears once again displays his mettle as one of America’s top military historians."—John Wukovits, author of For Crew and Country and Tin Can Titans, and 2018 recipient of the RADM Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature
"Duel in the Deep deftly weaves together high-stakes strategy and lethal gamesmanship with poignant human backstories, pounding air/surface/subsurface action, epic heroism, and wrenching sacrifice...a simply riveting read and an unreservedly recommended pick."—Midwest Book Review
"The book is a quick read that often straddles the line between academic history and popular history. Both generalists and specialists are likely to find it fascinating from start to finish."—Journal of America's Military Past