This is a fresh study of the Mediterranean naval war analysing the actions of Britain, France, Italy, the USA and Germany in the Second World War and dispelling some of the myths perpetuated by modern literature that haunt this campaign.
The Mediterranean Sea was the most fiercely contested body of water throughout the Second World War. Its strategic importance was at the centre of Naval and wider military thinking on the part of both Allied and Axis powers, and its waters witnessed a huge variety of actions and operations from carrier strikes, battle-line shootouts and convoy attacks to coastal actions, amphibious assaults and bitter submarine campaigns.
This book is a fresh study of the conflict, analysing the respective actions and performances of each of the five major naval powers involved in the Mediterranean - Britain, Italy, France, the USA and Germany. This takes place within the broader framework of a chronological, operational narrative of the entire five year campaign and also examines impartially the national imperatives that dictated much of the action. As a result, many of the popular myths that surround the modern view of the Mediterranean naval war are dispelled - for example, that Britain enjoyed a moral advantage over Italian forces, that the French were merely puppets of the German command, and that the North African campaign contributed to the eventual Allied victory. While the book concentrates on the key 1940-43 period, it also expands in scope to document the Kriegsmarine's improvised but remarkably successful fighting withdrawal at sea until 1945, an aspect of the later stages of conflict which has widely been ignored.
Such fresh viewpoints, depth of detail and wider perspectives as well as controversial conclusions. It will appeal to Naval professionals and historians as well as attracting a popular readership.
About the Author
Vincent P. O' Hara is a naval historian and the author of The German Fleet At War (NIP, 2004) and The US Navy Against the Axis (NIP, 2007). His work has also appeared extensively in periodicals and annuals including MHQ, World War II Quarterly, Storia Militaire and Conway's own Warship. He holds a history degree from the University of California, Berkeley.