Clear. Concise. At only 300 pages or so, this might seem like a short book. However, in Battle of the Atlantic, Marc Milner does more than justice to the confrontation between opposing forces and the attacks on Allied shipping that lay at the heart of a six-year struggle – the second world war was only a few hours old when ships put to sea. As the longest campaign of the war, with the most complex submarine campaigns in history, Milner has a task on his hands. He wastes no time with background colour as the pages turn. But his writing is clear, the facts and figures are easily absorbed, and he charts the fascinating development of U-boats with ease – as well as the techniques used on both sides to suppress and destroy these underwater weapons. Above the waves, he goes into detail again for the events surrounding Allied convoys. Written from a mid-Atlantic rather than a traditional Anglo-centric perspective, it’s well worth having – particularly if the land or air battles of the second world war are more your thing, but you’d still like a go-to reference for naval warfare.