Battle of the Atlantic
The battle Britain could not afford to lose
Opened: 11th July 2013
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest campaign of World War II. It began on the first day of the war and continued until the German surrender in 1945. Winston Churchill said the campaign to keep the convoy routes open 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 on its outcome…’ The battle to control the shipping lanes across the Atlantic involved thousands of ships and cost the lives of more than 30,000 Merchant Navy seamen. Its loss would, in all probability, have meant defeat in the war. For Britain and Germany, it was the battle that neither side could afford to lose.
1943 is seen as the point at which the balance of success in this battle shifted in favour of the Allied forces – an advantage they maintained for the remainder of the war. 2013 is, therefore, the year chosen to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and the Fleet Air Arm Museum has mounted a new exhibition as part of that commemoration. The aircraft, the people, the ships, the submarines and the technology – all played their part and will feature in this exhibition as it tells the story of the Battle of the Atlantic, its importance to World War II, and the Fleet Air Arm’s role in it.
Other exhibits in this hall