Conference Programme – Decision in the Atlantic


Decision in the Atlantic

Friday 17 – Saturday 18 May 2013

Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Organised by Global War Studies, the Society for Nautical Research and the Department of War Studies, King’s College London

In the history of warfare few campaigns have been as long, as complex or covered as large an area as the Battle of the Atlantic did in the Second World War. The contest for allied maritime communications began on the first day of the war in 1939 and continued until the German surrender in May 1945. On the seventieth anniversary of the climax of the battle, this conference aims to draw together international scholarship with a view to highlighting recent approaches to its study and the campaign’s emerging role in the wider historiography of the war.


1300-1730 – Welcome and Opening Remarks

Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones, Naval Historical Branch & Marcus Faulkner, King’s College London

Chair: TBA

Nicholas Rodger, All Souls College, University of Oxford – Some Questions

Eric Grove, University of Salford – 1941: The First Turning Point


Chair – Richard Gimblett, Naval Command Historian, RCN

Marc Milner, University of New Brunswick – The Allied Victory of 1943: Tactical and Technological Triumph or Victory through Years of Plain Hard Work?

The Colin White Memorial Lecture

James Goldrick, Royal Australian Navy (Ret.) – All Should be ‘A’ Teams: The Development of Group Anti-Submarine Escort Training in the British and Canadian Navies During the Atlantic Campaign


Panel A sessions are held in the DWS Conference Room, 6th Floor

Panel B sessions are held in the Pyramid Room, 4th Floor

Session 1 0900-1030

A1 – Chair – Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones, Naval Historical Branch

Ross Mahoney, University of Birmingham – ‘The Cinderella Service’: RAF Coastal Command, Organisational Culture and Cultural Adaption in the Battle of the Atlantic

Ben Jones, University of Porstmouth – The Fleet Air Arm and Trade Defence, 1939-1944

George Monahan, Suffolk County Community College, New York – Closing the Atlantic Air Gap: The Casablanca Conference and the Reassessment of Allied Antisubmarine Air Tactics

B1 – Chair TBA

Lars Hellwinkel – The German naval bases in France in World War II

Alexandre Moreli, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro – Hidden Behind the War: The Battle of the Atlantic and the Anglo-American rivalry for military and civil air facilities in the Azores Archipelago

Martin Morgan, University of Southern Mississippi – Outposts in the Azores: Lajes Field, the Battle of the Atlantic and the Importance of Airpower to Allied Grand Strategy

COFFEE 1030-1100

Session 2 11-1230

Chair: Andrew Lambert, King’s College London

Kevin Smith, Ball State University, Indiana – Meat Exports, Wartime Multilateralism, and the Managerial Challenges Posed by the Battle of the Atlantic: Secretary of Agriculture Claude Wickard’s Response to America’s Changing Global Role

Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones, Naval Historical Branch – Britain and the Approaching Shipping Crisis, 1942-1943

LUNCH 1230-1330

Session 3 1330-1500

A3 – Chair TBA

Harry Bennett, University of Plymouth – The other critical convoy battles of 1943: The Eclipse of the Schnellboot in the English Channel and North Sea

Russell A Hart, Hawai’i Pacific University – The Battle for the Atlantic Begins in the Baltic: The German Defense of the Baltic ‘Springboard’ for the Resumption of offensive U-Boat Operations in the Atlantic, 1944-45

Stephen Hart, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst – Dönitz’s Final Fling in the Battle of the Atlantic:” A Re-evaluation of the Development of the Kriegsmarine ‘Electro-boat’ Submarine Offensive and its Impact on German Military Strategy during 1945

B3 – Chair – Alessio Patalano, King’s College London

Antoine Capet, Université de Rouen – Fact and Fiction in Sink the Bismarck

John A. Rodgaard, United States Navy (Rtd.), Independent Scholar – Examining the Human Experience of the Battle for the Atlantic Through Fiction: Nicolas Monsarrat’s works depicting the Atlantic War,

Thomas M. Dykes, Blakelock H.S. School, Oakville, Ontario – Battle of the Atlantic Student Initiative

TEA 1500-1530

Session 4 1530-1630

A4 – Chair – Marcus Faulkner, King’s College London

David Kohnen, US Naval War College, RI – Commander in Chief, U.S. Navy: Admiral Ernest J. King and his Headquarters, 1943-1945

Followed by Closing Remarks and Farewell

Attendance of the conference is free, however registration is necessary and the number of places is limited. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Should you wish to attend please contact Marcus Faulkner ( General queries may also be addressed to the coorganisers of the conference Malcolm Llewellyn-Jones on behalf of the Society for Nautical Research ( and Robert von Maier on behalf of Global War Studies (

N.B. The conference programme is correct as of 31st March 2013, however might be subject to last minute changes.

You can find more details here.


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