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"A Game of Birds and Wolves" Topic

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World War Two at Sea

371 hits since 16 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Bozkashi Jones16 Feb 2019 2:58 a.m. PST

I am so looking forward to this book coming out, though I'm slightly worried about the use of the word "battleships" – I hope it's not the typical journalist slackness when it comes to describing military hardware (i.e. anything grey that floats is a battleship, anything green with tracks is a tank, etc).


"1942. Liverpool. The war isn't going to plan. Distinguished Admiral Sir Max Horton is in the game room on his knees commanding a fleet of toy German U-boats. Behind a curtain his unknown opponent is manoeuvring the toy British battleships. Five times the pair have played the game and five times Horton's U-boats have suffered defeat. Exasperated, he demands to know his enemy. And from behind the curtain steps a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old woman.

This is the story of the game of battleships that won the Second World War. It tells the story of the unlikely heroes of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit a retired naval captain and eight young women whose eureka moment cracked the battle of the Atlantic. It features cameos from a war-ravaged Churchill and an exceptional Nazi mastermind submariner, and takes us from the sweaty fug of German U-boat U48 as it torpedoes a British evacuee ship, to the tense atmosphere of the wartime strategy room.

The story of Operation Raspberry and its unsung heroines has never been told before. Investigative journalist Simon Parkin brings these hidden figures into the light in this gripping tale of war at sea."

BillyNM16 Feb 2019 4:08 a.m. PST

The use of the word "battleships" is slack journalese for a closed wargame, i.e. one where you can't see your enemy until located in the wargame. The nearest eth average journalist will have been to such an exercise is the children's game battleships. There will be no battleships in this book as it is about a tactics development unit that used closed wargames to develop and test ways to counters the U-boat wolf-packs.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 5:06 a.m. PST

Yes, double-blind exercises described by those with
experience would use 'warships' rather than 'battleships'.

Interesting the use of 'Birds,' since the OPFOR in this
case was WRNS (commonly, 'wrens', and 'bird' a slang term
used by men in the Forces for young women).

coopman16 Feb 2019 8:28 a.m. PST

It does sound interesting. I can't even find the book listed at Amazon US though. Maybe it's too long until its release date for them to have it listed.

JMcCarroll16 Feb 2019 9:41 a.m. PST

Game of battleships that won the Second World War.

Can anyone even begin to believe this?
WWII was won by…

1)Russian manpower
2)USA industrial strength
3)GB's stubbornness

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2019 10:08 a.m. PST

WWII was won by…

1)Russian manpower
Or how Russian leaders/Generals can waste people and be proud of it.

2)USA industrial strength
Or how Bean Counters in the Pentagon can decided the wars is over and allow the Men at the front to suffer the consequences.

3)GB's stubbornness
or it is Luck of being a Island.

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