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Summary

"Find out what is happening in the Atlantic, find ways of getting the convoys through, and sink the U-boats!" (Prime Minister Winston Churchill)

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 17-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.

©2019 Simon Parkin (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about A Game of Birds and Wolves

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fascinating story

narrator was superb and the story swaps between historic background and plot to keep you engaged. loved it.

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A story that needs to be heard!

Fascinating listen with great narration. This is very much a book about the human story of this previously little known part of Britain’s WW2 story. You get a real sense of the people behind an effort and organisation that made a huge difference to Britain’s survival. This was clearly a work of great passion for the writer and I felt at times the stories of individuals (both German and British) tended to transgress from what I had expected the main focus of the book, that of the “nuts and bolts” work done by the Western approaches tactical unit, to be. That being said, overall this helped me gain a better sense of the total impact that the unit had on the conflict. A great listen for anyone interested in WW2 and its unsung heroes and heroines!

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A war game

This is in fact a potted history of the U boat war with a particular focus on the contribution of the Womens Royal Navy Auxiliary. There is an account of a tactical analysis and training unit based at the Liverpool Western Approaches Naval HQ but this is limited by its sources. The background about simulations in the military is thinner. An epilogue discusses the current work of the defence research establishment. I greatly enjoyed this audiobook

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Tense and intriguing

I absolutely loved A Game of Birds and Wolves, it was so interesting to hear a story about the Battle of the Atlantic and those who took part, both Axis and Allied.
It is respectful of everyone and tells a gripping tale of the formation of WATU and the turning of the tide.
Beautifully read and worth everybody's time.

1 person found this helpful