Battleground Atlantic - How the sinking of a Japanese submarine assured the outcome of WW2

Battleground Atlantic - How the sinking of a Japanese submarine assured the outcome of WW2

Battleground Atlantic, by Richard N. Billings, subtitled 'How the sinking of a single Japanese submarine assured the outcome of World War II'

Published by Caliber in 2006, 311 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (N3200)

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In the early hours of June 24, 1944, United States Navy warplanes patrolling the Atlantic attacked a Japanese submarine, the I-52. But this was more than the sinking of another enemy warship. It was an event of enormous strategic importance. For the I-52's mission was to return to Japan with the lethal ingredients of a doomsday weapon - which remained a government secret for years.

In 1944, German scientists were failing to keep pace with their American counterparts - many of them refugees from Nazi brutality - in the race to develop a nuclear weapon. But they had learned to separate the U-235 isotope, which when mixed with dust or ash and packaged with a conventional explosive would kill millions, slowly and painfully, and contaminate a vast area for decades. London was the target, via the mighty V-2 German rocket, but Hitler, fearing retaliation, abandoned the idea. The Japanese had no such misgivings and gladly stepped in, purchasing the uranium with their own gold bullion - two tons of which were aboard the I-52 sub. In Japan, meanwhile, aircraft-carrying submarines were standing by for an attack on the California coast, but the mission was detected in an Allied intelligence victory equal to the breaking of the Enigma code.

The I-52's resting place - 18,000 feet below the surface of the mid-Atlantic - became public in 1995, when discovery by ship salvager Paul Tidwell. Author Richard N. Billings has worked with Tidwell in bringing her mission to light.....

This book is a must read for anyone interested in the Second World War

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