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The War in the Atlantic and the U-505

Moderated by John Allen Williams, this distinguished panel discussed the Battle of the Atlantic from a global perspective. Sponsored by the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, running from 1939 to 1945, although it was at its height from the mid-1940 through the end of 1943.  The Battle of the Atlantic pitted German U-boats, warships of the Kriegsmarine (German navy) and aircraft of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) against the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Navy, and Allied merchant ships. 

The United Kingdom was highly dependent on imported goods and materials in order to survive and continue fighting. As the Allies struggled to supply Britain, the Axis attempted to cut the flow of merchant ships to the island nation. As the war progessed, each side developed technology in hoeps of gaining and advantage. After many long and arduous battles, the Allies' convergence of technology bested the U-Boat threat, although 3500 merchant ships, 175 warships, and 783 U-Boats were lost in the process. The German U-505 Submarine was captured off the coast of West Africa in June 1944, and is the only German submarine in the United States on display at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI).

MARC MILNER, a historian and author of Battle of the Atlantic, discusses the impact the U-Boat threat posed to the entire war effort.

STEPHEN BUDIANSKY, author of Blackett's War, explores the efforts of Patrick Blackett and how a group of scientists aided in the fight against the U-Boats. 

KURT HAUNFELNER, Vice President of Exhibitions at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), discusses the fascinating history of the U-505 and how MSI acquired this monumental artifact. 

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