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A game of birds and wolves: the ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win World War II

Book Cover
Average Rating
Little, Brown and Company,
Pub. Date:
First US edition.
As heard on the New Yorker Radio Hour: The triumphant and "engaging history" ( The New Yorker ) of the young women who devised a winning strategy that defeated Nazi U-boats and delivered a decisive victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. By 1941, Winston Churchill had come to believe that the outcome of World War II rested on the battle for the Atlantic. A grand strategy game was devised by Captain Gilbert Roberts and a group of ten Wrens (members of the Women's Royal Naval Service) assigned to his team in an attempt to reveal the tactics behind the vicious success of the German U-boats. Played on a linoleum floor divided into painted squares, it required model ships to be moved across a make-believe ocean in a manner reminiscent of the childhood game, Battleship. Through play, the designers developed "Operation Raspberry," a counter-maneuver that helped turn the tide of World War II. Combining vibrant novelistic storytelling with extensive research, interviews, and previously unpublished accounts, Simon Parkin describes for the first time the role that women played in developing the Allied strategy that, in the words of one admiral, "contributed in no small measure to the final defeat of Germany." Rich with unforgettable cinematic detail and larger-than-life characters, A Game of Birds and Wolves is a heart-wrenching tale of ingenuity, dedication, perseverance, and love, bringing to life the imagination and sacrifice required to defeat the Nazis at sea.
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID52d1fa97-e9d2-a3cf-279c-4447a737e554
Grouping Titlegame of birds and wolves the ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win world war ii
Grouping Authorsimon parkin
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2020-11-25 20:04:03PM
Last Indexed2020-11-27 23:33:42PM
Novelist Primary ISBNnone

Solr Details

authorParkin, Simon,
author_displayParkin, Simon
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display_description"The triumphant true story of the young women who helped to devise the winning strategy that defeated Nazi U-boats and delivered a decisive victory in the Battle of the Atlantic." -- From book jacket.
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Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:.b26372915BookBooksFirst US edition.EnglishLittle, Brown and Company, 2020.309 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
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subject_facetGreat Britain. -- Royal Navy. -- Western Approaches Tactical Unit
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Atlantic Ocean
World War, 1939-1945 -- Military intelligence -- Great Britain
World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Submarine
title_displayA game of birds and wolves : the ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win World War II
title_fullA game of birds and wolves : the ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win World War II / Simon Parkin
title_shortA game of birds and wolves
title_subthe ingenious young women whose secret board game helped win World War II
Military intelligence
Naval operations
World War, 1939-1945