Parkin weaves together several stories in this one well-crafted book ...Parkin is a gripping writer, describing the living and fighting conditions aboard the claustrophobic submarines. He presents vivid characters in the commander of the U-boat fleet, Karl Doenitz, and his most effective captains ... Parkin creates clear characters and evokes a world ... Parkin doesa masterful job of evoking the sweep of this vital piece of naval history in both broad strokes and the telling detail. Every war buff will want to read this book. And anyone interested in strategy would be wise to read it as well.
Simon Parkin...has written a thoroughly absorbing book, drawing upon archives and oral histories. It reads like a thriller, with its accounts of nerve-wracking battles, extreme weather, icebergs, and ships sunk in a matter of minutes ... Mr. Parkin brings into focus the heroic lives of Wrens whose arduous work was not only overlooked but also kept an 'official secret' for 50 years. The women who played the game might never have boarded a ship, but their work saved the lives of countless who did.
Like a well-designed game, A Game of Birds and Wolves is fun, informative and intense. Parkin naturally focuses much of his attention on Roberts, whose story of triumph over adversity and skepticism is a great read. But the book really shines when Parkin reclaims the history of the Wrens. Although women played a vital role in the war, their work was often undervalued, and much of this history was lost or destroyed. The Wrens, working with Roberts, were instrumental to an Allied victory, but few among us know what we owe to them. Parkin’s respect and affection for these women is apparent on every page, and his extensive research and excellent storytelling go a long way toward paying that debt.