The Secret War (1978): S01E07 – The Battle of the Atlantic


The Secret War was a seven-part television series that was produced by the BBC in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) that documented secret technical developments during the Second World War.


This episode is a detailed look into the Battle of the Atlantic, the technical developments and tactics used by both sides during the long and difficult campaign. It features such innovations as Asdic, Type 271 radar, Rudeltaktik (wolf pack tactics), catapult fighters, Hedgehog, Huff-Duff, US Blimps, ASV radar, the Leigh light, Metox, Naval H2S radar, Submarine snorkels and escort carriers. Contributions are from Donald Macintyre, Patrick Beesly, Carl Emmermann, Humphrey de Verd Leigh, Hans Meckel, Hartwig Looks and Bernard Lovell. Although included in video versions of The Secret War as a seventh episode, this programme was not made as part of the series and was aired separate from The Secret War when it was first shown. The different introduction, title music and credits betrays that (particularly as “The Secret War” does not appear in the title sequence anywhere, unlike the other six episodes).

The Secret War Series

You can find a full index and overview of The Secret War here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 24 January 1978.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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