The Battle of the Atlantic began as soon as Britain declared war on Germany
in September 1939, sustained operations by both the Germans and Allied
Powers. The effort to starve Britain and too interdict supplies going to Russia
was central to the German Navy's role in the Second World War. The Canadian
and ultimately American resources and men would be the foundation for the
successful Allied establishment of a convoy system to deliver war material
and men to Britain and Russia. The resulting mobilization of ships, men and
technology to counter Germany's submarine effort to cut off resources from the
New World became the key to success. Allied losses included 3,500 ships and
72,000 naval and merchant sailors. The Germans lost 783 submarines and
30,000 sailors. This was three quarters of Germany's submarine force. It may
have been the "Cruel Sea" but the conflict fought at sea was much more cruel.
– Roy Strausbaugh, Ph.D.
Roy Strausbaugh, Ph.D., D.Hu., served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from the Navy School of Music before going on to earn his doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University in Modern European History, with his dissertation focused on German reparation payments and British policy at and after the Versailles Peace Conference. His career in higher education began at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1966, where he rose to the rank of tenured full professor and subsequently served as a dean and associate vice president until his retirement in 1993. Soon thereafter, he received an appointment at Mercyhurst University and served as a member of the faculty and as dean on several occasions over twenty years. For his lifetime of service in higher education, Thiel College granted him a doctorate in humanities, honoris causa. His civic involvement includes serving as the founding president of the Flagship Niagara League. He is currently Vice President of the Erie County Historical Society and the President of Meals on Wheels, Erie.