John C. Bright
THE LAST AMBUSH: AN ADAPTED BATTLEFIELD ANALYSIS OF THE U-576 ATTACK UPON ALLIED CONVOY KS-520 OFF CAPE HATTERAS DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
(Under the direction of Professor Nathan Richards) Department of History, Program in Maritime Studies, March 2012.
The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest, largest, and most complex military action of the Second World War. The battle involved Allied, Axis, and neutral nations, resulting in both military and civilian casualties. At various times throughout the battle certain areas became centers of activity. One such focal point occurred off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, between January and July of 1942. During this time, several oceanographic, geographic, bathymetric, meteorological, and strategic factors converged and turned the waters off North Carolina's Outer Banks into a battlefield.
Using a particular convoy battle, the U-boat attack on Allied convoy KS-520 (15 July 1942) as a case study, this thesis seeks to adapt terrestrial battlefield survey techniques to analyze a naval engagement. Drawing from the dominant theoretical and methodological framework utilized by the United States Department of the Interior's American Battlefield Protection Program, the present study seeks to supplement this framework with the broader application of military science. It is hoped this modification will facilitate greater exploration of anthropological questions in addition to generating an adapted naval battlefield analysis technique capable of conducting similar anthropological inquiry of other Battle of the Atlantic engagements.