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Old 05-05-2009, 09:33
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Default New Naval Books - 5th May 2009

Eight new additions to our online shop to tell you about in this post, mostly covering German naval subjects, and particularly U-Boats.



U-Boat 977 - The U-Boat that Escaped to Argentina by Heinz Schaeffer.

LINK

U-boat 977 was the German submarine that escaped to Argentina at the end of World War Two. This epic journey started from Bergen in Norway, where in April 1945 it was temporarily based, and took three and a half months to complete. Because of continuing Allied naval activity the commander decided to make the first part of the journey under water. Before surfacing near the west coast of Africa U-977 had spent a remarkable sixty-six days submerged! It was inevitable that when U-977s journey and escape to Argentina and its port of Mar del Plata became known it would be the centre of rumour and theory. Why did U-977 make this long journey of escape when, for Germany, the war was over? Was it because it was carrying Nazi gold to continue the fight? Were escaping Nazi leaders on board? Was Hitler on board? The stories were many and for years, after the end of WWII provided material for novelists, film-makers and historians alike. Heinz Schaeffer, the commander of U-977, has written a full account of his earlier career that culminated in this last command. It depicts the gruelling aspects of a submariners life aboard a vessel that was subjected to the harsh conditions of the seas and oceans. As an experienced commander Schaeffer took part in many of the decisive U-boat operations in the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. In the final months of the war, and in common with most surviving U-boat commanders, Schaeffer and his crew came under constant attacks from Allied aircraft and surface ships. The final part of U-boat 977 is Schaeffers account of the journey to Argentina and lays to rest some of the more fanciful stories that followed its arrival.

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Hitlers U-Boat Bases by Jak P Mallmann Showell.

LINK

German U-Boats played a central role in offensive operations across the worlds oceans during the Second World War and could have brought Britain to the brink of capitulation. To support his deadly undersea fleet, Hitler ordered monolithic bunkers to be constructed at strategically crucial sites, designed to withstand the most aggressive attack from Allied forces. This is the first comprehensive guide in English to examine the bases in detail. Each of the sites is explored, showing how and why it was built, from the design and materials used in the bunkers and their strategic importance to the success of German U-boat missions, to the conditions faced by the workers involved in the mammoth operation. The author has visited many of the sites in France, Germany and Norway, and uncovered previously unpublished accounts, to detail the exact purpose of each base and reveal important new information about what remains at some of the most closely guarded sites. With concrete ceilings at least 3.5 metres thick, several of the bunkers have been so resistant to wartime bombing and post-war demolition attempts that many still survive today and continue to dominate their surroundings, A comprehensive gazetteer reveals what can still be seen at each of the sites, and detailed appendices allow an insight into the structure of the German Navy and its regulations. Illustrated with many rare photographs, drawings and maps, Hitlers U-Boat Bases is an authoritative and informative account which serves as a guide for tourist and enthusiast alike, while shedding light on an often overlooked aspect of the Second World War that had important consequences for both the Allies and Germany.

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The Road to Russia - Arctic Convoys 1942 by Bernard Edwards.

LINK

In the summer of 1942 Britain and the United States of America jointly agreed to provide massive quantities of arms and other vital war supplies to bolster Soviet Russias struggle against Hitlers invasion. As might be expected, the bulk of these cargoes were carried in British and American merchant ships, with naval escorts. Equally predictably, the leaders of Nazi Germany ordered that these allied convoys were to be continually harassed and destroyed by naval and air attacks. There followed a ferocious and prolonged campaign made the more deadly by the extreme weather conditions of the Arctic Sea. In The Road to Russia- Arctic Convoys 1942, Bernard Edwards, the formidable naval historian, has researched the fate of Convoys PQ13 and PQ17 bound from Iceland to Northern Russia as well as the westbound Convoy QP13. Attacked relentlessly by aircraft and U­boats, the former lost a total of thirty ships while QP13 ran into a British minefield off Iceland, losing seven vessels. Immortalised by Nicholas Montsarrats The Cruel Sea, the story of these convoys is one of the most inspiring examples of raw courage and dedication to duty to emerge from the Second World War. The Road to Russia - Arctic Convoys 1942 is an important addition to the bibliography of this bitterly fought campaign.

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Verschollen - World War I U-Boat Losses by Dwight R Messimer.

LINK

Until now, finding reliable information on U­boats lost during World War I required fluency in German and a great deal of time. Not only was little information available in English, but German sources were also difficult to track down and provided the barest of facts. Long in the making, this new reference fills the needs of both researchers looking for accounts of lost submarines and readers who enjoy action and adventure stories. It examines in detail each of the 203 U-boats lost during the war. Fluent in German and at home in war archives, Dwight Messimer offers for the first time individual narratives of the men who survived the sinking of their boats, including the dramatic stories of several who escaped from sunken wrecks, and one who managed to bailout as his submarine plunged past the one-hundred-foot mark. For boats listed as verschollen, or lost with­out a trace, the author includes available expla­nations for what happened, and when they con­flict he analyzes them for accuracy. Each entry is a freestanding narrative that allows readers to focus on a particular submarine. Researchers will appreciate the convenience of the books format and its inclusive information. Because Messimer provides the approximate locations of many of the wrecks, amateur and profession­al salvage divers who want to visit wreckage sites will also find the book useful. Photographs, drawings, and maps further illuminate the record.

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Hitlers Grey Wolves - U-Boats in the Indian Ocean by Lawrence Paterson.

LINK

Very little has been written about the U-boat war in the Indian Ocean. The battle began in August 1943, when a German submarine arrived in the Malaysian harbour of Georgetown. In total, nearly forty U-boats were assigned to penetrate the Indian Ocean, serving alongside troops of the occupying Imperial Japanese forces, and using Malaysia as an operational station. From that base, they mixed with Japanese forces on a hitherto unseen scale: a move which spread the U-boat war throughout the vast Indian Ocean and into the Pacific. Success in this theatre of war could very possibly have swung the tide of battle in North Africa in favour of Rommel, but the Germans essentially did too little too late. The joint action also gave U-boats the opportunity to penetrate the Pacific Ocean for the first time, attacking shipping off the Australian coast and hunting off New Zealand. Plans were even afoot for an assault on American supply lines. At the same time the cooperation brought into stark relief the fundamental differences between German and Japanese war aims. After the crews of Italian supply submarines joined the Germans and Japanese, relations between the fighting men of the three main Axis powers were often brutal and almost constantly turbulent. Hitlers Grey Wolves is the story of this forgotten campaign - brought vividly to life through Lawrence Patersons incisive analysis, eyewitness testimonies and more than 100 never-before-seen contemporary photographs.

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German Destroyers of World War II by Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke.

LINK

This detailed illustrated history traces the building and wartime deployment of Germanys destroyers and presents the war record of each individual ship alongside hundreds of rare photographs. Statistical information and complete technical specifications are included, giving an insight into the performance and potential of each vessel. The text is not only supported by photographs from private collections but technical plans, camouflage drawings and maps also feature. Germanys destroyers played a significant role in the operations of the German Navy in World War II. The destroyers were involved in some of the key operations ­from the invasion of Norway to the defence of the Baltic ports in early 1945 - as well as essential tasks such as escort duties, anti­submarine patrols and minelaying in the North Sea.

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U-Boats at War - Landings on Hostile Shores by Jak P Mallmann Showell.

LINK

For much of World War 2 Germanys most threatening maritime force was the U-boat arm. Despite its very high casualty rate the German Navys highly successful submarine force achieved much during the war, threatening at times to seriously disrupt the supply lines of convoys across the Atlantic between Britain and North America and the Allied resupplying of Soviet forces through the Arctic ports, as well as taking on a wide variety of other roles for which it was especially suitable. Author Jak P Mallmann Showell has gathered together a fascinating selection of first-hand accounts and historic photographs, many of them previously unpublished, showing how U-boats landed on hostile shores. During the war, representatives of the U-boat service landed on many of the most inhospitable and threatening shores for numerous operational reasons and it is this aspect of U-boat history that forms the story of this fascinating account. Landings took place wherever the various demands of war dictated, ranging from the coast of neutral countries such as Ireland and Spain, attempted espionage and sabotage in the United States, intrusions into Canadian waters and further north on barren islands in the Arctic Ocean, to the landings along the North African coast to assist Rommels North Afrika Korps and, later in the war, attempts to supply forces cut off by the Allied advance through Europe. Also of special interest is a landing in northern Canada to establish a German weather station on the American continent. .For all those interested in the naval campaigns of World War 2, Jak P Mallmann Showell, an acknowledged expert in the history of the U-boat arm in World War 2, builds through his careful research a superb portrait of the bravery of the men of the Kriegsmarine and the extraordinary story of their landings on hostile shores in the years between 1939 and 1945.

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German Light Cruisers of World War II by Gerhard Koop and Klaus-Peter Schmolke.

LINK

This valuable reference book traces the development and building of the light cruiser class and presents the history of each individual ship. Statistical information and complete technical specifications are included, giving an insight into the performance and potential of each vessel. The text is supported by illustrations throughout: technical plans, camouflage drawings and hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, many of them from the private collections of for­mer crew members. Germanys light cruisers had played an important part in World War I and were one of the few types of warship Germany could maintain under the restrictions imposed by the Versailles Treaty. German naval planners and the Kriegsmarine expected great things from the cruis­ers at the outbreak of World War II and they were destined to play an important role in Germanys attempt to wrest control of the seas from the Royal Navy. Intended primarily for anti-commerce raiding and escort duties, the Third Reichs cruisers served throughout the conflict.
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