by Harry Cooper
This is a very incisive book on how the Reichsmarine, later the Kriegsmarine, was able to begin World War II with the most modern submarines available at that time. True, they had very few boats but they were the cutting edge of submarine technology.
The first section of this book is from an excellent research piece by Commander CHARLES GUNDERSEN (205-1986). This is broken into:
1. Beginning of the new U-Bootwaffe
2. Clandestine Preparations
3. Mobilization plans
4. Political considerations
5. Actual construction
The next section covers Operation URSULA which tells how the U-Bootwaffe was into combat and sinking ships well before U-30 sank the British liner ATHENIA on 3 September 1939. This data comes to us from former ‘spook’ PETER HANSEN (251-LIFE-1987) and it tears away the veil of secrecy off much that took place from 1936 through the Legion Condor Victory Parade in 1939. We reprint the oath the men involved in this top secret operation had to swear.
The third section is a piece from Großadmiral Karl Dönitz on the need for improvements in weaponry, electronics and tactics to improve the ability of the U-Boats to survive and attack.
The fourth section comes from U.S. Navy Leading Signalman JIM VIZIGIAN (29- -1984) and he explains how his job was to be locked in a signal tower at Portsmouth, NH and watch for German U-Boats coming in to surrender at war’s end. He specifically talks about U-234 and her cargo of uranium consigned to the Imperial Japanese Army.
This fifth section is a long interview with Großadmiral Karl Dönitz done in 1946 in which the Großadmiral gave his observations and overviews of what went right for the U-Bootwaffe during the war – and what went wrong for them.
This is an excellent overview of the U-Bootwaffe from their secret beginnings in the middle 1930’s to the very end.
Your copy will be hand signed by the author. The book consists of 178 pages with 121 photographs.