“This book is an extensive history of German Shipping at the start of World War II. It includes over 200 ships of German, Italian, and Japanese registry that were involved in transporting goods around the world in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. Many of these ships were unaware that war was starting and that they would be targeted by the Allies. This is the story of their efforts to get to home ports.
Some of the history of these ships comprise just a few paragraphs but others are extensive, with photos, information on the officers and crew, ports that they have visited and bill of lading information. All of the ship summaries include detailed construction information, year of commissioning, engine information and so on. The information on the Elsa Essberger and the Esso Hamburg were particularly informative and extensive.
I was interested in the page on the SS Columbus, a passenger ship. In 1929, my father came over from Bremerhaven to New York City on this ship as an 8-year-old child to join my grandfather in NYC. So for me this was also some family history.
Overall, an excellent and interesting reference book especially if you are interested in German maritime history.”