The enemy holds every trump card, covering all areas with long-range air patrols and using location methods against which we still have no warning. The enemy knows all our secrets and we know none of his… Karl Dönitz


No attempt of any kind must be made at rescuing members of ships sunk, and this includes picking up persons in the water and putting them in lifeboats, righting capsized lifeboats, and handing over food and water. Rescue runs counter to the most primitive demands of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and crews. Be hard, remember that the enemy has no regard for women and children when he bombs German cities…  Orders issued on September 17, 1942, after an American Airplane bombed a U-boat carrying survivors.

Der englische flugzeugträger "Courageous" wird von deutschem U-boot versenkt. Print shows passengers abandoning the HMS Courageous, a British aircraft carrier, on September 17, 1939 after it was torpedoed by a German Uboat.

Der englische flugzeugträger “Courageous” wird von deutschem U-boot versenkt. Print shows passengers abandoning the HMS Courageous, a British aircraft carrier, on September 17, 1939 after it was torpedoed by a German Uboat.

Hitler’s U-boat war:  v. 1. The hunters, 1939-1942 New York: Random House, c 1996 Clay Blair World War, 1939-1945 Naval operations, German Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. ill., maps; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

U-47 (German Submarine, 1938-1941)Arrives at Kiel, Germany, on 23 October 1939, with her crew at quarters. The battleship Scharnhorst is in the background. U-47 was returning from the mission in which she sank the British battleship Royal Oak inside Scapa Flow on 14 October.

U-47 (German Submarine, 1938-1941)Arrives at Kiel, Germany, on 23 October 1939, with her crew at quarters. The battleship Scharnhorst is in the background. U-47 was returning from the mission in which she sank the British battleship Royal Oak inside Scapa Flow on 14 October.

Hitler’s U-boat War is an epic sea story about the most arduous and prolonged naval battle in history. For a period of nearly six years, the German U-boat force attempted to blockade and isolate the British Isles in hopes of forcing the British out of the war, thereby thwarting both the Allied strategic air assault on German cities and Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Occupied France. Fortunately for the Allies, the U-boat force failed to achieve either of these objectives, but in the attempt they sank 2,800 Allied merchant ships, while the Allies sank nearly 800 U-boats. On both sides, tens of thousands of sailors perished.

MS Pennsylvania Sun (U.S. Merchant Tanker, 1938) Burning after she was torpedoed by the German Submarine U-571 about 125 miles west of Key West, Florida, on 15 July 1942. Photographed from a Naval Air Station, Key West, aircraft. Pennsylvania Sun was saved and returned to service. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

MS Pennsylvania Sun (U.S. Merchant Tanker, 1938) Burning after she was torpedoed by the German Submarine U-571 about 125 miles west of Key West, Florida, on 15 July 1942. Photographed from a Naval Air Station, Key West, aircraft. Pennsylvania Sun was saved and returned to service. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

For decades, an authoritative and definitive history of the Battle of the Atlantic could not be attempted, since London and Washington agreed to withhold all official code-breaking and U-boat records in order to safeguard the secrets of code breaking in the postwar years. The accounts that did appear were incomplete and full of false conclusions and errors of fact, often leaving the entirely wrong impression that the German U-boats came within a whisker of defeating the Allies, a myth that is finally laid to rest in this account.

U-3008, a German Navy 1621-ton Type XXI high-performance submarine, was completed at Bremen during the final weeks of World War II. She was surrendered at the Allies at Kiel in May and taken over by the U.S. Navy that summer. After crossing the Atlantic to the East Coast, she was overhauled and in July 1946 was placed in service as USS U-3008. During the next two years, she operated in the Caribbean area and off New England as a test and evaluation submarine, from which the Navy learned much about fast submarines and the tactics necessary to counter them.

U-3008, a German Navy 1621-ton Type XXI high-performance submarine, was completed at Bremen during the final weeks of World War II. She was surrendered at the Allies at Kiel in May and taken over by the U.S. Navy that summer. After crossing the Atlantic to the East Coast, she was overhauled and in July 1946 was placed in service as USS U-3008. During the next two years, she operated in the Caribbean area and off New England as a test and evaluation submarine, from which the Navy learned much about fast submarines and the tactics necessary to counter them.

Clay Blair, acclaimed author of the bestselling naval classic Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan, has drawn from the official records as well as the work of German, British, American, and Canadian naval scholars. Never before has Hitler’s U-boat war been chronicled with such authority, fidelity, objectivity, and detail. The result is this magnificent and monumental work, crammed with vivid and dramatic scenes of naval actions and dispassionate but startling new revelations, interpretations, and conclusions about all aspects of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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