Paterson, Lawrence.


Barnsley, 1st.ed., 2003. Xiv + 274 pp., 34 photo-plates & 3 maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. In 1942, Germany's large cruiser-submarines were spearheading the assault against Allied shipping in distant waters of the North and South Atlantic. The Second U-Boat Flotilla was founded in 1936 and survived nine years to the day. During the Spanish Civil War, it was one of their boats that made the only successful attack on an enemy warship. Three years later, Lemp's sinking of the passenger liner ATHENIA marked the beginning of Germany's U-boat war against Great Britain. The Flotilla boasted legendary commanders such as Albrecht Achilles, Werner Hartenstein and Reinhard Hardegen. Their unfortunate victims littered the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as they mounted the most shattering submarine offensive of World War II. However, it was the intact capture of two of their boats that gave Britain their Enigma code machines which would ultimately seal the fate of all U-boats. Based on war diaries and veterans' personal reminiscences, the author tells the story of the nine long years in which the Second U-boat Flotilla wrought havoc on the seas.

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