Operation Drumbeat: Germany's U-Boat Attacks Along the American Coast in World War II

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9780060920883: Operation Drumbeat: Germany's U-Boat Attacks Along the American Coast in World War II

The dramatic national bestseller and remarkably exciting account of Germany's little-known U-boat campaign against merchant shipping along the North American Atlantic coast during the first six months of 1942.

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Review:

Historian Michael Gannon argues that the systematic assault by German submarines on merchant tankers and freighters along the U.S. eastern seaboard in 1942 "constituted a greater strategic setback for the Allied war effort than did the defeat at Pearl Harbor." The case for the claim is intriguing and includes a damaging assessment of the U.S. naval command, which ignored information that might have allowed it to avert the disaster, but Gannon never lets his argument distract from the compelling wartime story. Through original interviews and archival research, he describes the exploits of U-123 and its 28-year-old Lieutenant Commander Reinhard Hardegen, who terrorized American home waters on two separate missions. Operation Drumbeat presents a remarkable picture of life on the U-boats. (Fans of the movie Das Boot especially won't want to miss it.) Gannon's book eventually may become a classic work of naval history; for now it's a great book on a particular aspect of the Second World War. --John J. Miller

About the Author:

Michael Gannon is Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Florida, where he taught the history of World War II. He resides in Gainesville and is the author of seven books. In the l950s he wrote on military subjects from Europe. In 1968 he served as a war correspondent in Vietnam. Also a scholar in the field of Spanish colonial history, he has received numerous awards and honors, including Knight Commander of the Order of Isabel la Catolica from King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

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