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The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America
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The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  82 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
On June 15, 1942, as thousands of vacationers lounged in the sun at Virginia Beach, two massive fireballs erupted just offshore from a convoy of oil tankers steaming into Chesapeake Bay. While men, women, and children gaped from the shore, two damaged oil tankers fell out of line and began to sink. Then a small escort warship blew apart in a violent explosion. Navy warship ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 25th 2014 by Basic Books
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Kieran Healy
Sep 10, 2014 Kieran Healy rated it liked it
A fascinating topic, but a rather dull explanation of it. Well researched, but I finished the book not feeling that I got an entire story. Ships were exploding within sight of shore in America, but that portion of the story seems almost a fraction of the focus. How was the civilian response? What was the press response, or how was press response curtailed by the government? Offley seemed to want to tell the story of one German submarine commander and his American pilot counterpart, but it's just ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
In the six months following Pearl Harbor, the United States was unable to muster an effective submarine defense along the East Coast. Uboats devastated Allied shipping in the narrow lane between the Gulf Stream and the North Carolina coast. However, by the end of July, 1942, the American defenses were so effective that the Germans gave up trying to attack coastwise traffic and the Uboats returned to hunting the Atlantic. Offley deftly contextualizes this battle in the larger story of World War I ...more
Barry Martin Vass
Jun 07, 2014 Barry Martin Vass rated it really liked it
This is a very detailed description of the war in the Atlantic for the six months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Nazi Germany sent dozens of U-boats to sink and disrupt shipping along the East Coast, as well as mine harbors in New York, Virginia and North Carolina, from December 7th, 1941 to June, 1942, and during this period the US Armed Forces were woefully unorganized and undermanned. Gradually, and sometimes by sheer force of will, America stopped the carnage and built itself into a figh ...more
Marathon County Public Library MCPL
In the first half of 1942, Nazi Germany sent U-boats to the shores of America to savage the merchantmen and tankers plying the coastal waterways. At this stage of war, America was ill-prepared to deal with such an incursion, having too few ships, two few airplanes and ineffective naval leadership. For many months, Germany's 'grey wolves' sank ship after ship as America tried to build an effective counter force. Author Edward Offley chronicles those long, brutal months and America's eventual triu ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
This was an easy read about an important subject. Little did I realize how close the "Battle of the Atlantic" came to the U.S. coast during WWII. It was absolutely fascinating (and unsettling) to learn that German U-boats had laid mines in U.S. harbors and landed saboteurs on the shore during the war.

Offley nicely balances his focus on one particular U-boat captain and one particular anti-submarine warfare pilot with a discussion of the overall happenings of this stage of the Battle of the Atlan
Feb 09, 2014 Mel rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww-ii, own-a-copy
Before reading this book I hadn't known that swarms of German U-boats were sinking scores of merchant ships and Allied warships within sight of the US east coast during the first 8-9 months of the US entry into WWII. "The Burning Shore" along with Ian Toll's book about the first 6 months of the Pacific arena, "Pacific Crucible", informs me of what must have been a fearful mindset behind blustery speech by leaders in the early days of the war.
Arthur Gibson
Aug 26, 2015 Arthur Gibson rated it liked it
Really enjoyed the points of view as well as how it all was connected! Pretty good book about the battles that were fought right off the US East Coast. Focused mainly on one U-Boat but did a very good job at explaining it's war patrols.
Matt Sparling
May 27, 2014 Matt Sparling rated it liked it
An OK read with lots of facts and details. It reads more like a text book or ships log than anything else. While some of the details are interesting I found the overall telling of the times/battles/people to dull and devoid of anything interesting. It was dry even for a non-fiction book.
Gus Breymann
Jan 15, 2015 Gus Breymann rated it really liked it
I had had little prior knowledge of the extent of the German devastation of shipping along the Atlantic coast. The book was informative in that respect. Also, the ending with two old enemies getting together was a surprise.
Feb 17, 2015 Marguerite rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This book was a gift so I might not have considered reading it at this time. I am glad I did. It was so interesting and terrifying at the same time. Highly recommend.
Kevin Spaeth
Aug 04, 2014 Kevin Spaeth rated it really liked it
really a 4.5 star rating
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Ed Offley has been a military reporter for over 30 years in a wide variety of journalism assignments throughout the United States, including newspaper reporting and editorial writing, and online editing and commentary. Since 2006, he has worked full-time as an author focusing on military history topics.

His military reporting career spanned the final decade of the Cold War, including the Reagan adm
More about Ed Offley...

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