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Operation Paukenschlag...
 
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Michael Gannon
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Operation Paukenschlag : der deutsche U-Boot-Krieg gegen die USA

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  252 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
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 i ...more
Published (first published December 31st 1990)
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A.L. Sowards
This book was well-researched, with lots of good details about German U-boat operations off the North American coast in the months following Pearl Harbor. It’s kind of a painful read, because early 1942 in the Atlantic wasn’t the US Navy’s finest moment. Gannon included lots of details, but all the details kind of bogged down the narrative momentum, and I found myself skimming frequently. If you’re looking for a detailed account of the subject, this book would be a good choice. I enjoyed and rec ...more
Doug Vanderweide
What a disappointment. Not because it isn't interesting; not because it was incomplete; but because it was so poorly executed, both in its original, print version and its transport to the Nook ebook format.

The latter first. There's an annoying trend among publishers to simply run older books in their collections through an OCR program, do no proofreading, and push them out to the ebook market, and that's certainly the case here.

As a result, almost every special character, such as any ü, í or th
...more
Robert K
Sep 18, 2013 Robert K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The amazing thing about this book is the discovery that FDR's Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Ernest King was responsible for gross neglect of defending the east coast against wildly successful U-boat attacks in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. The United States lost scores of merchant ships with No German losses during the first 6 months of the war. The implications were arguably greater than Pearl Harbor but went largely unnoticed due to Admiral King's malfeasance. He simply lied to the Ameri ...more
Josh Liller
Apr 05, 2016 Josh Liller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military, world-war-2
"Operation Drumbeat" is the story of German U-boat operations off the US Atlantic Coast in early 1942, with a focus on Reinhard Hardegen and U-123 which made two such patrols and sank a large number of ships both times.

Although published 2 1/2 decades ago, this is still a very informative look at the subject matter, both the U-boat operations and attacks and the US Navy's anti-submarine warfare (and it's initial failure). It also goes into a great deal of depth on U-boats in general, much of whi
...more
Cropredy
Jan 28, 2016 Cropredy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I had this book on my shelf for years as I was reluctant to read what I expected to be a dreary and unpleasant account of American military incompetence at the beginning of World War II on the Atlantic coast. As a US resident, reading about endless sinkings didn't seem like something I wanted to spend time with.

I couldn't have been more wrong. This is a fascinating read. It is told through the first person accounts of the captain and crew of U123 as well as certain merchant ship survivors. Thro
...more
Tomi
Mar 11, 2014 Tomi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book were boring...too many numbers! Do we really need to know the exact specifications of the two kinds of binoculars used? Overall, however, it was interesting and informative. I did not know the amount of U-boat activity off the East Coast and in th Gulf of Mexico! When the author explained life on the submarine or the attacks on Allied shipping, the book was well-written and kept my attention. Gannon made an excellent case blaming many deaths on Admiral King and the American co ...more
Linda
Aug 06, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
A highly detailed book that was exceedingly readable. The thesis of the critical nature of this early 1942 U-boat operation with the potential to change the tide of the war is intriguing and validated by the author.

Quotations:
"But perfect dryness where fog glowed around all the lamps, and one had to cut away the mold before eating Hannes's bread. ...Even the foul emanations of the boat's interior were a blessing after the fragrant hell they had endured outside" (193).

"On the bridge, the bathtub,
...more
Bas Kreuger
Dec 27, 2013 Bas Kreuger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written account of the (almost) disastrous campaign at the US coast in 1942 where Gannon points out that Drumbeat was a far heavier blow to the Allied and US cause than Pearl Harbor.
Because Pearl Harbor was a short, sharp blow it has received much more attention, but in losses of shipping, seamen, % of tankers lost and thus strategical resources, Drumbeat was much more critical.
Has Dönitz been able to convince Hitler to assign many more U-Boats to Drumbeat, the campaign could have had
...more
Zac
Aug 11, 2013 Zac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Gannon's "Operation Drumbeat" recounts the first six-months of 1942, when Germany launched a U-boat blitz against merchant shipping along the American coast, and in the process, Gannon deftly and, I think correctly, argues, very nearly won the Second World War. This is the best World War II history book I've ever read, hands-down, and, quite likely, the best history book I've ever read. Exquisitely detailed and well-sourced with all sources cited, Gannon makes an excellent and persuasive ...more
Dimitri
Sep 21, 2014 Dimitri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long forgotten front of World War II

The submarine attacks off the east coast were something I hardly knew anything about until having read this book. The catastrophic attacks along with the misuse of effort and resources by the U.S. military to combat the perpetrators is a piece of history that should be regarded as equally important as any other facet of the second world war. This author does a fantastic job with this book and supports his work with detailed sources that leave nothing to chan
...more
Jon Smith
Dec 18, 2015 Jon Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gannon does fine job getting into a story which has its roots in German memoir and archives, not
an easy task. It highlights some of the less-than-triumphal moments of the US involvement in World War
Two, but deals with the task in a open and honest manner. Yes-- we screwed up. Big time. (Lt. Donald Duncan
later shows up in another WW II story, Target Tokyo by James Scott. Interesting.)
Converse
Apr 08, 2010 Converse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, warfare
I re-read this enjoyable, scholarly account of the German submarine offensive off the unprepared U. S. Atlantic & Gulf coasts in 1942, focusing on submarine U-123 & its commander Reinhard Hardegen. The odd thing about these events was that the U. S. Navy was not prepared to deal with German submarines after the United States declared war, although the Navy had been involved in convoying ships to Britain before the declartion of war. For several months U.S. coastal shipping was not convoy ...more
David Reynolds
The 'glory' days of the German U-boats in early WWII. Good!
Puddlepilot
The factual data herein gave the reader insights into political pressures existing in Nazi Germany and in the U. S. after Pearl Harbor. Timelines were drawn tying events together, as well as descriptions which nicely created life on a diesel sub in their early days.
This is a tremendous book for those interested in history, military confrontations, and technology in the days of WW II .
Michael
Nov 22, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good book about the U-boat action off America's East Coast at our entry into WWII. Well researched, very readable, more like a novel, hold the reader's interest very well.
Vincent
May 09, 2011 Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a true story of Nazi U boats and their aggressive acts in the Atlantic Ocean
and most amazing is their landing on Long Island

I like history and this is an excellent eye-opening story.
Chuck
Sep 21, 2008 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
History of the initial months of the U Boat War right after America's entry into WWII.
Tikifire
Oct 27, 2014 Tikifire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting stuff. I never knew a lot of this. This is why I love history!
Mark Singer
Excellent history of the U-boat onslaught against the United States in early 1942.
Scott
Sep 19, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book!!
Ian Watts
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Jul 26, 2016
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