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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  207 ratings  ·  15 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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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
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
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.

"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,
Bas Kreuger
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
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
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
Robert K
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
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!
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 .
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.
History of the initial months of the U Boat War right after America's entry into WWII.
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.
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