Popular Features. New Releases. Notify me. Description While most aspects of the bitter U-Boat struggle have been told and retold from both the Axis and Allied points of view, the careers of some highly effective U-boat commanders have languished in undeserved obscurity. The profiles of six such commanders are presented in this collection of essays. They include Karl-Friedrich Merten, ranked among the war's top tonnage aces; Ralph Kapitsky, whose U suicidal surface-to-air battle in the Caribbean allowed many of his fellow submariners to escape into the Atlantic; Fritz Guggenberger, who sank an aircraft carrier and organized the biggest POW escape attempt in American history.
Rating details. Seller Inventory n. Publisher: Savas Woodbury Publishers,U. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title This volume features six essays by leading U-boat scholars on the careers of German submarine commanders; includes an essay by Admiral Erich Topp, wartime commander of U Buy New View Book.
About AbeBooks. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Leo Co Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. The Far East bases were also critically short of torpedoes and those that were available had often deteriorated in the tropical conditions. Many of these torpedoes ran slow, increasing the likelihood of a failed attack.
In late September, each of the Australian-bound U-boats was ordered to embark 14 torpedoes. Only half the full outfit of a Type IX, but a large proportion of available stocks. A further difficulty for the Germans was a lack of recent intelligence. Despite BdU's suggestion, the Japanese had not operated in Australian waters for over a year.
They thus had little idea of the traffic and defence situation, particularly off the West Australian coast where the Germans intended to concentrate.
Allied forces had no comparable intelligence problems. Unknown to both the Germans and the Japanese, their secret communications had been thoroughly compromised. Just five days after BdU had given approval for the mission, westbound Allied shipping was instructed to be routed well dispersed and pass not less than miles south of Cape Leeuwin. Air patrols were also increased and additional anti-submarine vessels were transferred from Darwin to Fremantle.
Of far more danger to the U-boats, however, were patrolling allied submarines. U became the first of the assigned U-boats to sail, leaving Djakarta at on 5 October The U-boat was initially programmed to conduct a one-day surface passage to Surabaya to complete battery trials. Following normal procedures to safeguard the movements of a friendly submarine, local Japanese units were alerted by signal to the precise details of U 's departure and arrival times, intended course and speed. Though there was little time left to arrange an en-counter, the Dutch submarine Zwaardvisch was on patrol nearby and ordered to attempt an intercept.
She had left Fremantle for her second Far Eastern patrol on 26 September and six days later passed through the Lombok Strait. Shortly after dawn on 6 October, with Zwaardvisch off the north coast of Java at periscope depth, Goosens sighted U on a steady easterly course at 14 knots. The Dutch submarine was well positioned for an attack and 11 minutes after the sighting he fired a fan of six torpedoes. Aboard U the weapons were seen seconds before impact and much too late to take avoiding action. Two torpedoes hit. One pierced the U-boat's pressure hull but failed to detonate, the second exploded in the forward torpedo room.
Immediate shutting of the watertight doors failed to slow the flooding and U sank rapidly by the bows with the loss of 23 men. Zwaardvisch surfaced shortly afterwards and five of the survivors, including Pich, were recovered for interrogation. The remaining survivors were put on a native fishing vessel for return to Japanese territory.
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Pich was unable to explain why he had been caught unawares, but one of his men blamed the Japanese, complaining that they never started anti-submarine air searches before The Japanese found nothing and Zwaardvisch returned safely to Fremantle on 26 October, having sunk or damaged another four enemy ships. Despite this failure and other similar losses, there appears to have been little extra effort put into improving anti-submarine defences by the Japanese.
Indeed, Berlin advised Dommes that it might actually be safer for U-boats to proceed independently rather than in the company of a Japanese escort. The Australian operation remained the principal offensive mission planned for the Far East and obviously remained important, both for keeping the U-boats effectively employed and as a show of practical support for the Japanese.
The next U-boat ready to depart, U , sailed from Surabaya on 9 November for a series of diving tests. If the tests were successful, she was then under orders to pass along the eastern coast of Bali and proceed outward bound for operations off Darwin and northwest Australia.
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Japanese units were again alerted to the presence of a friendly submarine. In Darwin on 6 November, the US submarines Flounder, Guavina and Bashaw received patrol orders that organised them into a coordinated search and attack group. Commander J Stevens, commanding Flounder, was the senior officer. The following day all three boats departed for their allocated areas. On the morning of 10 November, Stevens ordered his submarine to submerge in a position north of Lombok Strait.
Flounder's patrol report completes the story:. Torpedoes were set to run at 8 feet.
Silent Hunters: German U-boat Commanders of World War II - Theodore P. Savas - Google Libros
There was a tremendous explosion and the whole target was obscured by smoke and flame. The sinking took only 20 seconds and had occurred one mile from the advised position. There were no survivors from U 's crew of 58 men.
Flounder went on to sink one other ship on that patrol, eventually securing in Fremantle on 13 December. After her arrival in the Far East, U had spent seven weeks undergoing refit in Singapore and 10 days in Djakarta, allowing the crew time for a short period of recuperation in the mountains.
Expecting the other U-boats to be operating in the west, Timm instead planned to take his boat along the shipping routes to the south and east of Australia. Fortune was with U and for a change insufficient departure details were available for allied submarines to arrange an intercept. For a week Timm conducted a fruitless search, eventually suspecting that traffic had been warned and directed away from the normal shipping routes.
U then moved towards the Spencer Gulf, Timm hoping to have more success around the focal area in the approaches to Adelaide. Detecting the ship too late for a submerged torpedo attack, Timm instead surfaced and ordered his In the rough seas prevailing, accurate fire could not be maintained and as Illisos was also returning fire Timm soon decided to break off the attack. The corvettes found nothing on their own Asdic sonar , but were counter-detected by U 's hydrophones. Timm surfaced, but in poor visibility could not identify the warships and since the worsening seas prevented a torpedo attack, decided instead to run south at high speed.
No doubt remembering the mine-laying exploits of German surface raiders in and suspecting that U might attempt the same. With the reduction in the Japanese threat, the local convoy system around Australia had ceased in February , but other safety measures were now reintroduced.
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These included routing all shipping, except local traffic, south of Tasmania and ordering ships in southern Australian waters to zigzag and darken ship at night. Timm had meanwhile moved to a position south of Tasmania where U encountered a tanker on a course for New Zealand.
The target was moving quickly and the U-boat again surfaced to try to move into an attack position. With night and heavy rain making the approach more difficult, the attack was finally thwarted by the appearance of an aircraft that, apparently mistaking the U-boat for the tanker, attempted to exchange recognition signals.
U crash-dived and waited, but the expected counter-attack never came.