World War II At Night
The World War II At Night Group will discuss Operation Drumbeat: The Dramatic True Story of Germany's First U-Boat Attacks Along the American Coast in World War II by Michael Gannon (U.S. Naval Institute Press, $23.95). In the first eight months of 1942, German submarines sank nearly 400 Allied freighters and tankers along the U.S. Atlantic coast with a loss of more than 5,000 merchant seamen and sailors--twice the number of fatalities at Pearl Harbor. This book helps readers understand the complexities of the long Battle of the Atlantic by examining those disastrous early days of war and following the U-boats into action. The book traces the voyages of five U-boats to their destinations as they sink twenty-five ships unmolested by the U.S. Navy, which failed to follow through on British intelligence warnings. It also provides a compilation of personal stories from crewmen and officers of U-123 and from the Allied sailors and merchant seamen cast adrift in lifeboats by the U-boat's torpedoes.