the sinking of the laconia and the u boat war disaster in the mid atlantic

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The Sinking Of The Laconia And The U Boat War

Author : James P. Duffy
ISBN : 9780803245402
Genre : History
File Size : 66. 91 MB
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Packed with rich detail and analysis of what often transpired when merchant ships were sunk by U-boats, this dramatic book highlights the hazards of World War II at sea. At its center, James P. Duffy relates the story of the sinking of the British liner Laconia by the German U-boat U-156. On September 12, 1942, as Laconia sailed crowded with 1,800 Italian prisoners of war, 103 Polish soldiers, 286 mostly severely wounded British military personnel, 80 civilians, and 463 officers and crew, she was hit by two torpedoes fired by U-156. Laconia’s captain ordered the vessel abandoned, and within an hour, she sank. Perhaps surprisingly, the German U-boat then surfaced and sent a signal that brought two other U-boats, an Italian submarine, and three Vichy French warships to assist with rescue operations. The rescue operation by German ships and the subsequent bombing raid by Allied aircraft are both compelling stories and events that had major repercussions for the conduct of the war. In the wake of the incident, German admiral Karl Dönitz issued instructions known as the Laconia Order demanding that all attempts to rescue survivors from Allied merchant ships be ended. The order provoked an international outcry against inhumane treatment of survivors stranded at sea. After the war, Dönitz was charged with and acquitted of war crimes in connection with this order.

The Sinking Of The Laconia

Author : Frederick T Grossmith
ISBN : 1871615682
Genre : Steamboat disasters
File Size : 64. 37 MB
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War At The End Of The World

Author : James P. Duffy
ISBN : 9781101611098
Genre : History
File Size : 72. 16 MB
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A harrowing account of an epic, yet nearly forgotten, battle of World War II—General Douglas MacArthur's four-year assault on the Pacific War's most hostile battleground: the mountainous, jungle-cloaked island of New Guinea. One American soldier called it “a green hell on earth.” Monsoon-soaked wilderness, debilitating heat, impassable mountains, torrential rivers, and disease-infested swamps—New Guinea was a battleground far more deadly than the most fanatical of enemy troops. Japanese forces numbering some 600,000 men began landing in January 1942, determined to seize the island as a cornerstone of the Empire’s strategy to knock Australia out of the war. Allied Commander-in-Chief General Douglas MacArthur committed 340,000 Americans, as well as tens of thousands of Australian, Dutch, and New Guinea troops, to retake New Guinea at all costs. What followed was a four-year campaign that involved some of the most horrific warfare in history. At first emboldened by easy victories throughout the Pacific, the Japanese soon encountered in New Guinea a roadblock akin to the Germans’ disastrous attempt to take Moscow, a catastrophic setback to their war machine. For the Americans, victory in New Guinea was the first essential step in the long march towards the Japanese home islands and the ultimate destruction of Hirohito’s empire. Winning the war in New Guinea was of critical importance to MacArthur. His avowed “I shall return” to the Philippines could only be accomplished after taking the island. In this gripping narrative, historian James P. Duffy chronicles the most ruthless combat of the Pacific War, a fight complicated by rampant tropical disease, violent rainstorms, and unforgiving terrain that punished both Axis and Allied forces alike. Drawing on primary sources, War at the End of the World fills in a crucial gap in the history of World War II while offering readers a narrative of the first rank. From the Hardcover edition.

Nothing Less Than War

Author : Justus D. Doenecke
ISBN : 9780813130026
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 16 MB
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When war broke out in Europe in 1914, political leaders in the United States were swayed by popular opinion to remain neutral; yet less than three years later, the nation declared war on Germany. In Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America's Entry into World War I, Justus D. Doenecke examines the clash of opinions over the war during this transformative period and offers a fresh perspective on America's decision to enter World War I. Doenecke reappraises the public and private diplomacy of President Woodrow Wilson and his closest advisors and explores in great depth the response of Congress to the war. He also investigates the debates that raged in the popular media and among citizen groups that sprang up across the country as the U.S. economy was threatened by European blockades and as Americans died on ships sunk by German U-boats. The decision to engage in battle ultimately belonged to Wilson, but as Doenecke demonstrates, Wilson's choice was not made in isolation. Nothing Less Than War provides a comprehensive examination of America's internal political climate and its changing international role during the seminal period of 1914--1917.

World War Ii At Sea

Author : Craig L. Symonds
ISBN : 9780190243692
Genre : History
File Size : 68. 3 MB
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Author of Lincoln and His Admirals (winner of the Lincoln Prize), The Battle of Midway (Best Book of the Year, Military History Quarterly), and Operation Neptune, (winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature), Craig L. Symonds has established himself as one of the finest naval historians at work today. World War II at Sea represents his crowning achievement: a complete narrative of the naval war and all of its belligerents, on all of the world's oceans and seas, between 1939 and 1945. Opening with the 1930 London Conference, Symonds shows how any limitations on naval warfare would become irrelevant before the decade was up, as Europe erupted into conflict once more and its navies were brought to bear against each other. World War II at Sea offers a global perspective, focusing on the major engagements and personalities and revealing both their scale and their interconnection: the U-boat attack on Scapa Flow and the Battle of the Atlantic; the "miracle" evacuation from Dunkirk and the pitched battles for control of Norway fjords; Mussolini's Regia Marina-at the start of the war the fourth-largest navy in the world-and the dominance of the Kidö Butai and Japanese naval power in the Pacific; Pearl Harbor then Midway; the struggles of the Russian Navy and the scuttling of the French Fleet in Toulon in 1942; the landings in North Africa and then Normandy. Here as well are the notable naval leaders-FDR and Churchill, both self-proclaimed "Navy men," Karl Dönitz, François Darlan, Ernest King, Isoroku Yamamoto, Erich Raeder, Inigo Campioni, Louis Mountbatten, William Halsey, as well as the hundreds of thousands of seamen and officers of all nationalities whose live were imperiled and lost during the greatest naval conflicts in history, from small-scale assaults and amphibious operations to the largest armadas ever assembled. Many have argued that World War II was dominated by naval operations; few have shown and how and why this was the case. Symonds combines precision with story-telling verve, expertly illuminating not only the mechanics of large-scale warfare on (and below) the sea but offering wisdom into the nature of the war itself.

Operation Drumbeat

Author : Michael Gannon
ISBN : WISC:89096108568
Genre : History
File Size : 62. 43 MB
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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. A bestseller when first published in 1990, it is now back in print as a trade paperback.

So Close To Home A True Story Of An American Family S Fight For Survival During World War Ii

Author : Michael J. Tougias
ISBN : 9781681771717
Genre : History
File Size : 55. 76 MB
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A true story of men and women pitted against the sea during World War II—and an unforgettable portrait of the determination of the human spirit. On May 19, 1942, a U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico stalked its prey fifty miles from New Orleans. Captained by twenty nine-year-old Iron Cross and King's Cross recipient Erich Wu¨rdemann, the submarine set its sights on the freighter Heredia with sixty-two souls on board. Most aboard were merchant seamen, but there were also a handful of civilians, including the Downs family: Ray and Ina, and their two children, eight-year-old Sonny and eleven-year-old Lucille. Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no idea that two torpedoes were heading their way. When the ship exploded, chaos ensued—and each family member had to find their own path to survival. Including original, unpublished material from Commander Wu¨rdemann’s war diary, the story provides balance and perspective by chronicling the daring mission of the U-boat—and its commander’s decision-making—in the Gulf of Mexico. An inspiring historical narrative, So Close to Home tells the story of the Downs family as they struggle against sharks, hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast.

Hitler S Secret Pirate Fleet

Author : James P. Duffy
ISBN : 0803266529
Genre : History
File Size : 70. 5 MB
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This edition of Keller's autobiography is the first major version available in more than 50 years that nearly replicates Keller's work with letters and commentary as it was first published in 1903.

A Military History Of The Ottomans From Osman To Ataturk

Author : Mesut Uyar Ph.D.
ISBN : 9780313056031
Genre : History
File Size : 67. 16 MB
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The Ottoman Army had a significant effect on the history of the modern world and particularly on that of the Middle East and Europe. This study, written by a Turkish and an American scholar, is a revision and corrective to western accounts because it is based on Turkish interpretations, rather than European interpretations, of events. As the world's dominant military machine from 1300 to the mid-1700's, the Ottoman Army led the way in military institutions, organizational structures, technology, and tactics. In decline thereafter, it nevertheless remained a considerable force to be counted in the balance of power through 1918. From its nomadic origins, it underwent revolutions in military affairs as well as several transformations which enabled it to compete on favorable terms with the best of armies of the day. This study tracks the growth of the Ottoman Army as a professional institution from the perspective of the Ottomans themselves, by using previously untapped Ottoman source materials. Additionally, the impact of important commanders and the role of politics, as these affected the army, are examined. The study concludes with the Ottoman legacy and its effect on the Republic and modern Turkish Army. This is a study survey that combines an introductory view of this subject with fresh and original reference-level information. Divided into distinct periods, Uyar and Erickson open with a brief overview of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire and the military systems that shaped the early military patterns. The Ottoman army emerged forcefully in 1453 during the siege of Constantinople and became a dominant social and political force for nearly two hundred years following Mehmed's capture of the city. When the army began to show signs of decay during the mid-seventeenth century, successive Sultans actively sought to transform the institution that protected their power. The reforms and transformations that began frist in 1606successfully preserved the army until the outbreak of the Ottoman-Russian War in 1876. Though the war was brief, its impact was enormous as nationalistic and republican strains placed increasing pressure on the Sultan and his army until, finally, in 1918, those strains proved too great to overcome. By 1923, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk emerged as the leader of a unified national state ruled by a new National Parliament. As Uyar and Erickson demonstrate, the old army of the Sultan had become the army of the Republic, symbolizing the transformation of a dying empire to the new Turkish state make clear that throughout much of its existence, the Ottoman Army was an effective fighting force with professional military institutions and organizational structures.

Encyclopedia Of Civil War Shipwrecks

Author : W. Craig Gaines
ISBN : 0807134244
Genre : History
File Size : 76. 45 MB
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On the evening of February 2, 1864, Confederate Commander John Taylor Wood led 250 sailors in two launches and twelve boats to capture the USS Underwriter, a side-wheel steam gunboat anchored on the Neuse River near New Bern, North Carolina. During the ensuing fifteen-minute battle, nine Union crewmen lost their lives, twenty were wounded, and twenty-six fell into enemy hands. Six Confederates were captured and several wounded as they stripped the vessel, set it ablaze, and blew it up while under fire from Union-held Fort Anderson. The thrilling story of USS Underwriter is one of many involving the numerous shipwrecks that occupy the waters of Civil War history. Many years in the making, W. Craig Gaines's Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks is the definitive account of more than 2,000 of these American Civil War--period sunken ships. From Alabama's USS Althea, a Union steam tug lost while removing a Confederate torpedo in the Blakely River, to Wisconsin's Berlin City, a Union side-wheel steamer stranded in Oshkosh, Gaines provides detailed information about each vessel, including its final location, type, dimensions, tonnage, crew size, armament, origin, registry (Union, Confederate, United States, or other country), casualties, circumstances of loss, salvage operations, and the sources of his findings. Organized alphabetically by geographical location (state, country, or body of water), the book also includes a number of maps providing the approximate locations of many of the wrecks -- ranging from the Americas to Europe, the Arctic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean. Also noted are more than forty shipwrecks whose locations are in question. Since the 1960s, the underwater access afforded by SCUBA gear has allowed divers, historians, treasure hunters, and archaeologists to discover and explore many of the American Civil War-related shipwrecks. In a remarkable feat of historical detective work, Gaines scoured countless sources -- from government and official records to sports diver and treasure-hunting magazines -- and cross-indexes his compilation by each vessel's various names and nicknames throughout its career. An essential reference work for Civil War scholars and buffs, archaeologists, divers, and aficionados of naval history, Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks revives and preserves for posterity the little-known stories of these intriguing historical artifacts.

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