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The Burning Shore: How Hitler’s…
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The Burning Shore: How Hitler’s U-Boats Brought World War II to…

by Ed Offley

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In the first half of 1942, Nazi Germany sent U-boats to the shores of America to savage the merchantmen and tankers plying the coastal waterways. At this stage of war, America was ill-prepared to deal with such an incursion, having too few ships, two few airplanes and ineffective naval leadership. For many months, Germany's 'grey wolves' sank ship after ship as America tried to build an effective counter force. Author Edward Offley chronicles those long, brutal months and America's eventual triumph over the U-boats in this gripping, comprehensive book published in 2014.


Mike O. / Marathon County Public Library
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  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Offley, a former journalist for the Norfolk Star-Ledger who now lives in Florida, came across the tale of U-boat U-701 some four decades ago and wrote about it for his newspaper. He continued to do so in subsequent years, and now those reports are “the foundation of this book.” It will be, I think, a real eye-opener for readers who assume that the war was fought in Europe, Asia and Africa, but not here.
 
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This book is dedicated to John Shearer Tuck, Staff Sergeant USAAF, October 1, 1917-November 14, 2012, a member of the Greatest Generation, a loving father, and a cherished friend.
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Viewed from the air, the North Carolina coast would not have resembled a major battlefield.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465029612, Hardcover)

On June 15, 1942, as thousands of vacationers lounged in the sun at Virginia Beach, two massive fireballs erupted just offshore from a convoy of oil tankers steaming into Chesapeake Bay. While men, women, and children gaped from the shore, two damaged oil tankers fell out of line and began to sink. Then a small escort warship blew apart in a violent explosion. Navy warships and aircraft peppered the water with depth charges, but to no avail. Within the next twenty-four hours, a fourth ship lay at the bottom of the channel— all victims of twenty-nine-year-old Kapitänleutnant Horst Degen and his crew aboard the German U-boat U-701.

In The Burning Shore, acclaimed military reporter Ed Offley presents a thrilling account of the bloody U-boat offensive along America’s east coast during the first half of 1942, using the story of Degen’s three war patrols as a lens through which to view this forgotten chapter of World War II. For six months, German U-boats prowled the waters off the eastern seaboard, sinking merchant ships with impunity, and threatening to sever the lifeline of supplies flowing from America to Great Britain. Degen’s successful infiltration of the Chesapeake Bay in mid-June drove home the U-boats’ success, and his spectacular attack terrified the American public as never before. But Degen’s cruise was interrupted less than a month later, when U.S. Army Air Forces Lieutenant Harry J. Kane and his aircrew spotted the silhouette of U-701 offshore. The ensuing clash signaled a critical turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic—and set the stage for an unlikely friendship between two of the episode’s survivors.

A gripping tale of heroism and sacrifice, The Burning Shore leads readers into a little-known theater of World War II, where Hitler’s U-boats came close to winning the Battle of the Atlantic before American sailors and airmen could finally drive them away.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:57 -0400)

"On June 15, 1942, as thousands of vacationers lounged in the sun at Virginia Beach, two massive fireballs erupted just offshore from a convoy of oil tankers steaming into Chesapeake Bay. While men, women, and children gaped from the shore, two damaged oil tankers fell out of line and began to sink. Then a small escort warship blew apart in a violent explosion. Navy warships and aircraft peppered the water with depth charges, but to no avail. Within the next twenty-four hours, a fourth ship lay at the bottom of the channel--all victims of twenty-nine-year-old Kapitänleutnant Horst Degen and his crew aboard the German U-boat U-701. In The Burning Shore, acclaimed military reporter Ed Offley presents a thrilling account of the bloody U-boat offensive along America's East Coast during the first half of 1942, using the story of Degen's three war patrols as a lens through which to view this forgotten chapter of World War II. For six months, German U-boats prowled the waters off the Eastern Seaboard, sinking merchant ships with impunity, and threatening to sever the lifeline of supplies flowing from America to Great Britain. Degen's successful infiltration of the Chesapeake Bay in mid-June drove home the U-boats' success, and his spectacular attack terrified the American public as never before. But Degen's cruise was interrupted less than a month later, when U.S. Army Air Forces Lieutenant Harry J. Kane and his aircrew spotted the silhouette of U-701 offshore. The ensuing clash signaled a critical turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic--and set the stage for an unlikely friendship between two of the episode's survivors. A gripping tale of heroism and sacrifice, The Burning Shore leads readers into a little-known theater of World War II, where Hitler's U-boats came close to winning the Battle of the Atlantic before American sailors and airmen could finally drive them away"--… (more)

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