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Germany's Last Mission to Japan: The Failed Voyage of U-234 Hardcover – March 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press (March 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557508119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557508119
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Mark Scalia lives in Humble, TX, where he teaches high school and is working on a book about the Confederate cruiser CSS Stonewall. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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See all 12 customer reviews
I read it and wow, very interesting book!
James M. Wimmer
Although I haven't finished the book yet (I only received it a week or so ago and have been quite busy since then), I'm very impressed with what I've read so far.
Bryan Young
This dramatic account of the fateful voyage offers an intriguing look at the individuals involved.
Robert A. Lynn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By ex-CDR USN on August 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Joseph Scalia's book is without a doubt one of the finest works on the subject of German U-boats that has ever been written. Scalia's strength lies in his perception of the U-boat corps from behind the periscope lens; in other words, Scalia realizes the importance of the sailor, not tactics or technology. This book is a fitting tribute to these brave warriors. "Germany's Last Mission to Japan" reveals the definitive truth behind the U-234 mystique. Scalia offers powerful contradictions to convention, and lies to waste the rumors and conjecture of U-234's first and last mission: to carry technology and, most importantly, the men who were to breath life into this technology, to Germany's struggling ally in Japan. It is no surprise that Scalia is former Navy; he exhibits an understanding of men and ships. Germany's Last Mission to Japan reveals a rising star on the horizon of naval history authors. Very seldom have I read a book so engaging, and at times, so striking and moving. I look forward to Scalia's next book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having met and talked with August Bringewald, we had already heard the story of how he first came to the USA on the U-234. Therefore, the book was already of special interest to us. The book was well researched and covered many aspects of German-Japanese cooperation, especially military related technology, from the late 1930's to 1945. Having had a career in weapons development work, I found these parts very interesting. However, the book's story of the failed last voyage was disappointing in that it was described in less than 25 pages. While it may not have sold as well, the book would have been more correctly titled something like "German-Japanese military technology cooperation during World War II". The book also should have included maps of the North Sea and North Atlantic areas to help the reader better understand and follow U-234 sea trials and last mission action being described in the text. To a lesser extent maps showing the sea routes from Germany to Japan would also helped the reader better understand the transportation problems they faced and how they attempted to solve them.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By varifrank1 on May 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The engima of the U-234 has remained largely unknown to readers and resarchers since the end of World War II. A great deal of speculation has resulted as a result of many half-truths that have come from this interesting mission at the end of World War II. The author goes into great detail to eliminate any doubt as to the true nature of the mission of the U-234. This book is a fine addition to anyone who is doing reasearch into U-boats or who like myself has questions regarding the nature of the nazi atomic bomb project.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Young on April 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Although I haven't finished the book yet (I only received it a week or so ago and have been quite busy since then), I'm very impressed with what I've read so far.
I've only known about this U-Boot and it's mission since 1985, when I met U-234's chief engineer, Lt. Cmdr. Horst Ernst, who is the grandfather of two close friends of mine in Berlin. And since we all have a great historical interest in this period of time, we've tried to follow what has been written about their grandfather's last mission.
I met Horst Ernst in East Berlin in 1985 while visiting his son Uwe's family. I learned about the his story then, but have learned a great deal more since.
The last picture shown in Scalia's book, an annual reunion of the surviving crew members of U-234, was taken a year before I met Lt. Cmdr. Horst Ernst. He was a very kind and friendly man, and had some great stories to tell. And he had fond memories of how kind several American officers and their families had been to him. Even after he was returned to the Russian zone after the war. But that's another story.
This book is definitely worth reading. I would recommend it to anyone interested in this aspect of the WWII era.
I am delighted that this story has been so well wrritten, and that the journey these men took was so well reported in a reliable and historical manner.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James M. Wimmer on March 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This time last summer I would never have even heard of this book, let alone even think about reading it. I came into my high school history class when I noticed a "Book Signing" poster hanging behind the door. Scalia is my US & Virginia History teacher and that's when I decided I was going to read it. I read it and wow, very interesting book! I had watched films about U Boots, but a book about one is so much better, so much more detail. If you haven't read this book, buy it and read it now!
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on June 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Germany's Last Mission To Japan: The Failed Voyage Of U-234 is the story of a German submarine that slipped of a Norwegian harbor on her maiden voyage in March 1945 carrying an assortment of armaments and a select group of officials destined for Japan. Word that Germany had surrendered came en rouge and the u-boat commander Johann Heinrich Fehler suddenly found himself in a rouge submarine. U-234 was not only loaded with the most technically advanced weaponry and electronic detection devices of the era, but also two Japanese naval officers still at war with the Allies who preferred death to surrender. Joseph Scalia's dramatic account of this fateful voyage is simply riveting as he argues that the submarine's value was not her cargo (which included 560 kilograms of uranium oxide), but the individuals accompanying the material to Japan. Germany's Last Mission To Japan is a unique and invaluable contribution to the growing library of World War II literature and compelling reading for all WWII military buffs.
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