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Erich Raeder: Admiral of the Third Reich Hardcover – May 11, 2013

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About the Author

Keith W. Bird has published extensively in German naval and military history, including the critically acclaimed German Naval History: A Guide to the Literature. Now Chancellor of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System in Versailles, Kentucky, he studied at the Free University (Berlin) as a Fulbright scholar after earning his PhD from Duke University and received a German fellowship to the Military History Research Office in Freiburg.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (May 11, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557500479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557500472
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on November 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Most familiar with the German Navy and World War Two are familiar with only two things, the U-Boat threat to England and the battleship Bismark. If they are familiar with German commanders at sea they know only of Donitz, who surrendered the Third Reich in 1945. But this book shifts the focus from Donitz and the submarines and looks at German naval policy in reference to her big ships. Raeder was a product of World War One and the idea that Germany could have a fleet that would challenge Britain. Particularly he was influenced by Tirpitz and Scheer and Von Spee and the heroics of the merchant raiders. However he had his own ideas. This book sheds light on his relations with Nazism, which previously was never exposed, and this is an interesting insight. Raeders ideas were obscure and useless in the long run and never played themselves out, the Tirpitz and Bismark were destroyed(but not before the Hood) and Raeder went into obscurity. Nevertheless this is an interesting story of the German Navy and its officers in the shadow of nazism. A worthwhile contribution.

Seth J. Frantzman
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Format: Hardcover
Raeder has always been one of those 'Oh yeah, there was this admiral' type figures in the German history of World War II. So much more attention has been paid to submarines and Donitz that Raeder is just forgotten.

A couple of points become very clear in this excellent biography:

First was Raeder's affinity, if not devotion, to Hitler and his cause. It doesn't seem that he was so involved with things like the holocaust and slave labor as some of the others, but it is clear that he was a Hitler supporter.

Second was Raeder's belief in the traditional 'Big Gun' surface ships. As was proven in World War II, the effort spent on this part of the German Navy was clearly a mistake. The money would have been much better spent on development of advanced submarines and especially on developing air power. Air power may have just gotten him in more conflict with Goring, but this might have worked out much better if approached at the beginning of the Hitler period. As it was, Naval Air did do a lot of damage with the few FW-200s they had.

A well written book that fills a gap in World War II history.
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