- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Exisle Publishing; 2nd ed. edition (August 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1925335151
- ISBN-13: 978-1925335156
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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False Flags: Disguised German Raiders of World War II Hardcover – August 15, 2016
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From the Publisher
On 5 September 1939 the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg began converting the 7021-ton Hamburg-Amerika Line vessel Kurmark, officially depot vessel ‘Ship 36’, into an auxiliary cruiser. The freighter, built in 1930, had previously served on Hamburg-Amerika’s Far East routes.
In September 1939 the Hansa Line freighter Kandelfels, renamed ‘Ship 33’, proceeded to Bremen to be converted into a raider in the Weser shipyard. The 7766-ton modern vessel, built in 1936, had a two-deck cruiser stern and her high-endurance diesel turbines, which generated an impressive top speed of 17 knots, made her an ideal merchant raider.
"Stephen Robinson brings alive the stories of the ships, the men and their victims. Drawing on a range of primary and secondary sources, Robinson engagingly tells the most complete story of these ships. False Flags sings with stories of the last age of independent action at sea, and in many cases of chivalry."
"This is a book that works superbly on all levels -- giving both the admiralties' ocean-wide perspectives, as well as insight into the minds of the captains of the ships involved."
"Deception, violence and waste are the ingredients of war...Stephen Robinson's handsome, well documented book is full of events that illustrate this... Raiders were fighting ships disguised as merchantmen, crewed by trained naval seaman deeply committed to serving the German war effort. Like Caribbean pirates from the days of sail in some Boy's Own world, they masked their evil intent by sailing under assumed flags... before hoisting aloft the German Navy flag, like a modern day Skull and Cross Bones, and savaging an unwary prey."
"A meticulously researched and fascinating history of a now largely forgotten aspect of World War II."
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With that caveat in hand, the book is utterly fascinating. It is a brilliant, detailed, and highly-researched recounting of how the German raiders operated off of Australia and New Zealand, the damage they did, how they were sunk or otherwise disposed of, at the operational and human levels. It is not just "arrows on a map," it is a story of men of both sides pitting themselves against an unforgiving sea and enemy, with valor and humor. It shows the importance of individuals and teamwork to man ships in battle and dangerous weather, and also displays occasional glimpses of chivalry and humanity amid the squalor and horror of war.
Any serious student of World War II should read this fascinating story
The subject of the german surface raiders has always interested me and I found this book to be another fascinating read on the subject. Was not to introductory or patronizing and provided enough meat on the boats that are covered to make it a welcome edition to my library.