Throughout the Second World War, Hitler’s U-boats and pocket battleships – particularly the dreaded Bismarck and Tirpitz – were a constant threat to Allied shipping. They exacted a massive toll, despite being outnumbered by the Royal Navy. But the vital contribution of Hitler’s naval bases, which constructed, supplied, maintained and protected the German fleet all over the world, is often neglected. Jak Mallmann Showell has spent over forty years researching the role played by these bases; he has interviewed hundreds of veterans, visited dozens of locations and amassed a vast collection of photographs to form the most comprehensive and illuminating work on the subject to date.
The planning and labour that went into the construction of Germany’s network of naval bases and coastal batteries is remarkable, as is the degree of organisation and discipline that induced their efficient operation. From utterly remote, unmanned positions consisting of little more than a hidden stock of supplies, to the immense naval complexes of Lorient, Kiel and Wilhemshaven, Mallmann Showell describes with fascinating detail the various functions and departments, how they were run and organised, and what it was actually like for the men manning them. He also details the anatomies of the many coastal artillery batteries and the manifold duties of the men of the naval artillery and infantry.
Beautifully illustrated with over 200 previously unpublished photographs, Hitler’s Naval Bases is, without question, the definitive book on this principal branch of the Kriegsmarine.
JAK P. MALLMANN SHOWELL’s first book U-boats Under the Swastika is one of the longest selling naval books in Germany and his second The German Navy in World War Two was named as one of the outstanding books of the year by the United States Naval Institute. His research is based exclusively on original documents such as logs, personal accounts written shortly after the events and interviews. His reviewers have named him as being ‘the respected authority’ on the Kriegsmarine. Jak has been awarded the Silver U-boat Badge by the German Submariners’ Association in Munich. He has also presented lectures at special Battle of the Atlantic weekends and has helped with the production of TV and radio programmes.
Dimensions: 248 x 172 mm
Illustrations: 200 b/w photographs