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Hitler's Forgotten Flotillas (Hardback)

Kriegsmarine Security Forces

WWII Seaforth Seaforth: WWII Naval Memoirs Naval Naval Warfare WWII

By Lawrence Paterson
Seaforth Publishing
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781473882393
Published: 18th April 2017



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This study of the Kriegsmarine's Sicherungsstreitkräfte, their security forces, fills a glaring gap in the study of the German navy in World War Two. This wide array of vessels included patrol boats, minesweepers, submarine hunters, barrage breakers, landing craft, minelayers and even the riverine flotilla that patrolled the Danube as it snaked towards the Black Sea. These vessels may not have provided the glamour associated with capital ships and U-boats, but they were crucial to the survival of the Kriegsmarine at every stage of hostilities.

As naval construction was unable to keep pace with the likely demand for security vessels, Grossadmiral Erich Raeder turned to the conversion of merchant vessels. For example, trawlers were requisitioned as patrol boats (Vorpostenboote) and minesweepers (Minensucher), while freighters, designated Sperrbrecher, were filled with buoyant materials and sent to clear minefields. Submarine hunters (U-Boot Jäger) were requisitioned fishing vessels. More than 120 flotillas operated in wildly different conditions, from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, and 81 men were to be awarded the Knights Cross; some were still operating after the cessation of hostilities clearing German minefields. The author deals with whole subject at every level, documenting organisational changes, describing the vessels, and recounting individual actions of ships at sea, while extensive appendices round off this major new work.

This is a well written book, with a good balance between background information, a good narrative framework of events and stories of individual incidents. While the topic is too big for a single book to cover every detail, this is an excellent study of a key part of the German Navy's war effort.

Read the complete review here.

History of War, John Rickard

This book contains extensive appendices, documents organisational changes, describes the vessels and recounts individual actions of ships at sea.
Thoroughly recommended.

Marine News

A very exciting and comprehensive book about these unseen units.

ModellWerft, September 2017 – reviewed by Oliver Bothmann

This new book provides a detailed view of the
Kreigsmarine Security Forces in WWII with many previously unpublished images. It is an important addition to the pool of knowledge and the
first substantial review of German naval security forces – Very Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.


From Seaforth Publishing, a division of Pen and Sword, comes a new book I found particularly interesting. Many of us are familiar with the stories of the German Navy capital ships, the U-boats and the E-boats in WW2, yet this one covers to stories of less well known craft, the minesweepers, submarine hunters, minelayers, barrage breakers, landing craft, freighters, trawlers and the riverine craft that were used to patrol the Danube. Maybe not as glamorous as the likes of the U-boats, Bismark or Tirpitz etc but still a vital part of their war effort and a story about which little has been done before...

There is lots in here to enjoy, and certainly for me, to learn.

Read the complete review here.

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
 Lawrence Paterson

About Lawrence Paterson

Lawrence Paterson has a long-standing interest in the Kriegsmarine.

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