Adolf Hitler’s Guerrilla War at Sea: S-Boote 1939-45
The Schnellbootwaffe was created in the early 1930s, before the Second World War, in concurrence with the regenerated Kriegsmarine, and young officers, most of whom learned their craft in the old Imperial Navy, would take responsibility for the operational use of these revolutionary vessels.
Working with the naval engineers of Lürssen Shipyard, the Germans designed combat weapons that were never surpassed by their opponents. After the first series of Schnellboote were launched, constantly improved versions of these vessels would follow. The Schnellbootwaffe would achieve significant victories for the Kriegsmarine at the beginning of the war by using these vessels in high-level strategies, including a style of guerrilla warfare.
The British often call German torpedo boats E-boats, and these fast vessels were a genuine threat not only to coastal trade, but also to the movement of Allied ships after D-Day. Indeed, Admiral Rudolf Petersen's flotillas remained combat-ready until the very end, even after the balance of power was in favour of the Allies.
Allied air bombardment of German torpedo boat bases from 1944 onwards failed to destroy the offensive potential of the Schnellboote and their crews. The Allied disaster at Lyme Bay at the end of April 1944 shows how this guerrilla war at sea was still dangerous, even at this stage of the war. The Allied invasions plans were not yet known to the Germans, but Eisenhower learned a great deal from Lyme Bay and the Schnellbootwaffe was still potentially dangerous right until the end of the war.
This book tells the fascinating story about these special people, whose pirate spirit and guerrilla style of naval combat is reminiscent of the ancient pirates and their own way of warfare.