U-Boat Assault on America (Hardback)
Why the US was Unprepared for War in the Atlantic
The Second Happy Time was the informal name given to that phase of the battle of the Atlantic when German U-boats attacked both merchant and US naval vessels along the American East Coat with impunity and inflicted massive losses. With tankers burning and petrol rationing in New York City, the US Navy seemed powerless to stop the deprivations of Hitler's marauding U-boats. Some referred to this episode as America's second Pearl Harbor.
This new book seeks to explain how America responded to these deadly assaults and looks at the steps that the Navy Department took to train the men, harness the scientists and make the organisational changes that were required to defeat the German threat. A major focus will be on how the naval bureaucracy evolved in the face of the stresses of war.
As well as looking at the ships and men who fought the battles at sea, the author explains the significance of the port of New York and its vulnerability to sabotage by pro-Nazi elements; he also explores the relationship between the US Navy and the New York Mafia. The influence of the major players is analysed, including Rear Admiral Adolphus Andrews, the sexagenarian commander of the Eastern Sea Frontier; Fleet Admiral Ernest J King, Chief of Naval Operations, trying to balance global demands with a devastated navy; and Fiorallo La Guardia, the bombastic Mayor of New York.
On April 12, 1862—one year to the day after Confederate guns opened on Fort Sumter and started the Civil War—a tall, mysterious smuggler and self-appointed Union spy named James J. Andrews and nineteen infantry volunteers infiltrated north Georgia and stole a steam engine called the General. Racing northward at speeds approaching sixty miles an hour, cutting telegraph lines and destroying track along the way, Andrews planned to open East Tennessee to the Union army, cutting off men and matériel from the Confederate forces in Virginia. If they succeeded, Andrews and his raiders could change…By Russell S. Bonds
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