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Lone Wolf The Life and Death of U-Boat Ace Werner Henke cover
  • ISBN: 9780275936778
  • ISBN10: 0275936775

Lone Wolf The Life and Death of U-Boat Ace Werner Henke

by Timothy P. Mulligan

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Greenwood Pub Group
  • Publish date: 08/01/1993
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This book relates the life - and death - of the rebel German seaman who became one of the most successful U-Boat commanders of World War II. The story of Werner Henke - and a narrative outlining the history of his boat, U-515, and its crew - forms the basis for a biography of a man who defies the stereotypes of German character, who never fit in as a career officer in the German Navy, but who chose a suicidal death in acceptance of the code of the military service whose rules he continually bent and broke. Though the story Mulligan relates is engrossing and action-packed, it is also a carefully documented study that breaks new ground in uncovering the sociological background of Henke and his crew; in short, it is a study in German history as well as a biography of a U-Boat commander. Examining the backgrounds and attitudes of the crew - including their views on Hitler and the treatment of the Jews - Mulligan sheds new light on the men who constituted an elite in Hitler's Wehrmacht. The story of U-515 is also closely correlated to the overall conduct of the U-Boat war, including assessments of Karl Donitz's strategy, the influence of technological innovations, and the contributions of Allied signal intelligence. Henke's confrontation with the Gestapo and a detailed account of the sinking of the passenger liner Ceramic further add to the story, revealing the complex reality behind an image too long dominated by propaganda stereotypes.
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