Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£5.99
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by UK Media Source
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ships SAME or NEXT business day. See our member profile for customer support contact info. We have an easy return policy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet: The Deadliest Ships of World War II Hardcover – 30 Jun 2001


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£23.73 £4.79


Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers (30 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275966852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275966850
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.4 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,044,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"A fascinating account of a little-known facet of the German Navy of World War II--the fleet of nine warships that cruised the seven seas disguised as merchantmen, and sank or captured more than a million tons of allied shipping. Their stories are exciting reading and form a significant part of the naval history of World War II. Author Duffy tells them well, in these high tension accounts of adventure on the high seas. A valuable addition to any WW II collection."-Edwin P. Hoyt author of 199 Days: The Battle for Stalingrad

About the Author

James P. Duffy is a writer specializing in military history._He is the author of 12 books including two on World War II and one on the American Civil War.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The Germans had given the rendezvous location the code name Lily 10. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
0
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 July 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
They were nine ordinary freighters armed with torpedo tubes, 5.9in guns and anti-aircraft guns - all of which were concealed from view. With the ability to change their own ship's profile and, therefore, their own apparent identity, these nine were Germany's secret commerce raiders of the high seas during WW2. They were pirates in the true and historic sense of the word and were even more successful than Germany's best U-Boats. Imagine a disguised freighter with guns hidden behind false panels able to sink an Australian Cruiser with far greater fire power - using nothing more than sheer guile, surprise, and expert gunnery. To this day, the remains of HMAS Sydney has not been found.
"Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet" is a hard back book measuring 9½" x 6¼" containing 200 pages of fascinating information about those nine ships - all of which have a compelling story to tell. Commencing with the "Atlantis" - the secret name given to the Goldenfels upon her conversion for such war duties, the author commences the story of this ship at the end - with an exciting and very readable account of her loss at the hands of HMS Devonshire. In so doing he has skilfully hooked the reader into wanting to know more and, just as soon as the Atlantis disappears beneath the waves, we are treated to her story - right from her launch. It really is fascinating stuff.
Covering the; Atlantis, Orion, Widder, Thor, Pinguin, Komet, Kormoran, Michel and Stier - in that order, the author reveals the war time exploits of these vessels in great detail and retains his readable style of writing throughout. A few map outlines dotted throughout the book help to convey a feeling of where the relevant actions took place.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Frank Stech on 14 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
From 1940 to 1943 nine German surface raiders (Atlantis, Orion, Widder, Thor, Pinguin, Komet, Kormoran, Michel, and Stier) effectively used deception against both merchantmen and warships. These disguised auxiliary cruisers sank or captured 140 ships (including the cruiser HMAS Sydney), totaling over one million tons, and greatly disrupted British and American shipping in the South Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Duffy's "Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet: The Deadliest Ships of World War II" is well titled; the German raiders were far more lethal than the average U-boat and about half as effective as Germany's top twenty U-boats and best submarine aces.
The German raiders were well armed: all carried half a dozen 5.9 inch guns, 1-2 seaplanes, 5-8 anti-aircraft guns, torpedo tubes, and mines. Deceptive tactics were standard procedure: false flags, deceptive signals, radio jamming (to smother warning and distress broadcasts), stealthy stalking, smoke and false fires, crewmen dressed as women pushing baby carriages. Every week or two the raiders would alter their identities; Atlantis could successfully imitate 26 other vessels. The raiders stayed at sea for months (Atlantis for 622 days, five of the nine raiders for over a year; in contrast a long U-boat deployment was 200 days), rendezvousing with supply ships and tanker U-boats, and sending prize crews and prisoners to Axis ports on captured ships.
Early Allied mistakes aided the raiders. Since raiders jammed the distress calls of their victims, the British Admiralty instructed all merchantmen hearing a distress call being jammed to send their own position and the bearing to the jammed transmission. This located all the merchantmen in a raider's vicinity.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 19 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
History at its best 8 Oct. 2002
By frank joseph - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Even well-informed students of the Second World War are largely unfamiliar with one of its most dramatic and deadly phenomeon, the Kriegesmarine's auxiliary cruisers disguised as Allied or neural merchantmen. James P. Duffy's account of these rogue
vessels is a comprehensive, yet thoroughly narrated history of the "Q-Boats", as they were known to British Intelligence. The most successful raider of its kind was the "Pinguin". In less than a year at sea, she sank 16 enemy freighters, capturing another 16. The "Thor" sent 18 ships to the bottom, making another four captive. But the Germans could also fight it out with capital ships if occasion demanded. In November, 1941, the
Kormoran fought a duel to the death with the Australian light cruiser Sydney, which went down with no survivors. Nine German raiders roamed the oceans of the world, and before all but two of them were eventually lost in action, they destroyed more than a million tons of Allied shipping. Duffy's detailed research brings all these remarkable ships, their dauntless crews, and perilous engagements back to life, thereby making an important contribution to better understanding of the war at sea. His work is unquestionably one of the best books about World War Two in recent years.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Ships that were never glorious - but always very effective. 16 Mar. 2003
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
They were nine ordinary freighters armed with torpedo tubes, 5.9in guns and anti-aircraft guns - all of which were concealed from view. With the ability to change their own ship's profile and, therefore, their own apparent identity, these nine were Germany's secret commerce raiders of the high seas during WW2. They were pirates in the true and historic sense of the word and were even more successful than Germany's best U-Boats. Imagine a disguised freighter with guns hidden behind false panels able to sink an Australian Cruiser with far greater fire power - using nothing more than sheer guile, surprise, and expert gunnery. To this day, the remains of HMAS Sydney has not been found.

"Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet" is a hard back book measuring 9½" x 6¼" containing 200 pages of fascinating information about those nine ships - all of which have a compelling story to tell. Commencing with the "Atlantis" - the secret name given to the Goldenfels upon her conversion for such war duties, the author commences the story of this ship at the end - with an exciting and very readable account of her loss at the hands of HMS Devonshire. In so doing he has skilfully hooked the reader into wanting to know more and, just as soon as the Atlantis disappears beneath the waves, we are treated to her story - right from her launch. It really is fascinating stuff.

Covering the; Atlantis, Orion, Widder, Thor, Pinguin, Komet, Kormoran, Michel and Stier - in that order, the author reveals the war time exploits of these vessels in great detail and retains his readable style of writing throughout. A few map outlines dotted throughout the book help to convey a feeling of where the relevant actions took place. There is a small selection of photographs in the middle of the book and whilst I would have liked to see more, I do appreciate that 7 of the vessels in question were eventually sunk in action and that, coupled with the very nature of their business, meant that few photographs were ever likely to be available in any event.

Altogether, a most competent piece of work and an excellent book for any long journey.

NM
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An Odd Slice of WWII History 24 Oct. 2001
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Until picking up this rather sensationally titled book, I'd never heard of the German naval scheme during WWII to arm some old freighters and turn them into camouflaged"commerce raiders." preying on unsuspecting Allied and neutral cargo ships. It's a fairly interesting story in Duffy's hands-at least for a while. Ship by ship, he takes the reader through the operational history of each of Germany's nine raiders, apparently relying on three earlier histories of the German raiders and a slew of first hand accounts by those who served on them. It's one of the book's weaknesses that Duffy eschews footnotes in favor of a general bibliographical essay at the end, leaving readers to wade through the primary material themselves if so inclined. While there are some fascinating stories to be told (the sinking of the Australian light cruiser Sydney, the capture of prime Allied intelligence on the Pacific, two name two examples), the chapters tend to run together in their blow-by-blow detailing of each ship captured or sunk, it's cargo, tonnage, number of survivors, etc. Still, it's worth dipping into by anyone interested in the history of WWII, or naval history in general.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Secret pirate fleet manned by chivalrous corsairs 14 Jan. 2003
By Dr. Frank Stech - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From 1940 to 1943 nine German surface raiders (Atlantis, Orion, Widder, Thor, Pinguin, Komet, Kormoran, Michel, and Stier) effectively used deception against both merchantmen and warships. These disguised auxiliary cruisers sank or captured 140 ships (including the cruiser HMAS Sydney), totaling over one million tons, and greatly disrupted British and American shipping in the South Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Duffy's "Hitler's Secret Pirate Fleet: The Deadliest Ships of World War II" is well titled; the German raiders were far more lethal than the average U-boat and about half as effective as Germany's top twenty U-boats and best submarine aces.
The German raiders were well armed: all carried half a dozen 5.9 inch guns, 1-2 seaplanes, 5-8 anti-aircraft guns, torpedo tubes, and mines. Deceptive tactics were standard procedure: false flags, deceptive signals, radio jamming (to smother warning and distress broadcasts), stealthy stalking, smoke and false fires, crewmen dressed as women pushing baby carriages. Every week or two the raiders would alter their identities; Atlantis could successfully imitate 26 other vessels. The raiders stayed at sea for months (Atlantis for 622 days, five of the nine for over a year; in contrast a long U-boat deployment was 200 days), rendezvousing with supply ships and tanker U-boats, and sending prize crews and prisoners to Axis ports on captured ships.
Early Allied mistakes aided the raiders. Since raiders jammed the distress calls of their victims, the British Admiralty instructed all merchantmen hearing a distress call being jammed to send their own position and the bearing to the jammed transmission. This located all the merchantmen in a raider's vicinity. The raiders soon sent fake distress calls, jammed them, and then waited for the merchantmen in the vicinity to send their positions and bearings to the supposed distress call. Raiders would cover each other by sending multiple false distress calls to hide a real one.
The raiders' deceptive tricks (and the inattention of their opponents) yielded some stunning victories. For example, the Kormoran, disguised as a Dutch freighter, played an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with HMAS Sydney, hoisting tangled signal flags, garbling identification messages, playing dumb to Sidney's challenges, until Kormoran closed to within a kilometer of Sydney. The Kormoran then ran up the swastika, dropped its camouflage screens and destroyed Sydney's bridge and two forward gun turrets in 30 seconds. Sydney eventually sank with all hands, the worst naval loss in Australian history.
The German raiders' war was (for the Kriesmarine) relatively long; by May 1943 the Michel was Germany's last warship on the high seas. On the night of September 29, 1943, she accidentally but successfully sailed through the middle of an entire U.S. Navy Task Force. In October 1943, Michel's stealth and deception tricks finally failed her. The USS Tarpon torpedoed the last German commerce raider outside Tokyo Bay. But while Nazi Germany's grandiose pocket battleships and battleships were swiftly dispatched (Graf Spee, Bismarck) or bottled up (Tirpitz, Scharnehorst, Prince Eugen), her inexpensive commerce raiders effectively prowled the sea lanes for years. Deception trumped firepower, until bested by counter-deception.
Duffy provides detailed accounts of each raider, every engagement, even the various animals captured from the raiders' prizes. In the tradition of Jean Laffite, raider captains and crews displayed an almost 18th Century gallantry, the stuff of adventure films (after the war De Laurentiis produced Under Ten Flags, based on the exploits of the raider Atlantis). Captured crewmen and passengers were uniformly well treated, sharing the quarters, rations, and entertainments of their German capturers. These tales of raiders' and their crews are well told; Duffy paints richly colored portraits of Hitler's secret pirate fleet and these chivalrous corsairs.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Worth Reading If... 21 Aug. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
...you don't already know about the exploits and adventures of the disguised German surface raiders of World War II. These nine armed merchant ships roamed all the oceans of the world, stayed at sea for incredibly long periods without even seeing land, and caused lots of troubles for the Allies. In fact, each of these unorthodox pseudo-warships deserve their own books to tell their stories, but author Duffy does a fine job in accounting their histories as he highlights the important events in thir cruises. My few complaints for the book are: It could use few more pictures and diagrams, such as the profile of each raider. Also a few of the dates given were slightly wrong, such as the dramatic encounter between the Stier and the Stephen Hopkins. It didn't occur on September 24, but on September 27.
Overall, a good book telling a little known aspect of the greatest war that raged on this planet.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Feedback