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Focke-Wulf Condor: Scourge of the Atlantic Hardcover – 14 Dec 1978

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Macdonald & Jane's Publishers Limited; 1st edition (14 Dec. 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0354011642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0354011648
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 940,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

192pp, illustrated with b&w plates and maps.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Recommended. A useful and interesting history of German anti-shipping air strikes in the Atlantic in WW2 and British counter measures. One of the few books on this topic. The book focuses on the FW200 Condors of KG40 operating from Bordeaux against merchant ships. The Condors were a civilian airliner design adapted for the maritime recce and strike role. Churchill called them the 'scourge of the Atlantic'. The book's great strength are the descriptions of each Condor attack giving an excellent picture of the Germans' tactics and the often devastasting effect on lightly armed merchant ships. These descriptions appear to be drawn from British 'after action' reports.

The book also covers British counter measures including the stop-gap the British Catapult Aircraft Merchant (CAM) with one-shot rocket-launched Hurricane fighters, and the ultimate solution, escort carriers. It follows a strictly chronological sequence of German attacks and British responses. It lacks an analysis or overview to complement the chronological account, and is the poorer for it. A minor criticism is the lack of titles for the chapters - titles citing the chronological period covered by each chapter would have been useful.

See also the book Fw-200 Condor Vs Atlantic Convoys: 1941-43 (Duel) by Robert Forczyk which has an excellent overview and analysis of the Condor's effectiveness. However it lacks the detailed descriptions of attacks found in the Poolman book. Together the two books provide a comprehensive history of this maritime strike aircraft.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent account of the Atlantic War, with special reference to the FW 200 and their victims, the freight ships and their brave crews.
It is an excellent read for aviation fans.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90fd3b1c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90e35f6c) out of 5 stars The dragons of Hitler, predatory monsters in the sky 29 Oct. 2007
By Laurence Daley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The dragons of Hitler, predatory monsters in the sky.

Poolman, Kenneth 1978 Scourge of the Atlantic: Focke-Wulf Condor Book Club Associates, London. ASIN: B0007C04PC

Once as child on the beaches of Rhosneigr, Anglesey Wales, about 1943, I and my brother detected something moving misty in the clouds above us. Then we gathered the falling rain of aluminum radar chaff, and saw in this a tangible demonstration of the presence of a monstrous evil machine.

While writing my memoirs I sought more information, to convert this emotional childhood observation into adult reality. Apparently we children had witnessed the passing of a Focke-Wulf Condor.

To try to learn more I purchased this book, and found it excellent, with massive detailed descriptions of a large number of combat incidents. It has the gripping feel of "real" narrative. In addition I found it also very useful for my own historical use. The maps on pages 16 and 18 were very informative. The photographic illustrations offer powerful imagery as well as data.

The book leaves one with the flashes of excitement and moments of terror, as it describes the terrible losses and sadness of combat of convoys fighting Condors and submarines while crossing the Atlantic during WWII.

The mothers of the drowned merchant sailors had cried

On page 182 Poolman tells us that by the invasion of Normandy June 6 1944, of the two hundred and sixty two condors produced, most had been expended, and their crews lost to serve the dreams of conquest of a mad man.

Thus after years of soaring to kill as if long winged buzzards, these fire spurting, bomb throwing, dragons of evil, these Condors of Hitler, passed from the scene....

Larry Daley 2007
HASH(0x9109c630) out of 5 stars Not a detailed account of the Condors, but the fight against them 4 Sept. 2013
By Magnitude - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, and ever wondered what happened to a CAM pilot after he took off and had to ditch, then you will find this book captivating. If you're like me, and want to learn more about the Condor units and Luftwaffe anti-shipping units generally, you may find this book a let down.

The writer, who hails from the world of TV, wrote this lightweight book as one would a documentary--with lots of interviews, but without a detailed, primary sourced bibliography (such sources may have been consulted, but they are not listed). Presumably, just as in TV, detailed sources and in-depth research are not important to a general audience as they are to historians. But wow--what a cover!

He also approached the topic in TV tropes, although he may not have realized it. The Condors were a predator, and the cops in this crime show have to figure out a way to solve it. We see glimpses of the dastardly criminal, who slashes the convoys. There's lots of focus on criminal procedures and the good guys trying to figure out how to stop the criminal. CAM ships, aircraft carriers, good shooting from the ships, and lots of guts helped the merchant fleet, like justice, prevail. Even then, the ending is lacking in a satisfying climax.

This is not "Stopped at Stalingrad," or the chapter you wish Clay Blair would have written to accompany "Hitler's U-boats." While the prose itself is clear, it is ultimately uninformed by a deeply researched account of Condor operations or its pilots, or any corresponding analysis--the kind of military history readers have come to expect since the days when this book was written.
HASH(0x913c59a8) out of 5 stars Making the Atlantic a Perilous Place 8 Oct. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Although Lindbergh's flight had been in 1927, transatlantic passenger air service did not begin for 10 more years (in airships). Preceded by military and mail service, paying passengers began with Lufthansa in 1938 using a Focke-Wulf 4-engine liner. Not surprisingly, the Luftwaffe later adopted the model for sea reconnaisance. Adding fuel tanks to the cabin, they designated it Fw-200 Condor. At first their role was to drop bombs and strafe individual ships. When the British authorities organized convoys, they would broadcast their locations back to base at Bordeaux. This was passed to the U-boat wolfpacks.
At first, the squadrons suffered from landing crashes when Condors' lightweight structure collapsed from overloading. "Militarized' versions were strengthened for hard use, reducing the accident rate. After that, they were the object of RAF bomber raids on the Bremen factory or their bases and long-range fighter patrols in the Bay of Biscay as Condors departed or arrived.
Ship losses became so acute that many solutions were tried- guns with guncrews to shoot at low-flying Condors, rockets, even fighters catapulted on one-way missions. Mostly, these only encouraged the Condor pilots to keep at a distance. It was not until escort aircraft carriers appeared on the scene that the big birds (and the Ju-290 successors) were defeated.
I liked this for its listings of battles between the Condors above and individual convoys. A good treatment of a little-known threat to Britain's supply lines, and cause of many deaths in Merchant Marine crews.
See also: Fw 200-Condor: Battle Companion of the U-Boat.
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