Anyone familiar with the books of Axel Urbanke will know the quality of the books from his Luftfahrtverlag-Start knows the quality of the research, the photographic content and of the books themselves. This new epic on the subs that fed the U-boat fleet is the subject of today’s preview.
Luftfahrtverlag-Start - the people who brought us “Endkampf” and many other photo driven books documenting Luftwaffe and the excellent “U-Boats im Focus” have delivered their new title – this time featuring the lives of the German Supply U-boat crews and their service on the oceans of the world. Axel Urbanke has created a book in which you can actually feel like you have experienced the battle yourself…
To the Allies they were target number one – The Allied hunter-killer groups had express orders to sink the German submarine tankers on sight. They knew that the German submarine tankers made it possible for U-boats to operate at extended ranges off the eastern coast of the United States, South Africa, the west coast of Africa and the Caribbean. Unlike conventional tankers, these large Type XIV submarines - also known as "milk cows" - could reach their areas of operation without being discovered. The submarine tankers Carried sufficient fuel, provisions, torpedoes and spare parts for up to 24 U-boats, doubling or tripling their normal endurance. As well as the much needed supplies the "milk cows” also carried a doctor who could treat sick or injured crewmen, they were a very valuable asset for the Kriegsmarine.
In 1942 the submarine tankers were able to rendezvous with the combat submarines at prearranged locations largely undisturbed, however in 1943, all this changed. From the beginning of the year, the Allies succeeded in decoding German radio transmissions from their intercepts and learned where the tankers and operational boats would be meeting. From then on the tankers were hunted down relentlessly. Wherever the "milk cows" surfaced, Allied anti-submarine groups were waiting. Rapid transfer of supplies often in bad weather, rendezvous points changed at the last minute, and attacks by Allied ASW aircraft became a part of everyday life for the "milk cow" crews. They often worked to the limits of their physical and mental endurance to complete their mission. In the end, all of the submarine tankers were sunk by the Allies, the last in the summer of the 1944. Hundreds of men went down with their boats.
The story of the German submarine tankers in the Second World War has never been thoroughly documented in words and pictures. This book describes the difficult of the submarine tanker operations and the war waged by the crews against the power of the sea and the Allied anti-submarine forces. This tome fills a significant gap in the history of the German submarine arm.
The price is 59 Euro + shipping. It weighs 2 kg.(important for the shipping-price). And you can get it directly (In both English and German) from the people at Luftfahrtverlag-Start