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Nazi Grand Admiral Karl Donitz was a major military commander in World War II whose name will always be associated with his attempt to cut Britain’s supply lines with U-boats deployed in mass attacks on convoys in the Atlantic.

Research in the German naval archives has allowed Peter Padfield to describe the evolution of the strategy and the demands Donitz placed on his crews.

Triumphant in the early war years, Allied counter-measures eventually turned the tables and the hunters became the hunted. Yet, as the life expectancy of U-boat men on operations fell to a matter of weeks Donitz continued to send out his young men to probable violent death.

The theme of this book is a portrait of a sensitive officer who proved his ability as a U-boat commander in WWI and preserved an ice-cold leadership veneer, yet was personally insecure and a fantasist in need of a cause.

He found it in Adolf Hitler. An early convert to Nazism – contrary to the non-political image of him constructed by his peers after the war – he followed the Führer with blind fanaticism.

Promoted to navy commander-in-chief, finally Hitler appointed him his successor, and he became the last Fuhrer of the Third Reich.

“Peter Padfield’s compellingly readable book conveys a flavour of Nazi leadership unmatched by anything outside the memoirs of Albert Speer. It is difficult to frame higher praise.” - John Keegan, The Sunday Times

“He stalks his quarry with the patience of a U-boat commander, seeing through his camouflage and, finally, sinking him.” - Tom Pocock, Evening Standard

Donitz: The Last Fuhrer by Peter Padfield is a 1985 edition published by Panther Books, London.

It is a 574-page 13x20cm by 4cm thick paperback in great condition for is age with a large section of historic photographs and an index of ships and U-boats at the back.

There is some sun fade to the edges and inside covers.

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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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