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Donitz: The Last Fuhrer (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Mai 1987


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Combination of two proven areas of interest: U-boat operations and Hitler's inner circle Author an expert in the field -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Peter Padfield is a leading naval historian and biographer. He trained for the sea as a cadet in H.M.S.Worcester, subsequently serving in the P & O Line. In 1957 he sailed under Cdr. Alan Villiers in the replica pilgrim bark, Mayflower II, from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where Mayflower is now preserved. Working his passage to the south Pacific he sailed among the Solomon Islands before leaving the sea and settling with his wife in Suffolk, England. His first major book, The Titanic and the Californian defended the captain of the Californian from the charge of not going to Titanic’s rescue. He subsequently turned to naval subjects, particularly great gunnery, strategy and tactics. His biography of the U-boat admiral, Karl Dönitz, led him to a portrayal of submarine warfare in War Beneath the Sea, and to biographies of other leading Nazis, Heinrich Himmler and Rudolf Hess, subsequently translated into many European languages. Latterly he has returned to naval history, attempting to bring it out of the specialist closet and present it as a major determinant of the modern world in a trilogy whose second volume, Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom, won the Mountbatten Maritime Prize, 2003. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

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12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent biography of Donitz 6. Oktober 2002
Von Matthew Henderson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Karl Donitz began his career as a Naval officer at about the age of twenty, being commissioned just prior to the outbreak of World War I, where he quickly earned an Iron Cross Second Class and his own command. He finished the war a British POW. Unlike other senior Nazis (Goring for example) Donitz never played socialite; he was a naval officer at heart and in deed from the age of twenty until the last days of World War II when he was appointed by Hitler just prior to his suicide to take his position as Chancellor of the Third Reich. He is best known as the commander of the German U-Boat forces during the entirety of the war and later (beginning in January, 1943) as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy.
Padfield's biography is excellently researched. It is a detailed portrayal of Donitz as both man and officer and also presents a throrough review of naval (especially U-boat) strategy during the second world war. What's more, Padfield illustrates a strong link between the personal Donitz and the often fatal strategic decisions he made. There is evidence of Donitz's complicity in Nazi war crimes not seen in many other sources describing him.
Read this book if you are interested in the facts behind one of the deadliest aspects of the war in Europe (30000 of 40000 U-boat officers and men lost their lives) or if you'd like to know more about a key figure in the Third Reich not often remembered alongside more prominent names like Goebbels or Himmler. If you are hoping for a book that portrays Donitz as he was seen during his life, an officer who did his military duty and kept his hands clean of the atrocities of the Nazis, try another. Padfield is very harsh in his judgement of Donitz. If you dislike lots of statistics and are looking for nothing more than biographical data, I would try Donitz's memoirs.
In all, it is a vivid portrayal of Karl Donitz and a good read for Naval Enthusiasts.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Noble warrior or war criminal? 8. Januar 2010
Von ct reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Großadmiral Karl Dönitz (U-Boat C-in-C 1939-45; Kriegsmarine C-in-C May 1943-45; Hitler's successor 1-23 May 1945) escaped the noose at Nüremberg and served ten years, one of the lightest sentences. Many considered it a harsh verdict (not least Dönitz himself), though his navy predecessor (Großadmiral Raeder, a participant in the 1937 Hoßbach conference) was condemned to life imprisonment.

`Ten Years and Twenty Days' (published 1958) enhanced Dönitz's image as a nonpolitical soldier in the text and Epilogue: "Every decent German today is ashamed of the crimes which the Third Reich committed behind the nation's back. To hold the people as a whole responsible for the misdeeds of a small minority is contrary to every cannon of justice. Men cannot be condemned for things of which they did not even know." Was he sincere or self-serving?

This work examines what Dönitz knew of war crimes and his military competence. New sources contribute to an account that may well have hung him at Nüremberg. Like most defendants, he claimed complete ignorance of the Holocaust. Yet (like Speer) he addressed Gauleiters 6 Oct 1943 at Posen -a conference in which Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler fully revealed the extermination program.

U-Boat crews at the time received their choice of secondhand watches forwarded by the SS from concentration camps. U 333's petty officer recalled "Then we knew exactly. That was too macabre. Nobody should say that he knew nothing. We knew at that time where they came from." Did the Großadmiral know less?

The nonpolitical soldier image is contradicted in Dönitz's February 1944 speech to Flag Officers: "From the very start the whole of the officer corps must be so indoctrinated that it feels itself co-responsible for the National Socialist State in its entirety. The officer is the exponent of the State. The idle chatter that the officer is nonpolitical is sheer nonsense." A month later he said: "Our enemy forced this war on us...[the `united German Volk'] is the greatest ideological danger for their materialism and their degraded Jewish human enslavement. Without warning, therefore, but of necessity, they entered the war to exterminate our Volk." One might almost think it was the allies who attacked Poland!

Führer Dönitz should be commended for wisely eschewing scorched-earth resistance May 1945, though he had little choice. At the time he helped fugitive SS officers masquerade as sailors (including Rudolf Höß, former Auschwitz commandant) at the Naval Intelligence School at Sylt.

Though he engendered deep loyalty, Dönitz's command skills seem equally dubious. Most of nearly 2,000 `Scharnhorst' crewmen were lost with the ship after ordered on a futile mission late 1943 (36 men survived). Thirty-two thousand (82%) U-Boat crewmen never returned (a record rivaling Erich von Falkenhayn's at Verdun in 1916). Risking men is part of a commander's job, but it presumes a dynamic commitment to effective strategy/tactics (based on accurate intelligence, effective technology, and appropriate weapons production) necessary for a successful campaign. The author raises grave doubts on his subject's performance in all of these areas.

Martin Niemöller was Karl Dönitz's classmate in 1910. Both served in WWI U-Boats. Niemöller subsequently took orders as a Protestant minister in Dahlem, ultimately resisted Hitler, and landing in a concentration camp. What did Niemöller know that Dönitz failed to acknowledge? Alas, `Ten Years and Twenty Days' fails to mention Niemöller.

`Honorably' partnering with the devil doesn't insulate one from the sins of your senior partner. The Führerprinzip was a contract to which Dönitz and most of his contemporaries freely agreed. Most (like Dönitz) loyally supported Hitler until the end, and over fifty million people died. `Honor' under such circumstances is a perversion no doubt reserved for one of Dante's circles in Hell.

This is a well-written, critical account of a major Third Reich figure. Highly recommended.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
smooth reading and informative 17. Juli 2009
Von Douglas E. Libert - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book was written by an "expert" on Naval warfare so there is alot of overall German Navy strategy described. Donitz was from a family that had recently "arrived" to the German middle class,the father was an engineer,so young Karl rapidly acquired the desire and skills to move to the next level.These skills involved not only mechanical and intellectual skills but also(alas for poor Karl),the famed German unquestioning loyalty to authority.There is a good description of his education at a naval academy and his stint as a U-boat officer in the first World War.Since Germany arrived late to the "Naval Superpower" buffet'the conflict with England is already well developed by the time of Donitz' rise. Indeed the naval superpower race between England and Germany is an often overlooked cause of WW1
There is a brief description of the German naval mutiny shortly after WW1,with Doenitz pronouncedly swinging ultra-consevative.The Naval Mutiny is in my opinion an often neglected incident in the study of Hitlers' rise to power.This tendency marked Donitz' career from hereon after and although he tried to distance himself from politics and never according to the book joined the Nazi party,he was in major empathy with the National-Socialists.At times during the book he almost seems like "one of the bunch" of Nazi social climbers,but it is pointed out he was not directly involved in some of the more "rabid" Nazi politics. The lines of Donitz's conformity and ambition are somehat obscure but the author shows enough evidence to make one wonder how Jodl "got the noose" at Nuremburg yet Donitz escaped it. The author does a good job of exposing some of Donitz's more "cruel excesses" in regard to his tenure as Grand Admiral, and the excuse "it was war and I was only doing my job" works only when you win!
Seeing as Donitz was a U-boat officer there is alot of attention paid to this aspect in both WW1 and WW2. according to Padfeld,U-boat crews were often "draftee" and when their term of enlistment expired a U-boat crewmans' honorable discharge was stamped with a "deserted the fatherland in time of crisis",on the bottom. In Nazi Germany this assured the ex-crewman -either no job or a concentration camp stay as an anti-social.(Just one explanation of why young men went into those "iron coffins".Donitz toward the end of the book is reduced to giving deluded,"pep" talks to U-boat crews on virtual suicide missions due to Germany's falling far,far behind in regard to electronics technology.A far more interesting character in the bio is the German Admiral Canaris who describes Donitz early in his carreer. To paraphrase: Canaris says Donitz' desire and enthusiasm to rise to the top of the political pyramid overshadowed and exceeded by a liitle to a great deal his competency and moral honesty. Canaris was executed by the Nazis shortly after the July,1944 attempt to assasinate Hitler.
16 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Disappointing, pedantic and dull, a book that reveals more about the author than the subject. 9. August 2006
Von Peter Adrian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Do not read this book if you have any interest in German naval strategy or tactics during World War II, nor indeed if you have any interest in an objective appraisal of the life and work of Karl Donitz as a man. This book is undoubtedly well researched, with the co-operation of some people close to Donitz, including his family, but that research is utterly wasted by the author's own cultural prejudices.

There are precious few times when objectivity is allowed a rear its head by the author. These are to be found in the acknowledgements where the author states that he knows that this book will hurt member's of Donitz's family who helped him; in the introduction where the author acknowledges the difficulties that the cultural divide has caused him and in the postscript where the author truthfully reports that other reviews found he displayed "distaste" for Donitz, even "torturing" the evidence against him.... a total want of charity."

The few good words that are said about Donitz almost all come from other Naval personalities, especially his superiors during his rise up the ranks and his contemporaries in the Allied navies. The author even acknowledges that the official histories of the Allied navies are generous towards Donitz, but that does not alter his perspective.

Throughout the book, the author refers to the German struggle against `England' in both World Wars rather than against the British Empire or even Britain. That is central to the author's flaws. The American and Canadian navies are barely mentioned in the book, unless there is an opportunity for criticising them as well! The Empire navies don't seem to exist. Every alleged or real atrocity by U-boats crews is rehearsed with scarcely an acknowledgement that atrocities were also carried out by Allied navies. That the German's may sometimes have been reacting to British or Allied acts, is never conceded.

There is a complete absence of analysis of the actual battles in the Atlantic. These are mentioned at the most superficial, strategic level. Even this level of analysis is corrupted. Unlike Winston Churchill, the author does not allow for a second, that had Donitz managed to have greater influence on German military and naval strategy at the start of the war, then Germany might have won the Battle of the Atlantic.

There is barely a paragraph that isn't laced with a very amateur psychologist's attempt to interpret Donitz's actions, usually as pejoratively as possible, regardless of lack of evidence. For example `photographs of him from the period convey an impression of a man peering out suspiciously from inside his skull as if haunted by the past and wondering whether it was going to blow up beneath him' The author strongly believes Donitz should have received the death penalty at Nuremburg. Many readers will find that this book may be more deserving of the death penalty.
padfield does it again 7. Dezember 2014
Von brandon d baur - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
padfields really great his work on Himmler is great too
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