Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tirpitz The Life and Death of Germany's Last Super Battleship

Tirpitz The Life and Death of Germany's Last Super Battleship
Niklas Zetterling and Michael Tamelander
6 x 9, 256 pages, illustrated, 9781935149187, $32.95, hardback, Casemate December 19, 2009
When I first began reading this book, I was expecting another run of the mill ship history. However I was very pleasantly surprised when I quickly realized it was not. This book was superbly written in that you actually can feel and empathize with the characters regardless of which side of the battle they were on. Two things new that I learned were the fact that British First Sea Lord Dudley Pound was likely suffering from the brain tumor which eventually took his life in 1943 during the fiasco that was Convoy PQ17. In addition, the effects on German decisions due to oil shortages, was not fully appreciated before. The original text of this book is believed to have been in Swedish so a few clunky translations are noted such as the word “crafts” concerning vessels and the use of kilometers in ocean distances when nautical miles should have been used (the whole basis of our system of latitude.)  These should have been caught in editing. Apart from this, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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