The Memoirs of Karl Doenitz Ten Years and Twenty Days
By Karl Doenitz 548 pages 9781848326446 2012 Pen and Sword £13.50
The story of the last world war, as told by Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz himself. His memoir covers his early career with submarines in the First World War and follows both his successes and failures through the Second World War, with great detail on the way the U-boat campaign was waged, as told by the man who invented U-boat tactics.
Doenitz includes details of the U-boat campaigns during the Second World War as well as the opinions, ideas and commentary on the period. Of particular interest are the comments regarding British and American conduct during the war. An important social document, and an invaluable source for any student of the last war.
He became the last Führer of Germany after Hitler's suicide in May 1945 and the book’s subtitle, Ten Years and Twenty Days, is a direct reference to the time Karl Doenitz spent in Spandau Prison having been convicted of war crimes following trial at Nuremberg.
Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, a First World War U-boat officer, stayed in the peacetime navy and was the flag officer in charge of submarines upon the commencement of hostilities in 1939. In 1943 he became navy commander and eventually succeeded Hitler after the latter’s suicide in 1945.
This book, first published in 1959, chronicles U-boat and naval operations as well as the political and organizational machinations at home. To do this to such an extent, only a senior officer could have compiled such a comprehensive record.
This book should be compulsory reading at naval and staff colleges and on the shelf of any student of naval history.