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Fiasco: The Breakout of the German Battleships
Fiasco The Breakout of the German Battleships
Author: John Deane Potter
On a moonless night, in February 1942, the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen slipped stealthily out of Brest harbor. Under Hitler's orders, they were embarking on a daring attempt to dash through the English Channel to safety in home waters. — The next day, the German bat...  more »
ISBN: 476766
Publication Date: 1971
Pages: 235
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Stein and Day
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 1
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A great, well-written, little book on the escape of three German capital ships from Brest, through the English Channel and into German harbors. It explains why everything went wrong for the British, often due to incompetence at higher echelons, and how the entire incident was whitewashed. It also covers, in depth, the heroism of the individual British airmen and sailors who tried to do their best despite many not even knowing what they were sent out to fight.

Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief of the German navy, while proud of his forces, said the escape was "A tactical victory, but a strategic defeat."

One of my favorite incidents described in the book, occurs, due to the confusion of the British, when British air forces attempt to attack a British destroyer incorrectly identified as being German. Nearby German planes came to the rescue of the destroyer and drove the British fighters off. Then the German fighters flew protective cover for the British destroyer until they realized their mistake and basically slunk off.