FALSE FLAGS: Disguised German Raiders of World War II
By Stephen Robinson. Minneapolis, Minn.: Exisle Publishing, 2016.
359 pp. $29.99
THE ODYSSEY OF THE KOMET: Raider of the Third Reich
By Olivier Pigoreau. Paris: Histoire & Collections, 2016.
176 pp. $34.95
FW 200 CONDOR UNITS OF WORLD WAR 2
By Chris Goss. Oxford, U.K. Osprey Publishing, 2016.
96 pp. $23.00
ISBNs: 978-1-925335-15-6, 978-2-35250-455-9,
With geography and the U.K. Royal Navy largely confining
the German surface fleet in World War II, the Kreigsmarine
relied mainly on U-boats and used a small number of
freighters converted into covert armed raiders to harass
Allied shipping and mine approaches to harbors, mainly in
the South Pacific and Indian Ocean, and to divert Allied
naval forces from the main theaters. False Flags is a complete history of these four remarkable raiders and their
support ships, the warships that chased them, and the
raider’s victims. The Odyssey of the Komet is a history of
one of the raiders on its 516-day deployment as it intercepted 10 Allied ships. The raider’s actions and life of the
crew is documented in 200 photographs. Germany also
used long-range maritime patrol aircraft to strike Allied
shipping in the Atlantic and Barents Sea in the form of
the four-engine Focke-Wulf 200 Condor — originally
designed as an airliner. The exploits of the units that
flew the heavily armed Condor — the “Scourge of the
Atlantic” — which enjoyed success early in the war before
attrition took its toll are presented in the third book.
US NAVY LIGHT CRUISERS 1941-45
By Mark Stille. Oxford, U.K. Osprey Publishing, 2016.
48 pp. $18.00
The author continues his series on World War II ships with a
description and history of the 56 U.S. Navy light cruisers of the
Omaha, Brooklyn, Atlanta and Cleveland classes that fought
in the war, and the four ships of the Fargo and Worcester
classes commissioned afterward. These ships proved highly
successful in surface actions, as anti-aircraft platforms in
carrier task forces with their rapid-firing 6-inch guns, and in
providing gunfire support for amphibious landings. Although
many were damaged, only three were lost to enemy action.
This book is well-illustrated and packed with detailed history.
THE U.S. NAVY’S “INTERIM” LSM(R)S IN WORLD WAR II:
Rocket Ships of the Amphibious Forces
By Ron MacKay Jr. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2016.
352 pp. $45.00
The landing ship, medium (rocket) was an innovation in late
1944 to field a modified ship to deliver a high volume of
firepower in support of amphibious landings. The ships were
fitted with dozens of launchers for 5-inch fin-stabilized
rockets to be launched in volleys against entrenched
enemy forces. The LSM(R)s saw extensive action in the
Okinawa campaign, providing fire support and a variety
of other services, including countering Japanese speed
boats and rescuing survivors. Four of the 12 LSM(R)s
were lost in combat. This research-rich account gives
a comprehensive historical account of the class. n
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