Peter Padfield


A biography of Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, commander of the U-boat arm which threatened Britain's trans-Atlantic shipping lanes in World War 2, who was chosen by Hitler as his successor in the final days of the war. The first book to strip away the myth fostered by Donitz himself and his U-boat veterans that he was an a-political naval officer.

Book Details:

  • Author: Peter Padfield
  • Published Year: 2001
  • Rights Sold
    • Poland: Vesper Wlodzimierz Wieczorek
    • Mii de Carti: Romania
Peter Padfield

Peter Padfield

Peter Padfield was born in 1932 and educated at Christ's Hospital. After service as a navigating officer in P&O liners, he gained a berth as a mariner aboard the replica seventeenth century Mayflower on her recreation of the Pilgrim Fathers' voyage and later panned for gold in the disused gold mines on Guadalcanal. He described his time in the Pacific and the Mayflower voyage in his first book The Sea is a Magic Carpet.Returning to Britain, he worked in nautical journalism and in manufacturing industry until the international success of The Titanic and the Californian encou...
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Book Reviews

  • "Peter Padfield's theme is greatly and in places brilliantly elaborated...in essence his is a story of national disparities ferociously resented by the weaker party and played out over 40 years through the medium of intense and cruel competition at sea... His compellingly readable book conveys a flavour of Nazi leadership unmatched by anything outside the memoirs of Albert Speer. It is difficult to frame higher praise."
    John Keegan, The Sunday Times
  • "Peter Padfield, sea-officer turned naval historian has dropped a pattern of depth charges plumb on top of the legendary image of Dönitz, Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, Grand Admiral and Hitler's appointed heir to the last-ditch leadership of the Third Reich."
    Admiral Ian McGeoch, The Times
  • "This biography and analysis of the life and mind of an exceptionally capable naval officer and leader distorted by the evil of Nazism, is a major work of scholarship by a writer whose thinking is not locked into the rigid limits of establishment or service loyalty."
    Lloyd's List
  • "Peter Padfield, the distinguished naval historian, has researched his subject diligently and has written about Dönitz with his usual verve. It is a good book to read; the style does not tire, the story keeps going, the research is quite considerable but sits lightly. It is also a very critical book, stripping the whitewash off the officer and gentleman that Dönitz claimed to be at Nuremberg..."
    Leonard Schwarz, The Birmingham Post
  • "...deeply researched and well-written..."
    Gordon Brook-Shepherd, Sunday Telegraph
  • "...this exceptionally fine biography..."
    U.S.Publishers' Weekly
  • "...well-written biography...we are shown Dönitz's genius as well as his shortcomings..."
    Norman Polmar, New York Times
  • "...a grimly fascinating biography..."
    Reid Beddow, The Washington Post