The U-boat Inshore Campaign

By John F. White

Endgame Book cover

Published by Spellmount Ltd (UK) in September 2008.
ISBN 978-1-86227-485-3. 128 pages. 4 black&white photographs.

By the time of the Normandy invasion in June 1944, the U-boats were a beaten force, hunted and harried wherever they appeared by Allied warships and aircraft.The U-boats proved to be little more than pin pricks against the landings, and advancing Anglo-American armies had driven them out of their French west Atlantic bases all the way back to Norway by September 1944.

Yet the U-boat force mounted a sustained and effective campaign from their Norwegian bases. Admiral Doenitz revived the ‘New U-boat War’ against Allied merchant shipping with new inventions, such as the schnorchel, in the face of a massive Allied naval defence while Germany collapsed. The book examines in detail the U-boat reaction to the Normandy landings in June 1944, the Norwegian U-boat bases, German torpedoes, the interference by U-boat Command, the Scapa Flow carrier operation and the Allied response up to the final surrender in May 1945.

This is the first book in English devoted to the U-boat Inshore Campaign against Britain’s eastern coast, with their unique attributes. The east coast waters were shallow and heavily mined. Other German naval forces made a significant contribution. The campaign also saw the first and only appearances of the new Type XXIII electric U-boats, a radically new submarine design, the forerunner of modern diesel-electric submarines. The book uses sources seized from German archives after the Second World War, those at the Naval Historical Branch, Portsmouth, personal reminiscences of former U-boatmen, and English decryptions of messages sent to and from the U-boats.

Updated 6 October 2008.