Another sortie into the last war, this time from the Axis camp, comes in the form of these impersonally told memoirs of the...

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CRUISE OF THE RAIDER HK-33

Another sortie into the last war, this time from the Axis camp, comes in the form of these impersonally told memoirs of the months spent aboard a merchant ship converted into an auxiliary cruiser with the job of speedy chasing down and sinking of enemy vessels. Putting out from its North German port the freighter Kandelfels, now known as HK-33, was first disguised as a Russian ship and then later changed its name to the Pinguin. As the Pinguin the ship had a long and successful raiding life. Its runs lay in as widely divergent areas as the Antarctic Seas and the Indian Ocean and its appearances and disappearances soon earned it a reputation for ghostliness. Running the blockade, a double capture of an English and a Norwegian ship in the Indian Ocean, a project of converting a captured tanker into a minelayer- these are a sampling of the taxing situations the crew of the Pinguin managed with true seamanship and with apparently little malice towards their adversaries. Viewing their tasks rather as necessary jobs to be done, and the war itself as a disaster for their country, they sailed and performed as would any who were under orders. But at the same time, the account is disappointingly dry. Almost totally, the feeling is one of the exigencies of warfare rather than welfare and a tacit emulation of the former seems to pervade withal. A man's book.

Pub Date: May 9, 1955

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Crowell

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1955