Armchair military historians will relish this account of bringing down the biggest prey in the German fleet.


Military historian Bishop (Battle of Britain, 2009, etc.) fashions an exciting, detail-packed account of the British obsession with dismantling Hitler’s prize battleship.

Named after the architect of the Imperial German Navy, Tirpitz was the great hope in Hitler’s plan to crack the supremacy of the British navy, the lifeblood of a nation reliant on maritime trade. Along with its sister ships, the steel-plated, seemingly invincible Tirpitz was employed in the North Atlantic to disrupt British trade convoys so that Hitler could turn his attention to attacking Russia. In his patiently descriptive account of the Battle of Britain, Bishop traces the key engagements, such as the bringing down of the Bismarck after an extremely costly pummeling by British torpedoes, which underscored how outmoded and outclassed the British fleet was. Subsequently, the British were on continual lookout for the deadly but elusive Tirpitz, about which Churchill maintained: “No other target is comparable to it.” Commanded initially by Capt. Karl Topp, with a crew of 2,600 living aboard in fairly luxurious style, Tirpitz was moved to Trondheim, Norway, keenly followed by British intelligence. Bomber Command devised several ill-begotten raids with “roly-poly” bombs, yet nothing could touch the massive ship, which posed a continual threat to the Russian convoys. Special Operations were enlisted to come up with a raiding plan, and new bombs and midget submarines were tested and honed in Scotland for the great mission undertaken in September 1943. Bishop builds a suspenseful story, delineating the crews involved on both sides in a sneak attack that required extraordinary courage from the seamen, who were under duress.

Armchair military historians will relish this account of bringing down the biggest prey in the German fleet.

Pub Date: April 9, 2013

ISBN: 978-1621570035

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Regnery History

Review Posted Online: Dec. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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