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The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America

The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America

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by Ed Offley

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The untold story of two men—an American pilot and a German U-boat commander—whose clash off the coast of North Carolina brought the horrors of World War II to American shores


The untold story of two men—an American pilot and a German U-boat commander—whose clash off the coast of North Carolina brought the horrors of World War II to American shores

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Providence Journal Best Books of 2014

Washington Post
“[The Burning Shore] will be, I think, a real eye-opener for readers who assume that the war was fought in Europe, Asia and Africa, but not here.... It would be foolish to wax sentimental about [Kane and Degen's] story, and Offley wisely refrains from doing so, but it does bring the history of the U-boats to an unexpected and quite gratifying conclusion.”

San Antonio Express-News
“Offley expertly accomplishes a spellbinding reconstruction of the first successful sinking of a U-boat in American waters by a U.S. Army Air Forces aircraft.... The Burning Shore is an insightful reminder that World War II was not only fought on far-off foreign lands and seas, but close to home as well.”

Post and Courier (Charleston)
“Offley's story is admittedly a small one, covering just the opening few months of the war, but he does a good job of capturing those frightful earlier days of the conflict. The author of several previous books, including Turning the Tide and Scorpion Down, Offley is a good writer, no where is that more evident than in his dramatic chronicling of Kane's attack on U-701 and Degen's struggle to survive.”

“An authoritative work on the awful, early effectiveness of German U-boats in disrupting shipping traffic off the east coast of the United States.... A knowledgeable overview and exciting re-creation of the final U-701 attack and defeat.”

Publishers Weekly
“Offley, a specialist in underwater operations, evokes the environment of U-boats that were themselves obsolescent – small, cramped, and operating at the limits of their effective range.”

Virginian Pilot
“[Offley's] been pursuing such Atlantic coast U-boat stories for decades, digging into myriad archives of journals, logbooks, oral histories and more. If Pilot reporter Diane Tennant's series in 2009 piqued your interest, grab this.”

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, authors of The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend
“We have a special appreciation for dramatic stories of untold wartime heroism, and Ed Offley's gripping tale does not disappoint. Veering from the well-worn paths of World War II's European and Pacific Theaters, Offley's The Burning Shore breaks new ground in its description of the German U-boat invasion of America's Eastern Seaboard in 1942, and the courageous efforts by an undermanned United States military to prevent the Nazis from crippling our war efforts in the Atlantic. Bravo.”

Naval History
“Offley's book is a well-researched expose on the early battles of World War II in the Atlantic and highlights tensions on the West Coast...following the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

Providence Journal
“[Offley] reminds us in The Burning Shore that although all the troops who fought in World War II had to cross an ocean first, the war actually did come a lot closer to America. German submariners lurked offshore so close they could see the Coney Island Ferris wheel at night.”

American Spectator
“Offley is a clear and organized writer. His portrayal of events is free of the theorizing that mars the historical works of so many academics. There is no political agenda at work in this clear unfolding of momentous events, made the more immediate by the engaging personal narratives. I like my history straight. With both attention to detail and to story. This is how Ed Offley delivers it.”

Military History
The Burning Shore is a history of those dreadful early months of the war, a history largely suppressed at the time and rarely alluded to since.”

Product Details

Basic Books
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Hachette Digital, Inc.
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3 MB

Meet the Author

Ed Offley is a seasoned military reporter and the author of Scorpion Down and Turning the Tide. He lives in Panama City Beach, Florida.

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The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-Boats Brought World War II to America 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Offley does an incredible job with The Burning Shore, clearly adding to the documentation of World War II. Unfortunately, the U-boat part of the war is frequently lost but Offley creatively tells its story in a very unique way. He does this through two characters--a young German U-boat commander and a young U.S. aviator who becomes a U-boat hunter. Offley's work reflects an unbelievable amount of research and detail. Historians should express their appreciation and gratitude to Offley for his extraordinary efforts. This very accurate, credible and fascinating work can--and should--be justifiably added to the best documentations of the war. The book is a "must read" for those who are interested in World War II. Tom JurkowskyRear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading what really happened to the USA months before the USA entered the second world war. Serving as a U-boat sailor would have been impossible for me.  I don't like close quarters.Mr Offley  got it right about how the USA was able  with the history of the war.  
Greggpen More than 1 year ago
This book was a joy to read. I read the whole book in a single setting. It is well written, flows well and the story pulls you to the next page. The combination of WWII facts tied to the relationship between sworn enemies adds that extra level of intrigue that makes it most exciting. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in some of the lesser know actions during the war.