The book is a historical fiction. This means that the characters are fictional as are their exploits, but the story line is based on historical fact. Most people are unaware that during WWII, Nazi Germany had an operational aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin. Had the Graf Zeppelin sortied with Bismarck, Tirpitz, and Prinz Eugen into the Atlantic in 1939, the entire outcome of the war could have been changed. However, due to an ongoing feud between Hermann Göring and Admiral Erich Raeder, the carrier was not allowed aircraft and she sat out the war as an ineffective white elephant. Günther Schmidt is assigned the task of obtaining intelligence on the US Navy, specifically about carrier aviation. He places a young fräulein, Karen Berr, in a girl?s college in Pensacola, Florida, where she meets a naval pilot, LTJG John Parker and falls in love, subsequently marrying him. Hermann Göring hates the Kriegsmarine with a passion, and Günther embarrasses him in front of Hitler, thus becoming a personal enemy. Günther is targeted by Göring for assassination. Göring, who is in charge of aircraft production, makes the decision to prevent the Kriegsmarine from having navalized aircraft. Günther is tasked with training pilots for the German Navy in landing techniques for carriers. He sets up a clandestine training facility at Greifswald on the Baltic, flying brightly colored aircraft to misdirect Göring?s goons. Subsequently, Günther becomes involved in advising German naval designers in the development of an aircraft carrier. Göring tries to have Günther assassinated but fails, only killing his wife, Gertrude. Göring hosts a big military bash and brags to Japan?s ambassador, Baron Hiroshi ?shima, about Germany?s plan for world conquest. ?shima sends a report via the oceanic cable to Japan, unaware that the American Navy has broken the diplomatic code and are reading these messages. The transcripts are codenamed Magic. The Spanish Civil War erupts, giving Günther and his newly trained pilots on-the-job training. Günther helps Messerschmitt in developing the Bf 109T naval fighter and a dive bomber, the Ju 87 G. Göring tries again to assassinate Günther and fails. Günther, using misdirection, manages to have the naval aircraft manufactured and hidden from Göring. World War II erupts and Günther sails into combat on the Graf Zeppelin as her CAG when she sorties with Tirpitz, Bismarck, and Prinz Eugen. German dive bombers from the Graf Zeppelin sink two British cruisers in the Denmark Strait and assist in sinking the Hood and Prince of Wales. The German flotilla is attacked by British torpedo airplanes, which loses all but one due to the intervention of the Bf 109T fighters. Tirpitz is hit by several torpedoes and must retire. The American Coast Guard Cutter, Modoc, is attacked by German dive bombers, thus bringing America into the war. The German flotilla joins up with Gneisenau and Scharnhörst to begin decimating the convoys. An American flotilla, including Washington and Ranger, intervenes. The resulting battle ends with the destruction of the German flotilla. Günther is captured by the Americans.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Enjoyed the book very much - kind of scary to think this could have actually happened. Great read based on good knowledge of history. I really enjoyed the book