A Complete Operational History

Hardcover $12.88
Book: Cover Type


The Kriegsmarine’s Schnellboote—fast attack boats or E-boats to the Allies—were the primary German naval attack units in coastal waters throughout the Second World War. Operating close to their various bases they became a devastatingly effective weapon in nearly all the Kriegsmarine’s theaters of war, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It was in the English Channel, however, that the Schnellboote scored their most notable successes, destroying some forty warships and more than one hundred merchant ships. In addition to interception and attack, the boats were also used for minelaying, landing sabotage troops and general escort duties.

To date, there has been no comprehensive operational history of the Schnellboote. However, due to the relatively small number of units, author Lawrence Paterson is able to recount the duties, fates, and careers of each individual craft in this new book. In addition, the smaller Schnellbootes designed for operations alongside the commando units of the Kleinkampfverbände are covered. As the war progressed, Schnellbootes suffered from the increased Allied mastery of the seas and skies but they were a formidable foe right to the end. This new book is the first to do full justice to their record of success.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"There are two useful appendices of the full wartime command structure down to the flotilla level, and the remaining boats, 80 of them, although it is doubtful all were indeed operational at the war's end. His photographs are excellent and varied enough, and his details of operations make for reading as if one had those war log books in hand. Flotillas intentions, successes and failures, details of attacks pro and con, results, movement of individual boats and COs, frequent named officers and crew. A valuable and interesting reference for anyone." — Starshell (Naval Association of Canada)