Germany's Last Mission to Japan

The Failed Voyage of U-234
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Published:March 1, 2009
By Joseph Mark Scalia (Author)

When U-234 slipped out of a Norwegian harbor in March 1945 destined for Japan, it was loaded with some of the most technically advanced weaponry and electronic detection devices of the era, along with a select group of officials. En route, word came that Germany had surrendered, and the boat's commander suddenly found himself with a rogue submarine, a precious assortment of cargo, and two Japanese naval officers still at war. This dramatic account of the voyage offers an intriguing look at the individuals involved.

One of these individuals was Luftwaffe General Ulrich Kessler, who was a member of Von Stauffeberg's Valkyrie conspiracy to assassinate of Hitler. Kessler was aboard U-234 to escape the wrath of Hitler, because he had been tabbed by Von Stauffeberg to replace Hermann Goering as the commander of the Luftwaffe.

Scalia draws on U.S. Navy interrogation records, European and Japanese archives, and interviews with former U-234 crew members and other principals to develop a full portrait of the group. He also evaluates the technology of the armament on board, which included 560 kg. of uranium oxide, whose presence continues to provoke questions about a Nazi plan to build an atom bomb in Japan.

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Product Details
  • Subject: World War II
  • Paperback : 296 pages
  • Illustrations: 25 b/w photos
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (March 1, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1591148421
  • ISBN-13: 9781591148425
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 14.72 oz
  • "This book by Joseph Mark Scalia and published in 2000 by Naval Institute Press provides a comprehensive look at one of the most neglected stories of World War II, namely, the mission of U-234 to Japan." —

Joseph Mark Scalia lives in Humble, Texas, where he teaches high school and is working on a book about the Confederate cruiser CSS Stonewall.

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