The Last Raider

The Last Raider[PDF / Epub] ☆ The Last Raider Author Douglas Reeman – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk It is December , Germany opens the final, bitter round of the war with a new and deadly weapon in the struggle for the seas the Vulcan sails from Kiel Harbour To all appearances she is a harmless merc It is December , Germany opens the final, bitter round of the war with a new and deadly weapon in the struggle for the seas the Vulcan sails from Kiel Harbour To all appearances she is a harmless merchant vessel But her peaceful lines conceal a merciless firepower guns, mines and torpedoes that can be brought into play instantly The Vulcan is a commerce raider And under crack commander Felix von Steiger her mission is to bring chaos to the seaways. Classic old war novel, first published in 1963, The Last Raider tells the story of a German war ship and her crew in 1917 It s becomingclear that Germany is losing the war and the German navy has been decimated and is most blockaded But the high command sends out one final war ship to attack allied shipping Vulkan and her crew sneak past the blockaded port and commence raiding in the North Atlantic They are forced to confront their notions of war why they are fighting and what tac Classic old war novel, first published in 1963, The Last Raider tells the story of a German war ship and her crew in 1917 It s becomingclear that Germany is losing the war and the German navy has been decimated and is most blockaded But the high command sends out one final war ship to attack allied shipping Vulkan and her crew sneak past the blockaded port and commence raiding in the North Atlantic They are forced to confront their notions of war why they are fighting and what tactics in war are justified Somewhere along the way, they pick up a number of survivors of torpedoed allied ships, including a strong minded British woman Douglas Reeman drinking game when does the author first use the word oblivion page 43.A good job of the Imperial German Navy perspective, but has to be among the most listless, disconnected books Reeman ever wrote. It has been a long time since I last came across a book which contained aspects that I loved and disliked with equal feeling Normally, a story has some quirks that can bog the plot down, but if an author can avoid making those weak points a central tenant of the book, they won t dock many points from my enjoyment Unfortunately, Douglas Reeman in The Last Raider was unable to keep weak subplots to the periphery of his dramatic historical fiction about an Imperial German commerce raider at the c It has been a long time since I last came across a book which contained aspects that I loved and disliked with equal feeling Normally, a story has some quirks that can bog the plot down, but if an author can avoid making those weak points a central tenant of the book, they won t dock many points from my enjoyment Unfortunately, Douglas Reeman in The Last Raider was unable to keep weak subplots to the periphery of his dramatic historical fiction about an Imperial German commerce raider at the close of the First World War.The story follows the officers and crew of the SMS Vulkan, a converted raider sent to run the British blockade of Kiel in 1918 in order to wreck havok among the commerce lines connecting flowing material from the U.S to the Entente armies on the Western Front Since the mission is deemed a probably suicidal endeavour, the men assembled upon the Vulkan come from the proverbial reject pile Overzealous officers, prisoners, slackers, etc It falls upon the shoulders of Captain Felix von Steiger known as the Tiger of the Seas to whip the ship into shape and to make the most of an impossible task.On their voyage through the cold wastes of the North Atlantic to the tropics off the coast of Brazil, the ship and crew are faced with a number of trials like grappling with the morality of their violent actions at sea, reconciling themselves to an almost assuredly lost war, and the real life danger when put under the guns of American and British naval cruisers At almost every turn, the crew seems to border on the mutinous while the officer cadre either actively works against the orders of von Steiger or are too busy punishing the rank and file seamen to be bothered Von Steiger s quick thinking and intuition saves a nearly hopeless situation from sending the ship to the bottom, and it is in this maelstrom of fears and desires that Reeman tells his story.And what a story it could have been It is rare that you find an English language piece of fiction told from the German point of view in the First World War, and Reeman doesn t always set his Germans up to fulfill stereotypes associated with the Imperial Navy of the time Instead, his characters have depth and question questions at the heart of war such as its utility and what it means for the psyche of mankind Grappling with philasophical conundrums takes up a good portion of the book, but hey, these men are at sea in a wide open stretch of ocean where running into stragglers for the taking is a rare occasion why not use the time to contemplate what has put these men in this position and if it is at all worthwhile Between thepoetic dialogue are stories of tense combat told in a way that keeps you wondering how von Steiger will change his approach in the next encounter After the first two successful raids, you begin to see his overarching tactics, but are unsure how he ll get his crew out of the next tight spot looming over the horizon There could have beennaval combat for my taste, but at least what Reeman gives is fulfilling in its own way What knocked this otherwise great book down for me was the inclusion of a seemingly pointless sub plot dealing with captured British prisoners, and a widowed Englishwoman in particular I ve got nothing against the inclusion of these characters in the story instead, my issue is with how little depth there was to Frau Brett She just sort of exists Eventually she moves from jilted enemy to mender of broken German hearts, but the path from A to B was far too laborious to warrant getting what felt like 25 30% of the pages in the book Why not spend that time digging deeper into the relations non officers had with one another Or throw in another harrowing twist or two for von Steiger Co to get out of So much potential brought low by a lifeless undercurrent that needn t be there in the first place.Misgivings aside, if you re looking for quality WWI historical fiction from the German POV, this is as good a place to spend your time as any I m interested in finding other Reeman books just to see if he perpetuates a flaw that bothered me so much because it seems like he has all the other aspects of compelling naval warfare down Perhaps he struggled with creating likeable Germans and so feltcomfortable injecting Englishmen into the story for him to moldcomfortably Either way, there s a promising read here, though your mileage may vary By no means is this one of Reeman s best works, which is a shame as it had the potential to be a good story with some unusual aspects Firstly it is a naval war story set in WWI, which in itself is unusual as the majority are either WWII, concerned with the age of sail, or of the modern era Secondly the story is told from the point of view of a German ship and crew giving the reader the opportunity to see the war from the other side, something that is rare as most novels are focused on the All By no means is this one of Reeman s best works, which is a shame as it had the potential to be a good story with some unusual aspects Firstly it is a naval war story set in WWI, which in itself is unusual as the majority are either WWII, concerned with the age of sail, or of the modern era Secondly the story is told from the point of view of a German ship and crew giving the reader the opportunity to see the war from the other side, something that is rare as most novels are focused on the Allied English point of view The unique combination of WWI and German point of view certainly raised my expectations that this could be a really good story The story has many of the traits I associate with a Reeman story, high tension, accurate portrayals of life at sea especially when in combat and telling the story in a way that shows that the crew are real people with feelings and fears and simply automatons sent out to do battle Unfortunately there were as many downside to this book as there were upsides Firstly the overarching plot was not quite believable I am used to books telling stories where a single ship, platoon etc save the day and become heroes, but I struggled to wrap my head around this on German High Command are aware that the war is going badly, the allies are getting supplies through and ascountries join the war, Germany is fast running out of friends The majority of her heavy capital ships are stuck in harbours for fear of the allied navies and whilst the U Boats are having a measure of successis needed So what to they do Do they come up with a plan to get their capital ships back into the fight No they send out a converted freighter as a commerce raider The aim being to sneak up on shipping as an unmasked commercial vessel and then open fire at the last minute with its concealed weaponry Whilst such undertakings are not new I just can t see how anyone would think that sending out a single ship on such a mission would make and difference All they can end up doing is really acting like pirates privateers of old and how much damage could one ship on its own do Secondly unlike most of Reeman s stories that I ve read there is no single character that the story is focused and told almost from their point of view I get the feeling its supposed to be the captain but it doesn t really work as for large amounts of the story he is absent from the narrative There are some odd relationships described in the book which seem to take uptime than is necessary One of the officers seems to have a penchant for the fresh faced young sailors, one of whom rejected his advances whilst in training, was set up and spent 6 months in jail and not finds himself on the same ship as the officer is scared, but says nothing Along the way the Vulkan captures prisoners from the ships they sink One of this is a woman who seems to cast a spell on both the captain and the second officer who then spend too much time in can almost be described as flirtatious behaviour All in all an OK book which held out much promise but failed to deliver Another good book by DouglasWell written book, much as you would expect from this wonderful author As usual well researched, the plot on top of the historic aspect works well The usual predictable ever present female interaction is there like marmite Love it or hate it Either way it s highly recommended..Roger Definitely not his best effort Over the top dramatics and the final page really did me in I far prefer HMS Saracen and others of his ww2 catalogue Fairly well written, well paced and excellent in its descriptions of the scenes But I was not convinced by the characters and it left me with a bit if a so what feeling. In December 1917 the German ship Vulcan leaves Kiel harbour By all appearances she is a harmless merchant vessel but she is armed with hidden guns and torpedoes which are intended to attack allied merchant shipping thus causing chaos to their supply lines in the hope that it will release the grip of the ring of ships that keeps the German Navy in port.In many ways this is a typical Reeman book, we have a courageous Captain who is damaged by both personal events outside the War and battles with In December 1917 the German ship Vulcan leaves Kiel harbour By all appearances she is a harmless merchant vessel but she is armed with hidden guns and torpedoes which are intended to attack allied merchant shipping thus causing chaos to their supply lines in the hope that it will release the grip of the ring of ships that keeps the German Navy in port.In many ways this is a typical Reeman book, we have a courageous Captain who is damaged by both personal events outside the War and battles with authority who is given a hopeless task in an inadequate ship who meets a woman, falls in love and succeeds against all the odds However, given the fact that the book is written about a German ship gives it a littleoomph IMHO.Firstly most people believe that there were only two Naval battles during WWI,Falklands and Jutland, and that submarine warfare was a WWII phenomenon when in fact they were first used in this conflict Also people do not realize that there were many other instances of both sides trying to cut the others supply lines Also the fact that this book is based so late within the conflict we get an idea of how the German armed forces, Navy in particular, and its people were still struggling on despite knowing that defeat was almost inevitable,even whilst those in authority continued to delude themselves despite the fact the country had lost virtually all its allies.As usual Reeman paints a vivid picture of life at sea on a warship and the hardships and privations ships crews faced and the action is largely unrelenting I felt that the ending was inevitable but good all the same which all in all raises this book above many of Reeman s other books The story of a German steamer sent out in the last months of World War One to wreak havoc on the British and American blockades I like the fact that it is told from the German point of viewit made themhuman. Really good story Many years since I read it All Boys Own stuff

The Last Raider ePUB ☆ The Last  ePUB ô
  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • The Last Raider
  • Douglas Reeman
  • English
  • 07 September 2017
  • 0515073849