Book Review: MILK COWS: The U-Boat Tankers at War 1941 - 1945


by John F White

Barnsely, So Yorks: Pen & Sword/Philadelphia: Casemate, 2009. Pp. xiv, 260. Illus., maps, diagr., append., notes, biblio., index. $39.99. ISBN: 184884008X

A revised edition of White’s comprehensive 1998 look at the one of the most unusual aspects of German U-boat operations during World War II, the submarine tanker program.

Although the subject makes this work necessarily rather technical and the operations were hardly glamorous, White, who also wrote End G ame: The U-Boat Inshore Campaign , has produced a readable and often engaging work.  He looks at the origins of Germany's under-water tanker program, the evolution of the technology, and the development of an operational doctrine. He then gives us examples of a goodly number of actual missions, plus an account of the development of Allied counter-measures, in which code breaking played an important role.

A valuable read for anyone interested in submarine operations, logistics, and innovative technologies.



Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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