73 North: The Battle of the Barents Sea
Historian Dudley Pope turns his attention to what many consider to be the most important naval engagement of World War II's European theatre -- the Battle of the Barents Sea. Pope brings together the events and decisions that culminated in this pivotal confrontation in which eight of the German Navy's most powerful ships failed to sink a Russian convoy guarded by only four small British destroyers. When news of the defeat reached Hitler, he became so incensed he ordered the German Fleet scrapped. In Pope's hands, this story is not merely one of governments and over-arching strategies. It is also the tale of men struggling to carry out their orders in the face of overwhelming obstacles: of British Captain R. St Vincent Sherbrooke, badly wounded and nearly blind, holding the line in his burning ship; of German Admiral Kummetz, ordered to win, yet handicapped by Hitler's directive "to not take any serious risk;" of sailors on both sides fighting the bitter cold and endless darkness of the Arctic winter, Pope brings it all to life with skill and authority.
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