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In 1942, Hitler's Nazi regime trained eight operatives for a mission to infiltrate America and do devastating damage to its infrastructure. It was a plot that proved historically remarkable for two reasons: the surprising extent of its success and the astounding nature of its failure. Soon after two U-Boats packed with explosives arrived on America's shores–one on Long IsIn 1942, Hitler's Nazi regime trained eight operatives for a mission to infiltrate America and do devastating damage to its infrastructure. It was a plot that proved historically remarkable for two reasons: the surprising extent of its success and the astounding nature of its failure. Soon after two U-Boats packed with explosives arrived on America's shores–one on Long Island, one in Florida–it became clear that the incompetence of the eight saboteurs was matched only by that of American authorities. In fact, had one of the saboteurs not tipped them off, the FBI might never have caught the plot's perpetrators–though a dozen witnesses saw a submarine moored on Long Island. As told by Michael Dobbs, the story of the botched mission and a subsequent trial by military tribunal, resulting in the swift execution of six saboteurs, offers great insight into the tenor of the country--and the state of American intelligence--during World War II and becomes what is perhaps a cautionary tale for our times.From the Trade Paperback edition....

Title : saboteurs the nazi raid on america
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ISBN : 8512360
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
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saboteurs the nazi raid on america Reviews

  • Aaron Lawson
    2019-06-10 03:48

    3.5 starsI was so nervous to dig into this one. I'm not usually the non fiction fan, but WWII....... That's right up my alley. I actually loved the way the author cited all of his research. There were ALOT of them, but if you're not a dim wit and turn back to the last pages to see the cite, you will enjoy this book. The progression was nice, he did drag on quite a bit, however, all in all it was a solid read, and I gave it 3.5 because I wouldn't recommend just any person to read it. If you love WWII history, grab it ASAP!!

  • Emily
    2019-06-26 05:57

    It says a lot about the attractions of life in America in the 1930s that as traitors and saboteurs the Nazis were only able to muster this pitifully small troupe of half-hearted bunglers. The story of the saboteurs hits notes of farce, tragedy, and just about everything in between. The last few chapters, which deal with the saboteurs' trial by a military commission, have resonance for today.

  • Richard Dollison
    2019-06-16 02:08

    Very well researched and interesting book. My father was in Naval Intelligence in WWII and he told me about this event as he helped to investigate the landing on Long Island.

  • Esther
    2019-06-04 02:43

    Very good book as far as the information. Well researched and informative.

  • Johnny
    2019-06-10 03:13

    This book, written during the administration of Bush II, clearly demonstrated one of the great truths of history ("Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them."). In 1942, the Third Reich sent eight saboteurs to the east coast of the United States, landing them by Unterseeboot on Long Island and Florida, respectively. Each landing of four saboteurs each was accompanied by enough TNT to bring down major railroad bridges and the electrical infrastructure surrounding U.S. aluminum plants. Had the sabotage succeeded, it would have crippled aircraft production among that of other wartime materiel. Yet, less than 1/3 of the saboteurs were firmly committed to the plan. Perhaps, only one of the eight was truly committed to the cause. The others were Nazi sympathizers of German descent who had become disillusioned with the regime in one way or another. Certainly, the leader of the group was the least committed of all and planned to sabotage the sabotage from the very beginning.But the book teaches that no one likes a traitor, not even those who benefit from the treachery. In spite of the clear legal precedent that stated that even terrorists apprehended on U.S. soil should be tried in civilian courts (Ex parte Milligan -- based on an Indiana case during the U.S. Civil War or War Between the States), President Roosevelt ignored the precedent and ordered the saboteurs tried before a military tribunal. Indeed, as argued in Ex parte Quirin, the Justice Department and military ignored even military codes in trying the eight men and the U.S. Supreme Court was complicit in ignoring both constitution and legal precedent because of their fear of leaking any information valuable to the Germans. Sound familiar? It sounds tremendously like Bush's illegal treatment of the crop of terrorists caught not only on U.S. soil, but those captured elsewhere and kept in "black" prisons.Reading this book was rather horrifying for me. I already had a low opinion of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, but I couldn't believe how low his actions were in dealing with a situation that his agency completely botched, a situation that was only contained because one of the men who became a defendant was his primary source--a source that the NY FBI office had totally ignored. Even though the FBI eventually made the arrests, nothing would have happened without the initial intervention of the Coast Guard. Yet, Hoover (Master of Deceit himself) managed to use enough PR to gain sole credit for the arrest.Yes, reading this book helped me understand that the Shrub Administration wasn't completely blowing smoke when they claimed that FDR had set a precedent for ignoring "habeas corpus" with regard to terrorists. Of course, two wrongs don't make a right and multiple wrongs don't make a successful administration. Anyone who is fascinated by they way historical incidents and modern situations interconnect should read this book. I plan to send my copy to my lawyer son. I think he'll be intrigued by the legal wrangling and horrified at the arrogant actions of the U.S. Supreme Court (then and now).

  • CarterT
    2019-05-30 00:50

    Addictive this is how I would describe this book because every page of the book makes you want to read more of the book I couldn't put it down. The book definitely was a page turner because like I said, you never knew what would happen next in the book. The plot really makes the book keep going, the Sabtours will act as if they are going to do something but then they end up doing the exact opposite thing. The information was shocking that Michael Dobbs gave it really looked into the moral challenges and the ethics of law in the united states. The book changed the way I think about this topic from a very strong stance that the Saboteurs were terrorist to a stance that some of them weren't here to blow things up. I thought this book also did a good job of showing how they prepared for the operation and gave a good image of what they were doing to prepare a quiz lake. I think that people who are into history books would enjoy this book because these are all true events in this book. Secondly, I think that people who like thrilling books would like this book because you never know if they are going to get caught or if they will make it. I think that people who like fantasy would not enjoy this book because it is very true and there is no change from the actual event that took place.

  • Wes Baker
    2019-06-02 02:06

    When I visited Horseshoe Curve in Pennsylvania a few years ago, I was surprised to discover a exhibit in the small museum at the foot of the hill about a team of Nazi saboteurs who were delivered to the U.S. in a U-boat at the beginning of American involvement in World War II and whose targets, among others, included the railroad that passes through Horseshoe Curve. It was the main track over the mountains of Pennsylvania and destroying that line would have cut off a large percentage of rail traffic between the Eastern Seaboard and the Mid-West. So, when I saw this book I picked it up to learn more about that mission. The full story, however, was disappointing. It's not completely the author's fault. In fact, Dobbs did an excellent job of research and writing for the book. It's just that the story didn't live up to its promise. Far from being anything like a crack squad of the SS's best, the two teams were a rag-tag lot who had little commitment to their mission. Worse, J. Edgar Hoover spun the case, which the FBI had initially bungled, in order to build the FBI's reputation. The facts were more like the Nazis in "Hogan's Heroes" meet the Keystone Cops. And then, even worse, the fate of the saboteurs was put into the hands of a military tribunal that lacked any legal expertise. In some ways, the most significant part of the book was the story of how Roosevelt set up the tribunal to arrive at what was practically a pre-determined verdict for the men . . . and the U.S. Supreme Court gave him a pass. Dobbs mentions in passing that the Supreme Court's decision in the case was used to support the use of tribunals for the War on Terror captives, but it is a fairly brief discussion and doesn't come to any conclusion about an extremely difficult legal dilemma. It seems we are left with Chief Justice Rehnquist's assessment from a 1999 speech: "While we would not want to subscribe to the full sweep of the Latin maxim Inter Arma Silent Leges (In a time of war, the laws are silent), perhaps we can accept the proposition that, though the laws are not silent in wartime, they speak with a muted voice." I'm sure that a legal scholar somewhere has done more to help us know where to draw that line, but here it is raised without any conclusion.

  • Gavin
    2019-06-06 01:47

    One word that describes the book, Saboteurs: The Nazi Raid on America by Michael Dobbs, would be treachery. The eight saboteurs had all previously lived in America before they returned to Germany. They were then chosen to be a part of the mission to destroy the American production plants and forms of transportation. They had friends and family in the U.S. and they betrayed them by attempting the acts of sabotage. They also put their families and friends in America under stress by taking part in the mission. I have always been interested in WWII so this book sounded interesting to me. One thing I learned was that the Germans were able to successfully put saboteurs on American soil. Even though the plan failed they were able to get the men into the U.S. which was shocking. Another thing I learned was that security in the U.S. was pretty bad. They were not prepared to defend the country very well. The Coast Guard was especially bad and ill-prepared. They were often unarmed and the patrol stations were miles apart. When one of the coast guardsmen first encountered the saboteurs he could not do anything because he was outnumbered 4-1 and was unarmed. Learning about the saboteurs really changed my perspective on the American security and how poorly put together it was at times during World War 2. One of the saboteurs tried to turn himself into the FBI and they thought it was a joke until he began to tell his story. If he had not done that they probably wouldn't have found them even after they ran into one of the coast guardsmen. Overall though this book was really good and I really enjoyed it. The way the events were described and the point of views of each person made the book very interesting. The way the author wrote the book was also really good. He was good at giving the perspective of everyone involved in ways that were intriguing and that made me want to continue reading. He never went on too long and got to the important events relatively quickly leaving out the long boring parts. I feel anyone who enjoys World War 2 or history would enjoy this book.

  • Adastra
    2019-06-11 04:13

    I'm a relative of one of the people who was involved with the Saboteurs. When I was 12 years old, I read my relative's own, unpublished account of these events. But now that I've read Michael Dobbs' excellent novelized retelling of these historical events, I know for certain why my relative's "memoirs" (which I'm currently re-reading) have never been accepted by any publisher; they sympathize with the one and only real Nazi among the Saboteurs. Naturally I knew the ending of the book from the memoirs, but despite that the book never gets boring. On the contrary - reading about how the FBI screwed this case up makes you doubt their entire credibility. Six of the saboteurs were executed, two were imprisoned. Only one of them still believed in Nazi ideology, none of them had the slightest intend to fulfill their sabotage plans - they all viewed "Operation Pastorius" as a means to escape the corrupted fatherland and continue their former lives in the USA. But for publicity's sake they were executed nevertheless, and even those who ratted them out, those who were the only reason why the FBI even caught the saboteurs, were imprisoned instead of being treated as the heroes they should have been.

  • Sally
    2019-06-11 23:11

    An indepth study of eight saboteurs who landed in America in 1942 with the express purpose of sabotage. The reality behind this is fascinating in that most of the men were not diehard Nazis. Some wanted to come to the US because they had family there, one thought that he could actually engage in antiNazi propaganda. Both the training of the men and their conduct once they landed seems more like the Three Stooges than vicious combatants. All bought lots of new clothes, ate well, and visited family and friends. Ironically some even watched the movie The Invaders aka The 49th Parallel, about a group of Nazi saboteurs who land in Canada and are eventually captured (this British film starred Leslie Howard, Raymond Massey, and Laurence Olivier among others). I'm not crazy about how much of what was in the minds and speech of the saboteurs is presented as fact, although one of them gave over 250 pages of deposition so there was obviously a lot to work from. Six of the eight were executed, and the other two sent back to Germany after the war. Some very disturbing parallels between the military tribunal constituted here and the ones created after 9/11, both of which seem to rest on very shaky legal grounds,

  • Curtis Edmonds
    2019-06-19 01:07

    The mission of eight German-American saboteurs to infiltrate the United States during the Second World War was impressively well-documented, which is a good thing, because otherwise no one would ever believe the degree to which the whole thing was completely, totally, utterly bollixed up by everyone involved. Almost every single person involved, with the singular exception of Franklin D. Roosevelt, showed a shocking degree of incompetence and stupidity. The only thing that was handled well was the prompt execution of the spies--even though they never harmed the hair on one person's head the whole time.Michael Dobbs has done a tremendous job of storytelling, and his portrait of wartime America is packed with delicious and telling detail. Dobbs makes the idiot saboteurs seem appealing, almost sympathetic, and is unafraid to point out the ham-handed way in which J. Edgar Hoover and his crew handled the investigation. SABOTEURS is a splendid read for anyone with in interest in the wartime period, jurisprudence, and the myriad ways in which things can get fouled up beyond all recognition.

  • Donna
    2019-06-19 23:04

    I have NEVER taken a month to read a book unless it was along the lines of War & Peace, Gone w/ the Wind, The Bible, etc....OMG, this was awful. A) I was hobbled by working night shift. (Not easy to have a routine when you're fighting to get regular stuff done, let alone, leisurely reading.)B) Despite my fascination w/ the subject I was bored senseless by this book. I was bogged down by a lot of detail, i.e. names, locations, etc. I found some things, particularly a Nazi government organization, mentioned that I have to assume the author assumed the reader should know. Despite my level of education I didn’t know what some of these things were. Also, I was hoping for a bit more anecdotal organization but was disappointed. Overall I was looking for a higher entertainment factor but didn’t find it.Regardless of my negative impression of this title I hope you will still read it. Our culture has always been guilty of sanitizing history & I feel that this is a subject that got “boxed up” & then tucked on one of the high shelves in the garage, so to speak. Drag it down & go through it, like an old box of pictures.

  • Todd Stockslager
    2019-06-22 23:53

    Well-written cautionary tale of eight amateurish Nazi saboteurs sent to the US by submarine in 1942. One of the two groups landed on Long Island, and were immediately spotted by a Coast Guard watchman. Not to worry, both the would-be spies and the Coast Guard botched events so royally that the spies got away, but then the spy leader called the FBI to turn the group in the next day!The second group of four faired somewhat better, landing in Florida and making their way to Chicago and New York before being captured based on the rambling 250-page confession the Long Island leader gave to the FBI. Within two weeks all eight were in custody.Dobbs writes a tight, concise, fast-moving narrative, that frames the bizarre and unusual aspects of the planning, capture, and trial, while dealing with the contemporary and current legal and political issues of how to deal with plain-clothes spies trying to cause pain and suffering in the United States.

  • Dave Hoff
    2019-06-15 03:57

    Author put a lot of research of the 8 would be saboteurs. Their lives, training and landing on the US shore. Operation Pastorius makes the Keystone Kops look professional And sadly so does the various US govt, agencies as they are more concerned with protecting their turf, than conducting a good investigation. Luck was with the lone Coast Guard beach patrolman that the Nazis didn't kill him & he as able to report the landing of the saboteurs on Long Island. After much ball fumbling the CG Intells followed up on a clue and the FBI did their thing, and all ended happy, with J. Edgers Hoovers getting his day in the sun, but resenting the CGs.

  • Dan Churchill
    2019-06-04 03:52

    Well written historical narrative describing an almost laughable attempt by Nazi Germany to inflict damage on American wartime industry and morale. At the same time, this is a sobering account of how unprepared America was for the realities of war without fixed lines of battle. It is also an embarrassing tale of the misrepresentation of facts by Hoover's FBI to make themselves look like heroes, as well as the infighting that often occurred between Hoover's FBI and the other defense and law enforcement bodies like the Coast Guard, Secret Service, and Army Intelligence, who should have been working together for the good of the country.

  • Dennis Willingham
    2019-06-06 05:58

    Two fasinating stories in this book - first, the selection, training, infiltration and capture of the Keystone Kops like saboteurs and second, the decision of FDR to use a military tribunal to try them. Interesting fact, Lincon and FDR were the prime proponents and users of the military tribunal to deal with enemy combatants and set the precidence for Bush. Much of the debate surrounding the use of the tribunal rather than civil courts or military courts martial is identical to today, history truly does repeat its self over and over.

  • Jason
    2019-05-27 03:58

    I remember buying this when it hit paperback, which was about ten years ago. I'm hitting myself for neglecting it since then. This is an incredible work of non-fiction, well-written and thoughtful. It concerns the botched German raid on America during WWII, and it kind of plays out like a Coen brothers film--it's tense, but there's an undeniable bit of weird humor that ties it together. In fact, I'm amazed this hasn't been made into a film.

  • Wayland Smith
    2019-06-25 23:48

    This is a well researched history of the nearly successful espionage mission against the US by Nazi Germany in World War II. It's actually frightening to see how close they came. The author has done extensive research, and it shows.It's not a light read, but it's well written. Recommended for those interested in US History and the World War II era. The author also draws some good comparisons between this mission and the 9/11 attacks, which are also well thought out. A good book.

  • Daniel Fulmer
    2019-06-11 04:05

    I have always been fascinated by the story of the German saboteurs landed by sub off Long Island and Jacksonville, FL. They actually rendezvoused in my old NYC neighborhood when I was a child. This I learn from this very interesting book. The aspect that particularly got my attention was how bumbling was both the prep and work of the saboteurs and the apprehension and trial by US. Not the last time that dots weren't properly connected!

  • Katie
    2019-06-15 23:13

    I had never learned about the attempt by the Nazis to sabotage industrial/rail sites here in the US. The narrative was very well told, and the second half (after they were caught) was fascinating. The parallels between this case and the 9/11 and Guantanamo detainees are striking, and really makes one think.I've read two books by Michael Dobbs, and he does historical accounts very very well.

  • Jay Lopez
    2019-06-15 05:51

    This was an alright book but I was uncontent with the fact that the story could've been a bit more intriguing. Dobbs had the perfect World War 2 saboteur scenario but stuck more to the hard facts, rather than amping it up a bit and adding detail. It wasen't what I expected but at least I was not fully disappointed.

  • Matthew
    2019-06-05 03:43

    When I set out to read about Nazi saboteurs who raided America during WWII, I guess I was hoping for something special - in fact, this raid failed upon arrival because the Nazi's turned themselves in. So, yeah, that happened. The rest of the book is INTERESTING but not necessarily COMPELLING. Really disappointing in the sense that there was no suspense.

  • Marilyn
    2019-06-06 03:01

    As a World War 2 history buff, I recently learned about this unusual story of eight men who landed on United States soil with the intent to destroy and wreak havoc having been delivered by a two German U-boats. But one man's intention was to thwart the attacks by betraying his comrades to J. Edgar Hoover. This is an interesting, little known piece of history.

  • Ants
    2019-06-25 03:06

    Firstly, I am jealous of the documentation and archives the author had to work from. However, under the circumstances, it is not surprising.The book is a real treat. The details are fabulous and offer a picture of history that can not be presented without them. Read. Enjoy.

  • Robert Morrow
    2019-06-01 03:13

    A book that doesn't live up to its spy-story-with-intrigue-billing but instead becomes a story with great insight on how individuals simply don't matter when the great bureaucracies decide to go to war with each other. The four saboteurs combined naivete and stupidity, not fanaticism and daring.

  • Edward Newman
    2019-05-28 06:47

    Terrific read-the whole story is fascinating, but of particular interest is how the concern to cover over the FBI's blunders resulted in a flawed trial and a horrific Supreme Court decision-which has come back to haunt us more than seventy years later!

  • Emily
    2019-06-15 02:04

  • Mark
    2019-06-01 00:01

    Readable book about catching Nazi spies in 1942... since it has become vogue to trash J. Edgar Hoover & the FBI, I have a hard time telling what is fact & what is hyperbole.

  • Brian Jondle
    2019-06-26 07:00

    Interesting story about attempted Nazi attacks on US soil.

  • Sonya Carlson
    2019-05-30 23:45

    I felt sorry for this group of rag-tag totally unprepared sort of Nazis. Too bad they had to die.