U-Boats in New England: Submarine Patrols, Survivors and Saboteurs 1942-45

Author(s): Eric Wiberg 

ISBN: 9781781557204
$33.00 $47.00
An untold story about a remote stretch of much-trafficked ocean during the Second World War where hundreds of ships were sunk by Hitler’s U-Boats.
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  • U-boats penetrated Boston Harbor to lay military-grade mines 

  • Admiral Canaris and daredevil Otto Skorzeny trained a young American; other teams were inserted by U-boat in the Hamptons, Long Island, opposite Bar Harbor, Maine, and in New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy, Canada 

  • A US Navy ship sunk off Portland, Maine, led to the government denying the true cause of its destruction until the 1980s

  • German war dead litter New England from Newport to central Massachusetts: victims of suicides, grave robbers and deaths in hospitals, after U-boats were sunk or scuttled

  • All manner of vessels – fishing, naval, merchant, sailing and military – were sunk or used for rescue 

Starting weeks after Hitler declared war on the United States in mid-December 1941 and lasting until the war with Germany was all but over, seventy-six U-boats attacked New England waters from Montauk, New York, to the tip of Nova Scotia at Cape Sable.

Fifteen per cent of these boats were sunk by Allied counter-attacks, five surrendered in the region and three were sunk off either Block Island, Massachusetts Bay or Nantucket.

These have proven appealing to divers, and at least three German naval officers or ratings are buried in New England, one having committed suicide in a Boston jail. A dozen French and Italian submarines were drafted to New England for training and repairs, and many U-boats surrendered in the last week of the war, two arriving from Argentina.

The spies all made it to major cities where they betrayed each other and surrendered: most were executed. Over 1,100 men were thrown in the water – 545 of them made it ashore in New England ports and 428 were killed. Importantly, saboteurs were landed in three locations: Long Island, Frenchman’s Bay, Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, Also, Boston was heavily mined.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557204
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 448 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 17 October 2019
ILLUSTRATIONS 83 black-and-white photographs



Eric Wiberg has lived in New England for thirty years. In 1983, he moved to Massachusetts from the Bahamas for boarding school, then to Newport, which was his home-port for seventeen years. He became a yacht captain (US Merchant Marine license, 1995), obtained a maritime law degree (2004), and a masters in marine affairs (2005). The founder of Echo Yacht Delivery (1999), Wiberg sailed over 100 vessels from Maine to Long Island and globally. A Boston College graduate, he has lived or worked in Camden, Norwalk, Westport, and Charlestown. He studied geography in Oxford, law in Lisbon, and film in New York, including a little German. The author of a dozen non-fiction books, his focus is on maritime casualties. Having commercially operated a tanker fleet from Singapore, he works in the shipping industry in New York City, where he was born and lives. His son is Felix.