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

Author(s): Eric Wiberg 

ISBN: 9781781557204
£21.00 £35.00
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 256 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 28 February 2019
ILLUSTRATIONS 10 black-and-white photographs



Eric Wiberg has delivered over thirty yachts to or from Bermuda since the 1980s. A maritime lawyer educated in Rhode Island, Boston, Oxford and Lisbon, this is his sixth book of nautical non-fiction and second of a trilogy. Originally from the Bahamas, he has worked and lived in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas, and has now settled outside New York where he works in the shipping industry. He came to know Bermuda’s maritime history during a 15-year, 100-vessel yacht-delivery and racing career, and has numerous helpful sources there.