March 1944, Nazi Germany needs to turn the tide of the war. Ahron Roth, captain of submarine U931, is ordered by Himmler to transport two SS officers and a new ‘super weapon’ to America.
The Atlantic crossing is full of dangers, from air and sea. Roth, battling both the enemy and the SS, is unwillingly drawn deeper into the plot, whilst questioning the actions of Germany and himself.
Somehow, he must outwit Admiral Sullivan, RN, who has a score to settle, plus the allied intelligence agencies who are tracking the elusive subs’ movements; but are unaware of the secret operation.
Can Roth save his boat, his crew and complete the mission? Can he get back home, back to Ginette, his French love?
Will the allies discover the plot, before it’s too late?
Will it be enough to stop the planned invasion of France?
Can an attack on American soil even succeed?
CHAPTER 1 - FRANCE
The submarine was gliding effortlessly at fifteen knots through the cold, unusually calm dark waters of the North Atlantic as it sped east towards its home port on the French coast on this day, March 8th, 1944. The captain of U-931, Ahron Roth, looked up to the stars in the cloudless sky. He could find some solace from the enormity of the heavens above, no matter where he found himself, on land or sea. Towards the stern from his position on the bridge, the phosphorus green glow that trailed out from behind the sub’s wake was being highlighted by the light of the full moon and was giving away the sub’s position to any eagle-eyed air crew searching the waves for them. The white crested bow waves, with their silvery troughs, lapped around the front of the boat and then fed down along the sides, the sound of splashes against the hull the only noise he was aware of right now.
He was reflecting back on a poor hunt during the six weeks since they had left the relative safety of Saint-Nazaire and their fortified submarine pens. Only two hits on merchant ships, an estimated 12,000 tons of allied shipping either sunk or severely damaged. They had received the signal telling them to cut short their mission and return home a few days ago, why had they been told to go back so early, he had no idea, it was no use speculating, it could be one of many reasons. He’d learned a long time ago not to question the bureaucracy of the Kreigsmarine and its admirals. He sighed long and deep, his heart heavy. At this late stage of the war with the allies surely about to launch a second front in Western Europe at any moment, Nazi Germany's defeat was only a matter of time and yet he and his experienced crew had sent more merchant seamen to a watery grave over the last sixty-five days, it didn't sit right with the young veteran from Hamburg.
It had seemed so very different back in those heady days of '38 when he received his commission. As he now stared out into the gloom, he fingered the Iron cross that hung around his neck, given to him in October ‘39 by Admiral Doenitz for his service aboard U-47; at a ceremony on the quayside at Brest. The oak leaves that also adorned the medal were awarded 18 months later when his own achievements as a U-boat commander warranted them. The Knight’s cross with diamonds that he once coveted seemed a very distant goal now though.
The North Atlantic battle ground had been like a feeding frenzy for the German navy in the early years of the conflict. When Roth had enlisted back then he started out as a naive young man in the wolf packs of the Kreigsmarine, how times, and indeed he, had changed. Gone now was the self-assured, proud German whose strongest quality was his unnerving knack of doing the right thing when it mattered the most; ultimately keeping his crew safe over the years. He now questioned the path that Nazi Germany had taken during the last five years and how far down that path Hitler was prepared to go, possibly the total destruction of the fatherland?