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The Wolf: A classic adventure story of how one ship took on the navies of the world in the First World War

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In the years 1916-1918, the Wolf, an ordinary freighter fitted-out with a hidden arsenal of weapons, was sent by Germany on one of the most daring clandestine naval missions of modern times. Under the command of Kapitan Karl Nerger, the ship undertook a continuous fifteen-month cruise in which she traversed three of the world's major oceans, destroyed more than thirty Alli In the years 1916-1918, the Wolf, an ordinary freighter fitted-out with a hidden arsenal of weapons, was sent by Germany on one of the most daring clandestine naval missions of modern times. Under the command of Kapitan Karl Nerger, the ship undertook a continuous fifteen-month cruise in which she traversed three of the world's major oceans, destroyed more than thirty Allied vessels and captured over 400 men, women and children. During this time the Wolf maintained radio silence and never pulled into port, surviving on fuel and food plundered from captured ships. Equipped with the era's newest technological marvels the Wolf was an instrument of terror in a new age of mechanised warfare. In The Wolf, Richard Guilliatt & Peter Hohnen bring this little-known story to life by drawing on dozens of eyewitness accounts, unpublished memoirs, declassified government files, newspaper reports and family archives unearthed during three years of intensive research in several countries. What emerges from these accounts is a richly-detailed picture of the world through which the Wolf moved, with all its social divisions and naked xenophobia, its spirit of bravery and stoicism, its paradoxical combination of old-world social mores and rapid technological change. This extraordinary adventure story exhibits the tremendous impact that one lone, audacious German warship made on the people of many nations during the final two years of the First World War.


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In the years 1916-1918, the Wolf, an ordinary freighter fitted-out with a hidden arsenal of weapons, was sent by Germany on one of the most daring clandestine naval missions of modern times. Under the command of Kapitan Karl Nerger, the ship undertook a continuous fifteen-month cruise in which she traversed three of the world's major oceans, destroyed more than thirty Alli In the years 1916-1918, the Wolf, an ordinary freighter fitted-out with a hidden arsenal of weapons, was sent by Germany on one of the most daring clandestine naval missions of modern times. Under the command of Kapitan Karl Nerger, the ship undertook a continuous fifteen-month cruise in which she traversed three of the world's major oceans, destroyed more than thirty Allied vessels and captured over 400 men, women and children. During this time the Wolf maintained radio silence and never pulled into port, surviving on fuel and food plundered from captured ships. Equipped with the era's newest technological marvels the Wolf was an instrument of terror in a new age of mechanised warfare. In The Wolf, Richard Guilliatt & Peter Hohnen bring this little-known story to life by drawing on dozens of eyewitness accounts, unpublished memoirs, declassified government files, newspaper reports and family archives unearthed during three years of intensive research in several countries. What emerges from these accounts is a richly-detailed picture of the world through which the Wolf moved, with all its social divisions and naked xenophobia, its spirit of bravery and stoicism, its paradoxical combination of old-world social mores and rapid technological change. This extraordinary adventure story exhibits the tremendous impact that one lone, audacious German warship made on the people of many nations during the final two years of the First World War.

30 review for The Wolf: A classic adventure story of how one ship took on the navies of the world in the First World War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Almost 100 years from the start of WWI and thousands of books written. The Wolf: The German Raider That Terrorized the Southern Seas During World War I in an Epic Voyage of Destruction and Gallantry demonstrates there are still stories of bravery and survival against the odds to be told. The Wolf chronicles the amazing voyage of a German commerce raider, a warship disguised as a commercial cargo vessel. The Wolf slips out of a northern German port and raids Allied shipping for the next fifteen m Almost 100 years from the start of WWI and thousands of books written. The Wolf: The German Raider That Terrorized the Southern Seas During World War I in an Epic Voyage of Destruction and Gallantry demonstrates there are still stories of bravery and survival against the odds to be told. The Wolf chronicles the amazing voyage of a German commerce raider, a warship disguised as a commercial cargo vessel. The Wolf slips out of a northern German port and raids Allied shipping for the next fifteen months. The Wolf sails around the tip of Africa into the Indian Ocean and out to the Pacific around Australia and New Zealand. She lays minefields off the coasts of South Africa, India, Australia, Malay Peninsula, New Zealand. All the while the Wolf captures and sinks Allied shipping, taking the crews of those ships prisoner. The book also tells the story of how the Allies had no idea what was going on for a very long time. Who gets blamed for the disappearing ships is a sad chapter as politicians lie and finger point in all directions. The chivalry of the German captain and crew is a last vestige of an earlier time. I really enjoyed this sea story. I hope you do too. 4 Stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John

    I love finding books about events I have never heard of before and this book covers one of them. The Wolf made a 444 day voyage from Germany to South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, the South Seas, Singapore and back to Germany with stopping in any ports. She refueled and reprovisioned herself by capturing other ships on the high seas. Often she was laying mines and in the process of capturing ships she managed to to take on board more than 400 of their crew and passengers captives. A fas I love finding books about events I have never heard of before and this book covers one of them. The Wolf made a 444 day voyage from Germany to South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, the South Seas, Singapore and back to Germany with stopping in any ports. She refueled and reprovisioned herself by capturing other ships on the high seas. Often she was laying mines and in the process of capturing ships she managed to to take on board more than 400 of their crew and passengers captives. A fascinating and well written book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    'Aussie Rick'

    This book is an interesting and easy to read account of a German commercial raider of WW1, SMS Wolf. The story is told from the point of view of the German crew and its victims and the story just races along. It’s a very interesting tale of a brave German crew but also highlights the tenacity and bravery of the victims captured by this raider and their year long confinement on board the SMS Wolf. Overall it’s an enjoyable book to read and offers the reader an insight into a different and mainly This book is an interesting and easy to read account of a German commercial raider of WW1, SMS Wolf. The story is told from the point of view of the German crew and its victims and the story just races along. It’s a very interesting tale of a brave German crew but also highlights the tenacity and bravery of the victims captured by this raider and their year long confinement on board the SMS Wolf. Overall it’s an enjoyable book to read and offers the reader an insight into a different and mainly untold history of the Great War.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    A fascinating book, providing an in-depth history of one of the more successful of World War One German Commerce Raiders as well as an explanation of the mechanisms of commerce warfare. SMS WOLF was a converted merchant ship, outfitted with guns, torpedoes, mines, and an aircraft, and loaded with enough coal and supplies to make an extended voyage. Her mission was to proceed to Britain’s faraway trade routes and cause disruption through mining of ports and destruction of ships. She returned to G A fascinating book, providing an in-depth history of one of the more successful of World War One German Commerce Raiders as well as an explanation of the mechanisms of commerce warfare. SMS WOLF was a converted merchant ship, outfitted with guns, torpedoes, mines, and an aircraft, and loaded with enough coal and supplies to make an extended voyage. Her mission was to proceed to Britain’s faraway trade routes and cause disruption through mining of ports and destruction of ships. She returned to Germany after 444 days at sea, having sunk over 110,000 tons of shipping (mostly through mines laid at unsuspecting ports). Her success and longevity stemmed from a strict policy of taking prisoners vice releasing captured crews and a high-level game of information warfare. The first full picture the British authorities had of her presence in the Western Pacific was through a message in a bottle dropped by one of the merchant seaman imprisoned onboard, but only given to the government officials months after she had started her return transit. The story itself rivals any fictional tale, containing military action, social drama, and plenty of intrigue. The author includes deep analysis of commerce warfare, explaining that the WOLF’s secrecy of operations actually limited her success, even though it assured her survival. Commerce warfare which isn’t publicized doesn’t prevent sailings or increase insurance rates, negating the secondary effects which are crucial to its success. My one complaint, the long background stories on individual Prisoner’s personal dramas, though entertaining, did distract from the focus on the overall story. Highly recommended for those wanting to better understand WWI’s merchant raider methodology and read about a great, and true, nautical tale.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    The story of the German Raider, The Wolf, is a story of chivalry, courage, deceit and cunning. In this book, you'll find stories from survivors and seamen. You'll see how cummunist agitators on this vesel almost ruined everything. You'll see how the prisoners on board left with a totally different opinion of the Germans than what they had before. You'll also see the war as a whole and how this raider effected it. This boat was out at sea for around a year, from South Africa to India to Australia The story of the German Raider, The Wolf, is a story of chivalry, courage, deceit and cunning. In this book, you'll find stories from survivors and seamen. You'll see how cummunist agitators on this vesel almost ruined everything. You'll see how the prisoners on board left with a totally different opinion of the Germans than what they had before. You'll also see the war as a whole and how this raider effected it. This boat was out at sea for around a year, from South Africa to India to Australia, the Pacific and back. Throughout, the Allies tried to cover up its very exitence and rather using the sinking around their coasts to persecute innocent Germans. The raider's mines are still being found as recently as 2008, but it's legacy lays with it's captain's true chivalry. I highly recommend to all interested in war, politics, spying, honour, history, adventure, manliness, chivalry and survival.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    In 1916, at the height of World War I, a seemingly mundane freighter left port in Germany. It was no ordinary ship, however, and the voyage on which it was embarking would become one of the most audacious and successful of its kind, for the Wolf was, in fact, a German commerce raider, and one that would not only sink 37 trading vessels and enemy warships, but stay at sea continuously for more than 450 days while serving as home to more than 400 prisoners - including women and children - from 25 In 1916, at the height of World War I, a seemingly mundane freighter left port in Germany. It was no ordinary ship, however, and the voyage on which it was embarking would become one of the most audacious and successful of its kind, for the Wolf was, in fact, a German commerce raider, and one that would not only sink 37 trading vessels and enemy warships, but stay at sea continuously for more than 450 days while serving as home to more than 400 prisoners - including women and children - from 25 nations. This is both a well-researched work of history and an entertaining and gripping seafaring tale, giving as it does a vivid view into the lives of not only the German crew, but the Americans, Britons, Australians, Kiwis, Japanese, Spaniards and others who came to be imprisoned on Captain Karl Nerger's raider. "The Wolf" reads like a novel, and the authors expertly weave together the stories of several of the captives while putting the entire tale in the context of a world in transition from the days of Victorian chivalry to the beginnings of modern industrial society. Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Socraticgadfly

    Fascinating tale. I'm pretty well read on WWI and I'd never before heard this story. Synopsis without actual spoilers. Picture a commerce raider, disguised as a freighter, but armed with 5.9 inch main guns and torpedo tubes, plus mines for mine-laying, that sneaks out of Germany, captures more than a dozen ships — with no time-of-capture casualties other than one Japanese ship that resisted — lays all of its mines (with many later successes from them) and eventually gets back to Germany — with a Fascinating tale. I'm pretty well read on WWI and I'd never before heard this story. Synopsis without actual spoilers. Picture a commerce raider, disguised as a freighter, but armed with 5.9 inch main guns and torpedo tubes, plus mines for mine-laying, that sneaks out of Germany, captures more than a dozen ships — with no time-of-capture casualties other than one Japanese ship that resisted — lays all of its mines (with many later successes from them) and eventually gets back to Germany — with a couple hundred prisoners in its hold. And, those prisoners are British, Japanese, some Swedish, Australian, Chinese, etc. == The book almost lost a star early on. The authors accept Wilson's definition of US neutrality at face value, and then initially appear to accept the "poor Lusitania" story. They mostly — but not quite entirely — right the ship, so to speak, a few pages later. They note the Lusitania was carrying munitions as well as passengers, though they neglect to note it was armed. They do point out the British blockade by extension and use of food as a blockade tool were as illegal under international law as German submarine war.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philippe

    Story of a lesser known German raider during WWI. This extraordinary voyage from Kiel to New Zealand and back to Kiel took well over a full year. The ship never went into a harbor during this time, coaled at sea from captured ships. The story of other raiders are better known and celebrated but this one is the real deal. (Emden, Seeadler) Horrible living conditions on board, because of the influx of captured crews and passengers made it a challenge to keep discipline. Diseases amongst captured an Story of a lesser known German raider during WWI. This extraordinary voyage from Kiel to New Zealand and back to Kiel took well over a full year. The ship never went into a harbor during this time, coaled at sea from captured ships. The story of other raiders are better known and celebrated but this one is the real deal. (Emden, Seeadler) Horrible living conditions on board, because of the influx of captured crews and passengers made it a challenge to keep discipline. Diseases amongst captured and captors because of deficiency in Vitamin C, meager food rations made this a hellish trip. The book is factual narrative of the trip intertwined with stories of interaction between the Germans and captured passengers and officers. Complicating it all was the presence of several captured women. It also goes into detail how by trying to keep the actions of the raider a secret and creating fictitious stories of sabotage and spies the Australian and New Zealand government put other ships at risk and created an environment of hysteria against people of German origin. Well worth reading.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    What a great gem. This is a well documented story, that the authors have made into a readable and human adventure. This is somewhere between a war memoir and naval history book as we follow the launching of the Wolf in Nov 1916 to its return to Germany in Feb 1918. It travels the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, sinking 30 ships. The ship is unusual in that it is an armed merchant ship that takes on all prisoners from the ships it sinks. Almost as riveting as the constant adventures of the What a great gem. This is a well documented story, that the authors have made into a readable and human adventure. This is somewhere between a war memoir and naval history book as we follow the launching of the Wolf in Nov 1916 to its return to Germany in Feb 1918. It travels the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, sinking 30 ships. The ship is unusual in that it is an armed merchant ship that takes on all prisoners from the ships it sinks. Almost as riveting as the constant adventures of the ship itself are the interactions of the multi-national group on the vessel and the actions of governments ashore that mis-lead and mis-inform the public as to what is actually happening. The book bogs down a little in the middle when the authors delve into Australian politics, but overall this is a fascinating book. Even if you aren't interested in this era, I would still recommend this book. Solid 4 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    This book was a little dull. It tries to compete in the genre of Unbroken or Flyboys, story driven books about a specific part of war, but it comes up short. The story itself doesn't seem interesting enough for an entire book. There are more interesting books about WWI and more interesting books about long sea voyages. This book was a little dull. It tries to compete in the genre of Unbroken or Flyboys, story driven books about a specific part of war, but it comes up short. The story itself doesn't seem interesting enough for an entire book. There are more interesting books about WWI and more interesting books about long sea voyages.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gary Wallis

    Good book. gives you the feel of what it`s like to be on a German Auxilliary Raider in World War 1. A good example of one of the most successful of ww1 raiders that have been completely forgotten by history. Good book. gives you the feel of what it`s like to be on a German Auxilliary Raider in World War 1. A good example of one of the most successful of ww1 raiders that have been completely forgotten by history.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The Wolf is a well researched and well written book it is easily read and very interesting. The book brought to light an interesting and not well know chapter in WWI naval history.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Zare

    Excellent book about a German WW1 commercial raider (heavily armed merchant ship aiming for oppositions cargo and transportation convoys) SMS Wolf whose role was downplayed by Allies although ship accomplished something that no ship ever did - stay afloat and execute raids for more than 400 days on the open sea without any base of operations. Ship roamed every world ocean during 400+ days, executed harbor mining of key Allied ports and attacked commercial freighters and caused loss of over 110000 Excellent book about a German WW1 commercial raider (heavily armed merchant ship aiming for oppositions cargo and transportation convoys) SMS Wolf whose role was downplayed by Allies although ship accomplished something that no ship ever did - stay afloat and execute raids for more than 400 days on the open sea without any base of operations. Ship roamed every world ocean during 400+ days, executed harbor mining of key Allied ports and attacked commercial freighters and caused loss of over 110000 tons of shipping to the Allies. Besides the action of the ship itself, which are quite amazing, main topic of the book are the stories of the crew, captured prisoners of war and relations between them. It is interesting how some things never change. Censorship on Allied side that wanted to shut down any story about the German auxiliary cruiser operating in the Far East and around Australia and New Zealand by pushing stories about German spies and saboteurs planting bombs on merchant ships caused terrible issues on multiple fronts. First it caused ship losses because standard precautions like encrypting messages and like weren't used thus enabling Wolf to easily attack its prey. Second it caused hate against Australians and New Zealanders of German origin that had to migrate back to Germany at the end of the war. Unlike Japanese immigrant internship in America during the WW2 I never heard about the internship of citizens of German origin in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (this one got me truly going what?) and any other British colony/protectorate in the between. The way Germans were portrayed in Allied media was also a surprise to me. Germans did start the war but level of demonization and representation of Germans as Huns (as in Atilla the Hun's Huns) is truly terrible and awful. Considering this and the way Nazi Germany used the media during WW2 makes me shudder when I think what can demagogues do with modern media in hands (and again it is not like we do not witness the abuse today). As Wolf captured ship after ship it slowly accumulated large number of prisoners - sailors from almost every part of the world but also passengers, men, women and children. As time passed by this caused issues with food shortages, outbreaks of thousand and one sea-faring disease and general depressing atmosphere on an overcrowded ship in tropical seas with less and less food as time passed by. It is interesting to see how prisoners made the internal divisions by race (very unflattering view of the Asians that during this pandemic starts to pop up again) and even within the same race (general view that all Scandinavians are German sympathizers). Constant bickering, problems caused by the presence of women among the men living among men for months, captured officers seeking elite prisoner status and better conditions - entire ship was snapshot of the world at the time, with all issues that come with it. Book goes into detail about those prisoners (like Cameron family) and German officers and crewmen (captain Nerger among them) that wrote about their experiences after the war. We follow prisoners as they try to survive on overcrowded ship in degrading conditions, marvel at the Germans because they behave differently than media represents them and experience constant emotional ups and downs as hopes for being released on any of the many islands get crushed by reality - Germans simply cannot allow their prisoners to inform the Allies of the raider's presence in the area. On the other hand we follow German officers as they try to control the crew during the highly demanding voyage, crew living in conditions that are little better than the way prisoners live, constantly loading coal from captured ships on a calm and stormy seas, utter despair after year of travel because they do not know if and when will their travel finally end, will they ever see their families, and after hearing rumors about situation in Germany question arises what will they find when they come back home. Authors write in quite a capturing way. There is not a single surplus page in this book. Story flows very naturally and keeps the reader's attention to the very end. Final chapters are bitter sweet because at that point reader will be emotionally linked not only to the prisoners but also to the German crew. These chapters describe the fates of all personas in the book, from German crew to the prisoners, and most importantly fate of the SMS Wolf itself. Raider that caused havoc behind enemy lines was downplayed by the Allies because it had to fit the narrative. How can one admit that single ship slipped through so many blockades of Allied forces and made an round-the-globe trip starting from and ending in Kiel, Germany. Raider finally ended its life after a decade of post-war service as a merchant vessel. Exceptional book for anyone interested in naval history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Arrel

    Fascinating WWI story about the German raider-ship Wolf and its Captain Karl Nerger. This ship was at sea for 444 days, traveling over 64,000 miles without ever stopping in a port - an amazing feat considering the numerous countries looking to destroy this ship (all the while denying its existence and any loss of shipping associated with it). The Wolf laid mines all over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and sank or damaged over 30 ships while losing only a handful of crew and prisoners - Fascinating WWI story about the German raider-ship Wolf and its Captain Karl Nerger. This ship was at sea for 444 days, traveling over 64,000 miles without ever stopping in a port - an amazing feat considering the numerous countries looking to destroy this ship (all the while denying its existence and any loss of shipping associated with it). The Wolf laid mines all over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans and sank or damaged over 30 ships while losing only a handful of crew and prisoners - which included men, women, and children passengers in addition to crew members. All the while observing strict "polite" treatment of his "prisoners." At times, up to 750 folks onboard! Thousands of tons of coal needed to continue the voyage, as well as supplies and foodstuffs came entirely from captured ships. Getting safely home involved evading not only the Allied blockade of the Baltic Sea entrance but marauding German U-boats as well. No problem for Captain Nerger. The authors have done a commendable job of documenting not only the voyage of this German raider but also the lives of those involved, including crew members as well as passengers and crew of captured and mostly destroyed ships - several were used as converted raiders and prisoner-transport ships. Anyone interested in WWI history or maritime warfare will thoroughly enjoy this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vic Lauterbach

    This is a great seafaring story in the classic tradition yet told with a careful eye for our much greater knowledge of the events portrayed than the people who participated in them possessed. Authors Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen tell a stirring tale of seamanship and courage without any whitewash. Virtue is acknowledged but so are vices and human frailties. The jingoism and bigotry that was common on both sides during the First World War is portrayed, but so are unexpected friendships and This is a great seafaring story in the classic tradition yet told with a careful eye for our much greater knowledge of the events portrayed than the people who participated in them possessed. Authors Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen tell a stirring tale of seamanship and courage without any whitewash. Virtue is acknowledged but so are vices and human frailties. The jingoism and bigotry that was common on both sides during the First World War is portrayed, but so are unexpected friendships and camaraderie that developed between both allies and enemies. The hardships endured by the men and women aboard SMS Wolf and her prize ships is both staggering and inspiring. This is a detailed account of one "minor" episode in a global war that tells us much more about the world of 1917-18 than many survey histories of larger, "more important" events. Guilliatt and Hohnen bring the period to life in the experiences of a few hundred people crowded together at sea for 15 months. I highly recommend this very enjoyable and informative book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maurice Tougas

    During the First World War, what appeared to be an ordinary freighter left harbour in Kiel, Germany. It was, in fact, a disguised German warship, The Wolf. The Wolf would not return to Germany for an amazing 444 days, travelling 64,000 miles in one unbroken voyage, equivalent to nearly three circumnavigations of the globe, without pulling into any port. The Wolf was a raider; it would stop enemy ships, raid it of all its valuable cargo (especially coal, which fired The Wolf's engines), take ever During the First World War, what appeared to be an ordinary freighter left harbour in Kiel, Germany. It was, in fact, a disguised German warship, The Wolf. The Wolf would not return to Germany for an amazing 444 days, travelling 64,000 miles in one unbroken voyage, equivalent to nearly three circumnavigations of the globe, without pulling into any port. The Wolf was a raider; it would stop enemy ships, raid it of all its valuable cargo (especially coal, which fired The Wolf's engines), take everyone on board prisoner, and sink the ship. It mined harbours, and sank or damaged 30 ships. As many as 750 men - with a smattering of women and children - were crowded onto the ship. And remember ... it never once, in 444 days, docked anywhere. It's a remarkable story, whether told from the point of view of the nearly mutinous crew, or the prisoners crammed into filthy, disease-infested hold called, of course, the Hell Hole. It's a must read for war historians.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dom

    I wanted to like this book, especially since naval warfare during the First World War is absolutely fascinating. It is clear that a lot of work went into the research of this story. And I think that might be part of the problem? I know how dumb that might sound, but there is tons of information in this book that is factual, true, and sourced, but doesn't add to the story. This isn't an academic history book, it's non-fiction pop history. I don't need to know every single passenger and prisoners' I wanted to like this book, especially since naval warfare during the First World War is absolutely fascinating. It is clear that a lot of work went into the research of this story. And I think that might be part of the problem? I know how dumb that might sound, but there is tons of information in this book that is factual, true, and sourced, but doesn't add to the story. This isn't an academic history book, it's non-fiction pop history. I don't need to know every single passenger and prisoners' name, DOB, country of origin, occupation, favorite color, etc. That being said, it is still an interesting read and well researched so if you're craving some WWI naval history it's not a bad choice.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Very interesting story of a German commerce raider traversing the worlds oceans, taking cargo and prisoners, destroying ships, laying mines along sea lanes and evading (often narrowly) allied naval patrols. The book goes into detail about life aboard the ship (and its secondary raiders) for crew and prisoners, as well as their lives before and after the voyage. It also does a good job of providing context, detailing political and military realities, and their development throughout the Wolf’s vo Very interesting story of a German commerce raider traversing the worlds oceans, taking cargo and prisoners, destroying ships, laying mines along sea lanes and evading (often narrowly) allied naval patrols. The book goes into detail about life aboard the ship (and its secondary raiders) for crew and prisoners, as well as their lives before and after the voyage. It also does a good job of providing context, detailing political and military realities, and their development throughout the Wolf’s voyage, the world over. It also goes into great detail of the anti ethnic German hysteria that gripped Australia (and South Africa) throughout the First World War.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was a very interesting book. I know little about WWI and am working on correcting that. I had never even heard of the Wolf, and didn't know anything about merchant raiders before reading this book. The story of the Wolf's journey was itself enjoyable, but being able to also hear the perspectives of different prisoners and crew members aboard the ship was fascinating. It also blew my mind that some cargo ships were still sailing ships during WWI. It really was the bridge between the old worl This was a very interesting book. I know little about WWI and am working on correcting that. I had never even heard of the Wolf, and didn't know anything about merchant raiders before reading this book. The story of the Wolf's journey was itself enjoyable, but being able to also hear the perspectives of different prisoners and crew members aboard the ship was fascinating. It also blew my mind that some cargo ships were still sailing ships during WWI. It really was the bridge between the old world and the new. Highly recommended for anyone interested in WWI, ships or just history in general.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Vinther

    An extremely interesting look at a little known and seemingly forgotten part of World War I. The ship, named Wolf, sailed out into the Atlantic intent on wreaking havoc on shipping for the Allies in the Pacific and didn't not stop in a port for over a year, all the while capturing ships, stealing cargo and supplies, and taking on prisoners. The book shows the day to day struggles for prisoners and crew alike, and I recommend it to anyone who likes history books or WWI books. An extremely interesting look at a little known and seemingly forgotten part of World War I. The ship, named Wolf, sailed out into the Atlantic intent on wreaking havoc on shipping for the Allies in the Pacific and didn't not stop in a port for over a year, all the while capturing ships, stealing cargo and supplies, and taking on prisoners. The book shows the day to day struggles for prisoners and crew alike, and I recommend it to anyone who likes history books or WWI books.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Pretty amazing non fiction; 15 months at sea, the German raider avoids all contact. Puts out mines (that are activated when glass vials holding sulfuric acid are broken), capture other ships for their coal, munitions, food. Add to their responsibilities of housing and feeding hundreds of prisoners including women and children.

  22. 5 out of 5

    caleb J. klingler

    Was really hoping for a little more swashbuckling feel here. Most of the story was told through the eyes of civilian captives who were bored 99% of their captivity and that came out in the voices. I was interested to see the German officers and crew followed the edicts of war, which often times not to be associated with the German military.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John

    A very readable non fiction WW1 naval adventure. The authors have pieced together a German merchant raiders cruise where they took prizes of enemy freighters, mined enemy waters and kept alive over 700 prisoners. Recommended for all the sea story affictionados.

  24. 4 out of 5

    yvonne Calder

    I read this book in 2009 when it was first published. I enjoyed it immensely - also that it was a documented real account that challenges our beliefs. I think it would make a great epic movie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Entertaining tale of a Germain raider from World War 1 with detailed descriptions of its exploits and the lives of those on board. An important addition to the later history of WWI

  26. 5 out of 5

    Robin A. Nichols

    Time Well Enjoyed I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story itself falls into two of my favorite subjects, WWI and life at sea.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Scott Telfer

    Enjoyed reading this book, it is based on actual facts and corrects a lot mistake over the years by other writers. Easy to read and your interest is kept up. Bit of a page turner

  28. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Murchison

    Very good book. It tells the tale of a commerce raider from The Great War. It is well worth the read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    Couldn't put it down...true life story of a German Raider during World War 1 Couldn't put it down...true life story of a German Raider during World War 1

  30. 4 out of 5

    Head Mmoid

    This Wolf is a decent book, interesting in its way; but probably not among the best of the books on the subject. It is not a typical naval commerce raider book. Unlike most books about commerce raiders, The Wolf looks not only at the activities of the ship and crew, but also at its effects on the enemy, and most importantly, the reactions of the Royal Navy, the British Government, and the government of Australia. Covering the ways in which the enemies of the SMS Wolf addressed her activities is This Wolf is a decent book, interesting in its way; but probably not among the best of the books on the subject. It is not a typical naval commerce raider book. Unlike most books about commerce raiders, The Wolf looks not only at the activities of the ship and crew, but also at its effects on the enemy, and most importantly, the reactions of the Royal Navy, the British Government, and the government of Australia. Covering the ways in which the enemies of the SMS Wolf addressed her activities is by far the most notable feature of this book. The book, without being apologetic or self-serving, also offers a notably different view of the participants in the First World War; showing a kinder and more chivalrous view of the Germans; and a definitely less kind view of some of the Allied powers. As a recounting of the actions of a raider the book is a bit anemic. Quite simply, what happened to the Wolf wasn’t that exciting. Unlike many raiders, she successfully avoided contact with enemy military forces (thanks in great part to the lies and deceptions of the governments and militaries supposedly tasked with finding and destroying her). So, the critical activities were the interactions of the crew and the ever increasing number of prisoners kept onboard. The Wolf is a history, not a tale of exciting naval action. As such, it is not a book to be grabbed and read for fun. Its appeal would seem to be more specific; to those interested in the prosecution of naval operations during the First World War or interested in naval commerce raiding. For those with these interests, this book should be required reading.

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