HJC: Paterson is from New Zealand but now lives in England. . .
TPS: Yes, he moved there many years ago to try and break into their music scene. He is an accomplished drummer and a well read enthusiast who loves to scuba dive on wrecks off the French and English coast. He is also the author of two unique U-boat books — First U-Boat Flotilla and Second U-boat Flotilla, both published here in the states by Naval Institute Press. He has a new book coming out soon about a heavily photographed war patrol on Reinhard “Teddy” Suhren’s U-564. I have seen parts of it, and it will be very, very well received.
HJC: I think the first Paterson chapter goes a long way toward conveying the complex history of U-505 — the early success under Alex-Olaf Loewe, the terrible reign suffered under Zschech, including the mechanical failures and sabotage that could have easily caused the loss of the boat, and then along comes Harald Lange, who never really had a chance to show what he could do and gets caught up in the middle of Gallery’s Hunter Killer group.
TPS: Lange handled the T-25 destroyer rescue effort competently. Peter Zschech gets the most attention in published sources because he committed suicide while the boat was under a severe depth-charge attack, but I think the commanders who bracketed him (Loewe and Lange) are more interesting. I think that comes out in this book in several of the Chapters.
HJC: I think so as well. The Enigma-Intelligence chapter was packed with detail but flowed well. It can be a difficult topic to write about in-depth and yet keep a reader’s interest. I did not know the intelligence story behind the capture of U-505.
TPS: Quite frankly, neither did I, at least to the extent presented by Mark Wise and Jak Mallmann Showell. Their chapter is called “Deciphering the U-Boat War.” Essentially they examine, as you say, in great detail, the development of the various antisubmarine agencies, how they operated, tracked boats, and so forth, and how advancing technology coupled with equipment captures ultimately doomed U-505.
HJC: I have several of Jak Mallmann Showell’s books. He has personal links to U-boats as his father lost his life on one.
TPS: Yes, I think it was U-377. It was the victim of a circular torpedo. Jak was great to work with. He is a superb researcher, a master of detail, and has done as much as anyone to preserve the memory of these men.
HJC: Can you tell me about Mark Wise? What is his background?
TPS: I like Mark a lot because, like me, he is a long suffering fan of the Minnesota Vikings [American football team], as is his wife! He graduated from the University of Minnesota and right now is in Africa someplace (I think on the Horn) working as an intelligence specialist in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His contribution, which was brought to my attention by Keith Gill, is grounded in his Master’s thesis on naval intelligence in the Battle of the Atlantic. Without question it is the latest research on the subject. Like Mulligan with the crew study, I don’t think anyone other than these two guys together could have written this type of article.