Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 123

BOOK REVIEWS Force pilot, 2nd Lt. Harry J. Kane, and Kapitänleutnant Horst Degen, the captain of German U-boat 701. The encounter reaches a climax on July 7, 1942 when Lt. Kane and his aircrew spot and sink Degen’s U-701. The event signals a turning point in the war against German submarines and sets the stage for a lifetime friendship between two former foes. America’s fortunes change through a variety of counter measures including escorting convoys, arming merchant ships, patrolling, and cracking German naval code. The stunning Allied turnaround against German U-boats culminated in a series of convoy battle victories in May 1943, which destroyed forty U-boats and forced the German navy to withdraw their forces from the North Atlantic. The author’s research is extensive and includes firsthand accounts that convey the harsh reality of life serving aboard a German U-boat. This book is best read by those interested in a broad historical overview of the Battle of the Atlantic and just how close the United States came to military defeat in early 1942. Jesse McIntyre III, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas THE LUCKY FEW: The Fall of Saigon and the Rescue Mission of the USS Kirk Jan K. Herman, U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2013, 192 pages, $39.95 T wo years after the United States withdrew from Vietnam under the auspices of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords, Saigon fell to the communists and the Republic of Vietnam ceased to exist. The images of the chaos that reigned as the North Vietnamese tanks surrounded and then stormed into the South Vietnamese capital city were seared into the memories of those who watched. Some of the most vivid of these images depicted panicked South Vietnamese citizens fleeing the North Vietnamese onslaught by sea to U.S. ships waiting offshore in the Tonkin Gulf. This group included the remnants of the South Vietnamese Navy and others who took to the sea in whatever vessels were available, as well as those who commandeered helicopters and flew out to meet the U.S. fleet. The Lucky Few tells the unique story of the crew of the USS Kirk, a destroyer that played a major role in MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 the 7th Fleet effort to assist people caught up in the fall of South Vietnam. Trained for war and expecting to be involved in combat, the crew of the Kirk found themselves involved in a massive humanitarian operation to save those who had managed to escape their dying nation. In the process, the Kirk played a major role in the rescue of 32,000 refugees and the escape of thirt