The war reached North America in January 1942 with the beginning of Paukenschlag (Operation Drumbeat) orchestrated by Vice Admiral Karl Dönitz. Most American naval resources at the time were involved in North Atlantic convoys and the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts were  unprepared for defense against U-boat attacks.

Along the coast, ships sailed with no convoy protection, and civilian reluctance to conform with (initially) voluntary blackouts kept shore lights burning and ships silhouetted as easy targets for U-boats. During the first 6 months of 1942  U-boats sank or damaged hundreds of ships. More American seamen died in these attacks than were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

This fascinating book relates the events occurring during the desperate first half of 1942 through the eyes of a  U-boat commander  and a U.S. Army Air Force bomber pilot.