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Why Was the U.S. So Unprepared for This U-Boat Attack?

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»Hitler's Revenge

Why Was the U.S. So Unprepared for This U-Boat Attack?

Short | 02:19

After three weeks at sea, German submarine U-123 sails by the coast of New York and immediately finds a potential target: the large British oil tanker, Coimbra. The ease of the attack raises questions about why the U.S. wasn't more prepared.

More About This episode

Just one month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, another enemy brought World War II to American shores, not through the air but beneath the sea. This is the story of Operation Drumbeat, German Admiral Karl Donitz's campaign to send U-boats to the doorstep of the U.S. and attack Allied merchant shipping from Newfoundland to North Carolina. Through archival war footage and military expert testimony, we reveal how the Nazis managed to hammer our coast again and again and why the U.S. Navy was unable to stop them.

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