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Download The Wolf: How One German Raider Terrorized the Allies in the Most Epic Voyage of WWI Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Wolf: How One German Raider Terrorized the Allies in the Most Epic Voyage of WWI, by Richard Guilliatt, Peter Hohnen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (102 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Guilliatt, Peter Hohnen Narrator: Michael Page Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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On November 30, 1916, an apparently ordinary freighter left harbor in Kiel, Germany, and would not touch land again for another fifteen months. It was the beginning of an astounding 64,000-mile voyage that was to take the ship around the world, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation in her wake. For this was no ordinary freighter—this was the Wolf, a disguised German warship.

In this gripping account of an audacious and lethal World War I expedition, Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen depict the Wolf ’s assignment: to terrorize distant ports of the British Empire by laying minefields and sinking freighters, thus hastening Germany’s goal of starving her enemy into submission. Yet to maintain secrecy, she could never pull into port or use her radio, and to comply with the rules of sea warfare, her captain fastidiously tried to avoid killing civilians aboard the merchant ships he attacked, taking their crews and passengers prisoner before sinking the vessels.

The Wolf thus became a huge floating prison with more than 400 captives, including a number of women and children, from twenty-five different nations. Sexual affairs were kindled between the German crew and some female prisoners. A six-year-old American girl, captured while sailing across the Pacific with her parents, was adopted as a mascot by the Germans.

Forced to survive on food and fuel plundered from other ships, facing death from scurvy, and hunted by the combined navies of five Allied nations, the Germans and their prisoners came to share a common bond. The will to survive transcended enmities of race, class, and nationality.

It was to be one of the most daring clandestine naval missions of modern times. Under the command of Captain Karl Nerger, who conducted his deadly business with an admirable sense of chivalry, the Wolf traversed three of the world’s major oceans and destroyed more than thirty Allied vessels.

We learn of the world through which the Wolf moved, with all its social divisions and xenophobia, its bravery and stoicism, and its combination of old-world social mores and rapid technological change. The story of this epic voyage is a vivid real-life narrative and simultaneously a richly detailed picture of a world being profoundly transformed by war.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "The Wolf is one of the strangest, and strangely thrilling, war-at-sea adventures I have ever read. It captures the excitement but also the moral ambiguity of war, with intriguing characters cast upon a vast stage.”

    Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder: Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941–1945

  • "The Wolf is an extraordinary work of storytelling and scholarship. From the very first pages, Guilliatt and Hohnen snap this ship’s dramatic journey into brilliant focus, and you feel for these people, get to know them, and you root for them to survive. This is history brought vividly to life. This otherwise unknown story of the Great War has found its great chroniclers.”

    Doug Stanton, author of Horse Soldiers and In Harm’s Way

  • “To the short list of must-read nautical adventures, add Guilliatt’s and Hohnen’s The Wolf, a chronicle worthy of Conrad. I thought I was a student of military and naval history, but until I read this powerful and engrossing tale of tragedy, survival and heroism I had no idea that such an epic journey had occurred. Taut, poignant, and evocative, you can taste the salt wind in your face and smell the blood in the water, but you can’t put the book down.”

    Robert Drury, coauthor, Halsey’s Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Al | 8/27/2013

    " Interesting story of a neglected aspect of WW I. This is about a German commerce raider, "Wolf", and it's round the world voyage with a load of prisoners from the ships it sunk. Good story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Friedrich Haas | 7/5/2013

    " Aninteresting look at a very different experience of war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Gary Wallis | 6/21/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Andrew McMillen | 3/26/2013

    " A breathtaking read. An incredible tale, told by a master storyteller. So glad I read this. "

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About the Author

Richard Guilliatt has been a journalist for thirty years and is the author of Talk of the Devil: Repressed Memory and the Ritual Abuse Witch-Hunt. Born in the UK, he was a feature writer at the Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, before moving to New York in 1986 to work as a freelance writer. His work has appeared in many leading newspapers and magazines, including the Independent, the Sunday Times Magazine, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He is currently a staff writer at the Weekend Australian Magazine in Sydney. In 2000 he won Australia’s highest award for magazine feature writing, the Walkley Award.