Karl Baumann was born in the Ruhr Valley of Germany during the desperate and tumultuous years of the Great Depression. His pursuit of an occupation is hindered by an abbreviated formal education, unenthusiastic participation in the Hitler youth movement, and the whims of Nazi officials. Baumann's decision to become a sailor at the age of fourteen is both fortuitous and fateful. Baumann comes of age at sea with the German fishing and merchant fleets. He becomes a member of the Kriegsmarine's legendary U-boat force and participates in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. He also takes part in the underwater German counteroffensive that attempts to breach the English Channel and attack the Allied armada delivering troops and supplies onto the D-Day landing beaches. Baumann is one of only ten thousand U-boat crewmen who survives the war-and the even smaller fraternity of captured submariners. His personal struggle as a prisoner of war reaches across the Atlantic to a small POW camp located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. His unusual experiences at Camp Lyndhurst in Augusta County produce life-transforming consequences he never could have contemplated before his capture and imprisonment in the land of his sworn enemy.
Fully researched and footnoted, with fifty illustrations. The Longest Patrol is the captivating story of Karl Baumann's wartime odyssey.