Book cover image for: Long Night of the Tankers: Hitler’s War Against Caribbean Oil

Long Night of the Tankers: Hitler's War Against Caribbean Oil

David J. Bercuson and Holger H. Herwig

$34.95 CAD / $39.95 USD (S)

368 pages, 24 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-759-7 (Paperback)

974-1-55238-761-0 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-55238-762-7 (ePub)

June 2014

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About the Book

Operation Neuland was the name given to the German plan to interrupt Allied oil supply by preventing tankers from leaving oil refineries in the Caribbean during World War II. Drawing on extensive primary sources and first-hand accounts, Long Night of the Tankers details its planning, execution, and following diplomatic, political, and military fallout.

Long Night of the Tankers presents a fresh account of a lesser-known but critical component of the Atlantic naval theatre during World War II.

Using war diaries, after-action reports, and first-hand accounts, authors David J. Bercuson and Holger H. Herwig examine the story behind Operation Neuland, the German plan to interrupt vital oil supplies from reaching the United States and the United Kingdom by preventing Allied oil tankers from leaving refineries in the Caribbean.

The story begins in February 1942 and follows this German attempt to scuttle the Allied war machine through to the end of the war. Told largely from the German perspective, it details the planning and execution of the Germans and the diplomatic, political, and military responses of the Allies, particularly the United States, to overcome the German effort.

About the Authors

David J. Bercuson is Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. He has published in a wide range of topics, specializing in modern Canadian politics, Canadian defence and foreign policy, and Canadian military history. In 2003, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Holger H. Herwig is the Canada Research Chair in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies and a professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary. He has published numerous books and articles on World War I and other topics in military history.

Praise for Long Night of the Tankers

This is an excellent book, well worth reading.

—Diana L. Ahmed, Naval Historical Foundation

A highly readable and at times suspenseful history . . . compelling.

—Rüdiger Graf, Canadian Journal of History 

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: "Rum and Coca-Cola:" The Yankees are Coming!
Chapter 2: Attack on Aruba
Chapter 3: Long Night of the Tankers
Chapter 4: Martinique
Chapter 5: "The Ferret of Port of Spain"
Chapter 6: War Comes to St. Lucia
Chapter 7: Torpedo Junction
Chapter 8: Hunting Off the Orinoco
Chapter 9: War Beneath the Southern Cross
Chapter 10: The Allies Regroup
Chapter 11: White Christmas
Chapter 12: The Allies Strike Back
Chapter 13: A Hard War: Hartenstein and U-156
Chapter 14: High Noon in the Caribbean and the South Atlantic
Chapter 15: Gundown: U-615 and U-161



WINNER, NASOH John Lyman Book Award for U.S. Naval History | 2014