False Flags

Disguised German raiders of World War II

Author: Stephen Robinson

ISBN: 9781925335156

9781925335156-copy25False Flags tells the epic untold story of German raider voyages to the South Seas during the early years of World War II. In 1940 the raiders Orion, Komet, Pinguin and Kormoran left Germany and waged a ‘pirate war’ in the South Seas — part of Germany’s strategy to attack the British Empire’s maritime trade on a global scale.

Their remarkable voyages spanned the globe and are maritime sagas in the finest tradition of seafaring. The four raiders voyaged across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Arctic and Antarctic. They sank or captured 62 ships in a forgotten naval war that is now being told in its entirety for the first time. The Orion and Komet terrorised the South Pacific and New Zealand waters before Pearl Harbor when the war was supposed to be far away. The Pinguin sank numerous Allied merchant ships in the Indian Ocean before mining the approaches to Australian ports and capturing the Norwegian whaling fleet in Antarctica. The Kormoran raided the Atlantic but will always be remembered for sinking the Australian cruiser Sydney off Western Australia, killing all 645 sailors on board in devastating circumstances.

False Flags is also the story of the Allied sailors who encountered these raiders and fought suicidal battles against a superior foe as well as the men, women and children who endured captivity on board the raiders as prisoners of the Third Reich.

“This is a book that works superbly on all levels — giving both the admiralties’ ocean-wide perspectives, as well as insight into the minds of the captains of the ships involved.” – Prof. Peter Stanley, award-winning historian, UNSW Canberra

“Stephen Robinson brings alive the stories of the ships, the men and their victims. Drawing on a range of primary and secondary sources, Robinson engagingly tells the most complete story of these ships. False Flags sings with stories of the last age of independent action at sea, and in many cases of chivalry.” – Gavin McLean, Senior Historian, NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage


Stephen Robinson studied Asian history and politics at the University of Western Sydney, graduating with First Class Honours. He has worked at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs researching British atomic weapons tests and as a policy officer in the Department of Defence. Stephen Robinson is also an officer in the Australian Army Reserve and has served as an instructor at the Royal Military College. He also graduated from Australian Command and Staff College.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 234 x 151 mm | Approx. 50 Black & White photos and Maps | 368 Pages |

PURCHASE FROM: Exisle Australia | Exisle New Zealand

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