Heaton-Lewis Books

Autographed books on history

                Hitler's Inner Circle
This book will contain the interviews and perspectives of those in Germany who knew or worked with Hitler and his chief lieutenants from 1932-1945
Hitler greets Field Marshal Erich von Manstein in the Crimea in 1942. Hans Baur  (second from right) was Hitler's personal pilot and was one of those interviewed for the book.

Adolf Hitler and his personal pilot Lt. Gen. Hans Baur, photo signed for Colin during an interview
       Our Future Books in Progress

 The Stuka Pilots Speak

These were some of the greatest Stuka dive bomber and tank buster pilots of the war, with some serving in StG-2 "Immelmann" with the greatest Stuka pilot of them all, Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel. Kuhlmey also flew missions escorted by Hans-Joachim Marseille and JG-27 in North Africa with StG-3, and he mentions this experience in our book, The Star of Africa.


Hauptmann Gerhard Studemann                             Major Franz Kieslich 

    Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves                               Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves 



    Generalmajor Kurt Kuhlmey                Hauptmann Kurt Plenzat

              Knight's Cross                            Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves


  Hauptmann Alexander Glaser

   Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves

    The U-boat Commanders Speak

This book will also be in the same format as The German Aces Speak, and will be the full, detailed interviews with the following U-boat skippers:


               Admiral Otto Kretschmer               Admiral Erich Topp

  Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves, Swords   Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves, Swords


The SS Byron T. Benson sinking off Cape Hatteras, NC following the attack by Erich Topp and U-552 on April 7, 1942.


                 Captain Peter Erich Cremer     Captain Reinhard Hardegen

Hans-Rudolf Rosen

Interview Video with Reinhard Hardegen


               Knight's Cross                   Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves


The U-Boat badge


Two photos of Friedrich Guggenberger

Author describes U-Boat menace from German perspective

By Colin D. Heaton
Contributed article

Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 1:47 p.m.

The coast of North Carolina was as much a battleground during World War II as any other region on earth. Seventy Allied ships of all types went down because of U-Boat attacks off the coasts of North and South Carolina beginning in 1941. The operations off North Carolina were as dangerous to the Germans as they were to the Americans, according to several submarine commanders interviewed over the years. Examples are below.

Peter Erich Cremer commanded U-333, earning the Knight's Cross. He personally considered the waters off the North Carolina Coast the most dangerous to work in. The target rich environment was alluring, yet the very shallow waters, tidal variances and strong currents also created a danger for the U-Boats.

One of Cremer's kills was the un-escorted British freighter Clan Skene, which was hit by two torpedoes at 09:05 a.m. May 10, 1942, and sank 300 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras. The U-Boat had already been badly damaged by depth charges three days earlier and was limping back to France. Cremer wrote in his report: "that the sinking of this ship was like .. a balm after these terrible depth charges."

According to Cremer: "The shallow waters and strong current made escape difficult. Every victory was an invitation to be sunk right afterward." Nine crew members from the Clan Skene were lost. The ship's captain and 72 survivors were picked up by USS McKean (APD 5) and taken at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Oak Leaves recipient Georg Lassen of U-160 sank the City of New York off of Hatteras at 7:36 p.m. March 29, 1942, attacking in 20-foot seas, with great loss of life in foul weather. When interviewed, he stated: "I could not believe how many ships were around. We never had enough torpedoes."

Reinhard Hardegen commanded U-123 and sank 22 ships, earning the Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. After successfully entering deep into New York Harbor to gather intelligence, he then worked offshore near Cape Hatteras in early 1942. "The waters and currents at Hatteras were so strong we needed the planesmen always on the bow and stern. You could not leave them unattended. ... The Gulf Stream was the reason. The waters were so shallow, we often attacked on the surface to escape faster. There was little room for diving and maneuvering."

An interesting engagement for Hardegen was a rare daylight attack when he encountered the American tanker SS Liebre 17 miles east of Cape Lookout at 7:18 a.m. April 2, 1942. His first torpedo missed as the ship zigzagged, starting a 35-minute running battle. Hardegan, fully surfaced, started shelling with the 105mm deck gun. The order to abandon ship came 15 minutes later as the generator, radio room, and aft were hit creating fires. The result was damage to the ship, and of the 34 crew, there were 9 dead and 25 survivors. Seven men drowned after hitting the water. The British motor torpedo boat HMS MTB-332 soon arrived after receiving the SOS before the radio died, forcing the Herdegen to abandon the attack and crash dive. The U.S. Coast Guard assisted in towing the ship to port for repairs.

Erich Topp was credited with 30 ships, earning the Oak Leaves and Swords, who stated: "We had a briefing before Drum Beat, all commanders. We had hydrographic surveys, many from merchantmen before the war. The North and South Carolina coasts were perfect for interdiction from the refineries in the Gulf region to and from New York. Our job was to intercept them going north, before they turned west and joined convoys. Night attacks were preferable, and surface attacks were also preferred, allowing us to use greater surface speed and chase them down, often intersecting their course where we could lay in ambush."

The term Graveyard of the Atlantic seems most appropriate.

Colin D. Heaton is a Southport resident. He did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington before earning his advanced degrees elsewhere. The StarNews welcomes and will consider publishing articles contributed by readers. They should be 400 words or less and accompanied by a good-quality photograph.

Contact Community News Editor http://www.starnewsonline.com/section/topic22  Si Cantwell at 343-2364 or [email protected]

Copyright 2012 StarNewsOnline.com - All rights reserved. Restricted use only.


Links to video interviews and footage 

Otto Kretschmer Happy Time



Otto Kretschmer Qualities of a U-Boat Commander



Otto Kretschmer war patrol footage



Erich Topp



Peter Erich Cremer



Reinhard Hardegen wartime



Reinhard Herdegen interview



Wolf at Sea Part 3



Wolf at Sea Part 4 Kretschmer Capture



Klaus Christoph Marloh U-Boats
                The Waffen SS Officers Speak
Officers of the Waffen SS Interviewed

(This page undergoing major updates)

Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich became fmaous due to his portryal by actor Maxmilian Schell in the film A Bridge Too Far. Bittrich was awarded the Oak Leaves and Swords, yet was a staunch openly vocal opponent of Heinrich Himmler and his policies.

Brigadefuhrer Heinz Harmel

Oberfuhrer Leon Degrelle

Brigadefuhrer Theodor Wisch

Gruppenfuhrer Hermann Priess

Click here to edit text

Standartenfuhrer Johannes-Rudolf  Muhlenkamp served as a reconnaisance officer in 2nd Waffen SS Panzer Division "Das Reich", and later commaded 5th Waffen SS Division "Wiking" during the 1944 Warsaw General Uprising. He served directly under Obergruppenfuhrer Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski during this period.

Muhlenkamp was responsible for convincing his superior to adhere to the Geneva Convention, ensuring that all uniformed military personnel captured were sent to proper military POW camps, despite Heinrich Himmler's direct order to the contrary.

Zelewski agreed, and one of the results was saving the life of Richard Cosby, the father of TV personality and journalist Rita Cosby. Read her book about her father, Quiet Hero.


Sturmbannfuhrer Karl Auer


Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Wolff started his career as one of the wearliest embers of the National Socialist Party and Allgemeine SS from the 1930s.

Wolff served on Himmler's staff along with Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich throughout the war as his "left hand man" until Heydrich's death in 1942.

Wolff's interview was one of the best regarding the inner workings of the upper echelons of the SS, to include his close relationship with all of the higher authorities within Nazi Germany proper.


Obersturmbannfuhrer Max Wuensche has a long and entertaining career, but his ruthless nature was not always appreciated by his men, but did bring him to the attention of Adolf Hitler, for whom he served as adjutant for a period of time. 

Wuensche was one of the few SS men interviewed who really felt no remorse at what had happened during the war, and he felt that "Hitler should have been supported more to accomplish our greater goal for Germany."

While not a murderer in the classic genocidal sense, he did support the belief that taking prisoners was not always in the best interest of the mission, and he was not hesitatant to turn a blind eye to atrocities.

Standartenfuhrer Max Shaefer served in the 5th Waffen SS Panzerdivision Division Wiking under the command of Felix Steiner, and served with distinction earning the Oak Laves.

Brigadefuhrer Otto Kumm was an infantry legend who openly fought against what he called "Himmler's ridiculous assertions", and along with Bittrich and Muhlenkamp openly defied what they perceived to be illegal orders. Kumm was the last living recipient of the Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves and Swords from the Waffen SS.

              The Panzer Aces Speak

This book will be the full length interviews with some of the greatest German tank and tank destroyer commanders from WW II from the Army and the Waffen SS, all Knight's Cross holders or higher. Fascinating stories from some very brave and very lucky men.


  Oberleutnant Otto Carius         Oberfeldwebel Albert Kerscher

Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves            Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves

Below: Fw-190s patrol over Tiger I's on the Eastern Front. The men in this future  book all commanded the Mk.IV, Tigers, Jagdpanthers, Sturmgeschuetz or Panthers during the war.

 Otto Carius (front left) with crew and passengers on the Eastern Front

 Hauptmann Heinz Reverchon of 13. Panzerdivision was a very successful tank destroyer commander on the Eastern Front.

Oberst Hans von Luck

Video documentary on the career, success and demise of "The Black Baron", Waffen SS Tiger I commander and holder of the Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves and Swords Michel Wittman


Tiger I and other tanks at Bovington


Tiger II Restoration

Elefant Restoration
Tiger I History
Panther History
Battle Tanks

See the video on tank destroyers at the link below:




 SS-Oberscharfuehrer Paul Egger   SS-Oberscharfuehrer Ernst Barkmann

Knight's Cross                                     Knight's Cross


Fey, Eggar and Glagow with a Tiger I

 Tiger I's of 1st Waffen SS Panzerdivision "Leibstandarte"



Will Fey in WW II and post war Bundeswehr


Will Fey 1998 and 1944


 See the posted video links below for more action and historical info on the missions of the German tank commanders

Tank Heroes I


Tank Heroes II


Baltic Tanks Battles WW II


              The Pacific Aces Speak

The series will continue with the fighter aces of the Pacific Theater in WW II, including the "Angel of Death" Saburo Sakai, and Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, Joseph Foss, Marion Carl, Rex Barber, among many others. The men featured were great personal friends of the late historian, author and pilot Jeffrey L. Ethell, with whom Colin collaborted, and we miss him very much. Saburo's edited interview was published many years ago in an abridged form. These interviews will be the full length versions.


             Lt. Saburo Sakai                               Cdr. Alexander Vraciu

                                                            Navy Cross


      Maj. Gen. Joseph Foss                   Maj. Gen. Marion Carl

                       Medal of Honor                                Navy Cross


              Captain David McCampbell                 Lt. Col. John Bolt

                      Medal of Honor                                  Navy Cross

                    Col. Greg Boyington                   Col. Rex T. Barber 

                     Medal of Honor                    Navy Cross (although Army)

Greg Boyington signing prints and books at his home in Fresno, CA in 1986


   The German Paratroopers Speak


Oberst Karl-Heinz Becker  Oberst Rudolf Witzig  Obslt. Erich Pietzonka 

All recipients of the Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves

                   Obslt. Kurt Sroschke         Oberst Reinhard Egger Gen. F.A. von der Heydte

 All above were recipients of the Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves

The Fallschirmjaeger Badge


        General Heinz Trettner        Generalmajor Walter Gericke 

                     Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves     Knight's Cross, Oak Leaves

           The Devil Came in Winter

As a departure from our pure military history, we have been working on a historical novel, dealing with events from the 1920s in the former Soviet Union. We have nearly completed our manuscript detailing the exploits of a Siberian tiger and its three year rampage, based upon actual events. We will keep our progress updated, but it should be a good one.

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  • "Having read the German Aces Speak, Noble Warrior, and Night Fighters, and Occupation and Insurgency, the breadth of the historical canvas heat and Lewis covers is astounding. Th..."
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