Title Saints and Sinners
Author Chris Heal
Paperback 234 x 155 mm, RRP £13.50
Content 230 pages • 3 maps •  41 B&W illustration
ISBN 978-1-9161944-8-9
Printer IngramSpark
Publisher Chattaway & Spottiswood, Hampshire
October 2023

Saints and Sinners

Between the world wars, a young u-boat captain, Erich Gerth, was befriended and influenced by three powerful men, all vehemently anti-communist and on the far right of German politics.

Wilhelm Canaris, Erich’s naval classmate, was the master spy who became a Vizeamiral and then head of the Abewehr, the Nazi military intelligence.

Admiral Adolf von Trotha, Erich’s leader when he returned from u-boat duty in the Adriatic, was head of the newly-created Admiralty in Berlin after Germany’s defeat. Despite the absolute ban on all u-boats, Trotha planned secretly and immediately for an underwater fleet to be ready for the next war.

‘Consul’ Salomon Marx was a banker and entrepreneur of considerable wealth who wielded much influence in Jewish, financial and political circles. He knew everybody who was anybody in the upper reaches of the murderous power struggle of the Weimar Republic. He became renowned for his financing of the assassination of the communist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg and for the setting up of the propaganda arm of the German film industry.

The one woman in Erich’s life was a wealthy, petite, vivacious, half-Jewish, young widow, a countess by first marriage, Gräfin Eva von Ahlefeldt, who was to provide the centre and the inadvertent ruination of his career. Eva was also Salomon Marx’s daughter.

Saints and Sinners is the true story of Erich Gerth’s career, backed by extensive research across European archives and supported by private interviews with his descendants, finally rediscovered in the USA. The book is a companion volume to the career of Georg Gerth, Erich’s younger brother, also a u-boat captain, titled The War of The Raven after his long-term naval nickname, Die Rabe.

Erich and Georg Gerths’ careers are told together against the broad context of WW1 and the Weimar Republic in Sound of Hunger.

Saints & Sinners is available for purchase from selected local stores, major bookshops and from internet retailers at a recommended retail price of £13.50.