Charles Lachman is the author of four previous books: Footsteps in the Snow, The Last Lincolns, A Secret Life, and the crime novel, In the Name of the Law. He is also the executive producer of the nationally syndicated news magazine, Inside Edition. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, History Channel, Lifetime, C-Span and other local and national media. He lives in New York City.



Codename Nemo

“Charles Lachman weaves the incredible story
of the capture by American forces of a German
U-boat and its secrets during World War II, an
operation which allowed Allied forces to shock
the German Navy. Richly detailed with undeniable suspense and action,
Codename Nemo is destined for the
non-fiction best seller lists."
—Bill O'Reilly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

On June 4, 1944—two days before D-Day—the course of World War II was forever changed. That day, a US Navy task force achieved the impossible—capturing a German U-Boat, its crew, all its technology, Nazi encryption codes, and an Enigma cipher machine. Led by a nine-man boarding party and the maverick Captain Daniel Gallery, US antisubmarine Task Group 22.3’s capture of U-505 in what was called Operation Nemo was the first seizure of an enemy ship in battle since the War of 1812, one of the greatest achievements of the US Navy, and a victory that shortened the duration of the war.

Charles Lachman’s white-knuckled war saga and thrilling cat-and-mouse game is told through the eyes of the men on both sides of Operation Nemo—German U-Boaters and American heroes like Lieutenant Albert David (“Mustang”), who led the boarding party that took control of U-505 and became the only sailor to be awarded the Medal of Honor in the Battle of the Atlantic; and Chief Motor Machinist Zenon Lukosius (“Zeke”), a Lithuanian immigrant’s son from Chicago who dropped out of high school to enlist in the Navy and whose quick thinking saved the day when he plugged a hole of gushing water that was threatening to sink U-505.

Three thousand American sailors participated in this extraordinary adventure; nine ordinary American men channeling extraordinary skill and bravery finished the job; and then—like everyone involved—breathed not a word of it until after the war was over. Nothing leaked out. In Berlin, the German Kriegsmarine assumed that U-505 had been blown to bits by depth charges, with all hands lost at sea. They were unaware that the U-Boat and its secrets, to be used in cracking Nazi coded messages, were now in American hands. They were also unaware that the 59 German sailors captured on the high seas were imprisoned in a POW camp in Ruston, Louisiana, until their release in 1946 when they were permitted to return home to family and friends who thought they had perished.


"A relentless, pressure-packed plunge into the depths of war. Codename Nemo is a story-telling tour-de-force—indeed, the quintessential story of the Battle of the Atlantic, rendered in taut prose, and with an immediacy and intimacy that all but makes a participant of the reader. In the wake of this story, you’ll feel a profound sense of gratitude to the men who went after U-505, and to Charles Lachman for bringing them back."

— James Sullivan,
author of Unsinkable

"Codename Nemo is a pulse-pounding tale of high-stakes espionage and daring courage...A riveting narrative combining historical research with visceral scenes, Codename Nemo is a must-read for anyone in search of a thrilling maritime adventure."

— Andrew Dubbins, author of Into Enemy Waters

"What a terrific read from Charles Lachman! A suspenseful, fast-paced but little-known saga of hide-and-seek between a US ‘baby flattop’ and a German U-boat during Word War II. It’s a wild, engrossing ride from start to finish with extraordinary details and insights into daily life—clashes, arguments, even suicide—aboard both German boats and American ships during the Battle of the Atlantic. This one is a winner!"

— Carole Engle Avriett, author of Coffin Corner Boys and Marine Raiders

"Crisp as a torpedo striking the water, Codename Nemo pulls you along with a deeply personal account of the hunters on both sides of an amazing drama."

— Walter R. Borneman, author of The Admirals and Brothers Down

Codename Nemo

See actual video of the U-boat capture