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Iron Coffins: A Personal Account Of The German U-boat Battles Of World War II (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. Juni 2002

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Taschenbuch, 6. Juni 2002
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"With Werner we sweat out attacks in the foul air of the U-Boat, cringing with him at every bomb."--New York Times. The former German U-boat commander Herbert Werner navigates readers through the waters of World War II, recounting four years of the most significant and savage battles. By war's end, 28,000 out of 39,000 German sailors had disappeared beneath the waves.

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Commander Herbert Werner served on five submarines from 1941 to 1945 and came to the United States in 1947.


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Format: Taschenbuch
Not often that the defeated soldier/sailor documents a war experience, so it is interesting to learn about the war from the German perspective. Werner is clearly not a literary genious, these pages read more like his diary, and one suspects the tales have grown a bit over between the fighting days and 1969 when the book was published. Some of it is clearly self-aggrandizing. But a very fine summer read for me, and if you enjoy action-adventure this will be a great book for you. (I read "Iron Curtains" immediately after finishing Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" about the Everest adventure, and the similarities of adventure-tragedy are apparent between the two books.)
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Format: Taschenbuch
What makes this book different from so many memoirs written by WWII German soldiers is its emotional honesty and unvarnished detail. You get a good feeling for the squalid conditions endured by the submariners, and for their forboding as they realize the war is lost, Germany is being destroyed, and they're all on suicide missions. Still it is endured with a stoic devotion to duty that is both admirable and maddening. It's the story of a good man fighting for a terrible cause.
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book lacked the dryness of a typical WW2 history book. By that I mean that the author's imagery and detailed explanation let you feel the humidity, smell the rotten food, and feel the tension of being chased by destroyers. You will follow the author as he enlists in the German navy, rises through the ranks and eventually commands various U-boats.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I have a 1969 copy of this book and have read it many times over the 20 years that I have owned it. It's a fascinating account of how tenuous an existence these men led - their triumphs and defeats. Werner writes well - it reads somewhat as a diary in places but I think that adds to the atmosphere. Get this book and read it, then get a video of Das Boot (The Boat) and ally the two. They're not that dissimilar in their portrayal. I recently toured a submarine (HMS Ocelot) berthed at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, England. The guide told us that this ship was half as big again as the average U-Boat, and there was still no room in it !
Can anybody tell me if Werner is still alive??
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Format: Taschenbuch
This book amazed me. I read it 10 years ago and looked up the title today because I was looking up reviews on BLACK MAY: THE EPIC STORY OF THE ALLIES' DEFEAT OF THE GERMAN U-BOATS IN MAY, 1943. I am pleased that IRON COFFINS is back in print! What struck me 10 years ago and still strikes me about IRON COFFINS is that this story was almost "lost" several times -- at sea as the tide of battle turned against the U-boats in 1943, and on land after the Germans surrendered; in the days immediately following the war, the author used his wits to escape death by the Russians and end up in the hands of what history has shown to be the more merciful victors.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I first read this book as a youth. I still believe this is one of the finest autobiographies I have ever read. The war seems to come to life when reading this book. I also agree with the review that states this book should be accompanied with the film "Das Boot." Both give a pretty accurate picture of the U-Boat war. The most startling fact in this book is that Werner is one of a handful of commanders to have survived the entire war in a U-Boat commnand. I still find his description of the last few months of the war very chilling.
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Format: Taschenbuch
I first read this book in the early 70s. It is an excellent read, and anyone who reads it will never forget it. Werner has been criticized for some inaccuracies and exaggeration; there are factual errors in the book (such as the size of some of the convoys her encountered whole XO on U-230). Still, it is the most engrossing account by a German sailor I've ever read. I very highly recommend it; everyone I've recommended it to loved it.
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Format: Taschenbuch
Although it has been almost twenty years since I first read the book it hasn't lost any of its original excitement for this reader. It is a collecter and hopefully generations will continue to enjoy the brutal reality that is displayed in it. It is truely exciting and well written, I hope Werner has seen the success of his efforts writing about this horrible time in history. If you haven't seen "Das Boot", it's a must.
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