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Wolfpacks at War: The U-Boat Experience in World War II [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Jak P. Mallmann Showell


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Kurzbeschreibung

28. Juni 2002 At War
German U-boats had almost brought Britain to its knees in World War 1. Twenty years later the blockade was worse. The German U-boat arm came within a whisker of cutting the lifeline that stretched from America to Europe across the Atlantic Ocean: indeed, had it not been for Ultra, and the decrypting of so much Kriegsmarine radio traffic, the final story could have been very different. What was it like to be a member of a U-boat crew? Wolf Pack at War provides the truth behind the image portrayed so convincingly in the film Das Boot. After the 'happy time' of the early war years, when the U-boats struck seemingly at will and to great effect, the later war years were much grimmer for the Krlegsmarine. Their shore bases bombed incessantly by the Allies, the skies above the Atlantic patrolled by deadly long-range submarine busters like the short Sunderland and their movements tracked by Ultra decrypts and radar, the U-boat crews went to sea knowing that their life expectancy was short and their fate likely to be a watery grave. This is their story, illustrated by a remarkable collection of rare photographs and illustrations, many in colour. This book gives an essential account of one of the most important theatres of wartime operation. It will appeal to those interested specifically in the history of naval warfare and also those with a broader interest in the strategy and tactics of the war.

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Synopsis

German U-boats had almost brought Britain to its knees in World War 1. Twenty years later the blockade was worse. The German U-boat arm came within a whisker of cutting the lifeline that stretched from America to Europe across the Atlantic Ocean: indeed, had it not been for Ultra, and the decrypting of so much Kriegsmarine radio traffic, the final story could have been very different. What was it like to be a member of a U-boat crew? Wolf Pack at War provides the truth behind the image portrayed so convincingly in the film Das Boot. After the 'happy time' of the early war years, when the U-boats struck seemingly at will and to great effect, the later war years were much grimmer for the Krlegsmarine. Their shore bases bombed incessantly by the Allies, the skies above the Atlantic patrolled by deadly long-range submarine busters like the short Sunderland and their movements tracked by Ultra decrypts and radar, the U-boat crews went to sea knowing that their life expectancy was short and their fate likely to be a watery grave. This is their story, illustrated by a remarkable collection of rare photographs and illustrations, many in colour.

This book gives an essential account of one of the most important theatres of wartime operation. It will appeal to those interested specifically in the history of naval warfare and also those with a broader interest in the strategy and tactics of the war.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Jak Mallmann Showell lives in Kent. His father was Diesel Obermaschinist Jak Mallmann who was lost at sea on his 13th operational tour with U377. As Britain's foremost expert on the history of U-boat activities in the war, he has also written Under the Swastika, U-Boats at War: Landings on Hostile Shores and Enigma U-Boats, which have all been published by Ian Allan Publishing.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  2 Rezensionen
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Essential Submariner's Collectible 21. März 2003
Von Dr. Victor S. Alpher - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This is a necessary book for anyone with interest in the underpinnings of the esprit de corps of the U-Boot Waffe during World War II. The author's father was a diesel mechanic lost at sea in his 13th operational U-Boat tour. Individual submarines rarely made war patrols in the double digits before succumbing to sinking or debilitation; at the end of the war, most were scuttled by their crews.
In addition to numerous color and black and white photographs, color reproductions of panels from the 5th U-Boat Flotilla's visitor's book, along with statistics on individual U-Boat crews (survivors, war patrols, killed in action) bring the reader fairly close to a variety of experiences common to all submariners (e.g. rituals for crossing the equator, training trials, experiences on leave, the social climate of the bases).
This is no glorification of the Third Reich--if anything, it shows, like the film Das Boot (highly recommended), the isolation and challenges of maintaining a no-frills environment in which a crew of usually 45 or so men, from officers to diesel mechanics, had to maintain operational readiness in the context of long periods of dull routine punctuated by brief periods of extreme violence and fear of death--something like laying across a subway railway track with no knowledge of the time of the coming of the next train, and a screwdriver with which to attempt to derail it.
From this came initial notoriety of great accomplishment early in the war (measured by tonnage sunk), to near suicide missions by 1943, when Allied radar, sonar, and bombing was too much for these vessels that could mainly do battle only when surfaced and powered by diesel engines, and when submerged had to operate primarily on recharged electric motors (until the addition of the "schnorchel" which allowed use of diesel engines while still submerged).
As a stand-alone work, it is neither exhaustive nor definitive, but within a collection of war diaries, film, and other analyses of performance may give one the sense of opportunity given to men from many different backgrounds to merge into a fighting unit, with a much greater than 50/50 chance of certain death. It shows again how, in wartime, soldiers are fighting for each other as much as for any ethereal cause other than survival.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent book for WW2 U-Boat enthusiast... 30. Dezember 2013
Von Donald M. Prince - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Jak P. Mallman Showeli is a prolific writer on the subject of WW2 German U-Boats and I always purchase his books when published... The man has a unique view and understanding of the men and the boats. I don't need to go into the details of the book review because that has already been done quite well. Excellent book, well done!
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