- Taschenbuch: 362 Seiten
- Verlag: iUniverse (22. Juni 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0595391133
- ISBN-13: 978-0595391134
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,3 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.414.185 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
THE LONGEST PATROL: A U-Boat Gunner's War (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 22. Juni 2006
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Karl Baumann was born in the Ruhr Valley of Germany during the desperate and tumultuous years of the Great Depression. His pursuit of an occupation is hindered by an abbreviated formal education, unenthusiastic participation in the Hitler youth movement, and the whims of Nazi officials. Baumann's decision to become a sailor at the age of fourteen is both fortuitous and fateful. Baumann comes of age at sea with the German fishing and merchant fleets. He becomes a member of the Kriegsmarine's legendary U-boat force and participates in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II. He also takes part in the underwater German counteroffensive that attempts to breach the English Channel and attack the Allied armada delivering troops and supplies onto the D-Day landing beaches. Baumann is one of only ten thousand U-boat crewmen who survives the war-and the even smaller fraternity of captured submariners. His personal struggle as a prisoner of war reaches across the Atlantic to a small POW camp located in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.His unusual experiences at Camp Lyndhurst in Augusta County produce life-transforming consequences he never could have contemplated before his capture and imprisonment in the land of his sworn enemy. Fully researched and footnoted, with fifty illustrations. The Longest Patrol is the captivating story of Karl Baumann's wartime odyssey.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Gregory L. Owen graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and has been honored as a Marshall Scholar by the George C. Marshall Foundation at Virginia Military Institute. His career in banking has spanned thirty-two years. Owen and his wife Sheila live in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
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Owen chronicles Baumann's life journey from a humble up-bringing in Germany's Ruhr region; his rugged breaking in as a cabin boy aboard a fishing trawler in the cold North Sea; his induction and training in the Kriegsmarine as an anti-aircraft gunner at the onset of World War II; mostly boring, yet at times harrowing U-boat patrols; his suffering a serious wound when the barrel of a 20mm AA gun exploded due to some seaborne obstruction; his languishing in a hospital at Brest during the bitter siege; to life as a POW at a Virginia POW camp, which prompted Baumann to remain in the United States after the war.
In addition to countless hours of interviews, with Baumann and other significant participants, Owen utilizes a variety of sources, including U-953's Kriegstagebuch, or KTB, the official war diary of the vessel. The author's use of original grid System Sea Charts to follow the route of U-boat patrols further supports his many hours of diligent research. Each source is cited properly in footnotes, with the addition of a Glossary of German terms both within the footnotes and at the end of the book. This method aides the reader enormously, allowing one to understand German terms without having to leave the page.
There are some low points in the narrative, as well as outstanding ones. At times, Owen's treatment of his subject is over-sympathetic. For example, when trying to get the point across that Baumann was "reluctantly coerced" into a Hitler Youth group, and that Baumann's service to the Nazi regime was never more than "unenthusiastic and grudging participation," Owen lays on the adjectives pretty thick. Curiously, in spite of hours of interviews, Owen never quotes his subject directly, but instead does all the talking for Baumann. While relying heavily on the KTB for the early U-Boat patrols, Baumann, like just another member of the boat's crew, is almost lost entirely. During this lull, the reader almost forgets that this book is primarily a biography.
Throughout, Owen's handling of the factual information is admirable. The author's descriptions of the failed creation of U-flak boats, the added anti-air gun platforms to conventional subs, and the disastrous tactics of luring enemy aircraft into a kill zone is well written. Likewise, his telling of the creation and later use of the Schnorchel device, which was fitted with varying result to a few boats, including U-953, is right on the mark. Owen's delving into both Canadian and German archival material, to create an almost moment-by-moment account of an encounter between U-953 and Canadian destroyers establishes his credentials as an historian, and lends to one of the most exciting parts of the book. Owen also mediates the controversial "ramming order," first presented by Werner admirably. This was the vague directive handed down that ordered a last ditch desperate attack by Biscay U-Boats against the Allied invasion fleet by any means possible (including ramming Allied shipping). Lastly, through Baumann, Owen sheds light into the daily life of a German POW housed in the United States, a growing topic to the study of the Second World War.
I believe the well informed student of the German U-Boat war will agree that Owen broke onto the scene with a well written and researched memoir and combat narrative. For the lay reader, or beginning enthusiast, this work is a must-add to your reading list.
UI posted that on a treasure hunting site and GREG OWEN, the author of this book wrote me a note. Talking about the actual lives of Uboat crews. I bought the book, Thanks Greg, and about half way through. German U-Booats were a far cry from RED OCTOBER. But were as safe as they could be with technology they had. Allied forces technology was much better and almost all U-Boats were destroyed. So a living crew members story is valuable. For the truth of their very personal war and attitudes about the war. Far as I know no high level nazis worked on subs. Way too dangerous! The sailors were kids. Like our kids. Drafted into a live/die situation. Like our kids. No doubt every crew member had to perfectly do their task the right way at the correct time or they all could die. I am looking for the DAS BOOT movie. It was wartime and mostly good innocent folks die. These crews on both side were remarkable. Not a task I could ever do. This book is so darn interesting I can't put it down. Real History.. hard to find!