am 17. Juni 2014
Being a shipwreck historian (it’s what I do!), I often marvel at the stories of sheer heroism portrayed by those brave men who went to war in midget submarines. Whereas the exploits of the Italians who attacked Gibraltar harbour and the British X-Craft which placed explosive charges beneath the Tirpitz are well-known, other, equally perilous operations are not. When US Forces took possession of the Kure dockyard in 1945, for example, they discovered a dry-dock containing just over 100 Japanese ‘D Boats’ in various stages of completion.
Over a number of years, Osprey Publishing have produced a whole series of books in which various aspects of specific battles, weapons, vehicles, equipment, clothing, boats, ships and so forth are all fully explained. I have found these books to be both accurate and informative and this is no exception. It also teaches a great deal about the midget submarines operated by Axis forces during WW2.
Commencing with a brief Introduction which includes the ‘origin’ of the concept of the miniature submarine, the book tackles the various designs and innovations in the order of; Italy, Germany and Japan. Under each of these headings we find the different histories which were formed by very different policies and doctrines which dominated their respective naval thinking. What is, perhaps, the most interesting element is how differently each of these navies viewed the potential of such weapons. Italy regarded itself as being well placed and well equipped to attack British shipping at harbour in the Mediterranean. Germany, however, favoured the larger U Boat and only came to consider miniature versions after the tide of war had turned against them. Japan, on the other and, saw the midget submarine as the underwater version of the Kamikaze pilot - and even produced some remarkable designs intended for use against enemy capital ships during fleet engagements…
Personally, I was a little surprised at how much more there was to the subject than I had previously appreciated and, therefore, pleased with the additional detail provided.
Fully illustrated with plenty of historic photographs, the work is also particularly well supported with artistic profiles of most, if not all, the various types of craft in addition to cutaway sections. I also enjoyed the artistic view of a midget submariner (or should that be a midget-submarine submariner?) at work beneath capital ship. Altogether, a job well done and a book which is easy to recommend.
am 15. Oktober 2014
The book has a deficit of content. I expected more details and pictures. The most of this information can be found in the internet yet. Nevertheless it gives a good first overfiew of the topic but not if you want to go deeper to the topic.
Es fehlt etwas an fundiertem Inhalt, ich hätte mir mehr Informationen und Bilder erhofft. Das meiste aus diesem Buch kann man relativ einfach auch im Internet finden. Trotzdem ist es als erster allgemeiner Überblich ganz gut geeignet, aber nichts für jemanden, der die Materie vertiefen will.