The surrender of the U-boats at the end of the Second World War was an involved and very interesting episode, but contrary the publisher's claim that 'This book uncovers much new material about the process...' it completely fails to cover any of the most important aspects of how it was organised and carried out. And despite the claim of 'unparalleled glimpses' obtained from RN veterans, I found it odd that none are named in the Acknowledgements, and did the author really spend time with Jurgen Oesten of U-861, only to come away with an anecdote that has already appeared in Matthew Sullivan's excellent 'Thresholds of Peace?
Had the author carried out some proper research and consulted prime documents and witnesses, he could have told a fascinating story, but he has instead relied largely on articles in the Navy News newspaper, other previously published works, and dubious stories from websites. Consequently, much of what he has written has appeared previously, while some of the website material is inaccurate. As an example, I would refer to the surrender of U-1009, which was escorted into Loch Eriboll by HMS Harlech Castle, not into Loch Ewe by HMS Beaumaris Castle.
Nor does the book adhere strictly to what should have been its main theme, i.e., the surrender of the U-boats. Instead, large parts deal with German Naval ground forces and the surrender of the beleaguered French ports.
The illustrations, too, are very poor, some being badly reproduced - a failing also observed in other recent Pen & Sword publications - and many do not show U-boats at all or are inappropriate. Günter Prien of U-47, for example, lost his life in early 1941,and there are many other photos which show events or personalities from much earlier in the war than 1945. Nor are the photographs particularly well captioned, omitting important information or repeating old myths, such as that U-532 surrendered in Liverpool on 10 May. In fact, it arrived at Liverpool on 17 May and had already surrendered at sea on the 10th.
Readers will find little in this book that is new.