Whilst there have been many books about U-boats and the Battle of the Atlantic, Osprey's 'Grey Wolf' approaches it from an unusual angle - the lives of the U-boatmen themselves. Spurning a 'campaign history' approach, it details the recruitment, training, uniform, ethos and daily lives of Dönitz's 'Grey Wolves'. The book is well written with an easy to understand style that does not require the reader to have any sort of expertise regarding the U-boat Corps, and technical details are clearly explained. The subject matter covered is comprehensive for the size of the book. Particularly interesting are some of the details of daily life that are rarely covered in more general works, such as how the crew entertained themselves during the long periods of inaction. Such details range from the mundane but essential (such as diet and the problems of keeping food fresh) to the frankly bizarre (such as the strange case of the U-1206, sunk by its own toilet).
The book is very well illustrated throughout, with a large number of black and white photographs, many of which have been previously unpublished, and eight original pieces of colour artwork with comprehensive captions. All the illustrations are well chosen to further illuminate the text. Williamson includes useful sections on museums and collecting at the end.
All in all, a very useful overview of a fascinating subject, the only real fault being lack of space for more detail. Nevertheless, essential reading for anyone interested in the U-boat War.