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Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunters 1939-1942 (Volume 1): The Hunters, 1939-42 Vol 1 Paperback – 13 Apr 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (13 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304352608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304352609
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 4.5 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A gripping account of the U-Boat war.

About the Author

After serving in combat in submarines in WWII, Clay Blair was successively National Security correspondent for Time, Life and Saturday Evening Post. As well as his acclaimed naval histories, Blair is the biographer of Admiral Rickover, Generals MacArthur, Bradley and Ridgway. He lives with his wife in Wisconsin, USA.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
On August 15, 1939, Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, chief of the Kriegsmarine, directed his staff, the OKM, to send a war alert to Karl Donitz, commander of the German submarine force. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matt Phelps on 17 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
An excellent account of the U-Boat war, very rich in detail and an easy read despite being such a weighty tome! I enjoyed it immensely although found that Blair's obvious dislike for the British occasionally got in the way of the narrative and cast doubt upon the objectiveness of some of his conclusions. If you can ignore the Brit-bashing and stick with it then you'll find it a rewarding read.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought both books when I was in the States and have read them several times. Their sheer volume almost ensures they are the last word on the history of the U Boat War in the Atlantic, with appendices to cover literally every aspect of the conflict. Unfortunately facts alone don't make a definative history. Having written what is surely the best account of the Pacific submarine conflict, Blair does not seem capable of producing an unbiassed account of the Atlantic conflict. His previous history as a serving U.S.Submarine officer seems to have blinded him to the the facts of the Atlantic campaign and in my book, he lets his bias get in the way and fatally spoils what should have been his finest work.

Literally from the start he adopts an myopic pro American stance. He cites the "So called Battle of the Atlantic" (not really a sub war compared to the Pacific) and as someone who lost relatives in this so called battle, I found his remarks deeply offensive. He then denegrates almost every aspect of the conflict which was not of American origin. German U Boat advances in the Type XX1, (more of a sieve than a sub) then Canadian Escort tactics then British Code breaking and computer building efforts and really goes over the top in support of the theory that the American Admiral King was fully justified in doing absolutely nothing when the U Boats were slaughtering ships within sight of the American coast, especially when he agreed with Michael Gannon in his book "Black May" that King was in dereliction of his duty. Why the volte face? Not one of his better efforts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Lloyd on 17 Nov. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This might be the definitive command history of the U-Boat campaign in the first half of WWII. The book is in 2 parts, the campaign vs the British Empire to December 1941 and the campaign vs the Amercas to December 1942. It is a monumental work; 700 pages without the appendices. The book documents every important U-boat voyage and, on many voyages, accounts for every torpedo expended. This is a command history focusing on combat actions and tactics. There is less emphasis on human factors such as the experiences and perspectives of the crews of the U-Boats, escorts and merchantmen. For example, there are few quotations from first hand accounts. This stands in the way of the book being the definitive history of the campaign.

The author was a submariner in the US Navy in the Pacific in WWII. He provides refreshing and frank assessments of British and German decisions and capabilities. There is a more partisan tone to his treatment of USN leaders and decisions. He is concerned to bolster the reputations of the USN and its CinC Admiral King vis a vis British criticism, decisions by President Roosevelt and the rivalry of the US Army Air Force. The book fully integrates an account of the intelligence war and code breaking with the combat actions of the U-Boat campaigns. This is a great strength. There are many other fascinating pieces of information: how the Germans solved the problem of faulty torpedoes by copying captured British models; how the much vaunted Type VII U-Boat design to took several years and versions to 'de-bug'; and the disproprtionate importance of a cadre of aggressive and experienced U-Boat captains to the tonnage war.

The analytical component of the book is overshadowed by the length and detail of the chronological narrative.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nigel A Robins (swanseahistory@hotmail.com) on 27 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
I first came across this book having had the dubious advantage of several years researching in British primary sources for the early years of the U boat war. I can remember being increasingly frustrated at the inconsistencies I kept uncovering between primary sources and the accepted 'wisdom' of well-established writers on the subject. For example I can remember being told by a number of people that the U boat inshore minelaying campaigns were very effective but I could never uncover satisfactory evidence that this was so. My first reading of this book came as quite a shock because I realised that my research largely supported Clay Blair's opinions. In my own view as someone who has spent a great deal of time looking at the early part of the U boat war, I have found Blair's conclusions both refreshing and remarkably accurate. His view of the U boat peril as 'classical threat inflation' is most likely the correct one. Blair's dissection of the early U boat campaigns is beautifully presented in clear, scholarly, and very readable style. The man clearly has strong opinions but they are backed up by strong arguments. I have noted a number of poor reviews of this book in various places and I can't help the feeling that some people do not like the fact that an American is passing strong objective comments on what should really be a 'British and German affair'. This book is challenging, authoritative, and entertaining. Everything good history should be.
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