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The Hunters 1939-1942 (Volume 1): Hitler's U-Boat War

The Hunters 1939-1942 (Volume 1): Hitler's U-Boat War [Kindle Edition]

Clay Blair
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

A brilliant and definitive account of great military genius at work.

Product Description

Already acclaimed on publication in the United States, the U-Boat war is here chronicled with authority, fidelity, objectivity, and extraordinary detail. He also writes vivid and dramatic scenes of naval actions with startling new revelations and conclusions about all aspects of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6876 KB
  • Print Length: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (29 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071ZR5Q4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #217,961 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rewarding read 17 Feb 2003
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars incredible detail - but deeply flawed 31 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Very hard to judge this product. first I think anyone interested in the Atlantic Battle should read it because of the exceptional level of detail and scholarly research. But...
1) it's hard to read. it's very repetitive. we are told every single time a submariner happens to hold the Knight's Cross for example

2) the anti-British tone gets seriously grating. he is trying to demonstrate that the RN was in a greater position of strength than often claimed vs the u-boats. hence time and again we are told of corvettes "pouncing" on u-boats (although the latter were faster surfaced than the former)

3) his Anglophobia gets the better of his analysis. his visceral defence of the much-maligned admiral king makes sense to a point but ignores the fact the scores of ships were sunk of the Eastern USA. one might argue about King's priorities etc but the bottom line is that this was an american disaster which he failed to prevent

4) he often highlights how many individual sailings got through vs sinkings. ignoring the fact that a sunken ship can't sail again. a better comparison is sinkings vs tonnage capacity and tonnage being built

5) he frequently bemoans british strategy and her failure to consult with USA on issues and yet ignores the fact that until Dec 1941 USA wasn't a full beligerent. USA's approval or otherwise in Britain's Egyptian campaign is beside the point if she wasn't willing to fight with us

6) his basic premise that the u-boat war can be divided into a "war against the British Empire" and a "War against the Americas" shows a confusing misunderstanding. The war was always against allied shipping, whereever the weak points were.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A badly flawed masterpiece 30 Nov 2001
By A Customer
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong opinions backed up by strong arguments. 27 Dec 2001
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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