This is a great story, told by someone who was actually there. You can tell that certain characters are made up, such as the British lieutenant who is a prisoner aboard U-859 on her long voyage to the Far East. Yet even this clearly fictional character contributes, providing a sounding board for the English-speaking German sailors, who otherwise would never dare say some of the things they need to say. And the German sailors, even with their names changed, are very real. You won't be too far into the story before you figure out which of them would go on to write this book.
According to the back cover the author, Arthur Baudzus, was aboard the real U-859 during this voyage. The scene in the after torpedo room, when the U-boat has been torpedoed and is laying in two pieces on the bottom of the Malakka Straits, is all the more authentic in that it obviously speaks of what happened to the author. Here is a man who has experienced something that killed thousands of his fellow U-boat sailors, yet somehow managed to live to tell of it. And though fact and fiction mingle in this novel, there is plenty here to interest the U-boat history buff.