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U-boat Bases and Bunkers 1940-45 (Fortress) [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Gordon Williamson , Ian Palmer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Feb 2003 Fortress (Book 3)
This work takes a look at the formidable U-boat bases and bunkers built on the French coast (Brest, Lorient, St Nazaire, La Pallice, Bourdeaux), in Norway (Bergen, Trondheim), and Germany (Keil, Hamburg, Helgoland), and also focuses on the huge "Valentin" factory complex at Bremen, which manufactured the new type XXI electro-boats. Bunker protective systems, such as camouflage, light and heavy flak installations and nearby air cover are also covered.

Frequently Bought Together

U-boat Bases and Bunkers 1940-45 (Fortress) + Kriegsmarine U-Boats 1939-45 (2) (New Vanguard): Vol 2 + Kriegsmarine U-boats 1939-45 (1) (Osprey New Vanguard S.): v. 1
Price For All Three: 25.26

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (19 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841765562
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841765563
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 18.1 x 24.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Gordon Williamson was born in 1951 and currently works for the Scottish Land Register. He spent seven years with the Military Police TA and has published a number of books and articles on the decorations of the Third Reich and their winners. He is the author of a number of World War II titles for Osprey. Ian Palmer is a highly experienced digital artist. A graduate in 3D design, he has provided illustrations for many publications, from modelling James Bond's Aston Martin to recreating lunar landings. He lives and works in London with his wife and three cats.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The U-Boat bunkers were but one aspect of Germany's programme of defensive construction. 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
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER
One of the most succesful achievements of Nazi war machine were the colossal bunkers build for U-Boats, mainly in Germany, France and Norway. Those cyclopean structures resisted every attempt to destroy them, causing during the whole war an indescriptible fury and frustration amongst Allies war leaders. Some of those build in occupied France were used for many years after war by French submarine force - and French military still uses most of them today.

This book describes very well and in a very interesting way the story of their conception and construction, the way they were used, repaired and improved, as well as the efforts of allies to destroy them - and how those attempts failed. The defenses of U-Boat bases (radars, guns, fighter patrols, naval mine fields, anti-aircraft balloons, etc.) are described in detail, as is daily life of people who lived and worked there. All of this illustrated with a great number of very well selected war time images.

There are also colour plates, but they are not all satisfying. The first two (long range defenses and construction of a base) do not present any interest and are a waste of place. The third one, illustrating short range defences of a base, is a very well done and very instructive one. The plate number four, "Inside a U Boat base" is also a good one, resuming in one image the unique atmosphere of those places. The plate number five, showing the monstrous "Bruno" bunker in Bergen (Norway) is very impressive, as well as the plate number six (on double page), describing the most gigantic U-Boat base in Lorient (France).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job despite few minus 22 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Despite its small size, the book covers quite a vast area.
It certainly does the job its intended to and provides a well documented account of one of Hitler's most efficient war weapon.

the structures are simply monumental with roof slab reaching 7m thickness in some places. It is also quite amazing to see this bunker intact after heavy bombardments from the RAF or USAAF and see the lunar landscape surrounding.
Another surprising part was to read about Uboats acting in Singapour, Penang or even Kobe. One Uboat is said to have come back from the far east to its base in France just in time for the armistice.

Some of the colour plate as pointed out in other reviews could have easily been ommited or with a smaller size : e.g. first one for "long range defense"
Some other are quite stunning and plunge you back 50yrs in the past.

Otherwise the book could seem a bit repetitive as the author review all the bases giving length, width, etc. of each structures which makes it a heavy reading sometimes.
Why not a page dedicated to a table summarising of these facts? Easier to read and easily skipped if one not interested in preciste technical details.

In the end, despite few minus, a very good book that does a decent job.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good intersting serie from Osprey 7 Dec 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
The fortress serie from Osprey is quite interesting as it covers a topic only previously browsed by specialized books (and thus expensive). The "U-Boat Bases and Bunkers" is a good start for whom want to know a little more about those concrete pens. 3D illustrations and present day pictures of the unbreakable survivors illustrate this book. The only drawback is that it lacks some infos about civil engineering (concrete technology, jobsites evolutions,..) and about the norvegian sites.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic book on U Boat Bases 6 Jan 2006
By Tom - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the better books I have seen for a description of what the pens and bases look like. Some illustrations are a tad dark, but still of great interest. Good buy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book providing everythging you want to know about German U-Boat bases and bunkers 9 Dec 2013
By Stephen P. Ford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been very pleased with and impressed with the quality of Osprey publications. The Fortress series is focused on military fortifications. U-Boat Bases and Bunkers 1941-45 includes the design and development, principles of defense, life at the base, bunkers, bombs and raids - the bases at war, and after the war.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Comprehensive Guide to German War-time Submarine Pens. 24 Aug 2013
By Laurence R. Cousins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Williamson draws together wide-spread information on the origins, construction, use and destruction of these facinating structures. This book led me to compiling a Google Earth placemarking of the major bases in Europe. (It turns out that the Germans even had bases in the Pacific!) The author includes tips on guided tours of the pens on the French coast. It is ironic that Hitler's well-known obsession with architechture would leave the world with these ugly but indestructible mega-buildings.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 17 April 2014
By tony plew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Majority of pictures are black and white and grainy. I bought the book for research on a diorama I am building and it just wasnt enough information. (The information provided I had already researched). Still, on a beginner level the book serves its purpose.
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