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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly readable and packed full of new information., 12 Jun 2009
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
In many ways this could be described as a book of short stories and, if that were the case, it would probably hold the record for containing the greatest number of such tales ever found in a single publication. In reality, each story is a personal account about an event on a submarine during WW2. Each of these is a vivid description of a dangerous or interesting occurrence and includes anything from Günther Prien's own account of entering Scapa Flow and sinking the Royal Oak to one of the many problems associated with the Russian Pravda Class submarine P-3 recounted by Torpedoman Nickolay Leontievich Tolokonnikov.

Set out in date order, no sooner have we digested an individual report of how one crewman was rescued and his treatment at the hands of his erstwhile enemy in one theatre of war, we move to an equally harrowing tale of an unplanned dive to previously unknown depths as a very different team from yet another nation struggle to survive. Elsewhere, this is a book which clarifies why those "other" X-Craft never got to attack the Scharnhorst. It is a book which explains a lot as it covers the exploits of those who manned submarines from the UK, USA, Australia, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia and Yugoslavia during this dark period of world history.

Each entry commences with the name and either rank or position held by the contributor followed by a clear reference to the source from which the information was extracted. Anyone familiar with the extensive filing lists for material pertaining to Admiralty records now held in the British National Archives, will recognise the "ADM" prefix for much of the information and quickly realise how much research has gone into this project. It also allows the reader to check each and every source quoted.

In order to familiarise myself with the book - before settling down to read it from cover to cover, I went straight to a specific action with which I am particularly familiar and immediately had reservations about what I then read. Consequently, I wrote to the publishers outlining my concerns and included my own précis of events as I had understood them to have occurred. The actual event in question is irrelevant and is mentioned only as an example. What is important is that I am entirely satisfied with the very professional response from the Publishing Team and their detailed answers have enabled me to give this excellent product the full 5 star rating it so richly deserves.

This is a book from which even the most devoted student of submarine warfare will learn a great deal.

NM
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A monument to the war under the waves, 14 Oct 2010
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This is a unique anthology, a fitting monument to the war under the waves in 1939-45. It takes no sides - except perhaps submariners against the rest of the world - giving voice to axis and allies alike. The range of contributors runs from stokers to ship's captains, although it is dominated by the recollections of officers. It is drawn from published books, letters, the sound archive of the Imperial War Museum, and more recent recollections recounted to the author.

Nearly 600 pages long, this book is both introduction and overview to the role of submarines in WWII. There is an introductory section on submarines of the period and the men who served in them, and then the book proceeds year by year from September 1939 until the end of the war. The largely forgotten role of the Polish, Dutch, French and Italian submarine forces is covered in some depth, and the usually ignored Red Navy gets several mentions. There is even a story from a Yugoslav submarine - and I didn't even know they had a navy in WWII, let alone a working submarine!

There are no weak points here, just a collection of stories which together cover the undersea WWII. U-boat captains hunting convoys in the Atlantic, British subs doing much the same in the Meditterranean, the Dutch in Europe and the East Indies, the run to England of the Polish submarines in the opening days of WWII, the Japanese and US in the open expanses of the Pacific - it is all here. Perhaps there is less from the Japanese submarine force than you might expect, but that lack is more than made up for by a hundred others tales of life and death in a steel coffin 250 feet below the seas.

If you have any interest in submarine warfare, or WWII, this book is an excellent addition to your library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A monument to the war under the waves, 14 Oct 2010
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Submarine : An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts of the War Under the Sea, 1939-45 (Hardcover)
This is a unique anthology, a fitting monument to the war under the waves in 1939-45. It takes no sides - except perhaps submariners against the rest of the world - giving voice to axis and allies alike. The range of contributors runs from stokers to ship's captains, although it is dominated by the recollections of officers. It is drawn from published books, letters, the sound archive of the Imperial War Museum, and more recent recollections recounted to the author.

Nearly 600 pages long, this book is both introduction and overview to the role of submarines in WWII. There is an introductory section on submarines of the period and the men who served in them, and then the book proceeds year by year from September 1939 until the end of the war. The largely forgotten role of the Polish, Dutch, French and Italian submarine forces is covered in some depth, and the usually ignored Red Navy gets several mentions. There is even a story from a Yugoslav submarine - and I didn't even know they had a navy in WWII, let alone a working submarine!

There are no weak points here, just a collection of stories which together cover the undersea WWII. U-boat captains hunting convoys in the Atlantic, British subs doing much the same in the Meditterranean, the Dutch in Europe and the East Indies, the run to England of the Polish submarines in the opening days of WWII, the Japanese and US in the open expanses of the Pacific - it is all here. Perhaps there is less from the Japanese submarine force than you might expect, but that lack is more than made up for by a hundred others tales of life and death in a steel coffin 250 feet below the seas.

If you have any interest in submarine warfare, or WWII, this book is an excellent addition to your library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 10 Dec 2013
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Just the Christmas present for an ex submariner I know he will enjoy it I haven't read this myself but I know true life accounts are always stranger than fiction..
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting reminiscence, 27 Jan 2014
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A book based on the personal experiences of submariners of all nationalities who took part in WW 2. the common factor being: "humanity", and not the flag under which they served their country. an interesting insight into how war effects the lives of all who fight for their country. would recommend.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 3 Nov 2010
By 
T. D. Fitt (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I purchased this book because I had previously been asked by the author for permission to include extracts from a relative's war memoirs and, naturally, I wanted to see to what extent they had been quoted. It is a fascinating collection of extracts from the memoirs of those who served in submarines during WWII, particularly since they cover the submarine services of all the different countries involved. I hadn't previously been aware of the Italian, French, Dutch and Norwegian participation and it was interesting to compare the national characteristics and attitudes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another book I am reading at the moment, 9 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Submarine : An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts of the War Under the Sea, 1939-45 (Hardcover)
It is a facsinating insite into WWII submariners. I am reading it story by story at my leisure, between 2 other book and I am finding facsinating. There is a commonalirity (?) amongst submariners from different countries on both sides in the war.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb, 3 Jan 2009
By 
David Burdon "db4111" (co durham) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Submarine : An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts of the War Under the Sea, 1939-45 (Hardcover)
an excellent book well written and covers many countries.It gives the reader an insight into submarine life and many dangers
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Submarine by Submariner, 27 Feb 2008
By 
This review is from: Submarine : An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts of the War Under the Sea, 1939-45 (Hardcover)
I have just finnished read in the book, and was extremely impressed by the work that has gone into it. I must say that I enjoyed it a great deal, and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Submarines, and indeed, anyone that has an interest in human nature.It is nice, as a British Submariner to read about other nations Submariners, and their experiences. In fact, there is little to choose between Submariners. We all have the same fears and hopes. We are, after all, Submariners.
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