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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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During WW2, this author completed every single war patrol aboard the German submarine U-505. Towards the end of the war it was the author himself - as a very junior crewman, who had the final task of trying to sink his U-Boat after it had been forced to the surface by enemy fire. It was a gallant attempt that was thwarted only by an equally gallant American Navy which finally captured the submarine intact - complete with all it's operational codes.

In 1954, Han Goebeler read an article which informed him his beloved U-Boat was now part of an exhibition in Chicago and promptly moved with his wife to be near the machine that once meant so much to him. It wasn't long before he would be found giving personal talks to visitors. Over the years he also brought former adversaries together in reunions.

This book is his story. From those early beginnings in the Kriegsmarine until his death in 1999, he recalls just about everything that ever happened to him. He was not a Nazi, nor was he a demon or monster - just an ordinary man who was called upon to serve his country as did what any of us would do - he served. It is a moving story in which the reader will soon become gripped by the reality of life - and death!, on board a German U-Boat at time of war - although there is much to it than just that.

Rest in Peace Hans Goebeler - you earned it.

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on 21 December 2015
The usual ghost writer's jarring hyperbole, it seems,largely absent within this excellent account of life at the sharp and smelly end of life in a U-boat as recounted by an unreconsructedly partisan German sailor.
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on 10 April 2014
Having read numerous books of submarine warfare, this publication is outstanding. A first hand account of a German submariner who believed unreservedly in his duty to the "fatherland" it throws a new light as to the dedication and belief in Hitler's war machine shared by the german nation during ww2. If nothing more, you have to admire the dedication and courage of these brave submariners. A book you will want to read again.
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on 23 March 2009
A fantastic account of life as a german sailor aboard a WW2 U -Boat. Different in style to other books I have read on the same topic as this time its written from the perspective of a regular crew member rather than one of the commanding officers. An engrossing and passionately written book. Well worth a read if your even remotely interested in U-Boats.
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on 11 February 2014
It’s all too easy to latch onto stories and accounts from allied sources, ( the good guys ), and have a romanticised picture of their heroics that played out as they fought and defeated the evil Nazis.

A truly fascinating, first hand, account allows the reader to realise the bad guys were just as human and brave individuals too. Are you brave enough to accept that?
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on 6 June 2014
Even if you hate what the U-Boats did you have to admire the courage and dedication of the submariners, to carry on going out on patrol when you know that the chances of coming back are just about zero took tremendous courage. My problem with this book is Hans himself, he's a pretty much unrepentant Nazi and this colours the narrative, the fact that he managed to avoid the de-nazification process and felt duty to the oath he swore to Hitler to the end of his days leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth. It would be interesting to read about the brave men who managed to infiltrate the U-Boat pens and commit acts of sabotage.
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on 27 September 2013
I chose this rating because the book deserved it.
I was interested to find the view point of a crew member other than the view point of an officer about
life on board a wartime U boat.
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on 24 February 2015
A truly excellent read and fascinating to learn the story of life on board a u-boat, from a crewmans perspective
All the books I have read relating to u -boats have been very interesting,but this book has been the most compelling read so far.Thank you to the authors.
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on 13 October 2012
This book is 'the other side of the story' from a young U Boat sailor's view. I have found this a very interesting read, good detail but not the type that gets bogged down in the minutiae of the story. This was not always a happy boat, nor was it bloodthirsty. It does explain why the German nation followed the Nazi party. Further, it does show why the losses of the U Boats was so high. These were the cream of the Kriegsmarine, the flower of German youth. Highly recommended as it does tell a good story well.
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on 23 January 2015
A must read for any one who enjoys reading factual stories of WW2. Hans Goebeler's personal account of life in the submarine Corp of the Kriegsmarine is absorbing and entertaining. Once I started I couldn't put the book down.
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