4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Periscope view of a neglected flotilla,
This review is from: Red Star Under the Baltic: A Firsthand Account of Life on Board a Soviet Submarine in World War 2 (Hardcover)Much has been written about the terrible conditions suffered by the Arctic convoys in WW2, but there is very little - in English, at any rate- about the war fought by the Soviet submarines, and Viktor Korzh's eye-witness account is a rare and valuable account of a Russian submariner's experiences. The bitter cold and the grim living conditions are described vividly and with wry humour, and the adventures are suitably gripping. For me, perhaps most fascinating aspect is the determination and initiative of the crew in trying to make and keep their submarine operational during the siege of Leningrad, when spare parts and materials were in such desperately short supply. There can be few submarine autobiographies that do not include complains about equipment, spare parts or dockyards, but Korzh's men were up against almost insuperable obstacles.
The only moments which jarred were the occasional eulogies to the Political Commissar. Although only recently translated, the book was written in 1966 and was doubtless subject to censorship by both the author and the Soviet authorities. Professionals are not usually happy with polital interference, but maybe the political commissar on S-12 really was an asset.
Well-translated, highly readable, this ought to be on any submarine afficionado's shelf.