Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The British Submarine service in WWII, 1 Nov 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sea Wolves: The Extraordinary Story of Britain's WW2 Submarines (Hardcover)
Sea Wolves is a look at British submarines in WWII and the days before, noting that the experience of the British was vastly different to that of the German U-Boats, or even the Americans engaged in the Pacific war. For the Germans, the submarine war was largely a thing of the deep Atlantic, harassing convoys and being resupplied at sea. For the Brits, it was a mixture of home defence and actions in the Meditterranean, largely against Italian merchant shipping, with a little Far East action in the Indian Ocean towards the war's end. Clayton points this out towards the end of the book, and notes that while submarine service was dangerous for Brits - on a par with flying bombers over the Reich every night - it was deadly for the Germans.

The first 100 pages of this taut 400 page book is focused on the pre-war sub stations and men. The Far East appears exotic and entrancing in the 1930's, while with hindsight we can see the pall hanging over China and Hong Kong admidst the bright lights and painted ladies. Then the war begins, and the focus is on Europe and specifically the Norwegian campaign, which was stupid and bloody on both sides, at least for the navies involved. There is a fair bit about this - and I had forgotten that Norway was still going on even after Dunkirk - and it is all interesting.

The heart of the book is about the campaign in the Med, based out of Malta, where the British were commerce raiders, doing to the Afrika Korp was the Kriegsmarine was trying to do to Britain: cut off its supplies. There is also the actions against the Italian fleet, as well as the various "special forces" type of action the subs were often sent out to do.

The book then ends with smaller sections on the minisubs attacks on the Tirpitz, and on the Indian Ocean sub force based out of Trincomalee and Perth. This is an often-forgotten side of the "Pacific" war, and its noteworthy that the British subs were hot and humid in the tropics, having been largely designed for the cold of the North Sea. There is a final summing up of the "was it worth it" kind, with some pretty good analysis: it deftly makes the point that submarines were not designed as special forces insertion vehicles, but they were the least worst option for the job, so they got it, even at the cost of other operational benefits.

All up, this is well written and easy to read, romping along without ever shying away from showing the horrible things that happen in wartime. Excellent work, if you like that sort of thing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.5 out of 5 stars (46 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (11)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Brisbane, QLD, AUST

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,241