Austro-Hungarian Submarines: In World War One (Maritime) Paperback – 2 Feb 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is richly illustrated with magnificent period photographs, has an extensive collection of line drawings of all the types in service (often also before and after modifications), technical data, successes and losses (by boat) and a helpful index, making it easy to find specific boats or their missions.
In terms of those, the whole spectrum from operations against the Entente military shipping, anti merchant operations (in the Adriatic and Mediterranean), defence duty both in the Adriatic and support to the Turkish Navy, and convoy duties are all covered. The author also makes sure to include surface craft operations in support of the submarines, the blockade running at the Straights of Otranto, gives enough background to explain what else was going on at the time both in terms of industrial difficulties (assignment of contracts to the various shipyards, for instance), military activities, as well as covering the uprisals of the Austrian sailors in 1917 and 1918. All the notable submarine captains, including some German ones (of the German submarines that were operating under the Austro-Hungarian flag for a while) are also covered, together with the difficulties of operating the then still pretty novel craft, which was far from perfected.
The author also manages to convey the material in a very readable manner, so it is no chore to read the book from cover to cover in one sitting, even if it will mostly be used as a reference work afterwards.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The subject is exactly reflected in the title of the book. The history of the submarine in the service of the Dual Monarchy is covered minutely from the beginnings to the final collapse. The text is more of an administrative, political, and operational history than a technical one. The technical aspects are only lightly covered in the text but there are numerous builder's drawings scattered throughout the book to cover this aspect. There are also extensive photographs.
One gets a complete picture of the difficulties that the Austro-Hungarians fought under and the reader comes away with an appreciation for the results achieved. Interestingly, this is the only time I've ever read of Georg von Trapp without "The Sound of Music" being mentioned. The German U-boats that operated from Austro-Hungarian are only mentioned when their story impinges on the main theme of the book.
Like the first two books in this series there are specially prepared profile line drawings of the submarines in the back along with tables of technical data and successes and losses.
There are two shortcomings with the book. First, a map or two would have been welcome. Second, a comprehensive list of Austrian U-numbers including the ones used by the Germans would have been useful.
All in all an outstanding work and I'm glad MMP decided to translate it so it could be appreciated by English speakers worldwide. Highly recommended.
At the beginning of the war there was little concern among the allies about the threat of submarines. They were too new, had not been really used in war before, and besides Germany only had about thirty and the Austro-Hungarian empire only had six. What the allies didn’t realize at the time was just how destructive submarines would be, and ignored that the fact that submarines were really small ships when compared to the surface fleet. This meant that submarines were much could be produced in numbers higher than the number expected. It also became understood that the submarines were far more effective weapons than had been expected.
This book is the definitive book on the submarines of the Austro-Hungarians and of their history and usage.
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