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K Boats: Steam-Powered Submarines in World War I Paperback – 30 Mar 1999
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Thoroughly recommended for anyone interested in World War I Naval ships.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Having just obtained the book and read it again, I find it still a gripping read. The misguided thinking behind the development of Steam Powered Submarines (with smokestacks!) and their string of disasters resulting from inherent design flaws, human error, and just plain bad luck is one of those stories that could not have been made-up.
There's a detailed two chapter description of the ill-starred K-13's sinking on her trials, and the courageous and resourceful efforts that saved the survivors of the initial accident. The other main tale is the so-called Battle of May Island fleet exercise; one of those unfortunate disasters that resulted in major loss of life even without an enemy involved.
My only complaint is that the book isn't long enough. I wish the author had gone into more detail about the later M-Boats as well since they were variations built on the K-Boat's technology, and experienced their own string of memorable mishaps. Still, it is one of the best stories of the early years of submarine development I have read.
The book has a fair number of illustrations, and a fold-out scale drawing of a K-Boat's layout.
Great book for the submarine history enthusiast or any interested reader.
The vessels were plagued with disasters-- crewmembers were killed in virtually all of them. They had been posted to picket duties, with the result that the crews were bored with little to do; they were undertrained and the submarines incorporated technology that was completely unfamiliar.
This book traces the boats from their genesis to their end. They were originally planned to counter Germany's high speed, ocean-going submarines. After WWI, when the files of the German High Seas Fleet were investigated by the British, they found that Germany had no such submarines and had never planned any. The K Boats were developed to counter a threat which had never existed at all.
Readers with an interest in naval submarine history and the way in which politics determines naval decision making should read this book. In addition to text it contains a host of photographs of K Boats underway and a fold-out of a schematic of a K. An excellent read.
Well researched and reads almost like a novel.
Good work !