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Grey Wolves: The U-Boat War 1939-1945 by [Kaplan, Philip]
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Grey Wolves: The U-Boat War 1939-1945 Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Formerly a book designer with Harper-Row, an Art Director with Playboy and Atlanta magazines, Philip Kaplan has written or co-authored and designed twenty books, including; One Last Look, Abbeville Press, 1988; Little Friends, Random House, 1993, Fighter Pilot, Aurum Press, 2002. He is the author of several Pen and Sword publications including Night and Day Bomber Offensive (2006), Fighter Aces of the Luftwaffe in World War II (2007).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11961 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword Aviation (5 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LOUSYYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #256,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By atticusfinch1048 TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover
A View from the Other Side

Grey Wolves is the story of the U-Boat War between 1939 - 1945 which has been well researched by Philip Kaplan and is a wonderful addition to the history of Naval War History. This book captures the life on board and is taken from letters, diaries, journals and poetry.

This book points out that the submariners where not mere volunteers but were hardened men of the sea. What comes through this book is the harshness of life below water in the hunt for allied shipping how claustrophobic hot and quite unsanitary it was.

Kaplan has managed to capture the feel of being onboard a U-Boat and he writes and edits the documents in such a way that you get a very vivid picture of the men who fought and for those who died. The battles the U-Boats took part in are often overlooked but they had a task which they carried out knowing they were being hunted like wolves as allies knew it was kill or be killed. The battles above and below sea were important to keeping Britain in the war, fed and supplied. This book gives the men's view of that war in what was a massive ongoing battle across the six years of war.

Let's remember that there is a U-Boat memorial near Kiel that records the death of the men who went to sea and never able to go home and the figures really do make you think! Of the 39,000 men that went to war under the sea 27,491 were killed in action, some 5,000 became POWs. There were 863 U-Boats that eventually went to war, of which 754 were lost.

This is poignant books that brings their hopes and despair to life and is a great addition to the Naval War Canon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I must say every book I have had has been first rate this one is no exception . The descriptions of life onboard at times are unbelievable and at times hard to believe that both captain and crew are around 20 to 25 years of age. This is a book for all readers who share an interest in men of the kriegsmarine.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
really good read cover lots of aspects of the battle of the atlantic really enjoyed the read, gives lots of background information
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Format: Kindle Edition
Awful. Simply awful.

Badly written, badly edited, full of WHOLE PAGES of quotes taken straight from other books (like James Goodson's "Tumult in the
Clouds", and an absurd combat report reproduction of an American B-17 crew claiming to have shot down EIGHT Fock WUlfs in one sortie...), full of technical errors.

The book seems like a rushed job to get a fast cash, writing about a famous topic of WW II.

It does not serve even as an introduction to the theme.

Avoid it like the plague.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x97373e28) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97784a98) out of 5 stars Excellent Account of Life on US and German Subs & Bravery of the US Merchant Marines (and Merchant Navies of Allies) 26 Jan. 2015
By Alex Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Grey Wolves: The U-Boat War 1939-1945 by Philip Kaplan, is well written, clear, and provides the reader with a concise biography of the men who served aboard the deadly submarines. Kaplan rapidly explains the global history of submarines, especially from 1620 onward, even reminding the reader of the Confederates' submarine attack during the US Civil War.

Of the 39,000 German men to serve on U-boats, 27,491 died and 5000 became prisoners of war. (p. 7). Life for those serving on the "Grey Wolves" of the ocean, nicknamed "steal coffins", was miserably hot, cramped, humid, smelly, dirty...just plain awful.

Submarines were often said to be the pearls of the German fleet. Even during WWI the Kaiser particularly loved his submarines. Kaplan covers German submarine history concisely, also providing a brief discussion on the sinking of the Lusitania.

Kaplan highlights that some historians believe that WWII German U-boats nearly sealed the fate of Europe by rabidly attacking Ally convoys of supplies. In packs, much like wolves stalking prey, the U-boats would bear down on convoys, taking out several (sometimes all) ships in the vicinity. Civilian, merchant, and neutral ships (including US ships before entering the war) were stalked and attacked across the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Baltic, and North Seas.

In addition to explaining the naval tactics used by the WWII German U-boat fleet, and the Allied response to the U-boats, Kaplan also does a stellar job recounting life on the submarines, both on German U-boats and on their U.S. equivalents. Kaplan uses a large amount of first-hand stories, including official documents and private journals and letters of those who served on U-boats, giving the reader an intimate view inside the dank submarines.

Kaplan's coverage of the merchant navy and marines of Britain, Canada, and the United States stupendously gives a voice to these forces of brave sailors who quite literally fueled the Allies, including the Russian (Eastern) front, Britain, and Mainland Europe. Like "sitting ducks," these merchant ships carried critically needed supplies, but were almost defenseless against German U-boats. These courageous men ensured that critical weapons, ammunition, vehicles, fuel, and other provisions made it where they were needed most, regardless of the danger brought on by the lurking Grey Wolves.

As the number of encounters with German U-boats increased, the Allies learned tactics to overcome the submarines, turning the once safe depths of the ocean into a deadly trap for the Germans. Depth charges, particularly those dropped on both sides of the haul of the U-boat (anchor maneuver), proved deadly, as were convoys of merchant and naval ships. Aircraft (when possible) and scouting ships discovered the lurking U-boats, helping to coordinate attacks on the U-boats. The lessons learned in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and North Seas would prove particularly usefully in the Pacific, where the Japanese also possessed lethal submarines.

I am giving Kaplan's Grey Wolves: The U-Boat War 1939-1945 4.5 out of 5 stars because of its compelling prose, and its inside look into the lives of those who served and often died on the German U-boats. Furthermore, Grey Wolves gives a much-needed voice to the thousands of merchant marines/navy of several Allies of WWII. Grey Wolves will not disappoint those interested in a quick read about WWII submarine and naval warfare and tactics, as well as a compelling glimpse into the lives of the merchant marines of WWII.

Tags:
WWII, U-boat, Submarine, Submarine Warfare, Germany, Military History, Military Tactics, Naval Tactics, Naval History, German Prisoners of War, Merchant Navy, Merchant Marines, Atlantic Battles, North Sea Battles, Mediterranean Battles
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x970d242c) out of 5 stars I enjoyed. I marvel at the research done by the ... 12 Mar. 2015
By C. B. Griggs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, it is not about any one crew, or U-boat. It is about tactics, methods and practices, how each problem was solved, how U-boats were different from any other branch. I enjoyed. I marvel at the research done by the author.
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9764cbc4) out of 5 stars The writer did a great damage to the históry of the German submarine force in World War II. 5 July 2014
By Botnik Roller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Awful. Simply awful.

Badly written, badly edited, full of WHOLE PAGES of quotes taken straight from other books (like James Goodson's "Tumult in the
Clouds", and an absurd combat report reproduction of an American B-17 crew claiming to have shot down EIGHT Fock WUlfs in one sortie...), full of technical errors.

The book seems like a rushed job to get a fast cash, writing about a famous topic of WW II.

It does not serve even as an introduction to the theme.

Avoid it like the plague.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9733860c) out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 Jan. 2015
By Charles Shanks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good history review
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Greg Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not bad. A quick read.
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