U-boat Operations of the Second World War: Volume 1: Career Histories, U1-U510 Hardcover – 30 Nov 1997
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This entrance was supposed to be guarded by a heavy wire anti-submarine boom, which was a large wire net that was supposed to prevent submarines and other craft from entering the anchorage and port area of Invergordon,so to have German U-Boats then proceeded up to the port of Invergordon, and then manage to lay a number of sea-mines off of Invergordon itself, seems almost impossible.
This book is one that provides the researcher with a lot of information on as to where each German submarine was built, which base it was allocated to, the operations that it took part in, plus what and how it had sunk or damaged some of the different types of vessel that it had encountered. Whilst there is also the list of their captains, and of course as to what each U-Boats eventual fate was.
Whilst there were and still are many people who consider underwater warfare as being a dirty way to fight a war, it must be realised that Britain, America, Japan, and many other countries also used submarines to carry their fight to the enemy, and that large numbers of men died trapped inside their submarine, either through some mechanical failure or enemy action.
Large numbers of men from all sides lost their lives whilst on the crew of a submarine, which is why submarines were given the name of 'Iron Coffins'.
And this book gives on a small glimpse of where some of these submarines now lay, with navigational aids not then having developed to the extent that GPS and Inertial Navigation techniques now allow a far more accurate position to be found on the earths surface.
It is interesting to see as to what each of the German U-Boats was actually involved in, with many of them having only a short time in operation before they and their crews were to have their final resting place only estimated on the sea floor, often far out of sight of land.
Those crews who did manage to escape from their sinking vessel were to then find that many of them would die ater being failed to be rescued in time, with many never having even their bodies found and takne back for burial ashore.
Reference books, as their description suggests, usually only give bare facts about certain subjects, and this book is no different, but what this book does is to give the researcher a far fuller picture of what was after all a very secret type of warfare, and one which if the Germans had been succesful would have seen Britain starved of its vital supplies of food and war material, thereby forcing it to surrender.
It is only by studying the information in this book that the tactics and the deployment of the German U-boats, along with reading as to how the Germas use of the Enigma Coding Machine had its secrets broken by the code breakers at Bletchley Park (and other special sites around the world), that gives a far fuller picture of actually what went on out at sea during WWII.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
28 thousand young men went to their graves and the rest fought till the bitter end. anyhow for years Ive been wanting a book that had all the U boats listed ,what they did, who commanded them and how they met their end,THIS IS THAT BOOK. several of the books i own have a list but no information on patrols etc. i recently purchased the book on u boat commanders and that accompanied by this book could be a powerful combo to have as a cross reference although the book on commanders doesn't list for the most part what happened to the commanders after the war and there is as section with pictures of the commanders but not enough, just a select few.
another person that commented on here said that this book "U-boat Operations of the Second World War: Volume 1: Career Histories" that i am discussing here had no pictures, well thats a minor thing since all u boats look alike,you have several different types that are of course very different but for the most part all the boats that were sunk were type VII's but thats something you can find in another book (pictures and diagrams) that specializes on u boats types etc.
this is a book on what every single boat did during the war and it does it well,the author did some great research using several well established u boats research centers like the wonderful Horst bredow in Germany, if it wasn't for this man (bredow) we wouldn't know half of the history we know on u boats, he has made his lifetime crusade to keep a excellent record of all the personnel and all the boats that served during WW2,i sure hope he has picked a successor to carry on his work after he is gone.
so if you are thinking about buying this book remember its actually two books,they are worth their weight in gold,excellent research and they are also very nice quality, a book you will be proud to have in your bookcase. something to remember is that all the information on these two books is online also on some very good u boat websites but im one of those people that love to read and actually hold a book in my hands and to me, books will never go out of style, at least not as long as im alive. again if you read this review i hope it convinces you to purchase at least one of these books, give it a try, you will be more than pleased with it!!!!