The odyssey of a U-boat commander: Recollections of Erich Topp Hardcover – 13 Jul 1992
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Though it is a melancholy tale, Odyssey of a U-Boat Commander will help the American military officer greatly in the development of his view of military professionalism. - THE FRIDAY REVIEW OF DEFENSE LITERATURE
Admiral Topp's memoirs reflect the faith, hopes, errors, and transformations in a man's life, indeed those of a whole generation whose understanding of history and ideology was held captive by the myth of power. The terrible annihilation in World War II and, even more so, the unimaginable destructive potential of nuclear weapons, have resulted in a change in the use of power. The author's diaries and journals, along wth their contemporary interpretation, illustrate the political dimension of this change. Topp wrote this book to illuminate a segment of 20th century history which "can only be portrayed truthfully by those who themselves have lived and suffered through it". Topp also describes freely the era of the Third Reich. Even today, after long years of occupying positions of leadership, the author feels the burden of historical responsibility. In this sense his book is a statement about the ambivalence of human existence. It aims to provide answers to the question of why a whole generation of Germans followed the mesmerizing siren song of a totalitarian regime, an experience which still looms like a shadow over the living.See all Product description
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Just an opinion but I think the angle of the author was almost too philosophical. Well written and his views although well balanced, I thought compared ancient history with his events a little excessively.
An interesting and enjoyable read...
he doesn't pull ANY punches..not a comfortable read by any means but it leaves yu in no doubt what so ever about just how it felt to be living amidst the political atmosphere , chaos trauma and up heaval of the war and all that followed..
no doubt at all..he just grabs yu by the scruff of the neck and drags yu thru the whole thing from start to finish then flings yu out the front door with a flea in yur ear for good measure wear a crash helmet the landing can be a bit rough.
you can allmost sense him looking at yu saying "well you said you wanted to know...now you do...did you learn anything?"
stunning, unique even but not a simple account of his war patrols by any means...given the high price of the book it's worth mentioning this...mind yu i allmost felt like i had been over whelmed by a work of art rather than having "just read a book" so i have no complaints ..thank you Mr Topp
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Topp's book is excellent for several reasons. First, after the war, he was the German Navy representative with NATO. This gives him a perspective on the twentieth century shared by few others. Second, he writes not only about action at sea, but about the political and philosophical troubles in Germany. Third, the accounts of naval action are first-rate. Fourth, this book refutes the silliness propounded by such as Daniel Goldhagen that everyday Germans were in on the Holocaust. Topp's aunt, Anna, was part Jewish, and sent to a "model" work camp which was open for Red Cross inspection. The ill treatment still led to her death soon after liberation. Topp learned of this after the war, and was sickened to know that she had only received such "good" treatment because of her relation to the famous U-Boat commander (Topp was featured on wartime postage stamps). It is worth noting that the father of von Luck's fiancee was also killed in a concentration camp, and that although von Luck attempted to have him released, it was not until the man was killed that von Luck, a high-ranking officer who was close to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, began to realize that there was something going on.
Erich Topp is a reflective and insightful author. If you appreciate military history in the tradition of Caesar, this is not to be missed. This book is also reviewed on uboat.net.