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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 October 2003
I bought this book because it had been ages since I read "Iron Coffins" and always had an interest in WW2 Naval History. I was expecting a plain "German side" account of sinking merchant ships and getting depth charged, a book version of "Das Boot" if you will. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by Jordan Vause's writing and analysis which clearly surpassed these ho-hum expectations. The author presents a distinctly human Captain, who has both faults and virtues, and also dramatically recounts how he and his crew overcame failures, and basked in their early successes in Germany's 2nd futile war against Russia and the Western Democracies. They also ultimately fight their war in exotic locales, like off the South African coast, and even the Indian Ocean! And as a finale, the book ends with the Captain's controversial and thought provoking murder or suicide, which can never be truly resolved. The book also describes numerous leadership traits and excercises which the commander employed to keep his crew focused and in high spirits.
Even if you have only passing interest in WW2 this book is extemely interesting. If you are a little bit of a history nut as I am, this book is a MUST buy.
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on 1 October 2014
A very rewarding read , showing both accurate research and a real "feeling" for the subject matter. Mr Vause deserves great credit in his efforts to review the wartime life of one of the premier U-boat aces of WW2, namely Wolfgang Luth. You will read of a complex character who supported the Nazi regime, and who at the same time regarded family life as a crucial role for both himself and his crew mates. Indeed Luth celebrated both Mothers and Fathers day aboard his boat ! This man merited the award of the Diamonds to his Knightscross for his military success, and it is for the reader to decide if Luth equally merited his ultimate fate at the hands of a nervous fellow countryman long after he commanded a U-boat in action. You will see that Wolfgang Luth is enigmatic, ruthless and maybe worthy of a little faint praise has a capable soldier, despite his adherence to Nazi ideology.
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on 10 January 2016
typical nazi upbringin destroy everything went with this so as to rule the world under subjugation
But not his own family.a severe life up to preparation for war including in a u-boat fairly detailed
the nazis lost hurray
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on 14 October 2013
Great book that covers a very complex man very well indeed. Personally I would have preferred another 100 pages but the
problem with the subject is that not much solid info exists, except the tonnage totals, and what JORDAN VAUSE does
disclose is obviously very well researched. The best thing about the book though is the readability of it, you don't need a degree
in military history to read and understand the book or the man. Excellent book-subject-author. Can't give it more praise than that.
Well worth buying.
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on 6 February 2013
great read about and interesting and controversial man.
i thought the writing excellent - he has empathy for his subject, very important to have this.
and i whish Mr Vause had written alot more.
i have both his books and would highly recommend them.

i think this would make a great war film too.

its long enough. it doesnt drag with dull detail just to flesh out the pages.
the ending is terribly sad and unfortunate.
one that will remain on my book shelf.

when i had finished the book i had the strong feeling i had got to know
Wolfgang Luth; if a writer can do this, then you are in good hands.
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on 21 May 2014
This is a refreshing study of a U-boat ace written by an American scholar and enthusiast. It pulls no punches and seems to be a fairly honest account of the life and development of a cold blood Nazi killer. A cool head book, written from the point of view of one not involved in the conflict, that is thus unbiased and worth a read.
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on 11 August 2010
A good read for anyone with an interest in U boats and their commanders. A little on the short side but well written and with some interesting black and white photographs. If you enjoy this I would also recommend "The Golden Horseshoe", an account of Kretschmeyer's career.
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on 26 September 2011
As an avid reader of anything about the Kriegsmarine and the U-Boat war for over 50 years I was delighted to find a book about Wolfgang Lüth, so imagine my disappointment when I read the following on Page 38 of the Naval Istitute Press edition regarding the invasion of Norway in 1940: 'The Kriegsmarine had the worst of it; the old battleship Blücher was sunk in a fierce attack by shore artillary and torpedoes in the approaches to Oslo' ... The old battleship Blücher? .. I can only assume that Mr Vause was somehow, INCREDIBLY confusing the brand-new Hipper-Class heavy cruiser, commissioned just 7 months earlier in late 1939, sunk by the guns and torpedoes of the Oscarborg Fortress in Drøbak Sound in Oslofjord on April 9 1940 with the old battle-cruiser SMS Blücher which was sunk off the Dogger Bank in January 1915!!
In a book that obviously involved an immense amount of research this is an ASTONISHING error and has seriously undermined my enjoyment of it.
The sinking of the heavy-cruiser Blücher was one of the most embarrassing naval blunders of the Second World War and how Mr Vause managed to get it SO wrong is astounding.
I will probably give the book the benefit of the doubt and read on but ...
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on 12 July 2016
Good book, but doesn't tell you a lot about his exploits.
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excellent thanks
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