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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 February 2005
During WW2, this author completed every single war patrol aboard the German submarine U-505. Towards the end of the war it was the author himself - as a very junior crewman, who had the final task of trying to sink his U-Boat after it had been forced to the surface by enemy fire. It was a gallant attempt that was thwarted only by an equally gallant American Navy which finally captured the submarine intact - complete with all it's operational codes.

In 1954, Han Goebeler read an article which informed him his beloved U-Boat was now part of an exhibition in Chicago and promptly moved with his wife to be near the machine that once meant so much to him. It wasn't long before he would be found giving personal talks to visitors. Over the years he also brought former adversaries together in reunions.

This book is his story. From those early beginnings in the Kriegsmarine until his death in 1999, he recalls just about everything that ever happened to him. He was not a Nazi, nor was he a demon or monster - just an ordinary man who was called upon to serve his country as did what any of us would do - he served. It is a moving story in which the reader will soon become gripped by the reality of life - and death!, on board a German U-Boat at time of war - although there is much to it than just that.

Rest in Peace Hans Goebeler - you earned it.

NM
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on 28 June 2017
Interesting any easy to read, but found some of the author's views on how Germany was the victim of WW2 a little hard to take. But see past this and the book becomes well worth reading
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on 2 March 2017
A good honest account of life on a U boat, successes and errors all told
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on 1 May 2017
Great
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on 16 October 2017
A good account by a rating of his life on a U boat on war patrol..Well written and quite different from high level strategic accounts
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on 18 December 2011
As a true account of U-Boat warfare from a 'sailor's' perspective its fine - if a little juvenile. However, the problem (for me) arose in the author's personal view-or lack of-on the FACTS surrounding Germany's role in WW2. Although he (and some other reviewers) have mentioned his 'normal' reasons for fighting were the same as soldiers throughout the ages, he never acknowledges Germany's culpability in the war's inception. Its therefore unclear whether Herr Goebeler agreed with his nation's role or not. In one passage (p.116) for instance, he is writing about an allied (the USA and Britain) air raid on the French city of Lorient where the German navy had one of its U-Boat bases and where he sees the destruction of what was formerly a beautiful old church; "It angered me that nothing was to be left sacred in this war [I'm with him so far...]. I cursed the unholy alliance between the British capitalists and the Russian communists [no mention of the Americans here!?], whose brutal determination to conquer Germany [...come again!] and incorporate it into their empires was bringing such destruction to Europe"... At this point I struggled to read on past what can only be described as nazi, propagandist drivel. Also, bear in mind that he wrote the book many years after the war was over in his new 'adopted' homeland of the United States (hence, no doubt, the lack of reference to the USA's role in the bombing offensive). It therefore can't be that he 'didn't know' about the truth of Germany's role. He referes many times to the (admitedly brutal) air raids of the later war years on German cities and the catastrophic loss of civilian lives - Yet never, I repeat NEVER, does he discuss even in passing the Luftwaffe's bombing of Warsaw, Rotterdam, Coventry etc etc. In my opinion this is an author who still had a political axe to grind -- but who knew not to grind it about his new 'homeland' of the USA.
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on 27 September 2013
I chose this rating because the book deserved it.
I was interested to find the view point of a crew member other than the view point of an officer about
life on board a wartime U boat.
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on 23 March 2009
A fantastic account of life as a german sailor aboard a WW2 U -Boat. Different in style to other books I have read on the same topic as this time its written from the perspective of a regular crew member rather than one of the commanding officers. An engrossing and passionately written book. Well worth a read if your even remotely interested in U-Boats.
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on 6 June 2014
Even if you hate what the U-Boats did you have to admire the courage and dedication of the submariners, to carry on going out on patrol when you know that the chances of coming back are just about zero took tremendous courage. My problem with this book is Hans himself, he's a pretty much unrepentant Nazi and this colours the narrative, the fact that he managed to avoid the de-nazification process and felt duty to the oath he swore to Hitler to the end of his days leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth. It would be interesting to read about the brave men who managed to infiltrate the U-Boat pens and commit acts of sabotage.
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on 5 January 2013
An honest and straightforward account of life on a U-boat from the lower deck. Good reading too. Also gives an insight into the thinking of the average German in WW2.
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