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The U-Boat Commanders (ePub)

Knight’s Cross Holders 1939–1945

Maritime > Naval Maritime > Submarines WWII > German Forces & Weaponry WWII > Naval Warfare WWII

By Jeremy Dixon
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
File Size: 29.8 MB (.epub)
Illustrations: 210
ISBN: 9781526718754
Published: 28th May 2019


£4.99 Print price £25.00

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Author interview

Catch up: Listen to author Jeremy Dixon discussing the book on RTE's Seascapes podcast.

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The Knight’s Cross (Ritterkreuz) was one of the highest decorations given for extreme acts of valour to all ranks of the German armed forces during the Second World War. Few awards captured the respect and admiration of the German public as the Knight’s Cross – it was the greatest honour one could achieve.

In the perilous and close-knit world of the U-boat crews the award of the decoration to their captain was an event of particular pride and sometimes it was even added to the boat’s insignia. In all, there were 123 recipients, including their commander-in-chief Karl Dönitz, and Jeremy Dixon’s highly illustrated book is the ideal guide to all these men and their wartime service.

A graphic text accompanied by almost 200 archive photographs describes the exploits of each of them, including those who received the higher grades of the award. Full details are given of their tours of duty, the operations they took part in, how they won their award, how many ships they sank and their subsequent careers.

As featured in

Ships Monthly - July 2023

Having read other publications about the U-Boat war it was interesting to learn more about the men behind the mission, who survived and their subsequent post WWII life.

As always, well researched plus it is the sort of book one can dip into from time to time as there isn’t a plot to follow. Enjoyable and informative.

Review by Bob Dean

Author interview, click here to listen

RTÉ Radio, maritime programme Seascapes

Author Jeremy Dixon’s exhaustive research has produced an impressive biographical anthology of the more than 120 U-boat commanders who were awarded the coveted Knight’s Cross during the Second World War.

Maritime Engineering Journal, Summer 2020

When researching WWII U-boat history you get to a point where you need a good reference book. Well, this is it. This is not a book about every single U-boat and every U-boat commander. But just about all major U-boat actions and key commanders are present in The U-Boat Commanders: Knight´s Cross Holders 1939-1945 by Jeremy Dixon.

Read the full review here

Lars Gyllenhaal

The book gives a valuable insight to the courage, determination and skill of these commanders and their crews. Well worth a read

World of Warships, April 2020 - reviewed by Charles Waters

A very interesting reference book that acts as a guide to the main operations of U-Boats during World War II.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

As featured by The Naval Review

Print & online

With so many books written about them, U-boats are one of the most interesting single subjects of the Second World War. This book focuses on the top of the top U-boat commanders of Hitler's navy, those awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross.) A very well researched and written book it includes photos of the men with the details of their careers. It has a biography of every man and lists the other awards earned through their career. For those who survived their post war life is also included. This is a fantastic reference for anybody interested in U-boats and is a must for the serious war researcher.

Read the full review here


Featured in

Barrow and Furness Submariners Association

This book contains graphic text and photographs—many from the author’s personal collection—that will appeal to those undertaking research, U-Boat enthusiasts, or indeed anyone interested in reading about the bravery of men facing overwhelming odds. This well-researched and well-presented book is very deserving of your consideration as the authoritative reference for the achievements of U-Boat Commanders who were awarded the Knight’s Cross.

Read the full review here

Australian Naval Institute

A solid, readable and informative resource.

Read the full review here

A Question Of Scale, Seb Palmer

The author has provided well-research text, together with a large number of images from archive stocks. This is both a recognition of extreme courage and a graphic insight into the skill, determination, persistence, raw courage, and comradeship.

Read the full review here


A fascinating insight into the service careers of some of the most feared U-Boat captains of WWII – the 123 Knight’s Cross Holders.
Highly recommended

Watch the full video review here

Scale Modelling Now

A book that you browse with pleasure and that reports, albeit briefly, with extreme detail the careers of all the submariners who received the prestigious German decoration.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

A good book offering full biographies of the U-Boat commanders who won some of Germany’s highest honours in WW2. A seriously good reference book linking the commanders, their U-Boats and their victims. Despite some of them being indicted for war crimes they all considered they were doing their duty.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Jeremy Dixon

Jeremy Dixon has been interested in Nazi Germany for over thirty-five years and has written several books on the subject. His first book Commandersof Auschwitz detailed the careers of the SS officers who served at Auschwitz concentration camp. It was followed by books dealing with Luftwaffe generals who won the Knight’s Cross, a two-volume study of recipients of Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, and the third which details the holders who served in the Fallschirmjäger, Germany’s elite parachute unit. His most recent publication is The U-Boat Commanders: Knight’s Cross Holders 1939-1945.

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