U-Boats at War in 100 Objects, 1939–1945 (Hardback)
‘The only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril,’ wrote Winston Churchill in his history of the Second World War. ‘I was even more anxious about this battle than I had been about the glorious air fight called the Battle of Britain.”
In reality, the Kriegsmarine had been woefully unprepared for the war into which it was thrown. The Command-in-Chief of submarines, Karl Dönitz, himself a verteran U-boat captain from the First World War, felt that he could bring Britain to its knees with a fleet of 300 U-Boats. But when war broke out, he had just twenty-four available for operational use.
Despite this, the U-Boat arm scored some incredible successes in the early part of the war, raising the status of the submarine commanders and crews to that of national heroes in the eyes of the German people. The ‘Grey Wolves’ had become super-stars.
Small wonder then that the U-Boat war has fascinated students of military history ever since. This book, using a carefully selected range of both wartime images and colour images of surviving U-boat memorabilia from private collections, describes 100 iconic elements of the U-Boat service and its campaigns. The array of objects include important individuals and the major U-Boat types, through to the uniforms and insignias the men wore. The weapons, equipment and technology used are explored, as are the conditions in which the U-boat crews served, from cooking facilities and general hygiene down to the crude toilet facilities.
Importantly, the enemy that they faced is also covered, examining the ship-borne and airborne anti-submarine weaponry utilised against the U-boats. The U-Boats began the war, though small in number, more than a match for the Allies and created carnage amongst merchant shipping as well as sinking several major warships. The pace of technological development, however, failed to match that of Allied anti-submarine warfare weaponry and the U-Bootwaffe was ultimately doomed to defeat but not before, at one point, coming close to bringing Britain to its knees.
If there was thing that worried Sir Winston Churchill during World War II, it was the U-Boat threat from the German Kriegsmarine. Not only did it affect you military ships it would affect the ships bringing in food and supplies to the UK from abroad, this was one of Britain’s lifelines. Although it had been ill prepared before the war, before the end of the war the German U-Boats would greatly improve and develop in technology. The number of U-Boats went from 24 to a fleet of 300 under their Commander-in-Chief Karl Donitz. This book takes a look at the history, how it worked, U-Boat memorabilia, the individuals, the medals, the uniforms and many more items.UK Historian
This book is a fascinating look at many different objects and items that help portray the life of a U-Boat and all that is involved inside. This is not the first I have read, as I have read 100 objects about the WW2 Home Front, Henry VIII, the First Blitz and the Third Reich. Each book in my opinion is fantastic and this book doesn’t fail that as it a fascinating read. Some of the items you can think of that represent U-Boats are easy to think of, but then the others if you read the book are excellent examples. You often forget little things that you don’t think are significant but when you read the book these items are just as important as the others. From Wolfpacks, to crewmen, to uniforms and medals, from posters to officers watches and battle plans of attack. The information and research in this book is top notch and the accompanying photos are fascinating. For a great read, this book would please everyone I’m sure, but especially those with an interest in U-Boats.
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A simply stunning book with 100 short but still rich chapters.Lars Gyllenhaal
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Launched during the last days of the Third Reich in an attempt to restart the Battle of the Atlantic, the majority of these revolutionary Electro-U-boats never saw action. Instead they became the forebears of the Cold War’s much dreaded hunter killer submarines. The massive Type XXI was planned to replace the conventional ‘Atlantic’ U-boat that had seen service so far in the war. The Type XXIII was a smaller coastal version. The new Electo-U-boats were the first submarines to operate primarily submerged, as opposed to spending large periods of time on the surface. Hitler’s new designs…By Jak P. Mallmann Showell
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