Weapons of Desperation (Kindle)
German Frogmen and Midget Submarines of World War II
As the Third Reich headed for destruction, German ingenuity in the naval field turned to unconventional weapons – midget submarines, radio-controlled explosive boats, and various forms of underwater sabotage.
This is one of the last un-chronicled areas of World War II naval history and this well-known author describes how, facing overwhelming odds, German sailors – most of them volunteers – mounted attacks that were little better than suicide missions.
Judged by their effect on the Allied advance, their successes were slight, but there seems to have been no collapse of morale and the indomitable bravery of those involved makes riveting reading. Pieced together from fragmentary sources, this largely untold story uncovers some of the most desperate operations of the War.
There is little that wargamers can find here for games but the tales of heroism and small battle unit actions may create some inspiration and are interesting in their own right. The book is a detailed account which, to my mind, shows the futility of trying to counter conventional forces with small asymmetric Special Forces with high morale but questionable training and equiptment: hence the title! The book is recommended to those with an interest in Special Forces, their creation, planning, equiptment and operations but the reader will need to make up his own mind as to whether they are useful or repaid the resources expended on them. It is recommended to the expert and the general reader alike.Miniature Wargames, October 2018 – reviewed by Martin Pike