Highly recommended books

This is a list of books we believe any serious reader into the Naval Warfare of WWII should be familiar with. These are the best books on the subject. If you believe we might have missed a good book here please let me know and we'll look into it.



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40 Fragen an Karl Dönitz

by - Dönitz, Karl
(40 questions to Karl Dönitz) (1980, Bernard & Graefe München)
ISBN 3763751823
230 pages, 1 color photo
Description: An interview conducted by French journalists, questioning the Admiral about the U-boat war.
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two

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Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two

by - Rohwer, Jürgen
German, Italian and Japanese Submarine Successes, 1939-1945 (1998, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557500290
Hardcover, 384 pages, 10 charts
Description: Contains extremely useful and thoroughly researched data tables of what U-boat sank what ship, when, where, and how. The results were obtained by many ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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Battle Beneath the Waves

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Battle Beneath the Waves

by - Stern, Robert C.
The U-Boat War (1999, Arms & Armour)
ISBN 1854092006
Hardcover, 272 pages, 46 b&w photos
Description: Using many primary sources and first-person accounts, the author presents some of the most dramatic and exciting incidents of U-boat warfare from both ...
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Battle of the Atlantic and Signals Intelligence, The

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The Battle of the Atlantic and Signals Intelligence

by - Syrett, David
U-boat Situations and Trends, 1941-1945 (1999, Published by Ashgate for the Navy Records Society, Brookfield VT)
ISBN 1840142952
628 pages
Description: This is a fascinating reference book compiling documents in the two series U-boat Situations and U-boat Trends, written from December 1941 to May 1945 ...
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Bitter Victory

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Bitter Victory

by - Olson, Wesley
The Death of HMAS Sydney (2000, University of Western Australia Press)
ISBN 1876268492
Hardcover, 436 pages, 42 b&w photos, maps, diagrams
Description: A study of Australia's worst maritime tragedy, and its greatest maritime mystery.
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Black May

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Black May

by - Gannon, Michael (1998, Harpercollins)
ISBN 0060178191
Hardcover, 492 pages, 43 b&w photos
Description: Michael Gannon wrote the awesome Operation Drumbeat (see our review) so this one is anticipated by many people. I've reviewed this excellent book whi ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Boat, The

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The Boat

by - Buchheim, Lothar-Günther (1999, Orion Military)
ISBN 0304352314
Paperback, 563 pages
Description: This well-known novel, stemming from the author's experiences as a war correspondent on U-96, describes a single U-boat patrol from beginning to end. ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945

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Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945

by - Rohwer, Jürgen and Hümmelchen, Gerhard (1992, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 155750105X
366 pages, no photos or illustrations, well indexed
Description: While this reference book gives a chronology of all naval actions worldwide during WWII, it does include good information on U-boat attacks on convoys ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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Convoy is to Scatter

by - Broome, John Egerton (1972, William Kimber, London)
ISBN 0718303326
Hardcover, 232 pages, 3 photos, 23 illustrations, 4 charts
Description: An account of the PQ-17 debacle by a participant, illustrated with the author's own sketches and cartoons, and providing a lengthy analysis of signals ...
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Count Not the Dead

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Count Not the Dead

by - Hadley, Michael
The Popular Image of the German Submarine (1995, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557501343
253 pages, 21 photos, 1 painting, 13 facsimiles
Description: This book explores the mythology behind the German U-boats and U-boat men (of both world wars, but mostly from World War II), including their represen ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Cruel Sea, The

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The Cruel Sea

by - Monsarrat, Nicholas (1999, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1580800467
Paperback, 520 pages
Description: The story is about convoy escorts, first aboard the corvette H.M.S. Compass Rose, and later on the frigate H.M.S. Saltash. The story follows the men o ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Enigma

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Enigma

by - Harris, Robert (1996, Random House)
ISBN 0804115486
Paperback, 372 pages
Description: A really good novel dealing with the Enigma code-breaking effort of the Allies at Bletchley Park.
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Enigma U-Boats

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Enigma U-Boats

by - Showell, Jak P. Mallmann
Breaking the Code-the True Story (2000, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557502021
Hardcover, 192 pages
Description: The true story of the seemingly inpenetrable German naval codes in World War 2.
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Faustball Tunnel, The

The Faustball Tunnel

by - Moore, John Hammond
German POWs in America and their Great Escape (1978, Random House)
ISBN 0394411587
268 pages
Description: This is a very interesting story about the escape of 25 POWs, mostly U-boat officers, from Papago Park, Arizona in 1944. U-boat commanders featuring p ...
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Fiasco

Fiasco

by - Potter, John Deane
The Break-Out of the German Battleships (1970, Heinemann Ltd., London)
ISBN 0434598011
235 pages
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German U-boat Commanders of World War II

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German U-boat Commanders of World War II

by - Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim
A Biographical Dictionary (1999, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557501866
301 pages
Description: "This important biographical dictionary details the service records of the 1,411 officers of the German Kriegsmarine known to have commanded a U-boat ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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German U-Boat Losses During World War II

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German U-Boat Losses During World War II

by - Niestle, Axel
Details of Destruction (1998, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557506418
Hardcover, 160 pages
Description: Axel Niestle is one of the biggest names when it comes to U-boat losses so this is a welcome and much awaited book indeed.
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H.M.S. Ulysses

H.M.S. Ulysses

by - MacLean, Alistair (1959, William Collins, London)
ISBN 0385041837
Description: This is a classic that tells the story of a convoy heading towards Murmansk in winter 1943. The book describes the conditions in which the convoy men ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Hirschfeld

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Hirschfeld

by - Brooks, Geoffrey told by Wolfgang Hirschfeld
The Story of a U-boat NCO, 1940-1946 (1996, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557503729
253 pages, 32 b&w photos
Description: The story of Wolfgang Hirschfeld, whose diaries Geoffrey Brooks has translated. The principal chapters describe his experiences during six war patrols ...
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Iron Coffins

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Iron Coffins

by - Werner, Herbert A.
A Personal Account of the German U-Boat Battles of World War II (2002, Da Capo Press)
ISBN 030681160X
Paperback, 388 pages
Description: Herbert A. Werner was the Commander of U-415 and U-953. This book tells the story of his wartime career, including his service on U-557 and U-230 as w ...
- This book has been translated from another language
- Translated into Polish as Zelazne trumny
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Kola Run, The

The Kola Run

by - MacIntyre, Donald and Campbell, Ian (1958, Frederick Muller Ltd.)
Hardcover, 254 pages, 6 maps, 32 illustrations
Description: This book describes the convoys to Russia. First published 1954.
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Last Year of the Kriegsmarine

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Last Year of the Kriegsmarine

by - Tarrant, V.E. (1994, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557505101
Description: A really well-written book covering all aspects of the German Navy in the last year of WWII. Includes details on U-boats, surface ships and the midget ...
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Lone Wolf

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Lone Wolf

by - Mulligan, Timothy P.
The Life and Death of U-Boat Ace Werner Henke (1993, Praeger)
ISBN 0275936775
247 pages, 12 photographs.
Description: The author chose a tricky subject to explore in this work. Henke's personality is difficult to understand from his actions, and the situation is comp ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Lusitania, The

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The Lusitania

by - Butler, Daniel Allen
The Life, Loss, and Legacy of an Ocean Legend (2000, Stackpole Books)
ISBN 0811709892
Hardcover, 384 pages
Description: Impressive and well-researched book on the loss of this mighty ship and how it affected the war.
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Narvik

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Narvik

by - Dickens, Peter and Grove, Eric J.
Battles in the Fjords (Classics of Naval Literature) (1996, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557507449
Description: Deals with the exciting and dramatic battles of Narvik on the coast of Norway in early 1940. Although most of the action was by surface vessels, some ...
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Neither Sharks nor Wolves

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Neither Sharks nor Wolves

by - Mulligan, Timothy P.
The Men of Nazi Germany's U-boat Arm, 1939-1945 (1999, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557505942
340 pages, 24 photos
Description: This book investigates the men behind the myth - the real officers and enlisted men behind the "shark" and "wolf" images often associated with the U-b ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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A Night before Christmas

by - Sanders, Jacquin (1996, Buccaneer Books, New York)
ISBN 1568490127
Hardcover, 320 pages, no photos, no index
Description: An excellent account of the sinking of the S.S. Leopoldville on December 24, 1944 by U-486 (Meyer). The best overview of this subject. First published ...
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North Atlantic Run

by - Milner, Marc
The Royal Canadian Navy and the Battle of the Convoys (1985, University of Toronto Press)
ISBN 0870214500
Description: A well-researched book on the Royal Canadian Navy's escort operations in the Atlantic, concentrating on the second half of 1942. Covers many famous wo ...
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Odyssey of a U-Boat Commander, The

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The Odyssey of a U-Boat Commander

by - Topp, Erich. Translated by Eric C. Rust (1992, Greenwood Publishing Group)
ISBN 0275938980
Hardcover, 258 pages
Description: Many believe this is one of the best personal accounts of the war. Topp was one of the most successful U-boat commanders on his famous Red Devil boat, ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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Operation Drumbeat

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Operation Drumbeat

by - Gannon, Michael (1991, )
ISBN 0060920882
485 pages, 31 b&w photos, 5 maps, and 1 diagram
Description: One of the best books available about this topic. Gannon describes the patrols of U-123 in great narrative form. The feeble American countermeasures a ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Pursuit

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Pursuit

by - Kennedy, Ludovic
The Chase and Sinking of the Bismarck (2000, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557504725
Hardcover, 296 pages
Description: An insightful and concise description of the events surrounding, and leading to, the sinking of the Bismarck. It also takes into account the U-boats i ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Raiders of the Deep

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Raiders of the Deep

by - Thomas, Lowell (1995, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557507228
363 pages, 51 b&w photos
Description: Mr. Thomas wrote this book in the early 1920s, traveling to Germany to interview many of the U-boat skippers and crews from the Kaiser's U-boat fleet. ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Shadows on the Horizon

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Shadows on the Horizon

by - Haskell, Winthrop A.
The Battle of Convoy HX-233 (1998, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557508879
Hardcover, 192 pages, 61 b&w photos, 2 facsimiles, 2 maps, 2 diagrams, 2 drawings
Description: Describes the battle of the convoy and particularly the sinking of U-175 and the role of the USCG cutters in the convoy's escort. Well-researched and ...
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Silent Hunters

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Silent Hunters

by - Savas, Theodore P. (editor)
German U-Boat Commanders of WWII (1997, Savas Publishing Company)
ISBN 1882810171
Description: Authors include some of the top U-Boat authors working today, including: Tim Mulligan (on Merten), Eric Rust (Guggenberger), Jordan Vause (Oehrn), Gor ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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Stealth at Sea

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Stealth at Sea

by - van der Vat, Dan (1998, Replica Books)
ISBN 0735100497
Hardcover, 374 pages, 24 b&w photos, 5 drawings/diagrams
Description: This book describes the history of the submarine from 1465 until the end of World War II, and from my point of view it's very interesting and well wor ...
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Steel Boats, Iron Hearts

Steel Boats, Iron Hearts

by - Goebeler, Hans Jacob
The Wartime Saga of Hans Goebeler and the U-505 (1999, Wagnerian Press)
Paperback, 253 pages, 16 photos
Description: The personal wartime memoirs of Hans Goebeler, "The Man Who Pulled the Plug on U-505." This book is one of the few accounts of U-boat life and warfar ...
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Survivors

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Survivors

by - Bennett, G. H. and Bennett, R.
British Merchant Seamen in the Second World War (1999, Hambledon Pr)
ISBN 1852851821
Hardcover, 287 pages
Description: This book looks at what actually happened when a ship was sunk by mine, aircraft, surface raider or U-boat. It is a graphic account of how ships were ...
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Torpedoes in the Gulf

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Torpedoes in the Gulf

by - Wiggins, Melanie (1995, Texas A&M University Press)
ISBN 0890966486
Hardcover, 265 pages, 32 b&w photos, 1 map
Description: This book covers the period 1942-43 when U-boats sank 56 merchant ships in the Gulf of Mexico. The book includes personal recollections of both U.S. ...
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U-Boat 977

by - Schaeffer, Heinz (1975, Tandem Publishing Limited)
ISBN 0553267302
9 photos
Description: Autobiography of the commander. It tells the story of U-977's last voyage at the end of the war which culminated in a marathon escape to Argentina. Fi ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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U-Boat Ace: The Story of Wolfgang Lüth

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U-Boat Ace: The Story of Wolfgang Lüth

by - Vause, Jordan (2001, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557508631
Paperback, 264 pages
Description: A study of the highly-decorated and controversial U-boat commander. First published 1992.
- This book has been translated into other languages
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U-Boat Commander

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U-Boat Commander

by - Cremer, Peter
A Periscope View of the Battle of the Atlantic (1987, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 0870219693
244 pages, 34 photos
Description: This well-written first-person narrative is about the career of Kptlt. Cremer of U-333. Also published as "U333: Story of a U-boat Ace."
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U-Boat Commanders and Crews 1935-1945

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U-Boat Commanders and Crews 1935-1945

by - Showell, Jak P. Mallmann (1998, Crowood Press Ltd.)
ISBN 1861261926
Hardcover, 144 pages, numerous b&w photos
Description: Covers the men of the U-boat force in an easy-to-read manner. Training, battle conditions and almost any other aspect of the men you could wish to kno ...
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U-Boat Far from Home

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U-Boat Far from Home

by - Stevens, David (1997, Allen & Unwin)
ISBN 1864482672
Paperback, 286 pages, maps, photos
Description: This book covers in excellent detail and pace the exploits of U-862, under the command of Heinrich Timm through the Far East and all the way into Aust ...
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U-Boat Hunters, The

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The U-Boat Hunters

by - Milner, Marc
The Royal Canadian Navy and the Offensive (1994, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557508542
Hardcover, 326 pages, 3 maps, 2 figures, 50 b&w photos
Description: A scholarly re-evaluation of the Royal Canadian Navy's role in the Allied victory over the U-boats in 1943.
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U-Boat Killer

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U-Boat Killer

by - Macintyre, Donald (2000, Cassell Academic)
ISBN 0304352357
179 pages, no photos
Description: U-boat action from the destroyer's point of view. Very interesting and well-written memoir by the commander of the HMS Walker, the British destroyer w ...
- This book has been translated into other languages
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U-Boat Offensive 1914-1945, The

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The U-Boat Offensive 1914-1945

by - Tarrant, V.E. (2000, Cassell Academic)
ISBN 185409520X
Hardcover, 192 pages, 114 pictures, 16 maps, 8 graphs
Description: A good general account of U-boats in both wars, contains good analysis and details of losses and flotillas. First published 1989.
- This book has been translated into other languages
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U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

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U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 1

by - Wynn, Kenneth (1998, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557508607
368 pages, 9 maps, apps. bibliog. #1-8607/
Description: Career Histories, U1-U510. This is the first of two volumes covering the operational histories of all the U-boats that saw action in World War II.
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U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

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U-Boat Operations of the Second World War - Vol 2

by - Wynn, Kenneth (1998, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557508623
336 pages, 9 maps, apps. bibliog. #1-8607/
Description: Career Histories, U-511 - Uit25. This is the second of two volumes covering the operational histories of all the U-boats that saw action in World War ...
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U-Boat Versus Aircraft

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U-Boat Versus Aircraft

by - Franks, Norman and Zimmerman, Eric
The Dramatic Story behind U-boat Claims in Gun Action with Aircraft in World War II (1998, Grub Street, London)
ISBN 1902304020
Hardcover, 224 pages
Description: It is pretty interesting, and for the first time gives the U-boat side of the story of the war between planes and U-boats.
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U-Boat War in the Caribbean, The

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The U-Boat War in the Caribbean

by - Kelshall, Gaylord T.M. (2004, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557504520
Hardcover, 505 pages, 30 pictures, 9 maps, 2 diagrams
Description: Over 500 pages of small print! Covers the entire war in the theatre in great detail, both from sea and air. This is the Bible for the Caribbean theate ...
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U-boat War, The

The U-boat War

by - Buchheim, Lothar-Günther (1978, Alfred A, Knopf, Inc.)
ISBN 0394414373
Description: This is part three of Buchheim's photo essay. It includes many of the photos taken during his time as a war correspondent, particularly on U-96. Also ...
- This book has been translated from another language
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U-boats Against Canada

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U-boats Against Canada

by - Hadley, Michael (1990, University of Toronto Press)
ISBN 0773508015
357 pages, 39 b&w photos, and 1 map
Description: Covers the operations of U-boats in Canadian waters.
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U-Boats at War

U-Boats at War

by - Busch, Harald (1982, Putnam)
ISBN 0345307550
Paperback, 176 pages, no photos, no index, no bibliography
Description: A general, well-written overview of the U-boat war. Translated from the German by L.P.R. Wilson. Originally published 1955.
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U-Boats Destroyed

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U-Boats Destroyed

by - Kemp, Paul (2000, Arms & Armour)
ISBN 1854095153
Paperback, 288 pages
Description: This book covers all U-boat fates; very detailed and according to the newest sources, including time spent in the U-Boot Archiv. First published 1997.
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U-Boats in Camera 1939-1945

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U-Boats in Camera 1939-1945

by - Showell, Jak P. Mallmann (1999, Books International, Incorporated)
ISBN 0750915579
Hardcover
Description: This fine book includes many, many very rare photographs of U-boats from the U-Boot-Archiv.
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Very Special Intelligence

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Very Special Intelligence

by - Beesly, Patrick
The Story of the Admiralty's Operational Intelligence Centre, 1939-1945 (2000, Greenhill Books, London)
ISBN 1853673986
288 pages
Description: An insider's account of the work of the British Operational Intelligence Centre, and the way in which it used Ultra. First published 1977.
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Why the Allies Won

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Why the Allies Won

by - Overy, Richard (1997, W W Norton & Co)
ISBN 039331619X
Paperback, 428 pages, reprint from 1995. 31 photos, 11 maps
Description: This book devotes a chapter to each of the decisive military campaigns of the war. One is entitled "The Battle for the Seas" and deals mostly with t ...
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Wolf

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Wolf

by - Vause, Jordan (1997, United States Naval Inst.)
ISBN 1557508747
Description: "A balanced examination of the image of a U-Boat skipper. Whilst it may be criticised by some, this book is a valuable contribution to the published ...
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