1997, United States Naval Inst.
book is in English language
|Pros.||In-depth coverage of a few men not often discussed|
|Cons.||None to speak of|
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This title is highly recommended.
The book includes sections on Jürgen Oesten, Wolfgang Lüth, Victor Oehrn, and Erich Topp. The most famous aces, Günther Prien, Joachim Schepke, and Otto Kretschmer, are mentioned briefly, as is the ill-fated Oskar Kusch. The Merten-Buchheim quarrel over Das Boot is discussed in the framework of these two individuals' wartime experiences, and Vause also offers a literary comparison of Das Boot to the only other major U-boat novel yet published, Haie und kleine Fische (Sharks and Little Fishes). Herbert Werner and his famous memoir Iron Coffins are also examined.
Two of the most interesting sections of the book are its few paragraphs about Horst Bredow and his U-boot-Archiv in Cuxhaven, and an insightful chapter on Karl Dönitz. The book also includes background chapters on the U-boat arm since 1914.
Overall, Vause succeeds in his quest to demonstrate that, far from being one-sided warriors cast from an identical mold, U-boat commanders, like anyone else, were unique individuals quite dissimilar one from another.
Review written by Tonya Allen.
This review was published on 26 Nov 1999.