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Neither Sharks nor Wolves

The Men of Nazi Germany's U-boat Arm, 1939-1945

By Mulligan, Timothy P.
1999, United States Naval Inst.
ISBN 1557505942
340 pages, 24 photos

Descripton: 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-boat arm. The author surveyed over one thousand veterans of the U-boat-waffe, interviewing many of them personally. Besides demonstrating patterns in the age, educational background, former occupation, and geographic origin of officers and enlisted men, he also covers the training regimen in detail as it evolved during the course of the war as well as the morale crisis of 1943-1944. He addresses common assumptions about U-boat men and attempts to verify them based on his survey data and other statistical information: Was the U-boat war really a children's crusade? Was inexperience really behind the huge casualty rates? Was the U-boat arm truly apolitical? A very interesting chapter describes U-boat officers' treatment of survivors of sinkings at various stages of the war. A well-researched book on a little-studied aspect of the U-boat war.

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From the review: Timothy Mulligan brings his historical training to bear on the commonly-repeated but seldom-substantiated "facts" of the U-boat War, many of which he shows to be misconceptions. This is a real social scientist's book, based on statistical analysis o ...
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