Naval Warfare Books

Book reviews

Grey Wolf, Grey Sea

Gasaway, E. B.

1973, Arthur Barker, London
ISBN 0345338170
245 pages

Type. General History
Pros. Exciting narrative
Cons. No index

This book presents the history of U-124, the fourth most successful U-boat of World War II in terms of tonnage sunk, from her construction to her sinking. (The author refers to her as the third most successful boat, basing this claim on the best information available at the time the book was written.) Since the story of U-124 really begins with the demise of U-64, the last fateful mission of that boat is recounted. U-64's crew, most of whom survived her sinking, were transferred en masse to U-124.

U-124 was a boat of many adventures, including almost torpedoing Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (when the U-boat came upon this pair of magnificent targets, she had not been informed that any German vessels were in the area, and might well have shot first and asked questions later); participating in Operation Drumbeat, and encountering a Q-ship. Her commanders were the well-known Georg-Wilhelm Schulz and Johann Mohr, but some later famous (and infamous) commanders got their start on this boat, including Werner Henke, Reinhard Hardegen, Heinz Hirsacker (U-572), and Peter Zschech (U-505).

Written in an easy-to-read narrative style, and making good use of reconstructed conversations, the book paints a vivid picture of U-boat life as experienced by the crew, the officers, and the commander. The author interviewed many of the men involved, as well as utilizing official documents to create an accurate picture of the boat's colorful career. The only real flaw in this book is its lack of an index.

Review written by Tonya Allen.

Published on 1 Feb 2000.

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This title is highly recommended.

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