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The Longest Patrol: A U-Boat Gunner's War Paperback – June 22, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (June 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595391133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595391134
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,404,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Gregory L. Owen graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and has been honored as a Marshall Scholar by the George C. Marshall Foundation at Virginia Military Institute. His career in banking has spanned thirty-two years. Owen and his wife Sheila live in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Canellis on March 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In his first effort, Gregory L. Owen has contributed a substantial addition to the World War II, U-Boat lexicon. _The Longest Patrol: A U-Boat Gunner's War_ is intended to be a biography based on the oral testimonies of Karl Baumann, a young Kriegsmarine anti-aircraft gunner aboard U-953 operating in the Bay of Biscay during the summer of 1944. This work is a modern day companion to Herbert A. Werner's classic, _Iron Coffins_, as Werner took over command of U-953 as one of the last U-Boats to escape the doomed port of Brest. The result is a unique blend of memoir, and the "you are there" approach to the rigors of daily life aboard a German U-boat immediately preceding the D-Day landings at Normandy, and the hectic weeks following.

Owen chronicles Baumann's life journey from a humble up-bringing in Germany's Ruhr region; his rugged breaking in as a cabin boy aboard a fishing trawler in the cold North Sea; his induction and training in the Kriegsmarine as an anti-aircraft gunner at the onset of World War II; mostly boring, yet at times harrowing U-boat patrols; his suffering a serious wound when the barrel of a 20mm AA gun exploded due to some seaborne obstruction; his languishing in a hospital at Brest during the bitter siege; to life as a POW at a Virginia POW camp, which prompted Baumann to remain in the United States after the war.

In addition to countless hours of interviews, with Baumann and other significant participants, Owen utilizes a variety of sources, including U-953's Kriegstagebuch, or KTB, the official war diary of the vessel. The author's use of original grid System Sea Charts to follow the route of U-boat patrols further supports his many hours of diligent research.
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Format: Paperback
Very well researched book about a German submarine gunner. I've always had a fascination about how these men could put themselves in these tiny metal cans and live. I also enjoyed the description of what happened to Karl as a POW in rural Virginia. If you have an interest in this aspect of the war, this is a worthy account of life in a U-boot.
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