Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunted: 1942-1945 Hardcover – November 1, 1998
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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From the Inside Flap
- Item Weight : 3.2 pounds
- Hardcover : 909 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679457429
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679457428
- Product Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.75 x 10 inches
- Publisher : Random House; 1st Edition (November 1, 1998)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #712,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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What these books do NOT have are the revisionist "axe to grind" agenda of many newer books on U-boats and the Battle of the Atlantic.
Blair's style is simple, straight-forward, and repetitive: the books recount nearly every single U-Boat patrol, every single U-Boat sinking, every single convoy attack, and every single U-Boat success. The chapters are organized logically with sections on patrols in the North Atlantic, patrols to the Americas, patrols to the Arctic, patrols to the Mediterranean, and patrols to far-flung theaters (the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Asia). Blair also does a very good job placing the U-Boat battle into proper context of the larger naval war and overall war by giving brief synopses of the bigger picture of the fighting in Europe and, where appropriate, the U-Boat reactions to the campaigns.
Blair also gives detailed accounts of the "cipher war," describing in technical detail how the Ultra machines worked to decode Enigma transmissions and how the Germans were ignorant that their transmissions were being read by the Allies. He also fills each book with charts, appendices, and copious amounts of raw data detailing every U-Boat loss, monthly shipping losses, and many other illuminating aspects of the campaign.
Although primarily a narrative, Blair does include some analysis. Most interestingly, Blair argues that most historians of World War II greatly overstate the threat that the U-Boats posed and concludes that at no point during the war did the U-Boats come close to being the decisive weapon many claim. Blair also defends Admiral King's decisions and the overall U.S. effort early in the war against many who argue that the U.S. was caught flat-footed and unprepared and failed to take simple measures such as convoying or blacking out the East Coast, resulting in huge shipping losses off the East Coast in 1942.
Also, while writing two volumes that cover every almost every aspect of the U-Boat war, Blair does not do a very good job describing the tactics and capabilities of the U-Boats and the escorts. While describing the campaign at the operational level, he never gives the reader a good picture of the tactical capabilities of the U-Boats or their equipment and weapons, or of the men who crewed them on the almost-suicide missions.
Blair has written an incredibly detailed and well-researched account of the U-Boat war. These books would serve anyone interested in a detailed, blow-by-blow, patrol-by-patrol account of the U-Boat war, and they would serve well as a resource for someone studying this campaign. However, these books are too detailed for most readers.