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The Longest Patrol: A U-Boat Gunner's War 0th Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0595391134
ISBN-10: 0595391133
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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (June 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595391133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595391134
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,845,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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 Verified Purchase
The Chicago museum has U505. Captured German sub. Pretty basic stuff as I remember. During WW2 Colorado had many submariner POWs in over 40 camps in Colorado. I found one site and was curious. NO pictures or news stories allowed. Local archives had nothing. But older ranchers remember it. Secret camp where POWs could work farms as men were off to war. No escapes from the barren high mountain camp. Every prisoner was returned to their native country in 1945. Camps bulldozed.. At least one ex-prisoner returned to marry a local farm girl he met.

UI posted that on a treasure hunting site and GREG OWEN, the author of this book wrote me a note. Talking about the actual lives of Uboat crews. I bought the book, Thanks Greg, and about half way through. German U-Booats were a far cry from RED OCTOBER. But were as safe as they could be with technology they had. Allied forces technology was much better and almost all U-Boats were destroyed. So a living crew members story is valuable. For the truth of their very personal war and attitudes about the war. Far as I know no high level nazis worked on subs. Way too dangerous! The sailors were kids. Like our kids. Drafted into a live/die situation. Like our kids. No doubt every crew member had to perfectly do their task the right way at the correct time or they all could die. I am looking for the DAS BOOT movie. It was wartime and mostly good innocent folks die. These crews on both side were remarkable. Not a task I could ever do. This book is so darn interesting I can't put it down. Real History.. hard to find!
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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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