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Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II Hardcover – June 29, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
- Publisher : Random House; 1st edition (June 29, 2004)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 375 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0375508589
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375508585
- Item Weight : 1.56 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.93 x 1.32 x 9.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #80,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For the divers, the biggest deal, the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby, is discovering a new wreck. The divers in this book are elated to find a new wreck that no one else knows about. In a pact of secrecy they go down to check it out only to discover that it is no ordinary wreck, it is a German WWII Uboat. Right off the coast of New Jersey. A Uboat that doesn't exist according to records, a Uboat that can't possibly be there. Divers Chadderton and Kohler become obsessed with figuring out what Uboat this is. As this is before you could Google information, this became a six year quest that involved letters, international phone calls, meetings with military records administrators, flying to Germany, arguing with historians who are happy with the status quo—and ending up actually rewriting history. The adventure took its toll—three men died while diving the wreck. Another drank himself to death. Both Kohler's and Chadderton's marriages ended. After risking their lives to an insane degree they retrieve uncontrovertable proof of which Uboat this is.
I love books where new information is presented in an entertaining fashion, and this book is the best there is. I was put through a wringer of emotions, everything from terror to sadness, from excitement to grief. I was completely pulled in to this story—even though it is true it is a story by any definition. I recommend this to EVERYONE, no matter what type of books you normally read!!
No U-Boat has been recorded sunk within 100 miles of the wreck. No government, no navy, professor or historian had a clue it was there. No records any where acknowledged its sinking or its identity.
In World War II, 30,000 of the 55,000 U-Boat men were killed. It was a very dangerous assignment, particularly at the war drew to a close.
Chatterton and Kohler eventually accepted several missions: identify the U-Boat, the circumstances behind its sinking, identify the crew members and inform relatives of their fate. The pair went beyond simply diving for treasure from the wreck. It took 6 years for them to complete their mission
Items from the wreck, however, could serve to identify the U-Boat and its crew members. Ship wreck diving, particularly at the depths of where the U-Boat was discovered, is one of the most dangerous sports.
At depths greater than 66 feet, divers risk nitrogen narcosis, where judgment and motor skills become seriously impaired. Divers can't simply swim to the surface, they must stop at certain intervals to allow their bodies to readjust to decreasing pressures.
Author Robert Kurson does a splendid job of educating the reader about the dangers of shipwreck diving.
He keeps the reader engaged as he recreates the dives and details the exhaustive research to answer the mysteries raised by the shipwrecked U-Boat. He also profiles Chatterton and Kohler, explaining what makes them tick.
In the end, the reader is deeply emerged in this true-life adventure. Kurson, a talented writer and storyteller, makes us care about the outcome.
I have been a recreational SCUBA diver and I love history. I gave Shadow Divers a try.
What a treasure I discovered. I loved this novel. First shipwreck divers discovered a sunken vessel, which happens to be a German U-boat. Then the many dangers of deep sea diving. Next is making the identification of the U-boat, which cost lives. Finally, a history lesson about WWII and U-boats.
I was so happy that I discovered this book. My eyes are blurred from not putting this book down.
I recommend Shadow Divers and will check out other novels by Robert Kurson.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a book you won't want to put down until the mystery is solved. And even then you'll want to carry on reading it just to find out what happens to the divers. Along the way you'll feel cold and claustrophobic just as the divers did, you'll share their disappointment and sorrow for comrades lost.You'll even yearn to know more about the German submariners.
This book is expertly written with a very vivid writing style. The experiences of the divers are shared ones and the WWII background fascinating. I have not read a book like it, but hope to find more.