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Type 7 U-Boats Hardcover – January, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Caxton Editions (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860198554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860198557
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Having enjoyed other works from this author, I snapped up a copy of this book just as soon as I saw his name attached to such a title. I was given reason to expect great things just as soon as I started reading the information on the inside edge of the book's dust cover and was not disappointed with the content. Ordinarily, this provides the reader with a précis of what is found inside but, on this occasion, I found myself learning some very important details that were hitherto unknown to me - and I have had an interest in the U Boat for over 40 years!

The Type VII U Boat was probably the most successful submarine of all time. It was Gunther Prien in U47 which sank HMS Royal Oak right at the beginning of WW2 and Otto Kretschmer with his U99 who established the record for tonnage sunk during that same war - and the sinking of ships was the primary role of this type of craft). Today, some 65 years after the Type VII fired it's last torpedo in war, there are websites clubs in many different languages dedicated to the finest detail of this specific weapon of war and every aspect of the battles they fought. For all those ardent enthusiasts plus those with a more general interest in WW2, ships or shipwrecks, this is an excellent addition to the bookshelf.

Commencing with the boat's evolution and design (all submarines are `boats' and not ships!), the author then takes the reader through the vital characteristics which made this craft exactly what is was and why. This includes fascinating detail from history and the lessons learned from WW1. Part Two covers; The hull, propulsion, crew, provisions and even sanitation. The third part provides a complete explanation of the various weapons.
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This was the only book on U boats that discuss communications equipment. All the other books tell you how the admiral keep
close rains on the boats by radio, but never mention the type of equipment. This book does. I think it is the best of
all books for information about the boats….top shelf….
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If you're looking for a single-volume study of this famous submarine design "Type VII U-boats" is an excellent place to start. It's certainly better than the awful Haynes "manual" on the boat, or the mediocre "Anatomy of the Ship" entry. Though primarily a technical history of the type, it also describes in some detail a number of the procedural and "domestic" issues of everyday U-boat operations. Special attention is given to the new weapons, sensors, and experimental defenses developed by the Germans after "Black May."

The illustrations consist of about 160 black and white photographs, many I’d never seen before, and a number of original plans that have been re-annotated into English. Robert Stern’s research for this work was quite extensive, and the BdU Kriegstagebuch and U-boat war diaries are quoted throughout. The first chapter provides a brief introduction to the WWI U-boats that were direct antecedents of the VII, and the secret outsourcing of submarine design to Turkey and Greece. The next section explains the major differences between the nine VII subtypes, including the unbuilt C/42 and C/43 models, and Donitz’s reasoning for producing so many VIIs.

The second chapter includes a description of the building process, and a guided tour through the pressure hull. This tour takes us to the boat’s exterior, followed by a general overview of the propulsion systems that includes an interesting treatise on the Schnorchel. The chapter also includes information on the crew and their positions onboard, provisioning at sea, and the limited sanitation facilities.

Chapter three, the book’s meatiest, covers the weapons and targeting systems.
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This book is great. here's why:
1) Great disposition. Eases the reader into the subject. From basic to advanced stuff.
2) Thoroughly researched. Based on original sources.
3) Great pictures and u-boat layouts
4) Contains tons of facts, yet it is still extremely reader-friendly and har to put down.

This book has really helped me a lot when it comes to understanding every aspect of the uboat and the uboat war. A great aid when reading other uboat titles.
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Very good reading.
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