War Beneath the Waves: U-Boat Flotilla Flandern Hardcover – May 15, 2017
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About the Author
- ASIN : 191050064X
- Publisher : Uniform Press (May 15, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781910500644
- ISBN-13 : 978-1910500644
- Item Weight : 3 pounds
- Dimensions : 8 x 1 x 9.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,780,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Highly recommend to anyone interested in aspects of German submarine warfare during the Great War.
I would give it 4.90 stars if available. The only reason not 5 is the minor text errors and some footnote omissions.
I understand there may be some errors in the fates of those submarines which went missing. Confirm with other recent sources
Top reviews from other countries
The preface of the book claims the author is "objective" and "impartial" but I must disagree with this. He describes a number of occasions where captured U-Boat personnel were badly treated by their captors. When Oberleutnant z. S Vicco von der Luhe was captured by the crew of HMS E-34, the author writes that when he refused to tell his captors the identity of his U-Boat they at first put a pistol to his head and threatened to shoot him, and then put his bare feet against an electric heater to torture him and make him talk. The author claims these "facts prove it as a war crime". However, as neither von der Luhe nor the crew of E-34 survived the war it must be queried where these "facts" came from. At best, the account must be classed as hearsay and therefore can't be treated as proof. Another account tells the story of Obermaschinistenmaat Arthur Enigk who, along with a number of colleagues, was rescued by HMS Firedrake and made a prisoner of war. Enigk, who survived the war, stated they were kept in appalling conditions and fed very poor quality food. The author takes this single account as "actual proof that the British had developed an early form of concentration camp and had thought of a psychological style of warfare". Even though I have no doubt that some U-Boat prisoners were treated poorly, I find it very surprising that the author jumps to this conclusion. On the other hand, the book is completely devoid of any accounts of U-Boat men treating their prisoners badly. Are we meant to believe that this didn't happen and every single U-Boat commander was chivalrous to the last? The closest the author comes to this is his retelling of the infamous Charles Fryatt incident. At the end of this account the author simply states Fryatt was "executed by firing squad". Despite being quite willing to claim that the British committed war crimes and used concentration camps he doesn't give his opinion about how Fryatt was dealt with by the Germans.
Despite the above issues, for the most part it really is an excellent book. It's crammed with photographs which are worth buying the book for alone. The amount of information about the Flanders Flotilla is astounding. The book covers in detail the types of U-Boats used, technical details of the U-Boats, uniforms and equipment of the crew, information on the port facilities, crew leisure time, U-Boat tactics and allied countermeasures. At the end of the book the author describes the history and fate of every U-Boat that operated with the flotilla and includes photos of the wrecks of many of them. It's clear the author has put in a huge amount of effort collating the information contained within the book.
Hopefully, all the niggling problems will be rectified in a second edition. However, if a second edition isn't produced then I feel this will become the type of specialist book that in several years time will be changing hands at over £100. Therefore, if you're thinking of buying a copy I'd get it now whilst the price is still reasonable.