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U-boats types IX and XIV - Kriegsmarine: books

A book on submarines of the Kriegsmarine? Here are books on the history, types and technology of German type IX and type XIV 'Milk cow' submarines.

U-47 in Scapa Flow - The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939 (Osprey)

At the outset of World War II, Scapa Flow was supposed to be the safe home base of the British Navy - nothing could penetrate the defences of this bastion. So how, in the dead of night, was Gunther Prien's U-47 able to slip through the line of protective warships to sink the mighty Royal Oak?

This book provides the answer with an account of one of the most daring naval raids in history. Drawing on the latest underwater archaeological research, this study explains how Prien and his crew navigated the North Sea and Kirk Sound to land a devastating blow to the British. It reveals the level of disrepair that Scapa Flow had fallen into, and delves into the conspiracy theories surrounding the event, including an alleged cover-up by the then First Sea Lord, Winston Churchill.

Contents: Introduction - The U-Boat Threat (Initial Strategy) - Dönitz' Plan - The Raid - Aftermath - Analysis - Conclusion - Further Reading - Index.

Author:Angus Konstam
Specs:80 pages, 25 x 18.5 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2015)
Series:Raid (33)
Book: U-47 in Scapa Flow - The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939 (Osprey)

U-47 in Scapa Flow - The Sinking of HMS Royal Oak 1939

Language: English

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U-108 at War - Rare photographs from Wartime Archives (Images of War)

The photos in this book are taken from an unpublished album that belonged to a member of the crew of U-boat U-108 during World War II. These good quality photos show every aspect life aboard before, during and after a typical mission into the Atlantic.

There are stunning shots of the sinking of Allied shipping and the rescue of their crews (Against Hitler's orders!). Rarely seen below-deck views show just how cramped the living and working conditions were in a submerged craft.
Shots from the conning tower in mid-ocean demonstrate the vile sea conditions that the vessels were forced to endure, from gigantic seas to frozen decks and equipment.

The comradeship of the close-knit crew is expressed in shots showing how the men's domestic chores were performed in the confined space of these small craft miles from the nearest land. It is most unusual to have such a comprehensive photographic record of a U-boat on active service since so few survived the war intact.

Author:Alistair Smith
Specs:144 pages, 24.5 x 18.5 x 1.1 cm / 9.7 x 7.3 x 0.43 in, paperback
Illustrations:120 b&w photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2012)
Series:Images of War
Book: U-108 at War - Rare photographs from Wartime Archives (Images of War)

U-108 at War - Rare photographs from Wartime Archives

Language: English

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U-188 : A German Submariner's Account of the War at Sea 1941-1945

Anton Staller was a U-boat lookout, rising no higher than Leading Seaman and his account of the war from the lower ranks is unique. He served on the Type IXc/40 boat, U-188 under Kapitänleutnant Lüdden on three patrols witnessing the stark reality of convoy warfare from his lookout position on the conning tower of his submarine.
His U-boat sank the British destroyer HMS Beverley and eight merchant ships exceeding 100,000 gross tons but the submarine also spent many hours submerged under depth-charge attacks.

More so than many of his contemporaries, Staller was prepared to reveal his thoughts and feelings of his experiences of the war at sea, and of his time on the conning tower, at the hydrophons, and cleaning weapons as a messboy.

His journal demonstrates how political thinking rarely entered the minds of the U-boat men, even though many of them, such as Lüdden, did not choose to serve in submarines.
Staller was not a Nazi and came from a Socialist Party background, yet he never questioned the cause he was fighting for. To Staller it was simply 'Us or Them to the death'.

Author:Klaus Willmann
Specs:240 pages, 24.5 x 16.5 x 2.5 cm / 9.7 x 6.5 x 0.98 in, hardback
Illustrations:16 pages with b&w photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2015)
Book: U-188 : A German Submariner's Account of the War at Sea 1941-1945

U-188 : A German Submariner's Account of the War at Sea 1941-1945

Language: English

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U-Boat War Patrol : The Hidden Photographic Diary of U-564

This unique account charts the complete story of a single U-boat patrol through the summer of 1942 based around a remarkable collection of photographs that were 'liberated' from a concrete U-boat pen in Brest at the end of the war and which had, until recently, remained hidden in a shoe box.

The boat in question, U-564, carried the famous three black cat motif of Reinhard 'Teddy' Suhren who, along with Prien and Kretschmer, was one of the top U-boat commanders during the battles of the Atlantic.

This remarkable book provides unique access into both the day-to-day life of a U-boat at sea and into the detailed workings of the Kriegsmarine.
Through the successes and trials of U-564 the reader is transported to that vast and watery battlefield that was perhaps the most significant theatre of the Second World War.

Author:Lawrence Paterson
Specs:208 pages, 25 x 20 cm / 9.8 x 7.9 in, paperback
Illustrations:250+ b&w photographs
Publisher:Pen & Sword Books Ltd (GB, 2016)
Book: U-Boat War Patrol : The Hidden Photographic Diary of U-564

U-Boat War Patrol : The Hidden Photographic Diary of U-564

Language: English

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U-Boats vs Destroyer Escorts - The Battle of the Atlantic (Osprey)

Winston Churchill claimed the 'U-boat peril' was the only thing that frightened him during World War II. The U-boat was developed from a small coastal vessel into a state-of-the-art killer, stalking the high seas picking off merchant convoys, until the introduction of the destroyer escort, and the development of dedicated anti-submarine tactics provided a means of defence and attack against the U-boats.
Gordon Williamson describes the design and development of these two deadly opponents, their tactics, strengths and weaknesses, weaponry and training. He provides an insight into the lives of the Royal Navy and Wolf Pack crews as they played their deadly games of cat and mouse on the high seas, gambling with their lives and the fate of the nations.

Contents: Introduction - Chronology - Strategic situation - Design & Development - Technical Specifications: Discussion of the technical details of the vessels, anti-submarine weapons and the specs of the different types of U-boats - Combatants: A study of the crews, their training and tactics - Combat: A review of specific combat actions - Analysis - Conclusion: A review of the outcomes of the U-boat war, and effect on post-war naval developments - Bibliography and further reading list.

Author:Gordon Williamson
Specs:80 pages, 25 x 18.5 x 0.6 cm / 9.8 x 7.3 x 0.24 in, paperback
Illustrations:photographs and drawings (in b&w and colour)
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2007)
Series:Duel (3)
Book: U-Boats vs Destroyer Escorts - The Battle of the Atlantic (Osprey)

U-Boats vs Destroyer Escorts - The Battle of the Atlantic

Language: English

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German U-Boat Ace Adalbert Schnee : The Patrols of U-201 in World War II

Few commanders symbolize the evolution of the German U-boat arm during the Second World War as does Adalbert "Adi" Schnee. In 1940, Schnee successively commanded three Type II U-boats - U-6, U-60 and U-121 - in which he registered his first successes in the Atlantic.
From the beginning of 1941, he was appointed commander of U-201, the first Type VIIC U-boat allotted to I Flotilla. During seven patrols with this U-Boot, which would take him to the coasts of America and Africa, he would receive the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves.
With 15 ships sunk in convoys in the mid-Atlantic, he became the specialist in this form of attack. Commanding U-2511 in May 1945, he alone carried out an actual combat mission in the Type XXI U-boat.

With the aid of logbooks and the recent discovery of a considerable collection of images from a war correspondent on one of U-201's missions, this book examines Schnee's incredible combat career.

Author:Luc Braeuer
Specs:96 pages, 30.5 x 23 x 1.5 cm / 12 x 9.1 x 0.59 in, hardback
Illustrations:206 b&w photographs
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing Ltd (USA, 2015)
Book: German U-Boat Ace Adalbert Schnee : The Patrols of U-201 in World War II

German U-Boat Ace Adalbert Schnee : The Patrols of U-201 in World War II

Language: English

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German U-Boat Ace Rolf Mützelburg : The Patrols of U-203 in World War II

German naval officer Rolf Mützelburg was one of the outstanding figures of the WWII German U-boat arm. After obtaining regular successes against the North Atlantic convoys during his first four missions, he found new victims directly along the shores of Canada.
Mützelburg received the highest decorations of the period and became one of the top U-boat aces. Furthermore, he shared with Adalbert Schnee, Teddy Suhren, and Erich Topp, the rare privilege of being affectionately nicknamed by Admiral Dönitz as "The Four Aces."

The discovery of a photo album from a U-203 crew member, complemented by images sourced at the U-Boat Archive at Cuxhaven, allows us to illustrate the astonishing history of this U-boat with 240 photographs and documents. The eleven combat missions of U-203 are precisely described thanks to numerous maps and sketches and the complete translation of its logbook.

Author:Luc Braeuer
Specs:96 pages, 30.5 x 23 x 0.9 cm / 12 x 9.1 x 0.35 in, hardback
Illustrations:240 b&w and colour photographs
Publisher:Schiffer Publishing Ltd (USA, 2015)
Book: German U-Boat Ace Rolf Mützelburg : The Patrols of U-203 in World War II

German U-Boat Ace Rolf Mützelburg : The Patrols of U-203 in World War II

Language: English

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Darkest Before Dawn - U-482 and the Sinking of the Empire Heritage 1944

In the autumn of 1944 the Second World War was coming to an end. In the Atlantic the U-boats had been beaten back through a massive programme of Allied shipbuilding combined with tactical, technological and intelligence improvements. The threat to Allied shipping had diminished. But it had not disappeared, and a lone U-boat on its first active patrol slipped into the North Channel; in just a few days five ships lay broken on the seabed including the Empire Heritage, one of the largest Allied ships lost during the war, and the Jacksonville, an American tanker sailing out of New York.

In "Darkest Before Dawn" John Peterson presents the story for the first time of how U-482 managed to slip undetected into the busy shipping lanes of the North Channel and carry out the last great U-boat patrol of the war. It is the story of the attack, the aftermath and the men involved, including the aristocratic U-boat commander von Matushka, who was on the Bismarck when it was sunk earlier in the war - was he driven by revenge to torpedo the Pinto, a rescue ship trying to pick up the survivors of Empire Heritage - an act that some claimed to be a war crime?
Based on new research and previously unpublished material, "Darkest Before Dawn" presents the definitive account of the attack on convoy HX-305 and unravels the mystery of the fate of U-482.

Author:John Peterson
Specs:192 pages, 23.5 x 15.5 x 1.7 cm / 9.25 x 6.1 x 0.67 in, paperback
Illustrations:illustrations, maps
Publisher:The History Press Ltd (GB, 2011)
Book: Darkest Before Dawn - U-482 and the Sinking of the Empire Heritage 1944

Darkest Before Dawn - U-482 and the Sinking of the Empire Heritage 1944

Language: English

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Hunt and Kill - U-505 and the U-boat War in the Atlantic

One of WWII's pivotal events was the capture of U-505 on June 4, 1944. The top secret seizure of this massive Type IX submarine provided the Allies with priceless information on German technology and innovation.
After the war U-505 was transported to Chicago, where today several hundred thousand visitors a year pass through its well-preserved hull at the Museum of Science and Industry.

"Hunt and Kill" offers the first definitive study of U-505. Chapters include her construction, crew and commanders, combat history, an assessment of Type IX operations, naval intelligence, the eight fatal German mistakes that doomed the ill-fated boat, her capture, and final transportation and restoration for posterity.

The contributors to this fascinating volume - a Who's Who of U-boat historians - include: Erich Topp (U-552, Odyssey of a U-boat Commander); Eric Rust (Naval Officers Under Hitler); Timothy Mulligan (Neither Sharks Nor Wolves); Jak Mallmann Showell (Hitler's U-boat Bases); Jordan Vause (Wolf); Lawrence Patterson (First U-boat Flotilla); Mark Wise (Enigma and the Battle of the Atlantic); Keith R. Gill (Curator, U-505, Museum of Science and Industry), and Theodore P. Savas (editor, Silent Hunters: German U-boat Commanders of World War II; author, Nazi Millionaries).

Specs:312 pages, 23 x 15.5 x 1.7 cm / 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.67 in, paperback
Illustrations:62 photographs, 3 maps
Publisher:Savas Beatie (USA, 2012)
Book: Hunt and Kill - U-505 and the U-boat War in the Atlantic

Hunt and Kill - U-505 and the U-boat War in the Atlantic

Language: English

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German submarine U-1105 Black Panther : The naval archaeology of a U-boat

Now in its final resting place at the bottom of the Potomac River in Maryland, the U-Boat U-1105 is unique among German World War II submarines. Technologically innovative, it was the only U-Boat to conduct a wartime patrol while equipped with the snorkel, GHG Balkon passive sonar and a rubberized coating known as Alberich designed to reduce its acoustic signature and hide from Allied sonar.
After the end of World War II, it was the subject of instense testing and evaluation by the Allies, before finally being sunk to the bottom of the Potomac River.

This highly illustrated book uses many new and previously unpublished images to tell the full story of this remarkable U-Boat, evaluating the effectiveness of its late war technologies, document its extensive postwar testing and detail all the features still present on the wreck site today.

Author:Aaron Stephan Hamilton
Specs:136 pages, 26 x 24.5 x 1.8 cm / 10.25 x 9.7 x 0.71 in, hardback
Illustrations:50+ photographs and drawings
Publisher:Osprey Publishing (GB, 2019)
Book: German submarine U-1105 Black Panther : The naval archaeology of a U-boat

German submarine U-1105 Black Panther : The naval archaeology of a U-boat

Language: English

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Related titles:

Hitler's 'Wonder' U-Boats

Hitler's 'Wonder' U-Boats - The Birth of the Cold War's Hunter-Killer Submarines

Jak P. Mallmann Showell

English | hardback | 312 p. | 2018



Last update:16-05-2024