U-boat Adventures: Firsthand Accounts from World War II
Twenty-two U-boat veterans tell their stories in this collection of their experiences, recorded by the author during several years of travel throughout Germany. While many books have been written about the U-boat war, this is one of the few that focuses on the lives of the submariners, and rarer still is its concentration on the crewmen rather than the officers. Melanie Wiggins interviewed seventeen men of the enlisted ranks, along with five commanders, to take readers into the terrifying world of underwater warfare, where every single crewman made a crucial difference in the fate of his boat.
As she searched for and interviewed U-boat men, Wiggins also collected photographs from scrapbooks and archives, and consulted war-era personnel records and secret diaries. Her attendance at a reunion of the crew of U-682 netted a wealth of information as did her interviews with submarine veterans in Görlitz, former East Germany. Her interviews with Admiral Otto Kretschmer just two months before his death and ninety-four-year-old Commander Jürgen Wattenberg in Hamburg add important dimensions to the work.
Among the individual sagas included are Radioman Hans Bürck's description of his 1942 patrol to Aruba and the visit of Japanese submarine I-30 at Lorient; Fireman 2nd Class Josef Erben's explanation of how his boat, U-128, got stuck on a large rock and had to be hauled free; POW Ernst Gö:thling's memories of being wounded in a British prison camp when German planes mistakenly dropped bombs in the area; and Herman Wien's description of U-180 transporting Indian anarchist Subhas Chandra Bose to Madagascar. Every account gives new details about the crews' activities at sea and their experiences in prisoner-of-war camps.
- Author: Melanie Wiggins
- Publication Date: 2010-04-15
- Publisher: Naval Institute Press
- Product Group: Book
- Manufacturer: Naval Institute Press
- Binding: Paperback, 272 pages
- Item Dimensions:
- Dimensions: 614L x 59W x 898H
- Weight: 75
- Package Dimensions:
- Dimensions: 890L x 590W x 70H
- Weight: 65
- List Price: $20.95
- ISBN: 1591149584
- ASIN: 1591149584