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Must read; Iron Coffins(related to sc's subwarfare)


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First of all, to relate this to sc I would say that this book will give you a better knowledge on how it was to fight the battle of the atlantic.

Anyway I just wanted to give you a book tip for the summer. Some of you may have read it, anyway you others better read this one.

The book is called "Iron coffins" by Herbert A Werner. By far the best memoirs of world war 2 I have ever read(and Ive read a lot of them).

Werner served in the german u-boat force both as member of the crew and as skipper. His personal experiences, described very clear and unemotional will open a new world to you. He describes what it was really like and he many times points out his own faults. This is by far a better book than Lothar Gunther Buchheim's somewhat fictional Das Boot.

Werner describes how it is to survive 72 hours of depth charge attacks at 300 meters(900 ft) deep. How once in the baltic sea his current sub got stuck at the bottom and after failure to blow the tanks the crew had to run forth and back to get it free from the mud. How insane orders in may 1944 ordered his and 5 other uboats to proceed on surface into the english channel and after emptying the torpedoes ram the enemy and much more. Best of all it's true. Everything in this book happened. And it's not a story about heroism, it's about having luck. Werner was not an exceptional submariner, he avoided death purely because he got ensigned to new uboats in time. His comrades allmost to a man vanished in the deep.

A must read. Get this one.

[ July 06, 2004, 02:59 PM: Message edited by: Kuniworth ]

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Best part is his second(?) patrol with u-230 as an officer. It's february-march 1943 and a doctor is assigned to the uboat as allied airplanes starting to cause damage to the german uboat crews.

Problem is the doctor is easily seasick.

And naturally for their 10 weeks patrol they endure nothing but enormous blizzard storms and waves up to 70 meters. 72 hours of depth charge attacks follows after a convoy attack which makes them almost sufficate from lack of oxygen. And on top of this they have to constantly crash dive in terror for weeks every half hour or so as liberator and sunderland planes comes down dropping bombs which narrowly miss.

The doctor can't stand up from the illness and just lays on his bed puking and feeling terrified.

Finally battered, starving(food roots with the moisture) and filty they arrive at Brest. Needless to say after the patrol the doctor had to "leave". They never saw him again.

LoL talk about joining the boat to hell.

[ July 06, 2004, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: Kuniworth ]

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Thanks for the tip Kuni, I went to amazon.com and read the first chapter. Will have to get the book. Das Boot is a great movie.

I hope SC II will have a better place for a good U-boat campaign if the axis would choose that route.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good thread by Kuni

On the same subject of good WWII books that relate to SC I recently reread Willian Criags classic "Enemy at the gates" on the battle of Stalingrad on my vacation.

I forgot how terrible it was on the Eastern Front. Now of course war is terrible, or as General Sherman correctly said, "war is hell". But the terribleness or awefullness of it seemed to be more on the Eastern front.

How terrible the Germans were in Russia. How the Russians reacted to the Germans. How terrible the war there was.

Its a classic and great account and almost makes you want to ask Mr. H.C. to come up with seperate rules for the Eastern front of the war.

Its a must read for all of us who are serious about studing the war.

[ July 15, 2004, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: Curry ]

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