View Full Version : U Boat related Books - Review

07-13-2006, 02:06 PM
As mentioned in a thread a couple of weeks ago I would mention my response to reading some books I had on order with Amazon.

In that time three books have dropped through my letter box;

Das Boot by Lothar-Gunther Bucheim - Cassell
U-boat Ace - The story of Wolfgang Luth by Jordan Vause - Bluejacket books, Naval Institute Press


Shooting the War - The memoir and photographs of a U-boat officer in WWII by Otto Giese and James F Wise Jr - Bluejacket Books, Naval Institute Press.

Very much like Iron Coffins and Teddy Suhren's memoirs where they explain the war in their eyes - the good times and the bad times are equally recorded.

Giese was a member of the German Martime service who was an officer on the Columbus, a German passnger liner that was forced to scuttle early in the war in the Western Atlantic. Interned in the USA after escaping the British when the Columbus went down, Giese spent almost two years trying to get back to the Fatherland. In that time he explained his exploits on one of the many German blockade runners and supply ships that operated in the Pacific.

He would later join the U-boatwaffe as a seaman and finally moved up to watch officer aboard U-181 - I won't spoil the ending but I'm sure you can find out his fate on uboat.net http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

An excellent book that covers the entire war and his exploits around the globe - as a seaman he certainly covered some ground or should I say water http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif He explains most of his adventures in awesome clarity - and his photographs are brilliant! There are quite alot for a paperback, but Giese seemed to be something of a photographer too.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has not already got it. But, if you had to order this from the UK - be warned, I had to wait nearly 6 weeks for it! I have two books remaining on order - Hirschfeld: The Secret Diary of a U-boat (Cassell Military Paperbacks and Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, I will reserve judgement on the latter until I have read it - another month of waiting for themhttp://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

I will report back when I have read Wolfgang Luth's biography.

07-13-2006, 02:31 PM
I've read Vause's bio of Luth You should like it alot.


07-13-2006, 03:16 PM
Hi Goose. I concur with Silent O - you'll enjoy Luth, I respected him after reading the book. When you get it, tell me, is the book kinda a funny shape and soft back but not hardback? - it's not a format I recognise from the UK, but I don't recall waiting 6 weeks for it.

PS: Isn't 'Shooting The War' the really expensive one? I mean by that on Amazon (without ducking out to google it) the one thats 20+ ?

07-13-2006, 10:16 PM
Hey RJ

I think the reason Otto Giese's book took so long to obtain is that it came from the US and both books were printed in the USA, I think Naval Institute Press is an American publisher. Although he took on US national status the book is littered with obvious Americanisms - maybe the co-writer's influence, as the original manuscript of his war diary must have been changed for the American market.

No, it didn't cost me that much, more like 9!

Otto Giese's Shooting the War

http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/8162/img0546a5ip.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Wolfgang Luth's Biography

http://img128.imageshack.us/img128/3081/img0547a4bl.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

07-14-2006, 02:55 AM
Celeon has "Mein Kampf" in pdf format in german and english. Just if you cant wait. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Ive noticed that the english translation simplyfied his horribly complex grammatic and sentence construction to a better readable version. Luckily http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Its a real pain to read the german version and after a few pages ... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sleepzzz.gif. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

The first two chapters "In the house of my parents" and "Years of study and suffering in Vienna" are the most ehhhmmm..... suspense ? .... parts of the book http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

But back to topic :

Nasses Eichenlaub from

Fritz Brustat-Naval and Teddy Suhren http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

No english translation http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

But many things are surely doubled in "Ace of Aces"


07-14-2006, 05:15 AM
Originally posted by Realjambo:
Hi Goose. I concur with Silent O - you'll enjoy Luth, I respected him after reading the book.

I think Vause painted him as a 'stern father' although a very capable Boat Captain. Vause also does not hide the fact that he was an ardent NAZI. He seemed to have a very quiet demeanor but cared for his crew immensely as a father would.

The New WO in the movie "Das Boot" is based on Luth, down to preaching and mentoring young sailors by reading from the various officer's guides they had on board.

I've said it before...you take a picture of Luth (clean shaven) and compare it to a picture of me today and we are utter twins (down to the hairline)

The Silent O's Twin brother separated by 60 years (especially this photo) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif
http://img132.imageshack.us/img132/9596/wolfgangluth2re.th.jpg (http://img132.imageshack.us/my.php?image=wolfgangluth2re.jpg)

07-14-2006, 09:35 AM
Goose Green - thanks for your review, if i met "shooting the war " in bookstore i will buy it for sure.Personally I am waiting for your review of "Mein kampf" but be carefull , you can get banned from this forum http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Silent Otto or Quiet Wolfgang i remember you promised to post pictures of your shelves full of ww2 books ! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Celeon - how do you think , how many german u-boats book and generally ww2 books is not translated into English , maybe it would be worth to learn basic german ? Recently i finished to read book by E.von Manstein , book was great so i decided buy more his book but i found that only one was translated into English.

Couple of days ago i bought two U-boats book (Buchheim U-boat war and Andrew Wiliams -The Battle of the Atlantic) I found also this book:http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/100_0001.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/100_0002.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/100_0003.jpg

it was issued in 1911 so it is my the oldest book . I don't know if i am going to read it but at least it looks great on my shelf( especially this black eagle on the front cover) Author claim that war is good for people and Germans are the best in the world so it is kind of "Mein Kampf"http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~german/gtext/kaiserreich/bernhardi.html (http://www.h-net.msu.edu/%7Egerman/gtext/kaiserreich/bernhardi.html)

07-14-2006, 10:16 AM
Author claim that war is good for people and Germans are the best in the world so

Yes thats typical literature for that time period. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Thats the attitude and way of thinking of the pre world war one generation. The change in literature in 1918 is gigantic.

Suddenly no one wanted to hear anything from these authors ever again in their lifes.

They learned the hard way what unbelievable dumb idiots these authors really were and the immense two dimensionality their theories were offering.

07-14-2006, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by The_Silent_O:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Realjambo:
Hi Goose. I concur with Silent O - you'll enjoy Luth, I respected him after reading the book.

I think Vause painted him as a 'stern father' although a very capable Boat Captain. Vause also does not hide the fact that he was an ardent NAZI. He seemed to have a very quiet demeanor but cared for his crew immensely as a father would. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I couldn't agree more, a point Vause made blatently in his Introduction. Luth must have been in the same mold as Prien. Although he was cruel in his mannerisms he was intensely protective of his crewmen.

So far I'm 30 or so pages in and I'm riveted - I can't put it down, the book will be finished by the end of the weekend http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

07-14-2006, 01:09 PM
Ok here is something extreme from Celeon´s little collection. Not exactly u-boat related.

The entire and complete war diary of the high command of the wehrmacht. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif

8 books , 9203 pages , all daily reports , all statistics, all numbers , 6 years of war. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Statistics, statistics and even statistics for the statistics and other statistics that are there to prove that other statistics are total ****.

reports , reports and hidden behind the reports ........ MORE reports ! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

"3 tanks were destroyed between 12:12 and 12:45 on 6 july 1943 near the village ..." and such stuff

Is bureaucratism in the military not a wonderful thing ?

Pick a date and Celeon tells you what exciting stuff happened on that day http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Photo taken on Celeon´s red bed o´http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


07-14-2006, 04:05 PM
18 May.

Nice to know that they have Powerade in Germany too. Your Girlfrend pick out the sheets? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

07-14-2006, 05:29 PM
That's a fantastic volume you have Celeon - how did you come about such fantastic records and details?

07-14-2006, 11:56 PM
Celeon666 I would ask you very kindly if there is any chance you scan all these volumes 9203 pages , statistic by statistic, report by report and post it somewhere in internet for downloading(PDF format) I think SH3 community will be thankful to the end of the life of this forum http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

07-15-2006, 03:24 AM
18 May.

Nice to know that they have Powerade in Germany too. Your Girlfrend pick out the sheets?

18 may , which year ? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Celeon does not like this blue Powerade. It has no taste at all http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif ... its just .... blue.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

That's a fantastic volume you have Celeon - how did you come about such fantastic records and details?

Ive found it in the "Weltbild" catalog. Thats like amazon.de

It was really cheap. The original book series (with very nice looking handmade red leather covers) costed over 100 " but this cheaper version was about 19.95 " http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Its really just something to look at when you need information about a special day. Its not something you actually read through.

Many days are full of total boring unimportant secondary infos like "this general had a meeting with this general which took 45 minutes and the meeting report was worked out in three documents from which one was send to Berlin" and such stuff.

Celeon666 I would ask you very kindly if there is any chance you scan all these volumes 9203 pages , statistic by statistic, report by report and post it somewhere in internet for downloading(PDF format) I think SH3 community will be thankful to the end of the life of this forum

Yeah right. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif Anything else i can do ? Find a cure for cancer ? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

07-15-2006, 09:49 AM
yich year say 42. There are other colers than blue. red,yelow,clear( http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif)

07-15-2006, 10:36 AM
Celeon likes yellow http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

may ,18 1942

The report is 3 pages long so , only a "short" overview of the most interesting things.

- General Oberst Halder reminds in a memorandum that the Heeresgruppe Süd is warning that the soviet attacks in the vicinity of Charkow are to be seen as "decision-searching". More attacks of strong enemy forces are expected.

General Field Marshall von Bock requests to hand him over the command of the reserve units for operation "blue".

The Führer rejected the request because the units havent arrived yet and no final decision about their usage can be taken at this point.

The Führer expects the enemy troops to withdraw from the Isjum-Charkow battle as soon as they realize in what dangerous strategic situation they are.

The Führer expected that the enemy would try to break through south of the Lagoda lake to establish contact with Leningrad.

The Führer ordered the operation of a u-boat in the near of Martinique to attack enemy ship movement in french terretorial waters.

The u-boat has permission to attack all french ships that try to leave the harbour without warning.

Reichsmarschall G¶ring reminds in an memorandum that modern sea-warfare urgently requires a navy-airforce beside powerful sea forces.

Situation reports :

Heeresgruppe Süd :

Encirceld enemy forces have been put under concentrated artillery fire in the east-west of Kertsch. The enemy is fighting with fierce resistance and armed civilians.

The enemy attempt to land with 2 gunboats south-west of Kertsch under the cover of an infantry attack has been repelled.

Heavy enemy ship movements in the harbour of Sewastopol. At least one cruiser with escort.

Amount of newly taken prisoners in Kertsch brings total amount to : 93.000

25.000 (+/- 100) mines have been cleared after the breakthrough at the Parpatsch-defence line.

Weather : sunny, 30 degrees celsius at 12 0´clock

6´th army :

The enemy continues his attack with strong tank forces. All attacks have been repelled with inflicting massive loses of human and mechanised material to the enemy.

Since may,15 an overall of 296 enemy tanks have been destroyed.

Oberwachtmeister Müller destroyed 11 enemy tanks with his anti-tank gun. The request to reward him with the iron cross first class has been made.

3986 prisoners have been made.

Superior enemy forces , with support of tanks have penetrated the eastern part of Krasnograd.

Africa :

No special happenings due to an strong sandstorm.

07-15-2006, 12:13 PM
how about May 18 of 40?

07-15-2006, 12:23 PM
The daily reports first start with August,1 1940. Everything before that was not filed in daily reports , just in a huge overall analysis.

07-15-2006, 09:34 PM
Thanks for your time Celeon666
I am curious what do they write about conquest of Sevastopol 1 July 1942 ( remnants of Red Army defended themselves to 4 July , so i don't know which date OKW chose) It was one of the most bloodly battle of WW2, Sevastopol was mighty fortress, Stalin ordered by radio to defend it to the last bullet, Germans used the heaviest pieces artillery available including 80 cm Big Dora designed for bombarding the Maginot Line.http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/100_0014.jpg

This is Erich von Manstein Commander-in-Chief of the Crimean Army. After conquest of the Crimea he was promoted Field-Marshal by Hitler. For this ocassion the special commemorative shield was created for those who take part in campaign.http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/100_0010.jpg http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f364/Janek73/100_0008.jpg

07-16-2006, 06:31 AM
Ok Janek http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

1. Juli 1942

Situation report (Veeeryyy shortened) http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

With continuation of the attack , the entire "Sapun" position has been crushed.

The advancing forces are attacking the enemy fortification south-west of Kelibanitsch.

Fierce enemy resistance.

The to the south advancing divisions have penetrated the outer defence perimeter and further pushing to the inner city fortification.

The , via the Sapun caves advancing troop parts are heading towards Balakawa after destroying several bunker-like enemy positions.

It seems that the enemy withdrawed from positions around Balakawa but several strong units are still making fierce resistance.

Africa :

Tank forces made preparations in the morning for attacking the El-Alamein positions.

The mechanized units have been gathered in close formation during the night and moved at 03:00 east to attack and break through the defence lines 50 kilometers south-west of El-Alamein.

During the 30.06.1942 the DAK made fake preparations to suggest an attack on the enemy south-wing.

Strong recon-units are on their way to the Siwa oasis.

Luftwaffe reports

18 airplanes used for S&D operations around the british isle. No successes.

Recon plane detected enemy convoy consisting of 32 medium sized steamers in the near Yarmouth at 06:45

At Hastings a convoy of 20 ships and escort with north-east course at 21:55

Testing of enemy air defence on isle of Malta. 1 Spitfire shot down.

In the north-african area of operation :

21 Ju-87 attack on enemy vehicle group at El-Alamein with excellent results. No anti-air fire.

In several dogfights carried out by 35 Me-109 4 enemy Curtiss planes shot down.

No own losses.

Harbour situation of Beirut after recon photo shots at 16:25

5 freighters each 13.000 tons
1 harbour tanker 2.000 tons
1 tanker 4.000 tons

Harbour situation of Haifa after recon photo shots at 16:06

2 cruisers
3 destroyers
5 escort ships
1 civil passenger ship 4.000 tons
4 tankers each 40.000 tons
8 freighters each 36.000 tons
1 hospital ship

07-17-2006, 04:03 AM
Here are some pics of what the books look like

Abwehr report (secret service) about current strength of british an u.s troops in the Mediterranean.

Some reports are very,very detailed with informations like "this unit has often technical problems with the air filters of their tanks" or even "the commander of this unit is disliked by his soldiers". http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


Some sort of list showing several division and units. Their names , who is commanding them which sub-units belong to them.

Very complex stuff. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif


That´s what the daily reports look like.


Here Celeon needs to acknowledge that some of the typical stereotypes regarding germany´s pencil pushing accurancy are actually true. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/1072.gif


For those who couldnt find sleep because they always wondered how many rounds of mg ammunition the wehrmacht fired between 22.06.1941 and 31.12.1941 on the east front. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Here is your rescue :

It were exactly 635.761.173 rounds.

There are about 50 other lists like this one which show every single round, grenade , bomb ,mortar, handgrenade, flare ... simply everything that was produced, delivered , used or not used.

Yes, .. if you always wondered where buerocratism was invented..... now you know it http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


A overview map (without details) of Operation "Margarethe" in march 1944

OF COURSE ... (you surely already guessed it) there is also a detailed version. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/crackwhip.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif