Highly recommended for anyone who has more than a passing interest in WWII submarine warfare.
As James Calvert wrote in his memoirs, in a submarine, mHighly recommended for anyone who has more than a passing interest in WWII submarine warfare.
As James Calvert wrote in his memoirs, in a submarine, many things can go wrong, and it is only he who can rise above the mechanical complexity of this weapon system that can begin to think about war. A submarine is no place to be seeing shadows, as Calvert puts it.
Well, Victor Korzh's memoirs are certainly a tribute to this sort of sayings, because the least one can say is that the life of a soviet submariner -based in Leningrad during the siege- is everything but rosy, and offers a striking contrast with Calvert's book.
Set in a theater of operation I knew nothing about (the Baltic sea), Korzh's memoirs put us in the shoes of a submarine's Chief engineer in three different patrols (aboard S-7, S-21 and K-51 between 1943 and 1945. As such, one does not learn much about the tactical and operational aspect of soviets subs' deployment, but this is largely compensated by the unique perspective of a chief engineer: a very precise knowledge of all systems aboard, and a very quick mind to handle troubles among them, make for a rather thrilling story.
In addition, the author being a soviet, and the book being initially published in 1966 (under the original title Reserve of Strenght), the book also presents a thick layer of "sovietness", for lack of a better word. The story is evidently told according to aesthetic/political correctness values of this particular society. This is even more interesting, since one get to read into a very distinct culture of war reminiscences.
On the other hand, the writing, -or at least, the translation- isn't very articulate nor original, and border on being downright drab at times.
I would recommend reading Calvert and Korzh's books close to one another. It makes for very contrasting and, I believe, quite revealing readings about leadership and social interaction between servicemen of these two nations. ...more
Suhren's book in centered not so much on the U-boat, but on the person of Teddy Suhren himself. Quite fitting for memoirs, it has a strange pace nonetSuhren's book in centered not so much on the U-boat, but on the person of Teddy Suhren himself. Quite fitting for memoirs, it has a strange pace nonetheless, going from minute -albeit maybe a bit scarce- combat details to all kind of human reminiscences.
At some point, I wasn't sure what to think of the book. You cannot hold it against a man who saw combat to go about telling his own story the way he wants. Yet the simple interest of the book isn't where you'd expect. There aren't many details about combat, but Suhren does provide a myriad of information about the Kriegsmarine, the U-boat force, Dönitz, Hitler, and, more generally, the German navy as he saw it.
In the end, I definitely recommend the book. Not a book to learn everything there is to know about U-boats, but definitely an interesting, revealing glimpse of the German naval forces during the Second World War. ...more
As far as I am concerned, one of the definite must-read book on the Battle of the Atlantic. Doenitz delivers an honnest account of his experience of t
As far as I am concerned, one of the definite must-read book on the Battle of the Atlantic. Doenitz delivers an honnest account of his experience of the operational and strategical direction of the battle.
The author frequently refers to the official history of the Royal Navy to either confirm or infirm his own view on specific events, something soldiers rarely do. This makes for a more objective recollection. The book holds many interesting details about the battle.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in this particular theater of operation and submarine warfare.