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Sharks and Little Fish: A Novel of German Submarine Warfare
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Sharks and Little Fish: A Novel of German Submarine Warfare

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This raw, brawling novel, first published in 1957, is a fiercely realistic account of naval combat during World War II--in particular, the hell that was Nazi submarine warfare. "A German counterpart to The Caine Mutiny" (Frederic Morton), SHARKS AND LITTLE FISH is based on the author's own experiences as a young submariner. "It is as uncompromising, vivid, and unfalsified ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by The Lyons Press (first published 1956)
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Jan 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very depressing look at German naval service in World War II written autobiographically by a German sailor. It follows Hans Teichman from his entry into the Navy, training, first experience as a midshipman on mine-sweepers (he was quite the reprobate) and then service on submarines, about the last third of the book. The cover would indicate it was quite controversial in Germany when it was first published. I could find little information as to why, although I could guess it’s primarily for its ...more
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was another "off the shelf" book which I finally got around to reading. It adds to the long list of books I've read about WWII. This one is written by Wolfgang Ott from personal experience in the German Navy. It was controversial when published back in 1957 when the atmosphere was still "how could they not have known" what was going on in Nazi Germany. There was little sympathy for anyone German. Not much has changed in today's world where we still think they should have known, but yet thos ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
For about 2/3 of this book, I wasn't sure I was going to finish it.
I have very low empathy for Germans in WWII, and for a very long time there wasn't much redeeming about the protagonist.

Much of what I dislike about post-War German novels (as was present in Das Boot, Cross of Iron, etc.) is the standard, "we didn't know about the Holocaust, we actually didn't mind the Jews, and we didn't support Hitler" disclaimer that appears relatively quickly in the story. I actually liked "Sharks", because t
Gregg Jones
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novel, history, adventure
This was my first adult novel about WWII and the German side of submarine warfare in the Atlantic. Wolfgang was a German sailor on a German Submarine. I was about 11 yo (1961) when I read this novel and what grabbed my attention was not the history of WWII but the dull side of the navy when at port. Wolfgang talked about sea sickness and wrenching your guts out from drinking and just being on the high sea. "Liberty in port" was something I heard a lot about (my father was a Navy vet) but this wa ...more
Nathan Trachta
May 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I recently got the urge to read about submarine warfare in WWII and I saw this book and was intrigued by what I read in reviews; ok, get it and read it. I want to open by saying that the beginning wasn't what I expected and almost put it down; that said as I waded a little deeper into the book the intrigue grew. Part of this is the writing style (while "fiction" it's obviously the writers memories of war. The other aspect that makes this different is that the writer is German, has a different st ...more
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
I first read this a long, long time ago--- there was a Reader's Digest Condensed Books version that I found when I was barely 11 or 12 and knew nothing at all about submarine warfare or the Battle of the Atlantic. But I was stunned by the power of the story and left terrified of ever being underwater in a submarine...or having to sit in darkened silence eating tinned sardines while depth charges explode and hunters' sonar pings around the thin hull... A fine autobiographical account of U-boat wa ...more
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book about the point of view from the other side (German ones). You don't care if you about war that much. Really good is that this book is not about ideology what so ever, but about the men. About their feeling, attitudes, decisions. How they are reacting in situations you don't wanna be.
The only bad thing is that I didn't find a place where to buy e-book. If somebody find-out let me know. Thx.
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
An autobiographical novel. It took until page 264 to get to submarines but Ott wrote some unforgettable scenes. Worth a read but touted as a classic in the form of The Cruel Sea and The Caine Mutiny. I can't say that I agree with that opinion at all (the other two I have reread many times and my copies are well read) but still worth a read for an insight on Ott's experiences in WWII.
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Odlicna knjiga, stilom izmedju Haseka i Remarquea. U stvari antiratno stivo.
Kad sam prosao prvo poglavlje, sjetio sam se da sam knjigu citao sa nekih 13-14 godina. Dojam koji je tad ostavila na mene je ostao nepromjenjen. Apsolutno antiratni roman.
Preporuke u svakom slucaju.
Sep 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: World War II Enthusiasts
The book details life aboard a German sub during World War II. The author describes the danger while giving an almost futile perspective of why they were even fighting at all.
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I first read this book when I was 14. My opinion of it has not changed. An honest, brutal look at youing German sailors in WW II.
May 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
If you liked Das Boot, give this one a shot.
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