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9781848326224

Hirschfeld: The Story of a U-Boat NCO, 1940-1946

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781848326224

  • ISBN10:

    184832622X

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-06-19
  • Publisher: Casemate Pub & Book Dist Llc
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Summary

Whilst there have been many memoirs written by U-boat commanders of the Second World War, a book such as this, based upon the diaries of senior Petty Officer telegraphist, written in 'real time' is something very special. Wolfgang Hirschfeld, whose diaries Geoffrey Brooks has translated is a born story teller.The principal characters describe his experiences during six wars patrols in U-109, in which he served as the senior telegraphist. His is a tale which covers the whole kaleidoscope of emotions shared by men at war - a story of immense courage and fortitude, of remarkable comradeship born of the dangers, frustrations and privations shared and of transitory moments of triumph.Throughout runs a vein of humor, without which resistance to stress would have been virtually impossible. We get to know one of Germany's great U-boat aces, 'Ajax' Bleichrodt, holder of the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, and in a special biographical appendix. learn how he finally cracked under the strain. The role of Admiral Karl Donitz, the dynamic commander of the U-boat service, so fascinatingly described by Hirschfeld, is of special interest - not least because even this dedicated Nazi had clearly realized by September, 1942, that the war was fast being lost.In 1944 Hirschfeld was promoted Warrant Officer and found himself on a large, schnorkel-equipped boat (U-234) heading for Japan with a load of high technology equipment and, in addition, a quantity of uranium one. The possible significance of that uranium has been deeply researched by Geoffrey Brooks and is discussed in a second appendix.

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