By Geoffrey Brooks
When there were many memoirs written by way of U-boat commanders of the second one international struggle, a booklet similar to this, dependent upon the diaries of a senior Petty Officer telegraphist, written in 'real time' is whatever very designated. Wolfgang Hirschfeld, whose diaries Geoffrey Brooks has translated is a born tale teller.
The critical chapters describe his studies in the course of six battle patrols in U-109, within which he served because the senior telegraphist. His is a story which covers the complete kaleidescope of feelings shared by means of males at warfare - a narrative of titanic braveness and fortitude, of outstanding comradeship born of the risks, frustrations and privations shared and of transitory moments of triumph.
Throughout runs a vein of humour, with out which resistance to emphasize may were nearly most unlikely. We get to grasp one in all Germany's nice U-boat aces, 'Ajax' Bleichrodt, holder of the Knight's move of the Iron go with Oak Leaves and, in a unique biographical appendix, find out how he eventually cracked lower than the stress. The position of Admiral Karl Donitz, the dynamic commander of the U-boat carrier, so fascinatingly defined via Hirschfeld, is of designated curiosity - no longer least simply because even this devoted Nazi had basically discovered by way of September, 1942, that the conflict used to be quick being misplaced.
In 1944 Hirschfeld was once promoted Warrant Officer and located himself on a wide, schnorkel-equipped boat (U-234) heading for Japan with a load of excessive know-how gear and, moreover, a volume of uranium ore. the prospective importance of that uranium has been deeply researched through Geoffrey Brooks and is mentioned in a moment appendix.
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Extra resources for Hirschfeld: The Secret Diary of a U-Boat NCO, 1940-1946
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