Twenty-two U-boat veterans tell their stories in this collection of their experiences, recorded by the author during several years of travel throughout Germany. While many books have been written about the U-boat war, this is one of the few that focuses on the lives of the submariners, and rarer still is its concentration on the crewmen rather than the officers. Melanie Wiggins interviewed seventeen men of the enlisted ranks, along with five commanders, to take readers into the terrifying world of underwater warfare, where every single crewman made a crucial difference in the fate of his boat.
Among the individual sagas included are Radioman Hans Burck's description of his 1942 patrol to Aruba and the visit of Japanese submarine I-30 at Lorient; Fireman 2nd Class Josef Erben's explanation of how his boat, U-128, got stuck on a large rock and had to be hauled free; POW Ernst Goethling's memories of being wounded in a British prison camp when German planes mistakenly dropped bombs in the area; and Herman Wien's description of U-180 transporting Indian anarchist Subhas Chandra Bose to Madagascar. Every account gives new details about the crews' activities at sea and their experiences in prisoner-of-war camps.
About the Author
Melanie Wiggins was born in Forth Smith, Arkansas. Wiggins graduated from Hollins College in Virginia. She lives in League City, Texas.