Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Place, Another Time: A U-Boat Officer's Wartime Album

Another Place, Another Time: A U-Boat Officer's Wartime Album

By Werner Hirschman with Graves, Donald E (Foreword by Timothy P Mulligan, Maps B Hirschmann (Author)

Hardcover: 256 pages Robin Brass Studio / Chatham Publishing Toronto 2004 978-1896941387

8.1 x 8 x 0.7 inches

One of the services with the highest casualty rate during World War II was the German U-Boat service. Of the 40,000 men who served in that branch, 28,000 were killed. Werner Hirschmann was one U-Boat officer that entered the German Navy in 1940 and served until 1945 when he and his boat surrendered to Canadian forces.

This book covers several different subjects. The first few chapters deal with his joining the Navy and the training he received. Then it's to see on a destroyer, including escort duty for the Bismark when it left for the Atlantic raid. Finally he is transferred to U-Boats with more training followed by going to war. Finally came the sixth and last patrol, ending in surrender.

There are two appendices to the book. The first is a Pictorial Tour of the authors boat, the U-190 and the U-889, both type IXC long range boats. The type of submarines that were used in the patrols to North America, the Caribbean, the southern Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Orient. This pictorial tour is well illustrated. Mr. Hirschmann was the engineering officer on the boat, so as you would expect, these pictures feature most of the technical aspects of the boat. There is even a picture of the quite rare four rotor Navy Enigma machine.

The second and somewhat smaller appendix is titled Life on a U-Boat. Again, it is fairly technical in nature.

This is a splendid book, especially for the technically minded.

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