Saturday, December 22, 2012

U-108 At War

U-108 at War

By Alistair Smith

ISBN 9781848846678 Paperback 144 pages Pen and Sword Press July 2012

Smith has done a very good job attempting to make sense of this private photo collection illustrating just what life was like on a Second World War U-boat. Amazingly none of the subjects seem to mind which leads one to conclude that there was no censorship ban on photography as in most Allied navies. 
A few minor errors of note in the text:
-There was no Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1941
-Misidentifies the ubiquitous drifter, used by most European navies, as merchant vessels
- No Type XXI submarines went to France in German service
- Cam ship aircraft pilots would bail out near a ship and not just over land
- Allied Convoy commander was a Commodore not a Commander
- Confused a boat rope with boat lowering in one caption
- Photo on page 144 looks like a toilet seat and hence why the crewmember was in that awkward spot
Apart from this, the photos and most of the text gives one of the best looks at what it was like to have served in the U-boat force with one of the highest fatality rates of any service during this conflict.
Congratulations to Mr Smith and Pen and Sword on this worthwhile addition to the historical record.

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