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Iron Coffins

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  • Iron Coffins

    I just started reading Iron Coffins https://www.amazon.com/Iron-Coffins-.../dp/030681160X . I am enjoying it. If you like info on U-boat warfare you should check it out. I know it is a memoir and not a historical document and all things may not be portrayed 100% as they happened, but it is an interesting read so far.
    Last edited by slick24; 11 Jan 19, 07:52.

    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

    The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

  • #2
    I read it. It's very good and presents the insider's view of U-boat warfare. Those were brave men.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      If you liked Iron Coffins, then you might also like Heinz Schäffer's U-Boat 977. It's another book by someone who was there.

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      • #4
        Das Boot was written by a U-boot officer.
        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          I read it. It's very good and presents the insider's view of U-boat warfare. Those were brave men.
          I agree, whatever nationality! lcm1
          'By Horse by Tram'.


          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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          • #6
            Thanks I will look into those books. Yes, I like Das Boot. They were very brave.

            “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

            The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

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            • #7
              Not that brave. Heard a rumour some of them were vandalising their boats as they were scared to go out. As for our merchant navy - they were brave.
              They couldn't hit an elephant at this

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Long Lance View Post
                Not that brave. Heard a rumour some of them were vandalising their boats as they were scared to go out. As for our merchant navy - they were brave.
                I'd say both were brave on the whole.

                “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

                The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

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                • #9
                  Das Boot movie: 40,000 U-boat sailors went out to sea. 30,000 never returned. Does anyone know if this is true or close to the truth?
                  Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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                  • #10
                    It sounds about right. I have been reading Iron Coffins and as the war progressed the mortality rate in U-Boats was unbelievable. I think I have read that they lost 793 u-boats and 28000 submariners. They had a casualty rate of around 75%

                    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

                    The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Using the figures in U boat net I did a quick graph showing losses by year. It should be noted that in 1945 the monthly loss rate was higher than in any previous year with April being the worst single month of the war (48 boats lost). Apart from improving Allied ASW equipment, techniques, experience and resource numbers Germany was running out of experienced submariners and towards the end of the war there was an increasing use of surface ship commanders to captain U boats.
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by slick24 View Post
                        It sounds about right. I have been reading Iron Coffins and as the war progressed the mortality rate in U-Boats was unbelievable. I think I have read that they lost 793 u-boats and 28000 submariners. They had a casualty rate of around 75%
                        Yes, an extraordinary and for the most part unsung reality about Germany's war effort.

                        The loss rate reminds me of that of Bomber Command's losses in term of aircrew.

                        The two efforts were sort of similar (no, I've changed my mind let's say 'they had similarities'):
                        . warfare by indirect means against something other than the enemies main land armies
                        . very heavy losses for those involved who were in many ways part of their respective armed forces elites
                        . highly controversial (the Bomber Offensive much more so than the sub war in WWII, but the U-bat campaign in
                        WWI was massively divisive at that time)
                        . both campaigns were never credited with importance some believed they should have been given (well of course the U-boat campaign failed! and area bombing meant decades had to pass before BC was given proper memorials)

                        Anyway sounds like an interesting book.

                        Regards
                        lodestar

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                        • #13
                          Hi All, I may be easily convinced but 'Das boot' was good enough for me and I think of those latter years when everyone knew just what the odds were, Germans or not, they were Bloody Heroes'!!!
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                          • #14
                            I remember reading this in 1971 when I was thirteen or fourteen. At that time all Jerries were sly, cowardly backstabbers, hatchet faced nazi U-Boat Captains being the icing on the cake.
                            The 'happy times' at the beginning of the book confirmed everything I'd ever read in my Commando and Victor comics!
                            By book's end I'd grown up a bit and learned a lot... the courage of the Jerry submariners staggered me.
                            A book I've never re-read, but never forgotten.
                            The long toll of the brave
                            Is not lost in darkness
                            Over the fruitful earth
                            And athwart the seas
                            Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                            Unquenchable forever.

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