20 January 2021

U-Boats at War in 100 Objects 1939-1945

I am quite a fan of the series of '100 Objects' books, as the authors provide an authoritative summary of a range of effects and items, relating to different aspects of the Second World War, and they are a good resource for collectors. 

In this book Gordon Williamson, using a carefully selected range of surviving U-boat memorabilia from private collections, describes 100 iconic elements of the U-Boat service and its campaigns. The range of items under consideration include the uniforms and insignias the men wore, the weapons, equipment and technology used, and Williamson also explores the conditions in which the U-boat crews served, from cooking facilities and general hygiene down to the crude toilet facilities. The key individuals of the U-boat arm, and the types of U-boats themselves are also examined.

As this topic is relatively focussed, it is also helpful that the enemy they faced is also covered, examining the ship-borne and airborne anti-submarine weaponry utilised against the U-boats. This helps to provide a balanced view point of the U-boat campaign, although if your area of interest is specifically U-boats this may not add much to the book for you. 

The images of items from collections are complemented with colour and black and white photographs from the war. One small criticism is that the picture quality is variable. The majority of images are clear and crisp, but a few are less vibrant and the image of the extremely rare and unique Soldbuch belonging to Karl D├Ânitz is unfortunately low resolution.  Overall I would recommend anyone with an interest in the U-boat campaign, and particularly with an interest in collecting militaria associated with U-boats, to consider purchasing this book. 

Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy. 

Available from:
Pen & Sword

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