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German U-boat Commanders of World War II

A Biographical Dictionary

Busch, Rainer and Röll, Hans-Joachim

1999, United States Naval Inst.
ISBN 1557501866
301 pages

Type. Historical reference book
Pros. Very detailed and comprehensive
Cons. Known mistakes allowed to stay in this translation.

This is the English translation of the 1st volume of Der U-Boot Krieg 1939-1945 covering the 1,411 men who commanded the U-boats into battle during World War Two.

This is essentially a more "user-fiendly" version of the German original, some items have been changed, items removed and others put in to replace them.

The translator's notes are very interesting as they have material rarely seen.

An example of an entry in the book;

La Baume, Günter [54]
b. 29.4.1911, Danzig
Class 1929, Kptlt. 1.8.38, posthumously Kkpt seniority 1.4.44
Comp. Cdr 1/NCO Trg Div 3/38 -9/39; Specialist,
OKW Abwehr (Foreign), 9/39-4/41; U-boat trg 4/41-8/41;
U-Cdr's Course, 24th Flotilla and Baubelehrungs 9/41 - 10/41
Cdr U-355 29.10.41 - 1.4.44
Lost 1.4.44 Barents Sea, SW of Bear I

The book ends with an index of all U-boats and their commanders, where one can look up a boat and its commander(s). The commanders are all given a serial number (the 54 in the example above) to easy referal. Similar solution as I had to come up with in the database project since a few men have the same last name.

For any serious researcher this is a must have book.

One very unfortunate thing about the English translation is that before its release and printing there was available a list of mistakes found in the German volume that had been uncovered and corrected. For whatever reasons those mistakes are still in the revised and translated edition.

Don't get me wrong, this is the best source on the U-boat commanders and those small bugs are nothing to deter its use as source but I would have seen the English edition as a golden chance to correct the things not 100% in the manuscript.

This is a must-have item for any accurate study in the U-boat force.

This book was submitted to for review purposes

Review written by Guðmundur Helgason.

Published on 5 Apr 1999.

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This title is highly recommended.

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