Start's U-Boot im Focus #18




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Scott Van Aken

Notes: 56 pages, 9 x 12 inches, softbound
ISBN: 978-3-941437-41-8

It is always a delight to read the latest edition of U-boot im Focus. This periodical has turned into a favorite as much because it has great photos and great stories as anything. The publishers go to great length not only to properly research each article, but also to provide quality, never before published images. As sometimes happens, full information on a subject is difficult to find, but each edition starts off with an errata section that provides additional information on previous issues. Much of this comes from readers who have relatives who served and have passed down their experiences.

#18 continues in its offerings of excellence and provides a number of shorter articles and some fairly long. The most interesting of these larger articles is one on U-boat operations during the Spanish Civil War. The author explains that not much is known due to the destruction of applicable records at the end of WWII, however, enough is known to have a tantalizing look. German ships operated as part of a neutrality blockade and so the boats were marked with the red, white, & black of the flag. Some others were used clandestinely to try to sink ships of the Republican forces when found, but success was limited by faulty torpedoes.

Another fascinating article is on the U-766 as it tried to operate in the Bay of Biscay during the Normandy invasion. So tight was the air patrol to keep submarines away that one had to have a snorkel boat to have any hope. Since the U-766 was a standard Type VIIc, it was an adventure just to try to keep its batteries charged during its fairly short outing. A fascinating look at the difficulties typical of the submarine fleet in mid-1944.

In all, another superb edition, full of other shorter pieces of interest to U-boat enthusiasts. If you are a fan of submarines in general and U-boats in particular, you should be getting this.

November 2019

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