Steel Boat Iron Hearts: A U-boat Crewman's Life Aboard U-505

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9781861762580: Steel Boat Iron Hearts: A U-boat Crewman's Life Aboard U-505

A unique memoir by an ordinary seaman in Hitler's navy Enthralling no-holds-barred account of wartime life at sea and ashore The complete operational career of a famous U-boat When U-505 was depth-charged to the surface on 4 June 1944, the submarine was boarded by American sailors from the USS Guadalcanal hunter-killer group, to become the first warship captured at sea by the US Navy since the War of 1812. But one man did his best to prevent the boat falling into enemy hands: Hans Goebeler, a lowly control-room mate, attempted to scuttle the beloved boat that he had served on throughout the war. That he was prevented probably saved his life, and many years later he produced this remarkable narrative of his service. Originally privately published in 1999, this is the first edition available to the book trade. Compiled from his own experiences, log books, and correspondence with fellow crewmen, Goebeler's book reveals in rich and personal detail what life was really like in the navy of the Nazi era. Having served from beginning to end in this boat, his perspective was unique. He witnessed it all: from the terror and exhilaration of battle, to the seedy brothels of France; through the deadly sabotage efforts that almost sank the boat, to the tragic suicide while on patrol of the only U-boat commander who took his own life during WWII. Vividly written and brutally honest, Steel Boat, Iron Hearts offers the highly unusual viewpoint of the lower deck, not the more polished and polite version of the officers. Ironically, because Goebeler failed to sink the boat, U-505 is now one of the best-known submarines in the world, visited by hundreds of thousands every year at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. HANS GOEBELER served as control-room mate aboard U-505 for all of his wartime service. He emigrated to the USA after the war and became active in organising reunions between his former crew-mates and members of the Guadalcanal Task Force that captured them. He died in 1999. JOHN VANZO teaches political science and geography at Bainbridge College, Georgia.

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About the Author:

HANS GOEBELER served as control-room mate aboard U-505 for all of his wartime service. He emigrated to the USA after the war and became active in organising reunions between his former crew-mates and members of the Guadalcanal Task Force that captured them. He died in 1999. JOHN VANZO teaches political science and geography at Bainbridge College, Georgia.

Review:

"...successfully bridges the disparity in between U-505 as merely a modern museum exhibit and a place of validation and comfort for those who served aboard the vessel on its wartime patrols...provides a true account of his experiences aboard the U-505 and dispel rumors about life on the vessel.." (Nautical Research Journal)

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