"Iron Coffins" By Herbert A. Werner

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by comiso90, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    "Iron Coffins" By Herbert A. Werner

    Who has read it? What do you think?

    I was struck by the extremes. Before the book, I knew that the U-boats had their day in the sun sinking freighters and they had their payback visa vie allied countermeasures but the book does an excellant job putting the swing of momentum into perspective.

    The book was repetitive and even tedious but hell, the life of a submariner was repetitive and tedious! A fantastic book for those acutely interested in the battle of the Atlantic but does not stand on its own as a excellent book of non-fiction but that's fine. I very much enjoyed the read...
     

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  2. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Yes, I have it.
    Mine is a Pan Books paperback priced at £0.40 ! It says on th inside - 2nd printing 1972 - so I must have had it for many years. And, it's a long time since I read it, but the memory I have - is one of 'all or nothing' with it being a miserable cold death whether for U-boat crew or merchant ship crew.
     
  3. Yozimbo

    Yozimbo New Member

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    I have it too, on paperback... found it a grasping read...
    If you're interested in U-Boats try the classic Das Boot from Lothar-Günther Buchheim...
    He was a navy war correspondent and joined U-96 in 1941 in order to document a U-Boat Atlantic patrol...
    Based on his experiences he latter wrote Das Boot - a semi-autobiography of that experience, that was later (1981) adapted into a feature film directed by Wolfgang Petersen.
    Also from the same author you can read the non-fiction books, U-Boot-Krieg (U-Boat Warm) 1976, U-Boot-Fahrer (U-Boat Sailors) 1985, and Zu Tode Gesiegt (Victoried to Death), 1988
    I am lucky that i also have the photographic album that was once published and contains his original photographs during his patrol with the U-96... shivering stuff...
     
  4. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I have "Iron Coffins" on my to-read shelf(s). Good to hear that its a fairly good book on the subject! And yup....submarine life is pretty repetitive. Which is good. Excitement at depths >400ft is usually not a good thing...
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I also rate the book, well worth a read
     
  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    the Book was one of the very first first person accounts by a U-Boot Kommandeur and is still a classic read. I have the original hardback Copyright of 1969, of which I picked up an an Anitque book store on the Orygun coast back in 1992 for 10.00 US. Had read a library copy back in 1970

    As there are not many Kommadeur books in print, another one from U-333 is Ali Cremers book which is another great read, as well as the somewhat bizarre U-Boat 977 by Kmdt. Heinz Schäffer, copyright 1952 in my collection though been reprinted many times. Schäffer denied orders and took himself and crew and Boot to Argentina .......

    E ~
     
  7. farmersboy

    farmersboy New Member

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    On top of all these books, one also worth reading is "The Secret Diary of a U-Boat" by Wolfgang Hirschfeld, who served on U-234, the type XB submarine that was heading to Japan when the war ended, carrying tons of parts (including two Me262's in pieces), passengers and half a ton of uranium oxide.
     
  8. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks... I'll check that out.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
  9. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    I have and have read the book "Iron Coffins". It is a very good read.

    Another good read is the the book, "U-505" by Admiral Daniel Gallery. This is the story of the capture of the U-505. And the U-505 is on public display at the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago, IL, USA.

    Bill G.
     
  10. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks Bill... Is it a dramatic novel or a historical account? I've been on the U-505 and the experience is burned in my brain. They also have 1 of the 2 remaining intact Stukas in the same museum.

    .
     
  11. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    The book U-505 is a very true story. There is no "Hollywood"!

    Bill G.
     
  12. HerrKaleut

    HerrKaleut Member

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    Read most of those (except 505). Good reads. A very interesting book Is U-Boat commander by Gunter Prien (originally "The man who sank the Royal Oak"). Problem is sorting out out fact from propoganda.(It is a wartime publication re-released in the 50's.)
    I would also recomend "The U-Boat war" by David Westwood
     
  13. Kiwikid

    Kiwikid Member

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    7 out of 8 U-boat men did not survive. It would have been the most thankless nerve wracking occupations of the war. Mostly just kids as cannon fodder too. If you were over 21 you were an old man on a U-boat.
     
  14. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I have read "Iron Coffins" and have it(somewhere) in my boxed books. It was a good read and starkly outlined the life of a U boat sailor in WW2.
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    "Iron Coffins" is an excellent read and appropriately named "Das Boot" I thought was excellent as well. "Pig Boats" by Bantam was very good as well, however it was about the early US Subs.
     
  17. HerrKaleut

    HerrKaleut Member

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    I presume you have all read The Golden Horseshoe (about Kretschmer) and Grey wolf,Grey Sea (story of U-124 and Mohr) . I can also recomend Robert C Stern's "Type V11 U-Boats " and The U-Boat Century by Jak Mallmann Showell:)
     
  18. Cota1992

    Cota1992 Member

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    As Mentioned above it's the historical account,Daniel Gallery, the author was the U.S. Navy task force commander who captured the U-505.

    Iron Coffins is a classic account in my book and has earned it's space on my shelf.
    As much as I liked The Boat for fiction, my favorite U-boat fiction book is Sharks and Little Fish (I think it was written by Wolfgang Ott, but it's been years, I could be wrong)

    Overall the best is Buchhiem's U-Boat War- many of the photos were used almost exactly in Das Boot, such as meeting another U-boat at sea. Not so much as a presonal account but as a overall look at life on a U-boat.
     
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