Author: Axel Niestle
Published by Frontline Books
Imprint of Pen & Sword Books Ltd.
Copyright © Axel Niestle, 2014
Hardcover – 305 pages
SRP – £20.00 UK / $34.00 US
German U-Boat Losses During WWII – Details of Destruction by Axel Niestle is the culmination of many years of added research and information from dives which clear up inaccuracies with military reports and to fill in some of the holes left from previous publications from others.
This 305 page book is broken down into a few sections:
List of Illustrations
Preface to the Second Edition
1 – Principles of U-Boat Loss Assessment during WWII
2 – German U-Boat Numbers and types 1935-1945
3 – Loss Register
1 – Chronological List of German U-Boat Losses During WWII
2 – Tabular Monthly Overview of the Cause of U-Boat Losses
3 – Distribution of German Front-line U-Boats on 8 May 1945
4 – German U-Boats Surrendering or Captured by Allied Forces at the end of the War
1 – Arctic Ocean and Baltic Sea
2 – North Sea and British Coastal Waters
3 – Bay of Biscay
4 – North Atlantic Ocean
5 – West Atlantic and Caribbean Sea
6 – Mid-Atlantic Ocean
7 – South Atlantic Ocean
8 – Indian Ocean
9 – Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea
1 – U-Boat Commanding Officers
2 – Allied and Axis Commanding Officers and Pilots
3 – Allied and Axis Ships
4 – Allied Air Forces
This book is a highly detailed statistical analysis into all the losses incurred by Kriegsmarine during WWII. The Introduction covers the reasoning behind the second writing of this documentation on U-boats as well as a codex, Explanation of Table and Index Formats, defining how to extrapolate the data from the vast collection of informational formats within the book. Each section of the book breaks down the losses into several ways giving a complete history of each boat and the loss.
The book does not only show the ship and the type of loss but has references to the ship’s manufacturing location, hull numbers, captain and pilots, last patrols, the ships and/or planes causing the sinking as well as the captains and pilots of these vessels and planes and more.
The bulk of this book is made up of Section 3: Loss Register. The register is broken down first by U-Boat type and then much further under each heading. Within the center of the book is an eight page spread of 32 archival photographs of many U-boats with supporting text.
The second half of the book continues the detailed chronological listing of U-Boats and their losses along with monthly losses, distribution of frontline U-Boats at the end of the war and a complete listing of surrendered and captured boats by the allies within the Appendices section.
There are nine pages of ocean and sea charts showing the most up to date listing of locations of these U-Boats losses. After the Charts section, there is a section called ‘Note’ which outlines the corrections to the originally presented facts to the loses by military documentation as well as the true location and fate of sixty-five previously unlisted U-Boats.. The indexes cover additional information on the commanders of the U-boats along with Captains and Pilots names and types of vessels and aircraft used to sink or disable these U-boats.
German U-Boat Losses During WWII – Details of Destruction is the most up to date listing of U-Boat losses offered today. I do feel this book is a definitive and comprehensive assemblage of information on the U-Boat subject. The book defines the corrections of misinformation from existing military records as well as offering new information to the fate of sixty-five previously overlooked U-Boat losses.
There is truly not another publication that lays out the information on the fates and whereabouts of all German U-Boats during Second World War. This book is a statistical guide with a tremendous amount of data on each of the German U-Boats losses and the circumstances surrounding those losses. This is not a picture book or listing of stories, just a compiling of vast bits of information on the subject. This is a prefect reference guide for any U-Boat enthusiast and historian alike who wish to gain a more factual listing of U-Boat losses.