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The U-boat hunters

James B. Connolly

Book Overview: 

The author takes the listener on a tour of various ships used in WW1. He discusses the boats and the seamen who occupy them and their encounters with the German U-boats. It is a collection of short stories, each one complete, about them all. The author was also an Olympic athlete; winning a bronze, silver and gold medal in the Athens Olympics of 1896 and a silver in the Paris games of 1900.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .questions; probably also to tell them to keep their wireless mouths shut, if they had any.

One day one big freighter did not answer signals promptly. Perhaps she could not read them. In these war times it is not too easy to get crews who are sea-wise in every detail—the expert signalman among the officers might have been off watch and having a nap. Anyway, one of our little fighting fellows went bounding after her. It was like watching a sheep-dog at work. The war-ship moved up from behind, drew up, and then, showing her teeth, headed the freighter the other way and held her headed that way while she put an officer aboard and asked an explanation, which was probably given and doubtless all right, for the officer came back and the freighter resumed her regular course. Day in and day out that was the way of it, every passing ship being viewed as suspect and our own ships, of varying speeds and tonnage, trying to keep a good alignment.

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Community Reviews

Like listening to sailors share war stories, this book is a mixture of narrative description and first hand tales of life in the merchant marine. It's interesting if you have an interest in naval history, naval combat, u-boats, etc. I've read many such books and know what to expect from them.

Somewhat interesting, but lacking vim.