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The Boat by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim
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The Boat (original 1973; edition 1975)

by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim

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8541415,805 (4.23)31
Member:tomdoyle
Title:The Boat
Authors:Lothar-Gunther Buchheim
Info:Publisher Unknown (1975), Hardcover
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The Boat by Lothar-Günther Buchheim (Author) (1973)

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» See also 31 mentions

English (12)  German (2)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I made it through 44 years without realizing the movie was based on a novel. The novel is much more violent and filthy than the movie, but then again so is any crew of 18-24 year olds... ( )
  kcshankd | Feb 28, 2017 |
Probably the most existential and realistic book of submarine warfare from the point of view of a German crew that I have read. It reveals an experience most would rather not have had to live through.

Submarines need buoyancy to function. Salt water makes that extremely difficult because the specific gravity of salt water varies with depth, temperature, the amount of plankton, salinity, even the time of year. (Apparently fresh water is much easier.) Now let’s assume that the specific gravity changes by 1/1000, a small enough amount. If the weight of the sub is 800 tons, the weight must change by 1/1000 or 1600 lbs., not an insignificant amount. The weight has to be increased or decreased as the case may be.

Or let’s say the cook moves a 100 lb. sack of potatoes from the stern forward. That amount of weight has to be redistributed by pumping an equivalent amount of water back to the stern in the trim tanks. You will never think of submarines in quite the same way after you have read the description of their sub in the midst of a storm having to run on the surface for speed (if you could call it that) and to charge the batteries, the boat plunging and heaving through the waves. Can submarines capsize?

This kind of fascinating information adds such verisimilitude to one of the submarine classics to come out of WW II. The author served as a naval correspondent on U-Boots during the war and experienced much of what he then wrote about. I have seen the movie (in German) and listened to the audiobook in addition to reading the book (in English). Not recommended in any form if you have a heart condition.

“All doubts are silenced by the concept of duty.” Think about that. ( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 11, 2016 |
The movie was excellent. However, reading this book was a challenge. It is drafted in current tense. Whereas most fiction books are in past tense. ( )
  usma83 | Aug 7, 2016 |
In autumn 1941, a German U-boat commander and his crew set out on yet another hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. Over the coming weeks they brave the ocean's stormy waters and seek out British supply ships to destroy. But their targets travel in well-guarded convoys. When contact finally occurs, the hunter quickly becomes the hunted, and a cat-and-mouse game begins as the U-boat hides deep beneath the surface of the sea. Soon, claustrophobia... ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 26, 2015 |
This is the absolutely harrowing tale of German submariners in World War II. The author wrote from first hand experience as a journalist on a U-boat, and is able to convey the kind of realism that is only possible by describing something that has been experienced. The terror and senseless tragedy of war are depicted about as well as I've encountered. The author also does a good job of maintaining suspense through most of the story. The boat always seems to be a depth charge away from annihilation. Where things go a little overboard, so to speak, are in the final, suicide mission and in the ending (which I won't describe). I realize the author was using his characters to create a composite of what would have been many U-boat missions by many crews, but after surviving the terrors of the Atlantic, the reader wishes the crew could at least put into port for a little R&R before being stupidly thrust into a mission from which the odds were so against them. ( )
1 vote ninefivepeak | Dec 15, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Buchheim, Lothar-GüntherAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindley, DenverTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindley, HelenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Von der Offiziersunterkunft im Hotel "Majestic" zur "Bar Royal" führt die Straße dicht am Strand entlang, eine einzige langgestreckte Kurve von fünf Kilometern Länge.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0304352314, Paperback)

The thrilling wartime novel that inspired Wolfgang Petersen's Academy Award-nominated, blockbuster film! Written by an actual survivor of Germany's U-boat fleet, Das Boot is one of the most exciting stories of naval warfare ever published, a tale filled with almost unbearable tension and suspense. In autumn 1941, a German U-boat commander and his crew set out on yet another hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. Over the coming weeks they brave the ocean's stormy waters and seek out British supply ships to destroy. But their targets travel in well-guarded convoys. When contact finally occurs, the hunter quickly becomes the hunted, and a cat-and-mouse game begins as the U-boat hides deep beneath the surface of the sea. Soon, claustrophobia becomes an enemy almost as frightening as the depth charges exploding around them. The release of this supremely gripping, merciless intense story commemorates the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:43 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Considered by many to be one of the finest stories ever written about World War 2, The Boat achieved great fame in Germany and the rest of the world through the film and a major TV series that was based upon it.

(summary from another edition)

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