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The Boat by Lothar-Günther Buchheim

The Boat (1973)

by Lothar-Günther Buchheim

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8791516,121 (4.22)31
Filled with almost unbearable tension and excitement, DAS BOOT is one of the best stories ever written about war, a supreme novel of the Second World War and an acclaimed film and TV drama. It is autumn 1941 and 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 must brave the stormy waters of the Atlantic in their mission to seek out and destroy British supply ships. But the tide is beginning to turn against the Germans in the war for the North Atlantic. Their targets now travel in convoys, fiercely guarded by Royal Navy destroyers, and when contact is finally made the hunters rapidly become the hunted. As the U-boat is forced to hide beneath the surface of the sea a cat-and-mouse game begins, where the increasing claustrophobia of the submarine becomes an enemy just as frightening as the depth charges that explode around it. Of the 40,000 men who served on German submarines, 30,000 never returned. Written by a survivor of the U-boat fleet, DAS BOOT is a psychological drama merciless in its intensity, and a classic novel of the Second World War.… (more)

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» See also 31 mentions

English (13)  German (2)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Didn't get around to reading the book, but the movie was a gripping Cold War thriller, even when you know how it ends.
  librisissimo | Mar 25, 2019 |
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... ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Feb 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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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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