Best Books on U Boats

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

U-Boats is the term used to refer to militarized German submarines, operated particularly during World War I and II. These boats were very commonly used in economic warfare and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping. Although u-boats were effective here, at times, they were efficiently utilized as weapons against the enemy warships. 

We have shortlisted some of the best reads to provide you a deeper insight into the role u-boats played during the times of war. These books would prove a worth read and enable you to dive deep into history.

5 Best Books on U Boats & Reviews

1. Steel Boat Iron Hearts

Author: Hans Goebeler, John Vanzo

Publisher: Savas Beatie

Pages: 288 pages

This book is a memoir of the life of a crewman aboard the U-505, combat U-boat under Hitler’s rule (1944). The author, Goebeler, was a control room member aboard U-505 while the author Vanzo was a former analyst of the defense program. To share their experiences with you and the world, they, along with many other crew members’ inputs, drafted this detailed account.

All the time during his deployment in the German Navy, Goebeler has been a constant presence on board every mission and military patrol of U-505. His career, in the Navy, began with it and he retired working in it. Also, while many captains are the ones to voice their experiences, it has been found to be a remarkable shift from the norm.

This is sure to keep you on your toes.

Summary: This is a title that is filled with personal experiences from sabotage efforts to sink the boat, suicide of the only U-boat commander during WWII, from anxiousness during enemy hunts to the seedy conspirations.  

2. Iron Coffins

Author: Herbert A. Werner

Publisher: Da Capo Press

Pages: 388 pages

A personal account of the German U-boat battles straight from the life experience of the commander, Werner, during WWII. It gives a detailed account of 4 years of highly significant yet savage battles while sharing his own perspective to various happenings around him. It sheds the lies and spreads the truth about the real loss of about 28000 German soldiers out of 39000 estimated.

This book sheds the light on the true horrors of the battle of the Atlantic from the German’s side. It splits the account in 3 parts, ‘Years of Glory’, ‘Above Us, Hell’, and ‘Disaster and Defeat’. Every single title in the book already gives an idea of what you will experience as you go on. Add to this the fact that the author in no way spares any of the readers from facing every single bout of fear, terror, pride, elation, horror and despair as the account goes on.

With every word latching on to your lapels, you will not be able to put this intense book down till you get the conclusion out of the way. Werner’s writing style, being simple, natural and straightforward, makes it feel that much more connected. A read worth your time to grant you a new outlook to the navy life, is Iron Coffins.

Summary: This book honors every individual to ever fight in the war and makes the world open their eyes and salute the soldiers for the hardships they bore on the account of their nation.

3. U-Boats in New England

Author: Eric Weiberg

Publisher: Fonthill Media

Pages: 663 pages

This book opens the scene a few weeks after Hitler declared war on the United States in around mid of December 1941. According to this, around 73 of the German U-boats attacked the New England waters all over from the Montauk in New York up to the tip of Nova Scotia at Cape Sable. 

The author is a well-established shipping industry worker and has researched extensively on marine wars and casualties. This is one of his finest works reminiscing the old battle that changed the world’s situation. This book is a true dedication to all the lives lost during the war.

Some of the detailed accounts presented about every single event that took place during the war, has not been widely known. Its numerous positive reviews have made this book one of the most well-read fictions of all time.

Summary: A very vast account of the misery faced by the U-boat occupants during the New England war, this book portrays the nationality within each mariner’s heart, at its best.

4. Hitler’s ‘Wonder’ U-Boats

Author: Jak P. Mallmann Showell

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

Pages: 312 pages

This book gives a true account of a restarting of war where special XXI u-boats were used. The entire account portrays the utilization of this type of U-boats and its applicability in the times of war. 

This particular type of U-boat was a weapons system that was not as much hidden as was thought of. It also could not perform the most amazing attacks and escapes when needed. 

The author is quite thoroughly able to tell the background of the XXI type u-boat and its history all in quite a deal of length. This book gives a graphic portrayal and provides proper knowledge of this well-known u-boat. It is not very technical and gives a great background of its practical use in WWII submarine wars. 

Summary: This book has a goal to make the people aware of the specially designed u-boat that was utilized in super wars. It is a great pictorial representation of what was in the past.

5. The U-Boat Commanders

Author: Jeremy Dixon

Publisher: Pen and Sword Maritime

Pages: 330 pages

This is a book that gives a peek into the u-boat commanders who have won the Knight’s Cross for their valor within the German ranks during World War II. This book describes the awards as well as the true reaction of the German public upon every single one given out. It is said to be one of the greatest honors given.

During the time of the wars, if the commander has his rank decorated with highest awards, the u-boat he/she commandeered often had the relevant decoration of award’s insignia to depict the position and honor. This book presents the greatest 123 of the award recipients. 

This book is an ideal guide to all these great men. It also accounts for their deeds of valor for which they have been recognized. Their wartime service history has also been depicted with their pictures to give you a better idea. It contains close to 200 photographic archives within it. Every single photograph was a look into their service days. Additionally, their full time of duty and their detailed account of actions to every perilous situation has also been depicted in a very simple yet informative manner.

Summary: This book is a great way to go back in the golden time of our history and look into the marine u-boat commanders’ lives and their greatest honors based on their line of duty.

In Conclusion

We truly hope that our selection of books provides you a great deal of knowledge about u-boats and their use in historical wars like World War II. But it will be great if you would look at the specifications of each before purchase and choose accordingly. You can find these books easily on Amazon.

Leave a Comment