Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-Boat Battles of World War II

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Overview


The former German U-boat commander Herbert Werner navigates readers through the waters of World War II, recounting four years of the most significant and savage battles. By war's end, 28,000 out of 39,000 German sailors had disappeared beneath the waves.
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Overview


The former German U-boat commander Herbert Werner navigates readers through the waters of World War II, recounting four years of the most significant and savage battles. By war's end, 28,000 out of 39,000 German sailors had disappeared beneath the waves.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306811609
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 6/4/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 149,690
  • Product dimensions: 5.42 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author


Commander Herbert Werner served on five submarines from 1941 to 1945 and came to the United States in 1947.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    Very entertaining and gives you an insight in to a German submar

    Very entertaining and gives you an insight in to a German submariners thoughts of the war!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    I love this book! My father introduced me to it when it was a te

    I love this book! My father introduced me to it when it was a teen because we both love history. The author is probably the best authority since he live it. He speaks of the glory years and of the dark days afterwards. With vivid detail he describes being hunted and the depth charging. He tells of the hunt and the triumph of getting a ship. With this he helps solve many questions I had about life on a U-boat. I especially love the poem about snorkeling written by a crew man. All in all, 5 stars with a wish that I could give more.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    I was looking for a book that would tell the story of the German

    I was looking for a book that would tell the story of the German U-boat saga and not be biased or critical. I happened to find it here in “Iron Coffins”: A Personal Account of the U-boat Battles of WW.II by Herbert A Werner; one of the last surviving Captains still engaged in the war that could not be won.
    The enormous giant (United States) that the Japanese had awakened at Pearl Harbor was thrust into action. England was being strangled by the German U-boat “Wolf Packs” and was losing the supremacy of the seas; which it had held for centuries. The combined power of the Allies was phenomenal. Once the Americans entered the conflict, its industrial might and ruffled feathers presented a formidable adversary for a brain-washed Nazi Germany and its fanatical Fuhrer Adolph Hitler.
    At first the submarines were very successful at sinking the cargo ships that sailed from the U.S., and those first U-boats had little trouble in scoring thousands of tons in total sinking’s. They referred to this as “Happy Times” and were obviously winning the war in the Atlantic. All this was changed with the intervention of the U.S. Navy and its formidable escorts and destroyers that accompanied the convoys and provided unmatched protection. They’re rapid deployment and improved underwater sensors soon turned the tide; with many U-boat kills and the demoralization of many a crew. Ensign turned lieutenant Herbert Werner wasn’t one of them. Upon reading his account, I’m sure you will see something in this man that is nothing short of remarkable. He never doubted the outcome of the war until very near the end; when the insane orders came to “ram the Allied invasion fleet with your boat and sink whatever you can.” A suicidal mission if ever there was one.
    In vain he waited for the new Type 21 U-boat that promised an exciting and unnerving weapon of immense proportions. Capable of traveling faster underwater than on the surface with six forward torpedo tubes and a Snorkel, they would have changed the war; if for no other reason, than giving Germany a somewhat honorable alternative of surrender rather than utter defeat.
    Herbert Werner explains it all in this fact-filled and extremely personal accounting of those five years he participated in the war of the “Iron Coffins.” Highly personal in nature, he writes and re-tells his experiences in a European fashion that I found to be very entertaining and insightful. I must tell you that of the 38,000 men who sailed and fought in these contaminated steel canisters, less than 10,000 ever returned; and very few wanted to tell their story. The oceans of the world hold these men and machines in an icy grip that the author was all too well aware of. The smells and sounds of constrained confinement are well told in vivid and colorful phrases and paragraphs that held my interest for hours-(Chapter 11 was awesome). Add to that the true humanity and nature of the author’s own family’s story, and you have one of the greatest testaments ever written about these events and their solemn outcomes. I really enjoyed this book and would have loved to meet the author-Hence 5 stars with no regrets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Interesting read

    Excellent personal memoir. I looked but could never find the back story of how the author gained US citizenship and retired in Florida!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2003

    Fantastic, that is submarine war.

    The best war book I have read on last 40 years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2002

    Excellent trip back in time - like being there

    I purchased the original edition when it was out of print, and found it riveting. An excellent book that lets the reader see what this U-boat captain was thinking as well as doing, with a good look at the aftermath of the war, escaping from Allied POW camps and the like. I am glad to see it has been reprinted, only disappointed it is not hardcover, as is the original edition that I have. This book deserves a hardcover edition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2002

    Virtual Reality

    I have read this book 3 times. One sentence and 2 word description;I feel as tho I was actually there and absolutely GREAT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2011

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    Posted June 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

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