The Golden Horseshoe
Contributor: Dan K.
Review Date: 4 May 2008
I haven't read a U-boat memoir in a while so I dug this one out of my "to read" box. I had picked this one up at a small Military show for $18.
The book starts off with Otto Kretschmer's life and early training. I learned that Kretschmer was in the same early cadre with Prien and Schepke, with whom the 3 were the first acknowledged "aces" in the early part of the war; by the time WWII ended, he was the highest tonnage scoring U-Boat ace. The book goes on to mention how these 3 were responsible for quite of bit of damage to the Allied war effort in sunk and damaged ships. I liked the little details found throughout the book, such as the description on how he came up with his U-Boats symbol of the Horseshoe.
The book is in 17 chapters and talks about certain patrols, how Kretschmer came up with his daring convoy attacks, his meeting with Adolf Hitler, the destruction of his U-boat (U99), and of his capture. The last couple of chapters talk about Kretschmer as a POW; his treatment, the interrogations, and the "brawl" with the guards were among the things that these final chapters covered.
I could not put the book down as he describes setting up each attack and who the ultimate victim was. This book is one of the better U-boat memoirs I have read. In fact, I could not help but staying up until 4am to finish it.
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Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939