It is November 1941, just before the tide of the war turned in favour of the Allies due to failure of Operation Barbarossa to deliver the killer blow to the Soviet Union, and the Japanese fatal decision to drag the USA into the conflict.
A U boat crew are about to set sail, accompanied by a young journalist whose job is to record the voyage as part of the propaganda blitz for German audiences keen for heroes.
There are two main reasons why Das Boot is the greatest of novels about World War Two. Firstly the men are not portrayed as heroes, there is no discussion of dying for a noble cause, it’s all about the crushingly dangerous and oppressive atmosphere aboard the vessel as it navigates the brutal and unforgiving North Atlantic in search of vulnerable merchant shipping. Secondly, there is little or no Nazi narrative in the book…
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