The Adventures of the U-202

An Actual Narrative

Cover image for


Author: E. Spiegel (Baron Spiegel von und zu Peckelsheim)
Published: 1917
Language: English
Wordcount: 27,263 / 83 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 78.7
LoC Categories: V, UH
Downloads: 8,640
Added to site: 2010.05.03 27593
Genres: War, Nautical, History

nd which rushes through the water like a thoroughbred. What am I searching for in the cold, dark night? Do I think about honor and success? Why does my eye stare so steadily into the dark? Am I thinking about death and the innumerable mines which are floating away off there in the dark, am I thinking about enemy scouts which are seeking me?

"No! It is nerves and foolish sentiments born of foolish spirits. I am not thinking about that. Leave me alone and don't bother me. I am the master. It is the duty of my nerves to obey. Can you hear the melodious song from below, you weakling nerves? Are you so dull and faint hearted that it does not echo within you? Do you not know the stimulating power which the thin metal voice below can inspire within you?

"This song brings greetings to you from a distance of twelve hundred miles and through twelve hundred miles it comes to you. Ahead we must look; we must force our eyes to pierce the darkness on all sides."

The spy-glass flew to the eye. There is


Average Rating of 4 from 4 reviews: ****

Be aware that this book is a good novel, not a memoir. The historical U-202 of the Imperial German Navy was scrapped incomplete after the Armistice, according to German Warships 1815-1945 by Erich Gröner.

roger rylatt

a very good accounting of u-boat service in the first world war. Some unusual accounts of anti-submarine warfare I was unaware of. Overall a very good read. I would give it 7.5 out of 10


I imagine this would have been much more exciting and interesting in its own time, when the audience hadn't already been inundated by submarine movies. The book's anecdotes are now probably familiar archetypical scenes to the average reader.

However, it is noteworthy since it was written by an actual U-202 captain. Unfortunately, it lacks specifics so it doesn't illuminate any historical events (that I know of). Indeed, the author mentions near the beginning that some of the events didn't happen to him personally, but to other captains in his circle of acquaintance.

But it's a quick read and gives some insight into the personality, motives, and demeanor of a WWI U-boat captain.

J.David Knepper

The story of an Imperial German U-boat in World War I as told by its captain. Highly entertaining and complimentary of the sailors on both sides of the conflict.

During these early U-boat cruises, the crews were highly motivated to destroy enemy shipping but not personnel, unless the mission demanded it. Hence, enemy crews were given warning, time to abandon ship, food and water as necessary to survivors, and even a tow toward home, as long as the U-boat didn't come under attack in the process.

Worth the read.

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