Osprey Warrior 37 : German Seaman 1939-1945
In historical context, the German Navy is still a relatively 'young' force. At the end of World War I, it was in a strange position. It had never scored any real resounding victories at sea, but on the other hand it had not suffered any major defeats. When re-armament came, the German Navy was forced to build anew, and so the Reichsmarine and its successor the Kriegsmarine found itself in possession of some of the most modern, powerful and technically advanced vessels in the world. Germany was very selective in picking her sailors (something facilitated by the vast available pool of manpower after the depression of the 1930s): the quality of manpower in the German navy was thus very high in terms of skill levels. Involvement in politics was frowned upon and even after the Nazis came to power, the so called 'Deutscher Grüss' or Nazi salute was rarely seen in the Navy. Gordon Williamson charts the recruitment, training, service conditions and combat experiences of a typical World War II German navy sailor, focusing on the main branches of the Navy - the Coastal Craft (Minesweepers, S-Boats etc), the Destroyers, the Cruisers, the Capital Ships, the Coastal Artillery and the tiny but fascinating 'Miscellaneous' units such as the 'K-Verband' (Naval Commandos) and the last ditch combat units thrown into action as Infantry in the final days of the war. This book features many previously unpublished photographs, from predominantly private sources and collections. All aspects of a sailor's life are covered in both the text and illustrations, from unpleasant and filthy activities such as 'coaling' a steam-powered warship to the great military parades such as the Heldengedenktag. Text by Gordon Williamson with illustrations by John White.
- Combat Action
- Belief and Belonging
- Museums and Archives
- Colour Plate Commentary