The World at War

Book review

Wolfgang Hirschfeld
Wolfgang Hirschfeld
The Story of a U-Boat Nco 1940-1946
Feindfahrten - das Logbuch eines U-Bootfunkers


This is the diary of Wolfgang Hirschfeld, radio operator and Nco in the German submarine navy. From 1940 to 1942 he was onboard U 109, first with Kapitänleutnant Fischer, then with Kapitänleutnant "Ajax" Bleichroth. His boat was in the very waters where the Bismarck sank, unable to help. It took part in operation Mordbrenner, one of the actions before the US coast, and he was at sea when the Laconia sank. In 1945, freshly promoted to Oberfunkmeister (~ sergeant) he went aboard U 234, the last submarine that would strike its flag on May 15th 1945. Its mission was to transport technology, scientist and Uran to Japan. After their surrender a deal to instruct the US navy in German submarine technology was prepared for him and some other submariners, but the need for this ended together with the war. From his former comrades of U 109 only one other survived the war.
     This book is one of the best books on the German submarine navy. Unlike the great novel "The boat", this book is not fiction but a real diary, written mostly on board and without any hindsight of later events1. Living history that is a definitive "must read" for all who are interested in the submarine warfare of the Atlantic.


  • Feindfahrten - Logbuch eines U-Bootfunkers
    Prisma Verlag, Gütersloh 1986
    Hardcover, ISBN 3 570 09869 9, 38,- DM
  • The Story of a U-Boat Nco 1940-1946
    United States Naval Inst., November 1996
    Hardcover, ISBN 1557503729, 29.95$ (20,97$)

Other material - the definite website on submarine warfare.
Includes pages on U 109, U 234 and Kapitänleutnant "Ajax" Bleichroth

  1. His notes for the last voyage were taken away and lost when U 234 surrendered