[Book Review. Non-fiction]: U-Boat 1936-45. Type VIIA, B, C & Type VIIC/41. Owners’ Workshop Manual by Alan Gallop

Genre: Non-fiction, Military History

Release Date: October 2014 (first addition)

Publisher: J H Haynes & Co Ltd.

An insight into the design, construction and operation of the most feared German U-boat of World War II.

The Type VII U-boat was the workhorse of the German Kriegsmarine in the Second World War. It was also the most numerous German U-boat class of the war with 709 built and the most produced submarine class in history.

It enjoyed spectacular victories, including the sinking of the liner SS Athenia and the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous soon after the outbreak of hostilities, which showed how vulnerable unescorted ships were against German U-boats. When U-47 sank the battleship HMS Royal Oak in October 1939 inside the Royal Navy anchorage at Scapa Flow, it forced the entire Home Fleet to move to temporary anchorages around the Scottish coast.

In the desperate Battle of the Atlantic that raged for much of the war, U-boats’ “wolfpacks” stalked merchant convoys that were Britain’s lifeline, sinking thousands of tons of Allied merchant shipping and taking Britain to the brink of disaster. The U-boat was a game-changer.

Centrepiece of the Haynes U-boat Manual is the sole surviving example of a Type VIIC U-boat, U-995, which is on public display at the German Naval Memorial near Kiel in northern Germany.

About the Author

Alan Gallop is a journalist, author, and teacher of PR and marketing subjects at commercial colleges. His previous work includes a book about Buffalo Bill’s adventures in England, a history of the women and children who toiled in Victorian coal mines, and a biography of explorer Henry Morton Stanley. He has written about the birth and development of Heathrow and about the loss of HMS Affray, the last British submarine to go missing at sea. He is married with two children and lives in Ashford, Middlesex.

My Review

(4* stars)

The author gives a good overview of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) before and during the war and provides lots of information about the Battle for the Atlantic.

Although some readers can be disappointed about lack of technical details, I found it a rather pleasant read. Being not technically savvy, I wanted to read more about the history of the type VII U-boats, the major battles/operation they took part in, the crew, and everyday life onboard during patrols and ashore.

The book uses numerous detailed photos of U-995, based in Laboe, the War Memorial near Kiel in northern Germany. U-995 is the only survivor of this type of U-boats.

The author also gives a brief overview of other types of U-boats, which I found useful for my research. 

A few pages repeat the narrative next to a photo again in the text, making reading a bit repetitive. Some chapters contain some sort of “subchapters”, breaking them in the half-sentence, which I found confusing and distracting.

I’d like to see more information from the crewmen themselves. Excerpts from their memoirs, diaries, reports, interviews, etc. would’ve shed even more light on the subject, giving a personal touch to the book.

The book definitely can’t be called a “manual”. I wouldn’t recommend it to the readers who’re searching for in-depth technical details/specifications. It’s a good read for people who’re looking for a clear, simplified introduction in the type VII U-boats and their history.  

Purchase Link

[Book Blitz]: Dark Secrets of the Bayou by Kim Carter

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Date Published: November 2020

Publisher: Raven South Publishing

Catherine “Tink” Mabrey, an up and coming attorney, is shocked by her recent inheritance from her estranged family on the bayou. After her mother died during childbirth, Tink’s father had quickly relocated them to the big city of Atlanta, Georgia. With no memory of her mother, she is determined to learn more about her lineage and decides to visit the bayou town of Kane, Louisiana. Candace, Tink’s co-worker and best friend, agrees to make the trip with her.

Before she has time to explore her family’s history, or decide what to do with the declining property, local murders plague Tink’s homecoming. She quickly finds herself caught in the middle of a multiple murder investigation – and quite possibly, the prime suspect. When Candace retreats back to Atlanta, Tink, with the support of an unlikely cast of characters, sets out to discover clues that have haunted and tormented her family for generations.

Could a concealed crime from the 1800’s, or the family’s estate itself, harbor keys to unlocking the past? The more they learn, the more they question whether some secrets are best left buried.

Other Books By Kim Carter

Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle (2017)

Murder Among The Tombstones  (2017)

No Second Chances (2017)

Deadly Odds (2018)

And The Forecast Called For Rain (2018)

When Dawn Never Comes  (2018)

About the Author

Kim Carter is an author of suspense, mystery and thriller novels. She was a finalist in the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award and recipient of the 2017 Readers’ Choice Award for her book Murder Among The Tombstones. This is the first book in her Clara and Iris Mystery series. The characters in this series are a couple of overly curious widows who become private investigators and were inspired by Kim’s mother and her mom’s best friend.
Her other titles include: When Dawn Never Comes, Deadly Odds, No Second Chances, And The Forecast Called For Rain, and Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle.
Kim’s writing career started after she suffered an illness that made her housebound for a couple of years. An avid reader of mystery novels, she embarked on writing as a means of filling her time. Kim shared those early writings with friends and family who encouraged her to pursue writing professionally. Her health struggles and successes have been chronicled on The Lifetime Television in early 2000, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Women’s Day Magazine, and Guideposts.
Prior to her illness, Kim worked in many different capacities in county government ranging from Park Director with Parks and Recreation to the Grant Department with Human Services. But, ultimately, it was her job as a correctional officer that provided her the opportunity to interact with a variety of people from all walks of life. Her experiences ran the gamete of inspiring success stories to tragic endings, much like her mysteries.
She self-published her first book No Second Chances. One of the guest speakers at the launch party she had at the Performing Arts Center in Newnan, Georgia included her close friend retired Atlanta Police chief Eldrin Bell. This connection would become helpful as she started doing more research for other books, this time working with a small publishing house.
Kim started networking and made connections with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. Her research has taken her many places including morgues, death row and the occasional midnight visit to cemeteries.
She is a college graduate of Saint Leo University, has a Bachelor Degree of Arts in Sociology. Kim and her husband have three grown children and live just outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

Contact Links

Website: http://www.kimcarterauthor.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCarterAuthor

Promo Link: https://bookbuzz.net/blog/mystery-suspense-dark-secrets-of-the-bayou-by-kim-carter/

Purchase Link

Happy New 2021!!

I wish Happy New Year to all my readers and subscribers of my blog!

2020 was challenging for all of us. I wish you all to have a brighter, kinder, and more creative year ahead! 2020 has also brought lots of changes to my writing career. I left my publisher at the beginning of the year and took a step into the unknown. I have no regrets as the year of writing, rewriting, researching, blogging, and beta-reading for my fellow authors has given me a lot of experience and made my writing much stronger.

My hopes for this year is to find an agent or a big traditional publisher for my new work, a thriller/sci-fi novel, Dive Beyond Eternity, and republish some of my previously-published novellas. A lot to achieve in one year, so… please, wish me luck.

2021 is a year of the white ox/bull. Here’re some depiction of this animal in modern art.

“Bull” by Pablo Picasso, created in 1945, a series of eleven lithographs, which has become a masterclass on how to develop an image from realism to abstraction.

“White Bull” by Franz Marc , 1911. Credit: https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/2761