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Das Boot

Patrick O’Brian, 30 August 1990

The U-Boat War in the Atlantic 1939-1945 
by Günter Hessler and introduced by Andrew Withers.
HMSO, 396 pp., £30, October 1989, 0 11 772603 6
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Business in Great Waters: The U-Boat Wars, 1916-1945 
by John Terraine.
Leo Cooper, 841 pp., £19.50, September 1989, 0 85052 760 0
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... The first of these books is of a kind that rarely comes into the hands of a general reader: it is a highly-detailed account of the submarine war seen from the German side and it was written by a Kriegsmarine officer after the war at the request of the Admiralty and the United States Navy Department. Fregatenkapitän Hessler commanded a U-boat in 1940 and 1941; he then served on the staff of the Flag Officer, Submarines; and for the purpose of writing this book he and the German naval officers who helped him were given access to the War Diaries and the primary sources of the Kriegsmarine ...

Spectacle of the Rats and Owls

Malcolm Deas, 2 June 1988

Against All Hope 
by Armando Valladares, translated by Andrew Harley.
Hamish Hamilton, 381 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 241 11806 9
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Castro 
by Peter Bourne.
Macmillan, 332 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 333 44593 7
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Fidel: A Critical Portrait 
by Tad Szulc.
Hutchinson, 585 pp., £14.95, June 1987, 0 09 172602 6
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Castro and the Cuban Labour Movement: Statecraft and Society in a Revolutionary Period (1959-1961) 
by Efren Cordova.
University Press of America, 354 pp., £24.65, April 1988, 0 8191 5952 2
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Fidel and Religion: Castro talks on revolution and religion with Frei Betto 
translated by the Cuban Centre for Translation.
Simon and Schuster, 314 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 9780671641146
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... of guerrilla warfare than most authors imagine, and the romance of successful revolutionaries withers fast – but there is more amiss here than that. Both authors seem to me to have started off looking in their different ways for the wrong FidelCastro, or at least to have run the risk, given the approaches they’ve chosen, of having ...

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