Teddy Suhren, Ace of Aces, Teddy Suhren and Fritz Brustat-Naval

Teddy Suhren, Ace of Aces, Teddy Suhren and Fritz Brustat-Naval

These memoirs were originally published in German in the 1980s, and were based on a series of interviews between Brustat-Naval and Teddy Suhren. They cover his early training in the German navy, a period that saw constant brushes with authority, his transfer to the U-boat arm, his very successful career at sea, both as second in command (1st Watch Officer) and as captain in his own right, and finally his shore posts, first in the training units and then as command of U-boats in Norway.

Suhren's claim to be the U-boat Aces of Aces owes something to chance – he was credited with the most successful torpedo shots of the war, but this included a large number achieved before he was given command of his own submarine, successes that weren't included in other people's totals. His record was still very impressive.

Suhren was one of the few German U-boat aces to survive the war. He owed that survival almost entirely to Donitz. After his fifteenth war patrol Donitz decided that Suhren was needed to train the new U-boat crews being rushed into combat. His old boat was sunk (with survivors) soon afterwards, and his replacement was lost when his next U-boat was sunk.

This book contains some fascinating accounts of Suhren's attacks on convoys and his daring tactics, as well as one dramatic account of an attack on his submarine that came remarkably close to success. There are also some interesting sections on his encounters with the elite of the Third Reich, reaching right to the top with his meetings with Hitler. Suhren provides us with a very value view of both the submarine war and of life inside the German establishment late in the war.

1 - Battleships and the GRÖFAZ - How long would the war last?
2 - Why Teddy? - Family destinies - Recruit and Cadet - A cousin in Samoa
3 - Mürwik - A disastrous Rosenmontag - 'I intend to resign' - Belated revenge
4 - Another world - 1WO in the Atlantic - War: 'Stop at once!' - 'Take heart, take heart'
5 - Pinned down on the seabed - A Supershot - My 200,000 tons and the Knight's Cross
6 - No Kommandant under twenty-five - Happy Birthday, U-564 - The Abwehr is after me - Rum, and off to war
7 - Oak Leaves and Käpitanleutnant - Schnapps with Hitler - Across the pond - Scheherezade: cherchez la femme!
8 - On the track of the enemy - The fourth night - The diesel-fire - Battle formation in the periscope!
9 - In Columbus' waters - Between tropical magic and the wet abyss - The captain's swords - A nasty accident
10 - Ashore after my fifteenth patrol - From Reichkanzlei to Obersalzberg - 'Submarine Swing' with Eva Braun - Bormann: 'Suhren, I like you more by the minute'
11 - What do you mean, how many submarines have I got? - Attack on the Green table - With 27th (Tactical) Flotilla - 'Boats to the Front, boats to the Front?'
12 - Führer of Submarines (Norway) - Jutta-Beatrix and the mother-in-law - HQ Narvik - Cowardice in the face of the enemy?
13 - Belated projects - Surrender - 'Missions-Hotel' and imprisonment - The Warrior's Return
Postscript: A summary of Teddy Suhren's post-war career, by Helmut Herzig, President of the Teddy Suhren Marinekameradschaft, Zweibrüken
Appendix: Speech at the First Post-War Reunion of U-boat men, Hamburg 1954

Author: Teddy Suhren and Fritz Brustat-Naval
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 248
Publisher: Frontline
Year: 1983 in Germany, 2006 in English for first time, 2011 this edition

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