As promised in issue 11, issue 12 was not far behind and landed in my mailbox this week. As always, the issue was packed very well; wrapped in paper and then inside a cardboard envelope. The magazine is printed on high quality glossy paper and all the text is in both German and English.; the quality of the English translation is excellent. The photographs are all good quality and never before published.
The magazine starts as usual with an editorial from the editor. This issue concentrates on late war U-boats and were told that issue 13 will follow this trend. Another interesting fact is that copying of photographs from this series of magazines has become a bit of a problem. Apparently some people have even scanned photographs from these magazines, printed them on photo paper and sold them as original photographs. So if you see allegedly original photographs of U-boats for sale, you best do some research to make sure you’re not buying a copy.
The next item, as usual, is the readers forum, where additions and corrections are published for previous issues. In this issue there’s just additional photographs following on from topics in three of the previous issues.
Next we get into the content of the magazine itself. The subjects of the various topics are
- Type VIIC boats: U-52 and U-382, for whom the number ’13’ was not unlucky.
- Type IXC boat: U-68
- Electric boats: A favourite of mine – photos of type XXI boats.
- Conning towers: The large emblem on the conning tower of U-10.
- Scenery: Bombing raid on Kiel 14 May 1943 and the damaging of U-236 and U-237 in a floating dock.
- Colour photos: A couple of very rare, late war, colour photos from the 21st Flotilla.
- Boat in focus: A big article on U-249 and its FuMB 35 Athos 1 radar warning receiver. The article recounts it’s last sortie from Kiel, ending up in Plymouth at the end of the war.
- Unknown Emblems: U-387 and a new appraisal of the emblem on its conning tower.
- Documents: A British propaganda leaflet dropped on a U-Boat base.
- Photos with the story: A historically significant reassessment of what happened to U-1406 and U-1407, the only 2 Walter boats to be completed, at the end of the war.
- Unusual: an unusual appeal for order from the landlord (captain).
- Fate: This documents the loss of U-622 in Trondheim.
- Equipment: This article covers reloading torpedoes on U-221, and is completed with the two photographs on the back cover.
Another great bunch of previously unseen photos, with excellent commentaries. I must admit I do like the late war focus of this issue, when times were hard and the U-Boat arm was still fighting on against insurmountable odds. The electric boats are a favourite of mine and there’s quite a bit of information in this issue on those boats.
If you’re interested in the Kriegsmarine at all, then this magazine is of special interest to you and highly recommended..
The next subscription round is about to start, so if you’re thinking of subscribing, now’s the time to make the jump! You can buy individual issues and subscriptions on their website. I’ve given the price for an individual issue in the data, but if you live in Europe and/or subscribe the price drops significantly.
Paul Tosney – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com