Schnellbootwaffe

...a new Images of War title from Pen & Sword

Title: Schnellbootwaffe
Author: Hrvoje Spajic
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-39909-175-6

A recent addition to the Images of War series, though a little bit different to what we usually expect as there is a greater proportion of text to archive images in this one. A 184-page soft cover book in the style for this popular series.
Even before we get to the Introduction, the book starts with some useful tables of information on rank equivalents, organisation and orders of battle for both 1940 and 1945, followed by some helpful maps. The introduction gives plenty of background, particularly that we have often referred to them as E-Boats, which the allies used to refer to them as 'Enemy' boats, while to the Kriegsmarine they were S-Boats, or Schnell-Boots ('fast boats'). The main story is then spread across 8 chapters, each one in turn divided into a number of sub-sections. It starts with the background of their early development, in WW1 and then between the wars, to the start of WW2, the French campaign and mine warfare. It moves on to the British response to the S-boat attacks and their new boats. It goes on look at the Mediterranean over the years of 1941-45, before returning to the British Pressure on them, along with the reorganization of their command structure in 1942. Next there is the impact of the arrival of American forces in Europe before tackling the specifics of Operation Neptune, the D-Day invasion, and which includes the Allied disaster at Lyme Bay. Lastly it covers the final battles of the war, and the withdrawal of the S-boot units to the Netherlands and Norway in 1945.
While there are not as many archive images as we usually see in the Images of War series, there are still plenty of them spread evenly throughout the book. These show the boats, their targets, their bases, their crews and their varied hunters. I found it an interesting read.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.

Robin