Grey Wolves

  • by Philip Kaplan
  • Narrated by A. T. Chandler
  • 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the early years of the Second World War, the elite force of German submariners known as the Ubootwaffe came perilously close to perfecting underwater battle tactics and successfully cutting Britain's transatlantic lifeline. To the Allies, these enemy sailors were embarking on a mission of unequivocal evil.
Each member of the Ubootwaffe understood that he must take pride in being part of a unique brotherhood. He had to do so because he was setting out - in claustrophobic, unsanitary, stench-filled, and ultimately hellish conditions - on a journey that would test his mental and physical endurance to the very limits, and which he had little chance of surviving. Those that did return soon ceased to take comfort in friends or family, dwelling only on the knowledge that another patrol awaited them. By the end of the war, of the 39,000 men who went to sea in the U-boats, 27,491 died in action and a further 5,000 were made prisoners of war. Of the 863 U-boats that sailed on operational patrols, 754 were lost.
Grey Wolves captures life on board a U-boat, in text, letters, diaries, journals, memoirs, prose, and poetry, relaying tales of the mundane and the routine, dramatic and heroic; the fear and resilience of every crew member, from Kapitainleutnant to Mechaniker. It is a vivid, brutally realistic portrait of the men who fought and died beneath the surface of the Atlantic in what was, perhaps, the most critical battle of the war.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Like a Jr High Book Report, Performance Bad Too

Would you try another book from Philip Kaplan and/or A. T. Chandler?

No. This is barely a book as much as it is a bunch of content from other people appended together with little editing. It repeats the same information in many places. Skips over some events with very little information (the U-110 enigma capture, one of the most important U-Boat events ever due to the importance of the code, and the daring method of capture), but in other places (the Lusitania section, which reads like 80% Wikipedia content) is quite lengthy. Some very long direct quotes are used. There's really nothing original here.

The performance is among the worst I've ever listened to. The voice and style of the narrator is like he's doing voiceover for an action move trailer or a cell phone data plan. Totally lacking inflection or any demonstrated sensitivity for what he's talking about. He reads one passage about men being crushed to death with the same buzzy monotone that he does talking about pretty nurses awaiting the return of the boats. Just terrible.


Would you ever listen to anything by Philip Kaplan again?

Unlikely.


Would you be willing to try another one of A. T. Chandler’s performances?

Never.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment that I wasted a credit on this. Should have gone with something more original with better performance. Other reviews mentioned that this has tactics in it, the only tactic it has is repeatedly mentioning the Wolfpack idea itself and the German word for it.


Any additional comments?

This book deserves to be scuttled, or depth charged into the briny deep.

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- Bill Sayer

Disappointing

The author bounces around a lot both in time and in space. While that can keep things interesting, it either requires great skill or an overriding need to discuss an idea coherently. In this case, I didn't see either. He also quoted from a book called the War Lover which was a novel about the American Army Air Corps bombing offensive. I wasn't sure how that helped inform his narrative. He didn't qualify the quotes well to give me any assurance as the relevance. If he had quoted from The Boat by Lothar-Gunther Buchheim it might make sense because he had served as a war correspondent on a U-Boat patrol. The very end didn't seem to match up with the rest of the book at all. I'm not sure why it was there. I've read some of the autobiographies of the U-Boat commanders and there is a lot to tell. I'm sure there are better representatives of this aspect of the Second World War.
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- David

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios