The following pages form an abridged translation of a book published in 1916 by Freiherrn von Forstner, commander of the first German Uboat. It was written with the somewhat careless haste of a man who took advantage of disconnected moments of leisure, and these moments were evidently subject to abrupt and prolonged interruptions. Many repetitions and trivial incidents have been omitted in this translation; but, in order to express the personality of the Author, the rendering has been as literal as possible, and it shows the strange mixture of sentimentality and ferocity peculiar to the psychology of the Germans. Part of the book gives a technical description, not so much of the construction of a submarine as of the nature of its activities, which presents us an unusual opportunity to glean a few valuable facts from this personal and intimate account of a German Uboat. We are inclined to a certain grim humor in borrowing the candid information given to us Americans so unconsciously by Freiherrn von Forstner, for he could hardly suppose it would fall into the hands of those who would join the fighting ranks of the hated enemy, as, in his bitter animosity, he invariably calls the English whenever he refers to them.
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June 30, 2010
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