Monday, December 7, 2009
ABC Wednesday: U is for U-Boot
This is the German WWII submarine U995, now a museum ship at Laboe near Kiel. I've always been fascinated by submarines, I think I have seen the movie Das Boot for the first time when I was 12 or so and many times since. U995 was the first real u-boat I've seen. By now I've seen quite a few, mostly German WWII subs all over Europe, but also the modern Russian submarine in Hamburg and the USS Pampanito in San Francisco.
They have a beauty and elegance that makes it easy to forget that they are deadly - both for the ships they hunt and for their own crew. The u-boats were called Iron Coffins in WWII and with good reason, only 1/4 of all men who served on them ever made it back and many of them were barely out of their teens.
What else does U stand for? Find out with ABC Wednesday