Monday, December 7, 2009

ABC Wednesday: U is for U-Boot

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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

19 comments:

Mara said...

I've visited a Dutch operational submarine once. I would so not like to be on that when it's in service. It's cramped and tiny and I can understand why no women are allowed on board! Two minutes of showering a week??? No thank you...

Rinkly Rimes said...

A shot with a great feeling for 'the monument'. Is 'boot' a Dutch way of saying 'boat'?

Sylvia K said...

Interesting post, terrific photo! I've always been fascinated by them, but I do get claustrophobic in small spaces, so don't think I would have been very successful -- not to mention that there weren't any women in service on them -- at least not back then.

Have a great day!

Sylvia

mrsnesbitt said...

My uncle was in the navy and his main target was the U-boats! How times change!

Tumblewords: said...

An unusual photograph. I can see why they were called, sadly enough, Iron Coffins.

Life with Kaishon said...

Wow. What a gorgeous picture. I have never seen a boat like that before. Thanks for the education!

Sistertex said...

Wow - that is a really great angle on that shot. Very nice.

Paula Scott said...

Wow. I've never seen one of those expect the way they are presented in movies (submerged0. This looks like a work of art! What a great photo!

photowannabe said...

Love the composition of this shot and the warm colors of the "Boot". Interesting post for the letter U.

Reader Wil said...

You are right: they look elegant and you almost forget the deadly attacks our sailors had to endure from them. My father sailed during WWII with other allied ships, and had seen both Japanese and German U-boats attacking our ships. He lost many colleagues and friends.
Well thanks for sharing! Have a great day!

Martha in PA said...

Terrific photo and thanks for the info. I've been fascinated (terrified) of submarines, I could not imagine being confined like that!

Gattina said...

Doesn't look like a submarine ! your picture is very nice.
I don't like war related things, I am allergic to that. I read that you live in Hamburg and first read you are Liberian, lol ! I am German too but I live since 50 years in Belgium.

Rose said...

Beautiful photo with the boat highlighted by the sun. I've always admired the men who manned these subs; I'm much too claustrophobic to want to spend time on one. So sad how many died in these "iron coffins."

Roger Owen Green said...

Das Boot is considered one of the finest films ever made, but I've never seen it. I should rectify that, I suppose.

Joy said...

Das Boot was a very atmospheric film. I live in a UK submarine building town but the Tridents are a whole lot bigger than the U Boats, and not as interesting.
During the war the captured U570 was brought into dock here, refitted and then set out again as HMS Graph. An equal opportunities boat.

Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

Amazing how large it looks. Good angle though for a great photo.

Jay said...

I've never been inside a submarine, but I'd love to! I used to have a fascination with them too, and it wouldn't take much to revive it.

That photo is stunningly beautiful.

SandyCarlson said...

That is an amazing shape.

Dina said...

An unusual angle. You make it look beautiful.
As a kid growing up in Chicago in the 1950s I loved to go through the German U-505 sub that was at the Museum of Science and Industry.

"Dive, dive!" "Up periscope!" -- I used to love submarine movies. But after I became a mother of soldiers I could no longer bear war films.

Thanks for the reminder.