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One of Our Submarines (Pen & Sword Military Classics)

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In the very highest rank of books about the last war. Submarines are thrilling beasts, and Edward Young tells of four years' adventures in them in a good stout book with excitement on every page. He writes beautifully, economically and with humour, and in the actions he commands he manages to put the reader at the voice-pipe and the periscope so that sometimes the tension In the very highest rank of books about the last war. Submarines are thrilling beasts, and Edward Young tells of four years' adventures in them in a good stout book with excitement on every page. He writes beautifully, economically and with humour, and in the actions he commands he manages to put the reader at the voice-pipe and the periscope so that sometimes the tension is so great that one has to put the book down'. The Sunday Times.


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In the very highest rank of books about the last war. Submarines are thrilling beasts, and Edward Young tells of four years' adventures in them in a good stout book with excitement on every page. He writes beautifully, economically and with humour, and in the actions he commands he manages to put the reader at the voice-pipe and the periscope so that sometimes the tension In the very highest rank of books about the last war. Submarines are thrilling beasts, and Edward Young tells of four years' adventures in them in a good stout book with excitement on every page. He writes beautifully, economically and with humour, and in the actions he commands he manages to put the reader at the voice-pipe and the periscope so that sometimes the tension is so great that one has to put the book down'. The Sunday Times.

30 review for One of Our Submarines (Pen & Sword Military Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manray9

    The high quality of prose in Edward Young's One of Our Submarines led me to look into the author's background. Not only was he a pioneer as a volunteer reserve officer in the Royal Navy's submarine force, but also in the paperback book industry. In the thirties, he worked for Penguin Books. He designed the instantly recognizable paper covers, with their color-coded bands: orange-white-orange for novels, green for crime, and pale blue for the Pelican series of books on academic subjects. Young we The high quality of prose in Edward Young's One of Our Submarines led me to look into the author's background. Not only was he a pioneer as a volunteer reserve officer in the Royal Navy's submarine force, but also in the paperback book industry. In the thirties, he worked for Penguin Books. He designed the instantly recognizable paper covers, with their color-coded bands: orange-white-orange for novels, green for crime, and pale blue for the Pelican series of books on academic subjects. Young went to the London Zoo and sketched the iconic penguin from life. He died in 2003 at 89. One of Our Submarines is very well-written, colorful, humorous, and informative. It provides a wry, yet discerning, look into the specialized world of operations, navigation, and seamanship aboard a submarine. Young earned a strong Four Stars from me.

  2. 4 out of 5

    ^

    Can there be any better book for those who are interested to know what day-by-day life, injury and death, was like on an operational British submarine during the Second World War? I wish I’d read this book some years back when I visited HMS Alliance at the Royal Naval Submarine Museum at Haslar, Gosport, England [ http://www.submarine-museum.co.uk/wha... ]. HMS Alliance dates from the end of that war; and usefully gives the visitor the sense of how little space there was in a British submarine o Can there be any better book for those who are interested to know what day-by-day life, injury and death, was like on an operational British submarine during the Second World War? I wish I’d read this book some years back when I visited HMS Alliance at the Royal Naval Submarine Museum at Haslar, Gosport, England [ http://www.submarine-museum.co.uk/wha... ]. HMS Alliance dates from the end of that war; and usefully gives the visitor the sense of how little space there was in a British submarine of that period. How did the crew (a) physically fit, and (b) manage to sleep, eat, and fight in so confined a space? I still wonder at it all. Young perfectly describes the ‘pleasantly beleaguered air’ of the land at and around Haslar Creek (p.111). Even today that area feels strangely separate from the surrounding civilian urbanisation. Young describes his training and operational submarine experience in the Royal Navy, from rookie to commander, with such verve for the kind of detail that brings that life to life. During an electrical storm he mentions the sound of hailstones hitting the sea; a sound that could be heard by the hydrophone operator even though the submarine was eighty feet below the surface (p.104)! He’s not adverse to recounting interesting meetings; such as that with Admiral Sir Max Horton who described some of his adventures in the North Sea in a submarine during the First World War! (p.139). How often does history ever feel as close as this? Neither does Young shy away from expressing a certain wistfulness for the significantly spacious submarines operated by the American navy (p.295 on)! Dates (month/year) are tracked throughout this Penguin edition: the left-hand page top right indicating the month in which the events of narrative took place; the right-hand page top left indicating the year. Very helpful. Why don’t more authors/editors do this? Indeed Young explains life and service in submarines SO interestingly and well that I surprised myself how eagerly I lapped up the technical detail; even that from the occasional footnote; such as how to navigate by the stars (p.167). I now need to try that out for real! Thanks to the attention-grabbing accounts of active service seen in the Far East; which the excellent and detailed maps helped me to closely follow; I have newly acquired a geographical knowledge of the Straits of Malacca and the northern end of the Mergui archipelago. Overall, this book is not only a compelling and fully immersive read, but also one which humbly reminds of the terrifying difference in scale between those wars we have termed World War in order to differentiate from ‘War’. But War or World War, my heart goes out to those very many individual submariners who did NOT live to see the declaration of peace that they so passionately and so very bravely fought for a free world.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carro

    I first read this from my parents' bookshelves, back in my teens and found it really absorbing. Re-read it a couple of months back. It is the memoir of an Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve officer of World War 2 - he signed up for the war. Before the war, and again afterwards, he was a publisher and certainly knows how to write. He chose to go into submarines and writes both of his experiences and about submarines. He writes clearly and vividly and brings across a sense of life aboard a submarine - t I first read this from my parents' bookshelves, back in my teens and found it really absorbing. Re-read it a couple of months back. It is the memoir of an Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve officer of World War 2 - he signed up for the war. Before the war, and again afterwards, he was a publisher and certainly knows how to write. He chose to go into submarines and writes both of his experiences and about submarines. He writes clearly and vividly and brings across a sense of life aboard a submarine - the kind of people who were suited to serve in submarines, the living conditions, the technical complexities of submarines and how they were used tactically. It is informative but not in any way a "dry" technical book - he very much brings to life the varied people he served with. By the end of the war he was commanding his own submarine, in the Pacific theatre.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Villines

    An autobiography is the story of someone's life written by the person that lived it. And for that reason, I tend to stay away from autobiographies. After all, the temptation for the writer to sculpt events and decisions is always at hand. And oftentimes the reader is deliberately (and obviously) led by the writer to understand the writer's life in terms of the writer's own beliefs. I need more objectivity than that in a supposed book of fact. Edward Young, however, manages to apply a certain disc An autobiography is the story of someone's life written by the person that lived it. And for that reason, I tend to stay away from autobiographies. After all, the temptation for the writer to sculpt events and decisions is always at hand. And oftentimes the reader is deliberately (and obviously) led by the writer to understand the writer's life in terms of the writer's own beliefs. I need more objectivity than that in a supposed book of fact. Edward Young, however, manages to apply a certain discipline to his writing. His language is calm and matter-of-fact but he also communicates the nervousness and excitement of his engagements in staid terms. He realizes that the facts of a situation will be more than enough to communicate the emotions associated with the events. He refers often to his logbooks and at times lets events be described solely from excerpts from his logs. And one of the most impressive aspects of his story is that Young describes his mistakes and shortcomings on par with all of the events that transpired during his service. Overall, my impression is one of a competent and complete record of a submariner's life during WWII. Young comes across as an ordinary human doing the best job he could do during a time when humanity was out to destroy itself. And lastly, this is a book fits into a collection of books that provide accounts of humans that journey out beyond the horizon and into the sea. This book fits right into place along side such books as Dana's Two Years Before the Mast and Philbrick's In the Heart of the Sea. All of these books depict real life at sea under conditions and times when courses were determined by land sightings, dead reckoning, and sextant sightings on the stars. They also depict lives that are completely dependent upon reason for their own survival.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This memoir is very well written. The author was actually a professional writer by trade before and after the war. Young's account of the disaster of the HMS Umpire is well worth the price of admission here. If you have any interest in WWII subs, read this one just for the Umpire part. That said, the rest is good stuff as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    PeterJ

    Excellent. Interesting stuff and really well written. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Now one of my favourite books.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ken Punter

    It's rare amongst biographies and memoirs that you're transported to feeling close to the detail and essence of being there. 'One Of Our Submarines' is an exception that proves this rule. Mostly fiction fills this gap. 'This Sporting Life' more satisfyingly conveys the experience of being in the middle of a professional game compared to most sports biographies and 'All Quiet On The Western Front' gives a sense of personal dread even beyond the excellent 'Goodbye To All That'. In thinking why this It's rare amongst biographies and memoirs that you're transported to feeling close to the detail and essence of being there. 'One Of Our Submarines' is an exception that proves this rule. Mostly fiction fills this gap. 'This Sporting Life' more satisfyingly conveys the experience of being in the middle of a professional game compared to most sports biographies and 'All Quiet On The Western Front' gives a sense of personal dread even beyond the excellent 'Goodbye To All That'. In thinking why this mixture of bringing description and experience together is infrequent, it's possibly because the author needs to become vulnerable in expressing fears, insecurities, mistakes and doubts. But, of course, they also need to be good writers with imagination. Edward Young was one of the first non-full time, professional Royal Navy sailors to command a submarine in World War Two (i.e. he wasn't a peacetime sailor). This account takes us through his first dive in a submarine, through his training and then on active service from as far north as the arctic and as far south as Western Australia. During this time he progresses through the officer ranks to the command of his own submarine, HMS Storm. His background in publishing probably gave him the skills to write (he was a graphic designer and created the first Penguin books logo), so that's one reason this works so well. However, his willingness to share his thoughts, doubts and actually his humanity, makes reading this a pleasure. What Geoffrey Wellum's 'First Light' did for second world war RAF fighter pilots, I think 'One of Our Submarines' does for second world war Royal Navy submariners. I can't think of higher praise.

  8. 4 out of 5

    NRVOUTDOORSMAN

    Excellent first hand account Life aboard a submarine described by one who knew all the dangers, hardships, pleasures, and triumphs. Very straightforward, no drama or embellishment, just the facts recounted with candor and skill.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Was a great first hand account of time in British World War 2 submarines.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Angelo D'angelo

    I read this back in the day when you could buy a book for a $1 at the used book store, and I read it several times each time I was more fascinated with it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Bywater

    Gives the reader a tremendous insight into a life beneath the waves.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cal Annis

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mr D. C. Morris

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul Murphy

  15. 4 out of 5

    james beall

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael Wire

  17. 5 out of 5

    harry kennedy

  18. 5 out of 5

    c c charlton

  19. 5 out of 5

    Peter Farrar

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  21. 4 out of 5

    Roy Bernard

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tim Woodhams

  23. 4 out of 5

    BRIAN M PEACOCK

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kieran Guckian

  25. 4 out of 5

    C B Galloway

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Crawford

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan O'Donnell-Young

  28. 5 out of 5

    bill rees

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ajsm53

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rob Round

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