RogerBW's Blog

With Blood and Iron, Douglas Reeman 15 August 2014

In the latter days of the Second World War, a U-boat group leader tries to maintain morale and keep his crews alive.

Something of a return to strength after Reeman's more contemporary (non-war) books. Yes, we've got what's becoming his standard tortured hero putting on a brave face for the men under his command, but we're not just fighting at sea: there's also life between patrols on the submarine base, keeping very effectively to a thin line between blind obedience to the system and treacherous questioning of orders.

Other major characters include the lieutenant who lost his previous captain in murky circumstances, and an ordinary seaman who's more (or perhaps less) than he seems.

Background historical events include the invasion of Normandy, the 20 July plot, and the final end of the Kriegsmarine's U-boat arm. This isn't a particularly subtle book, and certainly one shouldn't expect much in the way of surprises, but it does its job of being an exciting and fast-moving wartime story.

It even has something approximating a happy ending for at least some of the people involved.

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