Book Review: To the Last Salute: Memoirs of an Austrian U-Boat Commander


by Georg von Trapp, translated & with an introduction by Elisabeth M. Campbell

Lincoln, Nb.: Bison/University of Nebraska Press, 2007. Pp. xvii, 192. Illus., notes. . $14.95 paper. ISBN:0803246676

Georg von Trapp was an ace Austro-Hungarian submarine commander during World War I, and the pater familias of the "Trapp Family Singers" memorialized in the film The Sound of Music.

To the Last Salute, written in 1935, is von Trapp's memoir of the war, and is a very readable, but professional account of naval operations in the Adriatic. Although focused on life and service in the amazingly primitive u-boats of the age, the book puts this within the framework of the overall naval war between Austria-Hungary, with slight aid from Germany, and the combined resources of Italy, France, and Britain. 

With several gripping accounts of a number of now long forgotten but often interesting naval actions, surface as well as undersea, this is a good read for anyone interested in the naval side of the Great War, naval tactics, and naval operations in general.


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