Review of the new revised Schnellboot in Action by David L. Krakow from Squadron/Signal Publications

In 2009, when this revised edition was originally re-released, I looked forward to this new pictorial monograph ever since I heard that it was being done by Mr. Krakow, my former co-author. Unfortunately, that feeling did not last long after I
received my purchased copy in the mail.

Granted, the new cover by the incredibly talented Don Greer was something equated to ‘eye candy’ which, if seen in a hobby shop, would be enough, for me any way, incentive to buy it. But, then, I looked at the back cover and noted that the illustration was the front cover of the original 2003 version.

That should have alerted me to something being amiss with what was to be found between the two covers. Thinking the monograph would, being a new and improved edition would have new text and new photos. Sadly, that was not the case. Most of the body of the text and of the captions was cut-and-pasted from the original edition. In fact, two sections, titled Terminology and the section regarding a 1946 USN report on the rudders were taken verbatim from the original monograph. In fact, it was my older brother who noticed it and brought it to my attention. He was right, sadly. Most of the text, whereas rearranged a tad, was the same as in the 2003 edition.

The photos, for the most part, appeared in the original edition. That is somewhat puzzling, inasmuch since 2003, on the Internet, I have discovered hundreds of new (or, new to me at any rate) photos of Schnellboote that I did not know existed, and knowing of Mr. Krakow’s contact network in Germany as well as his working with the group which is restoring the former S-130, one would think that he would have had access to new and previously unpublished photos.

There were a few new photos, namely of the type of Schnellboote known as Leichte
(Light Schnellboote), which were small and designed with the intention of using them from the Commerce Raiders employed by the Kriegsmarine. I did learn that the Leichte Schnellboot named Esau, operating from the Raider Michel, sank eleven Allied ships. That was something I did not know. A puzzling aspect of this edition was the inclusion of a section relating to the evolution of the badges worn by the crews in the war. I cannot understand why that would have been included in a monograph about the boats. It, whereas seemingly interesting to some, should not have been put in a monograph which is meant to be an aide to modelers who want to detail models of these craft. To me, it was just unneeded and out of place.

Perhaps the space marked for the badges could have been put to better use to delve deeper into the camouflage schemes worn by the boats.

To sum up, because of the re-use of many of the photos from the original edition and the
paraphrasing the text, one would be better off finding the original on Amazon or Ebay
because, basically, it is the same monograph.

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