1st Publication date 1979 United Kingdom Weidenfeld
Hardback publication date 1991 Severn House Publishers ISBN 0727842404
Paperback publication date 1989 Mandarin ISBN 0749300353 239pp 178 x 111mm
From book cover
One of the most remarkable stories to
come out of W.W.II. Based on the remarkable story of `The U-boat that lost its
Nerve'(formerly a radio play by James Follett) , U-700 is an account of the
surrender of a U-boat (actually U-570) to an RAF Hudson during World War II
and the subsequent illegal court martial of the U-boat's first officer by his
fellow officers in a POW camp.
A James Follett thriller set in World War II. The Royal Navy's secret weapon is pin-point accurate radio direction-finding, but the German U-boats have an even deadlier weapon - the magnetic torpedo armed with the Wotan warhead. Such a weapon could change the outcome of the war.
One of the most remarkable stories to come out of W.W.II. Based on the remarkable story of `The U-boat that lost its Nerve' (formerly a radio play by James Follett) , U-700 is an account of the surrender of a U-boat (actually U-570) to an RAF Hudson during World War II and the subsequent illegal court martial of the U-boat's first officer by his fellow officers in a POW camp. Based on James Follett's BBC Radio 4 play: 'The U-boat that lost its Nerve'.
This is a book that I have liked a lot as it is in my top five Follett's in at number 3. The book is a very easy read I think because it was a radio play and has been worked on with care, and expanded so filling out the an already good story into a very good story. It is always nice to see true life as a basis for a work of fiction.
Author James Follett comments
" U700 hinges around one of those extraordinary coincidences that would be deemed implausible in fiction. The U-boat was taken to the Vickers submarine yard at Barrow-in-Furness and put on public show for a few days before being commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Graph.
Barrow was only a few miles from the POW camp holding the first officer. The inmates learned of the U-boat's whereabouts from local newspaper reports and gave its former first officer the chance to redeem himself by escaping and sabotaging the U-boat at its mooring.
After the broadcast of the radio play I was inundated with information from people involved in the U-boat's capture --information that I could have done with when writing the play. Writing the novel was a chance to put those accounts to good use.
I wanted to call the novel `The U-boat that Lost its Nerve' but the 1970s was a time of big, bold snappy titles that didn't look too busy on front covers.
The US title was The Wotan Warhead. " James Follett
See James Follett comments on this and the film U571
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