Book Review-‘Sound of Hunger: One German family’s chronicle of the chivalry, politics, lies, murder and aftermath of war’ by C. Heal

By Eric C. Rust, published December 2020


Among the tsunami of publications commemorating the centennial of the First World War, Chris Heal’s broadly conceived reconstruction of the lives of two of the Kaiser’s U-boat commanders, the brothers Erich and Georg Gerth, occupies an unusual, if at times awkward, unbalanced and overstated place among recent writings on that theme. Heal describes himself as a 60-something Briton with a colourful and varied occupational back-ground that includes, no less, a recent doctorate from Bristol University on the Avon felt-hat industry and plans for a psychological thriller entitled The Disappearing Man due out in 2019. Finding and diving wrecked merchant and naval vessels in the waters surrounding the British Isles appears to be a central passion of his. The title of his present work, Sound of Hunger, echoes the obsession of both sides in the 1914–18 conflict to starve each other into submission by means of a naval blockade of the North Sea approaches on the one hand, and unrestricted submarine warfare on the other…

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Subjects include: Biography

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