U Boats - Mergulhando na História  (U-boats - Diving in History)
Reviewed by Rato Marczak (2/2011)

- Nestor Magalhães
Description:  - Personal accounts of several dives by the author on U-boat wrecks. 254 pages. Text (in Portuguese), photos, and drawings. Color. 2011.
- Redes Editora Ltda
- $35.00 Brazil Real MSRP
- 978-85-61638-27-6
- Recommended

"...to kneel on the white sand in the deep sea, only hearing the wheeze of our breaths, in respectful silence, and observing that elegant hull, even though wrecked by a violent death, is to be taken by a great emotion. And I felt this..."

Me and my fellow club modelers are very fortunate for having members among us with expertise and dedication enough to write books on history and military. Nestor Magalhães is one of these individuals. Nestor is a Brazilian Army Reserve officer, and needless to say, a big fan of Kriegsmarine's U-boats and their actions during WWII.

Despite the fact that he can't swim, Nestor became a qualified diver only to be able explore the known wrecks of U-boats. And so he did, diving in more than a dozen wrecks around the world. This book not only tell us his adventures, but also take us with him down to each site.

This edition is in Portuguese, but a future English edition is not impossible. Nestor's writing style was a pleasant surprise to me - the reading is really enjoyable, so much so that I finished the book in a few days. He actually succeeded in taking us with him with passionate words.

The book contain 28 chapters, each one describing a dive to a wreck or a visit. The U-boats visited are U-1277, U-352, U-505, U-1105, U-85, U-853, U-171, U-2540, U-995, U-20, U-534 and U-701. As you know, not all of them under the sea. Nestor also visited the Keroman 3 submarine bunker, some memorials, and the Itapagé, a Brazilian ship sunk by U-boats during WWII. His knowledge on the subject is outstanding. Even during our club meetings, he never stops to amaze us by recalling names of the officers and technical details of each U-boat from memory! Definitely the right person to write such a book.

It is frightening to read about the dive which almost lost his life. Having a credible collection of 1/72 U-boats, it is also interesting to see him describing how the familiarization with the scale models helped him to identify wreckeges more than once.

If you like diving, Nestor reveals interesting details about the many diving companies he contacted throughout the years, as well as many friends he made during his travels.

The central part of the book is covered with many color photos of his exploits, and the bibliography will help anyone interested in knowing more about the subject.

In case you are wondering, you won't find walkarounds or camouflage and markings diagrams in this book. It is a first hand personal account of an intrepid man who dicided to see and touch these feared machines by himself. And he did.

This book will interest not only U-boat fans, but modelers, divers, and anyone interested in this particular piece of history. It was an enjoyable reading, and I recommend.

Rato Marczak © 2011