America's U-Boats


America's U-Boats

Terror Trophies of World War I

Chris Dubbs

Studies in War, Society, and the Military Series

224 pages
38 photographs, 1 appendix


November 2014


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2014


$24.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2014


$24.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

The submarine was one of the most revolutionary weapons of World War I, inciting both terror and fascination for militaries and civilians alike. During the war, after U-boats sank the Lusitania and began daring attacks on shipping vessels off the East Coast, the American press dubbed these weapons “Hun Devil Boats,” “Sea Thugs,” and “Baby Killers.” But at the conflict’s conclusion, the U.S. Navy acquired six U-boats to study and to serve as war souvenirs. Until their destruction under armistice terms in 1921, these six U-boats served as U.S. Navy ships, manned by American crews. The ships visited eighty American cities to promote the sale of victory bonds and to recruit sailors, allowing hundreds of thousands of Americans to see up close the weapon that had so captured the public’s imagination.

In America’s U-Boats Chris Dubbs examines the legacy of submarine warfare in the American imagination. Combining nautical adventure, military history, and underwater archaeology, Dubbs shares the previously untold story of German submarines and their impact on American culture and reveals their legacy and Americans’ attitudes toward this new wonder weapon.

Author Bio

Chris Dubbs is the director of grants at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He has published five nonfiction books, including, with Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom, Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight (Nebraska, 2011).


"[America's U-Boats is] a great tale of daring German and American submariners, the employment of innovative technology, and a curious American public."—Colonel John J. Abbatiello, Naval History

"All those readers who are interested in submarines will find much to enjoy in America's U-boats."—Roger D. Cunningham, Journal of America's Military Past

"With a lively narrative and superb illustrations, this concise account of an unusual naval operation, and its strategic consequences, deserves a wide readership."—Simon Bellamy, Naval Review

"In America's U-Boats, Dubbs brings attention to the ships by skillfully weaving the history of American attitudes towards German U-boats into a straightforward yet suspenseful account of America's "terror trophies.""—Alanna Casey, Sea History

"America's U-boats is an important book for naval warfare professionals and submariners."—William Bundy, Naval War College Review

“I couldn’t put this book down. America’s U-Boats is a fast-moving narrative, expertly crafted by a gifted writer, and it tells the story of an especially compelling forgotten chapter of the Great War and its aftermath.”—Steven Trout, author of On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919–1941

Table of Contents



1. The First U-Boats in America

2. They Are Here at Last

3. Fighting the U-Boats

4. Delivered into Allied Hands

5. Selling Bonds

6. The First Submarine on the Great Lakes

7. The Epic Voyage of UB-88

8. The Sinkings

9. Rediscovering the U-Boats



Bibliographic Essay

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