Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

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Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Format:  Paperback,

388 pages

Edition: Rh Trade Pbk

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: May 2005

ISBN-13: 9780375760983

ISBN-10: 0375760989

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
In the tradition of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery-and make history themselves.
For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.
But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones-all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.
No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.
Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors-former enemies of their country. As the men's marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.
Author Robert Kurson's account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean's underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: May 2005
ISBN-13: 9780375760983
ISBN-10: 0375760989
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 388
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.0
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.2 x 0.94 x 8.06

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2004-04-15)

In 1991, two scuba divers discovered a previously unknown wreck off the New Jersey coast, 230 feet under water. After much difficulty, they identified it as a World War II U-boat. In this absorbing narrative, journalist Kurson follows the divers and their companions through 11 years of nerve-racking diving, research, and self-discovery. Neither German nor American official records could suggest a possible identity; evidence at the scene suggested that a violent explosion had sunk the boat with all hands, but no report was filed for a submarine within 100 miles.

Interspersed with these technical complications are biographies and psychological portraits of the major participants. Richie Kohler and John Chatterton, the two divers, became obsessed with identifying the U-boat, taking risks beyond common sense. Eventually, the wreck claimed three divers' lives and two marriages. Highly recommended for World War II, naval, and sport diving collections.

[Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/04.] - Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS

(c). Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Book Sense Book of the Year, 2005 (United States)
  • Alex Awards, 2005 (United States)
  • Garden State Teen Book Award, 2007 (United States)

Book description

In the tradition of Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air and Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm comes a true tale of riveting adventure in which two weekend scuba divers risk everything to solve a great historical mystery–and make history themselves.

For John Chatterton and Richie Kohler, deep wreck diving was more than a sport. Testing themselves against treacherous currents, braving depths that induced hallucinatory effects, navigating through wreckage as perilous as a minefield, they pushed themselves to their limits and beyond, brushing against death more than once in the rusting hulks of sunken ships.

But in the fall of 1991, not even these courageous divers were prepared for what they found 230 feet below the surface, in the frigid Atlantic waters sixty miles off the coast of New Jersey: a World War II German U-boat, its ruined interior a macabre wasteland of twisted metal, tangled wires, and human bones–all buried under decades of accumulated sediment.

No identifying marks were visible on the submarine or the few artifacts brought to the surface. No historian, expert, or government had a clue as to which U-boat the men had found. In fact, the official records all agreed that there simply could not be a sunken U-boat and crew at that location.

Over the next six years, an elite team of divers embarked on a quest to solve the mystery. Some of them would not live to see its end. Chatterton and Kohler, at first bitter rivals, would be drawn into a friendship that deepened to an almost mystical sense of brotherhood with each other and with the drowned U-boat sailors–former enemies of their country. As the men’s marriages frayed under the pressure of a shared obsession, their dives grew more daring, and each realized that he was hunting more than the identities of a lost U-boat and its nameless crew.

Author Robert Kurson’s account of this quest is at once thrilling and emotionally complex, and it is written with a vivid sense of what divers actually experience when they meet the dangers of the ocean’s underworld. The story of Shadow Divers often seems too amazing to be true, but it all happened, two hundred thirty feet down, in the deep blue sea.

From the Hardcover edition.

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