Memories of an Austrian U-Boat Commander
“The Sound of Music” endeared Georg von Trapp (1880-1947) and his singing family to the world, and it also showed how desperately the Nazis wanted Captain von Trapp for their navy. In “To the Last Salute” we learn why. Trapp’s own story of his exploits as a submarine commander during the First World War is as exciting as it is instructive, bringing to stirring life a little-known chapter in the naval history of that war.
In his many guises, Trapp describes life as captain of Austro-Hungarian U-boats in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, emerging by turn as the Imperial Austrian naval officer, the witty observer of international politics, and the indefatigable and ultimately heartbroken patriot opposing the Allied enemy. He relates deadly duels with submarine sweepers, narrow escapes and excruciatingly close calls, and the spectacular sinking of cargo and war ships–all while maintaining a keen sense of the camaraderie of seamen from every corner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Trapp’s story, in English for the first time, offers a rare combination of human interest, historical insight, and true life-and-death adventure.