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By: Robert Kurson

February 1945 - The war is almost over and Britain and America rule the waves. To enlist for a German U-boat is suicidal. But sixty young Nazi soldiers choose to enter the cramped underwater conditions of the U-869 for the most difficult mission of all - to reach and then bomb the coast of America.

Several weeks later the boat barely has enough fuel to make it home and radio links with Germany are broken. The commander, Neuerberg, must make a tough decision: to carry on to America and risk death in the pursuit of glory, or to admit defeat and return home. Driven by pride, patriotism and determination, he decides to risk it.

June 1991 - A group of deep-sea divers hear about the wreck of a U-boat 260 feet beneath the sea.

There are virtually no records of the Nazi submarine, and an on-location investigation is extremely dangerous. The recommended limit for diving is 130 feet: if a diver succeeds in getting that far down they are likely to be trapped inside the wreck or to die from compression on the way up. But twelve divers decide to take the risk.

Over the next six years, a team led by John Chatterton and Richie Kohler embark on a series of dives (on which they discover a mass grave in a front compartment), complex historical research and false leads, from which they eventually piece together an incredible story. In the process three of the divers die, marriages collapse, and history is made. Deep water wreck diving is the world s deadliest sport, and John Chatterton and Richie Kohler pushed its limits.

This is a beautifully written, dramatic book about one of the greatest of human traits the resolve people find in moments of deepest peril.