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Following Oil
Poachers Were My Prey
At the Forefront of Lee’s Invasion
Indians and Emigrants
The Flat World and Education
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Freedom's Delay
Lessons Unlearned
Valley of the Guns
How Racism Takes Place
The Ordinary Spaceman

Submarine CommanderSubmarine Commander

A Story of World War II and Korea

Paul R. Schratz

Narrated by John N. Gully

Available from Audible

Book published by University Press of Kentucky

A fascinating personal memoir of underwater combat in World War II, told by a man who played a major role in those dangerous operations. Frank and beautifully written, Submarine Commander’s breezy style and irrepressible humor place it in a class by itself. This book will be of lasting value as a submarine history by an expert and as an enduring military and political analysis. In early 1943 the submarine USS Scorpion, with Paul R. Schratz as torpedo officer, slipped into the shallow waters east of Tokyo, laid a minefield, and made successful torpedo attacks on merchant shipping. Schratz participated in many more patrols in heavily mined Japanese waters as executive officer of the Sterlet and the Atule. At war’s end he participated in the Japanese surrender, aided the release of American POWs, and had a key role in the disarming of enemy suicide submarines. He then took command of the revolutionary new Japanese submarine I-203 and returned it to Pearl Harbor. But this was far from the end of Schratz’s submarine career. In 1949 he commissioned the ultramodern USS Pickerel, the most deadly submarine then afloat, and set a world’s record in a 21-day, 5,200-mile submerged passage from Hong Kong to Honolulu. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the Pickerel was immediately sent to Korea to participate in secret intelligence operations only recently declassified and never before revealed in print. Schratz’s broad military experience makes this a far from ordinary memoir.


“The U.S. Navy's most innovative, non-conforming, daring skipper tells in intimate detail a gripping and exciting story—unashamed in sorrow, proud in record-setting accomplishment, rich in humor. Great!”

—Adm. I.J. Galantin, USN (Ret.), author of Take Her Deep

“An authoritative, useful, and interesting view of Pacific Ocean submarine operations. ”

American Historical Review

“Provides the layperson with an interesting, exciting, and ultimately satisfying account of submarine service, both during WWII and the Korean War. ”


“An extraordinary story ... Schratz is a superb observer!”

Friday Review of Defense Literature

“An ebullient, consistently engrossing memoir of submarine service in WWII's Pacific theater and during the Korean conflict. ”

Kirkus Reviews

“An action-filled account of the wartime operations of the Navy submarine fleet. ”

McCormick (SC) Messenger

“Serves as a moving testimonial to the many brave men with whom he served.”

Northern Mariner

“A commanding and well told tale .... Schratz succeeds in making wartime submarining come alive for nonsubmariners.”


“Fascinating ... A delight to read not only because it is well written but because it is so very real seen through the eyes of a completely involved observer.”

Submarine Review

“Schratz’s description of life aboard a submarine is one of the single best accounts of the 'Silent Service' during World War II and the Korean War….The book is highly recommended.”

World War Quarterly

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University Press Audiobooks
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University Press Audiobooks