Page 3508

3508 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

existence seems like paradise compared

with that of the U-boat man. This man

dispenses with what everyone regards

as indispensable for life-light and air.

When the road to Hades gapes for the U-boat man it leads through darkness and

torment. He knows that he is threatened

most by a slow death through suffocation.

Everybody else-with the exceptions of

stokers, men in the magazines, and some

others-enjoys the fresh air and looks up

and sees above him the broad canopy of

heaven when in the roar of the battle he

must enter the gates of the Great Beyond.

Indeed, in every case, 'Dulce et decorum

est pro patria mori.' But our sympathies

will be more deeply moved when we think

of the death of the U-boat man.

"Of course the U-boat man also sees

some of the bright side of life, and it would

be wrong to pass by without noting this.

On board a big battleship the individual

is more or less lost in the crowd. He is

only one among the more than 1,100 men

composing the crew of a modern ship of

the line. On board the U-boat every

one is an important personality. There

are rarely more than thirty men in a high

seas U-boat. So every one, be he sailor

or oiler, has several duties to perform; so

every one is fully acquainted with all the

numerous mechanisms and expert in their

use. The commander, watch officer, and

chief engineer know every one of their men

thoroughly. They stand in a comradely

relationship to them; they share their sufferings and joys in every way. Their food is

all cooked in the same kettle and gift cigarettes of the same brand are found between

their lips when the boat bobs up for a

brief rest and the weather permits. Below

decks smoking is not allowed. To be sure,

the commander has a tiny room of his own

-in which to write his official reports, etc.