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.