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The Listeners
U-boat Hunters During the Great War
Roy R. Manstan



Garnet Books

Wesleyan
2018 • 352 pp. 75 illus. 7 x 9"
Naval History / World War I / Military History


$34.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7835-8

$23.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7837-2

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



An untold story of scientists and engineers who changed the course of World War I

Roy R. Manstan’s new book documents the rise of German submarines in World War I and the Allies’ successful response of tracking them with innovative listening devices—precursors to modern sonar. The Listeners: U-boat Hunters During the Great War details the struggle to find a solution to the unanticipated efficiency of the German U-boat as an undersea predator. Success or failure was in the hands and minds of the scientists and naval personnel at the Naval Experimental Station in New London, Connecticut. Through the use of archival materials, personal papers, and memoirs The Listeners takes readers into the world of the civilian scientists and engineers and naval personnel who were directly involved with the development and use of submarine detection technology during the war.

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Reviews / Endorsements



“The biologist Peter Klopfer once defined predation as a race in which the finish line is alternately moved ahead of predator and prey. Human warfare is the same. Development and deployment of a new weapon is eventually met by equally original methods of neutralizing it, causing the finish line to advance in stepwise fashion. Roy R. Manstan's new book, The Listeners: U-Boat Hunters During The Great War, documents the rise of German submarines in World War I and the Allies' successful efforts to track them by equipping surface ships with novel electronic listening devices. Manstan, who spent a thirty-year career as a civilian engineer involved in cutting-edge SONAR research, tells his story with rare clarity, thoroughness, verve, and an insider's knowledge few other Naval historians could match. His work sets the bar high in this area of undersea technology and will likely remain the gold standard for years to come.”—Stephen Spotte, PhD, author of The Smoking Horse: A Memoir in Pieces and My Watery Self: Memoirs of a Marine Scientist

Listeners.... is a fascinating story on a long neglected area of WWI naval developments. A scholarly work that melds combat system innovation spiced with vivid operational actions. Mr. Manstan interweaves the political and strategic background of the era to highlight the importance that hydrophone development had on changing the tide of the German submarine menace.” —Michael Pastore, Combat Systems Engineer, U. S. Naval Research Laboratory (Ret)

“Mr. Manstan has captured a critical part of our nation’s history and role in preserving world peace by telling the story of those in the background whose toils and untold stories made it possible for a war-torn world to survive.” —Dr. Peter “Skip” Scheifele, University of Cincinnati



ROY R. MANSTAN is the co-author of Turtle: David Bushnell’s Revolutionary Vessel and author of Cold Warriors: The Navy’s Engineering and Diving Support Unit. He lives in East Haddam, CT.



Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:53:37 -0500