The Diary of a U-boat Commander
"I would ask you a favour," said the German captain, as we sat in the
cabin of a U-boat which had just been added to the long line of
bedraggled captives which stretched themselves for a mile or more in
Harwich Harbour, in November, 1918.
I made no reply; I had just granted him a favour by allowing him to
leave the upper deck of the submarine, in order that he might await the motor launch in some sort of privacy; why should he ask for more?
Undeterred by my silence, he continued: "I have a great friend,
Lieutenant-zu-See Von Schenk, who brought U.122 over last week; he has lost a diary, quite private, he left it in error; can he have it?"
I deliberated, felt a certain pity, then remembered the _Belgian
Prince_ and other things, and so, looking the German in the face, I
"I can do nothing."
I shook my head, then, to my astonishment, the German placed his head in his hands and wept, his massive frame (for he was a very big man) shook in irregular spasms; it was a most extraordinary spectacle...
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