By John Biggins
During this ironic, hilarious, and poignant tale, Otto Prohaska is a submarine captain serving the almost-landlocked Austro-Hungarian Empire. He faces a bunch of not going conditions, from petrol poisoning to exploding toilets to trigger-happy Turks. All symptoms element to the full cave in of the bloated empire he serves, yet Otto refuses to desert the Habsburgs of their hour of want.
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Additional resources for A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending to, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire (The Otto Prohaska Novels)
Well, those days were past now, and as the pinnace made her way into the harbour I caught my first sight of the sort of vessel that I would sail aboard from now on: a row of secretive slate-blue shapes lying moored bows-first to the breakwater. Two of them were very similar in size and general appearance, except that their conning towers were of slightly different shapes. Both carried red-whitered recognition stripes painted across their bows and the further away of the two had the large white numeral 8 painted on its conning tower.
M. ” This last remark caught my interest. “Ah, Kevin, so we have something in common then. ” He stared at me in puzzlement, not quite sure whether to take me seri ously. “G’won then, you wasn’t. ” Kevin gave me a look of even greater bewilderment and suspicion, though mixed with increasing interest. “You—a U-Boat captain? But I thought you was a Pole, not a German. ” He abandoned his work and came over to sit on the low stone wall next to me, entirely baffled by the complexities of European history.
But there,” (he shrugged his shoulders) “if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. ” There was a knock at the door. A short, rather tubby man in dirty linen trousers and a uniform jacket entered the room and saluted. ” “Ah, Herr Fregattenleutnant, I would like to introduce your new commanding officer, Linienschiffsleutnant Otto Prohaska. ” The man eyed me with no very evident interest or respect. “Excellent, Herr Kommandant. ” 45 A Sailor of Austria Thierry turned to me. ” So I was to sail with a Hungarian for a Second Officer.