DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania


DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

ERIK LARSON    Book Number: 82579    Product format: Hardback

The story of the Lusitania, sunk by a German U-boat in May 1915 under the pretext that it was carrying munitions, was a turning point in World War I, ultimately influencing President Woodrow Wilson in his decision about whether to enter the war. The familiar story is dramatically retold here with an emphasis on the people involved. Although recently widowed, Wilson himself was in love with a woman who did not initially return his affections, and meanwhile the maverick First Sea Lord, Admiral Jacky Fisher, was doing his best to convince Churchill's wife Clementine that her husband was frolicking with a mistress in Paris. Passengers on the Lusitania included Theodate Pope, the architect and spiritualist, who was travelling with her companion Edwin Friend. Both were aware of the German plan to attack merchant ships, but flirtatious Nellie Huston, by contrast, was wholly absorbed in her birthday presents. We also follow Walther Schwieger, the Captain of U20, experiencing through his eyes the hazards of U-boat technology, where wireless connections could be lost at any time and diesel power alternated with battery power as a source of energy. Back in England, German U-boats were being tracked in Operations Room 40, and when the risk was identified, the Chairman of Cunard wrongly believed that there was an Admiralty directive to divert the Lusitania. The torpedo attack precipitated many personal tragedies, including Norah Bretherton's decision about which of her young children to rescue. 430pp.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £1.88


Additional product information

ISBN 9780307408860
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