Sunday, 2 November 2014

Review of "Into the Danger Zone" - book about crossing the Atlantic in The First World War

I found out about this book by Tad Fitch and Michael Poirier via Facebook where the authors have a pre-publication page which they up-date from time to time.  I was fascinated so I sent them a message to find out more.  My Father used to work in the dock area of Liverpool in the 1960s when the shipping industry was very busy.  I used to love to go with him and admire the wide variety of ships on the River Mersey, from lighters and tugs to ocean-going liners and Father often talked about famous sea battles of both world wars (he was six years old when The Great War broke out). Imagine the trauma of worrying about submarines and mines when undertaking sea journeys from crossing the English Channel (which many civilians did either to go and work on the Western Front or to visit sick or wounded relatives) to crossing larger areas of water such as the Irish Sea or The Atlantic.

As I have a keen interest of anything to do with the sea and also about The First World War, I felt this book to be an absolute 'MUST READ'.  Here is a review from Amazon:

"As the First World War loomed, the transatlantic passenger trade was at its peak and, as the enormity of the conflict grew, many liners were conscripted into military service. In an attempted counter-blockade of the UK, German U-boats began sinking Allied merchant vessels, in some cases sparking international outrage. Eventually it was the declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917 that drew the previously neutral United States into the conflict. By war’s end, the U-boats had managed to sink over 5,000 ships, killing 15,000 people in the process. Into the Danger Zone recounts what it was like for both military personnel and civilians alike to experience a sea voyage at a time of war, when they could encounter any number of dangers, including U-boats, mines and enemy surface vessels. Attacks were frequent and tragedy all too common. Using a wealth of unpublished, rare and fascinating first-hand accounts, illustrations and photographs, Fitch and Poirier present an engaging history of this often-neglected chapter of the twentieth century."

With many thanks to Tad and to Michael for their hard work in putting this book together and for answering my many queries.  I had no idea they were based in the United States of America - I wish they would go on a world tour to promote their book then perhaps we in the UK could meet them.

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