Unlucky, indeed. Nothing Lt. Richmond Hobson ever did panned out. Ordered to sink a ship in such a way as to block egress at San Juan Harbor during the Spanish American War, he failed due to the shift taken by the sinking ship as it went down. Captured with his men, Hobson emerged from prison to a brief but intense fame after the war. Ladies lined his triumphal parade routes to kiss him, thus inspiring a candy maker to market the first candy kiss. He failed to raise the ship he sank and descended himself to a sort of noisy obscurity where he crusaded -- for Prohibition (another damp failure) and against Japanese imperialism (which had him labeled a ""national nuisance""). Dying before Pearl Harbor proved him right, Hobson's heroism lay in his staunchness of character and the value of this book lies in the first section devoted to the engineering details involved in his doomed effort at sinking a ship.