THE LACONIA AFFAIR by Leonce eillard


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Submarine narrative about an incredible rescue at sea, this will leave few readers unmoved. In September 1942 a German U-boat sank a converted Cunard iner, the Laconia with 3000 aboard. The U-boat captain was all for letting the survivors shift for themselves when--to his agonized consternation--shouts in talian rose from the shark-whipped waters. He had sunk a ship carrying 1800 Italian POWs, his allies! Immediately, he started rescue operations, cramming his sub with Italians, British, Poles, women and children. Then, despite high command tensions and Hitler's imminent fury, he wired the British for help. Presently, American Liberator bomber flew out of the sky and, despite a radio message from he sub and a huge red cross covering the sub's guns, it dropped five bombs, killing many survivors. The Allies later denied any knowledge of the bomber. Author eillard refuses to point the finger of guilt...although the reader may share the survivors' horror (transferral to two more subs and thence to a French ship saved the remaining survivors). Gripping.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1963
Publisher: Putnam