ATTACK THE LUSITANIA! by Raymond Hitchcock


Email this review


A smartly-done, foolishly fanciful British naval thriller set in the spring of 1915. The war has ground to a standstill, the king is champing for a victory, and it looks as if Russia will fall, leaving Britain and France alone to face Germany. So First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill and his Director of Naval Intelligence, Captain Gavin Tweedman, agree that the best possible occurrence would be for Germany to sink a ship, say the Lusitania, and cause such a heavy loss of American lives as to sweep America into the war. And Tweedman immediately begins plotting! First, he needs a fall guy--and this turns out to be naval hero Lieutenant-Commander Esmond Bone, who is conned into commanding a castoff submarine, nearly a relic, gasoline-powered instead of diesel-fueled, firing ancient torpedoes of disgraceful accuracy. To pressure Bone into actually firing on the British Lusitania, however, Tweedman must use blackmail and threats to destroy the careers of both Bone and his admiral father. Nasty doings--but it's actually a German sub tracking the Lusitania that sinks it. . . while Bone's sub fails and is, indeed, rammed by his father's own cruiser. With still a few more built-in doublecrosses, the ironies knot firmly, making this lively fun and more convincing for the duration than most other such history-twist fabrications.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's