On June 17, 1940, just after the Dunkirk evacuation had supposedly ended in success, several thousand of the many British troops still left in France swarmed aboard the five-decked cruise liner Lancastria. Immediately after they boarded, the ship was dive-bombed by the German Luftwaffe, the 17,000-ton Lancastria sank, and hell on earth ensued. German fighter-planes strafedOn June 17, 1940, just after the Dunkirk evacuation had supposedly ended in success, several thousand of the many British troops still left in France swarmed aboard the five-decked cruise liner Lancastria. Immediately after they boarded, the ship was dive-bombed by the German Luftwaffe, the 17,000-ton Lancastria sank, and hell on earth ensued. German fighter-planes strafed the oil slick sea, setting it ablaze as British troops banded together singing "Roll out the Barrel" in a courageous attempt to protect any sense of hope that still remained. With 4,000 soldiers, women, and children dead — and some estimates as high as 6,000 — the disaster would eclipse that of both the Lusitania and the Titanic. Although the story was picked up in the United States a few weeks later, it was reported only once by any British news outlet, and as the war progressed the tragedy eventually vanished from the public record and the collective memory of a nation under siege. Author Jonathan Fenby argues that this was the result of a shrewd but necessary kibosh put in place by Winston Churchill in order to preserve British morale; Churchill claimed he simply forgot to tell hisadministration they could report the news....
|Title||:||The Sinking of the Lancastria: The Twentieth Century's Deadliest Naval Disaster and Churchill's Plot to Make It Disappear|
|Number of Pages||:||288 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Sinking of the Lancastria: The Twentieth Century's Deadliest Naval Disaster and Churchill's Plot to Make It Disappear Reviews
In 1940, British troops were forced to flee from France upon the surrender of the French government. Many of the fighting troops had already been famously evacuated at Dunkirk, however there were thousands still left throughout France--communications officers, mechanics, engineers, supply depot managers, and other support troops--who needed to be moved back to England as quickly as possible. The British used whatever ships were available, including commandeered luxury liners like the Lancastria. On June 17th, 1940 thousands of soldiers, sailors, medical personnel, and civilians aboard the Lancastria were killed when the German airforce attacked and sank the ship. Although the official death toll was listed as approximately 3500, unofficial totals put the number killed at up to 6000, making the sinking of the Lancastria one of the worst naval disasters in history. However, it is virtually unknown because at the time, Winston Churchill decided not to release the news (he felt that public morale was bad enough, and another disaster would be extremely detrimental to the war effort) and then claimed that he forgot to ever lift the reporting ban. There is a lot of historical context regarding the fall of France as well as the efforts made by the British to change the course of events in France.The book is particularly interesting, since the author was able to interview many survivors and get many personal details about the events that occurred. The story is well-told, and it is clear that the author researched carefully. The memories of those who were there really personalize the story and make it accessible--as well as both tragic and funny.On the whole, I really enjoyed this one and would recommend it.
An interesting subject, poorly executed. I think the author included every person he could find records for, rather than isolating 3 or 4 people to focus on. I also felt lost around some of the history, as I'm not really familiar with the evacuation from Dunkirk or most of the political players from the time. Finally, there was very little about "Churchill's Plot to Make It Disappear." The author stated that Churchill told the press not to talk about it and then claimed he forgot to tell them that they could. Not what I would call a "plot" to hide something.
Very decent read
Good book about a small slice of history - took me a while to read it, it became repetitive after a while.
interesting, very informative
Interesting story of largest British naval disaster in history. A good read.
A good account of a huge maritime account that was covered up at the time by Winston Churchill.