Description : On May 7th, 1915 a passenger ship crossing the Atlantic sank with the loss of 1200 lives. On board were some world-famous figures, including multimillionaire Alfred Vanderbilt. But this wasn't the Titanic and there was no iceberg. The liner was the Lusitania and it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Wilful Murder is the hugely compelling story of the sinking of the Lusitania. The first book to look at the events in their full historical context, it is also the first to place the human dimension at its heart. Using first-hand accounts of the tragedy Diana Preston brings the characters to life, recreating the splendour of the liner as it set sail and the horror of its final moments. Using British, American and German research material she answers many of the unanswered and controversial questions surrounding the Lusitania: why didn't Cunard listen to warnings that the ship would be a target of the Germans? Was the Lusitania sacrificed to bring the Americans into the War? What was really in the Lusitania's hold? Was she armed? Had Cunard's offices been infiltrated by German agents? And did the Kaiser's decision to cease unrestricted U-boat warfare in response to international outrage expressed after the sinking effectively change the outcome of the First World War? Highly readable, highly researched Wilful Murder casts dramatic new light on one of the world's most famous maritime disasters.
Description : A fascinating reassessment of a turning point in the First World War, revealing its role in shaping the German psyche On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania, a large British luxury liner, was sunk by a German submarine off the Irish coast. Nearly 1,200 people, including 128 American citizens, lost their lives. The sinking of a civilian passenger vessel without warning was a scandal of international scale and helped precipitate the United States’ decision to enter the conflict. It also led to the immediate vilification of Germany. Though the ship’s sinking has preoccupied historians and the general public for over a century, until now the German side of the story has been largely untold. Drawing on varied German sources, historian Willi Jasper provides a comprehensive reappraisal of the sinking and its aftermath that focuses on the German reaction and psyche. The attack on the Lusitania, he argues, was not simply an escalation of violence but signaled a new ideological, moral, and religious dimension in the struggle between German Kultur and Western civilization.
Description : An account of one of the greatest maritime disasters in history—the Lusitania’s proud service, its sinking by a German U-Boat, and the tragic aftermath. When the RMS Lusitania entered service in 1907, she was the pride of the Cunard fleet. The first transatlantic express liner powered by marine turbines, she had a top speed of twenty-five knots and could make the Liverpool-New York crossing in five days, restoring British supremacy along the key North Atlantic route. All this ended during World War I, on 7 May 1915, when she was torpedoed by a German submarine and sank eighteen minutes later, taking with her the lives of the 1,198 passengers and crew. In this well-researched book, the author concentrates not just on the disaster but its consequences, including the political recriminations and the governmental inquiry. The loss of American citizens was a major reason why the United States entered the War. Fully-illustrated with rare historical photographs, this is a fascinating study of a major shipping catastrophe with profound repercussions that would have an effect not just on maritime law, but on the future of the world.
Description : The real story of how Winston Churchill and the British mastered deception to defeat the Nazis - by conning the Kaiser, hoaxing Hitler and using brains to outwit brawn. By June 1940, most of Europe had fallen to the Nazis and Britain stood alone. So, with Winston Churchill in charge the British bluffed their way out of trouble, drawing on the trickery which had helped them win the First World War. They broadcast outrageous British propaganda on pretend German radio stations, broke German secret codes and eavesdropped on their messages. Every German spy in Britain was captured and many were used to send back false information to their controllers. Forged documents misled their intelligence. Bogus wireless traffic from entire phantom armies, dummy airfields with model planes, disguised ships and inflatable rubber tanks created a vital illusion of strength. Culminating in the spectacular misdirection that was so essential to the success of D-Day in 1944, Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945 is a thrilling work of popular military history filled with almost unbelievable stories of bravery, creativity and deception. Nicholas Rankin is the author of Dead Man's Chest, Telegram From Guernica and Ian Fleming's Commandos. 'This is a story clamouring to be told. We could not have imagined the scope of the inventiveness, the daring of these people's imaginations . . . I could not stop reading this book.' Doris Lessing
Description : Patrick O'Sullivan grew up in Ireland hearing old fisherman's tales of German U-Boats stalking the shores during the Great War.
Description : In 44 bc, Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March. His mistress, Cleopatra of Egypt, fled back to Alexandria with their little son. Mark Antony, Caesar's friend and henchman, who, according to some accounts, was already besotted by the beautiful Cleopatra, took up her son's case before the Senate. But they refused to recognize him as one of Caesar's heirs. Civil war broke out, and after the defeat of Caesar's murderers, Antony took control over the East. Summoned to his headquarters in present-day Turkey, Cleopatra made her entry at dusk on a scented, candlelit barge: and so began one of the greatest love stories of all time - an eleven-year love affair that created the ancient world's most famous celebrity couple. The affair became all-consuming and fired the lovers with the ambition to create a new order. Had they succeeded, our world today might have been very different. Filled with murder, intrigue, civil war and great battles, the tragedy of Cleopatra and Antony has fascinated the world for two millennia, and has been depicted by everyone from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the iconic 1960s film. Now Diana Preston has gone back to the original sources and delved into the real history behind the propaganda and the myth, to breathe new life into this epic love story.
Description : In 1631, the heartbroken Moghul Emperor, Shah Jahan, ordered the construction of a monument of unsurpassed splendour and majesty in memory of his beloved wife. Theirs was an extraordinary story of passionate love: although almost constantly pregnant - she bore him fourteen children - Mumtaz Mahal followed her husband on every military campaign.But then Mumtaz died in childbirth. Blinded by grief, Shah Jahan created an exquisite and extravagant memorial for her on the banks of the river Jumna. The Taj Mahal took twenty years to build and depleted the Moghul treasuries.But Shah Jahan was to pay a greater price for his obsession. He ended his days imprisoned by his own son in Agra Fort, gazing across the river at the monument to his love. The building of the Taj Mahal had set brother against brother and son against father in a savage conflict that pushed the seventeenth century's most powerful empire into irreversible decline.
Description : The Second Battle of Ypres was, by any definition, a brutal event in a brutal war. The already terrible conditions of trench warfare, punctuated by the unimaginable horror of shell fire that turned men into "pink mist," became even worse when the Germans introduced chlorine gas. But despite the terror, the battle marked a key moment in the formation of Canadian identity and pride. After the Germans' initial gas attack opened a 12-kilometre-long hole in Allied lines, it was the heroic 1st Canadian Division--men who had been in the trenches for just over a week--who rushed to fill the gap and block the enemy advance. Drawing on never-before-published material, Nathan M. Greenfield, author of The Battle of the St. Lawrence, presents a gripping new account of the Second Battle of Ypres. Here are the voices of the soldiers themselves--both Canadian and German--reaching across more than 90 years with a stunning immediacy.
Description : William Dampier, (1651-1715), was an English adventurer and pirate who preyed on ships on the Spanish Main. Poor and ill-educated and determined to make his fortune, he nonetheless had a passion for exploration and scientific research. Dampier was the first to map the winds and currents of the world's oceans; led the first recorded party of Englishmen to set foot on Australia - 80 years before Cook; wrote about Galapagos wildlife 150 years before Darwin, who drew on Dampier's notes in his own work; was the first travel writer: A NEW VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD was instant bestseller when it was published in 1697 - said to have influenced the novels of Swift and Defoe. A man full of contradictions: he who achieved so much 'blew it' later in life, declining into scandal, failure and even farce. A unique man ahead of his time, he lived a large part of his life among pirates yet managed to preserve what Coleridge called his "exquisite refinement of mind". A classic example of the best narrative history.
Description : Spanning fifty years, Before the Fall-Out tells the full story of how an exhilarating quest to unravel the secrets of the material world produced the knowledge of how to destroy it.And of how a scientific adventure shared openly between nuclear physicists from many different nations transmuted into a secretive wartime race for the ultimate weapon of mass destruction - the atom bomb. As much as on the science, Before the Fall-Out focuses on the 'human chain reaction' - the intertwined lives of the many scientists of many nations whose compulsive curiosity led, however unwittingly, ultimately to Hiroshima. In her page-turning account Diana Preston reveals how individuals responded to events - from Allied scientists debating the morality of deploying the bomb, to Japanese civilians who became its first victims, and to a German chemist working on the Nazi bomb project while concealing a Jewish pianist in his Berlin apartment. Diana Preston draws on fresh material including interviews with the last living scientist to have worked with Marie Curie, the only senior scientist to have walked out on the Manhattan Project on moral grounds, and the German scientist who accompanied Werner Heisenberg on his controversial wartime visit to Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. A Manhattan Project scientist said that the only secret of the bomb was that it could be made: once this was known, any nation could replicate it. Before the Fall-Out helps us make better sense of our own, dangerous world and of the threats and moral dilemmas that face our society today.