47th out of 70 books — 26 voters
The Sinking of the Lancastria: The Twentieth Century's Deadliest Naval Disaster and Churchill's Plot to Make It Disappear
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 strafed...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 20th 2006 by Da Capo Press
(first published 2005)
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468th out of 2,847 books — 1,111 voters
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Apr 04, 2014 CJ rated it 4 of 5 stars
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....more
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 th...more
Jonathan Fenby, CBE, has been the editor of The Observer and the South China Morning Post. He is currently China Director at the research service Trusted Sources.More about Jonathan Fenby...