The Case of the Athenia
Publication Date: 1939
Book Condition: Fair
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Book Type: Booklet
39pgs. top left rodent damage note effecting text RARE from German Information Service this was an anti British booklet distributed in ENGLISH in America and other english speaking countries before the war! ORIGINAL from collection of former German American Bund member in Milwaukee.The S.S. Athenia was the first British ship to be sunk by Germany in World War II . Contents [hide ] 1 Description 2 The "Athenia" incident 3 Famous people on the Athenia 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links [ edit ] Description
Athenia was built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company , Ltd., and was launched at Govan , Scotland in 1923. She was built for Anchor-Donaldson Ltd. 's route between Britain and Canada . For most of her career she sailed between either Glasgow or Liverpool , and Quebec and Montreal . During the height of winter, she operated as a cruise ship. After 1935, her owners became the Donaldson Atlantic Line Ltd .Athenia displaced 13,465 tons, was 526.3 feet long and had a 66.4 foot beam (160.4m x 20.2m). She had two masts and a single funnel. She carried 516 cabin class passengers and an additional 1,000 in 3rd class. She was a twin screw vessel powered by steam turbines , with a top speed of 15 knots . [ edit ] The "Athenia" incident
On 3 September 1939, just hours after Britain declared war on Germany, U-boat U-30 ( Oberleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp ) sank Athenia , mistaking her for an armed merchant cruiser . The 13,500 ton passenger liner was carrying 1,103 civilians , including more than 300 Americans, and 315 crew, from Glasgow to Montreal . The ship, under Captain James Cook, had departed t on 1 September, and after calling at Liverpool and Belfast departed Britain on the 3rd. By evening that day she was 60 miles south of Rockall (250 miles northwest of Inishtrahull , Ireland ), when U-30 sighted her and fired two torpedoes into Athenia' s hull without warning. She began to settle by the stern. As Athenia was an unarmed passenger ship, the attack was in violation of the prize rules U-boats were to be operating under, that obliged them to stop and search potential civilian targets and allow passengers and crew to abandon ship before sinking their vessel.Several ships, including HMS Electra Template:WP Ships HMS instances , raced to the site of the attack. The captain of Electra , Lt Cdr Sammy A. Buss, was Senior Officer Present, so he took charge. He sent the destroyer HMS Fame Template:WP Ships HMS instances on an anti-submarine sweep of the area, while Electra , another destroyer , HMS Escort Template:WP Ships HMS instances , the Swedish yacht Southern Cross , the 5,749 ton Norwegian cargo ship MS Knute Nelson ,[ 1] and the American tanker S.S. City Of Flint , rescued the survivors. Between them, about 980 passengers and crew were rescued. Athenia sank stern first the next morning. Most of the fatalities occurred in the engine room and after stairwell, w the torpedo hit [2 ], though these were compounded when one of the lifeboats was crushed in the propeller of Knute Nelson [3 ]. 118 passengers and crew were killed, including 28 Americans, which led to German fears the incident would bring the US into the war. Having realized his error after the torpedoes hit, U-30 immediately disengaged, left the scene and did not report its attack until it reached port. Since the torpedoing of the Athenia without warning violated the rules of war then in force, Hitler ordered evidence of it suppressed, and Lemp's log was rewritten. The German American Bund or German American Federation (German: Amerikadeutscher Bund ) was an American Nazi organization established in the 1930s. Its main goal was to promote a favorable view of the Nazi Germany . Contents [hide ] 1 Friends of New...
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