Book of the Day: The Wolf

November 6, 2017

in Limited Time Offers

The Wolf: How One German Raider Terrorized the Allies in the Most Epic Voyage of WWIThe Wolf: How One German Raider Terrorized the Allies in the Most Epic Voyage of WWI
by Richard Guilliatt, Peter Hohnen

On November 30, 1916, an apparently ordinary freighter left harbor in Kiel, Germany, and would not touch land again for another fifteen months. It was the beginning of an astounding voyage that would take the ship around the world, leaving a trail of destruction and devastation in her wake… For this was no ordinary freighter—this was the Wolf, a disguised German warship.

The Wolf’s assignment: to terrorize distant ports of the British Empire by laying minefields and sinking freighters, thus hastening Germany’s goal of starving her enemy into submission. Yet to maintain secrecy, she could never pull into port or use her radio, and to comply with the rules of sea warfare, her captain fastidiously tried to avoid killing civilians aboard the merchant ships he attacked, taking their crews and passengers prisoner before sinking the vessels.

The Wolf became a huge floating prison, with more than 400 captives, including a number of women and children, from twenty-five different nations. Sexual affairs were kindled between the German crew and some female prisoners. A six-year-old American girl, captured while sailing across the Pacific with her parents, was adopted as a mascot by the Germans.

Forced to survive on food and fuel plundered from other ships, facing death from scurvy, and hunted by the combined navies of five Allied nations, the Germans and their prisoners came to share a common bond. The will to survive transcended enmities of race, class, and nationality.

The story of this epic voyage is a vivid real-life narrative and simultaneously a richly detailed picture of a world being profoundly transformed by war.

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