The Nazi Titanic: The Incredible Untold Story of a Doomed Ship in World War II

Da Capo. May 2016. 312p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780306824890. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780306824906. HIST
OrangeReviewStarIn his latest work, historian Watson (America's First Crisis: The War of 1812) probes the tumultuous history of the SS Cap Arcona, a German luxury liner launched in 1927 that regularly ferried cargo between Hamburg and Buenos Aires. The vessel was referred to as the Nazi Titanic, since it functioned as a prison ship during its later years, including when it was sunk by the British Royal Air Force in 1945, killing thousands formerly incarcerated in Nazi concentration camps. Through an in-depth investigation of the ship's many journeys, Watson delves into the social and military history of the Third Reich and the intrigue surrounding the German film industry. The author's meticulous research draws on archival sources and oral history interviews; the book further benefits from endnotes.
VERDICT This work has much to offer both scholars and casual readers. Anyone interested in the maritime history of the Third Reich will enjoy. Film lovers will find this account complements our knowledge of motion pictures for propaganda during the Nazi occupation.
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