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Lusitania: Unravelling the Mysteries [Hardcover]

Patrick O'Sullivan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Feb 2000 Unravelling the Mysteries
This is an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding the torpedoing of the RMC Lusitania, then the world's fastest liner, by the German submarine U-20 in May 1915 with the loss of 1,198 lives.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Spellmount Publishers Ltd (21 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862270864
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862270862
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 2 x 31 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,291,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very competent and compelling account. 16 July 2004
By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The Lusitania was the ship that was simply loved by a Nation. State-of-the-art when launched and the very first passenger liner to be equipped with steam turbines, she became the fastest Liner on the North Atlantic passenger routes. She was popular with passengers and a resounding commercial success. This was a ship that had everything.
Suddenly, all that came to an end on 7 May 1915 when she was torpedoed and sunk. The reaction - both at home and abroad was simply incredible. Although the loss of the Titanic - just 3 years earlier, was still very fresh in peoples minds, this was different. That had been an accident and those bodies had been buried in far-away Canada. This time they were buried in Ireland and the photographs of the day said it all. This was viewed as one of the most diabolical and savage acts of all time - and even helped bring America into the War.
The Lusitania - Unravelling the Mysteries is hardback measuring 12 in x 8½ in and contains over 130 pages of solid information, facts, maps, paintings, photographs and even cartoons - all reproduced from the time in question. The Author commences with his own background and reveals how he is well-qualified to write a book such as this. In a skilfully planned book, he provides all the relevant information and paints an excellent scene with his various descriptions of the Lusitania and other, similar ships - with their Peacetime and Wartime roles. He then moves on to the German submarine menace, British Intelligence and the code-breaking of the day as he carefully and deliberately provides a fully detailed prelude to the sinking with details of other submarine incidents off Ireland - that were never relayed to the Lusitania.
Then we have the tragedy itself and, of course, the aftermath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 8 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very well written book really enjoyed reading this. Would recommend to anyone who is interested in the Lusitania and its demise.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book But..... 19 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback
While I think this was a good book I also think that there was a lot of information presented that had little to do with the Lusitania or the sinking. I concede that you must persent background information but the entire first half of this book dealth with the rules of the Sea at the time, The British Empire's instructions to merchant ships, Churchill's directives, etc. I think that this is great information but felt that it might have taken the space of more information that could have been presented on the ships story itself.
Missing also, is the German U-Boat side. What did they think, why did they do it? There has to be information in German records on this, why were they not consulted when presenting the information in this book?
I did enjoy the analystic view of the cargo and if it actually contributed to the sinking. The clues that were traced in the sipping manifests. The book also explores the theory that the sinking was actually caused by Churchill's directives to ships at sea, making them enemy combatants in a time of war.
This is a decent book but I think it should be read as one of many on the subject and not taken as the sole source of information.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LUSITANIA- Unravelling the Mysteries by Patrick O'Sullivan 7 Jun 2000
By Martin Cahill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My efforts to acquire this book were quite considerable but very much worth it. The debate about the sinking of the Lusitania is one which still has much life in it. Mr O'Sullivan has engaged in a extensive research both archival and forensic to try shed light on what happened that May afternoon in 1915. His results are a direct challenge to the coal dust theory of Dr Ballard's 1993 explorations. Mr O'Sullivan also lays out his research into the functioning of British Admiralty in general and the function of Room 40 in particular. His conclusions don't let the admiralty off the hook of responsibility but then it doesn't find them guilty of deliberate planning to set the ship up either. I will not say any more but recommend you buy the book and read it.
What I can comment on is the copious quantity of illustrative material. English artist Stuart Williamson has contributed four first class paintings that are worthy of Ken Marscall himself. Mr Marschall's work is also featured as well as rare paintings, photographs(including a hitherto unseen side profile of U 20) and rare colour newspaper cartoons that comment on the sinking. Overall an excellent book. The only criticism that I can level at the book, with great reluctance, concerns the reproduction of Mr Marschall's work. The images lack the sharpness of the originals as seen in ART of TITANIC. However this does not stop me giving the book the highest possible rating and recommending its purchase by anyone with an interest in this field. The best 24 pounds I have ever spent!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most competent and compelling account. 14 Feb 2002
By Ned Middleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Lusitania was the ship that was simply loved by a Nation. State-of-the-art when launched and the very first passenger liner to be equipped with steam turbines, she became the fastest Liner on the North Atlantic passenger routes. She was popular with passengers and a resounding commercial success. This was a ship that had everything.

Suddenly, all that came to an end on 7 May 1915 when she was torpedoed and sunk. The reaction - both at home and abroad was simply incredible. Although the loss of the Titanic - just 3 years earlier, was still very fresh in peoples minds, this was different. That had been an accident and those bodies had been buried in far-away Canada. This time they were buried in Ireland and the photographs of the day said it all. This was viewed as one of the most diabolical and savage acts of all time - and even helped bring America into the War.

The Lusitania - Unravelling the Mysteries is hardback measuring 12 in x 8½ in and contains over 130 pages of solid information, facts, maps, paintings, photographs and even cartoons - all reproduced from the time in question. The Author commences with his own background and reveals how he is well-qualified to write a book such as this. In a skilfully planned book, he provides all the relevant information and paints an excellent scene with his various descriptions of the Lusitania and other, similar ships - with their Peacetime and Wartime roles. He then moves on to the German submarine menace, British Intelligence and the code-breaking of the day as he carefully and deliberately provides a fully detailed prelude to the sinking with details of other submarine incidents off Ireland - that were never relayed to the Lusitania.

Then we have the tragedy itself and, of course, the aftermath. There are distressing photographs of dead children and heartbreaking stories of those who survived - having lost all other members of their family. There is the grief that overwhelmed Ireland and photographs of both the Memorial in Cobh and one or two of the more dramatic headstones - "Foully Murdered by Germany" and "Victim of the Lusitania Crime." The Sham tribunals and the way in which blame was wrongly laid at the feet of the ship's master - Captain Bill Turner, in a bid to deflect public opinion away from government ineptitude are covered in great detail as is the fact that the ship was carrying munitions (as was common practise) and therefore, a justified target of War.

Concluding with a chapter on "The Mysteries Unravel, the author brings a semblance of sense to what happened almost 100 years ago and includes two photographs taken by Scuba Divers in order to bring the story of this great ship right up to date. The book ends with the a cartoon depicting the Mother of "Civilisation" kneeling on the beach and weeping for those lost on the Lusitania.

A poignant and thought-provoking account and one that is expertly crafted - this is simply a first-rate book. How sad that the wreck itself has never been designated a "War Grave."

NM
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Buuuuuut 12 Aug 2013
By Ben Milton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It never unravelled any of the mysteries, it does a good job of setting the scene. But it barely covers the sinking itself, the book gives a convincing argument for a conspiracy. And just as quickly backs away from it, I understand it was trying to be neutral. I get that, but looking at all the facts as they were presented, or lack of facts in some cases. I would , and do believe that Winston Churchill and the admiralty set up the Lusitania, to bring America into the war. Some would argue, "Britain needed money for weapons", what better way to solve that problem. than to bring the world's super power and your ally into the war with you, remember we provided a lot of supplies and Ammo to the British. The end satisfies the need, and if the admiralty has nothing to hide. Then why blame Turner for the loss of the Lusitania, the book kind of covers these questions, but doesn't go too much into detail. While it's a good book, it tries sometimes to be too neutral.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book But Sometimes...... 19 Jan 2003
By TheHighlander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While I think this was a good book I also think that there was a lot of information presented that had little to do with the Lusitania or the sinking. I concede that you must persent background information but the entire first half of this book dealth with the rules of the Sea at the time, The British Empire's instructions to merchant ships, Churchill's directives, etc. I think that this is great information but felt that it might have taken the space of more information that could have been presented on the ships story itself.
Missing also, is the German U-Boat side. What did they think, why did they do it? There has to be information in German records on this, why were they not consulted when presenting the information in this book?
I did enjoy the analystic view of the cargo and if it actually contributed to the sinking. The clues that were traced in the sipping manifests. The book also explores the theory that the sinking was actually caused by Churchill's directives to ships at sea, making them enemy combatants in a time of war.
This is a decent book but I think it should be read as one of many on the subject and not taken as the sole source of information.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh take on the old story... 4 Sep 2001
By Nelson Aspen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Maritime disaster buffs will enjoy the new theories and fresh opinions on the tale of the ill fated Lusitania. For those readers who may not be familiar with her story, it is a well told and interesting look at her sailing career and tragic end.
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