'The traditional mores of war were rapidly being abandoned, and Kriegsmarine Kapitanleutnant Walter Schwieger knew that all too well. One of his officers recognized the ship as either the Lusitania or Mauretania. That was enough for Schwieger. Both ships were registered to the Royal Navy; both were known to carry armaments and munitions. Seconds later, Schwieger depressed a small brass switch on the control panel, and a sound of escaping air filled the sub. Like a child's bathtub toy, the little projectile hurled itself across the sea, followed by a thin wake of bubbles'.What began in friendly rivalry would become a fierce and ruthless competition. Before it was over, the race to produce the largest, fastest, most luxurious ocean liners on the Atlantic embroiled not only heads of state and robber barons but whole nations as well. In 1889, when Kaiser Wilhelm II declared that he would 'seize the trident' of maritime supremacy from his Royal British cousins, not even he could have foreseen what genie had been released from its bottle.In "Seize the Trident", Doug Burgess chronicles the steady beat of one-upmanship between rival nations as pride, ambition, and imagination outpaced science and engineering to create awe-inspiring but increasingly unsafe leviathans. Burgess provides insightful glimpses into the key players on this international stage: the brash and boastful Kaiser, whose jealousy of his uncle 'Bertie' (later King Edward VII) made him dream of greater imperial glories; the eccentric plutocrat J. P. Morgan, who tried to buy the Atlantic and every ship on it; the brilliant inventor Charles Parsons, whose engines transformed ocean travel; the English shipping magnate J. Bruce Ismay, who watched from a lifeboat as his ship, the greatest ship of the age, sank amid icebergs; and the doomed German shipping magnate Albert Ballin, who brought the Kaiser's vision to life only to watch it disintegrate in the dread maelstrom of total war.The superliners of the Gilded Age so eclipsed their predecessors in size, splendor, and speed that they remain potent symbols of elegance, arrogance, and industrial might nearly a century after the last ones were built. They carried a flood of immigrants to America even as they reflected and magnified the frightening forces that were pushing Europe blindly into World War I. In a crowning irony, Germany's prize liners were used against her to carry American doughboys to the trenches of Europe. "Seize the Trident" tells this epic tale for the first time in its entire sweep of triumph and folly, from its unassuming beginnings on a leisurely summer afternoon off England's shores to its ragged outcome in post-war Germany. "Seize the Trident" is a parable of imperial ambitions and ultimate tragedy set against the ostentatious backdrop of the Edwardian age, when dreams had no limits and the only standard of supremacy was excess.