A WRITER'S WIT
Even as a child, I was a sucker for disaster reads, particularly those taking place at sea: Titanic, Andrea Doria, and others. Watson seizes upon the fame of the Titanic to make a case for his story about the German ship, Cap Arcona (German for Cape Arcona). Without the Titanic reference in the title, the book might not have much shelf appeal. I’m not sure that there are too many real parallels between the two ships except that they both sank.
Nevertheless, Watson’s book is a fascinating one about the extraordinary history of a German luxury liner that services travelers from the Baltic to South America from 1927 until 1939. At that time the Nazis expropriate the ship and transform it for war purposes. Its most important history comes at the end of its life, in 1945, and I’m not going to spoil the read by giving away the ending. Suffice it to say that the Cap Arconastory is one that has been overlooked, and we have Robert Watson to thank for keeping it and its historical significance alive.