For the first time in the 8 years that I've had this blog I accidentally hit "publish" on a barely-begun post. And I didn't realize for days until someone commented with a "What?" So, sorry about that. But here's what I was going to say:
If you're on a luxury ocean liner that has been torpedoed by a U-boat you put your life vest on pronto! I just read Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania and guys, do me a favor and get the heck off that ship. Chances are the life boats will be gummed up somehow and some crazed old man is going to shove you off anyway so you have a better chance of just jumping overboard and swimming for your life. Or waiting for the few manageable life boats to launch and catching a ride with them once you're both in the water. Just get away from that boat, okay. Don't be a dummy. Many people on her were like, "Hmm, was that a torpedo that just struck us? La la la. This boat won't sink. It's unsinkable! We're just going to float to shore. Who needs a life vest? I sure don't." Who in the world thinks that their boat with a gaping hole in the starboard bow is not going to sink? Now, granted, they don't always. Several ships have survived torpedoes. But for the love of all that is good in the world, don't risk it!
Here's something to cheer you up and give you hope should you find yourself in similar straits: three people were actually sucked into the funnels as she went down but the cold water hitting the hot coals created a bit of a steamy explosion and it SHOT THEM BACK OUT INTO THE DRINK. All three survived and told the same story and were covered in oily soot as proof.
So, great book. I find if somewhat difficult reading non-fiction that I know the ending to. Like, I knew that she was going to sink and I just kept waiting for it to happen. But when it did I wanted it to be over because oh, it was horrible. And riveting. You'll learn so much about submarines and maritime customs and German warfare (read: sneaky and conniving and low. Captain von Trapp (the real one, although I clearly pictured Christopher Plummer) is quoted in the book as saying how cowardly he felt captaining a u-boat and asked to be transferred. What a hero.) And for a brief time you'll wish that you were strolling the deck of the Queen Mary II. In peaceful times, of course.
In other news, we did, in fact pass the 8 year mark last week for this slice of heaven. Happy anniversary to me and you and this silly little blog. I so appreciate that you still read and laugh with me.