The Sinking of the Lancastria: : Britain's Greatest Maritime Disaster and Churchill's Cover-up
Jonathan Fenby

The Sinking of the Lancastria: : Britain's Greatest Maritime Disaster and Churchill's Cover-up

A fortnight after the evacuation at Dunkirk some 150,000 British troops were still stuck in France. As the German advance thundered west these Allied soldiers and airmen were faced with a mad dash to the coast in the hope that a troop-ship awaited them there. One such vessel was the 'Lancastria', a 16,000-ton liner pressed into service and now anchored off the port of St-Nazaire. On 17 June 1940, ready to head for home, the ship was bombed by the Luftwaffe. As she sank, between 3,500 and 4,000 of those on board lost their lives. Re-creating this extraordinary episode with great narrative flair, Jonathan Fenby shows us not just the human stories behind the disaster but the cover-up that followed -- as Churchill ordered a blanket ban on news stories for the sake of the country's morale. Gripping and moving, LANCASTRIA tells one of the great forgotten stories of the Second World War.

Book Details:

  • Author: Jonathan Fenby
  • Published Year: 2005
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Simon & Schuster
    • US: Carrol & Graf
Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby

Jonathan Fenby has published twenty books, mainly on modern global history, China and France. In a journalistic career spanning four decades, he was Editor of The Observer, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong (during the handover from Britain to China) and Reuters World Service. He also held senior editorial posts at The Economist, The Independent and The Guardian and has been a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, Germany and France where he spent twelve years working for Reuters, The Economist and The Times. After returning to the UK from Hong Kong in 2000, he was a founding partner of...
More about Jonathan Fenby

Book Reviews

  • "Ask almost anyone what was the greatest maritime tragedy in British history, and they think of the Titanic or the Lusitania. Yet in reality, the sinking of another ship sixty-five years ago cost the lives of more people than both those liners’ losses together. It is a ghastly take, and Fenby tells it well."
    Max Hastings, Daily Mail.
  • "Vivid, gripping, pacey."
    Soldier Magazine
  • "Fenby has rescued lives from the condescending oubliette of history – and written an epic story into the bargain. It is an admirable achievement."
    Literary Review.