Sun
19

Rhode Island Book Launch - The Sunken Gold: A Story of World War I, Espionage, and the Greatest Treasure Salvage in History by Joseph A. Williams

Sunday, November 19, 2017

2:00 PM-3:30 PM

Cost: Free and Open to All

Meeting Room (3rd Floor)

Sun, 2017-11-19 14:00 - 15:30

The Sunken Gold: A Story of World War I, Espionage, and the Greatest Treasure SalvagenHistory. By Joseph Williams, Chicago Review Press (CRP).

On January 25, 1917, HMS Laurentic struck two German mines off the coast of Ireland and sank. The ship was carrying 44 tons of gold bullion to the still-neutral United States via Canada in order to finance the war effort for Britain and its allies. Britain desperately needed that sunken treasure, but any salvage had to be secret since the British government dared not alert the Germans to the presence of the gold. Lieutenant Commander Guybon Damant was the most qualified officer to head the risky mission. Wild gales battered the wreck into the shape of an accordion, turning the operation into a multiyear struggle of man versus nature. As the war raged on, Damant was called off the salvage to lead a team of covert divers to investigate and search through the contents of recently sunk U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secrets. The information they obtained, once in the hands of British intelligence, proved critical toward Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war.But Damant had become obsessed with completing his long-deferred mission. His team struggled for five more years as it became apparent that the work could only be accomplished by muscle, grit, and persistence. Using newly discovered sources, author Joseph A. Williams provides the first full-length account of the quest for the Laurentic's gold. More than an incredible story about undersea diving adventure, The Sunken Gold is a story of human persistence, bravery, and patriotism.

Joseph A. Williams is a librarian, archivist, and historian holding master's degrees in History and Library and Information Science from Queens College. He worked for several years as the Head of Collections and Assistant Director of the State University of New York Maritime College's Stephen B. Luce Library which specializes in nautical research. Currently, he is the Deputy Director of the Greenwich Library (CT). Joseph has published in the fields of maritime history and librarianship including articles in scholarly journals, popular sea history magazines, trade publications, and chapters in anthologies. His work has also been presented at national and regional conferences and symposia. His first book, Four Years Before the Mast, is a history of Maritime College, the nation's oldest maritime training school. His second book, Seventeen Fathoms Deep, is an action-packed narrative of the 1927 submarine S-4 disaster.

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