1st.ed., 1959. 256 pp., 8 photo-plates. D.j. 22 x 15cm. Label with earlier owner’s name on (blank) front free-paper. A tear to d.j. (now in protective sleeve) o/w V.G. On Monday, June 17th, 1940, the Cunard liner LANCASTRIA was lying off St. Nazaire with more than 9,000 troops packed into every available space waiting to be carried to safety. Later that day the ship was attacked by German aircraft, struck by bombs, turned over in the shallow waters and sank. It was a maritime disaster of the first magnitude and many acts of heroism and fortitude were played out that day. This is the first full account of the "best kept secret of the war", in which the author begins by following the army units across France to St. Nazaire, and recalling the fortunes of a number of survivors. The loss of life aboard the liner was at least equal to the combined losses of the TITANIC (1513) and LUSITANIA (c.1200). A much-loved and familiar sight on the Mersey was lost under the most tragic of circumstances. This is the first full account of the disaster, published in 1959.