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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 208

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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson is a nonfiction novel about the Lusitania, an ocean liner that was headed to Liverpool from New York in 1915. The ship had many passengers on board, and they were anxious because Germany had claimed territory over the waters that surrounded Britain. Despite this, William Thomas Turner, the ship’s captain, believed that he could prevent any conflict because of his experience in similar situations. Even more, he did not think that the Germans would attack, because the vessel carried women and children. Besides, the ocean liner was one of the fastest ships of that time. However, the determination by the Germans to rule the seas surrounding Britain led to the disaster.

The story reveals how British intelligence secretly monitored a German U-boat that was tasked with sinking the Lusitania. In the book, the author narrates the events that led to the sinking of the Lusitania. He discusses the history of the ship and the signs of war in Europe at that time. According to Larson, sinking the vessel was beneficial to the Germans, as it was one of the largest ships and it carried carried many passengers. Moreover, the ship was loaded with several tons of ammunition.