Book Review of
Attack on Orleans
On the morning of July 21, 1918–in the final year of the First World War–a new prototype of German submarine surfaced three miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The vessel attacked an unarmed tugboat and its four barges. A handful of the shells fired by the U-boat’s deck guns struck Nauset Beach, giving the modest town of Orleans the distinction of being the only spot in the United States to receive enemy fire during the entire war. On land, lifesavers from the U.S. Coast Guard launched a surfboat under heavy enemy fire to save the sailors trapped aboard the tug and barges. In the air, seaplanes from the Chatham Naval Air Station dive-bombed the enemy raider with payloads of TNT. Author Jake Klim chronicles the attack from the first shell fired to the aftermath and celebrates the resilience of Orleans at war.
As you see the title of this book Attack on Orleans, you may be first thinking of New Orleans, but no this is about the attack Orleans, Massachusetts. Yes, in World War I, there was a submarine off the coast of New England.
This book was not the best written. There maybe better books out there about this attack, but the story was great. I enjoy weird World War I stories. If you want a better World War I story, you may want to check out The Polar Bear Expedition. But if you looking for a World War I story about the Navy and the home front, you will want to check out this story either through this book or one like it.
And if you live in Orleans, you may already know this story and if you do, share your thoughts with us about what book is best to read about it.