The death toll told its own story. Of 506 passengers on board La Bourgogne only 70 were rescued, as compared with 103 members of the crew out of a total of 220. Only three of the La Bourgogne’s eighteen officers survived, indicating that they at least had remained faithful to their responsibilities. Most telling of all is that only one woman survived and none of the children on board. Later reports, which may or may not have been true, indicated that crew members had stabbed passengers in the water, or had beaten them away with oars, to avoid the lifeboats being swamped. Public indignation was so high that La Bourgogne’s surviving crew members needed police protection when they landed at New York to save them from being lynched.
Terrible as the Titanic’s loss may have been, her crew had nothing to reproach itself with in her final agony. The same cannot be said of La Bourgogne’s and their name will live in infamy.
Start the 8-volume Dawlish Chronicles series of novels with the chronologically earliest:
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“Once again, maybe Vanner’s best! Just a really good book!”
“I have to say, I love this series. I wait for each new book and I read it as soon as it comes out, and it never disappoints. This is such a rich area of naval history that has rarely been visited, and Vanner is an extremely capable writer. I love the way he weaves his story around actual events, and I also love the way he acknowledges and embraces the impacts of technology on recent history, especially naval history. Finally, I just have to say that Vanner, as a writer, just keeps getting better. He was good at the start, but now his prose is lucid, succinct, and crisp, muscular where needed, delicate when that’s required, and all in all extremely readable and enjoyable. If you haven’t read any other books in the series, don’t worry. Like other really good writers of serial fiction, Vanner makes each book stand easily on its own. So don’t hesitate, dive on in. You’ll enjoy the read!”
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The Dawlish Chronicles – now up to eight volumes, and counting …
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