This book draws on official reports, records, and correspondence from the Admiralty records at the British National Archives, as well as Captain Guybon Damant’s unpublished autobiography and other sources, to relate the story of the transatlantic liner Laurentic, which struck two German mines off the coast of Ireland in 1917 and sank. It was carrying 44 tons of gold bullion to the US through Canada, to finance the World War I effort for Britain and its allies. Damant headed the secret salvage effort, but was called off the salvage to lead a team of divers to search through recently sunk German U-boats for ciphers, minefield schematics, and other secrets, which were key in Allied efforts to defeat the U-boats and win the war. Damant returned to the salvage a few years later, and collected almost all of the treasure thought lost. Distributed by Independent Publishers Group. Annotation ©2017 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)Independent Publishing Group
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.