A Damned Un-English Weapon

Jim Thesing has taken the little known story of the first major submarine battle of World War One and turned it into a powerful historical novel. It would make a wonderful adventure movie!”

– Martin Sheen

I loved this book. Jim Thesing has taken us to sea at a critical turning point in the history of warfare, when navies first realized the effectiveness of undersea warfare. The introduction of submarines, like any new technology, was initially greeted by skepticism and doubt. Then, with the shock of recognition, all the rules changed. The portrayal of British and German naval officers in this tightly constructed novel puts a human face on the historical facts. Their stories capture the triumphs and the moral ambiguities of the emerging new world of merciless combat that was to dominate the twentieth century. The author’s meticulous research will satisfy the most demanding naval history buff, but I suspect that anyone who appreciates a rousing tale will find it as engaging as I did.”

– Gary Sick
Captain, USN (ret.)
Columbia University

“U-9 is an undeniable success. It has politics, emotions, war strategy, romance, and battle scenes fraught with tension. It brings together the best aspects of fact and fiction to tell an incredible story of an important (yet not frequently discussed) moment in the world’s history. Thesing does a wonderful job of describing life aboard these vessels and of highlighting the ups and tragic downs of war. I am so glad I read this book, and you will be, too.”

– San Francisco Book Review

“Well‐documented history flows effortlessly in this work of fiction, making it seem more like an account of historical events. The easy to understand, conversational writing style makes this novel highly readable – will be of interest to scholars and general readers alike. Overall quality prose; this expert writer brings life to a story that deserves to be told by way of the men involved. A highly engaging and informative work of fiction.”

– Penn Book Review

“There’s battle, glory, death, victory and defeat in spades. Much of the novel’s appeal is in its documentation of the great naval battles of WWI, particularly the day in September 1914 when a lone German U-boat felled three British cruisers. History buffs, particularly those with a passion for the sea, will enjoy this in-depth look at the early days of submarine warfare.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“The author has crafted a wonderful fictional account of the German U-boat arm during the period between July and August 1914. The climactic moment within the book is the sinking of the three old Royal Navy cruisers, HMS AboukirHMS Cressy, and HMS Hogue, by the German submarine SMS U-9. The story is told through the thoughts and deeds of both German and British naval officers and their families and gives the reader a feel for the attitudes of the day as Europe first drifts into World War I and then becomes engaged in warfare at sea.”

– Naval History Book Reviews