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Debut Novel Captures Little-Known Flashpoint in Naval History

Written by Jim Thesing, ‘U-9: A Damned Un-English Weapon’ is a riveting new release in historical fiction. Through meticulous research, the author has re-constructed a moment in time that horrified a beleagured country and reverberated through history for years to come. With Thesing’s eye for detail, readers will taste the salt spray on their faces, feel the clutch of panic in their bellies, and smell the burning vessels. Called an ‘undeniable success’ by the San Francisco Book Review, ‘U-9: A Damned Un-English Weapon’ is one novel to watch.


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/31/2014 -- In the pre-dawn light of a September morning in 1914, a single German submarine torpedoed three British armored cruisers. In an instant, 1,500 men perished.

“Until that moment, almost no one knew that submarines existed,” says Jim Thesing, author of new book, ‘U-9: A Damned Un-English Weapon’ from Merriam Press. “Suddenly, the whole notion of ‘Britannia ruling the waves’ was called into question. There was complete and utter terror.”

In ‘U-9: A Damned Un-English Weapon’, Thesing paints a searing and gripping portrait of a nation at war, and the complex series of events that led to the three warships sinking into the sea. Drawing from actual memoirs from World War I British and German naval officers, readers of Thesing’s novel will feel like flies on the wall during a chaotic and thrilling time in history.

Early one morning in September 1914, a new and terrible weapon changed naval warfare forever. On that morning, a single primitive German submarine sank three British armored cruisers, killing nearly 1,500 men. Up to that moment, few people knew submarines even existed. Overnight, terror swept England. At the beginning of the First World War, England's Royal Navy had the greatest fleet of warships the world had ever seen. Suddenly, because of one submarine's successful attack, the Royal Navy's supremacy was in question. Savage criticism rained down on the First Lord of the Admiralty, a young gentleman named Winston Churchill. People are interested in events that changed the world, but few people know of this incident. It is a story that deserves to be told. With the approach of the centennial of World War I, now is the time to tell this story. Although this book is a work of fiction, it hews closely to historical events. Many of the people and most of the action described are based on memoirs written by participants in the 1920s.

Since its publication, the book has earned glowing reviews, including one from a notable actor.
“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!” wrote Martin Sheen.

The San Francisco Book Review wrote: “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.”

“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,” wrote Gary Sick, Captain, USN (ret.) Columbia University

“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,” wrote Mike Gardner in the Penn Book Review.

‘U-9: A Damned Un-English Weapon’ is available now from Amazon: http://amzn.to/MvZYhp

About Jim Thesing
Jim Thesing has spent much of his career in theatre administration, with roles ranging from Off-Broadway producer and general manager to executive director of a national association of regional theatres. He has also been a college professor and television quiz show writer, receiving an Emmy nomination while writing for Jeopardy. These day jobs have not prevented Jim from pursuing his passion for naval history. His hobbies include sailing and playing ragtime piano. He lives with his wife in New York City.

For more information, visit: http://www.jimthesing.com