In 1916, a three-masted windjammer bearing Norwegian colours sailed out of a quiet anchorage in Germany, loaded with cargo and apparently bound for Australia. Her true mission was quite different.
The ship was, in fact, the SMS Seeadler, commanded by swashbuckling German aristocrat Felix von Luckner. Over an epic voyage, he used cunning and deception to destroy fourteen merchant ships, all the while evading the utterly foxed and infuriated British Admiralty in a daring game of cat and mouse.
This rip-roaring World War I story depicts a life of espionage, counterespionage and piracy of the most gentlemanly kind.
Sam Jefferson is a journalist and maritime historian, and is one of the leading authorities on the clipper ship era. He is a former Deputy Editor of Sailing Today, and writes regularly for Classic Boat, Sailing Today and Traditional Boats and Tall Ships. He is the author of Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail, Sea Fever, and Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic, all published by Bloomsbury.