The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism


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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - The riveting, tick-tock account of the largest manmade explosion in history prior to the atomic bomb, and the equally astonishing tales of survival and heroism that emerged from the ashes , from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author John U. Bacon After steaming out of New York City on December 1, 1917, laden with a staggering three thousand tons of TNT and other explosives, the munitions ship Mont-Blanc fought its way up the Atlantic coast, through waters prowled by enemy U-boats. As it ...

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Jan 19, 2019

Importance of 1917 Event in 2019

After a stop in Halifax on a Road Scholar program this past summer, I wanted to know more about the largest human generated explosion prior to the bombs being dropped on Japan almost 30 years later. I decided to start with John U. Bacon's book published in 2017.
The way Bacon weaves the story of the collision and explosion involving the French ship Mont Blanc and the Imo, a Norwegian captained ship, around the lives of individuals and families living in the Halifax harbor area is a way of making the event personal. In doing so, he provides insight into Canada's involvement in WWI, the importance of the port of Halifax to commerce in general and to WWI shipping of soldiers, equipment, and arms specifically, and a glimpse into family and community life in Halifax in the early 20th century.
I found the book very readable and engaging. Since the scope is from pre-explosion to post-recovery, it is a very good introduction to one of North America's least known disasters over the past 150 years. I want to read more and would guess you would also after reading "The Great Halifax Explosion".

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