Sunday, March 26, 2017

THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS - Robert Erskine Childers

This is one of the original great spy stories, published in 1903.

Davies is yachting off the Friesland Coast and meets a German who attempts to wreck him on a sandbar.  After this incident Davies contacts his friend Carruthers to come an assist on finding out what is happening in the area.

The two explore the coast and come to believe that Germany is planning to use the area to launch an invasion of Britain.

This is not a James Bond story, its more a sea story but the tension mounts in small increments until the finale.

Erskine  Childers wrote this book in an attempt to alert the British Government to the idea that it was Germany that posed the big threat to Britain rather than France.  In this he was successful and Britain put in place mechanisms to protect its self in the North Sea.

This is highly entertaining, informative and is a classic spy story but not guns, women and wine.

Erskine Childers was an interesting man in his own right, author, soldier and politician.  He was executed by firing squad in 1922  aged 52 for the unlicensed possession of a pistol that had been gifted to him by Michael Collins.  His son Erskine Hamilton Childers served as Ireland's fourth President.

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