I imagine many of you have seen the movie The Sound of Music. Well, at least people within 10 years of my age certainly have. It was based on a true story of Georg von Trapp. I was recently reading the book “Dead Wake” by Erik Larson about World War I and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, a British oceanliner in 1915. This event helped bring the USA into World War I.
I like history and in reading this book, I found it interesting to see a paragraph with a quote from Captain von Trapp. As you recall from The Sound of Music, he was an Austrian Naval officer who the Nazis were demanding he join the German Navy. Here’s the section which talks about Captain von Trapp:
Off the southeast tip of Italy a young Austrian U-boat commander named Georg von Trapp, later to gain eternal renown when played by Christopher Plummer in the film The Sound of Music, fired two torpedoes into a large French cruiser, the Leon Gambetta. The ship sank in nine minutes, killing 684 sailors. “So that’s what war looks like!” von Trapp wrote in a later memoir. He told his chief officer, “We are like highway men, sneaking up on an unsuspecting ship in such a cowardly fashion.” Fighting in a trench or aboard a torpedo boat would have been better, he said. “There you hear shooting, hear your comrades fall, you hear the wounded groaning-you become filled with rage and can shoot men in self-defense or fear; at an assault you can even yell! But we! Simply cold-blooded to drown a mass of men in an ambush!”