The U-Boat in Newport Harbor

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 4:04pm -- lwhite

The 2018 Spring Life of the Mind Salon Series continues with historian Brian L. Wallin, as he shares the story of German submarine Bremen that made a surprise visit to the Newport Navy Base in October of 1916 and the events that immediately followed. In the Fall of 1916, the United States was clinging to its neutrality as much of the rest of the world was deeply embroiled in World War One. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm hoped to keep the U.S. out of the war and still retain the ability to purchase needed goods and materials from America. The giant German merchant submarine Deutschland had already made one successful round trip to Baltimore in the summer of 1916, bringing back much needed items (and would then make a second trip calling in New London, Connecticut). A second transport sub, the Bremen, was dispatched in October of 1916 but never arrived from its journey across the Atlantic. It was to be escorted by the submarine U-53, under the command of Kapitanleutnant Hans Rose. But, Rose also had been given a secondary mission by the Kaiser: to let the Americans see what they might be up against if they faced off against Germany’s advanced undersea technology.

Brian L. Wallin is a frequent lecturer to audiences across the state on aspects of Rhode Island history. He writes for specialty publications and is a contributing author to the on line journal of Rhode Island history, He is the co-author of World War Two Rhode Island, a book about the war’s impact on the Ocean State, published by the History Press. 

A wine and cheese reception is held at 5:30 pm, followed by the salon at 6:00 pm. Free for Members; $10 for Non-members. Seating is limited; call 401-847-0292 for reservations or register online below.

Program Type: 
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm