Thomas C. Sanger - Author of Without Warning - photo

A Message From the Author

Hello and welcome to my website.  My historical novel, Without Warning, is due to be published August 1 by River Grove Books. Based on actual people and events, Without Warning tells the little-known story of the Athenia’s tragic sinking at the beginning of World War II.  Elsewhere on this site you can read an excerpt, find a brief description of the story, and learn more about the research behind the writing.

I first became interested in writing about Athenia, a British passenger liner sunk by a German U-boat, because my grandmother, Rhoda Thomas, was aboard the ship. Over the years, I found that many people knew of the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a U-boat during World War I, but few had ever heard of Athenia, even though 30 Americans died in that attack, more than two years before Pearl Harbor. In researching the book, I read many inspiring and harrowing accounts written by other survivors and spoke to a handful of them who are still alive. What began as a project to remember my grandmother has become for me an effort to honor the memories of Athenia’s passengers whose heroism and sacrifices have been overshadowed by the war’s greater conflagrations.

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Tom’s Athenia Blog

The Russell Park Story: Where are my Parents? Part 8

Monday 1:00 – 3:00 a.m., September 4 Misty rains came and went throughout the night and into the early morning hours, leaving eleven-year-old Russell Park and his fellow passenger in Lifeboat 7A feeling cold and wet. The combination of leaks in the boat, splashing oars, and salt spray from the cold wind and rising waves... Read More

Russell Park Part 7: On The Lifeboat!

Sunday, 9:10 – 11:00 a.m., September 3 Everything on board Lifeboat 7A seemed chaotic and worrisome to Russell. Seated on the starboard side behind the last cross-bench, he discovered he could reach over the gunwale and put his hand in the cold ocean. He thought it was dangerous for the boat to be riding so... Read More