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History World War I

The Dangerous Harbour

Revealing the Unknown Ships and Wrecks of the Halifax Explosion

by (author) Bob Chaulk

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
World War I, History, Canada
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price

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Scuba diver and author of Atlantic's Last Stop uses records and personal experience to examine the vessels in Halifax Harbour on the day of the 1917 Explosion to uncover what happened that day — and why.

On the morning of December 6, 1917, ships and boats were in constant movement in Halifax Harbour. The First World War was in its fourth year and Halifax, the closest mainland North American naval port to Europe, was feeling its effect.

At 8:45 A.M., the SS Mont-Blanc and the SS Imo collided. Minutes later, a powerful explosion devastated the city. Not only were homes and businesses devastated and civilians killed; when the explosion occurred, there were roughly two hundred vessels in the harbour, from warships to fishing schooners, coming and going with people and goods that had to get to Europe to support the war. Some were destroyed, ending up at the bottom of the harbour. Of the nearly two thousand people who lost their lives that day, hundreds were sailors and others associated with those ships.

Using primary historical records and drawing on the author's personal experience of more than twelve hundred dives in Halifax Harbour, The Dangerous Harbour: Revealing the Unknown Ships and Wrecks of the Halifax Explosion examines who was on the harbour that day and what became of the vessels in the vicinity of the explosion. With twenty black-and-white images, including many underwater photos, The Dangerous Harbour examines what happened to those ships and sailors and explores what actually happened on the day of the Halifax Explosion – and why.

About the author

Bob Chaulk is the historian for the SS Atlantic Heritage Park, and the recognized authority on the SS Atlantic disaster. He is the author of five books about Atlantic Canada’s marine history. With Greg Cochkanoff, he co-authored SS Atlantic: The White Star Line's First Disaster at Sea, which won three literary awards. An avid scuba diver, Bob has done more than fifty dives on the wreck of the Atlantic, which gives him a unique perspective on this important piece of Canadian history.

Bob Chaulk's profile page

Editorial Reviews

The Dangerous Harbour is an excellent reference for those looking for more information about the ships in the harbour that fateful day: when they arrived, where they came from, what they carried, where they were bound, and what ultimately became of them and the sailors associated with those ships.

Atlantic Books Today

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