Welcome to the Athenia Website

The Donaldson Brothers passenger liner Athenia was torpedoed on 3 September 1939 - the same day that France and Great Britain declared war on Germany in 1939. No warning was given before the attack and the submarine took no action to help the surviving passengers. This caused an international outrage as an attack of this kind went against International agreements about submarine warfare. The Nazi regime denied responsibility; the truth of what happened finally emerged during the Nuremberg Trials of major war criminals that took place in 1945-6.

Nowadays we can find out what happened easily by using the internet. In 1939, the public's only sources of information were newspapers and the radio. On this website I explain the reasons for my interest in this topic and have tried to bring together, with press cuttings and witness statements, what ordinary people would have known at the time as events unfolded. I have also included information about the preparation for the International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg, and present the evidence about the fate of Athenia from the trial transcripts.

  • Site Information takes you to pages about Sources and Acknowledgements, why the website was created and copyright information
  • Resources takes you to various pages about Athenia
  • Search takes you to tools to search any or all of the Benjidog Historical Research Resources websites
  • Benjidog Home takes you to the index for all the Benjidog Historical Research Resources websites

Latest update: 29 January 2019 - Website completely rebuilt and restructured and new information added.