Welcome to the Athenia Website
The passenger liner Athenia was torpedoed on 3 September 1939 - the very day that France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. No warning was given and the submarine took no action to help the surviving passengers. There was an international outrage as this kind of attack breached International agreements about submarine warfare.
The Nazi regime denied responsibility and blamed Churchill - not that anyone believed them; the full truth emerged during the Nuremberg Trials of major war criminals that took place in 1945-6.
In 1939, the public's only sources of information were newspapers and the radio so, in telling the story, I have used contemporary press cuttings and witness statements to provide a picture of what ordinary people would have known at the time. I also have included detailed information about the preparation for the International War Crimes Tribunal and evidence of the fate of Athenia from the trial transcripts.
The various pages about Athenia can be accessed from the Content tab on the menu and I suggest you view them in order starting with Introduction. Also from the menu you can find out more about the site, provide feedback, view the visitors book and access search facilities.
6 April 2020