In April 1945, as allied bombs reduced Hamburg to rubble, Otto Heine is press-ganged into the German navy & finds himself aboard the battleship Hindenberg, under orders to sail to America in one of the Reich's last attempts to reclaim the upper hand in the war. Captain Erich Bach & most of his crew believe their mission is to shell Washington but another officer & Otto know that many of the shells on board are dummies full of gold. When Hitler commits suicide there is mutiny & Otto thinks he can beach the ship in Greenland & escape with the treasure. But the elements, lack of seamanship & shortage of fuel means only he gets away with his life, leaving the ship & its secrets in the ice. Now, 55 years later, an entrepreneur is determined to free the great battleship & turn it into a floating theme park. This news spurs Otto into action, believing he can at last lay hands on the gold, & it brings out the German government's lawyers who believe the ship is rightly theirs. Unknown to anyone else it also propels another player into the frame: Erich Bach's grandson, who is determined to fulfil his grandfather's last orders - to shell Washington.
John Watson started his career in advertising as a messenger boy and has recently sold his 100 million turnover company to an American corporation. He lives in Sussex with his wife and young daughter.