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The Sound of Music endeared Georg von Trapp (1880-1947) and his singing family to the world, and it also showed us how desperately the Nazis wanted Captain von Trapp for their navy. In To the Last Salute we learn why. Trapp's own story of his exploits as a submarine commander during the First World War is as exciting as it is instructive, bringing to stirring life a little-known chapter in the naval history of that war. In his many guises Trapp describes life as captain of Austro-Hungarian U-boats in the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, emerging by turn as the Imperial Austrian naval officer, the witty observer of international politics, and the indefatigable and ultimately heartbroken patriot opposing the Allied enemy. He relates deadly duels with submarine sweepers, narrow escapes and excruciatingly close calls, and the spectacular sinking of cargo and war ships-all the while maintaining a keen sense of the camaraderie of seamen from every corner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A picture of a lost time, a portrait of a remarkable character, a window on early submarine warfare: Trapp's story, in English for the first time, offers a rare combination of human interest, historical insight, and true life-and-death adventure.
Elizabeth M. Campbell is the granddaughter of Georg von Trapp. A graduate of Middlebury College, she is the director of annual giving and communications at the Cotting School in Lexington, Massachusetts. Campbell lives outside Boston with her two children and their dog.