A bolt from the blue which drastically altered

the business of transatlantic migration


HAPAG's Vaterland becomes the USS Leviathan, in camouflage

Hamburg America Line’s 54 thousand ton Vaterland,“Herr Ballin’s latest marvel," was the world’s largest passenger ship when it carried 1,407 second and third/steerage class passengers on its first voyage to New York in May, 1914. Stuck there when World War I broke out, the sketch here depicts the ship after conversion to US Navy troopship Leviathan, with added camouflaging. (Frank Braynard, Leviathan, vol. 1, pp. 1-83).



Effects of the First World War on travel, migration, and migration policies.

Story of the Lusitania.  The tangled origins of the Great War.

See also:  How war's outbreak alterated migration patterns
                The war and the demise of open border policies

                     Other WW I links (to the left above)


“Nothing less than the greatest error of modern history”

-      Niall Ferguson, The Pity of War, p. 462.


“A bolt from the blue" (Ein Blitz aus heiterem Himmel)

-      Erich Murken, Transatlantischen Linienreederei-Verbände, p. 581


“The stupidest of all wars”

-     Albert Ballin, quoted in Emil Ludwig, Juli 14, p. 235.


“Would come out of some foolish thing in the Balkans”

     -    Winston Churchill, The World Crisis, pp. 195-96, quoting 

         Albert Ballin, quoting a prediction of Otto von Bismarck (1815-98)


“The great power confrontation which doomed hopes of quick victory and torpedoed for good a stable North Atlantic of borders open to the basically unfettered relocation of many millions of people.”

      - Drew Keeling, Business of Transatlantic Migration,” pp. 259-60.


                                  This page last updated 31-March-2021