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Ahoy Matey Forget Football – Learn About the High Seas and Famous Ships


Sunday Talks at the Stratford Library Returns

Speaker Bill Preinitz Offers Four Talks September 12th – October 24th
Zoom with us on Sunday September 12th at 2 p.m.

The Stratford Library will begin the new season of its popular “Sunday Afternoon Talks” series of informative and entertaining talks featuring prominent local guest speakers with four historic talks beginning Sunday, September 12th.

The talks, presented on the Zoom format by Bill Preinitz, are free and open to the public.

“Pursuit & Sinking of the Battleship KMS Bismarck”
Guest speaker: Bill Preinitz
Sunday, September 12th
On Zoom 2 p.m.

The KMS Bismarck, a battleship 800 feet long, 50,900 tons fully loaded, with 8 15-inch main guns and a 16 4.1 secondary gun battery was the most powerful ship afloat in the Atlantic, and indeed, the world at the time of its first deployment. Accompanied by the heavy cruiser KMS Prinz Eugen, she lay waiting in a Norwegian fjord north of Bergen, for her chance to breakout into the vital convoy routes of the North Atlantic. Commanded by Admiral Gunther Lutjens, leader of the successful sorties of the KMS Scharnhorst and KMS Gneisenau earlier in the war, she was a grave threat to Britain’s supply chain to America.

The disastrous Battle of the Greenland Straits, which cost the British their largest ship, the battle cruiser HMS Hood, and crippled the new battleship HMS Prince of Wales, sent the entire Royal Navy a shocking message. As the Royal Navy sought to bring the Bismarck to a reckoning, a series of almost incredibly improbable events played themselves out on the stage of the gray North Atlantic!

“Ships for Liberty-The Revolutionary Vessel that Saved the Allies”
Guest speaker: Bill Preinitz
Sunday, September 19th
On Zoom 2 pm

Simply and quickly built, lacking many crew amenities, the Liberty ship was the “Ugly Duckling” of the Battle of the Atlantic. The Liberty design was conceived in response to an early recognized problem of a worldwide shortage of medium size general purpose cargo ships. Their direct ancestor was the World War I Hog Island freighter design. The Liberties were the first ship to be built using assembly line technology. They were thus assembled from components that were produced at a distance from the shipyard’s ways, in some case hundreds of miles from the ocean. By the end of 1942, these components had so grown in size and complexity that finally their only constraints were the dimensions of the railroad tunnels and the carrying capacity of key bridges across the U.S.! They fundamentally changed shipbuilding philosophy and so played a critical role in sustaining the vital flow of war material in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Prefabrication, simplified designs, and rigidly enforced production line methods allowed the US to fully replace the catastrophic losses of the early war period. Later modified into no less than 8 major variants, the Liberties consistently fulfilled the ever-changing
requirements of a global war.

Bill Preinitz is a Chicago native currently residing in Weston. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Finance, and an M.B.A. from Northern Illinois University. His career began with a brisk and transformative experience in the U.S. Army and has, subsequently, held management roles in consumer banking and publishing in Chicago.

A job relocation to Manhattan led to an over 25-year long investment banking career. After retiring eight years ago, he immediately authored two books and has a special focus on the history of Rome, the American Civil War and World War II. He has also been a guest speaker at Weston Public Library on various international/military/security topics. The upcoming schedule for October at the Stratford Library includes:

“Early Anglo-Saxon Britain & Royal Ship Burial”
Guest speaker: Bill Preinitz
Sunday, October 17th
On Zoom 2 p.m. (Also simulcast in Lovell Room)

“The Treasures of Sutton Hoo & Current Investigations”
Guest speaker: Bill Preinitz
Sunday, October 24th
On Zoom 2 p.m. (Also simulcast in Lovell Room)


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