A mystery has lingered for almost 70 years about a unique sea battle in World War II - the only encounter between a German and an American surface vessel in that war. From official documents on each side - a German raider and a U.S. merchant marine supply ship - the location and outcome of the battle are clear: the sank each other in the South Atlantic on September 27, 1942. But what were they doing there, and how did this encounter change the course of the war? The hero on the American side was a 19-year-old cadet of the U.S. Merchant Marine, and he is honored with a statue at King's Point, Long Island - the first casualty of the Academy. This book puts his heroism into context, in a story that literally spans the globe.