Map of Berlin 1919
This map is a useful guide to the reader to help understand where much of the action in Over Here takes place. These include: Police Headquarters (now high priced condos), Grand Central Station, Morgan Bank (the scene of the book’s climax), Times Square (which looks much different today), and the Upper East and West Sides. Although the footprint, streets, and many of the buildings in Manhattan are as they were in 1916, there have been changes, particularly along the rivers where landfill and modern engineering have added land. The dock area usage has changed greatly over time. Please note the location of Madison Square Garden (MSG) on 4th (now officially Avenue of the Americas) although New Yorkers still call it 4th Avenue. The current MSG now sites above the current Penn Station as the building that existed in 1916 was torn down.
This map accurately depicts New York harbor as it was in 1916. The United Stated presented a more detailed map to the Mixed Claims Commission, set up after World War One to settle claim from the war, to support its claim against Germany. America alleged that German agents blew up Black Tom Island and the Commission agreed and awarded America $50 million in damages. Germany finally settled after World War Two. Please note the many differences to the current harbor. Black Tom Island’s piers and loading areas no longer jut into the harbor. It is now part of Liberty Park, New Jersey. Many of the railroad lines are no longer in use or have been torn down. Through the use of landfill and modern engineering, Lower Manhattan now extends further into the water. For example, the site of the World Trade Center would have been in the river in 1916. The location of the final chase scene, Caarsens final demise, is a bit south and slightly east of Battery Park in the direction of Governor’s Island.
HN Books is now offering,” Over Here” . Over Here promises a suspense thriller, well founded in historical fact. Over Here draws parallels with 9/11 and other events in the contemporary war on terror, while describing crucial but little-known aspects of U.S. involvement in World War One.
World War I explodes onto the streets of New York in Over Here, an historical thriller by James Hockenberry. SERGEANT GIL MARTIN of the city’s elite Bomb Squad battles an extensive and well-financed German clandestine war designed to stop the flow of American goods and money to the Allies. His main adversary is DANIE CAARSENS, a former Boer weapons and explosives expert whose remaining purpose in life is revenge against his old enemy Great Britain. Caught between them is the pacifist German-American businessman, JOHN WITTIG, whose inside knowledge of Morgan Bank secrets is coveted by German agents.
Action moves from New York Harbor and across Manhattan to the power centers of Washington and Berlin. The stakes mount when German saboteurs bomb American munitions ships and factories. Meanwhile, Caarsens foments labor unrest among African-American workers, operates a German-financed company that disrupts the U.S. munitions industry, and attempts to assassinate a prominent government official. His greatest success occurs when he blows up Black Tom Island, a major munitions depot behind the Statue of Liberty. The action culminates as Caarsens attacks Wall Street with bombs and poison gas in a desperate attempt to destroy and terrorize America’s financial center, with Martin hot on his heels.
German saboteurs actually destroyed Black Tom Island on July 30, 1916 in an explosion that reached 5.5 on the Richter Scale. It was the largest terrorist attack by foreign agents on U.S. soil before the tragedy of 9/11. Well founded in historical fact, Over Here draws parallels with 9/11 and other events in the contemporary war on terror, while describing crucial but little-known aspects of U.S. involvement in World War I.