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Convoy
: Merchant Sailors at War 1939-1945

Author: Philip Kaplan, Jack Currie
Hardcover
224 pages (July 1998)
United States Naval Inst.;
ISBN: 1557501378 ;
Dimensions (in inches): 0.93 x 10.14 x 10.13

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Table of Contents

Merchantmen
The Merchant Sailor
Hunters
Will she Starve?
Liberty Ships
The Hunted
Tanker
Rollers
Tramp
Corvette
Run to the Red Star
Jack Currie's Atlantic Passage
Malta
Normandy
A Cadet's Story

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com
An often overlooked aspect of World War II was the battle waged night and day by those who served not on warships, but on merchant ships pressed into wartime duty. Convoy: Merchant Sailors at War puts a sharp focus on merchant sailors from the British Merchant Navy, the American Merchant Marine, and the Canadian Merchant Navy, and through copious use of photographs, paintings, wartime posters, and maps, tells the story of the merchantmen who fought the epic Battle of the Atlantic. The survival of the Allies depended on supplies flowing from North America to Europe; the desperation of the early years of the war, and the story of how the tide was slowly turned, is well presented in the book. As the coauthors are both British, the book tends to focus on English sailors, but the personal accounts of veterans of wartime merchant service transcends national boundaries. Life onboard the ships is well documented, and of particular interest is a photographic tour of the Jeremiah O'Brien, an American Liberty Ship which has been restored to its wartime condition. The text is organized thematically, dealing with particular classes of ships as well as with particular aspects (such as the role of air cover) of the Allied campaign to sweep the oceans of the dreaded U-boats. --Robert McNamara

Book Description
The men of the American, British, and Canadian merchant marine are the forgotten heroes of the long and costly Battle of the Atlantic. From their first casualty in September 1939 to the last on VE Day in May 1945, nearly 50,000 men of the Allied merchant service lost their lives to Axis torpedoes, bombs, and guns. This stunning portrait, first published in 1998, pays tribute to their all-important role.

In both words and pictures, the book calls attention to the men who won this victory. Rare photographs, paintings, and memorabilia convey an impression of the dangers faced by the seamen in the stormy North Atlantic, the ice-fields of North Cape and the Barents Sea, and the vast expanses of the Pacific. The text draws on unpublished memoirs of the men who sailed in the convoys, including those who survived days adrift in lifeboats and faced U-boat torpedoes and Luftwaffe bombs. Convoys were the lifeline of the Allied war effort, and this account is an evocative and moving reminder of just how much we owe the ordinary seaman. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

The men of the British Merchant Navy, the American Merchant Marine, and the Canadian Merchant Navy, were the largely forgotten heroes of what was the longest, as well as one of the bitterest and most costly, campaigns of the Second World War. They suffered their first casualties on the day war was declared, 3 September 1939, when the liner Athenia was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland, and their last on 7 May 1945, the eve of VE Day, when two ships were sunk by a U-boat in Scotland's Pentland Firth. This book is a tribute in words and pictures to the ships and the men who made victory possible. The many rare photographs, paintings and memorabilia which the authors have assembled convey an unforgettable impression of the desperate dangers faced by seamen in some of the most lonely and terrible places on earth - the storm-tossed waters of the North Atlantic, the ice-fields of North Cape and the Barents Sea, the vast, empty expanses of the Pacific and the Southern Oceans. The accompanying text draws upon the unpublished memoirs of those who sailed in the convoys, who survived days adrift in lifeboats and who faced, again and again, the torpedoes of the U-boats and the bombs of the Luftwaffe.



CONVOY : Merchant Sailors at War 1939-1945

 

by Philip Kaplan and Jack Currie

The men of the American, British, and Canadian merchant marine are the forgotten heroes of the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest and one of the most bitter and costly campaigns of World War II. From their first casualty in September 1939 to the last on VE Day in May 1945, nearly 50,000 men of the Allied merchant services lost their lives to Axis torpedoes, bombs, and guns. This stunning portrait pays tribute to their all-important role. It details some of the most vivid and desperate actions performed by the convoys--contributions that helped win the war, because without the movement of supplies the Allies could not have carried out their missions. As the authors point out, it is unlikely Britain could have survived the early years of the war without the goods and materials brought by the merchant marine, and Russia would never have been able to fight against Hitler without the Allied influx of arms and food.

In words and pictures, this book calls attention to the men who won this victory. Rare photographs, paintings, and memorabilia convey an impression of the dangers faced by these seamen in the stormy North Atlantic, the ice-fields of North Cape and the Barents Sea, as well as the vast expanses of the Pacific. The text draws on unpublished memoirs of men who sailed in the convoys, including those who survived days adrift in lifeboats and faced U-boat torpedoes and Luftwaffe bombs. Convoys were the lifeline of the Allied war effort, and Convoy is an evocative and moving reminder of just how much we owe the ordinary seamen whose contribution to victory has, too often, been forgotten.

 

Philip Kaplan, a publications art director and author of several books on World War II, lives in Wales with his wife, novelist Margaret Mayhew.

 

Jack Currie, who died shortly after completing this book, was one of Britain's leading military writers and a former RAF pilot.

 

224 pages, 232 photos

118 in color. Bibliography. Index

10 x 10

isbn  : 1557501378 

 

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