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Survivors of Enemy Action (Hardback)

Experiences of Merchant Seamen, 1939–1945

Maritime > Merchant Shipping Military P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII

By Bernard Edwards
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 16 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399042208
Published: 18th May 2023

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The war years 1939 – 1945 were the most perilous in the long history of the British Merchant Navy. The figures speak for themselves. With 2,535 ships sunk and 36,749 merchant seamen lost, the proportional casualty rate was higher than any branch of the Armed Forces except for Bomber Command.

The danger to the lightly armed merchant ships came from enemy air attacks, surface warships, raiders and, of course submarines. Prisoners were seldom taken so the crews of stricken vessels had to fend for themselves. Those who survived enemy action faced death by drowning, exposure and lack of food and water.

Compiled mainly from experiences related direct to the author, this inspiring book draws on first-hand accounts of the lucky few who survived. With extraordinary honesty and modesty their stories describe the events leading up to the enemy attack, the actions and the aftermath.

Readers will be struck by the courage and fortitude of these men who often suffered extreme hardship and privation. Too many died before reaching land or being rescued. These men are without doubt the unsung heroes of the Second World War and this fine book is an overdue recognition of their sacrifices and courage.

"I never fail to be struck by the courage and fortitude of the men of the Merchant Navy who often suffered extreme hardship and privation...Without doubt these unsung heroes of hostilities are now well commemorated with recognition of their sacrifices and courage."

Seagull - The Journal of the Indian Maritime Foundation - Nov 2023 - Jan 2024, Vol. 28 No.115

"So, the book is highly recommended to fill in that knowledge gap some of us may have. It is accompanied by a useful glossary, a complete index and several photos that may be new to readers."

Read the full review here.

The Naval Review
 Bernard Edwards

About Bernard Edwards

Bernard Edwards pursued a sea-going career commanding ships trading worldwide. After nearly forty years afloat. Captain Edwards settled in a tiny village in rural South Wales, to pursue his second career as a writer. His extensive knowledge of the sea and ships has enabled him to produce many authentic and eminently readable books which have received international recognition. Beware Raiders!, Attack and Sink!, The Cruel Sea Retold, The Quiet Heroes, Twilight of the U-Boats, Death in the Doldrums, The Road to Russia, The Wolf Packs Gather, The Decoys and U-boats Beyond Biscay have been published by Pen and Sword Books.

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