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The Decoys (Hardback)

A Tale of Three Atlantic Convoys, 1942


By Bernard Edwards
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 184
ISBN: 9781473887084
Published: 4th October 2016


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In November 1942, Britain and America launched Operation TORCH, the ambitious invasion of French North African colonies of Morocco and Algeria. 
To convey 70,000 troops and their equipment required 350 merchant ships crossing the U-boat infested North Atlantic from the USA and 250 more sailing south from British ports. The need for a high level of protection for these meant withdrawing large numbers of escorts from the routine trade convoys.  Amongst those left without adequate defence were RB 1 and SC 107, both eastbound from America, and SL 125, northbound from Freetown.  All three were at sea at the same time as the TORCH convoys.
Predictably, Admiral Donitz threw the full weight of his 140 Atlantic U-boat fleet against the now vulnerable trade convoys, which between them lost thirty-one ships and 792 men. While this unprecedented massacre was in progress, the troop-carrying convoys slipped miraculously through entirely without incident.

There is nothing on record to say that RB 1, SC 107 and SL 125 were sacrificed to ensure the safe passage of the TORCH convoys but this superbly researched book sets out to examine the truth behind the rumours.

Review by Fraser McKee
Etobicoke, Ontario

... it is worth the addition to any Battle of the Atlantic bookshelf.

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord has published Vol. XXX, No. 2, the Summer 2020

Bernard Edwards has looked into the details of what happened to the three “decoy” convoys, with the aim of determining whether or not the perception may be true. He has followed the progress of each, using personal memories on the Allied side and the German U-boat command diaries

The Naval Review, May 2017 - reviewed by RICHARD CHANNON

There is nothing on record to say that RB 1. SC 107 and SL 125 were sacrificed to ensure the safe passage of the TORCH convoys but this superbly researched book sets out to examine the truth behind the rumours.

Liss and District RNA

With all the thousands of books published since 1945 about WWII, it seems impossible that any incident has escaped close attention from
every possible angle. Here is a book to prove that there is much still to emerge. The author has made a first rate job of researching his
subject and presenting a convincing account with credible conclusions. It is a contentious set of topics and an enthralling story. Strongly Recommended.

Read the full review here.


A superbly researched book that sets out to examine the truth behind the rumours.

Ton Class Association
 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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