The Fighting Commodores: Convoy Commanders in the Second World War - Alan BurnLondon: Leo Cooper, 1999, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little spotting to the edges of the text block.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Maps; List of sources; Glossary;
From the cover: “So much has been written about the great land campaigns of the Second World War that it is easy to forget, if indeed many people today are even aware of the fact, that the nearest Great Britain came to defeat had nothing whatsoever to do with either the British Army or the Royal Air Force. The country was simply on the verge of running out of supplies. There are certainly advantages in being ‘a precious stone set in a silver sea’, but an island Kingdom depends upon its maritime trade to survive and when merchant ships are being sunk quicker than they can be replaced, the moment of crisis can not be far away.
This was indeed the situation for month after month during the second and third years of the war and, had the tide not been turned in the nick of time, the country would have been reduced to starvation and the Army and Air Force would have withered on the branch. Indeed Winston Churchill himself was later to write: ‘The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril’.
The task of seeing that the merchant ships which carried the vital supplies reached their destinations fell largely on the shoulders of the Convoy Commanders, who were mostly senior but retired Naval officers who had volunteered to return to duty and it is their story which Alan Burn, who sailed on many such convoys, tells in this book.
It is a remarkable story and a worthy but long overdue tribute to those very brave men who had in peacetime enjoyed all the privileges of their exalted rank and now, all too often, found themselves cooped up in some ‘dirty British coaster’. But for them it is indeed questionable whether we could have survived.”