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Arctic Convoy PQ8 [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Michael Wadsworth
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Kurzbeschreibung

19. November 2009
When Robert Brundle took the SS Harmatris to Russia with Convoy PQ8 he was 47 years of age. Both ship and master were veterans and had already sailed in convoys across the North Atlantic and to South Africa. The 5,395 ton coal fired ship, laden with 8,000 tons of armaments originally set sail on 27 November 1941 to join convoy PQ6 but encountered a fierce storm in which a lorry broke free in the hold and started a fierce blaze below decks. Despite valiant attempts to extinguish the fire the Harmatris was forced to return to Glasgow for repair. Having discharged its cargo, examined and repaired the holds, it restowed and finally put to sea again on 26 December. She was now to join PQ8 and Brundle was elected Convoy Commodore. Two minesweepers, a cruiser and two destroyers escorted the eight merchant vessels. On 8 January the convoy left Reykjavik bound for Murmansk. Harmatris was struck by two torpedoes in No 1 hold which caused flooding. A third torpedo struck her a few hours later and the crew evacuated to HMS Speedwell in attendance. A volunteer crew reboarded and Speedwell took the wounded ship in tow. During the night the same U Boat that had struck Harmatris sunk the destroyer Matabele with the loss of all but two of her crew. A tug eventually replaced Speedwell and the entire crew now returned to their still stricken vessel. On 18 January the ships were twice attacked by low flying Heinkels. The stricken Harmatris finally berthed in Murmansk at 0800 on 20 January.Once unloaded the battered ship entered dry dock on 10 February. The damage was considerable. In a temperature of 40 degrees below zero the crew set about the repairs. It was difficult to locate engine parts and local labour was scarce. During the following months the crew continued to work on the ship, food was scarce and the port was frequently bombed by the Luftwaffe. Several ships close to Harmatris were sunk. It was 21 July when the ship finally left for Archangel. She took aboard a cargo of 3,000 tons of steel pipes and on 13 September she was instructed to join a convoy of 20 ships, QP14 for her return voyage. On 19 September the minesweeper HMS Leda, steaming close by Harmartris, was torpedoed. The convoy was under almost continuous U Boat attack and suffered six losses.As a result of his heroic efforts to preserve his ship and crew Captain Brundle was awarded the OBE and the Lloyds War Medal. He died in 1960 at the age of 66.

Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 210 Seiten
  • Verlag: Pen & Sword Books (19. November 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1848840519
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848840515
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,6 x 2,5 x 23,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.648.629 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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4.0 von 5 Sternen A remarkable story of survival. 21. Februar 2010
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The dreaded convoys from Great Britain to Russia during WW2 were each given the prefix PQ followed by consecutive numbers beginning with, of course, PQ1. For the return journey, the same number was retained except that PQ became QP. This is the story of one man and his ship which took part in one of the earliest of those convoys - PQ8. These were the most dangerous duties - not only because of the ever present danger of enemy submarines and air attack but also because of the Arctic conditions. In short, even if you did manage to get into a lifeboat, your chances of actually surviving the loss of your ship were virtually nil. A full appreciation of these circumstances go a long way to understanding why the British Merchant Navy lost a higher proportion of their personnel than any of the country’s armed services during WW2. Yes, that is a fact.

Dogged from the outset, the Harmatris originally sailed as part of convoy PQ6 but had to return home after damage and a fire in one of her holds. Duly repaired, she then joined PQ8 with her Master - Captain Robert Brundle, appointed Convoy Commodore. It was 26 December 1941 and one Cruiser, two Destroyers and two Minesweepers escorted the eight merchant ships of that convoy. This was a journey through the gates of Hell with the Harmatris taking no fewer than three direct torpedo hits. Evacuated after the third strike and later re-boarded by her crew, she was taken in tow and finally limped into Murmansk on 20 January 1942 after surviving numerous air attacks during the final leg of that journey. One of the convoy escorts, HMS Matabele, had been lost with only two of her crew surviving.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen A remarkable story of survival. 20. Februar 2010
Von Ned Middleton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The dreaded convoys from Great Britain to Russia during WW2 were each given the prefix PQ followed by consecutive numbers beginning with, of course, PQ1. For the return journey, the same number was retained except that PQ became QP. This is the story of one man and his ship which took part in one of the earliest of those convoys - PQ8. These were the most dangerous duties - not only because of the ever present danger of enemy submarines and air attack but also because of the Arctic conditions. In short, even if you did manage to get into a lifeboat, your chances of actually surviving the loss of your ship were virtually nil. A full appreciation of these circumstances go a long way to understanding why the British Merchant Navy lost a higher proportion of their personnel than any of the country's armed services during WW2. Yes, that is a fact.

Dogged from the outset, the Harmatris originally sailed as part of convoy PQ6 but had to return home after damage and a fire in one of her holds. Duly repaired, she then joined PQ8 with her Master - Captain Robert Brundle, appointed Convoy Commodore. It was 26 December 1941 and one Cruiser, two Destroyers and two Minesweepers escorted the eight merchant ships of that convoy. This was a journey through the gates of Hell with the Harmatris taking no fewer than three direct torpedo hits. Evacuated after the third strike and later re-boarded by her crew, she was taken in tow and finally limped into Murmansk on 20 January 1942 after surviving numerous air attacks during the final leg of that journey. One of the convoy escorts, HMS Matabele, had been lost with only two of her crew surviving.

Dry-docked on 10 February, for the next 5 months the crew of the Harmatris struggled to repair their badly damaged ship whilst having to contend with no parts, no workforce, temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees and constant attacks by the Luftwaffe. Finally loaded with a cargo vital to British wartime industry, it was not until September that she was able to join QP 14 - a convoy of 20 ships for the journey home. Those convoy numbers provide a clue to the frequency of these Arctic convoys.

Just as the journey out had been through the very gates of Hell, so the return was no different with two Destroyers and six Merchant Ships lost with great loss of life.

Captain Brundle was decorated by a grateful nation as well as by Lloyds of London for his heroic actions in preserving his ship and crew - and this is his story from that time in his life. It is an action-packed account of a man who rose to confront each crisis as they were met. At the same time, as odd as it might sound, the story creates (at least for me) the mental image of a quiet man who would have been equally at home with pipe and slippers or, perhaps, pottering about in his greenhouse, as in command of a ship - and even a convoy of ships, at time of war. Such are the attributes of this particular individual that he was able to rise to the each and every occasion when called upon so to do!

182 pages of riveting text plus 40 black and white photographs, glossary, bibliography and index combine to make this an important book which will provide historians with yet another piece to the overall jigsaw of history. Perhaps, more importantly, it is simply a darned good read.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen An Untold Story 28. Dezember 2012
Von PeterP - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This was a particularly interesting book to me personally. My father was a 25 yearold seaman in the crew of the Harmatris throughout this entire voyage. He never said much during his lifetime and beyond the name "Harmatris" all I really remember, as a 4 yearold, was the sorry state of his health when he did get home. Captain Brundle's grandson, Michael Wadsworth, has put together a detailed account of a nightmare.
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