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Book Cover for: The Rescue Ships and the Convoys: Saving Lives During the Second World War, B. B. Schofield

The Rescue Ships and the Convoys: Saving Lives During the Second World War

B. B. Schofield

The Rescue Ships and the Convoys tells the history of one of the least known aspects of Second World War maritime history. Despite the threat of heavy losses of ships and lives, no hospital ships, which had to be lit, could accompany the convoys as they would betray a convoy's position.

The solution was to create a fleet of 30 small Merchant Navy vessels of about 1,500 gross tons, mostly from coastal trade. These 'Rescue Ships', commanded and manned by Merchant Navy personnel, carried medical teams, and life-saving equipment including operating theaters, hospital beds, 'Carley' floats, and hoists.

Undeterred either by either enemy action or atrocious weather conditions, these vessels accompanied close to 800 convoys and saved 4,194 lives from ships sunk in the North Atlantic and with the Arctic convoys. During their service, seven Rescue Ships were lost.

This is a story packed with suspense, danger, achievement and tragedy. As the author, Vice Admiral Schofield, who was closely involved in the establishment of the fleet, writes, it is a record 'of great humanitarian endeavor, of superb acts of courage, of a display of seamanship of the highest order, of a devotion to duty by medical officers under the most arduous conditions imaginable, of great deeds by men of the Merchant Navy in little ships on voyages they were never designed to undertake.'

Book Details

  • Publisher: Pen and Sword Maritime
  • Publish Date: Jul 4th, 2024
  • Pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781036102661
  • Categories: Wars & Conflicts - World War II - GeneralMilitary - NavalModern - 20th Century - General

About the Author

Schofield, B. B.: - Vice Admiral BB Schofield had a distinguished naval career serving in both World Wars. He was closely involved in the planning of naval operations for D-Day and his insider view is told in Operation NEPTUNE (republished by Pen and Sword Maritime in 2008). He died in 1984. His daughter Victoria Schofield, the leading biographer and author, lives in West London.
Schofield, Victoria: - Victoria Schofield is a celebrated historian and author. President of the Oxford union in 1977 she has written extensively on South Asia. Her biography Wavell is in print with in hard back with pen and Sword. She lives in west London