EASTWARD THE CONVOYS by William G. Schofield


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This is the true and often moving story of the Armed Guard which manned the guns of merchant ships in convoys during World War II. It is one man's story, not a history of the service. The Guard were members of the Navy. But they were on merchant ships that sailed to ports the Navy never reached. They enjoyed considerably more freedom ashore and, not only that, they could have their grog on board ship too. During the body of this account, the U-boats ruled the North Atlantic in wolf packs. Rarely did the convoys have the enormous advantage of a carrier in their escort. Carrier planes could spot subs and keep them inactive during daylight hours, and sink them. But as the tide of war began to change, and the wolf packs had been thinned out with losses, the U-boat commanders took fantastic and even suicidal chances. When they had no torpedoes, they might surface and try to sink a tanker with their deck guns. Schofield has many stories of individual heroism among the Armed Guard, of wounded commanders who went down with their ships while returning fire. For these men the grimly facetious motto ""Ready, Aim, Abandon Ship!"" did not apply. The book is full of understandable affection.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1965
Publisher: Rand McNally