Jump to content
Black Chicken Studios Forums

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'history'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Academagia
    • Gaming FAQ
    • General Discussion
    • Support
    • Writer's Corner
  • Victory Belles
    • General
    • Writer's Corner
    • Ships, Belles, & History
  • Holdfast: Record of the Dwarven Kingdoms
    • General
  • Scheherazade
    • Gaming FAQ
    • General Discussion
    • Support
  • Black Chicken Studios
    • Announcements
    • Affiliates
  • City of Ivory & Jade: an Ars Magica Forum Game
    • General Discussion
    • The Library

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests

Found 6 results

  1. I'm posting this topic to prove that even the smallest warships can have interesting histories and the story of HMCS Sackville (K181) is as colourful as any of the big girls. Sackville was laid down as Patrol Vessel 2 at the Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Saint John, New Brunswick in early 1940, the second of the Flower-class corvettes ordered by the Royal Canadian Navy. She was launched on 15 May 1941 by Mrs. J. E. W. Oland, wife of the captain of the port, with the Mayor and entire town council of her namesake town in attendance. Sackville was commissioned into the Royal Canadian Navy on 30 December 1941 by Captain J. E. W. Oland, husband of the ship's sponsor.[2] Her first commanding officer, Lieutenant W. R. Kirkland, RCNR was appointed on 30 December but did not join Sackville until 2 January. That is when Sackville's problems began. Problem Captain, noob crew Sackville's three-month workup period beginning on 30 December, 1941, in St. Margaret's Bay. During this time a captain is supposed to get to know his crew, to drill them, establish watches, and conduct combat exercises, and in the case of the brand new corvette, put the ship through her paces to ensure the crew knew her 'personality'. Unfortunately, the logs of Sackville's first three months were almost barren. No mention of drills, closing up a watch, action stations or stand-to. This would be bad enough but for the crew, and especially the officers and ratings, things were even worse than that. Kirkland seemed like an able enough captain. As they escorted convoys and encountered a three-day storm, the captain "enjoyed the complete confidence of all on board and was considered an excellent seaman" said W. Creighton Reid, a Sub-Leiutenant on Sackville at the time. The problems arose when they arrived in port as Kirkland was a hard drinker and a very bad drunk. Upon returning to the ship he would be "verbally abusive, obstructive and quite irrational." Reid recalls that the drunk captain had a habit of calling him up in the middle of the night to ask him if he knew his duties as OOD. Contrary to common belief, Kirkland never drank at sea but he still suffered horrible hangovers. But was often ratty with the crew and frequently chewed them out. Things immediately got worse when they entered port when Kirkland would immediately return to the bars and get drunk all over again. Overtime this alienated him from the crew and created discontent aboard the ship. One reason Kirkland might have been having such a hard time could be the fact that few of Sackville's crew, even the officers had any experience at sea other than the navigator (which might have actually been Kirkland since Reid is "almost certain" that the captain [Kirkland] acted as navigator. Among the ratings, only the Coxswain had previous sea experience. Sackville's first mission? After being commissioned at the end of December 1941, Sackville moved to Halifax, arriving 12 January, 1942. According to the ship's log she went out to see for "patrol" on the 30th. The next day, the 31st, she was ordered, in company with her sister HMCS Weyburn (K173), to search for survivors of the torpedoed destroyer HMS Belmont, a Clemson-class destroyer, formerly USS Satterlee (DD-190). However, according to the ships log, no search action was taken, in company or otherwise. On 7 February she reported a "boiler leaking badly" and returned to Halifax the next day. The CO's patrol report dated 6 February was unrevealing about the ship's movements, conduct of the search or the engine trouble. Accordingly, Captain G.R. Miles, Captain (D), summoned Kirkland to his office for 0900 the following morning (Saturday). That morning, Kirkland did not appear to Captain Miles, instead sending an odd signal that he was sending a report. On Sunday he was drunk, abusing the XO, a leading signalman and 'blasting' another signalman about handling the signal from Captain Miles. That same day he sent another signal to Captain Miles, a memo reading "The signal was received. I failed to observe it." Captain Miles was fast losing his patience and ordered Kirkland to bring his ship's log the following morning. Next morning (Monday), Kirkland was drunk again, having realized the spot he was now in with Captain Miles and anticipating getting in spot of trouble as a result. He took out his frustrations on his crew, berating one of the sub-lieutenants and the 1st lieutenant for "letting him down". On top of that he came down hard on an Able Seaman (AB), calling him a failure and telling him to quit the Navy. Tuesday's log entry signed by Captain (D) admonished Kirkland for failing to show up the previous day. On Wednesday the drunken Kirkland abused the other Sub-Lieutenant. On 13 February, the ship was once again at sea "on escort" with no mention in the log of convoy designation, course, ships in company, speed, etc.16 February, Sackville was back in Halifax. The captain [Kirkland] was reported as drunk by the 1st Lieutenant and again on the 20th. However, this is disputed by Lieutenant Kenneth G. Clark who served with Reid as part of Sackville's first crew. He insists that the captain's drunkenness was never entered in any log. Mutiny on the Sackville? On the 28th, the ship returned to convoy escort duties. After six days at sea, Sackville returned to St. John's on 6 March. Kirkland came back aboard drunk. He turned the Coxswain out of his bunk and tore stripes off him in front of three junior ratings. This resulted in an altercation between Kirkland, his 1st Lieutenant and one Sub Lieutenant. On 9 March they were back at sea with a west-bound convoy (possibly ONS 68). On the 12th, the Greek ship SS Lili was torpedoed, and Sackville picked up 29 survivors from the frigid waters. Unable to find their convoy afterwards, Sackville returned to Halifax. It is popular myth that during or shortly after the event with SS Lili, Kirkland was relieved of command by the officers with support from the senior ratings and then locked drunk in his cabin until they reached Halifax. However, this is not the case according to Reid and Clark. According to them, there was never any thought of mutiny among the officers, although admits there was a considerable amount of discontent among all ranks. Board of inquiry After Sackville's return to Halifax, nearly the entire crew put in for transfers from Sackville. Combined with Kirkland's apparent conduct thus far, Captain Miles ordered a board of inquiry. Kirkland and his three officers were ordered in for an interview. At this time Reid recalls a sober Kirkland telling him "You'll be alright, but it will be the end for me." A board of inquiry was convened in Sackville's wardroom and all officers and ("almost") all ratings were interviewed. Kirkland was judged "unsuitable" and discharged that month. Sackville's crew was broken up and dispersed, assigned to other ships. I read about this part of Sackville's history from two articles written in 1995 in the HMCS Sackville Newsletter. The first article, from May 1995, was based on a report from 1993 by Commander Tony German (the irony isn't lost on me) and his research. The second article is from November 1995 and features "corrections" from two former crewmembers on Sackville, [Reid and Clark], regarding the "inaccuracies" in the first article. You can read the first and second articles here and here. Sackville's new crew HMCS Baddeck (K147) was undergoing repairs for engine problems, leaving her in harbor. Her entire ship's company was thus moved to Sackville to bring them quickly back out to sea. In his book "50 North", Lieutenant-Commander Alan Easton recalls that when meting with Captain Miles for the transfer, he gathered that there had been a breakdown in Sackville's "conduct of affairs." Sackville was also fitted with the Canadian made SW1C radar. Sackville back in action By 15 May, 1942, Sackville was assigned to Escort Group C-3 along with two sisters, HMCS Galt (K163) and HMCS Wetaskiwin (K175), replacing other corvettes in need of repair and refit. In August 1942 Sackville fought a series of fierce actions escorting Convoy ON-115. Deprived of air cover by heavy fog, the convoy was attacked by two successive U-boat "wolfpacks" off the coast of Newfoundland. On August 3, Sackville caught the German submarine U-43 on the surface and, as the submarine dived, made a series of depth charge attacks that blew U-43 out of the water. The submarine managed to survive but had to flee to Europe for repairs. The next day Sackville attacked U-704 as it dived, causing the submarine to break off its attack leaving Sackville to rescue two survivors from an abandoned but still floating merchant ship. Only a few hours later, Sackville detected U-552 on the surface with radar and landed a four-inch shell on the submarine's conning tower followed by a depth charge. U-552 nearly sank but managed to regain control and creep back to Germany heavily damaged. Sackville's attacks had played a key role in allowing the 41 ship convoy to escape with the loss of only two ships. Sackville continued in her escort role until starting an extensive refit at Thompson Bros. Machinery Co. Ltd. in Liverpool, Nova Scotia in January 1943. She returned to service in April and was assigned to Escort Group C-1 where she remained until reassigned to a new group Escort Group 9 in July. In September 1943, Sackville was an escort for the combined westbound convoys ON. 202 and ONS 18, the first victims of acoustic torpedo's. While these advanced torpedoes rarely worked right, the allies had (at the time) no defense against them. In addition to numerous merchant ships, four of the escorts were sunk, including frigates HMS Lagan, destroyer HMCS St. Croix, and British corvette HMS Polyanthus. Sackville chased after the U-boats and began firing depth charges when it experienced a huge explosion. It is believed that one of the depth charges detonated a torpedo alongside the ship, severely damaging Sackville's #1 boiler. Just after this, HMS Itchen who was carrying survivors from the first two ships to be sunk when she herself was torpedoed, creating such an explosion that pieces of her superstructure landed on HMCS Morden (K170). Escort Group C-1 was disbanded following the loss of three of its ships and the ship was assigned to group C-2, where the ship remained on Atlantic escort work until going for refit in Galveston, Texas in February 1944. Sackville's new job Returning to Halifax in May 1944 the vessel worked up in Bermuda and was then assigned to Escort Group C-2 which left for Derry escorting convoy HX-297 on 29 June 1944. At Derry the boilers were cleaned, which revealed a serious leak in one of them. Repairs were unsuccessful and the ship was no longer considered suitable for convoy escort work. Since the ship had only recently been modernized she was reassigned for training at HMCS King on 29 August 1944. However almost immediately afterwards the decision was made to convert her to a Loop Layer, laying anti-submarine indicator loops across harbour entrances, her damaged boiler removed to provide storage for the cable and the 4 inch gun replaced with a pair of cranes. Sackville never actually laid any cables as by the time her modifications were complete in 1945, the war in Europe was essentially over. Instead, her role was revised as a cable salvage ship. By this time, her designation had been changed from 181 to Z62. Patrick Onions, who had actually signed on and been trained to serve on HMCS Magnificent (CVL-21) in the Pacific (and ended up on a cable ship, wow that sucks), explains: "There were two reasons to salvage this cable. While some of it was covered with woven steel, most of it was lead covered and the lead was a valuable salvage. The other reason is that the fishermen were getting their down riggers and nets caught in the loops, with reported losses to their gear. It was not unusual for us to pick up a net, most times full of fish. What a mess this would cause. If we could track the owner of the net, he would get compensated for his loss but not the loss of his catch. The routine of the Sackville commenced by leaving harbour in the early hours of Monday morning in order to be on station by daybreak. We would spend three or four days at sea, grappling for the loops of cable, which were raised on deck, cut in two with each end buoyed off, then dropped back into the sea. In most cases we always seemed to make it back to port for the weekend. The next week was supposed to be spent retrieving the cable that we had buoyed off. The weather played an important part in the retrieval of the cable, and if it was too rough we would go off to grapple for more cable. Retrieving the cable was a nasty, dirty, stinky job. While steam hoses and water were sprayed on the cable before it would enter the winch to be led amidships where it traveled to the storage hold, a lot of seaweed and scum remained on the table. This made the job of coiling the cable in the storage hold a wet and slimy, miserable job. Also, the smell of rotten and decaying seaweed seemed to permeate through the ship. During my time aboard the ship we traveled to St. John, New Brunswick, and up to Sydney, Cape Breton, and major harbours in between to pick up cable. A considerable time was spent around Sable Island giving me a good understanding of how the currents and shifting sands have claimed so many ships around the Island." One overlooked duty of HMCS Sackville Z62 was the final part she played as a Navy ship in WW 2. Sackville was part of a flotilla that went out to capture U-190 and U-889 who had been spotted cruising on the surface. With a huge array of Canadian warships surrounding them, the two subs surrendered rather quickly. Enough German crews were left on the subs to operate them while the rest were dispersed throughout the flotilla. Sackville took several German officers on board. Patrick Onions recalls: "As a young seaman coming face to face with the enemy, I can only remember the utter disrespect and arrogance they showed towards us, and as we escorted them towards the Ward Room, they spat at our feet." You can read all about Patrick Onion's time on Sackville here. Sackville retired from the navy Sackville was paid off in April 1946 and laid up in reserve in May of the same year. Most Flower-class corvettes were scrapped shortly after the war, however Sackville was laid up in reserve. She was reactivated in 1952 and converted to a research vessel for the Department of Marine and Fisheries. The armament was removed, the hull repainted black in place of the original dazzle camouflage and the new pennant number 532 painted on the hull (changed to 113 in the late 1950s). A laboratory was built on the aft superstructure in 1964 and the bridge enclosed in 1968. She remained in service until December 1982, with her last cruise in July 1982. A rather long career for an old corvette. Sackville saved by a hurricane (Museum ship) The original intention had been to acquire HMCS Louisburg, which had been sold to the Dominican Republic and renamed Juan Alejandro Acosta but this vessel was wrecked (along with another Flower-class corvette - Cristobal Colon, the former HMCS Lachute) by Hurricane David in 1979. This left Sackville as the sole remaining Flower-class corvette. The ship was transferred to the Canadian Naval Corvette Trust (now the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust) on 28 October 1983 and restored to her 1944 appearance (apart from minor details in her camouflage and the presence of the "barber pole" red and white pattern around her funnel which had been removed before 1944). It had originally been planned to restore the ship to her 1942 appearance but this proved too expensive. In 1988, Sackville was designated a National Historic Site of Canada, due to her status as one of the last Flower-class corvettes known to exist. Conclusion So yes as you can see this little ship had quite a colourful and varied career, both as a warship and in other roles, it's not just the big girls. I know it will be a long time before Sackville ever appears in VB if she ever does, but I figured she deserved a little limelight and it makes good reading. I hope you enjoyed reading this little blurb of mine.
  2. In my most recent game (Aranaz is still more difficult to play than Morvidus!), my character was able to gain top marks in every course except for History in the final exams - Rikildis got that one! I was wondering what the Y2 consequences of such a nearly perfect showing would mean for Y2, and whether they would be substantially inferior to winning top marks in all Y1 course final exams that a character takes.
  3. Hello everybody, I have a naval-history question for all of who may be able to answer it. What warship was the first to sink in WW2? ORP Wicher on September the 3rd or was it one even earlier? And I'm asking specifically about warships. Passenger liners like the Athenia aren't my concern, because they probably have no Belle. Also I started a General history questions thread because I did not find one. Cheers!
  4. Hi there. I recently noticed that I know of no famous female sailor, let alone captain. So I surfed around the internet and to my disappointment I found no German female who ever took part in a military naval operation in or for Germany. Or Austria for that matter. I did find four Dutch females and one Swedish female in the respective navies. All the Dutch ladies had to pose as men. Also the Netherlands seem to have an interesting longstanding “tradition” of women taking up arms, posing as men, in the Navy or the Army. So I decided to start this thread anyways, because maybe some of you numerous anglo-american folks, active here in the forum or some other member from another cultural background can weigh in with an interesting story. I think about women as an active part of naval service aboard ships is very little written in general, but I’m curious. Since we have a resident Dutch forum member, and since I can’t find any good rich source about the Dutch sailorettes I will not comment on them. However, I will give you a brief summary of the story of Dorothea Maria Theslöff, née Lösch – Captain of the Swedish Navy? Honestly I was disappointed when I saw the name. The name could also be a perfectly German name. But the lady I’m talking about here was born in Stockholm, died in Stockholm and served the Swedish king. Dorothea Lösch was born somewhen in 1730 in Stockholm, Sweden, as the daughter of a goldsmith. She later married the Swedish captain Marten Johann Theslöff in 1756 and had 11 children with him. She also studied medicine and published a medical book about small pocks in 1765. So far, so provable. Now according to unproven story she took part on the Swedish ship Armida in the second battle of Svensksund on the 9-10 July 1790. The battle was a big success for the Swedes, but it was bitterly fought and is to this day the biggest naval battle fought in the Baltic sea. 275 Swedish ships fought against roughly the same number of Russian ships in the gulf of Finland. Her ship the Armida faced a problem mid-battle: All officers had been reassigned to other ships, killed or were severely wounded. Subsequently, Dorothea Theslöff took command of the ship and did apparently a fine job. I couldn’t find if she was assigned there as medical staff or accompanied her husband or both. After the battle the King Gustav III. of Sweden awarded her the privilege to hold the rank of Kapten (captain) of the Swedish fleet. She lived most of her life in Finland but died in Stockholm February 2nd 1799. The problem is, the written privilege which proved her to be kapten is lost today. The last report of it dates back to 1864. So it could only be scuttlebutt.
  5. Extra Credits is a Youtube channel that usually talks about videogame design and many other related topics. However, it has a sub-channel that is supported by its fans via Patreon and other means. They've released the first of a video series about the hunt for Bismarck. I find it funny that an adversary is sponsoring this episode, though. Nonetheless, i'll chain all the episodes unto the opening thread so everyone can enjoy it, or have a quick link to them. Oh, and i should mention that the animation style is part of their style. Enjoy, Bismarck fans!!! (P.S.: if there is a way to decrease the size of the video screen, please tell me so via PM so i can lower its size to a more fitting one) Episode 1: Episode 2: Episode 3: Episode 4:
  6. Image of RMS Lancastria In the early morning of April 15, 1912, the largest ocean liner in the world, RMS Titanic, sank to the bottom of the Atlantic, taking with her over 1500 passengers and crew. The disaster, one of the largest maritime disasters in history, shocked the world and brought about dramatic changes to improve maritime safety; however, as the world grew increasingly tumultuous, there would be many other ships who would unwillingly carry the majority of their crew and passengers to a watery grave. Just a few years after RMS Titanic's sinking, on the afternoon of May 7, 1915, RMS Lusitania was torpedoed by a U-boat off the coast of Ireland. She sunk in just eighteen minutes and with her, 1,198 passengers and crew in just eighteen minutes and sparked an international outcry that would play a part in swinging American public opinion against Imperial Germany and eventually, joining the war on the side of the Entente. You know of these two ships already, you've seen them in books, documentaries, they are the centre of many conspiracy theories and controversies. Both these ships and the loss of life that went with their sinking brought about enormous and lasting change to the entire world. These two names are storied and everyone knows what you're talking about when you say their names. What if I were to tell you that there was a ship, whose sinking cost more lives than both of these tragedies combined, and unlike Titanic or Lusitania, its story is not well known and only in recent years have efforts been made to bring this tale to light. This is the tragedy of HMT Lancastria. Launched as RMS Tyrrhenia made her maiden voyage on June 19, 1922. She was 16,243 t and 578 (176 m) long. Built for Anchor Line, a subsidiary of Cunard, she could carry 2,200 passengers in three classes at just under 17 knots. She was no Blue Ribband ship. Passengers complained that they couldn't pronounce Tyrrhenia, which, as any marketer will tell you, isn't a good thing. So, in 1924, when she was refitted for two classes, she was renamed Lancastria and started shuttling passengers between Liverpool and New York until 1932, by which time the Great Depression had taken hold and she served as a cruise ship in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. At the outbreak of WW 2, Lancastria was used to ferry cargo until April 1940 when she was requisitioned as a troopship and redesignated Hired Military Transport (HMT) Lancastria. Her first job as a troopship was evacuating troops from the ill-fated Norway campaign. Before we move on with Lancastria's story, it's important to bring up Dunkirk for one important reason: not all British forces were at Dunkirk. Many also forget that there were Belgians and French among the evacuees there. The forces at Dunkirk were those that had been cut off from the south by the German's "race to the sea", leaving them isolated and stranded. In the rest of France were many thousands more, not only soldiers but British Nationals who wanted to get out of the war zone and back home and many French and Belgian troops who needed evacuation as well. There were three major operations for the evacuation of Franch: Operation Dynamo (Dunkirk), Operation Cycle: the evacuation from St. Valery and La Havre in upper Normandy; and Operation Ariel, the evacuation from numerous ports along the Atlantic coast. Operation Dynamo began May 26, 1940, and lasted until June 4th. Over 300,000 were successfully evacuated from Dunkirk but the ships and troops in the sea were bombed relentlessly by the Luftwaffe, costing many lives and sinking over 200 ships and small boats. Operation Cycle lasted from June 10th to the 13th and was conducted mostly at night, evacuating approximately 12,000 more British and French troops. Finally, Operation Ariel began on June 15th, and it was in this operation that Lancastria would take part. Up until June 14th, Lancastria had been in Liverpool undergoing a small overhaul. By June 17th, she had traveled to Saint-Nazaire under the command of Captain Rudolf Sharp. One of the largest ship in the flotilla assembled to evacuate over 60,000 troops that remained in the city, she was rated to carry about 1,700 passengers (some sources say 2,200) and 375 crew. However, Sharp was ordered to "load as many men as possible without regard to the limits set down under international law". By the afternoon, Captain sharp was told that over 6,700 were embarked. Among the military personnel were over 40 civilians, among them, Embassy staff, men from the Belgian aircraft manufacturer Avions Fairey, and their families. For the tired soldiers coming aboard, Lancastria was a refuge. After being on the run from the rampaging Panzers, bombarded by ceaseless bombing and haunted by the howling of Jericho Trumpets, they finally felt safe aboard the big ship. That soon ended at 13:50, when the port was hit by another air raid. As the captain watched an arial battle above and then watched a bomb strike the 20,000 ton orient liner SS Oronsay half a mile away, destroying her bridge. Lancastria was free to depart and the captain of the destroyer HMS Havelock, advised Captain Sharp to do so immediately. Captain Sharp, however, was worried about U-boats and didn't want to leave without a destroyer escort, but the destroyers were still needed to guard the port and so he decided to wait. Two hours passed as the nearly 7,000 people aboard ship sat crammed like sardines while Sharp decided to wait at anchor and leave with SS Oronsay, possibly to navigate her home with her charts and wireless room destroyed. Suddenly, air-raid sirens keened and eyes looked up at the sky again. At approximately 15:48, Ju 88s screamed overhead. The port's Hawker Hurricanes acting as air cover, were at the far end of their patrol line, 30 miles away. The bombers were free to descend on their prey and unleashed their payloads. Everyone could only look up in horror as the iron eggs fell. Bombs slammed onto Lancastria exploding and killing scores in the holds where men were taking shelter. The ship began to list as the hull buckled and water flooded the inside. A fourth bomb plunged right down her funnel and exploded in the engine room, causing tons of crude oil to leak out into the estuary. The call was given to "clear away boats" and everyone who heard headed for the lifeboats. Everyone who didn't.... well it wouldn't matter. Remember when I mentioned the Titanic earlier? Do you know what one of the lessons learned from that disaster? It was to make sure you had enough lifeboats for everyone on board. Lancastria had enough for a number of people she was rated to carry on, but she was far overloaded and the ship was sinking fast. To add insult to injury, some of the lifeboats had been destroyed in the bombing and even ones that seemed intact ended up sinking when they hit the water. The call was given: "every man for himself". Some men in life jackets jumped off the ship and broke their necks upon hitting the water, those that didn't die instantly were forced to swim in the 1,200 tons of crude oil leaking from the ship into the water. But even if you were somehow managing to stay alive then, remember, there's still enemy bombers flying above your heads. The Luftwaffe strafed the survivors with machinegun fire and then fired flares into the water, igniting the oil and turning the sea into an inferno, burning men alive. One of the civilian survivors recalled: "if there was hell, this was it." While this was happening, HMT Lancastria started to roll over. Passengers still on the deck, climbed over the rails onto the ship's side where they could see men trapped inside the portholes. Those unable to swim began singing. "They were singing There'll Always Be an England and Roll Out the Barrel." Said Harry Harding in a 2005 interview. He was 19 at the time. "For a long time afterwards, I didn't want to hear those songs. Then I looked and it had gone down so quickly there was nothing, just a void." Numerous small boats rushed to aid the survivors but it was not fast enough for some. As time passed, many succumbed to exhaustion or despair, slipping beneath the waves. About 2,477 were rescued in the end and brought home to Britain. The actual death toll is highly debated. Some estimates as low as 3,500 and some over 6,000. Some survivors even insist that over 9,000 had embarked on Lancastria when she was hit. Some of the survivors were carried home by the battered SS Oronsay, and her Captain, Norman Savage, navigated the ship home with nothing but a pocket compass, a sketch map, and a sextant. So why do we never hear of this great tragedy? Why is it only in recent years that this story has come to light? Well, Titanic and Lusitania were both well publicized, both in Britain and abroad, but Lancastria was the subject of a massive government coverup. You see, shortly after her sinking on June 17th, on June 22nd, 1940, the French signed an armistice with the Nazis. Operation Ariel would continue until June 25th and unofficial evacuations would continue into August, but that crushing news, which drowned out nearly all other events, is partly the reason Lancastria's sinking is forgotten, but that news also contributed to the more direct reason. Winston Churhill was afraid that news of the disaster would ruin British morale, especially in the wake of France's capitulation. Thus, the whole affair was part of a massive government coverup. Survivors and observers were forbidden to speak of it under penalty of court martial and publications of it were prohibited. This didn't stop the press association, however, with the event appearing in papers on July 15th in New York and on the 26th on the front page of some British papers. Despite this, the scope of the disaster was never revealed. In fact, documents on Lancastria remained classified by the Ministry of Defense until 2015. In 2005 the Lancastria Association of Scotland started a campaign for greater awareness and recognition of the event. As of today, the wreck is considered a War Grave and protected under French law. There are a few memorials of it around and gradually more people are becoming aware. It will never have the fame of the Titanic or the Lusitania, but we must never forget such a loss of life, and I hope that by posting this, I've done my part.
×
×
  • Create New...