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Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)

GUEST 10 Nov 19 - 11:15 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 May 15 - 02:22 PM
Charley Noble 05 Nov 09 - 10:58 AM
SqueezeMe 30 Mar 07 - 09:13 AM
SqueezeMe 26 Apr 06 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,Wotcha 25 Apr 06 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,ccmcbride@tiscali.co.uk 25 Apr 06 - 06:24 PM
Phot 28 Feb 06 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Katie Redhead 27 Feb 06 - 12:34 PM
Keith A of Hertford 22 Feb 06 - 03:44 AM
Jeri 15 Nov 05 - 05:57 PM
Santa 29 Oct 05 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,bruce_felknor 29 Oct 05 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,bruce_felknor@yahoo.com 29 Oct 05 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Tom Fuller 17 Dec 03 - 05:53 PM
Charley Noble 17 Dec 03 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,Don Card don@gregorycard.fsnet. 17 Dec 03 - 09:44 AM
GUEST,John "Jock" Crawford 21 Oct 03 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Ross 06 Oct 03 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,scotmac@bigpond.com.au 06 Oct 03 - 01:43 AM
Wilfried Schaum 10 Sep 03 - 02:19 AM
Billy the Bus 09 Sep 03 - 10:47 PM
Billy the Bus 09 Sep 03 - 10:20 PM
Gareth 09 Sep 03 - 07:10 PM
Phot 09 Sep 03 - 06:33 AM
Wilfried Schaum 09 Sep 03 - 05:04 AM
Gurney 09 Sep 03 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,Ross 08 Sep 03 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Santa 08 Sep 03 - 10:08 AM
Gareth 07 Sep 03 - 06:21 PM
EBarnacle1 20 Aug 02 - 01:12 PM
HuwG 20 Aug 02 - 07:43 AM
Wolfgang 20 Aug 02 - 06:49 AM
Teribus 07 Aug 02 - 03:48 AM
Charley Noble 06 Aug 02 - 08:31 AM
Teribus 06 Aug 02 - 05:08 AM
Charley Noble 05 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM
Charley Noble 05 Aug 02 - 10:15 AM
Teribus 05 Aug 02 - 04:33 AM
Bilge Rat 03 Aug 02 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,HelenJ 02 Aug 02 - 03:14 PM
Charley Noble 02 Aug 02 - 02:37 PM
EBarnacle1 02 Aug 02 - 01:10 PM
Les from Hull 02 Aug 02 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Jan Christensen 02 Aug 02 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Jan Christensen 02 Aug 02 - 12:19 AM
Gareth 01 Aug 02 - 07:23 PM
selby 01 Aug 02 - 02:55 PM
Les from Hull 01 Aug 02 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Bruce, Melbourne Australia 01 Aug 02 - 10:00 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 11:15 AM

My Grandad served on HMS Pozyrica (Artic Convoys) as a scribe also served on HMS Manchester (Malta Convoys) Petty Officer Robert Sears


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 May 15 - 02:22 PM

Mudcat is brilliant! I just entered "Arctic Convoys" into the search box and up came this thread! Why was I looking? Well, during this year's Edinburgh Festival, the theme of one of the exhibitions in St Mary's Episcopalian Cathedral in Edinburgh will be the Arctic Convoys. My friends and I in Scots Music Group have been putting on a couple of concerts for the last 5 years, trying to play/sing anything that fits the theme of the year. We have a few ideas from current repertoire, and I have also been listening to Dave Roylance's "The Battle of the Atlantic" suite, but don't think we can match the full Halle Orchestra and choir + Lesley Garrett!
It would be great to use some of the songs above, if we can get the tunes.
I believe there was a presentation of medals to some of the surviving veterans of this wartime service, just in the last year or 2.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 10:58 AM

refresh!


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: SqueezeMe
Date: 30 Mar 07 - 09:13 AM

Count Luckner book has now found a new home.
MC


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Russian Convoys (including PQ
From: SqueezeMe
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 10:50 AM

Quote: Lowell Thomas, a (U.S.) radio newsman and journalist and author of the 1920s to 1940s, published _Count Luckner, the Sea Devil_

I have 2 copies of this book. One is 1928 UK published with damaged covers but text and photos OK. Didn't sell on eBay for 99c, so if any one would like it for the price of postage, please PM me, though bear in mind I am in Australia.

Fascinating thread (and the creep too!!!) I had an uncle who died on Russian convoys. Not sure if he was RN or Merchant.

MC


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Wotcha
Date: 25 Apr 06 - 08:11 PM

The "Old Red Duster" tips its hat to the merchant marine ...



I Sailed in the war, like me Uncle before

From Britain, right down to Bombay

With me little convoy bag

I sailed for the flag,

The glory, the medals ... and the pay."



"I was pulled from the poolR
I was nobody's fool

There was a jaunt up to Murmansk for me

But union said "NO" it's a fourth, you can't go

It's the union forever for me."


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Subject: Russian convoys
From: GUEST,ccmcbride@tiscali.co.uk
Date: 25 Apr 06 - 06:24 PM

Hello,
My name is Colm McBride from N Ireland.

My father Alexander Anthony McBride served on the Ramillies during WW11. My two other uncles also served. They all joined up together as volunteers in 1938. I have a lovely photo of them in their uniforms.
Their names were Charles McBride (emigrated to Australia after the war) and Colm (whom I am named after and I found out was a nurse in Portsmouth and died during the war after contracting TB).
All these men are now deceased and as they discussed very little about these times in the Royal Navy, I would be grateful if any one has an idea how to research what ships they served with and what action they saw.
I think my father's ship was in the Russian Convoys and was involved in a battle in the med with the Italians
Thats all I have on the matter.
Thanking you all in anticipation
Colm


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Phot
Date: 28 Feb 06 - 11:58 AM

I'm glad this thread was restarted. After my last post, I was lucky enough to be tasked to cover the 60th anniversary of the Russian convoys for the RN. I sailed aboard HMS Sutherland (Type 23 Frigate) to Murmansk, where the ship stayed for a week and a half. The Russian people were most welcoming, and were really greatful for everything that the convoys did. It was a real privilage to meet the Men and Women of The North Russia Club, and the Artic Convoys Club, all of whom I have the deepest admiration for. Several cocktail parties were held for the Vets. The parade through Murmansk was somthing which will stay with me for the rest of my days, when we got to the Aloysha monument just about the whole city had turned out! I'm still getting requests for images now!

Cheers Shipmates!! Chris (Now a Bluenose too!)


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Russian Convoys (including PQ
From: GUEST,Katie Redhead
Date: 27 Feb 06 - 12:34 PM

My Dad was also a bluenose and mentioned a certificate or badge but doesn't know what happened to it. He served o the minesweeper HMS Halcyon which fortunately, survived PQ17. I will ask him more about the Bluenose club when I see him tomorrow.

Katie :)


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 22 Feb 06 - 03:44 AM

Beside the medal from Russia, all Russian convoys men can now apply for a British badge. A medal was refused.
If you still need help with applying for either I can get details.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Russian Convoys (including PQ
From: Jeri
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 05:57 PM

Someone posted a message in the Help forum - here:

"My wife`s father was on the Murmansk runs, and my wife would like to get the Russian medal for him(Posthumately) how does she go about it .We heard about you from the T.V. Cenataph parade today"

I don't know if anyone here can help him out, but if you can, his e-mail address is peedof (at) supanet.com


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Santa
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 05:57 PM

To correct one post well up the thread:

The Reuben James was a US destroyer sunk by a U-boat whilst escorting a Uk-bound convoy out of Canada, in the period before the US entered the war but whilst it was escorting convoys partway. I'm sorry I can't recall the hand-over point. I believe that the sinking became quite a cause celebre at the time, the song was written and sung by Woody Guthrie. Nothing to do with the Russian convoys, I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,bruce_felknor
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 12:37 PM

erratum: In previous post I meant "translation _or_ biography. Sorry.

BLF


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,bruce_felknor@yahoo.com
Date: 29 Oct 05 - 12:32 PM

About Luckner's _Seeadler_: I don't remember whether this book is a translation of a biography, but Lowell Thomas, a (U.S.) radio newsman and journalist and author of the 1920s to 1940s, published _Count Luckner, the Sea Devil_ (Garden City [NJ, USA]: Garden City Publishing, 1932).

Might be findable on Amazon, certainly in US via Interlibrary Loan through any public library.

New subject: this is a gorgeous site. Wish I had found it before I published _U.S. Merchant Marine at War, 1775-1945_ (Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Bruce L. Felknor


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Tom Fuller
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 05:53 PM

I could be wrong, but I believe that the decision to disperse PQ17 was made by the Admiralty (Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, to be specific) and communicated to the Escort as a direct order. There are a number of accounts of this debacle, but for a seaman's eye view try a book called "Hearts of Oak" by Tristan Jones. According to Jones, who served on one of the "O" class destroyer escorts in PQ17, the crew came very close to mutiny when they learned of the order.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 05:35 PM

Thanks, Billy, for your link to Count Felix von Luckner's escape attempt, a truly fasinating man.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Don Card don@gregorycard.fsnet.
Date: 17 Dec 03 - 09:44 AM

My father served on HMS Pozarica . He was killed 29th.January 1943. When the ' pozy ' was hit by an aerial torpedo.
I was just 5 years old.                                             The computer has been amazing and Im collecting all the information possible. But was anyone on the 'pozy' and did you know of my father Ableseaman Brinley Card P/JX325100


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,John "Jock" Crawford
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 03:32 PM

Hello - If there are any fellow shipmates from any of the PQ or QP runs still around I would be grateful to hear from them. My name is Jock and I was on HMS Wilton from when she first set sail from the Clyde. I have so far contacted a few survivors, including some from Operation Pedestal (Malta).
PQ17 was, of course, the worst of the bunch, the cold was far more than your could ever imagine.
Hope to hear from some of you other old shipmates soon
John "jock" Crawford


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Ross
Date: 06 Oct 03 - 04:48 AM

Hi Gareth - there is a tune - I'm not very good at putting music to paper but I'll try & post the cords sometime

The reunion's this weekend at Lowestoft - service is at 11am at Sparrows Nest


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,scotmac@bigpond.com.au
Date: 06 Oct 03 - 01:43 AM

could someone help me my father was on the Russian convoythe PQ17 his name was Bill Mc Conalogue and was on a little ship the HARPALLION. i would love to find out anything about it he was also given a ribbon? he was also on the Malta convoy aboard the S.S OHIO and recieved the D.S.M these were lost in a house fire and iam trying to get replacements but need help Billy


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 02:19 AM

Search in the catalogues of the British Library, all British libraries (Copac) and Library of Congress found no English translation of Luckner's Seeteufel, only Dutch, Irish, and Italian.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:47 PM

Here's an example of Luckner's Inhumanity to Mariners. What a man! He visited NZ in his yacht just before WWII - it may have been 'espionage'....

I'm creeping too much. Will button my lips until I see me old mate who was on the Convoys - a few weeks off..

Cheers _ Sam


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:20 PM

Thanks for the refresh Gareth - a noble thread!

Major creep from WWII North Atlantic to WWI South Pacific. Count Felix von Luckner and Seeadler (mentioned above) are enshrined in New Zealand folklore, alas not in song. His capture in Fiji, internment in NZ, and subsequent brief escape in the scow Moa in 1917, made him a 'Folk Hero', despite being 'Enemy'. His chivalrous approach to prisoners may have helped. Anyway, here's a Yarn about the Moa incident.

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:10 PM

Phot - Thanks yer comments.

Ross Again thanks - any tune ???

Gareth

And the empty, wild Atlantic,
With the Convoys to and fro


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Phot
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:33 AM

Gareth, I picked up on this thread by chance, my father is also a Bluenose, having served on fishery protection vessels, also he served aboard HMS Caeser (I hope the spelling's right) which is a CA class destroyer, same as the Cavalier presvered at Chatham dockyard, as far as I'm aware they were the last of the open bridge design Destroyer types in the RN.
He went to have a look round the Cavalier a couple of years ago, it brought back a lot of memories, as he left he gave the old lady a pat, to quote Jethro Tull "Last of the breed at an honest days toil".

Great ships, greater men, and a glass and prayer raised to all those who gave their today for our tommrow.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 05:04 AM

Wolfgang's post of July 5:

Instead of Lederpäcken read: Lederpäckchen.
The meaning is leather parcel. Päckchen is German Navy slang for any kind of dress (parade, fatigue, battle &c.), and the protective leather parcel was worn by every submariner on board of his boat.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Gurney
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 03:03 AM

30 years ago 'The 23rd Flotilla Song' was one of Cyril Tawneys standards, and he naturally saw it from a RN viewpoint. I remember him introducing it by saying the Arctic convoys were one of the worst jobs in the war, the men always wet, exhausted, cold, despairing, and knowing that every merchantman that was lost meant that the escorts had to turn around that much faster to keep the pressure up.
Anyone pitched into the oggin had a 5min life expectancy.
In a (translated)German historical account of the war in Russia, I read that the Wermacht(sp?) were surprised by the sudden arrival of 'hundreds of tommy-gunners.' Those Thompson guns arrived via convoy, you can bet.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Ross
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 12:08 PM

My Dad was in the Royal Naval Patrol service

They cleared the mines on trawlers & the like

Reunion is in Lowestoft on 11th October

Here's a song I wrote about them

Trawler-men go off to war
To clear the seas, defend our shores
Joined by the likes of you & me
Their names should go down in history

Chorus        Well, they fought on the seas, while the seas fought back
                And they never were far from hostile attack
                They cleared all the mines, to keep ships free
                And some know no graves, except the bottom of the sea

The year was 1939
And our ships were threatened, by sea mines
They looked to the likes of you & me
To brave all the dangers, and clear the seas

Chorus        Well, they fought on the seas, while the seas fought back….

The Royal Naval Patrol Service
A name that doesn't mean so much
Who braved their lives for you & me
With a silver badge attached to their sleeve

Chorus        Well, they fought on the seas, while the seas fought back….

In Sparrows Nest in Lowestoft
Lies a monument, with a ship on top
Engraved with names, like you & me
Whose ghosts can be seen, still protecting the seas

Chorus        Well, they fought on the seas, while the seas fought back….

Try to remember, please don't forget
Those forgotten sailors, on their small ships
Who braved their lives for you & me
Their names should go down in history

Chorus        Well, they fought on the seas, while the seas fought back
                And they never were far from hostile attack
                They cleared all the mines, to keep ships free
                And some know no graves, except the bottom of the sea


Ross Scrivener - 2003


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 08 Sep 03 - 10:08 AM

There is another Ron Baxter song: the Lord Middleton. Sung by the Taverners on their Windmills LP many years ago, concerning seeing the Lord Middleton being broken up in Fleetwood docks. The Lord Middleton was a trawler used as a rescue ship on the Russian convoys, including (IIRC) PQ 17.

There is a niggle that it might have been PQ18, and maybe the song was written by Alan Bell with inspiration from Ron - I'll check on the LP tonight. Any way round, it is relevant to this thread though not an actual wartime song.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Gareth
Date: 07 Sep 03 - 06:21 PM

As the Scapa Flow thread has prompted me to re read this one - refersh.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 01:12 PM

There are several books about von Luckner in English. They are probably available in any reasonable good library.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: HuwG
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 07:43 AM

Long-postponed postscript to my earlier posts on this thread, after re-reading my fading copy of "Convoy is to scatter" by Jack Broome, escort commander of PQ17.

The information available to Broome when he withdrew his escort was contained in the three admiralty signals:

"Cruiser force to withdraw to the westwards at high speed"
"Owing to threat from German surface forces convoy PQ17 is to disperse and proceed independently to Russian ports etc."
"Convoy is to scatter"

Because it wasn't directly addressed to him, Broome received the first of these only after the other two. The rising tone of panic of the second and third gave the impression that Tirpitz was only just over the horizon. Finally, due to navigational errors, the Cruiser force was in view (they should have been out of sight), and Broome could see them "treading on the gas". Unaware that they were withdrawing and under the impression that they were going to fight Tirpitz, Broome gathered his miscellany of destroyers and went with them.

Oddly, one factor which may have influenced his decision was not mentioned in his book. Before being appointed to command HMS Keppel and the First Escort Group, Broome had been Chief Staff Officer to Admiral Percy Noble, Commander of the Western Approaches Command. In this position, Broome must have been aware that the German Naval Enigma codes were being regularly cracked, and may therefore have placed more trust in the Admiralty's instructions than they warranted.

Broome's career didn't appear to suffer as a result of PQ17. He was promoted to Captain, commanded the escort carrier HMS Battler (I think - he doesn't say which) and collected a DSO. He left the Navy after the War; there were more senior officers than ships to command, and his habit of doodling acerbic caricatures of admirals made him some enemies.

Broome and Admiral Dudley Pound (the First Sea Lord who ordered PQ17 to scatter) met when HMS Keppel paid off, but neither man could apparently bring himself to broach the subject of PQ17.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 06:49 AM

I don't know whether Luckner's autobiography 'Seeteufel' (Sea devil) has been translated into English.

The part of the story of the voyage of the 'Seeadler' that amuses and amazes me most is that the 'Seeadler' has been intercepted and searched five days after leaving Germany by a British aux. cruiser off Iceland. Luckily for Luckner, the British didn't see through the disguise as a Norwegian sailor and didn't find the entrance to the hidden part of the ship holding the ammunition and the only canon.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Teribus
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 03:48 AM

Just got this from the local Portsmouth Paper:

"Whitehall blocks honour for convoy heroes

FIRST it refused to give them a medal. Now the government wants to stop our naval war heroes from receiving a medal from the Russians.

Whitehall does not want sailors who endured the worst conditions imaginable to wear campaign medals given by the Russian people.

The Russian government plans to honour hundreds of former sailors who served in the grim Arctic convoys, presenting them the same medal it awarded to Soviet heroes half a century ago.

But the British Government says the move would be inappropriate: it does not want British veterans to wear a medal meant for foreign soldiers.

Whitehall has already refused to cast its own medal to honour the Arctic sailors.

Livid convoymen say the latest move shows the government will stop at nothing to deny the 1,600 or so survivors their right to an award.

'These decisions are made by people who've never seen a shot fired in anger. They have no idea of the hell we went through,' said Commander Eddie Grenfell, from Havant, who survived the sinking of his ship in the Arctic in May 1942.

'We veterans are dismayed and disgusted by the government's ungrateful attitude. It's sheer bloody-mindedness.'

The Soviet government struck thousands of medals at the end of the second world war to reward its men and women on the fighting front, including the Defence of the Soviet Polar Region medal.

They want to give convoy survivors this honour as the Russian people realise more and more the importance of the convoys to saving their country from the Nazis.

Whitehall plans to put a spanner in the works. It has got wind of the Russian plans to hand out the 1945 medal.

In a letter to veterans, civil servant Richard Coney says that 'it is most unlikely that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is responsible for dealing with such requests from foreign governments, will recommend to the Queen that permission should be granted for British veterans to either receive or wear the medal'.

The government made an exception for wearing Russia's 40th anniversary victory medal and is happy for first world war heroes to wear the Legion d'Honneur given by the French decades after the Great War to honour their service in the defence of France.

But this time around it believes it would not be right for Britons to wear awards originally struck for foreign servicemen.

Furious Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock is writing to defence secretary Geoff Hoon, saying the government's petty-minded attitude is a disgrace to war heroes.

'It's incredibly insensitive and crass. It denies these men even the honour from a grateful foreign nation. Most Britons would be horrified to know that our veterans are being treated in this disgraceful way.'

06 August 2002 "

What ever happened to - LEST WE FORGET.

What a shameful crowd of complete and utter tossers now mans the Commonwealth & Foreign Office of the United Kingdom.

The major stumbling block appears to be a decision by the late King George VIth in 1947 to draw the line under awards for WWII - The Queen and her Government could revise that ruling - my message to HM would be that - Liz, your dad was wrong, you have a unique opportunity to put the matter right. Please do so while the few remaining survivors of this conflict are still alive - It would mean much and cost little.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 08:31 AM

Well, it looks like we're on the same boat now with the same captain. Now I wish someone would point us to a good translation of Luckner's biography.

Much to Luckner's embarrassment, he and his heavily armed launch crew surrended to a group of unarmed policemen sent out in a small island steamer to investigate the "strangers."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Teribus
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 05:08 AM

Thanks Charley,

After writing my post above I went and looked up the Seeadler and discovered my error. Luckner sank fifteen ships, with about 300 prisoners onboard Seeadler he captured the French Barque "Cambronne", removed sails to reduce her sailing performance and placed his prisoners onboard her so that they could sail to port slowly enough to allow Seeadler to clear the area.

All the best,

Bill.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:12 PM

More drift alert!

There may be even more confusion about which ship is which, Teribus! The sailing raider I was thinking about was the former Pass of Balmaha, captured by a German submarine in 1915 and sent home to Hamburg. She was then converted into the sailing commerce raider S.M.S. Seeadler (Sea Eagle), commanded by Count Felix von Luckner, and set sail December 21, 1916. Luckner was able to make several captures in the South Atlantic, narrowly avoided capture himself rounding Cape Horn, making 3 more captures in the South Pacific. Unfortunately for Luckner and his crew, they stopped for reprovisioning at the remote coral island of Mopeha, part of the Cook Islands, and came to grief as their ship was swept onto a reef by a tidal wave. All aboard survived the ship wreck but Luckner and some of his crew were captured later near Fiji as they tried to capture another boat. The rest of his crew on Mopeha were later able to capture a small French schooner that stopped by, and then escaped east to Chile. This information is drawn from THE CRUISE OF THE RAIDER WOLF by Roy Alexander, Appendix II.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:15 AM

Teribus-

Always wanted to read more about the captain of the Zee Adler. Karl von Muller was captain of the light cruiser Emden in WW I, and also had a reputation of taking the greatest possible care to avoid casulties and look after prisoners. You may be confusing him with the captain of the Zee Adler.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Teribus
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 04:33 AM

Hi Jan C,

Slight thread creep, but as you are a fan of "unconventional" seafaring, you might be interested in the exploits of a Captain Mueller(Sp?). During The First World War he commanded a commerce raider named Zee Adler - a sailing ship. He survived the war having served his country faithfully and with some success. What was possibly unique and really remarkable was that during the entire course of his active service he never killed, or injured a single person. Having ordered crews off their ships, prior to sinking them, he would take them onboard Zee Adler with their lifeboats in tow then sail for the nearest port. He would then put the crews back into the boats and give them directions to that port.

Son of a fairly well off family in Hamburg, he ran away to sea when he was fifteen and worked his way up to command. He was a massive man whose party trick was tearing up telephone directories, first tearing them in half then doubling the halves together and tearing the halves into quarters.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Bilge Rat
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 02:54 PM

Les, Many thanks for this! There was a posting from Charley Noble that mentions David Woodward's good book, "The Secret Raiders" (W. W. Norton & Company, 1955 - now, sadly, long out of print). Since I'm a fan of "unconventional" seafaring (piracy, smuggling, cruiser warefare, etc.), I saw it and grabbed it at a used book store in Downtown Brooklyn while I was on leave from jury duty some years ago. This book is where I first found the story of the 'Stephen Hopkins' and got me inspired to write a song.

The local chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Association at Seamens' Church Institute in Manhattan (just north of South Street Seaport, where we hold our Monthly Chantey Sings) is named for Edwin O'Hara. There are two bronze plaques on the wall there that honor the Merchant Seamen and the the Naval Armed Guard who brought the ships through against so many odds. No matter what generation we are, we have to keep the memory of so many folks, from so many nations, who did what had to be done at a time when it needed doing.

I'm going to be posting a separate thread asking for more leads on the story of the 'Stephen Hopkins'. Jan C.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,HelenJ
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 03:14 PM

My cousin sailed on the Murmansk 'run'.His name - Ray Pearson. He had an amazing run of luck. Each time he moved to a new ship, the one he had just left was torpedoed. I remember the name of one - the Fort Frederick - from Manchester I think.

Paradoxically - later on I was very friendly with a German POW from the Kriegsmarine who had been a crew member of a U-Boot. That's how it goes...

HelenJ.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 02:37 PM

Hmmmmm. Don't know if I dare contribute to this thread. There's the battle between the light Australian cruiser Sydney and the German raider Kormoran, 11/19/42, in which both ships were sunk. The Sydney came up close alongside the Kormoran assuming her to be a more innocent vessel, and was effectively ambushed with gunfire and torpedo; the Kormoran was also mortally damaged in turn. The grim details are described in THE SECRET RAIDERS by David Woodward.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 01:10 PM

Teribus, sorry you misunderstood what I was saying. Once a vessel is away from the quay and subject to sinking, the risks are there for all. Yes, cargo vessels were primarily targetted. None the less, if a target was there, a raider would sink it, if possible, whether it was naval of commercial. Danger was shared.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Les from Hull
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:03 AM

Jan - get the book I mentioned earlier. The ISDN is 1-86176-158-9. It also mentions a privately published monograph by RJ Witt and PM Heaton 'The gallant ship Stephen Hopkins'.

I said earlier that Cadet O'Hara was of the armed guard, but I'm wrong. He was an engineering cadet, and became friends with Ensign Kenneth Willett who commanded the armed guard.

The battle also involved the Tannenfels, a German supply ship which was in company with Stier. The Tannenfels had a 6 inch gun.

31 days after the battle, fifteen survivors landed from their lifeboat in Brazil. Their epic journey and struggle probably deserves a song of its own!

The chapter I've noted gives all the detail you will need, and plenty of the names of the people involved.

Good luck, Les


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Jan Christensen
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 12:29 AM

I'm the JBilgeRat who's writing the song about the "Stephen Hopkins'" encounter with the German raider "Stier" on Sept. 27, 1942. I'm going to be posting a separate thread asking for more information and details on the battle from anyone who can help. It's a story that needs to be told.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Jan Christensen
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 12:19 AM

Re Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston: Have you read Jim Longhi's wonderful book, "Woody, Cisco and Me - Seamen Three in the Merchant Marine"? Jim Longhi sailed with Woody and Cisco on the North Atlantic convoys and it's a rollicking tale of their adventures on the high seas (including snatches of lyrics to songs Woody wrote).

The book came out about four years ago. Can't lay my hands on the copy I have so I can't give you the publisher or date, but the title is correct. (I had the honor to be part of a group of friends who played at a book-signing he had at Seamens' Church Institute in New York. Jim signed my copy, "Keep our memories alive, Kid." [I'm 54 now].)

If you can find it, grab it. You'll love it!


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Gareth
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 07:23 PM

And a reminder, untill (I think) 1943 When yer ship went down, yer pay stopped.

Nice thought, the time yer spent clinging to a Carley Float was unpaid.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: selby
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 02:55 PM

Do you know that the largest troop carrying convoy was WS7 that went round by South Africa. Keith


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: Les from Hull
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 02:41 PM

I think that in most cases the main targets were merchant ships. Certainly in the North Atlantic and Arctic convoys. Sitting on 10,000tons of ammunition or aviation spirit wouldn't have been my idea of a peaceful or profitable war.

Let's hope that people never have to go through that sort of thing again.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Russian Convoys (including PQ17)
From: GUEST,Bruce, Melbourne Australia
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 10:00 AM

During WWII there was a lot of bad feelings between the merchant sailors and the Navy.

Most of it concerned things like pay and condition, on most merchant seamen were higher paid than their navy equal's and on top of that many received bonuses for completing a voyage, they also spent reasonable time in port between convoys and were not subject to rationing. Also they were able to make a extra quid by bring goods in for the blackmarket. Certainly many ships were sunk but also remember that by proportion to the total number of ships sailing they were in less danger than many others in WWII

While the sailors on the escorts were paid the mimimun the Government could get away with, spent very little time in Harbour, often just enough time to fuel and provision the ship and land mail. At sea they were four hours on four off, subject to constant call for action stations, the ships were target of first choice by the U-Boats, they were constantly wet, eating cold and poorly cooked food. Have a read of books like "ONS5 The Fiercest Battle" is see what the conditions were like.

Bruce D


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