The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy

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The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy

A reworked image using a propaganda poster from 1942 painted by Charles Wood and a photo I took of a veteran of the Merchant Navy’s Atlantic Convoys at a service in Liverpool marking Merchant Navy Day, September 2011.

During WWII, over 36,000 civilian seamen of various nationalities lost their lives transporting food and goods from North America to the UK.

5 comments on “The life-line is firm thanks to the Merchant Navy
  1. Ang Wickham says:

    War losses, in terms of numbers of people, always – always, strike me as ‘so many’! 36,000 is another ‘so many’ figure – the addition of ‘civilian’ seaman makes it all the more worse. I really don’t know enough of what happened at sea – my reading taking in air combat and some land combat, but the sea, well my aversion to deep water and that I experience a real sense of terror anytime I read or hear of ships / subs sinking means I probably won’t know enough of this subject. So, great post – eye-catching and concise, and serves to remind me of this side of the war I find personally difficult to learn about.

  2. paul says:

    In many ways this is where the war was won . Whilst the killing fields of the East had the greatest loss of life this is the real battle in my eyes at least . Without this lifeline Britain would have at the very best simply just been. With the atlantic lifeline Britain became the launch point for the second front against Nazi Germany , Without which they would have been able to exert full force against the Russians …..whio can now say now if the Russians could have withstood the entire might of Nazi germany .

    • Ian D B says:

      Without Britain and the US, no, I doubt the USSR would have been able to hold off the Nazis. They had the numbers but not the tactics and tech (or rather they did have them but despised their own people so much they just threw them into full frontal assaults instead).

      Stalin would have hated to admit he needed the help of the Allies so for him to pester the Allies to open up new fronts rather proves it was needed, even if they did downplay the Western front as a sideshow.

      Equally, the Allies could not have defeated Hitler without Stalin. It is amazing we came out of it as well as we did and like you say, the Atlantic lifeline is what kept it all together. What was it Churchill said – “The Battle of the Atlantic was the only thing that ever frightened me.”

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