During the Second World War, the Merchant Navy’s main task was to run the German
blockade, bringing essential food, fuel and materials to a besieged nation.
The civilian crews came from all parts of the Empire and beyond – more
than one in six were killed. Even less is known about the part played by
merchantmen in evacuations from countries that were overrun. They saved
over 90,000 troops from Dunkirk and went on to rescue more than 200,000
troops and civilians from other parts of France. When Singapore fell, the
Merchant Navy again helped many to escape. They moved men and
materials for the landings of Madagascar, North Africa and the
Mediterranean coast of Europe.
A British government press release reported
that 50,000 volunteer British merchant seamen manned over 1,000 ships for
D-Day. They also manned salvage ships, rescue tugs and other specialist
craft. Merchantmen in Action tells the story of these other achievements.
Chapters include Singapore; the Norwegian campaign; Dunkirk; the
Channel Islands; Greece and Crete; Sicily and Italy; the Normandy landings;
the South of France, Gibraltar, etc, with detailed ship listing and human
234 x 156 mm • hardback • 208 pages • 32 b&w illustrations
Roy V. Martin joined the Merchant Navy
as an apprentice in 1953. He was
promoted to Third, Second and Chief
Officer with United Baltic Corporation,
and gained a Master’s Certificate in 1962.
In 1964, Martin joined Risdon Beazley as
a Chief Officer/Navigator, Relief
Master/Assistant Salvage Manager in
1971, Operations Manager in 1975 and
General Manager in 1979.
appointed Managing Director of Smit’s
Asian Operation, leaving in 1986. Since
then, Martin has been self-employed as a
This feature is currently in development.