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RUSBRIDGER, James. Who Sank Surcouf?: The Truth about the Disappearance of the Pride of the French Navy. London : Century (1991). First Printing. Pp. (6),vii-xiii,(1),1-209,(1) + 8 pages of photos. Index. 8vo, blue cloth withsilver lettering to spine. "At 3pm on the afternoon of 12 February 1942, t he French Submarine 'Surcouf', then the largest submarine in service with any navy, sailed from Bermuda bound for Tahiti via the Panama Canal. On board were 129 French officers and men, and three members of a Royal Navy liaison team. From the moment she left Bermuda, 'Surcouf' was never seen again. Not a single scrap of wreckage, body, or anything remotely connected with this giant vessel was ever found. (She) simply disappeared. On the night of 2 July, 1941 'Surcouf', docked in Devenport, was forcibly taken over by theRoyal Navy in an operation that resulted in three deaths and ma ny injurie s. A motley collection of Breton fishermen were press-ganged into geting 'Surcouf' seaworthy again. Too slow and cumbersome to serve in home waters, (she) was sent off to Canada to escort convoys across the Atlantic, but almost immediately reports circulated that 'Surcouf' had sunk some of the shipsin the first convoy she was guarding. When the British liaison officer war ned his superiors 'Surcouf' was a menace and should not be kept in service,he was accused of cowardice and replaced by Sub Lieutenant Roger Burney, a young, naive officer who had enjoyed a long homosexual relationship with t he singer Peter Pears and the composer Benjamin Britten, and was later to have 'War Requiem' dedicated to his me mory. After taking part in the unauthorised seizure of the Vichy-held islands of St Pierre and Miquelon in December 1941, which greatly angered Roosevelt and embarrassed Churchill, 'Surcouf' was ordered to sail for Tahiti. Burney warned the Admiralty that (her) crew were unreliable, and that they were openly talking about mutinying anddefecting either to France or Martinique. However, the Admiralty insisted 'Surcouf' sail - it was never seen again. The vanishing of 'Surcouf' becameone of the most controversial affairs to sour relations between the Allies with accusations that it had been deliberately sunk by the British or Amer ican navy." (from the dj). Contents : 1. The bloody tricolour. 2. The granddesign. 3. A ship divided. 4. The Flying Dutchman. 5. Into battle. 6. Cana dian intrigue. 7. Collision course. 8. The inquiry. 9. Myths and rumours. 10. The final hours. Includes the occupation of St. Pierre and Miquelon by aFree French force, which included the Surcouf. Name inked to flyleaf, else very good in nicked, unclipped dustjacket. 30.00
Title: Who Sank Surcouf? The Truth about the Disappearance of the Pride of the French Navy. First Edition in dustjacket.
Publisher: Century, London, 1991, ISBN:0712639756:
Item: 1.00 Item
Seller ID: 111661