Twixt the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Janet Kinrade Dethick and Anne M. Corke.

Author Rating:
4/5,
Average User Rating:
4/5,
  • The story of the crew of HM Submarine Saracen.

    There has obviously been a lot of in depth research into writing the book as is shown by the details unearthed of the various crew members exploits. I was particularly interested as Mike Lumby her first and only Commanding Officer was a Dorchester man who later in life was the President of the Dorset Branch of the Submariners Association, I still see his son from time to time.

    An interesting first chapter contains the information that one in three British Submariners lost their lives during the second world war, a horrifying fact, but there is no doubt that the Mediterranean campaign (where a lot of Boats were lost) contributed hugely to the defeat of the Axis Forces, by disrupting their supply chain.

    The book is unusual in that it concentrates on the Junior and Senior Rates rather that the Officers. The first part gives details of the wartime patrols of the Saracen up to her sinking by Italian Forces and the crew being taken into captivity as prisoners of war.

    From then on there are numerous tales of escape and capture (and escape again in some cases). Some lived with local Italian families whilst on the run, others were involved with resistance groups.

    Thankfully that vast majority of the crew survived both the sinking and the periods of imprisonment to return home to their families.

    Not an easy book to read, because of the necessary cross references, but well worth the effort.

    I give it four anchors.

    Janner.

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