Broome, Captain Jack.


William Kimber, 1st.ed., 1972. 232 pp., 4 photo-plates, 23 other ills., 4 maps & diagrams, + 74 facsimiles of signals. D.j., 24 x 16cm. Nr.FINE. The author introduces a new method of studying an event in naval history by tracing the operational sequences of actual signals exchanged. In this book he examines the signals exchanged by the ill-fated Russian-bound PQ 17 convoy, from June 27 to July 4, 1942. Given verbatim, these 74 signals tell the story of the 35 Allied merchant ships and their close escort of six British destroyers and other vessels. As the Admiralty expected the most determined attack yet, not only from U-boats and enemy aircraft but also from the powerful battleship TIRPITZ, an additional covering force was provided comprising of four cruisers and three further destroyers. In case a major fleet action developed, the Home Fleet was also at sea under Admiral Tovey. The convoy successfully beat off repeated attacks until the Admiralty, in the mistaken belief that the TIRPITZ and other major warships were about to attack PQ 17, sent the fateful signal : Convoy is to scatter. What followed was slaughter. Of the 35 unprotected merchant ships only 11 reached Russian ports. The author, Captain Jack Broome, was Senior Officer of the close escort.

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