Wellingborough, 1st.ed., 1989. 288 pp., many photo-ills. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. The author provides a fascinating record of the vital role played by the Merchant Navy during the conflict at sea from the 3rd September 1939 to the 14th September 1945. This is a day-by-day account with details of every British merchant ship sunk - with data that includes her size, owners, route, cargo, and loss of life. Within an hour of war being declared in 1939, the Merchant Navy suffered its first loss when a U-boat, shadowing the unarmed passenger liner ATHENIA a few days out of Liverpool, torpedoed the ship with the loss of 112 lives. Throughout the six years of war that followed, Britain's merchant fleet lost some 4,000 vessels and over 29,000 merchant seamen. (The United States lost a further 820 ships and some 6,600 merchant seamen). This painstaking study took the author 15 years to complete. It forms the most comprehensive reference book on the subject published to date. Illustrated with many photographs. FINE copy.