All Brave Sailors: The Sinking of the Anglo Saxon, August 21, 1940

By J. Revell Carr
Read by George Wilson

6.20 Hours 01/01/2004 abridged
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    ISBN: 9780743540964

In the darkness before moonrise on the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast on August 21, 1940, the night erupted in a fusillade of bullets and shells. The victim was a stalwart English tramp steamer, Anglo Saxon, part of the lifeline that was keeping besieged England in supplies. The attacker was the Widder, a German surface raider disguised as a merchant ship from a neutral country. As it neared its prey, the German raider dropped its disguise, unmasked its hidden armament and destroyed the target ship with an overwhelming force. Only seven of the forty-one man crew of Anglo Saxon managed to escape in a small boat. Seventy days later two of them stumbled ashore in the Bahamas, half dead. This riveting account of the sailors' ordeal reveals how first the badly wounded and then the less strong died and were thrown over the side of a fragile boat carrying meager supplies. As the two survivors reached the Bahamas, the Widder arrived in occupied France, her murderous voyage over. Her captain, Hellmuth von Ruckteschell, who had sunk twenty-five ships, was eventually tried as a war criminal. All Brave Sailors -- a story of heroism, brutality, and survival -- tells the story of merchant marine ships fighting against great odds in the early days of the war.

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Summary

Summary

In the darkness before moonrise on the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast on August 21, 1940, the night erupted in a fusillade of bullets and shells. The victim was a stalwart English tramp steamer, Anglo Saxon, part of the lifeline that was keeping besieged England in supplies. The attacker was the Widder, a German surface raider disguised as a merchant ship from a neutral country.

As it neared its prey, the German raider dropped its disguise, unmasked its hidden armament and destroyed the target ship with an overwhelming force. Only seven of the forty-one man crew of Anglo Saxon managed to escape in a small boat. Seventy days later two of them stumbled ashore in the Bahamas, half dead.

This riveting account of the sailors' ordeal reveals how first the badly wounded and then the less strong died and were thrown over the side of a fragile boat carrying meager supplies.

As the two survivors reached the Bahamas, the Widder arrived in occupied France, her murderous voyage over. Her captain, Hellmuth von Ruckteschell, who had sunk twenty-five ships, was eventually tried as a war criminal.

All Brave Sailors -- a story of heroism, brutality, and survival -- tells the story of merchant marine ships fighting against great odds in the early days of the war.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Revell Carr is one of the world’s outstanding maritime historians. It turns out he writes like a prize-winning novelist. With extraordinary research he has put together the true story of one ship and one life boat that synthesizes in gripping, heart-stopping detail the story of the battle of the Atlantic, and the victory over the German U-boats and raiders, that cost thousands of lives of merchant seamen but made possible Hitler’s ultimate defeat.”  Walter Cronkite
“In the tale of the merciless assault by the German raider the Widder on the Anglo-Saxon, a British merchant marine vessel, Carr has chosen a typical WWII subject with untold riches beneath the surface, crafting a story that remains, generations later, well worth telling…Carr wrings every fascinating last drop out of this powerful material.”  Publishers Weekly
“Carr paints a vivid portrait of the Allied merchant navies at war and a good character profile of the ruthless, enigmatic, and skilled von Ruckteschell. Carr, a former president of the Mystic Seaport Museum, has contributed to the survival-at-sea and World War II literatures a book sure to draw boatloads of readers.”  Booklist
“A Nazi raider sends a British merchant ship to the bottom of the Atlantic in the summer of 1940—and thus begins one of history’s greatest sagas of survival at sea. Through meticulous research and with a keen eye for detail, Revell Carr captures the drama and tragedy and indomitable human spirit that finally prevails.”  Osborn Elliott, former editor-in-chief of Newsweek and Dean Emeritus, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: J. Revell Carr

J. Revell Carr is a former president and director of Mystic Seaport, Americas leading maritime museum. While at the museum he was responsible for the jolly boat of the Anglo Saxon. A former naval officer, he was also president of the Council of American Maritime Museums and the International Congress of Maritime Museums. He lives on the coast of Maine.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 6.20
Audience: Adult
Language: English