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Blood in the Sea: HMS Dunedin and the Enigma Code [Hardcover]

Stuart Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: £20.00
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Book Description

9 Oct 2003
Over 300 men died when the light cruiser Dunedin went down in the South Atlantic, victim of two torpedoes fired from the German submarine U124. For the 250 or so who managed to escape the ship, the next seventy eight hours were to be a nightmare of torture and slow death. Some men died of their injuries, some died of exhaustion, some went insane, others were drowned, some were bitten and killed by vicious fish. Only six Carley rafts were left afloat when rescue arrived in the form of an American merchantman, who lifted 72 men to safety: five died before they made it to port. This moving, intensively researched book is an account of life and death at sea, and tells also the story of how the Dunedin came to be where she was, looking for a U-boat wolf pack as a result of information received from the Enigma codebreakers in Bletchley Park. Amazingly, the story of the Dunedin has never been told before in any detail. This book has it all.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1st edition (9 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297846655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297846659
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 799,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Written by the son of one of the (very few) survivors, this book tells the gripping story of the fate of HMS Dunedin and her crew when they were hit by a U-boat torpedo in 1941.' (LIVING HISTORY (January 2004))

Book Description

The untold story of a warship on patrol in the deceptively calm waters of the South Atlantic, her crew and their awful joint fate - inextricably linked to German naval Enigma decrypts from Bletchley Park. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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The early-evening sky hinted at the arrival of a fourth night afloat. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dunedin Story - A great read. 25 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is a fascinating account of life aboard the ageing British Light Cruiser HMS Dunedin from the outset of World War 2. The book’s title and publicity concentrates on the ship’s destruction by U-124 in November 1941 with the loss of over 400 of her crew. In fact that event, and the tales of those who survived or died on life-rafts in the South Atlantic, occupies only the last quarter of the book. For the most part the narrative is both an absorbing and very human tale of the seamen, marines and officers on board, and the ship’s contribution to naval action across the world stage.
For me this is an exceptional book because of the way Stuart Gill presents the story. He interweaves the account given by his father, marine William Gill (one of five living survivors) with letters home from a young supply assistant Leslie Russell and a surgeon Harold Broadway, both of whom died with the ship. Stuart also interviewed other survivors, relatives and naval personnel, and must have carried out extensive and thorough research of military records and signals to present such a comprehensive study of events.
From Spring 1941 de-coding of German signals through Bletchley Park, using a captured Enigma machine, became vital to our anti-submarine activities, and influenced Dunedin’s Atlantic patrol routes. Her targets were the ships supplying U-boats with fuel and supplies, but she possessed no submarine detection equipment. The book reveals the relevant information and signals that unknowingly led to the chance encounter between the ship and U-124.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matter-of fact-ness that makes me cry 18 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback
Reading about the wars always make me feel odd, it was the timne of my parents childhood and I always fell grateful to the men who fought for us, against Germany.
This book is no exception. The story of the Dunedin is told with such accuracy and precision that it chills me. Not to say that the language in any way is cold, but it is very matter-of-fact in a way that only emphasizes the tragedy of what really happened and of what importance it had on the war, what impact on the British High Command. That is to say very little.
The horrors of war and the millions of deaths are always difficult to grasp, but reading about the deaths of a few in this way really makes it so much more real.
I could think of at least a dozen different approaches to the story that Mr Gill could have used, all of which would have produced a much worse result.
I strongly recommend this book , not only to those interested in naval warfare and nautica, but to anyone who want to understand the war spirit and the lives of men at war.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My Grandfather was a survivor from the Dunedin, although he would never talk about his experience. Sadly he passed away 8 years ago and by pure chance we stumbled upon this remarkable book. It has given us so much - a real insight in to life on board ship, a true account of what happened after the ship went down and a real feeling of the friendships and bonds that were formed by these brave young men. Stuart Gill's book is beautifully done, with true accounts from his own Father as well as photos and information from other crew members. For us as a family it has brought a little bit of our brave Marine back to us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good Historical read 24 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading history books and especially ones relating to the second world war. This was of particular interest to me as my Mothers brother James Smithies died on this vessel when it was torpedoed. Not for those that want an action story but for those who like an in-site into the deceptions and the horror of war.
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