Arctic Convoy PQ8: The Story of Capt Robert Brundle and the SS Harmatris Hardcover – 19 Nov 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Dogged from the outset, the Harmatris originally sailed as part of convoy PQ6 but had to return home after damage and a fire in one of her holds. Duly repaired, she then joined PQ8 with her Master - Captain Robert Brundle, appointed Convoy Commodore. It was 26 December 1941 and one Cruiser, two Destroyers and two Minesweepers escorted the eight merchant ships of that convoy. This was a journey through the gates of Hell with the Harmatris taking no fewer than three direct torpedo hits. Evacuated after the third strike and later re-boarded by her crew, she was taken in tow and finally limped into Murmansk on 20 January 1942 after surviving numerous air attacks during the final leg of that journey. One of the convoy escorts, HMS Matabele, had been lost with only two of her crew surviving.Read more ›
Unfortunately only a minority of the text is devoted to the SS Harmatris, her Captain and crew. There are few direct quotes from the Captain's diaries and reports. The greater part of the book provides background and a summary of other Arctic convoys through to the end of the war, long after the Arctic voyages of the Harmatris. These topics are covered with greater depth and scholarship in existing works such as Arctic Convoys 1941-1945 by Richard Woodman. The book lacks footnotes citing the sources for key statements. This is a missed opportunity to focus on the unique and compelling story of the Harmatris and her Captain. Perhaps the editors at Pen-and-Sword books could have better assisted the author to make the best of the book?Read more ›