Running the Gauntlet


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Gavin Murphy

Guest
I am currently reading Running the Gauntlet, How Three Giant Liners Carried a Million Men to War, 1942-1945, by Alister Satchell. It's good, etc. with many pics.

It was published in 2001 in UK and privately by the author in 1998 in Australia under the title The Great Gamble. Cover includes detail of a painting by Norman Wilkinson who did paintings for the T and Olympic.

Has anyone read it and what are you comments? ManInBlack where are you?

G
 
Nov 12, 2000
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Hey Gavin,
you've got me on this one. not only is it the wrong time period for me, but all the wrong ships as well! I think this book covers the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Aquitania. the author apparently served on Aquitania. that's the sum of what I know about it. sounds like a very interesting book though. I may have to look this one up myself. arrrrrgh, do you know how hard I am trying not to get enticed into collecting books about other ocean liners! ;-)

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Michael!

>do you know how hard I am trying not to get >enticed into collecting books about other ocean >liners! ;-)

If you like, I can divert your attention by providing you with a reading list of essential works on 19th Century African exploration. :)

All my best,

George
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Thanks Gavin, sounds quite interesting. From the information you've given I don't think my library will be able to get a copy, but there's a local specialist bookshop that would definitely have carried it. Next time I'm passing I'll have a look.

(Mike, ignore George's blandishments regarding The Dark Continent and turn instead to the crystalline light: let me provide you with a reading list of essential works on Antarctic exploration.
happy.gif
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Nov 12, 2000
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George, Fiona, you are NO help! lol.

actually, as George and I have discussed in the past, I was really into 19th and early 20th century explorers for many, many years. my favorites were Mary Kingsley, who travelled though Africa, and in the 1930's, Richard Halliburton who went just about everywhere!

I was collecting 19th century women explorers for quite some time. talk about an intrepid group! at a time when most women's entire life ambitions were to marry and have kids, there were women like Isabella Bird, Rosita Forbes, Mary Kingsley, Annie Brassey, Freya Stark and many more who broke the mold to boldly go where no women had gone before. sometimes where even no men dared to go. a really fascinating group of women.

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 
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Gavin Murphy

Guest
The book refers to certain people on British liners as "tigers". Do any of you folks out there in ET land know who they were? I do.......and will reveal all in a day or two.

G
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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You might be referring to the personal servant of the ship's captain, who for some reason was called the captain's tiger.

Just to make Fiona jealous, I know where I can borrow the book and I'm getting in first. :->
 
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Gavin Murphy

Guest
D!

Bingo! The expression goes back to the days of the East India Company when that co.'s ships' masters employed young Asians as their personal stewards, dressing them in colourful silks, etc. that were generally striped. Apparently shipowners put a ban on the practice when the competition grew out of hand.

Dave, have a look at the book.....v. Aussie, etc.

G
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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I've read the book in the Chatham Publications version. I don't know how available it is.

The author was a cypher officer on Aquitania and hence was privy to many secrets about the war on the Atlantic. At this distance, he's able to reveal the use made of Ultra material to route convoys and independent troopships. Essentially it's the story of Aquitania's work, with some material on the othe ships involved. There are some digressions on odd topics like Titanic and even Mary Celeste. Some may think that there is a bit of padding evident, such as the account of the sinking of Scharnhorst.

The author depicts the hard realities of the time but also tells of good times had, especially in when he lived "dat high life in Noo York". There are accounts of the fearful conditions met with on the North Atlantic and some spectacular photos of storms. An aerial shot of Queen Mary taking big seas on board is very striking.

The style is pretty dry and down-to-earth, with many facts and figures given. A seaman who looked at the book said he would have liked more detail about certain incidents, such as the rescue of the Kormoran survivors. There's nothing about their reactions and conduct.

There are a few annoying typos, including Curacoa for Curacao and Atlantis for Atlantic. Material taken from other books is not always accurate but I spotted nothing too serious.

Overall, I'd give it high marks, but it's not a comprehensive account of the work of the great liners during WW II.
 
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Gavin Murphy

Guest
..........seems he did a lot of partying too......his war was quite mild compared to others.....but a good read anyway.......
 

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