The battle for the Atlantic was considered won by May 24,1943. It had been waged for 45 months from the outbreak of war. At the outbreak of war the Canadian Navy consisted of about 3000 men and 11 fighting ships.
During the bad weather, there were some indescribable mess decks inside the corvette; it would be difficult to imagine such concentrated misery anywhere else . Into two triangular compartments, about 10m by 6.7m at their greatest dimensions, are crammed some sixty-odd men; each has for his living space ------ eating, sleeping, relaxing ------ a seat on the cushioned bench which runs around the outside perimeter of each mess deck. There is a locker beneath the seat for his clothing, and a metal ditty-box ------ something like an old fashioned hatbox ------ holds his personal things in a rack above. The space where he slings his hammock ------ carefully selected by the older hands and jealously guarded ------is 46 cm beneath the deck-head, or another hammock, which are slung in tiers between stanchions and beneath pipes, wherever there is room.
Most of the deck space is taken up with scrubbed deal tables, one to each mess, where you eat or write or play interminable games of cards.
During World War II, flying in a British bomber was one of the most dangerous and imaginable jobs. Fifty-five thousand aircrew died in raids over Europe between 1939 and 1945, the highest loss rate of any major branch of the British armed forces. Yet there is no official campaign medal commemorating the sacrifices of these men. Their contribution to the war effort has been partly overshadowed by the controversy over the saturation bombing of German cities in 1944 and '45, in which tens of thousands of German civilians were killed.
There were seven...