‘Operation Pedestal’ 1942: the Role of Oral History in Uncovering the Past

By Dr Chris Howard Bailey, published November 1993


The traumatic effects of war on those involved are almost always permanent and affect the presentation of their personal experiences. The various coping methods of the seamen involved in ‘Operation Pedestal’ are discussed and how the tale and emphasis changes. The recollections are not told in terms of the fear but in terms of denial, disengagement and displacement. Often such displacement or distancing accommodated witnessing individual acts of courage, seamanship and humour in their reconstruction of the event. The historical and highly personal memories of the participants add to the official story of the operation.

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Filed under: WW2 | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea

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