The Maritime History of World War Two

October 2021

This week we are exploring the maritime history of the Second World War with Professor Evan Mawdsley. For many years Evan was Professor of International History at the University of Glasgow. His recent book ‘The War for the Sea: The Maritime History of World War 2’ has recently won the prestigious Anderson Medal, awarded each year by the Society for Nautical Research for an outstanding book on maritime history. Evan traces events at sea from the first U-boat operations in 1939 to the surrender of Japan. He argues that the Allied counterattack involved not just decisive sea battles, but a long struggle to control shipping arteries and move armies across the sea. Covering all the major actions in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as those in the narrow seas, this book interweaves for the first time the endeavours of the maritime forces of the British Empire, the United States, Germany, and Japan, as well as those of France, Italy, and Russia. In this episode Dr Sam Willis spoke with Evan to find out more about his exciting work which challenges our existing understanding of the war.

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    Sam Willis

    From the Society for Nautical Research, in partnership with Lloyd’s Register Foundation, I’m Sam Willis and this is the Mariner’s Mirror Podcast, the world’s number one podcast dedicated to all maritime history.

    Hello everyone and welcome to the Mariner’s Mirror Podcast. This week we are speaking with Professor Evan Mawdsley about the maritime history of the Second World War.

    Evan recently won the prestigious Anderson Medal, awarded each year by the Society for Nautical Research for an outstanding book on maritime history. In this case for his book, ‘The War for the Seas: The Maritime History of World War Two’, it’s a standout work because it’s the first fully integrated account of the truly global dimension to the war. Evan traces events at sea from the first U-boat operations in 1939, all the way up to the surrender of Japan. He argues that the Allied counterattack involved not just decisive sea battles, but a long struggle to control shipping arteries, and to move armies across the sea. Covering all the major actions in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans as well as those in the narrow seas, this book interweaves for the very first time the endeavours of the maritime forces of the British Empire, the United States, Germany, Japan, as well as those of France, Italy, and Russia. I spoke to Evan to find out more about this exciting work which challenges our existing understanding of the war. For many years, Evan was Professor of International History at the University of Glasgow and is now an honorary Professorial Research Fellow there. He has written many books, all of which you should read; he’s enjoyed a lifetime interest both in the maritime world and also in the political history of Russia. I enormously enjoyed speaking to him in his study in Glasgow, and I hope you enjoy listening as much. Here’s Evan.

    Evan, it’s very nice of you to take the time to talk to me today.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Sam, it’s good of you for calling. In fact, it’s a pleasure.

    Sam Willis

    I’m very, very impressed with your book. But I think I’m more impressed with you having the idea for the book. Why did you decide to write an overall history of the sea war? It’s some decision that.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Yes, I discussed it with my publishers, and I posed them and another idea, which was about the cold sea war, the war between America and Russia after 1945 and going through the Cuban Missile Crisis, and so on. And I’ve checked that was really a good idea. There’s a lot of new materials, caveat and I know Russian, and so on. But they weren’t very keen on the Cold War. So, in the end, they said, ‘Why don’t you do it on the Second World War as a whole, the whole Naval War?’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s not really a great idea. Because I mean, that’s been done. You know, there are lots of books out there that are about the war at sea’. But they thought it was a good idea. So, I said, I’d go and have a look. And I decided in fact that there, although there had been interesting books written about, they were now getting on about 20 years old, there was a lot of new material coming out to bring in. And so, I thought it was actually something that I could do. I had also just done a history, not just. but I had written a one-volume history of World War Two. So, you know, I had a kind of grasp of how you deal with a big picture. So, that was kind of how the whole project emerged.

    Sam Willis

    You talk about how to deal with the big picture. That’s obviously one of the challenges, but there are many more, I suspect. What are the challenges of writing a maritime history of this war?

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Well, if you try to write a history of the whole war, you know, it’s the – one of the problems is how do you cram all of that into one volume, which is of a reasonable size. And this book is like, you know, it’s a fairly big book, but I think it does actually cover things, but you can’t cover everything. And I think also you want to avoid making it a simple narrative. And if you did it kind of month by month, it certainly wouldn’t work because what’s happening in say, Russia is very different from what’s happening in Western Europe; and what’s happening in the Far East and the Pacific is again, totally different; and yet, they are all interconnected. So, I think that’s part of the challenge. Another part of the challenge is the source material, which is better not only in English but also in other languages, other languages for certain subjects. So, getting material on France or Italy or Russia is more difficult than getting material on the Royal Navy or material on the United States Navy. So, that was part of the challenge. I was also trying, you know, to be unconventional in the sense that I didn’t want to make it all about the US Navy and the Pacific War; I was trying to bring in all aspects of the conflict. And so that was definitely a challenge.

    Sam Willis

    Did you baulk at any of those challenges? Or were you just fired up with more enthusiasm every time you met a problem?

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    No, I didn’t really baulk at any challenges. So, it was difficult. I mean, one of the problems is, you know, you have to – I was trying to tell a story. So, suppose you want to tell a story of the French Navy, okay, it kind of – it sort of ends in 1940, when it’s partly sunk by the British and the Germans take over in mainland France. But you know, if you try to go back in the French Navy later on, in later chapters, chronologically, later chapters, it wouldn’t really work. So, I kind of dealt with all of France in one chapter, right? So, you go from 1940 to 1944, with the French Navy, and then you have to go back to 1940 in the Battle of Britain, you know, that side of it, so that, doing that, was quite complicated, although, you know, it was a challenge to overcome to do that and make sense of it without I think losing the reader.

    Sam Willis

    What about dealing with the kind of quantity of material that’s been published? That’s a real problem. I mean, I, the biggest book I’ve written was on the American Revolution and I was just about able to deal with that. But it becomes exponentially, there’s more material, the closer you get to the present day. So, the Second World War, there’s an enormous amount of stuff published, did you have a technique of how to kind of deal with it all?

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Well, obviously, it involved a lot of reading. I mean, because I had written this book about the Second World War, I had done a lot of the background reading, and I’d written another book, which was about Pearl Harbour. So, there are things that I already knew about, and it was kind of things that I didn’t know about that I had to kind of fill in. So, things like the French Navy, for example, or the Italian Navy, are things that require quite a lot of digging. And that was really in a way, one of the most interesting things. I mean, you probably agree that if you’re writing, one of the really interesting things is finding new stuff, not just going over what you’ve done before. So, it was actually quite satisfying too, you know, I didn’t know much about the French Navy, and I learned a lot about it in the course of writing this long chapter; I actually knew a lot about the Russian Navy so that was relatively easy kind of cramming all that into one chapter was the only real challenge there. But yes, there are a lot of things you have to deal with for this kind of project. Was your book on the American Navy just about – on the American Revolution – just about sort of 1776 to 1783? Or did you go on beyond that?

    Sam Willis

    No, it was about 1783. And it started before 1776. But it was a global approach to it. But it was interesting because I had a decent foundation in my understanding of some navies and some operations of what was happening. But it made me realise what you were just talking about here is that your capacity as a historian to write a book changes as you learn to write any kind of book changes the longer you are a historian. So, it sounds to me like you were able to write this book now, which you may not have been able to write 10 years ago.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Well, yes, it’s true. And also, I think I couldn’t, I mean, I retired in 2010 so I actually had more time to do something that I wanted to do that I hadn’t done before. And so that was kind of a fresh thing. The other thing was that I’m operating in Scotland, and although I have good library access, and there’s a very good National Library in Edinburgh, there were limits to what [lost] actually get. But interlibrary loans are very good and a lot of stuff is now available online obviously so you can find source material you couldn’t before. But I’m just going say, getting back to the revolution, I’ve just been reading ‘Six Frigates’ the book about the early US Navy, which is absolutely brilliant. There isn’t very much in it about the revolution, it’s more about the War of 1812 and about the Barbary pirates, but I hadn’t really read much about the sailing navies before and that’s been a real challenge. I’ve also seen Hamilton, so I have a whole interest in American politics at the time of the revolution that I didn’t have before.

    Sam Willis

    Again, it’s fascinating the way that the politics kind of played into the birth of the Navy and where the money came from and it makes you realise how political navies are basically, you can’t do anything without the money.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    I had no idea, but the Federalists and Republicans were deeply divided about whether America needed a Navy at all. The danger was if you got involved in building a Navy, then you became a kind of imperial power, which was not what America was all about. So, you get people like Jefferson and Adams arguing about should you have a Navy, and it’s kind of fascinating. The other thing about that is that all of the major – a lot of the major American ships, especially the carriers, are named after either battles of the war against the British or they’re named after small sailing ships, which fought in the early US Navy against the British. So, almost without exception, they all commemorative battles against the British Empire, which is really interesting, given the eventual alliance of 1941.

    Sam Willis

    One of the things actually, before we move on to the Second World War, but the scale of the naval challenge in the American Revolution, is it wasn’t just naval ships fighting on oceans, they were fighting on rivers, they were fighting on lakes, there was almost every possible maritime watery challenge was given to them – all the way up, and sort of into America, as well, as well as what was happening in India and Europe. And I thought that was particularly fascinating being able to write about wars on rivers and wars on lakes as well as wars and sea.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Yes, that actually comes in not so much in the Second World War, the area where it’s quite interesting actually, is Russia where there are river line operations involving river fleets in the Volga, the Dnieper, and elsewhere and there’s a lot of that. And also, in the Russian system everything has to be moved around and over the rivers to actually get from factories to the front and between – go from the Baltic to the Black Sea, or from the Baltic to the White Sea involves using the river system. And so that’s interesting. But I mean the American Civil War is even more interesting for river fighting actually, I think, that really is fascinating.

    Sam Willis

    And what makes you actually realise, but this is so important for something like a maritime history of the Second World War, is when you consider an idea like seamanship, it makes you realise how many different aspects to seamanship there are. So, there’s the seamanship of being able to manoeuvre in rivers, to be able to deal with ice, to be able to operate in deep oceans, and the huge variety of skills and experience that needed to be built up to operate where they needed to.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Yes, well, that’s right. But I think the other thing about it is, is that certainly with the US Navy, and I think what, to a good degree to all navies, but especially the US Navy, you know, 95% of these carrier crews had never been to sea before. There was a handful of career officers, I would guess twenty/forty offices on a carrier who actually had any sea experience. There were a few non-commissioned officers, but all the enlisted personnel were probably a lot of them never even seen the sea before, let alone taking a carrier across the Pacific to attack Japan. I think that if you think about Mahan, and Mahan talks about well, how can a country be a major sea power? And one of the critical things for him is that you have a seafaring nation, you know, there’s a tradition of working to see through fisheries or trade or whatever. And that’s not really true in the Russian case, and it’s not really true in the American case, either. Britain is really – Britain does have this huge Merchant Navy, but a lot of accrues by 1943-44 are hostilities only. And they’ve never been to sea either. So, I think that although the skills are really important. But what’s so wonderful about the Allies is they actually train people in those skills and that includes not only ships at sea, it also includes shipbuilding, which has to be developed with a whole new workforce. So, I’m quite interested in that kind of industrial maritime link, how that all fits together. Because, of course, one of the things which I think that in terms of the British, what Americans in particular, I think lose sight of, is just how important the Merchant Navy is. Britain actually has, I don’t know, 30 or 40% of world tonnage is actually all under British control before the war starts. And the Americans, that’s a continental state, so they really haven’t got – they have a shipping industry, but it’s not, it isn’t on the scale of the British. And I think that that kind of dimension, likewise, the colonial system – the British already have a network of bases all around the globe, when the war starts. So, there’s more to power I think than just ships and the number of battleships and cruisers and destroyers that you have.

    Sam Willis

    I like this idea about people going to sea not being experienced, of it at all. And that’s certainly something I’ve come across in the 18th century, and before. A kind of an open-eyed wonder of what they’re looking at. And it’s really interesting to think that that was the same case in the Second World War. So, you can’t assume that these guys are all professional sailors.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    No, that’s right. But I think the thing is that, in a way, the whole point about the Second World War is that people go to war for a short period of time, and then go back into something else. Whereas if you’re looking at the 19th/18th century, then people are really, they’re really in the ships for life; they go in very young, and they and they have no expectation of going anywhere else. Whereas in the Second World War that is kind of like, you know, if you went, – I mean someone who in one of the memoirs I was reading someone equation being on a modern worship to being in a factory. And I think there’s some truth to that, that you’re, especially a factory for relatively unskilled people, but where the actual workings of the factory are machinery, and you need a certain kind of skill to deal with that, but not really seafaring as such. And of course, as you know, it relates to modern seafaring, which is, as you know, a kind of invisible industry, which people don’t really know very much with ships with quite small crews, which are on the whole invisible unless they get stuck in the middle of the Suez Canal.

    Sam Willis

    And I suppose the other aspect of that is that there was a great deal of troops being transported around, so people who were not required to do any seamanship at all, but they’re still having a maritime experience of the war.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Yes, yes, absolutely. I mean, one thing which I really stress in the book, is it’s a maritime history as opposed to a naval history. So, I mean, a naval history being about how one might see it, the kind of top end of battleships, cruisers, and so on, warships of a kind of recognisable type. And the maritime dimension is different because one of the things that maritime assumes is that it’s the link between Army and Navy, it’s a movement of troops, which is so important. And that’s really, really, true in the Second World War. I mean, we talk a bit about the shipping crisis and the fact that there are times when the U-boat seems to be getting control of the Atlantic and so on, there’s a lack of ships available. But very often those crises, especially from 1942 onwards, are really symptoms of success, rather than failure. What’s happening is shipping is needed to conduct amphibious operations, it’s needed to transport troops from one continent to another, and because of that, there’s a shortage for moving commercial stuff overseas. But as I say, as you’re suggesting, I think that the element of shipping and movement and shoot movement is so important. And one of the points is that the sea power is what makes victory feasible, it provides the potential for doing that. The other thing I say about maritime power, and my kind of view of it, is that it’s not just about ships. And in the book, I make a lot of what’s called ‘sea/-air war’ with a slash and oblique between the sea and the air because really control of the seas in the Second World War is done partly by warships, but it’s also done by land-based aircraft, it’s done by ship-based aircraft. It’s made possible by the capture of airbases and the building of aircraft carriers. So, without saying as some people might say that the warship is made obsolete, I would say that in fact that it’s a system which is so remarkable. And what the Allies do really well I think, is that they coordinate land and air and sea forces more effectively than the other side do.

    Sam Willis

    I’ve always been interested in the kind of, it’s almost like a ghost of sea power, like a threat of sea power. So, you don’t actually need to have ships present in one position to exert influence on that particular theatre, it’s the threat of them being able to arrive there quite quickly. And also, you can see once the Navy has been in a certain location, as soon as it’s left, it still exerts a huge influence on the area that it’s been in. So, to be able to kind of pinpoint that it’s actually very difficult indeed, and particularly for the Second World War. So, you know, you might have your ships moving around like a chess piece, but actually, the area of influences is infinitely wider than that.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    No, that’s right. And I think that’s, I mean, what I’m working on at the moment is a book on Task Force 58, which was the main Pacific fast carrier force and I’m looking at just the first part of 1944. But partly because one of the things that I felt I had not developed as fully as I might have in ‘War for the Seas’, because of the space available, as I didn’t talk about bases, and logistics as much as I could have. And if you look at America, going across the Pacific, then it is extraordinary, the base system, which is created. I mean, most of the United States Navy is built in the northeastern states of the US, right, so they’re like, seven or eight thousand miles away from where the battle is going to be fought. And half of the problem of the American strategy is building a system of bases across the Pacific, where they can eventually attack or blockade Japan from fairly close ranges. And that does involve a huge amount of interaction with the local population and changing the whole nature of the Pacific. But it’s true also I think in Europe as well, that the navies do have a huge impact.

    The idea of navies having an influence when they’re not there is also, I think, interesting, but maybe more from maybe the strongest case of that is Germany, I think, where a lot of German power is kind of wielded by a fleet in being. They actually have ships that they might be able to use to threaten a British trade. And a lot of the efforts of the Royal Navy in those years are devoted to making sure that the German fleet is actually contained. Another example of that, I think, is the original Allied notion of how the war would go in the Pacific. And their understanding was that it’d be possible to contain Japan, to prevent Japan from making aggressive steps outside China, by the fact that the Royal Navy, possibly in Singapore, and the US Navy in Pearl Harbour, would be potential threats to any Japanese action against British or American interests. Now that assumption turned out to be flawed in a number of ways. But it was an example of trying to use the threat of sea power, the threat of deterrence, as a way of containing Japanese aggression in 1940 and 1941.

    Sam Willis

    Yes, fascinating stuff. What’s your view on the relative importance of the European versus the Pacific theatres?

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Well, I suppose my original view, if you’d asked me when I was 25 what I thought I probably could have said that the Pacific theatre was a lot more important than the Western and Atlantic theatres. And also, the kind of complicating factor for me, also is that I was a historian of the Soviet Union for most of my teaching career, and so I’ve written a couple of books about the war on the Eastern Front, and so I always see that as being really kind of essential to the conduct of the war as well. So, when I got into writing the ‘War for the Seas’, I kind of had to think about really what was important what wasn’t important. And it seemed to me that actually, the European Atlantic Theatre is really what is so decisively important for the Allied victory. And that isn’t because there have been their major fleet actions in the Atlantic or the European Theatre, the German Navy is pretty small, the Italian Navy is relatively ineffective. So, really the biggest battle that people know about is the pursuit of the Bismarck in May of 1941, and that only involved two German ships. So, it was hardly a major fleet action. Whereas in the Pacific, there were three major naval battles which involved almost the entire complement of the Japanese and American navies midway, the Philippine Sea and Gulf. And there were another almost half dozen more battles, which involved capital ships. So you know, you kind of think that actually is a lot more going on in the Pacific, then there is the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. But I think if you go away from thinking of the war of the seas as being about battles between ships, and you think about it in terms of maritime history, in fact, the war in Europe is more important because Germany is more important than Japan is. I think, whatever happened, Japan is not going to dominate the world after the war, but Germany might have if Germany had been able to keep control of continental Europe after 1940 (after the fall of France) it would have been extremely hard to challenge that vision of power which Germany held; it would have actually held, had control of all Europe. And probably, if Britain had collapsed, Russia would not have been able to hold out as a European power – there wouldn’t be this huge area of resources controlled by the Germans and the Italians in the Atlantic in the Mediterranean and a counterattack would have been impossible. So, it’s because of the ability to hold open the Atlantic trade routes, to continue to supply a war effort in the Mediterranean, and to supply Britain, it’s because of that, that the war can continue towards an Allied victory. And I don’t see the same kind of situation arising in the Pacific.

    Sam Willis

    You mentioned there the Russians, I’m very interested in this because your book is very consciously about all navies in the war. So, it’s not just focused on the major one, so that you write a lot about the Italians, the French, and also the Navy of the Soviet Union, which I didn’t know much about at all. So, I was fascinated by that.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Yes, nobody does. That’s why it’s quite interesting. The first book I ever wrote was about the Russian Navy in the Revolution, although it was mainly about politics, but it was about the sailors as a revolutionary force, and that they were, I mean, Trotsky called them the pride and glory of the revolution, because it was so revolutionary. And they were, you know, they played quite a big role in spreading the Bolshevik power. So, I knew a lot about that, and then I wrote a book about the war in the Eastern Front, and on purpose, I didn’t talk about the Navy at all, because I thought that it wasn’t crucial to the Soviet success – it was about tanks and armies and the kind of conventional battles of the war – because I thought that the Navy was relatively small when the war began. And what there was, was, a lot of what was in the Black Sea, in the Baltic, was sunk by the Germans fairly early in the war.

    But nevertheless, I think the thing people often lose sight of is that Russia has a very long maritime tradition. It’s a lot longer than the maritime tradition of Japan, or of Germany, or of the United States. So, Russia had a major Navy in the 18th century, when Japan and Germany weren’t unified countries, and the American Navy was very small. The Russian Navy has had its up and downs, obviously, but at times it has been very big. So, before 1900 Russia and France were regarded as Britain’s biggest enemies potentially in the world. And then again of course after 1945 the Cold War involved the building of quite a powerful Russian Navy. The problem in 1941 was that Russia hadn’t recovered from the First World War and the Revolution and was only beginning a major shipbuilding program. The Navy was quite big in terms of the number of people in it, but in the end a lot of them maybe 400,000 fought on the land front as soldiers rather than as sailors. But I wouldn’t say that it had a decisive role in winning the war, but I think it was nevertheless it was very active at doing several things. And it’s worth knowing about. There isn’t yet a good, as far as I know, a good one-volume history on the Russian Navy and the war.

    Sam Willis

    Well, we talked a lot about navies. Let’s just briefly finish up by talking about the importance of merchant shipping because your book is, as I say, a maritime rather than a naval history so it covers all aspects of it. How did you tackle the idea of the question of merchant shipping in the Second World War?

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Well, I learned a lot about merchant shipping. Oddly enough I didn’t really know much. When I started, I think if you’re in naval history, you know about aircraft carriers, and cruisers and destroyers, but there’s a whole different branch of maritime history, of people who are interested in merchant navies and so on. And so, I mean I knew kind of the rough outlines and I do live in Glasgow, which has this very strong maritime tradition of shipbuilding, mostly of building relationships. So, I think I learned a lot more about that. I mean, I hadn’t realised how much larger the British Merchant Marine was than the American Merchant Marine, for example. I mean, America doesn’t actually build very many merchant ships when the Second World War begins. In fact, partly because American prices are very high – America, workers are paid a lot, so ships are very expensive to an outside market. But what’s extraordinary, I think, is both how powerful the British Merchant Navy was, how big it was, how extensive it was, how far-reaching it was, how well organised it was, but also how remarkable it was that the Americans were able, after 1941, to build this huge collection of new merchant ships. So, the limited ship construction alone was larger than the US Navy had been before the war started. And there’s a huge mass of American merchant ships built during the war, which aren’t really designed to last, it’s assumed, they’re not very good, and they won’t last very long after the war, but they’re cheap, and they’re about 10,000 tonnes. And that’s true in terms of amphibious shipping as well, that they build that. Almost none of that has survived – this huge amphibious navy built by the Americans – there are very few ships around. There are no LSTs that have survived the war, and it’s kind of ephemeral. But I think that is extremely interesting as well.

    So yes, I find the whole convoy organisation very interesting as well, how that works. My general view, I think, was that as with the Atlantic war and the war against shipping, it tends to be exaggerated. On the whole, I think that the British managed fleet escort and anti-submarine warfare very effectively. And the German Navy was relatively weak. I mean, it began building submarines on a really large scale, too late. But nevertheless, it was possible for the allies to keep the Atlantic open both for merchant shipping, and especially for the shipping of troops from west to east, throughout the war, and that, to my mind, is what really facilitates the eventual victory of the allies in the West in the Second World War.

    Sam Willis

    I liked what you said about the importance of the Arctic convoys and saying, yes, they were good, but there’s also all of the material being shipped in through Vladivostok, around the other way, people didn’t know so much about that.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    Yes, that’s true. I mean, there’s a very interesting Arctic convoy museum in Wester Ross, let’s mention that if you’re up in the north of Scotland; they’re expanding, and they had a lot – that’s where a lot of the Russian convoys left from, so that’s really interesting. But yes, I mean, the Russian convoys, I think, are a little bit misunderstood, because partly because of PQ 17, which was a huge disaster for the Allies, where most of the convoy was sunk, but it was kind of the exception. And so, in 1943-1944-45, so those convoys were relatively limited, and the losses were relatively low as well. But I think the other thing I think I will mention is that, from that point of view, the Persian Gulf was more important than the Murmansk convoys, and that the shipping line through Vladivostok, from the American West Coast to Vladivostok, was the largest single route for taking material into Russia from the outside because Japan was neutral at that time, and didn’t block the shipping route up the American West Coast and west of Alaska and to Vladivostok; It was really important, and I think, important, and I think it was misunderstood as well, even now.

    Sam Willis

    Well, it’s a fascinating book. I don’t think authors are congratulated enough for the achievement. So, I just like to say, well done! I think it’s brilliant, I really do, I encourage everyone to go and read it. Thank you so much.

    Professor Evan Mawdsley

    It’s been a real pleasure talking to you.

    Sam Willis

    Yes, you too Evan, thanks a lot.

    Thank you all so much for listening. I really hope you have enjoyed that episode. Do please go back and listen to all of our previous episodes particularly if you’re interested in the Second World War; we’ve covered a great deal of material there. You can find everything @snr.org.uk or simply google the Mariner’s Mirror Podcast. Do please also check out the Mariner’s Mirror Podcast’s YouTube page where there’s some wonderful, innovative material bringing the maritime past to your eyes in ways you’ve never seen before, most recently in our use of artificial intelligence and digital artistry – wizardry I think is a better way of putting it – to bring ships figureheads to life. Best of all, please join the Society it doesn’t cost very much and the money you donate will help support this podcast will help publish the Mariner’s Mirror Quarterly Journal, will help preserve our maritime heritage, and best of all, if you’re a member, you get to apply to come to our annual dinner on the gun deck of Nelson’s HMS Victory – it’s something you will never, ever forget.

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