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They Couldn't Have Done it without Us The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War by John Johnson-Allen

They Couldn't Have Done it without Us The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War


They Couldn't Have Done it without Us The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War by John Johnson-Allen

Over seventy merchant ships sailed in the Task force sent by Britain to recapture the Falkland islands in 1982. Some were Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, but the majority were STUFT-ships taken up from trade-and the officers and crew of these merchant vessels, all volunteers, suddenly found themselves thrust into a war zone in the South Atlantic. Remarkably little has been written about the part played by the Merchant navy, summarised by the official history of the campaign as 'an impenetrable mystery, girt about by seasickness' This book lifts the curtain on that mystery, to reveal something of the experiences of the merchant seamen and women who made possible the retaking of the Falkland islands. John Johnson-Allen, maritime historian and former merchant naval officer, combines personal accounts, documents and comment to bring to life the events of the Falklands War, as seen from the merchant ships that played such a vital role in that conflict.


The book provides insights into a field that not has been the subject of any substantial historical research up to now: the contribution of the British merchant navy to the British military campaigns during the Falklands War...the book definitely allows the reader to understand the situation on board the respective vessels and the merchant mariners
thoughts and behaviour as part of a naval operation

...Johnson-Allen provides a fascinating look into such an operation by showcasing not only the factual history of the British long-distance supply operations during the Falklands War, but also the difficulties that arose between the navy and the merchant marine...This book is a welcome addition to the bookshelf of any maritime/naval historian whether interested in this particular conflict or the wider context of navy-merchant marine cooperation. An index, maps, photographs and the bibliography provide useful information for further research. The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du nord

About the Author

John Johnson-Allen went to sea in 1961 as an apprentice with the BP Tanker Company and leaving as Second Mate with a First Mate's certificate in 1969. He subsequently qualified as a Chartered Surveyor. He was awarded a Master's degree in Maritime History at the Greenwich Maritime Institute in 2008. He co-authored Voices From the Bridge with David Smith in 2010 and this is his second book.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th November 2011


John Johnson-Allen

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Seafarer Books an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield


252 pages


Maritime history



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