Article, History, Uncategorized

Spanish Skipper Who Saved an Armada

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Enugu Palm in colour

Never forgotten was the drama as the Palm Line freighter Enugu Palm after finally answering the wheel skimmed by a metre or two a row of ocean-going freighters moored at the port’s quays. A second’s delay on the part of Captain Inés would have led to one of the worst shipping disasters in African history.

Had it not been for the quick thinking of the skipper several freighters moored at the Ivory’s Coast Port of Abidjan would have been devastated.

Enugo Palm at dock

Palm Line, a British-owned shipping company, plied 5,000 miles West Africa’s seaboard. In the early 1960s, the company’s commodore was Spanish Captain Inés, whose hands-on character was legendary. He never suffered fools so I got on perfectly well with him.

Palm Line vessels were specially designed to negotiate the sand bars of the African creeks that otherwise excluded entry to liners that might otherwise bring trade to communities located to the Dark continent’s interior.

Ibadan Palm deck cargo

The Port of Abidjan on the Ivory Coast, however, is a modern port. Having picked up the pilot at the port’s approaches, Captain Inés, in accordance with the protocol, surrendered control of the Enugu Palm to the pilot. The local pilot’s knowledge of the port is essential for safe mooring.

On this occasion, it soon became self-evident that all was not quite right. The recently boarded pilot was blind drunk and quite incapable of riding a bicycle let alone a fast-moving ocean liner in the narrow confines of a port.

Enugo Palm

The Enugu Palm did successfully negotiate the port’s Vridi Canal without colliding with its palm thronged banks. As an 18-year-old Ordinary Seaman standing at the ship’s wheel I was best placed to see the unfolding drama as the pilot inexplicably instructed the engine room to full ahead. After all, we were now approaching a lengthy quay along which several freighters were moored.

African creeks

Riveted, I watched the expression of growing alarm on the face of Captain Inés. Racing at full speed, about 25 kilometres per hour, the Enugu Palm’s bow was clearly destined to cleave the nearest moored freighter in two. I must have been the only British sailor ever to witness a port pilot being roughly cursed and physically shouldered aside as a ship’s captain resumed control of his doomed laden ship.

Rushing to the telegraph, bells clanged alarmingly as Captain Inés swung the lever to Full Astern. Simultaneously, he ordered me to swing the wheel hard to port. The rest was down to fate. Unlike a car, a ship can travel a long way before it responds to a change of command.

collage_michael-seaman-5

Never forgotten was the drama as the Enugu Palm finally answering to the wheel and skimmed by a metre or two a row of ocean liners moored at the port’s quays. A second’s delay on the part of Captain Inés would have led to one of the worst shipping disasters in African history.

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Michael Walsh was a British Merchant deckhand (AB) during which time his ships scoured sores of seas. By the time he was 24-years of age, he had visited, lived and worked in over 60 countries. His sea memoirs, Believing of Liverpool is crammed with fascinating stories, images and anecdotes.

READ MORE:  Believing of Liverpool by Michael Walsh.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH ,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH:  JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS ,   The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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THE BARNES REVIEW is considered by historians as the world’s most prestigious source of bona fide essays and information. Michael Walsh is a key member of the periodical’s Board of Contributing Editors. See www.BarnesReview.com   https://barnesreview.org/

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THE LIVERPOOL  TETRALOGY

The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 30 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor  BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS.

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Michael Walsh currently has eight books listed under BUY DIRECT. Royalties will be ploughed into adding further popular titles declared taboo by the treacherous troika; Amazon, Facebook, and Mainstream Media. When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com to receive your signed copy.

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Article, History

THE INFAMOUS LACONIA ORDER

How did a squadron of U.S. bombers change the rules of the sea which was to cost the lives of tens of thousands of Allied seamen?  Few things illustrate the half-lie better than Allied propaganda relating to the Laconia Order. This was Hitler’s instruction that forbade German shipping from picking up distressed survivors at sea.

The Laconia Order is constantly reused to show the Germans in a bad light but why was the order given? On September 12 1942, the British troopship Laconia, in accordance with the rules of engagement, was sunk off the West African coast by the German U-boat U-156.

Under the command of Werner Hartenstein, the U-Boat crew immediately set about rescuing survivors of the sinking. As it carried out its caring tasks the U-Boat commander relayed a rescue signal on an open channel.  He U-boat’s skipper requested ships in the vicinity to assist in saving seamen in lifeboats.

The crew of the U-156 was soon joined by another German U-boat.  As the German U-boats on the surface were rescuing seamen the two vessels were bombed by a squadron of American aircraft that had picked up the rescue signals.

As a consequence, 1,792 of the Laconia’s passengers and crewmen lost their lives. Many were Italian prisoners-of-war.  As a consequence, Hitler issued the Laconia Order forbidding all German vessels, irrespective of type or size to pick up allied survivors.  The outcome was that tens of thousands of Allied sailors and passengers who might have been saved lost their lives.

The Laconia incident was one of many that examples of the Allied contempt for the Laws of the Sea and the Rules of Engagement.

800px-U-156_37-35_Laconia_1942_09_15
U-156 (foreground) and U-507 pick up Laconia survivors on 15 September, three days after the attack

On November 18, 1944, two British Beaufighter warplanes attacked the 4,820-tonne German hospital ship Tubingen in the Adriatic near Pola. The attacks were repeated nine times despite the vessel displaying international insignia that revealed it as a hospital ship.

The weather was clear and the sea calm.  Lifeboats were launched from the stricken vessel thus saving most of the crew and medical personnel. However, six crew members lost their lives.  Westminster apologised and claimed the attack had been carried out in error.  The pilots responsible were never court-martialled although under the terms of the Geneva and other conventions they were clearly war criminals.

The British Royal Navy undoubtedly had its moments of glory but a number of atrocities brought shame on the so-called Senior Service. One of the Royal Navy’s most shameful atrocities followed the sinking of a Greek cacique by the British submarine, HMS Torbay.

As the small vessel sank, members of an Alpine Regiment stationed on a nearby island were left floundering in the sea. Whilst attempting to swim away, the distressed servicemen were machine-gunned.

The order was given by HMS Torbay’s Commander Meir.  Official reports never mentioned that the helpless sailors were slaughtered in cold blood; only that ‘they perished.’

Royal Navy sources claim that Commander Meir’s logbook admits that the crew did machine-gun survivors. This incident is believed to have caused near mutiny among the crew of HMS Torbay. Yet, there were several caciques and their crews slaughtered in the same casual manner by Royal Navy crews.

The outcome of this dreadful act was that the 38-year-old Commander Anthony Meir’s was later awarded the Victoria Cross in ‘recognition of his services.’ He died in July 1985 at the age of 78.

If there was any good at all that resulted from this infamy it was the outrage expressed by Captain Stephen Roskill, the Royal Navy’s official war historian.  He broke ranks and spoke of the machine-gunning of prisoners in the Mediterranean off Crete as ‘disgraceful.’

There was a similar incident in April 1940 which followed the sinking of the German destroyer Erich Giese in Norway.  A number of German survivors were shot out of hand. Interviews with German survivors, including the captain of the destroyer, Commander Karl Schmidt, and inspection of British and German logbooks relating to the incident revealed that an unspecified number of Germans were killed instead of being made prisoners of war.

THE ALL LIES INVASION Michael Walsh is an illustrated best-selling compilation of the failures of Allied propaganda up to, during and after World War II.

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH ,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH:  JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS ,   The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

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THE BARNES REVIEW is considered by historians as the world’s most prestigious source of bona fide essays and information. Michael Walsh is a key member of the periodical’s Board of Contributing Editors. See www.BarnesReview.com   https://barnesreview.org/

Liverpool

THE LIVERPOOL  TETRALOGY

The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 30 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor  BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS.

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Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging  DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER 

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The dissident author’s books available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTOREBUY FROM AUTHOR and POETRY  links.

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Michael Walsh currently has eight books listed under BUY DIRECT. Royalties will be ploughed into adding further popular titles declared taboo by the treacherous troika; Amazon, Facebook, and Mainstream Media. When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com to receive your signed copy.

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www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 64 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW  www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

 

Article, History, Poetry

THE DECK BOY WHO SAVED A SUPER LINER

At regular intervals, all vessels are placed in Dry Dock where they are thoroughly examined and repaired before being licensed to return to the high seas. The great ocean liners were no exception. The then 16-year-old Michael Walsh was one of the skeleton crew left to man the RMS Britannic during its repair and renovation in north Liverpool’s Dry Dock.

The repairs may last a week or so during which time, especially at night, there is little or no human activity. The writer later recalled that there were just several quartermasters deployed to act as a fire party. ‘I had been tasked with being the liner’s watchman and was to be positioned in the great liner’s wheelhouse.

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Back then, I was still wet behind the ears deck boy and I had volunteered for this night-watchman’s job. The watch duty began at about 6 p.m. and didn’t finish until 8 am the following morning so it was a soul-destroying but well-paid duty. All one could do during the night watch was read a book and maybe catch a little shuteye whilst stretched out on a ship’s deckchair.

The RMS Britannic was the last of the White Star Shipping Company liners. This was the company that had once owned the luckless RMS Titanic. Built-in 1930, the Britannic featured much that would be familiar to the great passenger liners like the Olympic and Titanic. The deckchairs hadn’t changed since that period.

Britannic at Pier Head

‘During my brief instruction, I learned the ropes relating to the watchman’s duties. Having shown me the various alarms, handles, switches and lights, the officer of the watch then took me across the great liner’s wheelhouse to where there was located a glass cabinet set in the wheelhouse bulkhead.

The cabinet looked very much like one of those museum display cabinets that hold and display artefacts. However, this wheelhouse cabinet differed in that the bottom was lined by about 30 small pipe ends. Think of 2’ of a vacuum cleaner pipe and you have the picture.

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The system like most clever ideas is simple.  Each pipe led to a different section of the great liner, a hold, storeroom, workshop, or a utility room. In the event of a fire breaking out the smoke would be vacuumed up along the pipe to emerge in the wheelhouse glass cabinet whereupon the fumes would set off the alarm. The number inscribed on each pipe would indicate the room affected.

The officer was blasé about this part of the instruction and seemed to me to be going through the motions only. With that, I was left to my own devices. It was admittedly lonely. On the ship’s bridge and confined to the wheelhouse, I was far from any human activity. I had no idea where the ship’s officer would be. The four or so ship’s quartermasters were ten minutes of ladders, walkways, staircases and alleys distant.

Britannic,Queen Mary, Mauretania2, Flandre,Olympia,United States,Independence or Constitution
Britannic, Queen Mary, Mauretania 2, Flandre, Olympia, The United States

Each night watch passed uneventfully until during the early hours of one morning the alarm in the wheelhouse cabinet sounded. A false alarm I suspected. When I reached the cabinet, I stood horrified as I watched black smoke pouring from one of the pipes. Ours is not to reason why ours is but to do and die. As earlier instructed, I ran from one alarm to another, pulling levers, pressing buttons, raising and lowering handles.

One is totally unprepared for the bedlam that follows. Every damned light on the darkened liner came on. Simultaneously, the great ship’s whistles on its funnel continually blasted their whistles. These ship’s whistles could be heard six miles away.

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One could barely hear oneself speak to the backdrop of clanging ship’s bells. Far below in the liners corridors the watertight doors, far heavier than most bank vault doors, were slamming shut. The darkened liner immediately lit up like Blackpool promenade at the height of season but with far greater effect and noise.

Unsurprisingly, the officer of the watch came through the wheelhouse door like fucking batman on steroids. With the glazed-eye look of an unhinged madman, his eyes rolling and his mouth soundlessly mouthing, I gathered he was saying something along the lines of, ‘what the freaking hell have you done, you half-witted little bastard.’

collage_michael-seaman-5

I was by now aware of the noisy arrival of fleets of fire engines called from all over Liverpool. Stretched along the dock’s quays were already fire appliances, their bells ringing, blue lights were flashing, and hoses were already being laid out?

Unable to utter a word, I jabbed my finger in the direction of the see-all smell-all ‘go and fuck yourself’ glass cabinet. Only then did the ship’s officer realise the seriousness of the situation.

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The cause of the shipboard fire was later revealed.  Welders, working deep down in the ship’s bowels near the bows had unwittingly allowed sparks to settle in old burlap sacking. The effects of the slow burn had taken a period of time. The welders, their day finished had gone home. Only much later in the evening did the smouldering burlap sacking burst into flames enough to cause the smoke that was to set off the alarm.

Britannic

The incident reminded us all of a similar fire that precisely six years earlier in 1953 had gutted and capsized another great ocean liner in the nearby Gladstone Dock. Then, the Canadian Pacific Railways Atlantic liner, Empress of Canada, at 20,000 tons smaller than the 27,000 ton Britannic, had been destroyed in a similar situation. Did I receive an award, frankly no, not even a ‘well done, lad’ and a handshake. Such is the reward of duty.

BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL Michael Walsh, Amazon Books is a potpourri of 30 similar stories, garnished by rollicking’ sailors poetry and pictures.  This is a book you are going to find difficult to put down.

Related story  A NEW WAY TO TRAVEL IS WELCOMED

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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH , The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

All I ask meme for new website

MICHAEL WALSH BOOK CLUB: Set up a Standing Order minimum of €25 (£25) to my UK bank account each month to receive every 3-months a FREE SIGNED copy of any book from our BUY FROM AUTHOR LINK.

THE BARNES REVIEW is considered by historians as the world’s most prestigious source of bona fide essays and information. Michael Walsh is a key member of the periodical’s Board of Contributing Editors. See www.BarnesReview.com   https://barnesreview.org/

Liverpool

THE LIVERPOOL  TETRALOGY

The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 30 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor  BELIEVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS.

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Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging  DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER 

The dissident author’s books available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTOREBUY FROM AUTHOR and POETRY  links.

! ! 40 Shades Book Meme

KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com or euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk

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Michael Walsh currently has eight books listed under BUY DIRECT. Royalties will be ploughed into adding further popular titles declared taboo by the treacherous troika; Amazon, Facebook, and Mainstream Media. When ordering the book contact Michael Walsh by email keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com to receive your signed copy.

Michael Walsh New 64 Book Meme

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www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 64 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW  www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

New stories every day!

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https://ethnic-european.blogspot.com/