Military Traditions

April 28, 2022 By Bill Getz

My Return from War

During World War II, the British converted the luxurious passenger ship RMS Queen Elizabeth into a troop carrier, plying the North Atlantic between England and the United States. I returned from the battles of WWII aboard the Queen in April 1945. She was also the fastest passenger ship afloat achieving speeds as high as 39 knots (45 mph). She was berthed at Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom. German submarines waited for her in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland.

The Royal Navy used the Queen’s speed to thwart the German U-boats. The Brits kept the Irish Sea free of enemy submarines giving the Queen latitude to build up speed as she raced down the Irish coast preemptory to turning into the Atlantic Ocean. She was up to full speed when she entered the Atlantic and began her zig-zag unescorted journey across the Atlantic. The Queen outran the U-Boats, and her zig-zag course made it impossible for the Germans to lay-in-wait on the Queen’s course. England has always been a dominant seafaring nation and they took full advantage of it in WWII.

Per Wikipedia, the Queen Elizabeth was sold to a succession of buyers and in 1972, while being refurbished, caught fire. Firefighting efforts capsized the ship, and she was scrapped onsite in 1974 and 1975.

Image credit: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.


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