The World's Merchant Fleets, 1939: The Particulars And Wartime Fates of 6,000 Ships

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Naval Inst Press, 2006 - History - 624 pages
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At the outbreak of war in 1939 the 6,000-plus merchant ships spread across the world's oceans became pawns in the global conflict that permeated the operations of every shipping line on every continent. This heavily illustrated book presents the details of those ships and describes the fate of those lost between 1939 and 1945.

Divided first by country and then by shipping company, the book includes the ships of such great companies as Blue Star Line, Hamburg America, and American President Lines. Details of the builders, dimensions, funnel markings, propulsion, routes, passengers, and cargoes are all given in easy-to-read tables. Some 350 photographs illustrate a representative selection of the ships. The second part of the book gives the details of the losses of around 3,000 of these vessels.

For merchant ship enthusiasts as well as World War II historians this is a useful reference tool. Many will see it as a magnificent encyclopedia of merchant shipping and a wonderfully nostalgic view of the golden age of shipping as well as an eloquent reminder of the horrors and waste of war.

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