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Saturday, 12 June 2010


TURMOIL (With her Leith Registration on the stern bulwark)
Ship No 337

Turmoil was the seventh and perhaps most well known of the eight ship order for Ocean Going Diesel salvage tugs, all of the “Bustler Class” With Turmoil being the seventh of the class built by Henry Robb in Leith.

They were required to carry out salvage and rescue work along with convoy escort duties.

They were large and very powerful tugs put to good use during World War II and for long after as well. A fleet of the “Bustler class tugs along with others were stationed in Campbeltown on the Scottish coast during the long “Battle of the Atlantic”

Nicknamed the “Campbeltown Navy” they were instrumental in saving many thousands of tons of shipping badly needed for the war effort against Hitler’s Germany and they also saved countless seamen from the ravages of the U-Boats.

She was 1,100 tons with a length overall of 190 feet and beam of 38 feet and six inches, with a draught of 19 feet.

Laid down 14 Jul 1944

Launched 11 May 1945

Commissioned Jul 1945

Powered as all the “Bustler Class” with 2 x Atlas Polar 8 cylinder diesel engines producing, 1 shaft, 4,000 BHP

This ship became famous for the unsuccessful attempt to salvage the US Merchant Flying Enterprise in January 1952. After a long and adventurous working life she was sold for scrap in 1986.

“Bustler Class Rescue Tugs”, were to have a crew of 42 men, and powered by Diesel engines with a single screw, producing 4,000 hp. giving a top speed of 16 knots.

They had an armament of 1 x 3” AA Gun, 1 x 2 pounder AA. Along with 2 x 20 mm AA guns and 4 machine guns, all for anti-aircraft defence.

Bitter Ocean Bitter Ocean
Bitter Ocean is a masterful, authoritative account of perhaps the least-known major battle of World War II, the Battle of the Atlantic. British, Canadian, and American air and sea forces fought the German U-boats in this desperate battle, and prevailed -- at a terrible cost. Between 1939 and 1945, over 36,000 Allied sailors and navy airmen and 36,000 merchant seamen lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean. They were attempting to deliver the weapons, food, and supplies essential to keeping Britain alive, as well as the supplies vital to the armies fighting in Europe. In addition to the troops themselves, every tank, plane, and bomb crossed the Atlantic aboard ship. As dreadful as the loss of life was for the Allies, the Germans fared even worse. More than 80 percent of German U-boat crewmen never made it home, the highest casualty rate of any branch of the military on either side. Bitterly contested and nearly lost, the Allies' battle for control of the Atlantic shipping lanes remains perhaps the least understood chapter of World War II -- until now. Drawing on a wealth of archival research as well as interviews with veterans on both sides of the ocean campaign, author and maritime journalist David Fairbank White takes us aboard ship and beneath the waves as he reconstructs this epic clash from both sides. With captivating immediacy, Bitter Ocean evokes the grim years 1940-42 when Admiral Karl Donitz's U-boats -- "tough wolves, stubby, 761 tons of driven, overcharged Nazi attack power" -- succeeded in sinking more tonnage than Allied shipyards could replace. He shows us the technological breakthroughs that reversed the course of the battle in 1943, including improved radar, machines that cracked the German naval code, and very long-range bombers. As the hunters became the hunted, the tide turned, but the German fleet continued to fight despite the increasingly terrible odds. As he tells the powerful, wrenching stories of individual convoys that suffered from the German submarine attacks, White displays a novelist's flair. Vividly written, Bitter Ocean is scrupulously factual, a triumph of scholarship that will enthrall every student of history.

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