Sunday, March 20, 2016
Hell Ship England II.
A "Hell-hole" on a Hell ship. Hell ship British style. Again the instance of allied war atrocity?
"The Dunera Boys"
"Through her next deployment Dunera lent her name to one of the more notorious events of British maritime history."
"On 10 July 1940, 2,542 detainees, all classified as 'enemy aliens,' were embarked aboard Dunera at Liverpool. They included 200 Italian and 251 German prisoners of war, as well as several dozen Nazi sympathizers, along with 2,036 anti-Nazis, most of them Jewish refugees. Some had already been to sea but their ship, the Arandora Star, had been torpedoed with great loss of life. In addition to the passengers were 309 poorly trained British guards, mostly from the Pioneer Corps"
"The internees' possessions were rifled and subsequently the UK government paid ₤35,000 to the Dunera victims in compensation. Moreover, the 57-day voyage was made under the risk of enemy attack. But it was the physical conditions and ill-treatment that were most deplorable."
“The ship was an overcrowded Hell-hole. Hammocks almost touched, many men had to sleep on the floor or on tables. There was only one piece of soap for twenty men, and one towel for ten men, water was rationed, and luggage was stowed away so there was no change of clothing."
Hell ships as defined during WW2 almost exclusively merchant shipping during a time of war carrying a cargo of POW, detainees, enemy aliens, impressed or forced laborers. Persons pent up and locked in captivity, confinement with scant if any regard for even the most basic sense of humane treatment.
Hell ships noted for "physical conditions and ill-treatment" deplorable in the EXTREME. AND IN CASE OF COMBAT ACTION THOSE BELOW DECKS AND IMPRISONED OFTEN LEFT TO FEND FOR THEMSELVES!