YO! Liverpool
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 35

Thread: The Sinking of the Laconia

  1. #1
    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    214
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default The Sinking of the Laconia

    I'm curious about the lack of comment here about Alan Bleasdale's drama (See separate Thread). Kong has voiced his very negative views there, but it might be interesting to see what other opinions and memories can be offered on this topic by other old sea-dogs (and others). Alan himself believes that the story was so embarrassing to all the nations involved that it's been conveniently forgotten by everyone.

    There's a documentary on BBC2 tonight at 7.30 pm on the event that has the testimonies of six of the survivors that might be worth comparing with the drama.


    ADVERTISING



  2. #2
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Hey JD, CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT A VERY NEGATIVE VIEW IS????????????????

    I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE WHICH IS SOMETHING YOU SEEM TO BE LACKING.

    Everyone is entitled to his view, as all film Critics do and in this one Bleasdale was certainly out of his depth on seafaring matters. As I said, the story was already written in all the Reports, all Bleasdale had to do was to write a credible story line to link the characters in a credible situation. This he clearly failed to do, so just in case you failed to understand.

    Here is like wot I wrote.....................

    I and all the Seafaring men on the Merchant Navy site thought the film was rubbish. The story is indeed a true one, I wrote a Bio, for "some one`s" book on `Cunard Captains since 1838`, on Captain Sharpe who perished, He had survived the sinking of the Lancastria where between 4 and 9,000 men died. That is only an estimate. There were no records of the number of people on board, I sailed with `Nutty` Curran, a well known Liverpool boxer and ships Fireman who survived, he said they were all told and had to sign the OSA not to tell anyone anything about that disaster.
    So I did know the true story.
    But Bleasdale should get his facts right. He obviously knows nothing of Seafaring, when he writes about the Sea he is clearly out of his depth, even the way seamen speak, the way a ship operates, and the markings of rank on an officers uniform.
    I saw a man described as a Junior Third Officer, He would probably have been a senior Cadet. He had three gold stripes on his uniform, a Junior Third would have only one thin stripe. He has a Red badge with two crossed anchors on his left sleeve, and three brass buttons on each cuff of his jacket, He had more decorations than a Japanese Admiral.
    The Chief Officer had two and a half stripes, he would have three. The Third Officer traditionally does the 8 to 12 watch in the evenings, and is certainly not permitted to enter a lady passengers cabin. This guy who should have been on the Bridge on watch is in a lady`s cabin and is actually baby sitting for her while she goes to the bar and dance. Unbelievable. He also went into the lady`s cabin and rooted through her personal effects on her cabinet while she was out, then she came in. This is a serious offence for an employee of Cunard to do, He would have been sacked from the Company, if the events to come did not happen. The way the "scouse" fella was speaking was nothing like I have ever heard any "scouse" seaman speak. also what was he doing dragging an Itie POW through the passenger accommodation?. The Radio Officers, who are the only true `Officers` on a ship are all wearing RN ratings uniforms. They were employed by Marconi Company.
    The Commander of the Sub and a couple of his men must have climbed down into a dry dock and walked past a newly painted modern ship with a bulbous bow, [ these did not come in until the 60s] and then would have had to climb out of the dry dock to get to their submarine. Why would they do that?? The Submarine then pulled of the quay and was about thirty feet off when the Engineer phoned the Captain to say the engines were now ready, unbelievable.
    Lifeboats, there was no lifeboat drill or muster at all, it seemed to be a mad house of people leaping over the side. I sailed on the Laconia`s sister ship, the old Franconia, 56 years ago, so I do know what goes on with a ship like that.
    The acting was wooden, long drawn out conversations that were completely boring and non relevent.
    The only decent actor was the U-boat Commander.
    A story like the that should have been very easy to do.
    All the documents of the `Laconia Incident` were well recorded by the British, German, Italian and American authorities, so Bleasdale didnt need to do so much research into that as it was all there for him. He should have had some Seafaring man who knows his job to advise him on ships and Seafaring men.
    It should have been quite easy for him to join a few characters together.
    Mr Bleasdale should confine himself to land based plays.

    So the original and tragic story is cocked up by a writer who has no idea of what he is writing about. All he had to do was to get some advice from a qualified Seafarer and he could have made a good film.
    Now What would you have done JD???

    ---------- Post added at 02:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:48 PM ----------

    Thanks for that Pennylane,
    The film lost a lot of drama, what happened to Captain Sharpe, and the Chief Officer?? It was never mentioned. Captain Sharpe was already a well known War Hero, He survived the sinking of the Lancastria, another Liverpool Cunard ship with anything up to 8 or 9,000 people killed. Unfortunately he did not survive the Laconia. Why did Bleasdale concentrate on a nonentity like a fictitous Junior Third Officer, with more badges than the Captain, who goes baby sitting instead of being on watch on the Bridge. This was wartime, a Ship with that number of people on board, not in a convoy but sailing independently and a Navigation Officer can go babysitting?
    Bleasdale is insulting the intelligence of the viewers and insulting the memory of the British Merchant Seamen who died.
    Also what happened to the survivors? If they were picked up by the Vichy French ship they would have been taken prisoner as that is what the Vichy French did, They transferred many, many British Seamen to the Germans and they were POWs in Malaig in Germany.

    ---------- Post added at 03:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:37 PM ----------

    There are two good videos on UTUBE by neilpendo, these include original films of the event and comments by two survivors,
    Bill Peet and Davi Jones also by crew members of the U156


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lknR2nc6--A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7INatXt5Fjs

    See the real thing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member gregs dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    kirkby
    Posts
    2,636
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    I think it was too long, turned it off the first night after 20mins flicked over the second to see if it had improved .it hadn`t ,switched off
    THE BEST VITAMIN FOR MAKING FRIENDS ? B.1

    My Flickr site: www.flickr.com/photos/exacta2a/

    http://flickrhivemind.net/User/exacta2a

  4. #4
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Third rock
    Posts
    1,129
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 12 Times in 8 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Doh View Post
    There's a documentary on BBC2 tonight at 7.30 pm on the event that has the testimonies of six of the survivors that might be worth comparing with the drama.
    One of the survivor's interviewed tonight lives in Wallasey. There was an article on him in last night's Echo.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    3,678
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gregs dad View Post
    I think it was too long, turned it off the first night after 20mins flicked over the second to see if it had improved .it hadn`t ,switched off
    I didn't fancy watching it.

  6. #6
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    All Bleasdale had to do was Call me, and I would have advised him for free, no charge, no probs. just for once to get a seafaring story right for once., I sailed on the Laconia`s sister ship in 1956. It would have been easy to do a proper story line. I have done it before a few times both in the States and in *Great Britain advising some very famous authors on their books. Including `Mr Liner Man`, Bill Miller, of New Jersey, a great author and lecturer on shipping and Cunard Liners, I told him of the true story of the `Laconia Incident` when I sailed around the world with him in 2008. He knew nothing of the story even tho` he lectures on Cunard Liners. This was three years ago.

    The story was never forgotten as JD, says. It has always been there for people who care. There are thousands of tragedies at sea including those with a bigger loss of life, but most people are just not interested in the deaths of men and women who gave their lives so someone can have the freedom to make snyde remarks

    I say *Great Britain because I am British, some one has changed my nationality. we are now UK, No one informed me. so now I am UKISH.
    What a funny nationality, Ukish. I guess we are all now Ukish.
    Cheers
    Brian


    ---------- Post added at 08:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:35 PM ----------


    I have just watched the programme with the interviews with the survivors. Fantastic stories of the real happenings of the tragedy. That programme could have lasted more than an hour. We learned more from the survivors in 30 minutes than we did from Bleasdales mindless meanderings in over three hours. Maybe Bleasdale should have watched the survivors stories first before he wrote a load of fictitious crap.
    He should have got the real story from the real people who were there.
    He is obviously one of those people who having no experience of anything out of the ordinary does not believe the stories of real people who have real experiences or adventures because they live such tedious and boring lives.
    He did nothing good out of this. The real story was there in front of him.
    All the official reports were there. the actual story was already written.
    The personal stories were already there by the people who survived. again the story was already written.
    A cretin could have written that script.
    If it was fiction, it wasnt even a good fiction.

    What are your comments now Mr JD.?

  7. #7
    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    908
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    ck, how true. The real life accounts tonight were the best bit. I am left wanting to know more. Like where the blue-blazzies did they go next? Although there are probably a great many such tales to tell.

  8. #8
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    This is part of an account from a Mrs Stoneman who was one of the survivors.............................

    Luckily for the hundreds of helpless men, women and children, the U-boats had delivered them, to a designated spot – and the Vichy French cruiser, ‘Gloire’ was en route to pick them up from Casablanca.
    The survivors, in about eleven lifeboats were told to keep together … they would not have long to wait.
    That same day the old French cruiser picked them up and, after a refuelling stop at Dakar, delivered them to Casablanca.
    The survivors thought they were as good as home, but in many ways they were just beginning an ordeal that in many ways was worse than the one they had endured.
    ROTTEN


    “The French were rotten,” said Mrs. STONEMAN. “That’s the only word to describe them. We ended up thinking of THEM as our enemies and not the Germans. They treated us like animals most of the time.”
    On the journey to Casablanca the men were separated from the women and children and spent most of the time locked up in steel holds that rapidly became like pressure cookers.
    Mr. STONEMAN said: “They really treated us rough and that journey was one of the worst I made in my life. We had little food and hardly any water.”
    The STONEMANS were interned in a camp at a place called Sidi El Ayachia, an insect-infested group of mud huts on the edge of the desert.
    All Mrs. STONEMAN can remember were countless days of terrible food, little water and killing heat.
    They lived on lentils and dried peas mostly boiled into a kind of soup.
    Once a day they were given a square of hard bread and a cup of strong coffee.
    “It’s quite impossible for me to describe the filth of that place,” she said. “We were infested with lice and fleas and almost everybody suffered almost permanently from dysentery.”
    “We were a burden to the French and they made it quite clear that they hated us. If it hadn’t been for the kindness of some of the missionaries, life would have been unbearable.”
    The STONEMANS stayed in the camp for almost two months and they were finally released following the American invasion of North Africa.
    Mrs. STONEMAN and June were the first to go. They went by hospital ship to Gibraltar and from there to Liverpool. Husband, George, followed a few days later.

    They said that they were a lot better treated by the more friendly Germans who were very caring.

    Stuff France I say.

  9. #9
    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    214
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oudeis View Post
    ck, how true. The real life accounts tonight were the best bit. I am left wanting to know more. Like where the blue-blazzies did they go next? Although there are probably a great many such tales to tell.
    Now that makes me wonder if you or 'the Captain' actually watched Bleasdale's drama at all! No doubt CK was too busy checking on the details of uniforms, RN etiquette, etc., etc., to be able to follow the actual story line. But may I point out that in every respect the survivors' accounts agreed with Bleasdale's, even down to such details as the panic that ensued when the lifeboat muster was called. Kong is clearly a man who perhaps (luckily) has never had to face such a situation, but I challenge him to watch both accounts again and then tell me that Bleasdale --- or I --- have got it wrong.

    Yes, I too would like a sequel as to what happened to the survivors on arrival in Vichy France -- curiously lacking from both accounts... Fair Stood the Wind for France and all that?

  10. #10
    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    908
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    There was a good deal of romance stitched in to the tale and a trial dive. "The play's the thing" as I mentioned earlier. There are documentaries, docu-dramas, mock-umentaries...all the way down to fanciful tales.
    This reminds me of a great fun war series that hit the TV screens in the UK some years ago now called 'The Desert Rats' this involved a team of yanks pootling about the Sahara righting wrongs and getting into and out of sticky situations...until those ex-army guys who had fought in the desert pointed out to the BBC that the yanks were never in the desert. The programme was pulled. This sad little chap grew up and all lived happily ever after...ahhh.

  11. #11
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Doh View Post
    Now that makes me wonder if you or 'the Captain' actually watched Bleasdale's drama at all! No doubt CK was too busy checking on the details of uniforms, RN etiquette, etc., etc., to be able to follow the actual story line. But may I point out that in every respect the survivors' accounts agreed with Bleasdale's, even down to such details as the panic that ensued when the lifeboat muster was called. Kong is clearly a man who perhaps (luckily) has never had to face such a situation, but I challenge him to watch both accounts again and then tell me that Bleasdale --- or I --- have got it wrong.

    Yes, I too would like a sequel as to what happened to the survivors on arrival in Vichy France -- curiously lacking from both accounts... Fair Stood the Wind for France and all that?
    What a cynical person you are JD. YOU KNOW NOTHING OF WHAT i HAVE EXPERIENCED.
    I can tell you I have been in many life and death situations, I have barely escaped with my life on many occaisions and seen many people including close friends die. Maybe you shouild get a little experience of life and death first before you make your stupid and purile comments. I find you a very juvenile spiteful little person. GET A LIFE.

    ---------- Post added at 11:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 PM ----------

    Yes, I too would like a sequel as to what happened to the survivors on arrival in Vichy France -- curiously lacking from both accounts.. JD

    If you read the statement of Mrs Stoneman above you would know what happened to many of the survivors. Many Merchant Seamen were interned by the French and badly mistreated. That is very well known. they also killed many British Seafarers including many Liverpool ones.
    You just have not got a clue of what has gone on have you.
    Just get wise to yourself.

  12. #12
    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    214
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by captain kong View Post
    What a cynical person you are JD. YOU KNOW NOTHING OF WHAT i HAVE EXPERIENCED.
    I can tell you I have been in many life and death situations, I have barely escaped with my life on many occaisions and seen many people including close friends die. Maybe you shouild get a little experience of life and death first before you make your stupid and purile comments. I find you a very juvenile spiteful little person. GET A LIFE.

    ---------- Post added at 11:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 PM ----------

    Yes, I too would like a sequel as to what happened to the survivors on arrival in Vichy France -- curiously lacking from both accounts.. JD

    If you read the statement of Mrs Stoneman above you would know what happened to many of the survivors. Many Merchant Seamen were interned by the French and badly mistreated. That is very well known. they also killed many British Seafarers including many Liverpool ones.
    You just have not got a clue of what has gone on have you.
    Just get wise to yourself.

    I have indeed read the statement of one Mrs Stoneman and I thank you for this. But unless you know her personally, it seems reasonable to me to ask for its source. Any proper research, like that undertaken by Bleasdale, always insists on this and I have quite enough experience of life to know that the only truth one can rely on is that that is supported by verifiable citations. That's not being cynical, it's just a sound approach to academic inquiry.... And that is all I've asked you for... So what causes you to fly into such a rage? STONEMAN is a new name to me and I would like to know more about her and her husband, that is all...

  13. #13
    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    908
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Gentlemen, let us not get carried away and lead with our chins.
    Many of the posts on this thread appeared at about the same time, how they are laid out is down to the wire and assessed rather like Olympic sports to the millisecond.
    Perhaps there is more to the saying my mother often used than just deep sea fishing; "Worse things happen at sea."

  14. #14
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Mr and Mrs Stoneman are now deceased. after all it was 68 and a half years ago.
    It is very difficult to interview the deseased

    The Vichy French were notorious in their treatment of British prisoners. .
    The sailors of the British Ships SS Criton and SS ALIENDE were forced to travel a thousand miles from Conakry and the Ivory Coast through the jungles and deserts to Timbutu, Many dying on the way with disease and then locked in a POW camp. the graves are there and are looked after by the CWGC. After the war, the French Government gave the British , LABOUR GOVENMENT A LARGE SUM OF MONEY AS COMPENSATION but no appology. The Labour Govenment kept the money, No Seaman or family recieved a penny. This shameful Labour Government kept every penny. I guess nothing changes.
    ---------- Post added at 10:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:50 AM ----------

    It is not printing???????????????

    Laconia survivor Mrs Stoneman.

    from GOOGLE PAGE.
    "Saved By A U-Boat" - The Laconia Incident told from survivors ...14 posts - 7 authors - Last post: 24 Nov 2009
    Mrs. STONEMAN said: “When we reached the boat deck we could see that ..... We do know that before the Laconia incident his actions towards ...
    Saved By A U-Boat" - The Laconia Incident told from survivors ...14 posts - 7 authors - Last post: 24 Nov 2009

  15. #15
    Newbie Billy Wizz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    liverpool
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I fully agree with the comments made be Captain Kong.I was not at sea as long as C.K. However I also was on a few Cunard ships Passenger and cargo,but having watched part one for 1.hour I had seen enough the facts remain it was a bit distorted.When you write a drama based on fact for T.V.or a film,your skatting on thin ice.In defence of Alan Bleasdale Im sure he did some fact finding.But it just did not come across as one of his best.That said,may I say to J.D.I dont know what your little game is but I think your comments are nebulus and wooly(now look that up in the dictionary) Move on,get over it.Lets be adults and not like kids in the bloody playground.Billy Wizz.

  16. #16
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    As I have said before, the story was already written, it was in the records of UK, France, Germany and the US.
    The story was again already written by the reports from the survivors over many years in various publications.
    All Bleasdale had to do was to join the Official to the Personal and Voala, he has a story.
    But he has to go and write some ficticious `story` about seafaring men, He has no idea about seafaring men.
    I think Mr Bleasdale owes a great big appology to all Seafarers, what he wrote was certainly an insult to the integrity of Seafarers.
    The way he portrays them was diabolical. They were shown as whimps and thieves, Did he have any evidence that a wine steward stole the money from the Casino???? Did he have any evidence that a Junior Third Officer was baby sitting a lady passengers baby, while she went to a dance, instead of being on watch in a war zone.? Did he have any evidence that a Junior Third Officer went into a passengers empty cabin and was caught rooting through her personal effects ?
    What an insult to brave men who went to sea in those ships risking their lives to save the country, what a way to portray them.
    40 TO 45,000 Merchant Seamen were killed at sea during the war and this is the way that Bleasdale portrays them, Diabolical
    HE SHOULD BE MADE TO STAND UP IN FRONT OF A TV CAMERA AND MAKE A BIG APPOLOGY TO THE MERCHANT NAVY. Then arrest the man for slander. I hate Bleasdale for what he has done.

  17. #17
    Senior Member gregs dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    kirkby
    Posts
    2,636
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    I thought the BBC2 half hour programme was miles better than the play. Stories by survivors
    are always better than playrights,because they were there. I liked the story of the man buying the choc bar and the cashier putting his tuppence in the safe and locking it up.
    THE BEST VITAMIN FOR MAKING FRIENDS ? B.1

    My Flickr site: www.flickr.com/photos/exacta2a/

    http://flickrhivemind.net/User/exacta2a

  18. #18
    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    214
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Wizz View Post
    I fully agree with the comments made be Captain Kong.I was not at sea as long as C.K. However I also was on a few Cunard ships Passenger and cargo,but having watched part one for 1.hour I had seen enough the facts remain it was a bit distorted.When you write a drama based on fact for T.V.or a film,your skatting on thin ice.In defence of Alan Bleasdale Im sure he did some fact finding.But it just did not come across as one of his best.That said,may I say to J.D.I dont know what your little game is but I think your comments are nebulus and wooly(now look that up in the dictionary) Move on,get over it.Lets be adults and not like kids in the bloody playground.Billy Wizz.
    Sorry if my comments seem 'nebulous' to you, but perhaps you've arrived after the storm clouds blew up. I've no 'little game' whatsoever! I was just flying a kite based on Alan's thesis that the story of the Laconia was one of the great untold war stories that could do with finally being aired at last. I'm not naturally a conspiracy theorist and I'm sure he isn't either. His point was that the story reflected badly on all the major players apart from the U-boat captain and that as a result we've all erased it from our collective memories. The fact that few Liverpool sailors have even responded to this Thread seems to bear this out, while CK's response seems to me to border on the paranoid... Dunno about catching the conscience of the King (King Kong?), but my comments, which I think were quite restrained considering the personal invective, certainly seem to have hit a nerve!

    I have no preconceived agenda, apart from believing that Alan has been treated pretty shoddily both by the BBC and the usual suspects in the press in recent years. Some examples: yesterday's Metro carried a review by their 'TV critic' mocking Hilda the blonde girl's 'fake German accent' ( Franka Potente IS actually German for f****s sake!); while CK's complaint that the lifeboat scene was chaotic and would never have happened like that in real life was rather discredited by the collective testimony of all the survivors on last night's documentary, which entirely supported Bleasdale's version; again, CK rubbishes the verbal delivery of the 'Scouse lad' in the drama - yet there he was in the documentary nearly 70 years later using almost exactly the same accent/ dialect/ speech patterns as the actor. Whatever else Bleasdale may be accused of, not having a good ear for dialogue is definitely NOT a charge that can justifiably be levelled against him!

    However, believe it or not, I am genuinely interested in reading all genuinely independent comments, whether positive or negative. With that in mind I should be grateful if you could expand on your comment "I had seen enough the facts remain it was a bit distorted", which is at best nebulous, but also not very well articulated.

    ---------- Post added 01-10-2011 at 12:40 AM ---------- Previous post was 01-09-2011 at 11:14 PM ----------

    Just some of the responses to Neilpendo's U-Tube video that Kong said he wanted us to watch as representing 'the real thing' - In fact they all relate to the Bleasdale drama that he feels so upset about... Confusing, isn't it?:


    Fascinating footage. The crew of the Liberator must have been seriously stupid if they were unable to realise what the situation was with all of the survivors plainly visible on deck

    krugerfuchs 18 hours ago krugerfuchs 18 hours ago did your great uncle survive i just found that the captain had been on lancastria too

    
    krugerfuchs 18 hours ago krugerfuchs 18 hours ago The BBC joint production was excellent. I wonder if the American Commander was ever questioned about giving the go ahead to bomb them ? a fascinating story well told

    wellohmeeeeeee 1 day ago wellohmeeeeeee 1 day ago The two part series on the BBC was excellent! Oddly enough the subtitles did not bother me at all. Better to hear the Germans speaking German than English with a bad German accent. The closing statement brought tears to my eyes. Very moving story.

    lincsposter 2 days ago lincsposter 2 days ago I ve just finished watching all of the BBC 2 Drama ' The Sinking of the Laconia' extremely moving, my Girlfriend was in tears. I will own it when released on DVD and read up about it as my Father has 100's of books on WW2.

    species6339 2 days ago species6339 2 days ago Amazing footage. I've just finished watching Episode 1 of the BBC series. What a hugely significant incident in the history of naval warfare.

    zebidee55 3 days ago zebidee55 3 days ago The americans were incredibly heartless to bomb it, theres no way they could have missed 200 people standing on the deck..

    DefinitelyNotLying 3 days ago DefinitelyNotLying 3 days ago superb historical footage excellent well done for uploading for everyone to see

    lz127graf 3 days ago lz127graf 3 days ago

  19. #19
    Senior Member kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Midlands
    Age
    66
    Posts
    879
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    JD - I'm an ex-sailor and the only reason I haven't commented is because I did so on MyLiverpool so didn't bother duplicating the post.
    While I didn't spot as many errors as Kong I was constantly saying to my wife 'that wouldn't happen' throughout the programme.
    However, unlike Kong, I did enjoy it. Through many, many previous experiences I've watched films conveying life at sea and I'm so used to them being universally bad I think I'm inured to it now. For me the key issue was a German acting in a humanitarian way and I was glad to see that - the views of so may are conditioned by the negative image we always get of Germans in wartime setting.

    Regarding the comments about Kong maybe never having been in such a dangerous situation:
    I've spent time with Brian and know quite a bit about his experiences at sea. He has 20 times the experience I've had, yet in 13 years I had 6 friends killed at sea and fought 16 potentially life threatening fires. If I've done that in my limited experience I dread to think what Brian has seen/done in his time.

  20. #20
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Here, there & everywhere.
    Posts
    7,198
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    It would seem then if anything, AB's researchers (whom I'm sure he would have entrusted much to) have let him down - ref uniform details/etiquette etc)
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Midlands
    Age
    66
    Posts
    879
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    It would seem then if anything, AB's researchers (whom I'm sure he would have entrusted much to) have let him down - ref uniform details/etiquette etc)
    The only time I've seen so much braid on junior officers is when I've been in a port the same time as the US Navy. They wear more gold than Fort Knox stores.

  22. #22
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    This is the article that was on google
    BY
    Torpedoman



    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Posts: 116
    Downloads: 2
    Uploads: 0 "Saved By A U-Boat" - The Laconia Incident told from survivors

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Found this while googling. Very interesting and touching.


    Part 1: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a4262294.shtml

    Part 2: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a4262357.shtml

    Part 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/s...a4262429.shtml


    The following is a copy of a series of three articles that appeared in the WESTERN SUNDAY INDEPENDENT in March and April 1974.
    This is George STONEMAN and his wife, Ena, of Plymouth. They are looking back thirty-one years to the day when a German U-boat saved their lives … after sinking the liner they were aboard.
    The STONEMANS and their little daughter, June, spent five days drifting helplessly in a lifeboat in the tropical Atlantic and they were close to death. Suddenly, the U-507 rose to the surface. The crew fed them, gave them water and took Mrs. STONEMAN and June aboard.
    It was one of the most amazing – and human – incidents of the last war and today the STONEMAN family tells their story for the first time in the first of a three-part series.


    PART ONE
    SAVED BY A U-BOAT!


    Devon-bound. Then suddenly, the STONEMANS were adrift in a lifeboat in mid-Atlantic.


    On a still, hot tropical night in September, 1942, the Cunard liner ‘Laconia’ was steaming at speed 260 miles north of Ascension Island in the Atlantic.
    Behind her, Japanese armies looted and burned their way across the Pacific.
    PACKED
    Her 20,000 tons dead weight was packed, as it had never been before. The ship’s company was estimated at between 4,000 and 5,000 people, mostly the wives and families of British servicemen and a motley crew of soldiers, seamen and airmen.
    There were also some 1,800 Italian prisoners of war – a fact that had a great deal to do with the incredible events that followed.
    Among the people cramming themselves into every available nook and cranny of the ship was a Plymouth family, R.A.F. Sergeant STONEMAN and his wife, Ena and their five-year-old daughter, June.

    TORPEDO

    The family had been reunited at Durban in South Africa, after nightmare months of separation during which Mrs. STONEMAN and June had been hustled from the dying port of Singapore and George had been helping the R.A.F. to destroy vital installations in the South Pacific.
    At 8.10pm on September 12th, in deep tropical darkness all of that was changed.
    A torpedo from a German U-boat – one of a major pack – struck the ship below the waterline as she moved along at her maximum speed of twenty knots.
    The big liner shuddered mightily and was immediately plunged into darkness. In less than fifteen minutes she had developed a sixty-degree list to port and within thirty minutes she had sunk.
    It was never properly established how many people died. The figure was put at between two and three thousand. It was one of the major sea disasters of the war.
    The STONEMAN family survived the explosion and rapid destruction of the liner and ended up in a lifeboat with forty-seven other men, women and children.
    TOWED
    They were more than 1,000 miles from the nearest land, some of them were injured, the lifeboat’s supplies had been contaminated – and they had no idea of their exact position.
    During the six days that followed the sinking of the ‘Laconia’ came one of the most famous incidents of the war as:
    The survivors were picked up by the U-boat pack itself.
    Little June STONEMAN and her mum spent a strange – and hilarious – night aboard an enemy submarine along with over one hundred other people.
    One of the U-boats towed the drifting lifeboats for hundreds of miles to safety.
    The Allies decided to bomb the submarines which had surfaced to save the shipwreck victims.
    A three-part series on the stoneman FAMILY starts today.
    The submarine commanders were ordered to “ditch” their survivors at the earliest moment and dive for safety.
    Luckily for the hundreds of helpless men, women and children, the U-boats had delivered them, to a designated spot – and the Vichy French cruiser, ‘Gloire’ was en route to pick them up from Casablanca.
    The survivors, in about eleven lifeboats were told to keep together … they would not have long to wait.
    That same day the old French cruiser picked them up and, after a refuelling stop at Dakar, delivered them to Casablanca.
    The survivors thought they were as good as home, but in many ways they were just beginning an ordeal that in many ways was worse than the one they had endured.
    ROTTEN
    “The French were rotten,” said Mrs. STONEMAN. “That’s the only word to describe them. We ended up thinking of THEM as our enemies and not the Germans. They treated us like animals most of the time.”
    On the journey to Casablanca the men were separated from the women and children and spent most of the time locked up in steel holds that rapidly became like pressure cookers.
    Mr. STONEMAN said: “They really treated us rough and that journey was one of the worst I made in my life. We had little food and hardly any water.”
    The STONEMANS were interned in a camp at a place called Sidi El Ayachia, an insect-infested group of mud huts on the edge of the desert.
    All Mrs. STONEMAN can remember were countless days of terrible food, little water and killing heat.
    They lived on lentils and dried peas mostly boiled into a kind of soup.
    Once a day they were given a square of hard bread and a cup of strong coffee.
    “It’s quite impossible for me to describe the filth of that place,” she said. “We were infested with lice and fleas and almost everybody suffered almost permanently from dysentery.”
    “We were a burden to the French and they made it quite clear that they hated us. If it hadn’t been for the kindness of some of the missionaries, life would have been unbearable.
    The STONEMANS stayed in the camp for almost two months and they were finally released following the American invasion of North Africa.
    Mrs. STONEMAN and June were the first to go. They went by hospital ship to Gibraltar and from there to Liverpool. Husband, George, followed a few days later.
    They were finally re-united and arrived back in Plymouth just before Christmas, 1942.
    The years have not blurred Mrs. STONEMAN’s memory, although she is inclined to forget the bad times – the first terrifying days after the liner’s sinking and the weeks in the French prison camp.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So this describes what happened to the survivors and their harsh treatment by the French.
    Why did Bleasdale not portray these events. The story was only half told, even then it was a amatuerish attempt.
    Bleasdale said it was a little known story, I knew of this story many many years ago.
    I still think he insulted Merchant Seamen in war, these guys were the bravest of the brave, when he shows a steward stealing money and a whimp of a Junior Third Officer baby sitting for a passenger instead of being on Watch in a war zone., and also entering a passengers cabin and rooting through her belongings while she is out. These are sackable offences, where did he get those stupid ideas from. again totally unbelievable.
    Bleasdale should give an appology to all Seamen over that.

  23. #23
    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    214
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    It would seem then if anything, AB's researchers (whom I'm sure he would have entrusted much to) have let him down - ref uniform details/etiquette etc)
    I agree that Alan has probably been let down by whoever researched the uniform/ technical side of things, but I can assure you that he definitely did all his own research on the historical/ political area. As far as I know, he's not been faulted on that. Also, contrary to much of the kind of "That wouldn't have happened in reality" comment that we've seen here, the version of events as shown in Bleasdale's film was borne out by the testimony of the survivors shown in the documentary the following day, just one example being the chaos during the launching of the lifeboats. Kong was keen that we watched that as being the 'real thing', yet hasn't attempted to explain what must have been to him a rather surprising degree of agreement.

  24. #24
    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Everywhere.
    Posts
    811
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    As I said in one of my first mails was that Bleasdale should have had a Seafaring man as an advisor. If you are writing about a seafaring event then have Seafarers advising the events. Then he could have had a credible story to tell.
    If he listened to passengers and other survivors then why did he not consider taking professional advice instead making a fool of himself by creating stupid and unreal characters who insult the integrity of Seafarers.

    As I have said before, the story was already written by the Official Records of various nations involved and also the story written by the survivors over many years since WW2.

    I bet anyone, there was no record in his research of a wine steward stealing money and of a Navigation Officer baby sitting while he should have been on Watch in a war zone and then on another occaision entering a lady passengers cabin while she was out and rooting through her personal effects.
    Ask him where he found that information.
    It was an easy thing to do, anyone could have done it, All he had to do was to join up the survivors stories instead of maliciously creating ficticious characters who insulted everyones intelligence.
    I still think he should give his appologies to all the Seafaring men who were in WW2. He gave the public the impression of Seafarers being thieves and whimps.

    Also this is from my previous post, repeated again........................

    So this describes what happened to the survivors and their harsh treatment by the French.
    Why did Bleasdale not portray these events. The story was only half told, even then it was a amatuerish attempt.
    Bleasdale said it was a little known story, I knew of this story many many years ago.
    I still think he insulted Merchant Seamen in war, these guys were the bravest of the brave, when he shows a steward stealing money and a whimp of a Junior Third Officer baby sitting for a passenger instead of being on Watch in a war zone., and also entering a passengers cabin and rooting through her belongings while she is out. These are sackable offences, where did he get those stupid ideas from. again totally unbelievable.
    Bleasdale should give an appology to all Seamen over that.
    All in All it was a waste of three hours TV

    Also the Labour Party should also appologise for stealing the money France paid in compensation to seamen, passengers and other POWs of France for the diabolical harsh treatment in North and West Africa. No one got a penny, the Labour Government kept it all.

  25. #25
    Came fourth...now what? Oudeis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North London
    Posts
    908
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    CK, on your last point. I remember much the same thing happened with Abervan.

  26. #26
    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    214
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Yep - a bit of a scandal that! But to be fair, Ron Davies did try to put things right... But sadly, I bet he'll be remembered mainly by the rest of us for his 'moment of madness' on Clapham Common. It's a mad world, my masters!

  27. #27
    Senior Member Ernie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Norrisgreen, Liverpool.
    Posts
    64
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    We have a member in our club who was on the Laconia he is 91. Our chairman tried to get in touch with the BBC to no avail. Alehouse knows the club LRMS. Ernie.

  28. #28
    Newbie Billy Wizz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    liverpool
    Posts
    11
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Hi Ernie.The person you mentioned sits on the Vindy Boys table at Eldonians club.He is infact 89.Frank Holden.Was shipwrecked (torpedoed) twice.You could not wish to meet a nicer person.Gentleman of the old school.Walks unaided and if anything this man with the benefit of hindsite might have been a better choice for first hand experiance than some of the reserchers who were used by the program makers.I will not make any more comments on this thread.Billy Wizz.

  29. #29
    Newbie The Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Liverpool North Shore
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Laconia Incident

    There are several survivors of the Laconia sinking in the Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers club at the Eldonian Village Hall in Burlington Street. For 9 months we tried to get in touch with Mr Bleasdale, his production company and BBC2 but did not even get a reply or acknowledgement. One was amongst the last to leave the ship and was injured in doing so. He was taken onboard the u-boat and his wounds treated. On being put back into the lifeboat he was given bread water and cigarettes "for Kamaraden." An Italian survivor asked for cigarettes and was contemptiously pushed aside by the German who said "no for Zeeman." The captain had previously commanded the Lancastria when she was lost with an estimated 7,000 dead. The authorities tried to unfairly tried to blame him for the tragedy. The last man to see him before the ship went down said that as he waited on the boatdeck he heard a shot from the captains cabin.
    Captain Kong is correct in writing that the story is well documented in published records and books. After the Franconia it is probably the best known story of the Battle of the Atlantic. Between 1950 and 1970 the story would be told on every ship on every voyage, often by a survivor. Even today to say the story is forgotten is rediculous.
    There are even greater tragedies that are not known because the details have been supressed by government. The papers on the Lancastria are embargoed beyond 2040, why/ Who knows. A final beef, Cunard recruited their crews from the Burlington Street Scotland road area of Vauxhall and the vast majority of Laconia's ratings came from there, so why are there so few Liverpool accents to be heard on screen in these movies or ducumentries, this programme and the Titanic movies are examples Can they not undestand us.

    For a producer with the BBC's record of getting costume drama detals right this show was a disgrace, it is as if they hired the costumes from a fancy dress shop

    Regarding the "Scouse Lads" accent being authentic John Dho says tis was proved by his appearing on the follow up interviews with survivors broadcast on BBC the following night. Well as far as I saw in the documentry the "Scouse Lad" was identified as Billy Hardacre. Billy was a famous Liverpool Boxer and ships fireman. Later he was forman of the ship painting contractor British Paints and then his own business. He died some years ago so could not have been interviewed last week by the BBC. His family are still pominent in the Scotland Road area of Liverpool where they run the best funeral service in the town. His son, also Billy, is managing director of the undertaking business and another son John, is the director of Hardacre and Smiths the ship painting contractors in Cammell Lairds.

    Final piont John Dho says few Liverpool seamen have commented on the documentry. As far as I can establish all the objections have come from Liverpool Seamen, it is after all Yo Liverpool
    Last edited by The Dog; 01-14-2011 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Additional comment spelling mistake

  30. #30
    Senior Member brian daley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tamworth,Staffs
    Posts
    1,045
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Picasa 320.jpg 
Views:	85 
Size:	53.7 KB 
ID:	18366
    Executed in gouache on paper,this study by Graham Coton shows the US B24 Liberator attempting to bomb the U-156 as she towed the lifeboats full of survivors from the liner Laconia ,which she had recently sunk.One can imagine the horror that must have been felt by those survivors,both on the U-Boat and in the lifeboats,as they witnessed the American attempts to kill them.This is an old artwork,devoid of political comment and so much more powerful because of it.
    BrianD

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. The Sinking of the Four Stackers
    By bangorreg in forum Liverpool Sailors
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-01-2009, 04:37 PM
  2. Lusitania sinking
    By mikep007 in forum Liverpool History and Heritage Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-30-2008, 03:46 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

For daily updates, to support us further or to join in the conversation: Follow us on Twitter @YOLiverpool / Like our Facebook Page: @yoliverpoolpics / Join the Facebook Group: YO! Liverpool Pictures

× Thanks for coming to the web site. Support our future by turning off your Ad-Blocker or consider a donation via PayPal or Credit Card!