26 August 2010

Two Survived: The Timeless WWII Epic of Seventy Days at Sea in an Open Boat

On August 21, 1940, the German armed merchant raider Widder torpedoed the British merchantman SS Anglo Saxon approximately 800 miles west of the Canary Islands. The survivors were machine-gunned as they tried to escape in their lifeboats.

One little boat escaped with seven men. Five of them perished, but Robert Tapscott and Wilbert Widdicombe endured for seventy full days and 2,300 miles to landfall on the other side of the Atlantic.

This is the incredible account of their ordeal, one of the most thrilling stories of the sea ever written—and one that almost never came to light. “It has seldom happened,” writes William McFee in the introduction, “that a narrative so circumstantial, so entirely stripped of all humbug and false sentiment, has come out of the depths of the sea, to inspire us with admiration for human valor.”

Read more about the SS Anglo Saxon on the Imperial War Museum website.

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