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Thursday, 16 January 2014

BBC TV - "PQ17 : An Arctic Convoy Disaster" with Jeremy Clarkson

I like to eat breakfast in front of the television, watching a recorded history programme. There are a lot of programmes on social, economic and political history and current affairs and arts subjects so usually I have a few in the recordings to watch.

This morning I watched "PQ17 : An Arctic Convoy Disaster", presented by Jeremy Clarkson. I really enjoyed it.

This is not a Clarkson household. My partner and I, we are both Guardian reading, BBC4 and Channel4 watching, Radio3 and 4 listening types. I find Clarkson to be witty but also grating with bombastic petrol-head views. However, this is the second good history programme of his that I have seen, the first was about four years ago on the St. Nazaire Raid in 1942. For PQ17 he has presented a good, well-balanced documentary.

A good programme - thank you Jeremy.

PQ17, July 1942,  a convoy of 34 merchant ships loaded with supplies for the Soviet war effort, sailing from Iceland to Archangel in Northern Russia. As the title says, it was a disaster. When the convoy was underway The Admiralty thought the German battleship Tirpitz was putting to sea to intercept it and ordered the convoy escort to leave. This was a totally wrong decision based on totally wrong intelligence. 23 merchant ships were lost, 153 seamen killed.

I recommend you watch the programme if you can.

Lt. Douglas Fairbanks Jr was serving on one of the US Navy escort vessels.

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