The greatest disaster in British maritime history occurred on Monday 17th June 1940. More perished in twenty minutes than the total losses sustained during the sinking of the Titanic, Lusitania, HMS Hood, and the Battle of Trafalgar. Yet most people are unaware of this shocking event especially as an embargo was placed on the British press at the time and the files have been sealed until 2040!
I discovered this when researching the second novel in the Jack Renouf series and decided to name it THE LAST BOAT in honour of the bravery of the over 6,000 British servicemen and women who lost their lives when the Luftwaffe bombed HMT Lancastria then callously strafed the survivors and tried to set them on fire by dropping incendiary bombs into the lake of oil spreading from the broken ship's bunkers.
Jack, Miko, Lt Commander Brewster, and Saul, who has navigated his father's cruiser from Jersey down to St Nazaire to assist with the last stages of the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF),all appeared in the first novel, AGAINST THE TIDE, and at 4 pm that tragic day have just ferried the last group of evacuees from the Old Mole at St Nazaire and are alongside the converted liner trying to persuade its captain to take them aboard when three Ju 88 bombers appear.