It is September 1942 and you are a 21-year-old man seaman returning home to Britain on leave in HMS Laconia, after fighting the Germans in the Norwegian and Mediterranean campaigns. Suddenly the ship is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, forcing you and all on board to take to the lifeboats.
Then the same U-boat that torpedoed your ship rescues you by taking the lifeboats in tow, only to be bombed in turn by American aircraft. This forces the German commander to cast you adrift: once more and you are back facing your common enemy – the sea – as you try to get home.
One Common Enemy, a new book published by the National Maritime Museum, reads like an adventure novel – but it was reality for Jim McLoughlin, who was one of the few survivors of the sinking of the Laconia in 1942. The price of making it back to the UK was high, however, as Jim McLoughlin comments; ‘those who actually survive the terrors of war remain prisoners of cruel memories for the rest of their days.’
Prepare for an inspiring and terrifying story of endurance and survival as you follow Jim McLoughlin and his co-passengers in this heart-rending and gripping tale.
PB 200 pages