It's a Strange Thing is War

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“You’ve got the battles, then you’ve got the humanitarian side…It’s a strange thing is war…” This is the astonishing story of how a North Sea passenger ferry and her civilian crew, became a troop carrier, rescue ship and prisoner of war ship; in the thick of the firing, bombs and air attacks of The Falklands War.

The entire operation would have been impossible without the merchant ships taken up from trade and requisitioned. But, how did they come to play critical roles in a war 8,000 miles away? We hear from Keith Thompson of MV Norland, who’s crew all volunteered to support the task force.

However, they could not have foreseen just how dangerous it would get. The night before landing 2 Para on The Falklands, “…we had a message that Norland would go through first…the SAS had found mines…they decided to take the old ships through first…so Norland headed through, followed by HMS Plymouth, HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless…we were the first few ships through the minefield.”

That was just the start. Norland finally got back to Hull on 1st February 1983, after 282 days at sea, “We were proud of what we did…we’d certainly do it again…but only on Norland.”

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Supported by SAMA (82) in collaboration with TheVeteran.UK

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