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Thread: Spanish civil war

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    Default Spanish civil war

    Were British merchantmen armed during the Spanish civil war? I'm trying to date this pic of my dad, who sailed London to Bilbao with MacAndrews in 36/37. He said he used to take guns to the Republicans (hush-hush) and bring back fruit. Any bets on what type of gun he is pictured with?

    Best wishes,

    WillScreenSnap 2020-01-10 at 14.17.52.jpg

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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    On the GOOD HOPE CASTLE , we were in Mombasa and started to load a cargo for Barcelona
    One of our Liverpool ABs turned white. this was 1959, Franco was still in power there.
    He said he couldn't go to Spain as he had the Death Sentence, from the civil war. He went to our Captain and told him
    He had been captured by the Republicans and sentenced to Death, ten of them went to the Firing Squad and they had decided if they were going to die then go out fighting. Which they did, nine were killed and he escaped.
    The Captain called the British and Spanish Consuls to the ship and the Spanish Consul confirmed that he would be executed on arrival in Barcelona.
    The Captain paid him off and put him in the charge of the British Consul and he was later sent home on a ship that was NOT calling to Spain.
    Quite a few British Seamen were killed in Spanish Gaols, some times shot or by garroting which is a terrible way to die, very painful and slow,
    Brian
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 10th January 2020 at 06:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    Looks like a
    Ordnance BL 4-inch gun Mk VII or very similar ????

    Arming a merchantman. From the outset of war, all Merchant ships were defensively armed as soon as possible
    with an all purpose gun mounted in the stern. 150.000 civilian seamen were trained on the guns,



    Possibly of some interest to you The Allen Collection|MacAndrews Line
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 10th January 2020 at 09:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    The Spanish Republic’s embassy in London reported that in the first two years of the war, up to June 1938, 13 British merchant ships had been sunk, 51 others bombed from the air, two had been damaged by mines, five were attacked by submarines and 23 had been seized or detained by Franco’s forces.

    Thirty-five British seamen were killed in these attacks and nearly 50 badly injured. The Royal Navy also lost eight sailors when in May 1937 the destroyer HMS Hunter struck a mine laid by Franco’s navy south of Almeria.
    The final tally by the end of the war in April 1939 was much higher. At least 26 were sunk or wrecked – though the number of British seafarer deaths is unknown.

    https://morningstaronline.co.uk/arti...-spanish-ports


    The following is a list of foreign ships wrecked or lost during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...nish_Civil_War
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    Highly unlikely there would be any admittance that the seafarers were armed but highly likely, many would have armed themselves. the trade union branch that i am a member of last year unveiled a memorial of the ships that broke the blockade during the Spanish civil war it is sited on the banks of the river Clyde in Glasgow

    No Pasaran
    Brian

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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    Not that I am aware of. My father served on the S.S. Kings borough which was the first British Merchant ship attacked during the Civil War. I have some background on the event, and total number of ships attacked if anyone is interested.

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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    Hi Will,
    My father was a career deck officer with MaCAndrews and I know they had a hairy time of it during the Spanish Civil War, and in fact the houseflag had TWO versions, the stripes of the Spanish flag colours being either Red/Yellow/Purple or Red/Yellow/Red depending on whose port was held by which side in the conflict.The business of carrying cargoes of fruit continued as (if you can call it) normal, but Mac's ships were not armed during this conflict from what I recalled of him telling me. Their ships or at least some of them, were armed from 1939 until the end of WW11.
    Regards
    Ian McKinlay

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    Default Re: Spanish civil war

    Thanks everyone, especially Ian for his insight on MacAndrews ships. I guess it will be the second world war -- there's only two years between them. Dad used to say that this new pic (attached) was the Spanish civil war. He's on the right. I've no idea of the ID of the chap with him, holding the mortar bomb.
    dad in spain.jpg

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