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If the Gods Are Good

The Epic Sacrifice of HMS Jervis Bay

This is the enthralling and, at times, harrowing account of one of the greatest and most heroic naval battles of World War II. On 28th October 1940 HMS Jervis Bay, an ancient cargo ship armed with a small number of obsolete guns, set out to escort 37 freighters and tankers across the North Sea.

Unexpectedly discovered by the Admiral Scheer, one of Germanyís most feared pocket battleships, the Jervis Bay captain immediately dispersed convoy HX84 to hide in the twilight of a rising winter storm. Outgunned and with no hope of survival, Captain Fegen and over 190 of the 256 Jervis Bay crew nevertheless then sacrificed themselves as they took the battle to the enemy in a one-sided duel with the Admiral Scheer, as they fought to secure the safe passage of the ships in their charge.

This sacrificial battle is fully placed in both its contemporary naval and political contexts and includes graphic descriptions of battle scenes and action aboard the ships, together with the harrowing aftermath as men struggled to survive in the icy seas. Personal stories are recounted for the first time, depicting courage and resourcefulness beyond the call of duty. For his valour, Captain Fegen was posthumously awarded Britainís only Victoria Cross for convoy defence.

Gerald L.Duskin spent twelve years researching the Jervis Bay story in Europe and North America before his death in 2002. Ralph Segman, a long-time journalist, was news editor of Science News and managing editor of Technology Review before his retirement. He lives in Pittsburgh, USA.

Fully researched and written to enthral, the reader is taken directly to the heart of the action. Graphic battle scenes and tales of heroism will appeal to military historians and avid readers of adventure stories alike.

Buy The Book

Title: If the Gods Are Good
Subtitle: The sacrifice of HMS Jervis Bay
Authors: Gerald L Duskin and Ralph Segman
Price: £10.95
Publication: June 2005
ISBN: 0859791076
Binding: Paperback
Format: 234mm x 154mm
Extent: Approx 240 pages
Illustrations: Approx 40 b+w photographs
 

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Links
Jervis Bay Memorial

Caithness Links
Football photo - a player dies on the Jervis Bay

Caithness Losses
The sinking of the Jervis Bay was the greatest loss suffered by Caithness and Wick particularly was hard hit.  18 Caithness men were in the crew and nine were killed.  Some of the men were related to each other and had been called up as they were member of the Royal Navy Reserve.