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"The U-boat can fairly be described as Hitler's last card, and he will play it for all he is worth." - Sir Stafford Cripps
On the morning of November 9, 1942, the Dunedin Star, a 13,000-ton refrigerated cargo ship, was tugged off her moorings, and nudged into the mouth of the Mersey River, that iconic entranceway to Liverpool Harbor, and the British gateway to the outside world. On her port side, Fort Perch hung ghostly and silent in the dawn light, and the old Leashow Lighthouse blinked forlornly on the North Wirral headland. As she passed the harbor walls and entered open water, the harbor pilot shook the captain's hand and wished him Godspeed, before clambering down to the pilot boat, chugging softly alongside the ship. Orders were given, and in the engine room, the great wheels began to turn. Under power, the Dunedin Star passed alongside the Liver Building and the low bluffs of Crosby, before gliding out into the shipping lanes. Within an hour, as the fog was beginning to clear, she entered upon the grey and restless waters of the Irish Sea, heading toward Saint Georges Channel, and the wide-open, naked expanse, of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Dunedin Star belonged to the Blue Star Line, a Liverpool-based company that had so far suffered a disproportionate loss of tonnage, thanks to the attrition of war. That year alone, Blue Star could list the Avila Star, the Viking Star, the Andalucía Star, the Empire Star, and the Pacific Star, all casualties of U-Boat attacks, and by the end of the year, the Ionic, Doric, Sultan, Adelaide, Wellington, Avelona, Arandora, Auckland, Napier, Almeda, Afric, Rodney, Imperial, Tacoma, and Scottish Stars would join that list. At the outbreak of war in 1939, there had been 38 Blue Star ships afloat, but by the end of the war, there would be only nine, and in total, 646 Blue Star seamen would lose their lives as a consequence of these losses.The Dunedin Star was enroute to Egypt, via the Cape and Aden, a lengthy diversion around the southern tip of Africa made necessary by the effective closure of the Mediterranean to non-naval shipping. In North Africa, Allied and Axis powers remained at one another’s throats, as the balance of the war was decided in a see-saw action of advance and retreat, across the great deserts of Libya and Egypt.All told, it was indeed a nervous and sober compliment of crew and passengers that steamed cautiously over the most dangerous oceanic region ever known. And, as time would tell, they had every right to be, because they were about to undergo some of the most famous trials and tribulations of the war. The Shipwreck of the MV Dunedin Star: The History of the Famous British Ship during World War II, chronicles one of the most famous rescue stories of the war. This audiobook depicts important people, places, and events, and you will learn about the Dunedin Star like never before.