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Arctic Convoy PQ8
The Story of Capt Robert Brundle and the SS Harmatris
By Michael Wadsworth
When Robert Brundle took the SS Harmatris to Russia with Convoy PQ8 he was 47 years of age. Both ship and master were veterans and had already sailed in convoys across the North Atlantic and to South Africa. The 5,395 ton coal fired ship, laden with 8,000 tons of armaments originally set sail on 27 November 1941 to join convoy PQ6 but encountered a fierce storm in which a lorry broke free in the hold and started a fierce blaze below decks. Despite valiant attempts to extinguish the fire the Harmatris was forced to return to Glasgow for repair. Having discharged its cargo, examined and repaired the holds, it restowed and finally put to sea again on 26 December. She was now to join PQ8 and Brundle was elected Convoy Commodore. Two minesweepers, a cruiser and two destroyers escorted the eight merchant vessels.
From the uboat.net review: Arctic Convoy PQ8 is a personal recollection and research by the grandson of Capt Brundle and as such has a slightly more personal feel than many history books. If anything, this makes it more interesting. Wadsworth explains the origins of the Rus ...