Friday, August 30, 2019

Fullbore Friday

The United Kingdom and her Empire were fighting WWII for over two years before we entered the war. Her Navy was fighting Germans from the North Cape to the South Atlantic, from the Grand Banks to eastern Indian Ocean while we sent a cruiser to South Africa to load up on her gold to buy weapons.

80 years and a day ago in 1939 the Admiralty ordered the mobilization of Royal Navy. Just five days later, she would be at war with Germany.

She started the war with a fleet 332 strong. Before the end of the war, she would have 885 ships serve under her flag. She lost 278 of them.

At the start of the war, the United Kingdom herself had a population of 47,550,000. Between her navy and merchant marine, by war's end she would suffer 81,006 dead.

To put that in perspective, in 1939 the USA had a population of 130,900,000. Our navy and merchant marine suffered deaths of 68,276. To understand fully the British losses at sea, if you adjust by population size, for the USA to have as many killed at sea, our number would be 261,800 souls.


Hat tip @OnthisdayRN, photo credit burritojustice.

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