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Old 24-01-2009, 00:22
Mark C. Jones Mark C. Jones is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default WWII, European navies-in-exile


My particular interest in World War II naval history are the European navies that sailed alongside the British Royal Navy (Poland, Norway, Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia and Greece). I am presently working on a scholarly paper about the British liaison teams placed aboard allied ships.

These liaison teams consisted of a single junior officer, usually a SubLt or Lt of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and 2-12 communications ratings depending on the type of ship. The officer was known as a British Naval Liaison Officer or BNLO.

As part of the information collection process, I am seeking the personal accounts of British officers and enlisted men who served in a liaison team on an allied warship. I am also interested in the memories of veterans who served in the allied navies and were aboard ships with a RN liaison team. I am interested in any documents, letters, diaries, photographs or any published account that mentions the liaison teams. I can be reached by private message on this site or by e-mail at:

jones DOT mark DOT c AT gmail DOT com

Mark C. Jones
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Old 24-01-2009, 11:36
John Brown John Brown is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: North Hampshire
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Default Re: WWII, European navies-in-exile

Welcome to the forum Mark.

If you have a look at romft1945s post #3 here...

you will see that his father was a BNLO on Polish destroyers. Perhap he could help you in your research! Why not drop him a pm?

Good luck

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Old 24-01-2009, 17:53
Mark C. Jones Mark C. Jones is offline
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Default Re: WWII, European navies-in-exile

Thanks for the suggestion, John. Will do. Mark
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Old 24-01-2009, 20:15
SCRG1970 SCRG1970 is offline
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Location: Sunny Bournemouth
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Post Re: WWII, European navies-in-exile


Can I presume you have read the excellent "Navies in Exile" by A D Divine published in 1944. This features many firsthand accounts on ships that came over to the allies.


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Old 25-01-2009, 10:56
Mark C. Jones Mark C. Jones is offline
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Posts: 70
Default Re: WWII, European navies-in-exile

Hi Gerry,

Yes, the book by Divine is one of the few book-length sources on the Allied navies. The problem is the book was published in 1944, so wartime security issues limited the information that could be included. From examining what was reported about the various navies, it seems that the manuscript was finished in late 1943. So the combination of censorship and mid-war release limit its utility to studying the Allied navies. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Old 27-01-2009, 15:53
kookaburra kookaburra is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,485
Default Re: WWII, European navies-in-exile


I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I just happened on these two fine photos of the Dutch cruisers DeRuyter and Java, in the course of something else today, and your post reminded me of a very contentious article 'The Battle of the Java Sea - A Fleet Wasted,' which refers to communication difficulties between Admiral Karel Doorman and the other allied officers of the ABDA Fleet. Also some things about the USN officers having a particular distrust and dislike of being placed under the command of a Dutch admiral - and some unusual actions they took to avoid a full commitment of their resources.

I posted this article on a 'Force Z' thread in the RN section earlier, but it may fit more into your particular interest here.;col1

Here's the two photos:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 05-RNN-Ruyter-6x4[1].jpg (20.5 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg 05-RNN-Java-6x4[1].jpg (25.8 KB, 18 views)
For his home is his ship, and his country the sea.(Joseph Conrad)
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Old 28-01-2009, 10:34
Mark C. Jones Mark C. Jones is offline
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Default Re: WWII, European navies-in-exile

Thank you for passing along the link. This is more general than the sort of information I am looking for. However, I do know the two Dutch cruisers at the Battle of the Java Sea both carried RN liaison teams, and the flagship De Ruyter also had a USN liaison team. So the RN was aware from 18 months of experience working with the navies-in-exile in European waters that liaison teams would be an absolute necessity for a mixed squadron such as the ABDA command.

Mark Jones
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