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During the Second World War the British Merchant Navy's task was to run the German blockade bringing in food, fuel, raw materials and the needs of war. The crews came from all parts of the Empire and beyond, one in six members died in the line of duty. With their allies, they enabled Britain to hold out long enough for the United States to enter the war on Britain's side. Little is known about this and even less about the part played by the merchant fleets in evacuating troops and civilians from countries that the enemy overran. Merchant ships saved over 90,000 troops from Dunkirk. Later in June they evacuated more than 180,000 British and Allied troops from other parts of France, plus countless civilians. With the Fall of Singapore the Merchant Navy was again needed to evacuate troops and civilians under terrible conditions. They then moved men and materials for the landings, first in Madagascar, then North Africa and Mediterranean Europe. A government press release said that 50,000 British merchant seamen manned over 1,000 ships for the D-Day landings. Then two hundred ships were involved in the British return to South East Asia. The new Aerial Edition contains additional material about the three evacuations from France after the completion of the Dunkirk operation. Most of the first-hand accounts of these escapes are included in full. The author is a Master Mariner. He spent much of his working life in the marine salvage industry, becoming General Manager of Risdon Beazley and was then Managing Director of Smit's South East Asian operation .