Re: Chinese War Sailors
Posted by: Capt. George W. Duffy
Date: December 11, 2001 07:10AM
"The Merchant Seamen's War" by Tony Lane, Manchester University Press, 1990, contains a chapter titled "Sons of Empire". This discusses the role of non-European ethnic groups employed in Great Britain's merchant fleet at the outbreak of World War II.
Lane writes, "... seamen had been recruited in their thousands from the empire in India, from SE Asia and the outposts of 'informal empire' on the coast of China. They were supplemented by several thousand more from East and West Africa and the Caribbean islands. Altogether, they accounted for almost one-third of the shipping industry's labour force ..."
Considerable information is provided on strikes and desertions, the the ship masters' attitudes which led to such problems.