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   xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Aug 24 11:57 PM

Aug 25th, 2017: Crow’s Nest

A unique Canadian club, The Crow’s Nest.

In downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland, there is an old warehouse overlooking the harbour that looks as anonymous as all the other brick buildings surrounding it. At least until you look at the roof, for protruding out of the flat roof, is what appears to be a rather unusual looking aerial. It is thicker than you might expect, and the eagle eyed will notice it curves at the end. It is, quite improbably, a periscope from a Nazi U-Boat captured during World War II.
This U-Boat…

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest campaign of the Second World War, running almost throughout its entire six years. It was fiercely contested between the German Navy and U-Boats hell bent on destroying the convoys bringing vital supplies to Great Britain from North America. “The struggle for victory over Hitler hinged on getting men, weapons, fuel and food”, wrote Jonathan Dimbleby. “For Dönitz(Nazi Sub Boss), whose U-boats were attempting to sever the British lifeline across the Atlantic, it was a truth that gnawed at his very being.”

The periscope ended here…

It was for official purposes, named the ‘Sea-Going Officer’s Club’, but it became known amongst the young officers as ‘The Crow’s Nest’.
Hidden away, it soon became a cozy, secret refuge from the horrors of fighting in the frigid North Atlantic. “Here the officers of His Majesty’s Navies and the Navies of our Allies engaged in the Battle of the Atlantic, sought and found a secure haven from the perils of the sea. From hence they went forth again to resume the fight”, reads a brass plaque in the clubhouse.

The Crow’s Nest swiftly became a focal point for off duty officers. “Its fame has spread wherever Canadian destroyers, frigates or corvettes have tossed depth-charge patterns, or churned white water down an Atlantic hill to ram a surfaced sub”, wrote naval historian Stephen Leacock. “There are no membership dues and no charge slips; the member might not pass this way again.

The end of the war saw the Crow’s Nest close its doors on June 13th, 1945. But the mass repatriation of officers returning from far flung theatres of war, saw St. John’s maintain a large military presence, and in 1946, the Crow’s Nest reopened, as it has done ever since.
Sitting in the Crow’s Nest today, it is easy to picture the young officers, drinks in hand, crowded around the piano singing, and seeking refuge from the horrors of the battles being pitched in Atlantic.

“Sometimes it was to have a drink”, explains historian and former Crow’s Nest President, Gary E.H.Green. “Sometimes it was to have the first hot meal in weeks. Sometimes it was to play a game of cards. Sometimes it was to sit by the fire and talk to fellow officers. The club offered combatants a forum for mutual support and it served its purpose well.”


Diaphone Jim  Saturday Aug 26 12:42 PM

“Sometimes it was to have the first hot meal in weeks."

Maybe it is just the Infantry in me, but I don't think that particular trial was common in the RCN..

SPUCK  Monday Sep 4 11:50 PM

I wonder what the $90 bought that sank the U-Boat.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Sep 5 12:06 AM

Probably a mine, maybe a depth charge. $90 CDN in 1942 is $1304 CDN today.

Gravdigr  Saturday Sep 9 04:13 PM

Originally Posted by SPUCK View Post
I wonder what the $90 bought that sank the U-Boat.
$1,350,000 to buy 15,000 depth charges
1,350,000 divided by 15,000 equals, I guess, a depth charge.


$90 in 1942, is on par with $1400 in 2017...I'd be willing to bet a dollar that a depth charge costs a leeetle bit more than $1400 today.

SPUCK  Monday Sep 11 01:52 AM

Thanks guys! I'll buy that!

Gravdigr  Monday Sep 11 02:17 AM

I love it when I'm 5 days late to the party.

xoxoxoBruce  Monday Sep 11 12:27 PM

No problem, we're glad to see you stumble in any old time.

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