The Sinking of the Lancastria
On June 17, 1940, the British ocean liner, RMS Lancastria, was sunk during Operation Aerial.
RMS Lancastria had sailed to the French port of St. Nazaire to aid in the evacuation of British and French soldiers, civil servants and British civilians after the fall of Dunkirk. The ship was loaded well in excess of its capacity— the consequences of which were felt when a German fighter plane flew overhead and catastrophically attacked the Lancastria.
Janet Dempsey is a former maritime record specialist who worked at The National Archives for fifteen years. Janet joins Dan to discuss why the Lancastria was requisitioned as a troopship, the horrific sinking and loss of life, and how the subsequent media blackout at the time has informed this largely forgotten chapter in British history.
Produced by Hannah Ward
Mixed and Mastered by Dougal Patmore
If you'd like to learn more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download the History Hit app please go to the Android or Apple store.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.