Carr, J(ames) Revell 1939-
CARR, J(ames) Revell 1939-
Home—ME. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.
Former president and director of Mystic Seaport (maritime museum), Mystic, CT; past president of Council of American Maritime Museums and International Congress of Maritime Museums. Military service: U.S. Navy, officer.
All Brave Sailors: The Sinking of the Anglo-Saxon, August 21, 1940, Simon and Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
J. Revell Carr is the former director of Connecticut's Mystic Seaport maritime museum, where for many years the jolly boat of the British merchant marine vessel Anglo-Saxon, which was sunk by the German raider the Widder in 1940, was exhibited. (A jolly boat is a small boat that is carried on a ship and used for general jobs.) The jolly boat of the Anglo-Saxon served as the centerpiece of an exhibit titled "Battle of the Atlantic" that was staged in London's Imperial War Museum. Carr took great interest in the boat and its story, which he documents in All Brave Soldiers: The Sinking of the Anglo-Saxon, August 21, 1940.
When the Anglo-Saxon went down, seven crewmen managed to escape in the tiny jolly boat. After more than two months at sea, only two survived to swim to safety in the Bahamas, halfway across the Atlantic from where the large ship sank. Some of the crewmen died on board, while others chose to slip into the sea to avoid death by starvation or from their gangrenous wounds. Of the two survivors, one was killed in a U-boat attack while returning to England. The sole long-term survivor committed suicide some twenty years later, having suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to providing a history of the disaster, Carr profiles Hellmuth von Ruckteschell, the German officer responsible for the wartime attack on the Anglo-Saxon.
Booklist contributor Roland Green called Carr's work "solid" and "powerful," while Richard Seamon wrote in United States Naval Institute: Proceedings that "readers who are interested in more than the tale of a terrible small-boat voyage in wartime will not be disappointed. The author, an indefatigable researcher, has included biographies of almost everyone he names—German and English alike—plus a detailed description of the postwar trial of von Ruckteschell for war crimes." Von Ruckteschell was tried as a war criminal because he made no effort to rescue the survivors of his attacks and, in fact, fired on them. A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that "Carr wrings every fascinating last drop out of this powerful material."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 15, 2003, Roland Green, review of All Brave Sailors: The Sinking of the Anglo-Saxon, August 21, 1940, p. 722.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2003, review of All Brave Soldiers, p. 1346.
Publishers Weekly, December 8, 2003, review of All Brave Sailors, p. 57.
United States Naval Institute: Proceedings, February, 2004, Richard Seamon, review of All Brave Sailors, p. 84.*