Documents on the Fight for Real History

David Irving portrait

David Irving

[Photo by Michael Hentz for The New York Times]

Letter to the Editor
The Sunday Times

October 6, 1968

The Sunday Times, London

London, October 6, 1968


Disobedience in PQ.l7


PQ.17 bookI WOULD NOT have suggested in my book "The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17" (reviewed, September 15) that the escort commander [Captain Jack Broome] had disobeyed orders given him at one stage, had he not admitted precisely that ("disobedience") in his report to the authorities. But I also reproduced without comment his justification for having so acted. Equally, my description of the officer as a "broken man" afterwards was not my own subjective assessment, but a quotation from the Chief Petty Officer closest to him.

If your reviewer gathered the impression that I fastened on to every shortcoming in the merchant vessels' crews, I can only say I must have failed in my purpose. This was a more than usually disastrous operation, in which tragedy was very frequent: it could not have been depicted otherwise. I would like to emphasise the pride with which I narrated every one of the acts of individual heroism, particularly in the Merchant Navy. The background of tragedy and error, however regretted by the officers concerned, highlights this heroism.

David Irving

London W9


  1. Captain J E Broome, DSO, RN, the escort commander in this 1942 North Russian convoy disaster, sued David Irving in libel after the publication by Cassell and Co. Ltd. of THE DESTRUCTION OF CONVOY PQ.17 in October 1968. The case came to trial in February 1970, and after seventeen days the Jury awarded Broome what was then one of the largest sums of damages, including punitive damages, in history. The above letter reflects accurately Mr Irving's views on his book. [ See Index to this Case ]

To Order Books | Auschwitz Index | Irving Index | Irving Page | Irving Book-List | Action Report | Other FP Authors
Buchladen | Auschwitz | Irving-Verzeichnis | -Hauptseite | -Bücher | Action Report | Weitere FP-Autoren

© Focal Point 1998 write to David Irving