Captain Albert Poland kept daily notebooks from mid-April 1941 until January 1943. Part of this period covered the entire Siege of Tobruk, which lasted for eight months, during which, as Senior Naval Officer Inshore Squadron, he was responsible for all the ships which supplied the besieged garrison with all their food, ammunition, fuel etc. When the siege ended he continued to assist the Army opening up ports as they advanced.
In March 1942 he was appointed as Captain (D) of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla. Two days after taking command of HMS Jervis he left Alexandria with other ships under the command of Rear Admiral Phillip Vian to escort a desperately needed convoy to Malta. During the Battle of Sirte Captain Poland took his flotilla within 3 miles of an Italian battleship and two heavy cruisers and fired torpedoes which made them turn away from attacking the convoy. Later that year he took 4 destroyers out from Alexandria, returning 2 days later with some 620 survivors of the other 3
Peter Poland, his son, has transcribed these notebooks, added some other accounts written by his father and published them with relevant letters and signals sent by Naval and Army Commanders at the time.
His illustrated talk will convey some of the dramas of this significant period of the Mediterranean war.