MERCHANT MARINE: Bottoms for Britain

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Last week bright-skied spring bared its first smiles on Britain. Those smiles were sinister. They snatched away winter's ice-laden, cloud cover for convoys plodding across the Atlantic and up the coast of Africa. They spread the horizons and smoothed the swells for Germany's swarm of new submarines. They gave fair weather and good hunting to ocean-ranging bombers.

By week's end came a frightening announcement: over a period of 48 hours the exultant German High Command issued claims of having sunk 224,000 tons of British shipping, left the world to speculate on...

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