Tania Long

Tania Long

Tatiana (Tania) Long, the daughter of the Irish journalist, Robert Edward Crozier Long, was born in Berlin, Germany in 1913. Tania attended German schools before studying in France and England.

In 1936 she went to the United States and found work as a journalist with the Newark Star-Ledger. Her knowledge of Europe enabled her to be recruited as a foreign correspondent with the New York Tribune. In 1938 she was sent to Germany and the following year was transferred to France. When the German Army began its Western Offensive Tania was moved to the London office.

While in England Tania reported on the war and the Home Front and in 1941 she won the Newspaper Women's Club award for her stories about the sinking of the liner, City of Bernares, that was transporting children to Canada, about London's poor population, and the Blitz.

In 1942 Tania began working for the New York Times and after reporting the V1 Flying Bomb attacks on London went to France with the Allied troops in June 1944. Like fellow women journalists such as Iris Carpenter, Catherine Coyne, and Ann Stringer, she was not made to feel welcome and they were placed under the command of the Public Relations Division and told they could not visit the front-line. This directive was later changed and she was allowed to travel with the troops to Germany.

After the war Tania covered the Nuremberg War Trials and wrote articles on post-war Germany. This included stories on the plight of refugees and the problems of re-educating a German population that had experienced twelve years of Nazi propaganda.

Tania and her husband, Raymond Daniell continued to work for the New York Times until 1967. They moved to Canada where Tania worked for the National Art Centre as public relations director until her retirement in 1979.

Tatiana Long died in Ottawa on 4th September 1998.

Primary Sources

(1) Tania Long, New York Tribune (22nd September, 1940)

In one of the most tragic sea disasters of the war, 293 persons, including eighty-three children evacuated from England to escape Nazi bombs, lost their lives when a liner bound for Canada was torpedoed by a German submarine last Tuesday night 600 miles at sea, it was officially announced tonight. Only 113 persons out of a total complement of 406 aboard the vessel - which sailed Friday, the 13th - were rescued by British warships and landed last Friday at a northern British port.

The torpedoing occurred last Tuesday at 10 p.m. during a heavy gale which cut to a minimum the chances of saving more than a small proportion of the ship's human cargo. Most of the lifeboats and rafts lowered in the dark were smashed or spilled over by the tempestuous sea. The ship sank in half an hour, carrying down with her a number of children trapped below or killed in the explosion.

Of the survivors, thirteen were children, six of whom were traveling privately and not regarded as evacuees. Only seven evacuee children were saved. The survivors included eighteen women and eighty-two men. Among the adults were forty-five male passengers and white members of the crew and thirty-six Lascars (East Indians). Not a few of the adults were aliens who had been interned in Great Britain and were being transported to Canada.

This was the first loss of life among children evacuated to overseas homes under the British government's scheme. Under the plan 3,000 children have been successfully transported to safety in the dominions and the United States. During August an evacuee vessel - rumored to have been the Volendam - was torpedoed but did not sink and all 320 of the children on board were brought back to England safely.

Most of the children lost last Tuesday were from London, Middlesex and Liverpool. They were escaping from the terrors of Nazi air raids to find safety in the dominion across the Atlantic when a Nazi torpedo struck their vessel and sent all but thirteen of them to death. They had said good by to their parents the previous Wednesday.

Two of the lost children were making their second attempt to reach Canada. They had been among the 320 survivors of the vessel torpedoed in August.

Five of those lost were brothers and sisters whose homes in south-west London had been bombed the day before they left to join the liner. They had escaped the bombing by taking refuge in the family's "Anderson shelter." Their father, James Grimmond, said today: "This is not war; it's sheer, cold-blooded murder. I'm going to join up again, and all I ask

for is a front-line job."

(2) Tania Long, New York Tribune (22nd September, 1940)

Sinking and afire from stem to stem but with her guns blazing to the last, the 14,164-ton armed British merchant cruiser Jervis Bay fought a German warship - believed to have been one of the 10,000-ton "pocket battleships," the Admiral Scheer or the Luetzow - at dusk last Tuesday, 1,000 miles out the Atlantic from the American coast, and enabled a convoy of thirty-eight merchantmen, bringing vital supplies from the New World, to scatter.

Twenty-nine of the freighters escaped, and twenty-four of these reached a British port today. The fate of the nine other ships in the convoy is uncertain. All may have been sent to the bottom after the destruction of the Jervis Bay. Among the surviving vessels were the 16,698-ton motor liner Rangitiki and the 4,952-ton Cornish City, whose distress signals last week were the first indications that a raider was active in the shipping lanes of the North Atlantic.

The German high command said the entire convoy had been destroyed, but the Jervis Bay, fighting as gallantly as the armed merchant cruiser Rawalpindi had done against the Deutschland (later named the Luetzow) last winter, sacrificed herself to allow nearly three-fourths of the vessels to escape in the gathering gloom.

Details of the action were told by some of the men who, aboard the freighters in convoy, watched the Jervis Bay steaming out from the line to meet the powerful raider. In peace time the Jervis Bay was an Aberdeen and Commonwealth liner plying between England and Australia, carrying freight and the poorest classes of immigrants.

British and foreign vessels in the convoy, eyewitnesses recounted, followed one another across a calm sea. It had been a perfect day. Just as darkness was gathering the silence was shattered by a distant explosion. Then came the scream of a shell from below the horizon. It fell harmlessly a few yards from the ship.

The shell was followed by another. Soon the silhouette of a warship emerged, and the firing grew more intense. Immediately the order to scatter was given, and, as the ships obeyed, the raider began to concentrate on the Rangitiki, the largest vessel in the convoy.

The raider stood off about seven or eight miles as she poured shell after shell in the direction of the Rangitiki. Suddenly when it seemed that the merchantman could no longer escape the devastating fire, the Jervis Bay steamed straight out in front of her, turned slightly and raced toward the attacking warship.

The crew of the Jervis Bay must have known that she stood little chance against the raider's superior armament, but they manned their guns and blazed away furiously, drawing the fire from the Rangitiki.

As the convoy of ships disappeared one by one into the safety of the night, the Jervis Bay fought grimly on. The battle did not last long. The Jervis Bay, battered from stem to stern, began to burn. Soon she was blazing. Still her last remaining gun could be heard barking defiantly between the thunderous explosions of the raider's heavy guns.

Full details of what happened then are not available. The Admiralty said that nearly two hours after the beginning of the engagement an explosion was seen aboard the Jervis Bay. Sixty-five survivors, the Admiralty added, were known to have been aboard a merchant ship.

The Jervis Bay was manned by officers and men of the Royal Navy Reserve. She was commanded by Capt. H.S.F. Feegan.

A British captain of one of the convoy ships, interviewed on landing today, said he thought the raider was a pocket battleship and believed the shells were fired from eleven-inch guns.