by Eric Niderost On the morning of February 16, 1940, two Royal Air Force Lockheed Hudson aircraft lifted off from Thornaby Airfield in northern England. Their mission was to locate the Altmark, an elusive German tanker that was last reported somewhere along the coast of Norway. Altmark’s foul holds were crammed with 300 British prisoners, seamen taken from a number of merchant ships sunk by the panzerschiffe (pocket battleship) Admiral Graf Spee. The German tanker was now making a desperate

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