Based on the author's own vivid experiences, "The Cruel Sea" is the nail-biting story of the crew of HMS Compass Rose, a corvette assigned to protect convoys in World War Two. Darting back and forth across the icy North Atlantic, Compass Rose played a deadly cat and mouse game with packs of German U-boats lying in wait beneath the ocean waves. ...
Based on the author's own vivid experiences, "The Cruel Sea" is the nail-biting story of the crew of HMS Compass Rose, a corvette assigned to protect convoys in World War Two. Darting back and forth across the icy North Atlantic, Compass Rose played a deadly cat and mouse game with packs of German U-boats lying in wait beneath the ocean waves. Packed with tension and vivid descriptions of agonizing U-boat hunts, this tale of the most bitter and chilling campaign of the war tells of ordinary, heroic men who had to face a brutal menace which would strike without warning from the deep...
Very well written. Keeps your interest about what when on during WW II British Convoy duty. Heart breaking at the end.
Nov 12, 2009
Book about convoys in WW2
One can scarcely find a better novel than this from which to learn the facts about convoy duty in WW2. The story follows the crew of a Royal Navy corvette through several years of brutal war. The hero (a young, inexperienced amateur sailor) is followed as he learns his grim trade (shepherding tankers, picking up survivors, attacking U-boats) -- a trade made miserable by the weather, the fearsome motion of the small ship, the sinkings, and the continuous fear. There is a brief love story, but for the most part the sex is pretty much what you would expect of sailors living a dangerous life. (A "cadet" version of the book was printed.)
The book is historically accurate and follows the rise and fall of the German U-boat service (who are very much the villains of the story). As the war progresses, the increasing numbers of ships and planes, the gowing skill of the sailors, and advent of sophisticated sonar, radar and anti-submarine weapons of the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy change the tide. Victory is achieved -- but at a great cost.
All in all it is a sobering and riveting story of a vital -- if inglorious -- piece of the war. The author served in corvettes.
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