The Cruel Sea
1999, United States Naval Inst.
Paperback, 520 pages
book is in English language
|Pros.||Overall excellent portrayal of escort duty|
Buy this title at
This title is highly recommended.
Nevertheless, this book is an excellent account of life on convoy escort duty in the Atlantic. Telling the story of two corvettes, including the sinking of the vessel of the title, the narrative encompasses the entire course of the war. The maturing of the characters from green conscripts to experienced officers and men parallels the technical developments that marked the turn of the tide in the U-boat war and turned the hunters into the hunted. The grisly realities of the U-boat war, familiar to all its participants - skeletons bobbing in their life jackets, a lifeboat manned by a corpse whose hand frozen on the tiller steers the boat straight through a convoy - are presented in vivid images; the loneliness and strain of command, the dull despair of the shipwrecked, the gradual devouring of individual personalities by the huge, impersonal machine of war - all are captured by Monsarrat in gripping prose.
Review written by Tonya Allen.
This review was published on 26 Nov 1999.