Always the consumate story teller, Tristan Jones relates his experiences as an enlisted man in the Royal Navy with a sense of realism that is so missing from many other accounts. In particular, his ability to put the reader into the world of the matelots (enlisted sailors) sheds light on a part of military history that has often been ignored. This is of particular importance when looking at the WWII Royal Navy, with it's rigid class divisions and the almost parallel worlds that existed between officers and men on RN ships. Many WWII accounts came from RN officers, with their often highly paternalistic and class bound accounts of the actions of their ships and crews. Jones takes you inside the very dynamic societies that existed in those thin skinned steel tombs that sailed the Atlantic.
Jones's account also offers a rare glimpse of the world of the boy sailor, a rank now abolished but the starting point for many of the previous generations of RN sailors. I personally met a WWII vet who, like Jones, had started as a boy sailor in the Royal Navy, and he vouched for the accuracy of Jones's tale.
An excellent read, and a often gripping look at the life of the ordinary (and often extraordinary) men who sailed the ships that won the war.