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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling account of life and death in the WW2 convoys
This book was written prior to the more famous 'Cruel Sea' (which I have not read (yet!)).Interestingly most of the book was written and published during WW2. Three Corvettes is actually a collection of Nicholas Montserrat's work but is no less for this. Three corvettes is a factual account of the authors time on corvettes firstly in the Atlantic convoys and then in...
Published on 18 July 2000

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Written by a serving sea officer during the War
This is an interesting read about life on convoy escorts and in the Royal Navy during WW2. It was published during the War and unsuprisingly, it had been vetted before publication. Nevertheless, it gives what appears to be accurate detail of life on board a corvette.
Published on 6 Mar. 2013 by J. R. Ashby


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling account of life and death in the WW2 convoys, 18 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Three Corvettes (Paperback)
This book was written prior to the more famous 'Cruel Sea' (which I have not read (yet!)).Interestingly most of the book was written and published during WW2. Three Corvettes is actually a collection of Nicholas Montserrat's work but is no less for this. Three corvettes is a factual account of the authors time on corvettes firstly in the Atlantic convoys and then in the East Coast convoys. It is beautifully written. I went to bed that night with the smell of the sea, the swell of the Atlantic and the fear of the torpedo. After reading this account my utmost admiration went out to the relatively unsung bravery of the Merchant Seamen. The other articles in the book include an account of the tragic sinking of the Lancastria with approximately 4000 passengers trying to evacuate from France. This was actually hushed by Churchill during WW2.Also covered are Dunkirk and the return of a crippled ship to port after being torpedoed. The collection includes 'The Ship that died of Shame' later a black and white film about a MTB boat which is converted for smuggling after the war. I will however remember this book for its frightening account of the convoy war and I look forward to reading the cruel sea.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The reality of WW2 Naval life in a small fighting ship, 16 Dec. 2008
By 
R. F. Stevens "richard23491" (Ickenham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Paperback)
I came across this gem on holiday recently while staying in a chambre d'hote, and found it to be riveting bed-time reading. I've owned a copy of The Cruel Sea since the seventies, but this is altogether more realistic.

My paperback 1973 Mayflower edition of Three Corvettes is actually a collection of three short autobiographical accounts of Monsarrat's experience serving on a corvette and is based on his diaries. Each piece was published separately at the time of writing, because, like many others, he was expecting to be killed the next time he went out on duty.

The structure, strengths and weaknesses of British WW2 Naval command are made all too clear, and the book makes one realise how lucky Britain was to win the war.

My eyes were opened wide regarding the duties of the different ranks, how the watches were organised, how the responsibilities were assigned, how the team functioned. If I were to write a novel or film about life on a small fighting ship, this would make excellent background reference material, far more revealing than any dry official manuals of ranks and standing orders.

I found the moralising somewhat overlong, hence only four stars, but this also serves to emphasise just how much the Services went through, and why they continued to do what they did with such dedication and heroism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Monsarrat - Three Corvettes, 14 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Three Corvettes (Paperback)
"Three brilliant finger-biting stories of men in small ships during one of the most crucial battles of the last war...the Battle of the Atlantic, when the convoys had to get through, despite the double threat of German bombers in the air, and U-boats, the invisible enemy below...Tales of heroism, fear and death, by the author of 'The Cruel Sea'."

"Nicholas Monsarrat is a writer whose terribly sharp eye sees, even in the midst of action, the things which second-rate writers always miss...This is writing: the craftsman is doing his honest professional job with his pen as the captain did so on the bridge of the wave-tossed cockleshell. He has written one of the best war books." - The Observer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming Book, 16 April 2012
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Paperback)
This book is excellent.

As the other reviewers have stated it is a collection of stories based on his wartime experiences and a number of short stories (fictional) that are very well set-out.

Firstly, his war was horrid. Read the section entitled "It Was Cruel" and you'll be disgusted at what these men went through to keep Britain going, but at the same time, their sacrifice will make you proud.

Monsarrat also injects humour in the most unlikely of places and some sections genuinely had me giggling at the absurdity of it all. It has highs, lows, humour and sadness - the lot.

I just wish there was more of it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master at work, 26 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Paperback)
For anyone who has read The Cruel Sea, and wondered at Nicholas Montserrat's ability to capture the pure essence of the war at sea, all will be revealed in Three Corvettes. Each story is a diary of the author's own experiences of life on a small escort ship, mundane and monotonous for the most part, dramatic and exciting in flashes, and the three combine to provide (in my opinion) the bedrock of his later masterpiece. Great reading, full of insights into that terrible time, and written with an apparent complete understanding of those he served with, and a warm sympathy towards their own lives and problems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can you say about a master of the "Salty" tale, 8 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Kindle Edition)
Monsarrat did his time during his wartime service in the Royal Navy and wrote from a solid foundation of actual experience. He did the time as millions of other people did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Written by a serving sea officer during the War, 6 Mar. 2013
By 
J. R. Ashby (Bedfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Kindle Edition)
This is an interesting read about life on convoy escorts and in the Royal Navy during WW2. It was published during the War and unsuprisingly, it had been vetted before publication. Nevertheless, it gives what appears to be accurate detail of life on board a corvette.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brings Home the Truth about the War at Sea, 13 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Kindle Edition)
Monsarrat does not pull any punches when desribing the horrors of the war at sea in WW2. His contrasts the teduim of long watches in freezing weather and the violence and terror of actions.
This is a must read for anyone interested in the Battle of The Atlantic. Had the Allies not triumphedI would be writing this in German.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Corvettes, 25 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Kindle Edition)
A good insight into the second world war at sea, if only from the autobiographical officer viewpoint and his experiences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true picture of WW2, 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Three Corvettes (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Kindle Edition)
A truly gripping account of war at sea by a master story teller . All three stories two of which are of the writers own experience are so easy to read . The fact that I am myself with a background of WW2 service makes it all the more
nostalgic
Regards John
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