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The Cruel Sea (Classics of War) Paperback – 1 Mar 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Burford Books (Mar. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580800467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580800464
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 3.1 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,684,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A whale of a story....Solidly conceived and well executed".

-- San Francisco Chronicle

"A whale of a story...Solidly conceived and well executed."

From the Back Cover

A powerful novel of the North Atlantic in World War II, this is the story of the British ships Compass Rose and Saltash and of their desperate cat-and-mouse game with Nazi U-boats. First published to great acclaim in 1951, THE CRUEL SEA remains a classic novel of endurance and daring.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Cruel Sea had been in my book shelf for years, as part of some book sale deal when I first opened it. Not knowing what to expect, I started reading with an open mind and found myself completely enclosed by the atmosphere of WW2.

The book, a literary masterpiece, slowly and humbly tells us stories of war, fighting and death as well as love, longing and comradeship. The characters so real and true, it is hard to believe this is not based on real events. Or should I say, of course it is! Montsarrat is well acquainted with naval affairs, having worked as an officer himself and having lived through the war. Of course characters resemble persons he has met and actions are of course depicted in the most realistic ways, I wouldn't know, being totally ignorant to naval ways.

What i do know, however, is that I still think this may be the best book I have ever read! Montsarrat was indeed a compelling author and i have tried to find more novels by him.

I recommend you to read this book, for no other reason than that it is wonderful literature.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Cruel Sea is the story of the crew of a newly commissioned corvette, acting as an escort to merchant convoys during World War II. The crew is initially mostly inexperienced, from non-naval backgrounds. The plot focuses on their differing reactions to some of the horrifying experiences they have as the German U-boats attack their convoys with increasing success. Some will survive the war, and some won't - but all of them will be changed by their experiences.
Monsarrat served in corvettes himself during the war, and perhaps this is what gives the book an air of harsh reality. Although it is a fictionalised account, I found myself checking this part way through, because the story felt so real. Well worth reading - and if you enjoy this type of book, you may also enjoy H.M.S Ulysses, by Alistair MacLean.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Simply superb, you will not read a better book about leadership, sacrifice and courage than this book. A wonderfully written book that brings home the realities of the longest battle in the second world war, the Battle for the Atlantic.

As a measure of how well regarded this book is by the Royal Navy, for those young RN officers undergoing training at Britannia Royal Naval College this book is given as a prize presented to the Cadet with the best performance in leadership.
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Format: Paperback
This superb book tells the story of how Britain fared in the battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II. It pitted the Allies against the superior U-Boats (which attacked in sinister-sounding "wolf-packs") and war ships of Germany and it lasted until May 1943, when the German forces were overcome by new uses of the technology available to British vessels (improved radar and sonar known as "asdics"). During this battle the Allies lost 36,200 sailors and 36,000 merchant seamen, and the Germans lost 30,000 sailers. In addition, the Germans lost only 783 submarines, while the Allies lost 3,500 merchant vessels and 175 warships. At the end of the war, Rear Admiral Leonard Murray, Commander-in-Chief Canadian North Atlantic, remarked, "...the Battle of the Atlantic was not won by any Navy or Air Force, it was won by the courage, fortitude and determination of the British and Allied Merchant Navy."

The statistics tell their own story but the individuals involved, in sometimes horrendous events, bring the numbers to life. The Compass Rose, a vessel known as a corvette - a small ship that was used to search out and attack U-Boats and also to pick up survivors from ships that had been sunk, is captained by Ericson and though there are personal problems between the initial No.1, Bennett, and his fellow officers, this is sorted out when he opts to remove himself, supposedly suffering from a duodenal ulcer. Captain Ericson and his new No.1, Lockhart, make a good team. The writing is brilliantly perceptive as long as the men are at sea and there is plenty of heart-in-mouth action here. The portrayal of men who have been torpedoed and are waiting to be picked up by rescue ships, was devastatingly realistic and horrendous.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have been waiting for The Cruel Sea to be published on kindle for over a year, To find it at last has made my day. It is my favourite book and written by a master of his trade. The characters are so real that you find yourself caught up with them. it is a fantastic read i had a paperback copy of this book and almost wore it out. You almost feel the atmosphere of what life on a small ship must have been like, You can smell the sea, You almost feel the roll of the sea. Iam only sorry that I cant give this book,A story of men against a common enemy, The cruel, cold, unforgiving sea more than five stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books ever written, if you like this type of story. I have read this book more times than I can remember and have just purchased the kindle edition even though I already own two copies of the book. It is a story about people and the way they cope with the life that they have been thrown into without a choice. Although it is a war story it is not about war but rather relationships and coping with human frailty. It is a story of human spirit and desire to survive against all the odds.
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