Three Corvettes Paperback – 6 Sep 1973
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Nicholas Monsarrat was unquestionably the finest writer on the war at sea, 1939-45. This book features all his writing on the sea, excepting only The Cruel Sea itself and the much later Master Mariner. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Nicholas Monsarrat was born with the sea in his blood. During the war, he rose to become a First Lieutenant RNVR, then a corvette captain, then a frigate captain, all the while making notes, keeping a diary, publishing wartime accounts. After the war, Monsarrat's career as diplomat and novelist took every twist and turn in the book. He died of cancer in 1979 and was buried at sea from a destroyer, off Portsmouth. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you read just one book about the Battle of the Atlantic, it should be this one. Nicholas Monsarrat served in the War on escort ships; being a writer he has the very rare ability... Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Baerends
As an ex seafarer, Monsarrat writes it as it was. Looking at the picture of the corvette it is difficult to appreciate how small they were with all those sailors on board there was... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Nicania
A classic book written by a serving Officer from personal experience, while the memories were fresh. Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. J. Young
Have read this book before and had to have it again excellent read very happy with purchasePublished 9 months ago by Woody