Good Naval books

Discussion in 'Films, Music, TV & All Things Artsy' started by buggerit84, Mar 2, 2009.

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  1. I've always been an avid reader, particularly of anything with a historical setting, whether fictional or not, and military history has always been a favourite topic, especially 20th Century.

    Now most of the books I have that fall into this genre are land based (Through Hell For Hitler, Enemy At The Gates, Stalingrad, Sniper On The Eastern Front being the first ones to come to mind), so I've been thinking that I need to expand this to offshore.

    Other than the Cruel Sea, which is on my to get list, has anyone got any good suggestions? Cheers!
  2. A good start would be 'A fighting Captain' written by Alan Burn, ISBN: 1844154394


    Captain F J Walker, RN, did more than any other man at sea to win the Battle of the Atlantic, a vicious and unrelenting struggle which Churchill described as the dominating factor throughout World War Two. He was a formidable figure and one of the greatest fighting captains in the Royal Navy, sinking twenty U-boats. For this he was awarded a CB and four DSOs. A month after D-Day, exhausted by his continuous actions at sea against the enemy and his successful exertions to keep the U-boats out of the English Channel to ensure the safe passage of the Allied landings at D-day, he went ashore in Liverpool after a patrol. His ships and the men he had trained and inspired were already back at sea when he died on the 9 July, 1944, aged 48. His ships went on to sink another nine U-boats, bringing his flotillas' total up to twenty-nine, before the U-boat fleet finally surrendered. Fifteen of which were sunk by Walker's own ship, HMS Starling.

    Excellent read!
  3. The earlier Clancy books.

    Hunt for Red Oktober.

    Red Dawn Rising, another land based, but a good read.
  4. through fire and water, story of the ardent! Brilliant stuff!
  5. Yeah read that one good read Felt you were onboard
  6. The book is far better than the movie (but is that not always the case?)
  7. I read this a few years ago now, havent been lucky in tracking down a copy...must try Amazon or google

    Thanks for the memory jogger
  8. I'm on a roll now 8) oppo's

    One to try and lay hand on is a fictional work first published 1967. It has been re-printed since then and their is still the odd copy about with a bit of searching. I have a copy (paperback) but its started to fall to bits I am afraid.

    It is HMS Leviathan by John Winton A war story about an aircraft carrier which is ordered to spearhead a patrol into the Arctic, where a mutiny occurs.

    The author is really one Lt Cdr John Pratt RN Retired (now deceased) his knowledge of things 'pussar' being apparent in his style of writing (See below link)

    A good read and worth tracking down.
  9. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Some of the books on my shelves:
    - Douglas Reeman nice and light but a bit formulaic - his alter ego Alexander Kent is good if you prefer 18th Century naval fiction but the same warning re depth and formula applies.
    - Alastair's Maclean's classic book HMS Ulysses (based I understand on his personal RN experience in WW2) and in the 70s this was one of the few pieces of modern writing on the AUB reading list.
    - a trilogy by John Wingate consisting of Frigate, Carrier and Submarine - although now overtaken by the end of the Cold War these are still in my opinion a cracking read.
    3 Corvettes by Nicholas Monsarrat.
    4 weeks in May - HMS Coventry's war in the Falklands.
    - The RNR in War & Peace: 1903 - 2003.
    - Lost voices of the Royal Navy.
    - Lost Voices of the Falklands.
    - Make a Signal (yes I am a sad signalman at heart!).
  10. Very Ordinary Seaman: J. P. W. Mallalieu: ISBN 9780575002494

    Published in 1944, tells the story of a young civvie who opts for the Andrew before the Army gets him, and follows him through basic training and onto the Russian Convoys. Epic stuff. And his descriptions of life aboard in them days are eye opening. Unless, like some of you old tars you were actually there! :D
  11. Special Forces Pilot. An actual account of a Booty pilot on a 'Junglie' squadron in 1982. (Falklands).

    May be of particular interest to you. Being a budding pilot and alll!!
  12. Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War (1991) is a book by Robert K. Massie
    Long winded historical account of the build up to WW1, very good thogh.

    Anatomy of Courage, Lord Moran. Land based, ww1 Docs account of things, not Naval, but well worth a read.

    Fishers Face, Jan Morris. Nice short read about the man himself, great detail about the development of modern battleships.

    Enigma, Hugh Sebag–Montefiore, John Wiley & Sons, 2002.
    Just awesome!

    Enjoy :)
  13. I'm just reading the 2nd Ed of Admiral Woodward's "One Hundred Days", which is an excellent read and a valuable insight into the mind of a leader during wartime. I read the first one 10 years ago at BRNC, and I'd recommend it to any sprog OC, as it puts the training into perspective.
  14. not forgetting of course .
    The Red Sailor!!!
  15. Bought mine through Abe books ISBN 0727846752 from the USA only about $10 Inc postage :wink:
  16. agree :wink: :wink: We have a beautifull Bronze lifelike sculture of Capt "Johnnie" Walker . Looking out to sea, at the Pier head Liverpool
  17. If you are interested I would certainly get my hands on the following books if you have no already read them

    "War Beneth The Sea" by Peter Padfield ISBN No, 0-471-24945-9 a history of the major nations submarine serices in WW11 and the politics around it. Also performance or lack of from various torpedo's.

    Then if you are prepared for total detail of the history and fate of every U Boat and their victims read.

    "Hitlers U-Boat War: The Hunters 1939-1942" ISBN 0-304-35260-8
    "Hitlers U-Boat War: The Hunted: 1942-1945" ISBN 0-304-35260-8

    both by Clay Blair a noted American Historian.

    If a fact is known about a U-Boat and it history then he has researched and recorded it. Long detailed books but fantastic reading.

  18. The Terror of Tobermory, by Richard Baker.-- about Vice Admiral Sir Gilbert Stephenson, who organised workup training at Tobermory during WW2.

    Battle of The Narrow Seas, by Peter Scott, about MTB/SGB etc actions in the Channel , WW2.

    A Sailors Odessy, autobiography of Admiral A.B.Cunningham,C-in C Med WW2.

    If you want a particular book, try this website, its really good,Not just for used books, new ones as well. I always use this before any other method of finding a book.
  19. Above us the Waves "a grate biblical epic" by Alfred.E.Newman.
    We Come Unclean, "a naval sexual romp" by Ivor Dhobi Bucket.
    Grate Naval bombardments and Land Battles by Ableseaman Gunerea
  20. "Iron Coffins "by Herbert Werner :wink: My best ever read :cry:

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