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The Cruel Sea (Penguin World War II Collection)

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By the time they were past the Straits, and had smelled the burnt smell of Africa blowing across from Ceuta, and had shaped a course for Gibraltar harbor, they were all far off balance. Over half a century later, the historian Paul Kennedy still considered Monsarrat's fictionalisation of his experiences as the best and most authentic guide to the mentality of the wartime escort commander. [2] Film and radio adaptations [ edit ] How can it be? There’s too many classics to choose from. Antiwar masterpieces like All Quiet on the Western Front and Fear. Literary opuses such as The Naked and the Dead and The Thin Red Line. Big, operatic epics like Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Once you start listing them, it’s hard to stop. Catch 22. The Things They Carried. The Red Badge of Courage. Even War and Peace can be classified here. A lot of great literature exists in this genre. My Father for years, with an almost mantra repetitiveness has been telling me to watch the film or read the Cruel Sea, I always replied, “will do” with no real intention of getting round to it. I am so glad I now have. This is a story of the Battle of the Atlantic, the story of an ocean, two ships, and a handful of men. The men are the heroes; the heroines are the ships. The only villain is the sea, the cruel sea, that man has made more cruel...

Can’t be soon enough for me, sir. Proper uproar, this is. A lot of the lads wish they’d joined the Army instead.” Bridge!” he said, and listened for a moment. Then he straightened up, and called to the Captain across the gray width of the bridge. “Answer from Viperous, sir. . . . ‘Do not leave convoy until daylight.’” Here were the ships, assembling for their long uncertain voyage: here was Compass Rose, appointed to guard them: here was Ferraby himself, a watchkeeping officer — or practically so — charged specifically with a share of that guardianship. His pale face flushed, his expression set in a new mold of determination, Ferraby surveyed the convoy with pride and a feeling of absolute proprietorship. Our ships, he thought: our cargoes, our men. . . . None would be surrendered, of this convoy or of any other, if it depended on any effort of his.Ireland comes in for a lambasting; the country is potrayed as contemptible for remaining neutral and benefiting from the vital food and other supplies from North America, guarded by the Royal Navy, whilst at the same time allowing the Nazis to run an espionage base on their territory. Stand by to get those survivors inboard. We won’t lower a boat — they’ll have to swim or row towards us. God knows they can see us easily enough. Use a megaphone to hurry them up.”

But this isn't just a war story. In a surprisingly subtle way, The Cruel Sea also chronicles the often abrasive process by which classes, previously unknown to each other, were thrown together onboard ship and had to learn to rub along - and how the earned respect, in the long term, led to the future Welfare State and the social equity and cooperation of the 50's and 60's. You can really appreciate this was written by a person who had actually experienced these things, so the term historical “fiction” should be used loosely if describing this book.

Retailers:

Primarily concerned with life at sea, this doesn't completely ignore the home front, but sees it primarily in terms of the impact home lives have on the men at war. As a female reader I never felt excluded from this narrative, made up as it is of overwhelmingly masculine characters, and wasn't hit with technical sea-faring terms or the names of different types of ship body parts... Instead it focuses on the characters, and the intense pressures they're under. The last quarter of the book takes on a different character, as if Monsarrat found himself under pressure to keep his book within a specific length. Secret signal, sir,” said Wells, in not quite his normal inexpressive voice. “The signal boat just brought it aboard.” He should have done something about getting the mess cleared up in the fo’c’s’le, but he couldn’t be bothered. He should somehow have organized at least one hot meal a day, even if it were only warmed-up tinned beans; the galley fire was unusable, but with a little ingenuity it could have been done in the engine room. This, again, was more trouble than he was prepared to take. Instead, he sulked, and shirked, and secretly longed to be out of it. The Cruel Sea_1953 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Archived from the original on 7 September 2010 . Retrieved 30 October 2010.

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