- Taschenbuch: 520 Seiten
- Verlag: Classics of War (März 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1580800467
- ISBN-13: 978-1580800464
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14,2 x 3,1 x 21,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 8 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.614.530 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Cruel Sea (Classics of War) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – März 2000
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"A whale of a story....Solidly conceived and well executed".
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"A whale of a story...Solidly conceived and well executed."
A maritime adventure originally published in 1951. Set in the Second World War, two ships and their crews of about a hundred and fifty men are involved in defending Atlantic convoys against impossible odds. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
The Cruel Sea is the account of one crew aboard a RN ship, whose wartime job was to escort convoys of merchant ships across the Atlantic to bring much-needed supplies to an island locked in a dreadful war.
The sea is indeed cruel. Almost crueller are the German U boats who attack both convoys and their escorts. The book looks at the North Atlantic War generally, but specifically at the crew aboard Compass Rose, their first ship which is torpedoed, and then Saltash, the second and larger and more formidable ship.
There are a number of interesting and well-portrayed characters - from Captain Ericsson, the wearied but capable man who leads his convoy against the secretive but ever-present submarines; his crew who experience every hardship imaginable that can be dealt out by fear, cold, tiredness, danger, dead seamen who are now just corpses in the water and many of this crew end their service like this, aboard Compass Rose; Compass Rose and Saltash are also characters in the book but the biggest and most important character is the Atlantic Ocean, especially in winter in the grip of dreadful storms lasting many days.
You don't have to be mad about sailing, or a WW2 enthusiast or even interested in the Royal Navy to enjoy this book. It is simply a human story about men who end up together on a ship, doing a deadly task day in, day out throughout the Second World War. It is occasionally humorous in the 'stiff upper lip' sort of way, often poignant, frequently devastating and always a great read.
In the eleventh grade in Greenville, South Carolina, i had an English teacher who designated Thursday as "Free Reading Day" and encouraged the entire class to read anything they wanted to (well, within limits -- "Playboy" would have been Right Out, i'm sure.) -- and, in case you had nothing of your own, she laid out an assortment of magazines and books on a table at the front of the room.
On that table, one Thursday, was a copy of "The Cruel Sea". Since i've always been at least a bit interested in sea stories, and it looked interesting, i picked it up. From the first i was hooked solidly.
In the next three or so years, i reread it twice at least, possibly more than that.
And then i joined the Navy -- and i am sure that it was because of what i read in this book, and what i sensed behind it, in what Monsarrat -- who, like his viewpoint character, Lockhart, was there from the beginning, working his way up to command his own ship before the end of the war -- didn't so much say as assume about the sea and the Navy -- *any* Navy.
Monsarrat presents us here with a brotherhood of the sea, corny as that idea may sound. Sailors, more than the other Armed Forces, tend to regard other sailors -- even enemy sailors -- as brothers in arms, and, as Monsarrat says, the only true enemy is the cruel sea itself.
As he shows us here, the sailor who was your enemy five minutes ago, who was trying to kill you as you tried to kill him, is merely another survivor to be rescued from the cruel sea once you've sunk his ship.
And, even more so, as Monsarrat portrays it, there is a kind of brotherhood that binds sailors in the same Navy together in very mcuh a family manner -- you may not like your cousin, but you want to know what's happening to him and, when all is said and done, he IS your relative.
The best summation of this sort of attitude (which i felt to some extent myself during my time in the US Navy) comes when Ericson, the Captain, is touring his new ship as she stands under construction in a Glasgow shipyard; he meets one of his future officers, and mentions the name of his previous ship, which was lost with over three-quarters of her crew, and realises that
"He's heard about 'Compass Rose', he probably remembers the exact details--that she went down in seven minutes, that we lost eighty men out of ninety-one. He knows all about it, like everyone else in the Navy, whether they're in destroyers in the Mediterranean or attached to the base at Scapa Flow: it's part of the linked feeling, part of the fact of family bereavement. Thousands of sailors felt personally sad when they read about her loss; Johnson was one of them, though he'd never been within a thousand miles of 'Compass Rose' and had never heard her name before."
To be part of a band of brothers like that is a proud thing, and Monsarrat captures it perfectly.
He also captures the terrified boredom of being in enemy territory with nothing happening as you wait for the enemy to make the first move, and the shock, confusion and horror of combat (particularly sea combat, in which the battlefield itself is the deadly, patient enemy of both sides).
And he captures the glories and rewards of life at sea, the beauty of a glorious clear dawn at sea, the stars and the moon and the wake at night and so much more.
This is the book that made a sailor out of me.
It will tell you what it is to be a sailor.
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