The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat (Paperback, 2009)

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'Fascinating and compelling' New York Times Based on the author's own vivid experiences, The Cruel Sea is the nail-biting story of the crew of HMS Compass Rose, a corvette assigned to protect convoys in World War Two. Darting back and forth across the icy North Atlantic, Compass Rose played a deadly cat and mouse game with packs of German U-boats lying in wait beneath the ocean waves. Packed with tension and vivid descriptions of agonizing U-boat hunts, this tale of the most bitter and chilling campaign of the war tells of ordinary, heroic men who had to face a brutal menace which would strike without warning from the deep . . . 'One of the best novels that has yet been written about sailors at war' Spectator