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Attack and Sink: The Battle Convoy for SC42 Paperback – January 1, 1995
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- Publisher : New Era Writer's Guild (January 1, 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 232 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1899694404
- ISBN-13 : 978-1899694402
- Item Weight : 10.1 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.73 x 0.78 x 8.46 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,311,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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in this book. I have read many books on the battle of the Atlantic, and this one is the best. He gives you the names
displacement, speed, when the ship was built, her captain and sometimes other crew members. He gives you this
info in story format not tables or charts. It is the story of just one convoy, but it tells you everything you could want to
know about both sides. Hard to put this book down....
Don't misunderstand. Bernard Edwards is a talented writer. His use of descriptive adjectives brings events to life and enables the reader to "see" exactly what the scene looks like. Sentences like "...the corvettes were on hand merely as sheepdogs, to snap at the heels of stragglers, to be at the beck and call of a shepherd, sailing in what appeared to be the scruffiest ship in the convoy." (pg. 53) and "Men grew tired and careless, and the cumbersome merchantmen, reduced to the equivalent of a brisk walking pace, blundered through the confined waters of the strait [in fog] like a herd of blind elephants." (pg. 61-62) These and many other descriptions made the story almost visual. Also included in the story was a vivid picture of the pathetic and almost inhumane living conditions of the average commercial sailor and their treatment by the owners and employers of the vessels.
On the other hand, the technical language and phrases Edwards used throughout the book were most likely to be understood only by those most familiar with shipping. Several times I was sent to the dictionary to find the meaning of words and phrases like: "the repaired mast was stepped...", " Wetteland ordered the oars to be shipped...", the mountain "hove in sight" and a reference to the "DEMS gunners".
A couple of other weaknesses: There was only one very blurry map in the entire book, and the editing was problematical: numerous misspellings throughout the book indicated that proof reading was left up to the "spell-checker" resulting in many "be's" that should have been "he's" and other similar word substitutions.
All in all, however, the author has a great talent as a "word-smith", crafting a story which, once it got started, overcame the books deficiencies.
Four stars, but only because of the author's story telling talent.
This was the signal that Admiral Dönitz sent to the commanders of the 21 U-boats of the Markgraf wolf-pack on September 9, 1941 just before the US entered the war. Sixty-three merchant ships; a number old and dilapidated and all slow and heavy-laden with vital supplies from the United States for the United Kingdom, were strung out in 12 columns abreast, covering 25 miles of inhospitable ocean. They set sail from Nova Scotia at a time when the German U-boats were sinking more than one hundred ships a month and the US Navy could do nothing but stand-by and watch (at least officially). The convoy's escort of one destroyer and three corvettes of the Royal Canadian Navy, all untried in combat, was hopelessly outclassed when the battle for SC42 commenced. The battle lasted for seven days and covered 1,200 miles of ocean.
First hand accounts by participants on both sides add interest and drama.