H.M.S. Ulysses by Alistair MacLean

Four Stars

Available at Amazon

This is a story about the men who sailed in the H.M.S. Ulysses, a one-of-a-kind light cruiser, during World War II and covers, in detail, their third run on the dreaded convoy excursion from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Murmansk, Russia. The convoy was carrying much needed lend-lease war materials from the United States to Russia. Lying in wait for the thirty-four ships of Fast Russian convoy (FR77) was the worst winter storm anyone could remember, and German aircraft, surface ships, and submarines traveling in the feared wolf packs.

The author details the lives of these heroic sailors as they fight to complete their mission and yet know they will not make it to Murmansk. I read much of this book on a warm, stormy, Mid-Atlantic summer day. In some spots, I found myself cold from the descriptions Mr. MacLean provided this reader. The only fault I found with this book was the way he used different names in different situations for the same people. One time it would be name and rank, then first name, and then, later, a nickname. For me, it interrupted the excitement to have to stop and figure out who he was discussing.

For Naval warfare enthusiasts, I highly recommend this novel.