January 2, 2011

Reading: The Ship by C.S. Forester

Nobody does naval warfare better than Forester. "The Ship" follows the crew of the light cruiser H.M.S. Artemis in 1943 as the Royal Navy contends with the "Eyeties" in the battle for Malta.

"It might be said that while the ship was at sea The Captain never went more than five paces from his stool; at night he lay on an air mattress laid on the steel deck with a blanket over him, or a tarpaulin when it rained. Jernigham had known him to sleep for as much as four hours at a stretch like that, with the rain rattling down upon him, a fold of the stiff tarpaulin keeping the rain from actually falling on his face. It was marvellous that any man could sleep in those conditions; it was marvellous that any man bearing that load of responsibility could sleep at all; but, that being granted, it was also marvellous that a man once asleep could arouse himself so instantly to action. At a touch on his shoulder the captain would raise himself to hear a report and would issue his orders without a moment in which to recover himself."


  1. You might enjoy an old spy novel, "The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret Service" (1903). The anticipated WWI naval battles of the UK & Germany (big boats, the arms-race of the time)...

  2. GP-

    Thanks for the tip. I'll certainly check it out.