The Cruel Sea

10 best books like The Cruel Sea (Nicholas Monsarrat): Das Boot, Run Silent Run Deep, Cross of Iron, HMS Ulysses, The Sand Pebbles, Sunset Song, Bomber, Covenant With Death, Confederates, Mister Roberts

AuthorLothar-Günther Buchheim
It is autumn, 1941, and a German U-boat commander and his crew set out on yet another hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. Over the coming weeks they must brave the stormy waters of the Atlantic in their mission to seek out and destroy British supply ships. But the tide is beginning to turn against...
AuthorEdward L. Beach
An American equivalent of Das Boot, this gripping, bestselling novel of submarine warfare inspired a well-known Hollywood film starring Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable. Set in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the tension-filled story focuses on an American submarine captain given orders...
Cross of Iron
AuthorWilli Heinrich
Cross of Iron is the thrilling story of a German platoon cut off far behind Russian lines in the second half of World War II. A resourceful and cynical commander somehow manages to coax his men through the bitter hand-to-hand fighting in forests, trenches and city streets until eventually they regain...
AuthorAlistair MacLean
The novel that launched the astonishing career of one of the 20th century’s greatest writers of action and suspense – an acclaimed classic of heroism and the sea in World War II. Now reissued in a new cover style.The story of men who rose to heroism, and then to something greater, HMS Ulysses takes...
AuthorRichard McKenna
Recommended reading as part of the Chief of Naval Operation's Professional Reading Program!
This now-classic novel by Richard McKenna enjoyed great critical acclaim and commercial success when it was first published in 1962. The winner of the coveted Harper Prize, it was on the New York Times...
AuthorLewis Grassic Gibbon
Voted "Best Scottish Book of All Time" by "the public" in 2005

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The lines are gorgeous. When you listen to this you are there in the Scottish Highlands. When? At the beginning of the 20th century. Writing can be all about creating...
AuthorLen Deighton
The classic novel of the Second World War that relates in devastating detail the 24-hour story of an allied bombing raid.

Bomber is a novel of war. There are no victors, no vanquished. There are simply those who remain alive, and those who die.

Bomber follows the progress of...
Covenant With Death
AuthorJohn Harris
They joined for their country. They fought for each other.

When war breaks out in 1914, Mark Fenner and his Sheffield friends immediately flock to Kitchener's call. Amid waving flags and boozy celebration, the three men - Fen, his best friend Locky and self-assured Frank, rival for the woman...
AuthorThomas Keneally
This must be one of the best things Keneally has ever done and how it avoided winning the Booker is simply mesmerizing. This Australian author really has no right to go about writing on such a closely-studied and well-documented theme as the American Civil War and the various side issues that went along...
AuthorThomas Heggen
Probably all of us have seen the classic Mister Roberts play or movie. The book is better. It captures the mind-numbing tedium much better, and the humor is scorched with irony and paradoxical pain. The hero, Mr. Roberts, spends his time on board trying to leave the safety of his cargo transport's milk-runs,...
AuthorJan de Hartog
The book centers around the specialized Ocean tugboat trade. In 1940 Harinxma, then a young tugboat officer, escapes to Britain. The Kwel company has managed to get away much of its fleet and personnel, one jump ahead of the advancing Germans, and sets up to continue operations from London. Harinxma...
AuthorAnthony Powell

“The Military Philosophers” is the third and final part of the Autumn sequence in the Dance to the Music of Time. It also covers the second world war up to the time of final victory. As usual, I looked into the first pages for a powerful, allegoric image to set the mood and to act as a catalyst for the...
AuthorGore Vidal
Vidal's first novel - written when he was 19 - takes place aboard an Army boat in the Aleutian Islands near Alaska, and is as turbulent a drama as the Arctic wind from which it takes its name.

Into the minds of a half dozen men aboard a ship making a three day voyage amongh the trecherous Aleutians,...
The Ship
AuthorC.S. Forester
One vital convoy can break Mussolini’s stranglehold on Malta – but it is intercepted in the Mediterranean by enemy warships … Five light British cruisers are left to beat back the armed might of the Italian battle fleet and C.S. Forester – creator of Horatio Hornblower – takes us aboard HMS...
AuthorH.E. Bates
Treacherous mud clutched at the wheels and the Wellington up-ended. End of mission. The great bomber had been giving the crew trouble since leaving Italy. Finally over occupied France, it settles like a weary, wounded eagle on what seemed to Franklin a hard, smooth field. The five members of the crew...
A Good Clean Fight
AuthorDerek Robinson
It's a classic Derek Robinson story: three groups of men converge for a final battle in the western desert during World War II. An SAS patrol travels through the Sahara to attack a German airbase; a German intelligence officer sets out to settle a personal grudge; and the men from Hornet Squadron (from...
AuthorDouglas Reeman
I haven’t read this book since I was a teenager (a very long time ago!) but I remember liking everything I have read by Douglas Reeman. Re-reading this novel has reminded me why.

As a young man, Reeman served in the Royal Navy during World War II, and it shows. I was captivated by this book; only...
Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-boat Battles of World War II
AuthorHerbert A. Werner
This book is an incredible true story about a U-boat captain who survived the entire war, one of about two dozen to do so. I had previously read Das Boot by Lothar-Günther Buchheim many times, which describes the German point of view of the Battle of the Atlantic circa late 1941. Iron Coffins completed...
AuthorRichard H. O'Kane
People come up to me all the time and ask, "M'Lord, why do you read books about WWII submarine warfare written by people who commanded submarines during WWII?" My response is that I read such books because there's nothing in the fiction genre (excepting perhaps The Hunt for Red October or Run Silent, Run...
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