HMS Ulysses

By Alistair MacLean,

Book cover of HMS Ulysses

Book description

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.

Constant patrols have pushed the crew of the HMS Ulysses beyond the limits of endurance. And now they…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked HMS Ulysses as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Although this is a novel about a warship and the convoys, the Artic Convoys to North Russia were very real. Winston Churchill said the artic convoy mission was, "The most dangerous journey in the world." I personally sailed with men who had sailed in these convoys taking food, fuel, and weapons to Russia. I sailed with seamen whose ships had been torpedoed by U-Boats, some men had been torpedoed more than once.

I was only 3 years old when the war ended but I have sailed to the Artic and to Vladivostok in the North Pacific, and I have worked…

MacLean served in the Royal Navy in WW2 on cruisers and destroyers in the Atlantic, Arctic, Mediterranean, and Far East. This book, his first and best, conveys in stark detail the challenges of escorting a large convoy through the Arctic to supply the Soviet Union with war supplies. HMS Ulysses is a light cruiser whose crew has been pushed to the limit of endurance on previous such convoys and must now commence another. Relentless attacks by German air, surface, and submarine forces are complemented by storm, ice, merciless cold, and the crew’s unending fatigue. The convoy is decimated but it…

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