BY D. A. RAYNER
Commander D. A. Rayner, whose novels of the sea have become classics of suspense and drama, now adds a unique tour de force to the annals of courage. His latest triumph, VALOR, is a tense, twice-told tale of mechanized war.
This time the action is on land — a tank battle between mythical Allied and Central Powers which rages for hours in heavy mist “somewhere in Western Europe.” Battle plans for the Allies are carefully drawn up by Brigadier Crockford and his staff. By cold military logic, a command decision is reached. A single squadron must remain in an exposed position. It is lost to the last man. The enemy is repulsed, however, and Brigadier Crockford gains a strategic victory. Without nobility, without afterglow, Crockford’s victory leaves little but the taste of defeat.
Then, in a spiral of dramatic suspense, Commander Rayner retells the story — as it might have happened — had a young officer, Lieutenant Campion, followed his human impulse to valor and self-sacrifice by defying strategy and logic. It is in this heroic engagement that the tale surges to a glorious climax.
Superbly plotted, tautly paced, VALOR is a bold and virile tale with a special core of meaning for our time: Man is still greater than the machines he serves, and, on occasion, valor alone will have its say.