Books

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ESCORT: THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

BY D. A. RAYNER

This is the story of one man’s war and of the Royal Navy’s escort vessels — trawlers, corvettes and destroyers — that guarded Britain’s ocean life-lines across the Atlantic against the ravaging forays of U-Boats and surface raiders.

This highly acclaimed firsthand account of convoy escort operations in the North Atlantic from 1939 to 1945 is based on Rayner's astonishing war record.

 

          

 

 

 

 

VALOR

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.

 

          

 

 

 

 

THE LONG FIGHT

BY D. A. RAYNER

The year is 1808, the story is of a three day epic fight between the sailing frigates San Fiorenzo and the Piemontaise. Based on an actual historical event, enriched by the author's knowledge of ships and the sea.

Captain Epron of the French frigate Piemontaise sailed from the Ile de France (Mauritius) bent on capturing a convoy of heavily laden East India Company merchantmen bound for Ceylon. Guarding the convoy was the elderly Royal Navy frigate San Fiorenzo under the young, inexperienced Captain Hardinge. The British ship was out gunned, out-manned, her crew weakened by malaria. For three days and three nights the ships engaged in a series of ferocious battles. As one hour followed the next, the advantage. like the sea, changed constantly. In a test of wills both captains employed brilliant tactics and made devastating mistakes and both ships fought gallantly until the tolls of combat brought humiliating defeat to one and victory to the other.