TORPEDO RUN by Douglas Reeman


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One of the best of Reeman's many WW II British naval-warfare novels. After driving the Germans from Tunis and becoming a national hero at 27, Lieut. Commander John Devane returns to the Admiralty and is assigned command of a flotilla of five motor torpedo boats (MTBs)--which must be moved from the Caspian Sea to help the Russians battle German E-boats in the Black Sea. So, after bedding the widow of the flotilla's former commander, Devane trucks the boats to Tuapse and hooks up with the Russian navy. His first sortie against the enemy is a blazing success--two E-boats sunk, two badly damaged--though Russian Capt. Sorokin questions Devane's impulsive decision to ignore an order about staying with the Russian ships. Devane next plans a combined attack on a German-occupied peninsular port, then again breaks orders to lead the attack, scoring smashingly though he's wounded in the back. Then, however, he finds himself up against his new commander, Captain Eustace (""Useless"") Barker, a cold-fish martinet; and at sea he faces famed German torpedo-boat ace Gerhard Lincke--who seems to guess and match the MTBs' every move. So finally--after Devane declares his love for the widow--all turns on a diversionary MTB attack while a large Russian offensive is mounted on land: half of Devane's boats are wiped out, but he pushes on to surprise Lincke in a last battle at sunset. Solid action, unusual locale, and final chapters which deliver a genuine horror-of-war nightmare--all of which adds up to entirely shipshape war-at-sea reading.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1981
Publisher: Morrow