This sea dog of a book finds Hardtack Harry Paige, a real blood and guts type (from Brooklyn), muttering ""why must it always be like this on land, filthy and clinging with crud."" He's in a port in the Dutch East Indies in 1942 before heading his heavy cruiser on to Java Head and into a damaging action against the Japanese fleet. At the expense of the Gloucester which sinks and in defiance of orders--but then he's a real slugger and wants some retaliatory action. Harry comes back to Washington (where he refuses to visit one of his men, just amputated in a hospital; he's not only uncouth--his wife (she's not crud--she's an aristocrat he's unfeeling) to Felicia, in her Georgetown fourposter), to a further vendetta against his father-in-law, and to a new command aboard the Shiloh instead of a court inquiry. Before shipping out, there's a layabout in L.A. with the flagrant Mona who replaces the fragrant Felicia; a tragedy (Harry's son is washed overboard) and he returns from the Tokyo raid an Admiral....Lots of action, topside and bottomside; expletives **** the page, and you can give it the Purple Heart for purple prose.