RogerBW's Blog

A Prayer for the Ship, Douglas Reeman 12 March 2014

Sub-Lieutenant Clive Royce is assigned to a Motor Torpedo Boat working off the east coast of England during the Second World War.

Reeman is better known for his Napoleonic fiction, which I haven't read. This was his first novel, and it drew heavily on his own experience with MTBs during the war. The technicalities seem reasonable enough, but there isn't much in the way of overarching plot; Royce gradually moves into more senior positions, and realises that things he's learned have made him able to cope with them, but the book ends well before his career does. He meets and falls in love with a Wren, but this mostly consists of his being amazed that she's prepared to have anything to do with him.

Similarly, the characters aren't much; they have their traits, but one doesn't feel that one gets to know any of them. (Part of this is because there are rather a lot of them: Royce's own crews, his commanders, and his fellow officers in the squadron.)

As for the action that's clearly the main reason for this book, it seems plausible enough. I always thought that MTBs were supposed to get into torpedo range slowly and quietly, whereas these chaps seem to dash in at full speed getting cut to pieces by enemy gunfire, but I may well be wrong.

Not objectionable, but nor did it fill me with a desire to read more.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

  1. Posted by John Dallman at 07:24pm on 12 March 2014

    I think the idea with MTBs is to sneak until you reckon you'll be spotted soon, and then charge. If your opponent is expected to be alert, this may reduce to "Charge!"

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1