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OT - HMS Ulysses

 
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OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/20/2011 10:44:58 PM   
Canoerebel


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This is off topic and a copy of something I just posted in my AAR, but I wanted to open it up to a wider audience. This is directed to all you guys, but I'm especially interested in feedback from those of you who are citizens of the United Kingdom.

Have you ever read Allistair McLean's novel HMS Ulysses? If so, what do you think of it?

(It's a novel set in the Murmansk convoys during World War II.)

It has been one of my favorite books since my high school years, and a recent re-reading hasn't altered my high opinion of it. I assume Brits would hold it in high regard, but I thought I'd ask.
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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/20/2011 11:05:01 PM   
AW1Steve


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I'm not a Brit, but I enjoyed it immensly. I was recently able to locate a pb edition, but I'm still looking for a hard cover. I't make a great movie.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/20/2011 11:41:07 PM   
Tiornu

 

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[Spoiler alert]
Honestly, I didn't think much of it. The drama felt stretched and forced. I think more planes crashed into this ship than historically crashed into the whole of British cruiser-dom prior to the kamikaze. It was the man's first novel, and I don't think he'd found his voice yet.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/20/2011 11:56:36 PM   
Terminus


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I found it soul-crushingly depressing, which I suspect was a big objective for McLean...

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/21/2011 5:49:57 AM   
jmalter

 

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an alternative to HMS Ulysses, in the same theater - Jan de Hartog's "The Captain. 'S got a nift' RN cruiser, too, but no Kapok Kid.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/21/2011 7:54:29 AM   
ilovestrategy


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I haven't read it but I'm going to assume that no mess boys were accused of stealing the last of the strawberries! 

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/21/2011 10:28:26 AM   
Arnhem


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I remember reading this when I was a kid, flipping back and forth between the line drawing of the ship and whichever page I was on whenever any part of the ship was mentioned, I think this was the book that introduced me to where the turrets were on a ship when you talked about A,B,X,Y turrets, good times. Been looking for a pb edition for a year now but the local shops here suck big time, was thinking of turning to Amazon, any alternatives out there? It's not published anymore is it? Just pre-owned books out there now?

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/21/2011 10:47:27 AM   
Grollub


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I read it as a kid. Loved it, even if it was kind of depressing.

I have another favorite though, that I read for the first time when I was young and have kept rereading over the years.

It's Nicholas Monsarrats "The Cruel Sea". Anyone who have missed this one would be advised to correct that mistake. Can be found here;
http://www.amazon.com/Cruel-Sea-Classics-War/dp/1580800467/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305970955&sr=8-1

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/21/2011 1:16:05 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

It's Nicholas Monsarrats "The Cruel Sea". Anyone who have missed this one would be advised to correct that mistake.


Talk about soul-crushingly depressing...rubbing the burn cream onto the burned survivor and having the man's skin breaking away, layer after layer, then hoping he would just die and then having the man see it in the Execs eyes....

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/21/2011 1:17:38 PM   
Grollub


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Ok, I missed labeling that one as "depressing" as well.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 2:50:35 AM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ilovestrategy

I haven't read it but I'm going to assume that no mess boys were accused of stealing the last of the strawberries! 



Nope. But the story does open with the aftermath of a mutiny.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 5:33:44 AM   
BrucePowers


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I have never read HMS Ulysses. Another great book about North Atlantic convoy duty is The Good Shepard By CS Forrester. This was about a captain of a US destroyer on convoy duty. It was a very good book.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 4:38:13 PM   
Panzerjaeger Hortlund


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tiornu

[Spoiler alert]
I think more planes crashed into this ship than historically crashed into the whole of British cruiser-dom prior to the kamikaze.



I dont remember any aircraft crashing into the Ulysses

OnT: I love the book, have read it several times.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 4:46:54 PM   
Terminus


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Apparently not recently. I forget if it's two or three German aircraft that hit it.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 5:12:53 PM   
AW1Steve


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I'd love to get it on Kindle. Unfortunately only Amazon UK has it , and apparently we in the USA can't purchase from them.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 5:25:37 PM   
BrucePowers


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I purchased my copy of the Ordnance Survey from them. All you have to do is open up an Amazon UK account. That is what I did.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 5:29:17 PM   
obvert


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If anyone does want it from the UK Amazon, I'd be happy to get a copy, read it, and then send it on when I I get to the US in June.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 6:48:53 PM   
AW1Steve


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Oh I've ordered books from them......the problem is kindle is an e-book. I tried to get them to send it to my emai for my PC (where I'd download it to my Knidle) but apparently their system doesn't permit that. I suspect it's a copy right thing.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 6:50:03 PM   
AW1Steve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

Apparently not recently. I forget if it's two or three German aircraft that hit it.



I don't think they were kamikazes though...I got the impression it was a dead pilot at the control.


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"Geezerhood is a state of mind, attained by being largely out of yours". AW1Steve

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/22/2011 6:54:47 PM   
Terminus


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True. There were definitely one Stuka and one Condor.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 1:07:34 AM   
AW1Steve


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A stuka would be bad.....a Condor? I'd imagine that would be fatal to a Leander class CL.

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"Geezerhood is a state of mind, attained by being largely out of yours". AW1Steve

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 3:58:59 AM   
Canoerebel


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Thanks for the replies, gents. It's great to see so many familiar with the book (like mentions of the Kapok Kid and the Stuka that crashes into one of the turrets) and to read different takes on it.

I was surprised at those who found the book depressing, though I understand the basis for that sentiment. The book deals with the crushing punishment taken by a Royal Navy light cruiser, ultimately leading to it's demise. Plus most of the convoy gets sunk (anybody remember things like the Vektra, the Viking, Ralston and his father, turning on the searchlight to blind the pilot of an attacking plane, etc). Rather that depressing, however, I found the book inspiring as the crew responds with loyalty and affectiion to a captain who was a good man and a good leader.

I recall reading Alistair MacLean's comments about HMS Ulysses. After the book's release, it was panned by critics as a terrible injustice to the Royal Navy. MacLean couldn't believe it as he though he had paid the RN the greatest possible compliment in writing the book.

Here's to good books, gents!

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 5:49:38 AM   
Commander Cody


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Great book as I recall from my teens. I liked all his stuff. Need to do a re-read. Also liked "The Good Shepherd."

And in no way could that book be considered an injustice to the RN.

Cheers,
CC

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 8:04:28 AM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Have you ever read Allistair McLean's novel HMS Ulysses? If so, what do you think of it?

(It's a novel set in the Murmansk convoys during World War II.)

It has been one of my favorite books since my high school years, and a recent re-reading hasn't altered my high opinion of it. I assume Brits would hold it in high regard, but I thought I'd ask.


I have read it at least 5 times in past 30+ years...

I like the book very much!

Sadly there was never a movie (and I think it would be a good one) from it...


Leo "Apollo11"

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 10:34:22 AM   
Terminus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

A stuka would be bad.....a Condor? I'd imagine that would be fatal to a Leander class CL.


Seem to recall that the Ulysses was supposed to be a modified Dido.

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 11:33:51 AM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus

quote:

ORIGINAL: AW1Steve

A stuka would be bad.....a Condor? I'd imagine that would be fatal to a Leander class CL.


Seem to recall that the Ulysses was supposed to be a modified Dido.


Yep... unique modified Dido...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Ulysses_%28novel%29


Leo "Apollo11"

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 11:36:29 AM   
Terminus


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I like the Wiki article saying that "the convoy is beset by plot elements"...

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 11:39:01 AM   
Apollo11


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Hi all,

BTW, I would also like to someday see good movie based on Len Deighton's "Bomber" novel... it was fantastic read...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomber_%28novel%29


Leo "Apollo11"

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 12:14:40 PM   
sprior


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BB Radio4 did an audio adaption of it

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bomber-BBC-Radio-Collection-Baker/dp/0563523557

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RE: OT - HMS Ulysses - 5/23/2011 3:07:02 PM   
Yakface

 

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HMS Ulysses had a role to play in me being born.

My mother is a bit of an Arts snob.  She would always quiz dates about what they were reading, so when it got to my father and his reply was 'Ulysses' she was impressed.  She had struggled with Joyce's Ulysses, so anyone who read it in a couple of weeks was worth a second date (in her opinion).  By the time she got to investigating a bit deeper ('but I thought you'd read Ulysses?' - 'Yes.....HMS Ulysses') it was already too late.  And she was lumbered with my father who was indded the philistine that he had first appeared.

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