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A BIG WOW For this Douglas Reeman story I always enjoy most of his War stories, but this one was exceptional I think it is because I always feel compelled by aircraft carriers and have a particular interest in HMS Ark Royal and her Fairy Swordfish Stringbags during World War II Therefore, I was seduced by the front cover I know this is wrong but the story is evenexciting than the lavish and dramatic front cover In this tale, we go aboard an American made aircraft carrier, called HM A BIG WOW For this Douglas Reeman story I always enjoy most of his War stories, but this one was exceptional I think it is because I always feel compelled by aircraft carriers and have a particular interest in HMS Ark Royal and her Fairy Swordfish Stringbags during World War II Therefore, I was seduced by the front cover I know this is wrong but the story is evenexciting than the lavish and dramatic front cover In this tale, we go aboard an American made aircraft carrier, called HMS Growler, as she prepares for her mission to protect a convoy on route to Murmansk in the Soviet Union We are introduced to various characters The main man for the reader is twenty six years old RNR pilot Tim Rowan HMS Growler uses the famed Fairy Swordfish and Seafires Seafires are Fleet air arm marine version spitfires The action throughout the story is splendid and very gripping indeed There are submarine attacks, attacks in the Norwegian Fjords, head to head cruiser and destroyer action And this is just in the first half of the story on the Barent sea run We then go to the Pacific where HMS Growler is with another battle group facing Japanese Kamikaze attacks.If you love seafaring stories, this one is an absolute must One of the most dynamic war stories I ve ever read Heroes, Villains, wet behind the ears boys coming of age and some not getting the chance Plus a backdrop of winning the lady of his dreams GREAT STUFF If you like good, solid war action stories then this is for you Several good characters, a good but not overly complex story line and plenty of well written action battle scenes Classic Reeman. Douglas Reeman drinking game 1 first mention of there s a bit of a flap on 21% into this bookAnother classic Reeman a bit less savage then some Like HMS Saracen, the story s has two parts, but unlike that book, both are in War 2 The weakness of Winged Escort is that the first climax is better than the second, and the love interest doesn t enter until the second Act Still, it s Reeman the only thing better is Reeman writing as Dudley Pope. This is the sort of war story that you ve probably read or seen a dozen times already The hero is distinguished largely by his generic competence and lack of defining traits in this case he s a Seafire pilot assigned to a Royal Navy escort carrier in the North Atlantic There s also the inevitable incompetent admiral, a staple character of Hornblower and Sharpe novels The cast of supporting characters, most of them doomed, areinteresting than the ostensible hero.Together they tangle wit This is the sort of war story that you ve probably read or seen a dozen times already The hero is distinguished largely by his generic competence and lack of defining traits in this case he s a Seafire pilot assigned to a Royal Navy escort carrier in the North Atlantic There s also the inevitable incompetent admiral, a staple character of Hornblower and Sharpe novels The cast of supporting characters, most of them doomed, areinteresting than the ostensible hero.Together they tangle with German u boats and battleships while defending Allied convoys The suspense and excitement of the action scenes is compromised by the focus on our generic hero, who is fated to survive every encounter meanwhile, the minor characters never get a chance to develop properly before they meet their tragic ends Dialogue is strictly stiff upper lip, and the author s valiant stabs at psychological depth are littlethan cliches Along the way there s a vague romance just to prove the hero s heterosexuality.Douglas Reeman served in the navy, so he gets the details right That doesn t make him a good writer, though he was certainly a successful and popular one He found a formula and stuck with it, for better or worse A typical Reeman novel provides a good insight into sea warfare built around a struggling main character with a good description of tactics, stresses etc of his current naval topic, which in this case is the role of the small escort carriers A good read for those interested in naval warfare, with just enough romance to round it out. It always seem strange to me that whilst I really enjoy Reeman s books when he uses the pen name Alexander Kent I rarely enjoy the books written in his own name as much Mainly it is because the Alexander Kent books are part of a series so we have a chance to get to grow with the characters whereas Reeman s own books are one offs and therefore the characters aresketchy.That said this for me was one of his better ones In many respects this is two stories in one, the first set around an Arc It always seem strange to me that whilst I really enjoy Reeman s books when he uses the pen name Alexander Kent I rarely enjoy the books written in his own name as much Mainly it is because the Alexander Kent books are part of a series so we have a chance to get to grow with the characters whereas Reeman s own books are one offs and therefore the characters aresketchy.That said this for me was one of his better ones In many respects this is two stories in one, the first set around an Arctic convoy whereas the second involves action out in the Pacific Both are well told showing the desperate, brutal conditions that the participants of each had to endure in each theatre and for me the action generally felt very authentic giving details of some of the less glamorous elements of these conflicts It also shows the somewhat random elements that decides who lives and dies in warfare Thankfully,for me at least,the love interest does not appear until quite late in the book.On the whole an enjoyable and fast paced read Didn really enjoyed it I last read a Reeman twenty odd years ago and had fond memories Alas, it didn t quite live up to my recollections &READ EBOOK ☠ Winged Escort ⇷ July As the grim years of the Second World war go by, the destruction of Allied shipping mounts Out of the terrible loss of men and ships, the escort carrier is bornAt twenty six, fighter pilot Tim Rowan, RNVR, is already a veteran of many campaigns Now he joins the escort carrier, Growler, a posting which takes him first to the bitter waters of the Arctic and all the misery of convoy duty to Murmansk, and then south to the Indian Ocean and the strange new terror of the Japanese Kamikaze Interesting enough read , following life on the convoys of ww2