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His WWII Chronicles and the basis of 'The - Nicholas MONSARRAT - 1942. 
Cassell, [1942-46] - 4 vols., in 1, 8vo., First Editions, with frontispieces and plates; newly and handsomely bound in full navy blue crushed morocco, sides with double frame border in gilt, back gilt with five raised bands, second and fourth compartments lettered in gilt, all other compartments ruled and tooled in gilt with an anchor device, all original pictorial wrappers (a little dust-soiled) preserved, a splendid copy ideal as a gift or for presentation. The definitive record of corvette service in WWII, the set comprises 'HM Corvette' (1942), 'East Coast Corvette' (1943), 'Corvette Command' (1944) and 'HM Frigate' (1946). The first three volumes were combined and issued in slightly abridged form as 'Three Corvettes' (1945). Taken together and in sequence the four volumes provide a near-continuous record of Monsarrat's own wartime service. Furthermore they contain much of the inspiration and context, and in several cases actual incidents which reappear in the author's masterpiece 'The Cruel Sea' (1951), arguably the finest novel of the Royal Navy in WWII. Monsarrat's seatime began in HMS Campanula [broadly the 'HMS Flower' of the first volume] on the North Atlantic convoys; at one time she was the only RN vessel operating out of St. Johns. She is perhaps best known for her service in convoy OG71 (Milford Haven-Gibraltar, August 1941) which suffered so badly at the hands of a U-boat pack that it was ordered to seek shelter in neutral Lisbon. Many of the merchantmen were lost (including the SS Aquila with 22 Wrens aboard) together with the escorts HMS Bath and HMS Zinnia. The full story is related by Lund and Ludlam in 'Nightmare Convoy' (1987). He then transferred to HMS Guillemot ['HMS Dipper' in the second volume] serving on the East Coast convoys. Among the actions portrayed are the torpedoing of HMS Vortigern by E-boat S-104, and the successful destruction of an HE-111 in August 1941. HMS Guillemot's captain, Lombard-Hobson' has said of Monsarrat 'he was reserved and unpopular, but I liked him myself'. Monsarrat then assumed command of HMS Shearwater ['HMS Winger' in the third volume] operating in the North Sea out of Harwich. Individual volumes are becoming increasingly elusive. Complete sets are seldom offered for sale, especially in this condition. Enser, p.120 (HM Corvette); Law 1008 (East Coast Corvette), 1007 (Corvette Command) and 1084 (HM Frigate). Astonishingly 'HM Corvette' is not recorded by Law. [Attributes: Soft Cover]
[Bookseller: Island Books]
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