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Mid Watch

By Edward Ellsberg

When Victor Cushing joins the crew aboard U.S.S Manhattan for a highly risky endeavour, his mind is in turmoil…

Educated, and confident in his future prospects, Vic marries Margery Holmes and Vic is desperate to ensure their future is secure.

Now, with Margery about to give birth to their first child and complications expected, the last place Vic wants to be is aboard the Manhattan, on a near-impossible endeavour.

Vic’s duty was to keep watch in the fire-rooms for the final hours of the race, starting at midnight.

Reaching the required twenty-two knots with their ageing boilers would be an immense task.

But they needed to reach this speed to win the Engineering Efficiency Competition.

When the water levels start to drop, alarms bells start to ring.

Vic knows that the ship cannot handle such speeds and does everything he can, abiding by his orders, to ensure the lives of the sixty-one sailors is not put at risk for the sake of winning the red ‘E’.

However, Captain Byrers has his own personal reasons for winning and orders them to continue at full speed, despite the risks.

When the Manhattan catastrophe goes to trial, Vic is accused of misconduct and put on trial for multiple charges.

Having barely survived the catastrophe himself, this was not the way he expected his reunion with Margery to begin.

The Navy Department decide to keep Captain Albert Byrer and Chief Engineer’s name in the clear and court-martial Vic as being solely responsible for the tragedy that killed so many.

But with the help of Margery’s father, Vic takes on a civil lawyer, a rather unconventional move in a Navy trial.

Even so, the chance of being successfully defended against these charges are slim. With barely any witnesses left, it’s his word against that of a dodgy Russian sailor.

However, Judge Wendell Rice, appointed as Vic’s lawyer, might be regarded as an incompetent choice in respect to Naval laws, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve, and a past that would rock the court…

Mid Watch is an exciting legal thriller filled with twists and turns.

Praise for Edward Ellssberg

‘done in high adventure style’ – Kirkus Reviews

‘Authentic material in a good yarn’ – Kirkus Reviews

Rear Admiral Edward Ellsberg returned to active service with the navy the morning after Pearl Harbour, after a life of hazardous adventure in salvage operations, during which he won the United States Navy’s Distinguished Service Medal. He thereby became the first man to gain the award in peacetime. At Massawa he raised the two Italian Floating Docks, in spite of expert opinion that it was impossible. Later he served as Principal Salvage Officer under General Eisenhower in North Africa and afterwards in the Normandy Invasion. Rear Admiral Ellsberg was awarded the C.B.E. by His Majesty King George VI, and two Legions of Merit by the United States Government.

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