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Soldier, Sail North

By James Pattinson

No one is safe…

The German Navy – the Wolfpack – under the command of Admiral Karl Dönitz, conducted unrestricted submarine warfare in the attempt to bleed the allies dry of resources.

An indicator of a truly industrial war.

Sergeant Bill Willis is in charge of a group of men aboard the the S.S. Golden Ray of Liverpool; all men of the Maritime Royal Artillery.

These soldiers must man the anti-aircraft and outdated ship-to-ship guns aboard the merchant vessels and ensure the safe passage of much-needed supplies between the allied nations.

For Sergeant Willis, this is his fourth voyage aboard a merchant convoy, having previously worked on a grain barge, a tanker and a meat liner.

This time, however, although he isn’t running a tanker which in his mind are death traps, they are taking the most perilous journey a merchant ship could take – one that leads straight for Russia.

With the highest concentration of German ships and bomber-planes, there’s no telling if they will make it there alive. And if the German’s don’t get them, the freezing weather might!

His crew are a mixed bunch of men – Miller, a communist who is eagerly awaiting his arrival in Russia, Petty Officer George Donker, a relic from the Great War who has seen his fair share of action and Randall, who discovers there is as much conflict in his heart as there is at sea…

Will they make it there alive? And if by some miracle they do, will they make it back again?

With merchant ships being picked off like flies, nobody is safe.

James Pattinson (1915-2009) was a full-time author who, despite having travelled throughout the world, lived in the remote village where he grew up. He wrote magazine articles, short stories and radio features as well as numerous novels including Crane and The Silent Voyage.

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