- Book reviewer
- WWII operations, Book reviews, Royal Navy, Naval Engagements, Operations and Capabilities
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 1999 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Title: Atlantic Odyssey Author: Michael Thwaites Publisher: Self-published
This is a fascinating account of a little-known aspect (in Australia at least) of the Battle of the Atlantic, seen through the experience of the Australian author’s early World War Two service in the Royal Navy. Beginning his sea time in converted deep sea fishing trawlers he moves on to become the First Lieutenant of HMS Wastwater, built in 1939 for the Norwegian whaling industry but taken up for anti-submarine escort service. The ship and her company are the focus of his Atlantic Odyssey, spanning a twenty-month commission in waters far from home.
His rich prose is enlivened with humour, an uncanny ear for English and transatlantic dialects, but above all it is heightened by the emotional strain of war and the seemingly interminable separation from loved ones. His poetical gifts were quickly recognised as a pre-war student at Oxford University and have been widely acclaimed. He intersperses the narrative with illuminating examples. The author makes it clear that his story is a testament to the fortitude of Britain, whose stand against Hitler saved the Free World. It is a telling reminder and I commend it chiefly for this. The reader will be richly rewarded.