Cancel anytime. Twelve hundred British soldiers isolated on the small island of Kheros off the Turkish coast, waiting to die. Twelve hundred lives in jeopardy, lives that could be saved if only the guns could be silenced. The guns of Navarone, vigilant, savage and catastrophically accurate.

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He remained in the best seller lists right up to his death in He graduated in and became a popular school teacher in Rutherglen.

An employee of the publisher Collins read the story in the newspaper and managed to track down MacLean. The book received unprecedented pre-sales and earned MacLean enough to buy his first house. MacLean drank heavily and struggled with alcoholism. He died in Munich on 2 February His success meant that he spent much of his life living as a tax exile in Switzerland. They were near neighbours and although Burton starred in the highly successful Where Eagles Dare , they were not close friends.

The ship serves on the Arctic convoys and her crew is pushed above and beyond the normal limits of human endurance, leading to a mutiny.

HMS Ulysses received good notices when it was published, staying at or near the top of best seller lists for some considerable time. A film version of HMS Ulysses has often been talked about, most prominently by the Rank Organisation, who announced their intention at the Cannes Film Festival in , but unfortunately the company later withdrew from filmmaking and the project was shelved. It was published in and was an immediate international bestseller.

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HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean (1955)

Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Ulysses, leads a convoy of destroyers, carriers and merchant ships deep into the Arctic Circle, heading for Murmansk with vital supplies for a beleaguered Russian Army. Waiting for them is a U-boat wolf pack and some of the worst winter weather of the war. Their orders are to get through at any cost but no-one can predict just how high that cost will turn out to be. Taking his inspiration from his own extensive experience as an RN sailor in the Atlantic and Arctic convoys there is a strong feeling of verisimilitude to this story; but the sheer quality of his writing is also worthy of note. The novel introduces the Ulysses as a ship with a broken and troubled crew, close to mutiny and exhausted beyond recall from previous forays into the Arctic. However, MacLean continues to build the pressure on the ship by throwing at it the most appalling weather conditions and the privations of a ruthless, determined and resourceful enemy.


HMS Ulysses

The novel that launched the astonishing career of one of the 20th century's greatest writers of action and suspense - an acclaimed classic of heroism and the sea in World War II. Now reissued in a new cover style. Constant patrols have pushed the crew of the HMS Ulysses beyond the limits of endurance. And now they must be put to sea again, to escort a vital supply convoy heading for Murmansk.


Alistair MacLean - HMS Ulysses

Originally published in , it was also released by Fontana Books in MacLean's experiences in the Royal Navy during World War II provided the background and the Arctic convoys to Murmansk provided the basis for the story, which was written at a publisher's request after he'd won a short story competition the previous year. Some editions carry a prefatory note disavowing any connection between the fictional HMS Ulysses and the U-class destroyer of the same name. The novel features HMS Ulysses , a light cruiser that is well armed and among the fastest ships in the world.


It describes the ordeal of a ship on one of the notorious Murmansk conveys, taking oil, weapons, supplies to beleaguered USSR up over the top of Scandianavia, through the Arctic Ocean in one of the most pitiless and harsh environments known to man. MacLean, born and so 17 when the war started, had himself served on these convoys during the War. He knew whereof he spoke. To recap his war career:. He was first assigned to PS Bournemouth Queen , a converted excursion ship fitted for anti-aircraft guns, on duty off the coasts of England and Scotland. In Royalist he saw action in in the Atlantic theatre, on two Arctic convoys and escorting carrier groups in operations against Tirpitz and other targets off the Norwegian coast. In he and the ship served in the Mediterranean theatre as part of the invasion of southern France and in helping to sink blockade runners off Crete and bombard Milos in the Aegean.

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