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In Danger's Hour [Hardcover]

Douglas Reeman


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Book Description

September 1988
The Mediterranean, 1943... The HMS Rob Roy. A tiny machine, just 230 feet from stem to stern. In peacetime she would have trawled for cod. Now her catch is deadlier by far. Lieutenant-Commander Ian Ransome is a veteran of the treacherous front line of naval combat. For three years, he’s swept the explosive curtain of Nazi mines that shrouds the British Isles. Now, under sealed orders in the battle-tossed waters of the Mediterranean, he and his jack-tired crew face one final test of their courage and seamanship under fire. Their secret mission: to spearhead the Allies’ desperate invasion of Italy.
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group; First Edition edition (September 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399133887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399133886
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 23.1 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 612 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique View of Small ships in War April 11 2001
By Paul Sayles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In Danger's Hour is a story set in one of the Royal Navy's minesweepers during World War II. The crew is a mix of regular officers and Sailors (although they are a distinct minority) and of reservists. It is a story of how these men are molded and honed into a efficient weapon named HMS ROB ROY.
The story shows the ship in roles other than minesweeping, which was the lot of ships of this type. Escort work, invasion support at Sicily and Normandy, survivor search and rescue (burial more often than not)all came the way of ROB ROY.
We also see how the need for mine warfare vessels vastly outstripped the the ships on hand and fishing boats of all sorts were pressed into service. As is related in the book "they dumped out the fish and dumped us in." There is also mention made of US made minesweepers used by the RN.
There are interesting charecters in the book. I find the authors treatment of the Sailors as a key to the success of his writing. You don't see a few officers and a mass of nameless non-entities who make up the crew of the ship.
There is humor in the book as well. The poking of fun at the regulars by the reservists, the kidding amonst the chiefs in the privacy of their own mess all go towards making this book a fine story. Romantic interests are varied for several characters and most seem to work out well for the characters. It adds an element of depth to the authors creations.
Minesweeping was a dangerous, relentless and probably boring job that was done extremely well by ROB ROY and her sisters. The point made in the book is that once you finished the job, you had to turn around and do it all over again. This book puts you right in the thick of it. The only thing missing is the action of the ship in the sea and the constant wet and cold feeling of the crew. It is a must read for any student of the Second World War.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minesweepers clear the seas for Allied victory June 24 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Douglas Reeman is perhaps the most profilic author of WWII sea yarns. He has quite obviously drawn upon his own service in the RN for much of his content and background. While his background provides authenticity, he does assume a greater knowledge of the ships than a lay reader would have.
The story focuses on the development of the relationships on a minesweeper following the death of its first officer. Relationships on shore are also explored to include the prerequisite love interests. The action scenes are vignettes against this backdrop.
One gets a sense of the tension between the RN and the RNR and RNVR although I think it was greater than Reeman indicates. Reeman also conveys the constant tension of finding and destroying or defusing mines while under the threat of attack from land, air or sea. Another tension is faced by men who go to war while their homes and families are being bombed. Reeman portrays all these various tensions and undercurrents well with the action peaking on June 6, 1944.
It may be nitpicking, but I had a few problems with the story. First, I don't think that British civilians were being killed in large numbers in late 1943- early 1944. This was after the Blitz and before the V weapons. Second, Reeman's description of the ship brings to mind the adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words". Why not include a drawing of a ship of the class described? Third, the characters are either; saintly, like the captain, in need of redemption/growth, like the first officer, or out-and-out bad. There are some loose ends that aren't tied and some that are tied up too neatly.
All in all this is a good read and should keep one turning the pages.

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