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THE GAUNTLET 1943 to 1945 by Warren Smith

THE GAUNTLET 1943 to 1945

by Warren Smith

298 pages
North Atlantic and Arctic high seas wartime adventure, 1943.

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Category: Fiction:Historical
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About the Book
This is a WW II Navy story with adult adventure. It has exciting action involving U-boat attacks, including the actions of their crews; and the hero’s crew repelling Nazi air attacks. They survive the sinking of one ship in the arctic and the bombing of the next ship. There is discreet sex and true romance plus the hero’s meteoric rise through the ranks. The hero marries in early 1945 and his bride takes on an endearing active role. There is wartime sailor language in that vernacular.

The characters are described as they are introduced. The protagonist, Lieutenant Hal Gaylord V12 USNR, is a handsome late twenties officer and gentleman, in command of a trial crew specializing in advanced anti-aircraft gunnery aboard a merchant ship sailing to Archangel, Russia.

Hal has a champion in high places. Captain Albright, Staff Executive Officer to the Commandant of the Naval Armed Guard, Atlantic has a watchful eye ever seeking staff candidates, notices Hal and makes plans for him, helping with further advanced officer training when he becomes available. Other supporting characters are Navy and merchant marine officers and crew members aboard three different merchant ships.

Hal’s second ship is torpedoed and sunk in the Sea of Norway, after a stray bullet kills a mate standing next to him. Because of the expediency of the war, he is challenged by the immediate reassignment of his crew without respite, to a similar ship that had been laid up in Liverpool. The crew meets and boards this vessel, and successfully defends her all the way to Archangel and back to the USA. They suffer a bomb hit killing some of the crew, wounding Hal and others.

During a leave, Hal meets June Thomas from the Seattle area. June is a trim, tall, handsome ash blond about the same height as he, two years younger, and has an IQ and persona comparable to his. She has penetrating, ice blue Nordic eyes. This relationship involves the first of some behind closed doors scenes that continues throughout the book.

As a Lieutenant Commander in early 1945, Hal is assigned as Convoy Commodore aboard the SS San Buenaventura, a former Grace Lines combination passenger-freighter on a war shipping administration run to South America. This part of the story has further romance and adventure for Hal and June, as she is a paying guest.

There are Kapitans of the various U-boat antagonists who are introduced along the way, and some of their adventures are shared as well. One of them appears near the end of the book, a second time. There are over sixty characters introduced in various roles, to complete the color of the adventure.

There is a sequel “Pacific Destiny 1945” an even more exciting story.

 

 

About the Author
Warren, a WW II Navy Torpedo man was briefly exposed to the environment within this story. A commercial pilot, he worked in aviation support positions, and flew the Korean airlift. He did engineering analysis and technical writing for the Douglas Aircraft Co. for the last 22 years of his career.

 

 

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