Maiden Voyage. Village, 1996. 257
A 12 year old boy who, in surviving the Titanic disaster,
discovers something steely and enduring in himself.
Bassett, James E.
Harm's way. World Pub. Co., 1962. 510
Aboard USN cruiser "Old Swayback" in the Pacific during WW
II, a regular Naval officer in the Pacific theater is assigned to command a "backwater"
operation to seize a group of strategic islands from the Japanese, and has almost as
much trouble from an entrenched and interfering area commander as from the
The Sky Suspended. Delacorte Press, 1968. 326
A novel of naval mercenaries in Southeast
Cmdr. Prince, USN : a novel of the Pacific War.
Simon & Schuster, 1971. 415 pages
Commander Prince, USN Naval commander who has served on
positions is given command of a destroyer squadron in the Asiatic Fleet
after the outbreak of WWII. He must overcome doubts about his
competence and courage in the Java Sea, then fight an unequal battle
with a Japanese cruiser and his former flagship -- captured by the IJN
-- off the Solomons.
The Tinfish Run. Harper & Row, 1977. 264
Set in 1942, immediately after the ill-fated
PQ17 convoy. An ancient British destroyer hunts subs, fights German
aircraft in the Arctic. Bassett served in the Arctic aboard a British
cruiser. He has made a serious attempt at to have the characters
speak in the vernacular of the Royal Navy of the day and to this end
includes a thirteen page glossary of Royal Navy lower-deck
terminology and technical terms. There is also a two page synopsis of
the events of the PQ17 convoy.
The Pierhead Jump. Macmillan, 1978. 224
The American transport SUSQUEHANNA, bound
from Oran to the USA with a cargo of Afrika Korps POWs, gets sunk by
a German U-boat -- which then offers a truce so that survivors can be
rescued. Loosely based on the sinking of the LACONIA.
The Neptune Landing. Macmillan, 1979. 214
LCF49 -- Landing Craft, Flak -- goes to war
against Germany in late 1943 through 1944, taking part in the
Overlord Invasion, and its aftermath.
The Guns of Evening. Macmillan, 1980. 201
Aboard the battle-cruiser INVINCIBLE at the
Battle of Jutland.
Bassett, Sara Ware
The White Sail. Doubleday, 1949. 244
Old-fashioned romance set on Cape Cod in the summer
amidst sailing and fishing boats.
Race Against the U-boats. J. Cape,
1963. 111 pages
When he is orphaned during the Second World War, an English
youth signs on as cabin boy with a convoy of tramp steamers bound for Canada and
experiences tense moments when German submarines threaten.
Bates, H. E. (1905-1974)
The Cruise of the Breadwinner. M. Joseph,
1946. 63 pages
WW II English fishing boat on
Bax, Roger [pseud. Paul Winterton] (1908-2001)
Two If By Sea. Harper, 1949. 245
U.K. title: Came the Dawn. Two
Englishmen on duty in Moscow during WW II marry Russian women, but are refused
permission to take their wives home to England when they are reassigned. With the help
of an American newspaperman, they hatch a plan to spirit the women out of the USSR by
using a small sailing boat.
Baxter, John (1939- )
The Black Yacht. Jove, 1982. 341
A tale of intrigue and suspense surrounding the
America's Cup 12-meter style, complete with international assassins,
Japanese challengers utilizing the latest in high-tech boat building
techniques, and old 12-meters being used for Columbian drug running.
The book is high on the mystery content and not-so high on the sailing
aspects. Enjoyable if somewhat over the top in certain
Bayer, John F.
The Omega Deception. Broadman & Holman, 2000. 310
Posting as a soldier and loyal follower of Hitler, Michael
Shaw is assigned to the Peenemunde research facility where he discovers the Germans are
developing a sophisticated rocket propulsion system to launch chemical weapons from U-
boats off the eastern coast of America. Finding a surprising confidante in civilian
scientist Kurt Daleuge, Shaw must learn all he can about the upcoming attack targeted at
Wall Street, and with Daleuge's's help, intercede before millions of Americans are
Beach, Edward Latimer, jr. (1918-2002)
Run Silent, Run Deep. Holt, 1955. 364
WW II Pacific submarine action. Best sub
novel ever written, some say.
Dust on the Sea. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston,
1972. 351 pages
American sub EEL in Japan's tightly guarded
inland sea during WW II.
Cold is the Sea. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston,
1978. 348 pages
15 years after WW II a nuclear submarine CUSHING
goes on a secret mission to the arctic to test fire missiles from under
the ice, collides with Russian submarine.
Beard, G. S. (Gary)
The year is 1792 - the start of the French Revolutionary
Wars. A shadow hangs over John Thomas Fury in his first voyage as a midshipman aboard
the 32-gun frigate, Amazon. As Amazon heads southwards on her voyage to India, Fury is
involved in a shipboard accident and he finds himself working hard to prove that he
isn't cursed just like his father.
When Amazon left England nearly two years before the
countries were not at war but any hopes that the peace still holds are shattered as the
Frenchman unexpectedly opens fire - a bloody sea battle ensues resulting in both triumph
and personal tragedy for Acting Lieutenant John Fury.
The Homeward Bounder and Other Sea Stories.
Glencannon Press, 1995. 239 pages
Breaking seas -- The slop chest -- Coal from Clydeside --
The coming of the cat -- The homeward bounder -- Ju-Ju man -- The river -- Letter to a
priest -- For want of wind -- Not for naught -- The caleuche -- San Joaquin -- The
contribution -- In a leather-bound diary -- To show the flag.
Golden Fleece. St. Martin's Press, 1990.
Murder mystery involving disappearance of a sailboat
in Lake Superior.
Make War in Madness. Fawcett Publications, 1965.
Army Lieutenant commands PT boat on strange
missions during the Korean war.
Behr, E. Thomas
Blood Brothers. CreateSpace, 2011. 406
In 1805, in the war-ravaged Mediterranean, Henry Doyle, a
soldier of fortune-and professional killer-arrives at a squalid tavern in the roughest
section of Malta for a meeting with a man he should hate. His appointment: William
Eaton, an American army officer, Indian fighter, and secret agent for Thomas Jefferson.
Eaton is plotting a daring venture: the invasion of Tripoli to liberate three hundred
Americans held hostage by the Pasha of Tripoli, place a pro-American ruler on Tripoli's
throne, and bring freedom to a Muslim country that has known only tyranny. Eaton has
money to spend–for a scout to lead his rag tag invading army of Arabs, European
mercenaries, and seven US Marines across five hundred miles of merciless desert to
attack an Arab army ten times their size.
Belcher, William, Sir (1799-1877)
Horatio Howard Brenton: A Naval Novel. Hurst and
Blackett, 1856. 3 volumes
Horatio Howard Brenton can be plausibly argued to be the
real model for C.S. Forester's character Horatio Hornblower.
Benchley, Nathaniel (1915-1981)
Sail A Crooked Ship. McGraw-Hill, 1960. 230
An aimless young man and his debutant fiancee
end up shanghaied on a stolen, clapped-out, reserve fleet freighter
that had been moored in New York Harbor. They find themselves held by
an improbable collection of incompetent criminals, who take the ship to
sea for use as a getaway vehicle for bank robberies. Instead they prove
to be a seagoing gang that could not shoot straight. Set in the late
1950s. A real howler!
The Off-Islanders. McGraw-Hill, 1961. 238
Russian nuclear submarine runs aground off a
New England island the night that the island's High School football
team wins its first game in years. Madcap farce. Basis of the movie
The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!
Benchley, Peter (1940-2006)
Jaws. Doubleday, 1974. 311
A great white shark terrorizes a beach
The Deep. Doubleday, 1976. 301
A young couple go to Bermuda on their honeymoon. They
dive on the reefs offshore, looking for the wreck of a sunken ship.
What they find lures them into a strange and increasingly terrifying
encounter with past and present, a struggle for salvage and survival,
along the floor of the sea.
The Island. Doubleday, 1979. 302
Descendants of Caribbean pirates cause trouble in
White Shark. Random House, 1994. 324
Off modern-day Massachusetts, a freak accident revives
a hideous Nazi experiment that had been entombed in the sea since WWII.
A cross between SS storm trooper and a mechanized shark, the creature
goes on the rampage sort of and a beleaguered marine scientist is the
only one who realizes something unusual is going on.
Bengtsson, Frans Gunnar (1894-1954)
The Long Ships: a saga of the Viking age.
Knopf, 1954. 504 pages
Rode Orm: hemma och i osterled in
Swedish. Adventures of Red Orm, son of a pirate, master of his own ship
and afraid of no man. Bengtsson uses a rather dry style, like that of
the Icelandic sagas, to describe very exciting events, and gives a
vivid portrayal of the time and places without resorting to much
description. A ripping yarn. Made into a movie in 1963.
Bennett, Geoffrey M. (AKA Sea-Lion) (1908-1983)
The Diamond Rock. Hutchinson & Co., 1952. 231
Novel based around the garrisoning of Diamond Rock in the
Caribbean during the Napoleonic Wars.
Benno, Mark E
This Wonderful Year: The Adventures of Mr. Edward Pamprill.
CreateSpace, 2011. 562 pages
It is the year 1805, and a weary England prepares for
Napoleon's next move. Events don't seem to bother Mr. Edward Pamprill, however; he's too
busy spending his father's money and living a life of idle pleasure. The good times are
cut short when his father (the lecherous Baron Pamprill) secretly arranges for his son's
abduction and removal to a British man-of-war, and it is at sea that young Mr. Pamprill
truly begins his education. Mr. Pamprill battles Napoleon, endures raging storms, and
struggles to keep alive the passion for the mystery woman he left behind while his heart
is besieged by some of the era's most beautiful and dangerous women.
Bensen, R. D.
Swashbuckler. Bantam, 1976. 167
Slash and hack Carribean pirate adventure. Novel
adapted from the screenplay by Jeffrey Bloom, from a story by Paul
Marianne and the Privateer. Putnam,
1971. 317 pages
Fiery temptress is rescued, resumes her
affair with American privateer. Set in the early 1800s. Originally in
Beresford, J. D. (John Davys) (1873-1947) and Wynne-Tyson,
Men in the Same Boat. Hutchison, 1943. 103
A torpedoed ship’s lifeboat which drifts helplessly across
the seas while its inmates struggle vainly against thirst, hunger and exposure.
The Deep Sea Adventure series:
To Build a Ship. Viking Press, 1963. 209
Building a ship in the wilderness on Tillamook Bay
in the early pioneer days.
Berry, Erick [pseud. Allena Champlin] (1892-1974)
Go and Find Wind. Oxford University Press,
1939. 251 pages
On board a clipper ship in the 1850s.
Biggins, John (1949- )
Otto Prohaska series:.
Loosely based on the round-the-world voyage in
1900-1902 of the steam frigate DONAU, which was the last wooden
sailing warship to make an ocean cruise.
Otto's account, recollected at age 101, of his
service as a submarine captain from 1915 to 1918.
Covers 1913 to 1915, during which time
Otto serves as deck officer, seaplane pilot, Naval Aide to the
Archduke Francis Ferdinand, and captain of a Chinese
It is the summer of 1916 and, as luck would have it, Naval
Lieutenant Otto Prohaska is assigned to the nascent, unreliable and utterly frightening
Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Flying Service. Ottto's aerial chauffeur is the
self-willed Sergeant-Pilot Toth, with whom he can only communicate in broken Latin --
although when all else fails, screaming will suffice!
Binns, Archie (1899-1971)
Lightship. Reynal and Hitchcock, 1934.
Lives of the crew of a lightship off the northwest
You Rolling River. C. Scribner's Sons, 1947.
Astoria around the turn of the
Bissell, Richard Pike (1913-1977)
A Stretch on the River. Little, Brown, 1950.
"Picaresque" novel about towboating on the
upper Mississippi. Simultaneously hailed by the newspaper in Dubuque
and banned by the Dubuque Catholic Mothers Purity
High Water. Little, Brown, 1954. 280
Trials of the mate of a diesel towboat trying to push
too many barges from St. Louis to St. Paul during a record breaking
Goodbye Ava. Little, Brown, 1960. 241
Most of the action takes place on houseboats.
Bjorneboe, Jens (1920-1976)
The Sharks: The History of a Crew and a Shipwreck.
Norvik Press, 1992. 241 pages
psychological novel of storm and mutiny aboard the British ship
NEPTUNE, sailing from Manila to Marseilles in 1899 with a cargo of hemp
and a secret stash of pearls.
Blaine, John [Pseud. Harold L. Goodwin] (1914-1990)
The Pirates of Shan. Grosset & Dunlap, 1958. 181
A Rick Brant Electronic Adventure on Spindrift
Island, with airplanes, boats and pirates. For young
Blair, Clay (1925-1998) and Joan Blair (1929- )
Scuba! Bantam Books, 1977. 247 pages
Adventurers, sinners and lovers, lured by a fortune in gold
dive in the Caribbean.
The Submariners 1 :
Mission Tokyo Bay. Bantam Books, 1979. 217
Just before WW II, US submarine SHARK is sent to find out
the Japanese are gathering submarines.
The Submariners 2 : Swordray's First Three Patrols.
Bantam Books, 1980. 179 pages
WW II sub adventure. "The sneak
attack on Pearl Harbor was barely finished when Commander Hunter
Holmes began some of the most savage underwater attacks of the
Blake, George (1893-1961)
The Shipbuilders. Faber & Faber, 1935. 384
Study of a Glasgow shipyard hit by the
shipbuilding bust in late 1920s, as seen through the eyes of the owner,
and a riveter who served as the owner's batman when both were in the
British Army in WW I. Never gets to sea, but a fascinating portrait of
a vital support maritime industry during the worst of
The Constant Star. Collins, 1945. 319
A saga of
a powerful ship and shipbuilding concern owned by the Oliphant family.
When their fathers die two cousins inherit the firm. Julius believes in
tradition and dreams of the perfect clipper ship, which he builds the
CONSTANT STAR but Mark is an innovator and the potential of steam and
iron drives him. There is plenty of detail and good characterisation in
this story which spans from the end of the Napoleonic War through the
American Civil War to the culmination of the tea clippers.
Blake, Patrick [pseud. Clive Egleton] (1927-2006)
Double Griffin. Macdonald, 1981. 320
U.S. title: The Skorzeny project.
U-Boat plans to bomb Times Square, New York on New
Years Eve 1944/5.
Blochman, Lawrence G. (1900-1975)
Midnight Sailing. Harcourt, Brace, 1938. 311
Silk millionaire P.G. Bonner commits suicide after a Senate
investigation. He was accused of having secret plans for the latest Navy anti-aircraft
gun. Reporter Glen Larkin is assigned to get on board a Japanese freighter that also
carries passengers. It's headed for Japan with a load of nitrates for making
Blunden, Godfrey (1906-1996)
Charco Harbour: a novel of unknown seas and a fabled shore passaged with coral
reefs and magnetical islands, of shipwreck and a lonely haven; the true story of the
last of the great navigators, his bark, and the men in her.
Vanguard Press, 1968. 401 pages
Based on James Cook's voyage of exploration 1768-1771 in the