Skip to main content

Nautical Fiction Index

Author Bas - Bl

Bass, Cynthia

Maiden Voyage. Village, 1996. 257 pages

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 pages

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 enemy.


The Sky Suspended. Delacorte Press, 1968. 326 pages

A novel of naval mercenaries in Southeast Asia.


Cmdr. Prince, USN : a novel of the Pacific War. Simon & Schuster, 1971. 415 pages

Commander Prince, USN Naval commander who has served on staff 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.



Bassett, Ronald

The Tinfish Run. Harper & Row, 1977. 264 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

Aboard the battle-cruiser INVINCIBLE at the Battle of Jutland.



Bassett, Sara Ware

The White Sail. Doubleday, 1949. 244 pages

Old-fashioned romance set on Cape Cod in the summer amidst sailing and fishing boats.



Bateman, Robert

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 patrol.



Bax, Roger [pseud. Paul Winterton] (1908-2001)

Two If By Sea. Harper, 1949. 245 pages

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 pages

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 areas.



Bayer, John F.

The Omega Deception. Broadman & Holman, 2000. 310 pages

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 killed.



Beach, Edward Latimer, jr. (1918-2002)

Run Silent, Run Deep. Holt, 1955. 364 pages

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)

Fury series:.

  1. Mr. Midshipman Fury. Century, 2006. 309 pages

    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.

  2. Lieutenant Fury. Century, 2007. 396 pages

    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.



Beaver, Floyd

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.



Becklund, Jack

Golden Fleece. St. Martin's Press, 1990. 234 pages

Murder mystery involving disappearance of a sailboat in Lake Superior.



Beech, Webb

Make War in Madness. Fawcett Publications, 1965. 255 pages

Army Lieutenant commands PT boat on strange missions during the Korean war.



Behr, E. Thomas

Blood Brothers. CreateSpace, 2011. 406 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

A great white shark terrorizes a beach resort.


The Deep. Doubleday, 1976. 301 pages

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 pages

Descendants of Caribbean pirates cause trouble in the present.


White Shark. Random House, 1994. 324 pages

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 the original 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 pages

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 pages

Slash and hack Carribean pirate adventure. Novel adapted from the screenplay by Jeffrey Bloom, from a story by Paul Wheeler.



Benzoni, Juliette

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 French.



Beresford, J. D. (John Davys) (1873-1947) and Wynne-Tyson, Esmé (1898-1972)

Men in the Same Boat. Hutchison, 1943. 103 pages

A torpedoed ship’s lifeboat which drifts helplessly across the seas while its inmates struggle vainly against thirst, hunger and exposure.



Berres, Frances

The Deep Sea Adventure series:

  1. The Sea Hunt. Harr Wagner, 1959. 69 pages

  2. Treasure Under the Sea. Harr Wagner, 1959. 74 pages

  3. Submarine Rescue. Harr Wagner, 1959. 73 pages

  4. The Pearl Divers. Harr Wagner, 1959. 89 pages

  5. Frogmen in Action. Harr Wagner, 1959. 89 pages

  6. Danger Below. Harr Wagner, 1962. 97 pages

  7. Whale Hunt. Harr Wagner, 1962. 98 pages

  8. Rocket Divers. Harr Wagner, 1962. 98 pages

  9. Sea Gold. Addison-Wesley , 1967. 73 pages



Berry, Don

To Build a Ship. Viking Press, 1963. 209 pages

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:.

  1. Tomorrow the World : in which Cadet Otto Prohaska carries the Habsburg Empire's civilizing mission to the entirely unreceptive peoples of Africa and Oceania. Heinemann, 1994. 289 pages

    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.

  2. A Sailor of Austria : in which, without really intending to, Otto Prohaska becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire. Secker & Warburg, 1991. 368 pages

    Otto's account, recollected at age 101, of his service as a submarine captain from 1915 to 1918.

  3. The Emperor's Coloured Coat : in which Otto Prohaska, future hero of the Habsburg Empire, has an unexpectedly interesting time while not quite managing to avert the First World War. Secker & Warburg, 1992. 374 pages

    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 junk.

  4. The Two-Headed Eagle : In which Otto Prohaska takes a break as the Habsburg Empire's leading U-Boat ace and does something even more thanklessly dangerous. Secker & Warburg, 1993. 367 pages

    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. 345 pages

Lives of the crew of a lightship off the northwest coast.


You Rolling River. C. Scribner's Sons, 1947. 342 pages

Astoria around the turn of the century.



Bissell, Richard Pike (1913-1977)

A Stretch on the River. Little, Brown, 1950. 242 pages

"Picaresque" novel about towboating on the upper Mississippi. Simultaneously hailed by the newspaper in Dubuque and banned by the Dubuque Catholic Mothers Purity Association.


High Water. Little, Brown, 1954. 280 pages

Trials of the mate of a diesel towboat trying to push too many barges from St. Louis to St. Paul during a record breaking Mississippi flood.


Goodbye Ava. Little, Brown, 1960. 241 pages

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

A dark, 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 pages

A Rick Brant Electronic Adventure on Spindrift Island, with airplanes, boats and pirates. For young readers.



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 pages

Just before WW II, US submarine SHARK is sent to find out why 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 war."



Blake, George (1893-1961)

The Shipbuilders. Faber & Faber, 1935. 384 pages

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 times.


The Constant Star. Collins, 1945. 319 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 gunpowder.



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 ENDEAVOR.