It is February 1942 and the war in the Atlantic looks grim for the Allied convoys. The 'Great Blackout' has started, leaving the spy centre of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire at a loss as to what the Nazis are planning. U-boat Command has changed the Hydra cipher. The Enigma cannot be broken. Cipher experts can no longer eavesdrop on Nazi command, which leaves convoys open for attack by packs of marauding Nazi submarines. Winning the Battle of the Atlantic will surely give Hitler a final victory. And who can stop him?
Author biography:Dudley Pope Dudley Bernard Egerton Pope was born in 1925 into an ancient Cornish seafaring family. He joined the Merchant Navy at the age of sixteen and spent much of his early life at sea. He was torpedoed during the Second World War and resulting spinal injuries plagued him for the rest of his life.
Towards the end of the war Pope turned to journalism, becoming the Naval and Defence Correspondent for the 'London Evening News'. At this time he also researched naval history and in time became an authority on the Napoleonic era and Nelson's exploits, resulting in several well received volumes, especially on the Battles of Copenhagen and Trafalgar.
Encouraged by Hornblower creator CS Forester, he also began writing fiction using his own experiences in the Navy and his extensive historical research as a basis. In 1965, he wrote 'Ramage', the first of his highly successful series of novels following the exploits of the heroic 'Lord Nicholas Ramage' during the Napoleonic Wars. Another renowned series is centred on 'Ned Yorke', a buccaneer in the seventeenth century Caribbean and then with a descendant following the 'Yorke' family naval tradition when involved in realistic secret operations during the Second World War.
Dudley Pope lived aboard boats whenever possible, along with his wife and daughter, and this was where he wrote the majority of his novels. Most of his adult life was spent in the Caribbean and in addition to using the locale for fictional settings he also wrote authoritatively on naval history of the region, including a biography of the buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan. He died in 1997 aged seventy one.
'The first and still favourite rival to Hornblower' - Daily Mirror