Sixty Minutes for St George
Volume Two in the Everard Naval Series, this book was first published in 1977, no doubt re-issued to capitalize on the current popularity of naval fiction. Nicholas Everard is serving as Executive Officer of the destroyer Mackerel on the Dover Patrol as 1917 draws to a close. He must contend with Lt. Commander Wyatt’s disapproval, made worse when Nick is involved in a barroom brawl. When Mackerel is docked for repairs after ramming a German ship, Nick is appointed to command a raid against a German trawler. His success in that operation earns him a promotion to commander (at age 22!) of the old destroyer Bravo, just in time to participate in an attack on Zeebrugge on St. George’s Day.
Readers unfamiliar with 20th century naval jargon might be confused when reading this story, as most acronyms and other terms are not explained and are not always comprehensible from the context. The battle scenes seemed authentic to this uninformed reader. Military fiction fans should like the almost non-stop action, although the book’s weak characterization probably won’t create the same long-term hold on the reader’s imagination that Forester, O’Brian, and Cornwell have done.