Soho, Nov 2001, 24.00, 286 pp.
On May 30, 1916, the biggest naval battle of World War I occurred as the English fleet of 150 ships containing sixty thousand sailors fought the German armada of 100 vessels with forty-five thousand on board. Unlike the soldiers fighting in the continental trenches, most of those in this Battle of Jutland taste war for the first time.
On the British destroyer Lanyard, sub-lieutenant Nick Everard, a younger member of a highly regarded naval family, looks forward to a chance to make a name for himself. For his own peace of mind, Nick needs to attain the illustrious levels of his father, uncle, and older brother. So far his naval career has been one of flop and punishment, but he will soon learn how well he reacts under extreme pressure.
THE BLOODING OF THE GUNS is a reprint of the first Everard Naval story from the late seventies. Though the story line is rich with historical and naval information, the tale lacks the blood, sweat, and guts needed of a war novel even one based on a true event. Readers who relish depth on weaponry and sea tactics will enjoy Alexander Fullerton's depiction of the devastating battle, but anyone who prefers to see real people dealing with the death, destruction, and battle trauma of World War I should return to the classic, All's Quiet on the Western Front.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner